ADMIRAL LORD NELSON
Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) bought Merton Place in October 1801. His lover Emma Hamilton had negotiated the purchase while he was at sea. He lived there with her and her husband Sir William until Sir William's death. When Nelson returned to sea in May 1803 Emma stayed on at Merton. In August 1805 Nelson came home for 25 days before departing for Trafalgar and leaving his "dear, dear Merton" for ever. It was at Merton that Emma received the news of the battle and his death.
Merton Place stood south of Merton High Street, where there is now a plaque on a block of flats. Emma's debts forced her to try to sell the house, but she failed to find a buyer. Finally a consortium of friends arranged the purchase, but it was never lived in again and was pulled down by 1823.
Several local roads and pubs have names associated with Nelson.