Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/39

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


39

18718th- Septr
1779[1]


My dearest, dearest, dearest Sister, Friend,[2]

      I was exceedingly sorry to hear that you have
been ill, while I was absent, however I was little comforted
by yr Meʃsenger when he told me you was better however
when he carried you ye N- I was exceʃsively alarmed
at first upon his telling me you had been obliged to
send for H-[3] my heart is too much attached to you
not to feel in a very severe degree, every little thing
that happens to you, nobody upon earth can
be more attached to you than I am, not even yr.
other Brother,[4] I doubt whether he is so strongly attached



to you as I am. -- This Letter I suppose will be written
at different times, or in scraps whenever I can catch a
moment, however I am resolved I will now begin
to draw ye. picture & character of yr. Brother who
loves you so much, & which I have so long promised you.
I will do it with all ye sincerity, impartiality
& truth that is in my power, I will copy my dearest
Sister in ye. ingenuous, indeed in ye too impartial
& allow me to say rather unfair Character youʃhe gave
of yherself. Yr. Brother is now approaching ye
bloom of youth, he is rather above ye common size,
his limbs well proportioned, & upon ye. whole well
made, tho' rather with too great a penchant to grow
fat, ye. features of his Countenance are strong, &
manly, tho' they carry with them too much of an air of
hauteur, his forhead well shaped, his eyes tho none of ye.



best, & tho' grey are yet paʃsable, tolerable good eyebrows,
& eyelashes, un petit nez retrouʃsé cependant aʃsez
animé, a good mouth tho rather large with, fine teeth, a tolerable good
chin, but ye. whole of ye. Countenance is too round,
I forgot to add very uggly ears, ifas hair is generally
looked upon as a beauty, he has hair more than
usually falls to every one's share, but from ye
present mode of dreʃsing it, from ye immense
thickneʃs neceʃsarily required for ye Toupées,[5] &
ye length & number of ye. curls, it makes it
appear some greatly leʃs thick than in reality it is
Such are ye. Gifts which Nature has bestowed
upon him, of which ye World says she has bestowed upon him with a
very generous hand.
      I now come to ye. qualities of his mind



& of his heart. His sentiments & thoughts are open &
generous, above doing any thing that is mean, [too
susceptible even to a weakneʃs of believing people
his friends, & placing too much confidence in
ym.. from not as yet having obtained a sufficient
knowledge of ye. World or of its practices,]
grateful & friendly to an exceʃs where he finds a real
friend
. His heart is good, & tender if it is
allowed to shew its emotions. (I should not
mention what I have marked off with lines[6] among my
virtues, but among my weakneʃses,) he has a strict notion
of honor,
rather too familiar to his inferiors, but
will not suffer himself to be brow beaten or



Part of 39

treated with haughtineʃs by
his Superiors: now for his vices
or rather let us call them weak=
=neʃses
, too subject to give
loose[7] or vent to his paʃsions
of every kind, too subject to be
in a paʃsion, but he never bears
malice or rancor in his heart,
as for swearing he has very near
cured himself of that vile custom
he is rather too fond of Wine, &
of Women, -to both wh.. young men
are apt to deliver themselves
too much, but wh.. he endeavours



to check to ye. utmost of his power
but upon ye. whole his Character
is open free, & generous, suscep-
=tible
of good impreʃsions, ready
to follow good advice, especially
when he receives it from so
affectionate & friendly a Sister
as you are. Adieu for ye present
I am not content with this character
I have not as yet finished it,
I will finish it in my next,
I have been too favorable I feel for
my manifold faults my dearest
dearest, dearest, Friend &



try to correct them, you shall ever
find me ready to lend an attentive
ear to yr. advice. Great imperfections
& faults, but ingratitude towards
you shall never be reckoned among
them, my attachment for you
shall never cease but with my
life, & I shall live & die
      Yr.. ever sincerely affectionate
      Brother & Friend --
            Palemon.
                             toujours de même.
P.S.
      Let me know who goes to Windsor & every thing
about it you know in yr. next. A A A toujours
chère


[8]

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


Notes


 1. Hamilton first wrote '18', crossed out the '8' and put '7' instead, then crossed the whole number through and reverted to '18' above. Her hesitation possibly reflects an assumption that the Prince began the letter on Friday 17 Sept. but only finished it and dispatched it on Saturday 18th.
 2. This letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 82-4).
 3. Probably Pennel Hawkins, a surgeon in the royal household from 1761 (Inst. of Hist. Research).
 4. Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, son of Hamilton's guardian.
 5. 'A curl or artificial lock of hair on the top of the head, esp. as a crowning feature of a periwig; a periwig in which the front hair was combed up, over a pad, into such a top-knot, worn by both sexes in the 18th cent.' (OED s.v. toupee n. a.).
 6. The 'lines' are the large square brackets round the passage 'too susceptible ... of its practices' on this page.
 7. OED defines give (a) loose to as '[...] to give full vent to (feelings, etc.); to free from restraint' (s.v. loose n.1 3b).
 8. The last page is blank.

Normalised Text





My dearest, dearest, dearest Sister, Friend,

      I was exceedingly sorry to hear that you have
been ill, while I was absent, however I was little comforted
by your Messenger when he told me you was better
when he carried you the Note I was excessively alarmed
at first upon his telling me you had been obliged to
send for Hawkins my heart is too much attached to you
not to feel in a very severe degree, every little thing
that happens to you, nobody upon earth can
be more attached to you than I am, not even your
other Brother, I doubt whether he is so strongly attached



to you as I am. -- This Letter I suppose will be written
at different times, or in scraps whenever I can catch a
moment, however I am resolved I will now begin
to draw the picture & character of your Brother who
loves you so much, & which I have so long promised you.
I will do it with all the sincerity, impartiality
& truth that is in my power, I will copy my dearest
Sister in the ingenuous, indeed in the too impartial
& allow me to say rather unfair Character she gave
of herself. Your Brother is now approaching the
bloom of youth, he is rather above the common size,
his limbs well proportioned, & upon the whole well
made, though rather with too great a penchant to grow
fat, the features of his Countenance are strong, &
manly, though they carry with them too much of an air of
hauteur, his forehead well shaped, his eyes though none of the



best, & though grey are yet passable, tolerable good eyebrows,
& eyelashes, un petit nez retroussé cependant assez
animé, a good mouth though rather large with fine teeth, a tolerable good
chin, but the whole of the Countenance is too round,
I forgot to add very ugly ears, as hair is generally
looked upon as a beauty, he has hair more than
usually falls to every one's share, but from the
present mode of dressing it, from the immense
thickness necessarily required for the Toupées, &
the length & number of the curls, it makes it
appear greatly less thick than in reality it is
Such are the Gifts which Nature has bestowed
upon him, which the World says she has bestowed upon him with a
very generous hand.
      I now come to the qualities of his mind



& of his heart. His sentiments & thoughts are open &
generous, above doing any thing that is mean, [too
susceptible even to a weakness of believing people
his friends, & placing too much confidence in
them from not as yet having obtained a sufficient
knowledge of the World or of its practices,]
grateful & friendly to an excess where he finds a real
friend
. His heart is good, & tender if it is
allowed to show its emotions. (I should not
mention what I have marked off with lines among my
virtues, but among my weaknesses,) he has a strict notion
of honour,
rather too familiar to his inferiors, but
will not suffer himself to be brow beaten or




treated with haughtiness by
his Superiors: now for his vices
or rather let us call them weaknesses
, too subject to give
loose or vent to his passions
of every kind, too subject to be
in a passion, but he never bears
malice or rancour in his heart,
as for swearing he has very near
cured himself of that vile custom
he is rather too fond of Wine, &
of Women, to both which young men
are apt to deliver themselves
too much, but which he endeavours



to check to the utmost of his power
but upon the whole his Character
is open free, & generous, susceptible
of good impressions, ready
to follow good advice, especially
when he receives it from so
affectionate & friendly a Sister
as you are. Adieu for the present
I am not content with this character
I have not as yet finished it,
I will finish it in my next,
I have been too favourable I feel for
my manifold faults my dearest
dearest, dearest, Friend &



try to correct them, you shall ever
find me ready to lend an attentive
ear to your advice. Great imperfections
& faults, but ingratitude towards
you shall never be reckoned among
them, my attachment for you
shall never cease but with my
life, & I shall live & die
      Your ever sincerely affectionate
      Brother & Friend --
            Palemon.
                             toujours de même.
P.S.
      Let me know who goes to Windsor & every thing
about it you know in your next. Adieu Adieu Adieu toujours
chère


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quotations,
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 1. Hamilton first wrote '18', crossed out the '8' and put '7' instead, then crossed the whole number through and reverted to '18' above. Her hesitation possibly reflects an assumption that the Prince began the letter on Friday 17 Sept. but only finished it and dispatched it on Saturday 18th.
 2. This letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 82-4).
 3. Probably Pennel Hawkins, a surgeon in the royal household from 1761 (Inst. of Hist. Research).
 4. Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, son of Hamilton's guardian.
 5. 'A curl or artificial lock of hair on the top of the head, esp. as a crowning feature of a periwig; a periwig in which the front hair was combed up, over a pad, into such a top-knot, worn by both sexes in the 18th cent.' (OED s.v. toupee n. a.).
 6. The 'lines' are the large square brackets round the passage 'too susceptible ... of its practices' on this page.
 7. OED defines give (a) loose to as '[...] to give full vent to (feelings, etc.); to free from restraint' (s.v. loose n.1 3b).
 8. The last page is blank.

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/3/82/39

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: c.18 September 1779
notBefore 17 September 1779 (precision: medium)
notAfter 18 September 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton, on her illness; and providing a description of his 'picture and character'.
    Signed 'Palemon'.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 783 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: 21 May 2020

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