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WITH TRAFALGAR DAY AND NELSON very much in evidence in this issue it seems entirely appropriate to introduce the readers of this column to Lily Style (pictured) who lives in South Brent, Devon and is directly descended from both Nelson and Emma Hamilton and Nelson’s sister, Catherine Matcham.
Lily, whose family has a long association with South Brent visited Nelson’s flagship Victory last year for the first time since childhood and said how very moved she had been by the whole experience.
Nelson’s affair with Emma began in Naples in 1798 and became the biggest scandal of the age and their daughter, Horatia was born in 1801. After the death of first her father at Trafalgar and then her mother at the early age of 50, Horatia went to live with Nelson’s sisters.
How and why South Brent
At 21 she married her neighbour, the Reverend Philip Ward, and died in 1881, the mother of ten and grandmother of many.
Lily, who has founded a web site in Emma’s memory explains how the line comes down through William George Ward – Horatia’s son – in his marriage to Tori Blanckley.
“Tori’s father, Capt. Edward Blanckley RN and his wife, Harriet (Catherine Matcham’s daughter) moved to Plymouth in the 1830s and he built a country house at Lutton, near South Brent”.
“Tori, then widowed with six young daughters moved her family to live there in 1878. My great-grandmother, Alice, was the only one of the six sisters to wed. She married South Brent’s village doctor, Frederick Style in 1903. They lived in the village in a house called Windward, now a care home. My grandfather, Prof Derrick Style, was born there in 1904”.
“In a neat twist of fate, my little daughter now goes to school in South Brent Primary, which stands immediately next door to Windward”.
“Emma, Lady Hamilton was, I believe, an outstanding person in her own right”.
The web site is at emmahamiltonsociety.co.uk