13 November 2013

Nelson & Pitt at Walmer

Lord Nelson was frequently in the Downs, just off the coast from Walmer and Deal, between 1801 and 1805 when a French invasion was firmly expected. Indeed, there are several allusions to Walmer, and Pitt, in Nelson’s correspondence of this period. On October 12, 1801, Nelson writes to his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton, that “this being a very fine and morning and smooth beach, I went with Sutton and Bedford and landed at Walmer, but found Billy [Pitt] fast asleep, so left my card.”
Pitt did like to sleep-in quite late in the mornings.
In another letter of the same time frame, Nelson writes “Billy Pitt asked me to come and see him, and that I shall do out of respect for so great a man.” Nelson and Pitt often met at Walmer (and Downing Street) throughout this period to discuss war strategy, though I suppose these meetings probably took place in the afternoon.


Elvin, C. (1894) The History of Walmer and Walmer Castle. London: Cross & Jackman, pg. 170.

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