Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/25

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


25

22d. August 1779 Sunday


My dearest dearest dearest Friend[1]

      I may now with more reason than ever call you so
for you have acted with that true sincerity, and openneʃs which
denotes that sacred Character. The next thing to not committing a
fault is to confeʃs it, and to endeavour to amend it, this was all
that remains for me now to do. I am sensible I must have
lowered myself in yr. esteem, did not I tell you so myself, for
that little thing called conscience will frequently come acroʃs us
and most frequently so, when we least expect it. The confidences
You have placed in me I never have as yet betrayed, and hope
in God never shall, for altho' I have many faults, I hope
my real intrinsick honor will ever remain untainted. As to



ye. person I conversed with ye. Evening of my B.D. I never
placed in him any thing approaching to what may be called confidence in them, never more
than as to what private conversation leads one to; I will tell
you ye utmost I ever placed in him, one Evening I was in
his Room I desired to have a Glaʃs of Negus[2] for I was
very thirst-y, it was brought me and just before I drank it
he said addreʃsing himself to me do you really like that Girl (concerning whom he
was speaking you may ------ easily gueʃs) once I thought
her a good fine person. my answer to this modest speech was
I really think her a most agreable Girl, & then I drank
ye. Ladieys health, this is ye. utmost confidence I ever have
placed in him relating to myʃelf or to ye. young Lady then mentioned. I am now I hope not
tho' too late, sensible how improper it is to form any sort
of intimacy or connection with low persons, nothing can
be so detrimental to the manners of a Gentleman as keeping
low Company, I am more and more persuaded of ye truth
of this every day. I will now cease to have any thing more



to do with insignificant Characters[3] and in bidding them
an eternal Adieu, I will cease to be one myself. My Friend
I have as strong sensibility as any body, and ye tender
paʃsions have almost a stronger effect upon me than they have
upon any body else. The Morning of my B.D.[4] I could not
refrain from tears when I met my everbeloved Parents, their bleʃsings
and felicitations were almost too much for me, they were too
much for my spirits which are naturally not strong, those
also of all my wellwishers (I will not profane ye Name of
Friend) pleased me greatly,) but when I came to one Person,
my real, sincere, and everadored Friend, I could have embraced
her with ye. tenderneʃs and respect I did my own Mother,
------------all other sentiments were at that moment banished, and I could have poured
forth in her bosom, in a torrent of Tears, ye. pleasing weight
thant then oppreʃsed my Soul. As to Ye. custom of swearing
you mention, I perfectly agree with you, I think it a
most indelicate, ungentlemanlike & wicked practice, custom
and I can not help saying imitation, has brought it upon



upon me, hearing people who are in ye. Army do so,[5] & one especially
who I know wishes me very well, & whom I have a great
affection for, I mean Lt.. C. L.[6] I thought it was neceʃsary
for me to shew I was now become a Man, and therefore I
gave too much into this infamous practice. Yr advice &
let me say yr. desire would have been sufficient for me
to ha-ve left oft such an execrable custom, without ye.
instance you gave me to corroborate yr. advicewhat you had just been saying, yr. feelings
at that moment could not be but greatly pleasing & flattering
to me. I now my dearest, dearest, dearest Friend, solemnly
declare before you, that I will never because it may be a
fashion copy or follow ye. vices of other men, ------------whatever
I may do concerning their follies, that also will wear out
with time. My honor was always dear to me, however you
very properly and with great reason blame me for making
light of ye. expreʃsion, you never shall hear it again made



part of 25

use of as a word of course in common conversation, or lightly
or inconsiderately upon any subject. I have not ye. Book
called ye. Connoiʃseur, I never heard of it before, but inform
me what sort of Book it is, and I will soon[7] it.[8] I entreat
of you my dearest, dearest, dearest, Friend to explain to me what you
mean about deceit, in ye.. piece of Myrtle that was taken
& thrown away immediately after, if you mean the re=
=mainder
of ye. Bouquet I siezed upon, I took up it
before one of my B- I meant no deceit in it, however
I am not at present bright I do not understand you, therefore
I entreat of you again to explain yourself in yr. next.
I take no notice of ye. other insignificant character
you mention, for I have just told you, that in bidding
them Adieu, I wld.. cease to be one myʃelf. Pray my
delightful, agreable, charming Friend; continue to tell
me Truths, and to lay me open to my ʃelf, for else I ʃhould
find no ------one upon Earth who would treat me with such



freedom, my friendship with you, will be I plainly see
conducive to great future happineʃs to me, it is an intimacy
I ʃhall endeavour to cultivate with ye. greatest aʃsiduity
whatever our situations may hereafter be.
      As to the attachment for you I at present paint
in such strong terms, I hope it will be as permanent
as my Soul, I will not say that of a hot headed, young
Lover, but that of a loving Brother to an affectionate
Sister, we never never never can be separated at least
without corresponding, for it will certainly break my heart
if we are. Thus far my affection for you will interestfluence
my future actions, that if ever I hear yr. name mentioned
I shall be roused to ye. quick, and mentioned my ever=
=doated
upon friend in the terms which she deserves.
      Never hurry yrself into - taking any step upon my
account which wld.. make you repent having taken it, be it



but for a moment. For were I to see you in ye. arms of a
Man whom you did not nor could not love, jealousy, love,
dispair wld.. conspire together to tear my bosom, as I
should look upon myself as ye. Author of all yr.
Unhappineʃs, misery & private discontent. Whereas if
I was to see you enjoy ye. embraces, careʃses and endearments
of a beloved Husband with whom you was well established, I shld.. rejoice at seeing my
everadored Sister bleʃsed with such felicity. I think I
have answered yr. quotations in ye. course of my
Letter, therefore I ʃhall take no notice of them here. Pray
continue yr. instructions to me, as I hope you will
find they will have ye. effect upon me my dearest Sister wishes
they should have. I am happy when I know I engroʃs
yr. thoughts be it for a moment, I know ye. tenderneʃs
of yr. heart, I know you have more than is requisite
for yr. own felicity. I understand what you mean
to convey by yr. expreʃsions perfectly, the affection of



my dearest Mother for all her Children, I am well
acquainted, ye pain she suffers for her dear W-[9]
she wishes to conceal from his Father for fear of increasing
his pains by shewing hers, and for fear of being accused
of maternal tenderneʃsweakneʃs. I adore ye. delicate feelings
of a tender heart, ------------such as yrs. which is beyond anything that can
be mentioned, and yr. noble sentiments, and yr. exalted principles
these have made such a deep impreʃsion on my heart that
I fancy not even death itself will eface them. I thank you
my charming friend for yr. tenderneʃs on my B. W- situation
I own that he & my dear F- constitute a great part
of happineʃs but there is one person more who constitutes
ye. whole of it. I also thank you my dearest dearest
dearest life, for ye. silent tear you dropped that perhaps
ere long I also might be in danger of ye. Sword, or perhaps
ere ere long no more, I think if I know you this wld.. make
you shed a few tears, were ye. Enemies of my King & Country to land
I ʃhould look upon it as ye. greatest happineʃs that cld. befall
me to die in defence of them both. Adieu, Adieu, Adieu.



part of 25

------ ever dearest, dearest dearest Friend
may you hereafter enjoy boundleʃs prosperity
may Heaven pour down its choicest bleʃsings
on you, I shall ever be sincerely attached
to you until my last breath, I am
      yr. ever sincerely affectionate
                             Palemon.
P.S.
      I had begun another Letter which
I mentioned to you last Night, but I
did not go on with it as I did not
think it was calculated[10] for ye subject
I was going to write upon. Once
more Adieu, Adieu, Adieu, ever=
=adored
Friend.

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


Notes


 1. Extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 81-2).
 2. 'A drink made from wine (usually port or sherry) mixed with hot water, sweetened with sugar and sometimes flavoured' (OED s.v. negus n.2).
 3. The author has returned to the word Character to add an s, also completing the underline.
 4. The Prince of Wales was born on 12 August 1762.
 5. The mark of insertion is accidentally placed after the comma rather than before.
 6. Probably Lieutentant Colonel Gerard Lake, who was appointed to the GPW's household in 1776.
 7. A verb such as acquire is required here.
 8. This could refer to the periodical The Connoisseur edited by Colman and Thornton, which ran 1754-6. It was usual for periodical runs to be collected in volumes.
 9. Presumably, concern about his participation in the current naval engagement with the Franco-Spanish fleet (see GEO-ADD-3-82-18).
 10. The sense here is 'suited' (OED s.v. calculated adj. 2).

Normalised Text





My dearest dearest dearest Friend

      I may now with more reason than ever call you so
for you have acted with that true sincerity, and openness which
denotes that sacred Character. The next thing to not committing a
fault is to confess it, and to endeavour to amend it, this was all
that remains for me now to do. I am sensible I must have
lowered myself in your esteem, did not I tell you so myself, for
that little thing called conscience will frequently come across us
and most frequently so, when we least expect it. The confidences
You have placed in me I never have as yet betrayed, and hope
in God never shall, for although I have many faults, I hope
my real intrinsic honour will ever remain untainted. As to



the person I conversed with the Evening of my Birthday I never
placed in him any thing approaching to what may be called confidence , never more
than as to what private conversation leads one to; I will tell
you the utmost I ever placed in him, one Evening I was in
his Room I desired to have a Glass of Negus for I was
very thirsty, it was brought me and just before I drank it
he said addressing himself to me do you really like that Girl (concerning whom he
was speaking you may easily guess) once I thought
her a good fine person. my answer to this modest speech was
I really think her a most agreeable Girl, & then I drank
the Ladys health, this is the utmost confidence I ever have
placed in him relating to myself or to the young Lady then mentioned. I am now I hope not
though too late, sensible how improper it is to form any sort
of intimacy or connection with low persons, nothing can
be so detrimental to the manners of a Gentleman as keeping
low Company, I am more and more persuaded of the truth
of this every day. I will now cease to have any thing more



to do with insignificant Characters and in bidding them
an eternal Adieu, I will cease to be one myself. My Friend
I have as strong sensibility as any body, and the tender
passions have almost a stronger effect upon me than they have
upon any body else. The Morning of my Birthday I could not
refrain from tears when I met my ever-beloved Parents, their blessings
and felicitations were almost too much for me, they were too
much for my spirits which are naturally not strong, those
also of all my wellwishers (I will not profane the Name of
Friend) pleased me greatly, but when I came to one Person,
my real, sincere, and ever-adored Friend, I could have embraced
her with the tenderness and respect I did my own Mother,
all other sentiments were at that moment banished, and I could have poured
forth in her bosom, in a torrent of Tears, the pleasing weight
that then oppressed my Soul. As to The custom of swearing
you mention, I perfectly agree with you, I think it a
most indelicate, ungentlemanlike & wicked practice, custom
and I can not help saying imitation, has brought it



upon me, hearing people who are in the Army do so, & one especially
who I know wishes me very well, & whom I have a great
affection for, I mean Lieutenant mediumColonel mediumLake I thought it was necessary
for me to show I was now become a Man, and therefore I
gave too much into this infamous practice. Your advice &
let me say your desire would have been sufficient for me
to have left off such an execrable custom, without the
instance you gave me to corroborate what you had just been saying, your feelings
at that moment could not be but greatly pleasing & flattering
to me. I now my dearest, dearest, dearest Friend, solemnly
declare before you, that I will never because it may be a
fashion copy or follow the vices of other men, whatever
I may do concerning their follies, that also will wear out
with time. My honour was always dear to me, however you
very properly and with great reason blame me for making
light of the expression, you never shall hear it again made




use of as a word of course in common conversation, or lightly
or inconsiderately upon any subject. I have not the Book
called the Connoisseur, I never heard of it before, but inform
me what sort of Book it is, and I will soon it. I entreat
of you my dearest, dearest, dearest, Friend to explain to me what you
mean about deceit, in the piece of Myrtle that was taken
& thrown away immediately after, if you mean the remainder
of the Bouquet I seized upon, I took it
before one of my Brothers I meant no deceit in it, however
I am not at present bright I do not understand you, therefore
I entreat of you again to explain yourself in your next.
I take no notice of the other insignificant character
you mention, for I have just told you, that in bidding
them Adieu, I would cease to be one myself. Pray my
delightful, agreeable, charming Friend; continue to tell
me Truths, and to lay me open to my self, for else I should
find no one upon Earth who would treat me with such



freedom, my friendship with you, will be I plainly see
conducive to great future happiness to me, it is an intimacy
I shall endeavour to cultivate with the greatest assiduity
whatever our situations may hereafter be.
      As to the attachment for you I at present paint
in such strong terms, I hope it will be as permanent
as my Soul, I will not say that of a hot headed, young
Lover, but that of a loving Brother to an affectionate
Sister, we never never never can be separated at least
without corresponding, for it will certainly break my heart
if we are. Thus far my affection for you will influence
my future actions, that if ever I hear your name mentioned
I shall be roused to the quick, and mention my ever-doated
upon friend in the terms which she deserves.
      Never hurry yourself into taking any step upon my
account which would make you repent having taken it, be it



but for a moment. For were I to see you in the arms of a
Man whom you did not nor could not love, jealousy, love,
despair would conspire together to tear my bosom, as I
should look upon myself as the Author of all your
Unhappiness, misery & private discontent. Whereas if
I was to see you enjoy the embraces, caresses and endearments
of a beloved Husband with whom you was well established, I should rejoice at seeing my
ever-adored Sister blessed with such felicity. I think I
have answered your quotations in the course of my
Letter, therefore I shall take no notice of them here. Pray
continue your instructions to me, as I hope you will
find they will have the effect upon me my dearest Sister wishes
they should have. I am happy when I know I engross
your thoughts be it for a moment, I know the tenderness
of your heart, I know you have more than is requisite
for your own felicity. I understand what you mean
to convey by your expressions perfectly, the affection of



my dearest Mother for all her Children, I am well
acquainted, the pain she suffers for her dear William
she wishes to conceal from his Father for fear of increasing
his pains by showing hers, and for fear of being accused
of maternal weakness. I adore the delicate feelings
of a tender heart, such as yours which is beyond anything that can
be mentioned, and your noble sentiments, and your exalted principles
these have made such a deep impression on my heart that
I fancy not even death itself will efface them. I thank you
my charming friend for your tenderness on my Brother William situation
I own that he & my dear Frederick constitute a great part
of happiness but there is one person more who constitutes
the whole of it. I also thank you my dearest dearest
dearest life, for the silent tear you dropped that perhaps
ere long I also might be in danger of the Sword, or perhaps
ere ere long no more, I think if I know you this would make
you shed a few tears, were the Enemies of my King & Country to land
I should look upon it as the greatest happiness that could befall
me to die in defence of them both. Adieu, Adieu, Adieu.




------ ever dearest, dearest dearest Friend
may you hereafter enjoy boundless prosperity
may Heaven pour down its choicest blessings
on you, I shall ever be sincerely attached
to you until my last breath, I am
      your ever sincerely affectionate
                             Palemon.
P.S.
      I had begun another Letter which
I mentioned to you last Night, but I
did not go on with it as I did not
think it was calculated for the subject
I was going to write upon. Once
more Adieu, Adieu, Adieu, ever-adored
Friend.

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



 1. Extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 81-2).
 2. 'A drink made from wine (usually port or sherry) mixed with hot water, sweetened with sugar and sometimes flavoured' (OED s.v. negus n.2).
 3. The author has returned to the word Character to add an s, also completing the underline.
 4. The Prince of Wales was born on 12 August 1762.
 5. The mark of insertion is accidentally placed after the comma rather than before.
 6. Probably Lieutentant Colonel Gerard Lake, who was appointed to the GPW's household in 1776.
 7. A verb such as acquire is required here.
 8. This could refer to the periodical The Connoisseur edited by Colman and Thornton, which ran 1754-6. It was usual for periodical runs to be collected in volumes.
 9. Presumably, concern about his participation in the current naval engagement with the Franco-Spanish fleet (see GEO-ADD-3-82-18).
 10. The sense here is 'suited' (OED s.v. calculated adj. 2).

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/3/82/25

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: c.22 August 1779
notBefore 21 August 1779 (precision: medium)
notAfter 22 August 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton on his conversation about her with a 'low' person, and apologising for his swearing.
    The Prince explains that he swore because he thought 'it was necessary for me to shew I was now become a Man'. He refers to Queen Charlotte's 'pain she suffers for her dear W [William]', which she conceals from the King. He writes of his joy were Hamilton to have a happy marriage, and his despair were she to marry a man 'whom you did not nor could not love'. Signed 'Palemon'.
    Written Sunday.
   

Length: 3 sheets, 1550 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 June 2019)

Cataloguer: , Archivist, The Royal Archives

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

Revision date: 20 May 2020

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