Emma, Lady Hamilton became one of the most infamous mistresses in British history when she embarked on ‘one of the history’s greatest love affairs’ with Admiral Lord Nelson. Artefacts from her life are now on display at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich.
Born 26 April 1765 in England in poverty, she had a child by a nobleman when she was 16, found another protector, became artist George Romney’s muse and was much painted, reluctantly married the British envoy to Naples where she became the confidante of the Queen of Naples (Marie Antoinette’s sister), fell in love with Horatio Nelson and had a secret daughter by him. After his death she ended up in debtors’ prison and died, as she started, in abject poverty in Calais.
For her daughter, she hoped for a better life: ‘A life well spent makes old age pleasant and honourable and I hope my dear Horatia will be good, virtuous and improve her time.’ And indeed she did, marrying a vicar and bearing 10 children.
Emma was a Sun Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn and trine Neptune in late Leo, so undoubtedly talented, indulgent and wishing for great things (Nep Pluto). Her Pluto opposed a pushily confident Jupiter (Moon) in Cancer – so Jupiter was her driving planet with all its largesse. Her Venus in upfront Aries was conjunct Uranus and trine Neptune, leading to her wayward romantic life.
Nelson died 10 years before her and during those years of decline tr Pluto in Pisces was starting to square her Solar Arc Uranus Venus and then Sun; with tr Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius in opposition to those Solar Arc planets. When she finally died Solar Arc Saturn was over the opposition to her Pluto and moving towards the conjunction to her Jupiter with Solar Arc Neptune square her Jupiter – bursting the bubble of all her hopes and dreams.
Horatio Nelson, was renowned as a naval strategist with his successes during the Napoleonic Wars and was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. Born 29 Sept 1758 9.30am(?) Burnham Thorpe, England, he had a military and ferociously determined Mars in Scorpio on his Ascendant with an 11th house Libra Sun and a powerfully confident Jupiter Pluto in Sagittarius. Emma’s Jupiter opposition Pluto was square his Sun so she’d undoubtedly lift his spirits and morale; with his Virgo Moon trine her Taurus Sun putting them in the same wavelength. Though her Saturn Mercury was in his 7th, landing him with problems. Her Neptune was conjunct his Midheaven, conferring a mythic status to their affair and his biography.
Their relationship chart had a passionate composite Venus opposition Pluto square Jupiter opposition Uranus (Saturn) – so equal amounts of mutual support, rolling crises, separations, tensions, and an inclination to transgress boundaries and common sense in their relationship. There was a good-for-publicity composite Mars Neptune conjunction, but its downside can be undermining for one side as the other thrives.