Little Nestons most famous resident has to be Lady Emma Hamilton (April 26, 1765 - Jan  1815)
who is best remembered as the mistress of
Horatio Nelson.

Born "Emily Lyon" in 1765 at Swan Cottage, Ness, she was the daughter of a Wirral blacksmith called
Henry Lyon who died soon after her birth and a Maid called Mary Kidd.  There was some speculation
that she was illegitimate, her mother claimed to have married Henry at Great Neston in June, 1764.
As Henry died shortly after his daughter's birth this could possibly have been the cause for the

By all accounts Emma was an exceptionally beautiful woman.  In her teens she was sent to London
to work as a nursery-maid but her looks quickly won her fame and she became a celebrated model
for fashionable painters most notably, George Romney.  Having met Lord Nelson they were lovers
from 1799 until Nelson's death in 1805.  It is interesting to note that Lady Emma Hamilton died in
1815 in Calais, aged fifty, penniless ten years after her beloved Nelson.  Had it not been for the
generosity of some of Nelson's friends she would have died in a debtor's prison.

Swan cottage where she was born stands at the top of the hill opposite the Wheatsheaf Inn.  The
building was built in
1724 and comprises of a pitched slate roof with parapeted gables, 5 pot
chimney stacks flush to each gable.  It is 2 storeys high with an attic added later.  The walls are
whitewashed cement on brown brick with drip moulds to window heads.  The windows are a mixture
of modern UPVC replacements and old timber sash frames.  The building still bears a date plate of
1724 and a modern plate with the name 'Swan Cottage'.  The building is private property and should
be treated as such.  
Swan Cottage 2009