Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/18

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


18

      28th- July 1779

      I hope you will not be offended dearest dearest
dearest Sister, Friend at my presuming to tell you as in yr.
own language you offended my pride & honor in the last Note you
writ me. However I will not enter upon any thing before
you have promised me to calm yr. Spirits. Keep this Letter
till you find yourself composed, and in a fit disposition to reason,
& let not yr. Spirits be so much flurried.

      You tell me I have acted ungenerously in relieving
you from yr. promeʃs, by putting you under such a restraint, you
also say you wish that I may learn to reason more justly, I will explain
my motives to you for so doing, as I once promised to you when
I freely gave you my friendship, not to have a secret of my
Soul concealed from a friend I love so tenderly.

      Were you now to go or indeed at any time till
I am at liberty, tho' you were to make ever so good an excuse
such as yr. health, or ill treatment, the World & indeed
all ye Domesticks of this family, wld.. endeavour to find
out some secret reason for yr. departure, they wld.. construct
the innocent visits of my Messenger, as well as ye- little
attentions I have shewn you, neither which have struck them yet, nor wld.. they strike them now nor at any time unleʃs you was to think of going into some private reasons, &
they wld.. then think they had found out a cause for yr. departure
which I do not think of a nature fit to be mentioned ofto



a person who has yrsuch disinterested, honorable, & virtuous notions
as my dearest friend has. Pardon me I conjure you, if I ʃhall
make use of any improper termsexpreʃsions, or if I should speak too warmly,
upon this subject, when you consider it as ye subject dearest
dearest, dearest Sister, ye subject of all others in which
I look upon myself as most interested[do pardon me]. Were you then
to go some time hence ye. same cause wld.. be attributed to it,
I could not, could not, could not bear to hear ye. smallest
imputation cast upon ye. spotleʃs Character of my angelick
friend, you are purer & whiter than Snow itself. I
do not mention what my situation wld.. be at our separa=
=tion
, that I have already told you in one of my former
Letters, if my interest is as dear to you, as you tell me
it is, so much so, that you tell me say, you wld.. sacri=
=fice
almost every thing to it, even my friendʃhip, (Oh my God
that you ever could have said this) you will not go till
I am at liberty, it can not now be long before I am
so, whereas if you was to go soon you would not only ruin me in
ye opinion of ye World, but in what is much more dear to me in ye eyes of my Parents, for
I could not conceal ye agonies I should feel. If
you ------found yourself slighted or ill treated I would then have you go,
only inform me of it before you take any ʃteps towards it, then do



not consider what my unfortunate situation wld.. be, wretched as I
then should be, I would willingly sacrifice ye woes I could not
hide, to yr. tranquillity, peace, or quiet. I conjure you by all
that's sacred and dear to you do not quit us. You alarm me
exceedingly when you desire me not to ask any more questions
at present,[1] & that you will soon clear up and explain
every thing to you me, I will not then, O how readily do
we obey when youwe really love! I can not however help being
very impatient to know what they are. Let me therefore
entreat you once more that you will not go, except for ye
reason I have mentioned, I pray unto God constantly
to dispose yr. mind to grant this request to me, and to
prevent yr. Spirits from being so much lowered, & once
more to restore you that look of natural chearfulneʃs
which became you so much. My spirits are also very
much sunk, and chearfulneʃs will no more revisit my
brow, until I hear that you have shaken off that gloom
of Melancholy, which has too long hung upon you to a
certain degree, I am grown emaciated my appetite is gone,
& forced to appear gay, & chearful in company, I feel ye. more when
I retire into my own private room be it only for a
single moment. My Gentlemen attribute it to some
little Cold I have caught from ye. change of ye Weather



But Alas! the cause has taken too deep root soon to vanish.
Wherefore let me beseech you, if it be only, from yr. tenderneʃs
friendship or affection to me, you would calm yr. soul a
little, & look not into futurity, and perceive things in so
black a light. My dearest Father not long ago told me
he had been reading a Book in which there was a paʃsage
which struck him very much, “It is wrong to suppose
we are always to be happy in this World, but -it is impious
to ye. Deity, to suppose we are always to be unhappy.”

Wherefore let me entreat of you dearest dearest dearest
Sister, friend, Angel, compose yrself. and see things
in a better prospect. I will consent not to mention ye.
subject of Love to you again, as it can not be but pain=
=ful
to us both, let it however unite us in ye. bonds
of ye holiest, firmest, & most innocent friendship
which nothing but death shall annihilate. I kiʃsed
with enthusiastick fondneʃs ('tis yr. own expreʃsion) every
mark where ye Paper was blurred with yr tears, O
Heaven was I ye. cause of their flowing gracious God
forbid, you say you wished you never had seen, is it because
you hate me, no that can not be, for yr. generous mind is
not capable of calling that man its friend, whom it hates,
or is it because you look upon me as ye. cause & origin of



18
2

all yr. misfortunes, if I thought you did you should see my
face no more; I can see therefore but one reason & that
proceeds from yr. tenderneʃs for me, that is that you are
afraid that I shall fall & sink under some dreadful misfor=
=tune
, from ye. impetuosity, violence, & nobleneʃs of my attach=
=ment
. I own my sweetest friend, you to a degree hurt
my honor (another expreʃsion of yr. own) in recommending
to me to destroy, yr. last Letter as well as every other you had
written to me, I own I thought you had confidence in me
as to suppose I would execute every promise I made to you
most especially, however I attribute it mostly to ye general
flutter yr. spirits were in. I also heard of yr. generosity
it is of a piece with the rest of yr. great, noble
and exalted sentiments, however I can not help confeʃsing
it hurt my pride a little.

      The impending danger also of my dear
Brother W: for I understand ye two fleets are now in
sight of each other greatly ditreʃses me.[2] Were I ever to
lose my two dearest Parents, or my two dearest Brothers
F. & W. nothing in yecould attach me to this World but yrself in whom my whole
happineʃs contents, and were I to be separated from you,
or to lose you, nothing should keep me in it by -[3]
I will not make an impious Oath. I have now nothing
more to add, but to conjure you by our Almighty &
ever merciful Father, to grant this request to me con=



=cerning
yr. departure, and to compose yr. spirits, and to
aʃsume an air of chearfulneʃs, bear up against ye
gloom that oppreʃses you consider that you owe to yr.
maker as a Christian, till then ye. bosom of yr. truly
affectionate friend will be a ʃtranger to happineʃs.
Adieu if you any ever had any affection for me you
will grant me my request, I am & ever shall
be, sweetest, dearest, loveliest Sister,
                             Yr. sincerely attached Friend & Brother.


      P.S. I shall send my Meʃsenger to town about some
busineʃs of his own ye day after tomorrow, I shall make him leave a Note
at G-y's which shall contain ye. orders how ye b-
shall be made, wherefore I beg of you send me a Motto
in yr. next tomorrow, when he carries you ye. N-.
If you have any Meʃsages, Letter or Notes to leave any
where, or any busineʃs to do which he can, he shall do it,
composez vous je vous en supplie jusqu'a ce que nous
nous rencontrons ce qui sera a cette heur de bien totale --
j'attends mon Ami Salgas dans moins d'une Semaine. Faite
moi savoir je vous en supplie auʃsitôt que vous savez
quelque chose de W-. I send you with this, Letters which no
body has seen but L. C. F. and myself, I mean that of my Mother,
but that of my Father more have seen, to shew to you, how far their affection
extends to all their Children -- Adieu Adieu Adieu,

(hover over blue text or annotations for clarification;
red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. See the draft added by Hamilton on a blank sheet at the end of GEO/ADD/3/82/16.
 2. This probably refers to the Armada campaign of 1779. Spain officially declared war on Britain on 16 June 1779 having signed a treaty with France (who were allied with America during the War of Independence). On 25 July a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships had sailed north with the intention of invading Britain, entering the Channel on 11 August. William (later William IV) was a midshipman in the Royal Navy at this time.
 3. Even the clue of an initial letter is withheld in the suppressed oath 'by —'.

Normalised Text



     

      I hope you will not be offended dearest dearest
dearest Sister, Friend at my presuming to tell you as in your
own language you offended my pride & honour in the last Note you
wrote me. However I will not enter upon any thing before
you have promised me to calm your Spirits. Keep this Letter
till you find yourself composed, and in a fit disposition to reason,
& let not your Spirits be so much flurried.

      You tell me I have acted ungenerously in relieving
you from your promise, by putting you under such a restraint, you
also say you wish that I may learn to reason more justly, I will explain
my motives to you for so doing, as I once promised to you when
I freely gave you my friendship, not to have a secret of my
Soul concealed from a friend I love so tenderly.

      Were you now to go or indeed at any time till
I am at liberty, though you were to make ever so good an excuse
such as your health, or ill treatment, the World & indeed
all the Domestics of this family, would endeavour to find
out some secret reason for your departure, they would construct
the innocent visits of my Messenger, as well as the little
attentions I have shown you, neither which have struck them yet, nor would they strike them now nor at any time unless you was to think of going into some private reasons, &
they would then think they had found out a cause for your departure
which I do not think of a nature fit to be mentioned to



a person who has such disinterested, honourable, & virtuous notions
as my dearest friend has. Pardon me I conjure you, if I shall
make use of any improper expressions, or if I should speak too warmly,
upon this subject, when you consider it as the subject dearest
dearest, dearest Sister, the subject of all others in which
I look upon myself as most interested. Were you then
to go some time hence the same cause would be attributed to it,
I could not, could not, could not bear to hear the smallest
imputation cast upon the spotless Character of my angelic
friend, you are purer & whiter than Snow itself. I
do not mention what my situation would be at our separation
, that I have already told you in one of my former
Letters, if my interest is as dear to you, as you tell me
it is, so much so, that you say, you would sacrifice
almost every thing to it, even my friendship, (Oh my God
that you ever could have said this) you will not go till
I am at liberty, it can not now be long before I am
so, whereas if you was to go soon you would not only ruin me in
the opinion of the World, but in what is much more dear to me in the eyes of my Parents, for
I could not conceal the agonies I should feel. If
you found yourself slighted or ill treated I would then have you go,
only inform me of it before you take any steps towards it, then do



not consider what my unfortunate situation would be, wretched as I
then should be, I would willingly sacrifice the woes I could not
hide, to your tranquillity, peace, or quiet. I conjure you by all
that's sacred and dear to you do not quit us. You alarm me
exceedingly when you desire me not to ask any more questions
at present, & that you will soon explain
every thing to me, I will not then, O how readily do
we obey when we really love! I can not however help being
very impatient to know what they are. Let me therefore
entreat you once more that you will not go, except for the
reason I have mentioned, I pray unto God constantly
to dispose your mind to grant this request to me, and to
prevent your Spirits from being so much lowered, & once
more to restore you that look of natural cheerfulness
which became you so much. My spirits are also very
much sunk, and cheerfulness will no more revisit my
brow, until I hear that you have shaken off that gloom
of Melancholy, which has too long hung upon you to a
certain degree, I am grown emaciated my appetite is gone,
& forced to appear gay, & cheerful in company, I feel the more when
I retire into my own private room be it only for a
single moment. My Gentlemen attribute it to some
little Cold I have caught from the change of the Weather



But Alas! the cause has taken too deep root soon to vanish.
Wherefore let me beseech you, if it be only, from your tenderness
friendship or affection to me, you would calm your soul a
little, & look not into futurity, and perceive things in so
black a light. My dearest Father not long ago told me
he had been reading a Book in which there was a passage
which struck him very much, “It is wrong to suppose
we are always to be happy in this World, but it is impious
to the Deity, to suppose we are always to be unhappy.”

Wherefore let me entreat of you dearest dearest dearest
Sister, friend, Angel, compose yourself. and see things
in a better prospect. I will consent not to mention the
subject of Love to you again, as it can not be but painful
to us both, let it however unite us in the bonds
of the holiest, firmest, & most innocent friendship
which nothing but death shall annihilate. I kissed
with enthusiastic fondness ('tis your own expression) every
mark where the Paper was blurred with your tears, O
Heaven was I the cause of their flowing gracious God
forbid, you say you wished you never had seen, is it because
you hate me, no that can not be, for your generous mind is
not capable of calling that man its friend, whom it hates,
or is it because you look upon me as the cause & origin of




all your misfortunes, if I thought you did you should see my
face no more; I can see therefore but one reason & that
proceeds from your tenderness for me, that is that you are
afraid that I shall fall & sink under some dreadful misfortune
, from the impetuosity, violence, & nobleness of my attachment
. I own my sweetest friend, you to a degree hurt
my honour (another expression of your own) in recommending
to me to destroy, your last Letter as well as every other you had
written to me, I own I thought you had confidence in me
as to suppose I would execute every promise I made to you
most especially, however I attribute it mostly to the general
flutter your spirits were in. I also heard of your generosity
it is of a piece with the rest of your great, noble
and exalted sentiments, however I can not help confessing
it hurt my pride a little.

      The impending danger also of my dear
Brother William for I understand the two fleets are now in
sight of each other greatly ditresses me. Were I ever to
lose my two dearest Parents, or my two dearest Brothers
Frederick & William nothing could attach me to this World but yourself in whom my whole
happiness contents, and were I to be separated from you,
or to lose you, nothing should keep me in it by -
I will not make an impious Oath. I have now nothing
more to add, but to conjure you by our Almighty &
ever merciful Father, to grant this request to me concerning



your departure, and to compose your spirits, and to
assume an air of cheerfulness, bear up against the
gloom that oppresses you consider that you owe to your
maker as a Christian, till then the bosom of your truly
affectionate friend will be a stranger to happiness.
Adieu if you ever had any affection for me you
will grant me my request, I am & ever shall
be, sweetest, dearest, loveliest Sister,
                             Your sincerely attached Friend & Brother.


      P.S. I shall send my Messenger to town about some
business of his own the day after tomorrow, I shall make him leave a Note
at Gray's which shall contain the orders how the bracelet
shall be made, wherefore I beg of you send me a Motto
in your next tomorrow, when he carries you the Note.
If you have any Messages, Letter or Notes to leave any
where, or any business to do which he can, he shall do it,
composez vous je vous en supplie jusqu'à ce que nous
nous rencontrons ce qui sera à cette heure de bien totale --
j'attends mon Ami Salgas dans moins d'une Semaine. Faites
moi savoir je vous en supplie aussitôt que vous savez
quelque chose de Windsor. I send you with this, Letters which no
body has seen but Lady Charlotte Finch and myself, I mean that of my Mother,
but that of my Father more have seen, to show to you, how far their affection
extends to all their Children -- Adieu Adieu Adieu,

(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications,
quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. See the draft added by Hamilton on a blank sheet at the end of GEO/ADD/3/82/16.
 2. This probably refers to the Armada campaign of 1779. Spain officially declared war on Britain on 16 June 1779 having signed a treaty with France (who were allied with America during the War of Independence). On 25 July a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships had sailed north with the intention of invading Britain, entering the Channel on 11 August. William (later William IV) was a midshipman in the Royal Navy at this time.
 3. Even the clue of an initial letter is withheld in the suppressed oath 'by —'.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: Windsor Castle, The Royal Archives

Archive: GEO/ADD/3 Additional papers of George IV, as Prince, Regent, and King

Item title: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: GEO/ADD/3/82/18

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 28 July 1779
when 28 July 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton, on persuading her not to leave; and on her hurtful request that the Prince destroy her letters.
    The Prince suggests that if Hamilton were to leave, rumours would arise because of his messenger's frequent visits, which would be damaging to her honour. He also suggests that he would be forced to reveal their connection to the King and Queen due to the agony he would feel at their separation. He refers to the 'impending danger also of my dear Brother W[William] for I understand the two fleets are now in sight of each other'.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1557 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited in the project 'Image to Text' (David Denison & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2013-2019), now incorporated in the project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers' (Hannah Barker, Sophie Coulombeau, David Denison, Tino Oudesluijs, Cassandra Ulph, Christine Wallis & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2019-2022).

All quotation marks are retained in the text and are represented by appropriate Unicode characters. Words split across two lines may have a hyphen on the first, the second or both fragments (reco-|ver, imperfect|-ly, satisfacti-|-on); or a double hyphen (pur=|port, dan|=ger, qua=|=litys); or none (respect|ing). Any point in abbreviations with superscripted letter(s) is placed last, regardless of relative left-right orientation in the original. Thus, Mrs. or Mrs may occur, but M.rs or Mr.s do not.

Acknowledgements: XML version: Transcription and Research Assistant funding in 2018/19 provided by the Student Experience Internship programme of the University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Emma Donington Kiey, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Emma Donington Kiey (submitted July 2019)

Cataloguer: , Archivist, The Royal Archives

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 18 May 2020

Document Image (pdf)