MS Lowell 17
Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Sir William Hamilton letters, memoranda, and drawings
concerning Pompei and recent eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius and Etna, 1760-1799: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MS Lowell 17
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803.
Title: Sir William Hamilton letters, memoranda, and drawings concerning Pompei and recent
eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius and Etna,
Quantity: 1 collection (.16 linear feet (1 volume)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Scrapbook of letters and drawings concerning Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna collected by
Sir William and Lady Hamilton.
No accession number. Bequest of Amy Lowell; received: 1925. Recataloged from: Lowell 4211.22.
Palazzo Sessa at Naples, formerly the British embassy (inscription).
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open
Sir William Hamilton Letters, Memoranda, and Drawings Concerning Pompei and Recent
Eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius and Etna, 1760-1799 (MS Lowell 17). Houghton Library, Harvard
Item (10), a watercolor and gouache drawing depicting the eruption of Vesuvius, with
a manuscript note in the hand of Lady Hamilton, has been framed and cataloged as MS Lowell 18.
Sir William Hamilton was a British diplomat, ambassador to Naples (1764-1800), and
an archaeologist. His wife, Emma, was the mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Hamilton acquired a collection of antiquities from Pompeii, which he sold to the British Museum in 1772, thereby stimulating wide interest in the art and culture of classical civilizations.
He published several works based on archaeological pursuits, including Antiquités étrusques, greques et romains (1766-67) and Mount Vesuvius (1772).
Scrapbook containing correspondence and copies of letters of Sir William Hamilton,
including letters from Archibald McLauchlan, a letter by Sir Horace Mann, transcribed
by Hamilton, and a letter from Hamilton to Lady Hamilton; notes by Lady Hamilton;
memoranda, plans, and drawings in color of the eruptions of Vesuvius and Etna in 1793;
and an account of the eruptions by Fra Antonio da Petrizzi. Also includes a color
lithograph of Lady Hamilton drawn by Giovanni Battista Cipriani.
Item numbers below reflect numbering in the scrapbook.
- (1). Cipriani, Giovanni Battista, 1727-1785. Lady Hamilton : color lithograph engraved by Richard Earlom, 1787 Feb. 1. 3s. (6p.)
Caption: Published Feb.ry 1st 1787 by John & Josiah Boydell, no. 90 Cheapside.
With a manuscript note, initialed (E.H.): "I sat to (sic) Mr. Ciprani (sic) for this
Includes a manuscript letter of Sir Horace Mann, transcribed by Hamilton; Florence, 1768 Oct. 25; 1s. (3p.)
Includes one printed leaf from the Gazzetta Toscana, no. 43, 1768; 1s. (2p.).
- (2). Zarzona, Fabio. Autograph letter, signed, to Sir William Hamilton; Barletta, 1767 Sept. 7. 1s. (1p.).
- (3). McLauchlan, Archibald. Autograph letter, signed, to Sir William Hamilton; Rome, 1769 July 29. 1s. (3p.).
- (4). McLauchlan, Archibald. Autograph letter, signed, to Sir William Hamilton; Rome, 1769 Oct. 22. 1s. (4p.).
- (5). Galliani. Autograph note, unsigned, to Sir William Hamilton; undated. 1 s. (3 p.)
In French; a note in Hamilton's hand on verso identifies Galliani as author.
- (6). Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Autograph letter, signed ("Wm."), to Emma Hamilton; Persano, ca. 1792. 1s. (1p.).
- (7). Hamilton, Emma, Lady, 1761?-1815. Inscription, copied from S. Germano at Monte Cristo, undated. 1s. (1p.).
With an autograph manuscript note by Lady Hamilton: "To be copied for the Archaeological
- (8). Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Plan of temple and court at Pompeii : ink and wash, undated. 1s. (1p.).
With handwritten key.
- (9). Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Mt. Vesuvius : sketch with palace in foreground, undated. 1s. (1p.).
Includes small drawing in watercolor and gouache of Mt. Vesuvius erupting, mounted to page, possibly by Ruzzi (see no.
- (11). Mt. Vesuvius : sketch, 1793 Sept. 18 1s. (2p.)
Autograph note by Lady Hamilton.
- (12). Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius : sonnet, transcribed by Lady Hamilton; 1794. 1s. (1p.)
Autograph note by Lady Hamilton: "Copied for Dr. Ruzzi."
- (13-14). The eruption of Mt. Etna : manuscript in an unidentified hand, undated. 2s. (5p.)
Autograph note by Hamilton on verso: "Account of the eruption of Mount Etna sent in
my letter of the 27th of May to Mr. Conway."
- (15-18). Lovel. Autograph note, unsigned, to Lady Hamilton; Naples, 1798. 5s. (5p.)
With four enclosed drawings in pencil, copied by the "Superintendent of Excavations" after a wall painting in
a Pompeiian temple.
- (19). Hamilton, Emma, Lady, 1761?-1815. Autograph draft letter, initialed ("E.H."), to Mr. Lovel; Naples, 1793 Oct. 11. 1s. (2p.)
Draft letter concerns Hamilton's desire to obtain drawings of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Includes a painted drawing and an ink sketch of Mr. Vesuvius, dated 1793 Oct. 8.
- (20). Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Autograph note, unsigned, to the ambassador Amestolt; 1793 Aug. 12. 1s. (1p.)
Note concerns the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. With an autograph note, initialed, by Lady Hamilton; a colored drawing of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius mounted to the page, possibly by Ruzzi ; and an ink sketch of Mt. Vesuvius.
- (21). "The Conquering Hero" : poem, manuscript transcript by Lady Hamilton, initialed ("E.H."); Caserti, 1798 Oct. 27. 1s. (1p.)
Transcription for Captain Trowbridge.
- (22). Hamilton, William, Sir, 1730-1803. Grotto of Pausilippo [Posillipo], autograph notes and sketch by Hamilton, 1798. 1s. (2p.)
- (23). Antonio, da Petrizzi. Lettera a sua eccellenza il signor D. Francesco Antonio Marincola duchino di Petrizzi:
Sulla lava : printed pamphlet, after 1794 June 15. 8s. (11p.)
Personal account of the 1794 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, bound in decorative paste paper and inscribed to Hamilton.
- (24). The London Gazette, no. 15157  : one printed bifolium, 1799 July 10. 1s. (2p.)
Sent to Lord Nelson on the H.M.S. Foudroyant; text includes a letter from Lord William Bentinck.