The Really Promising Company
The Really Promising Company

Emma Hamilton - did you know?

  • It is worth visiting Dulwich picture gallery. There is a small portrait painted by Joshua Reynolds of a young girl nursing a baby (see above), purported to be Emma nursing her daughter.
  • Emma was 16 years old when she gave birth to her first daughter. The father is thought to be Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh, who had hired her as an entertainer for his stag parties at Uppark.
  • Sir Harry eventually married his young dairy maid from Uppark when he was well over seventy years old and she just twenty.
  • It was said that Emma spent time early in her career dancing at the Temple of Health and Hymen on The Strand as a seductive celestial virgin.  After paying 50 guineas, aristocrats could spend the night in the celestial bed, an ingenious invention of magnets and electricity which was claimed to cure impotence.
  • Emma was the artistic muse of George Romney. He painted over 60 portraits of her and through the popularity of his painting, Emma became well known in society.
  • Emma was well known for her 'attitudes' which were entertainments combining dance, acting and posing - the subjects of which were classical or mythological figures.
  • Emma was said to have been offered the position of prima Donna at the opera in Milan, so fine was her singing voice. Haydn once accompanied her singing. She is said to have also sung at a service in Canterbury Cathedral.
  • Sir William Hamilton was brought up with George III who called him his foster brother.
  • Sir William’s vast collection of Ancient Greek vases and bronzes became an important impetus in the creation of the British Museum. Sir William’s collection gave Joshua Wedgwood the inspiration for his pottery.
  • When Nelson was anchored in the Downs, Sir William was quite happy to be taken fishing by the boatmen, while the two lovers spent time alone in the Hotel on the Deal seafront.
  • Nelson suffered with chronic toothache.
  • Horatia Nelson (Emma’s second child) married a clergyman and gave birth to 10 children. She is buried in Tenterden, Kent.

Future Dates


Dreamlands Production


February 29th



March 1st

3pm & 6pm


Marlowe Theatre - Studio Canterbury


Tickets from the

Marlowe box office

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