Single Letter

HAM/1/1/2/2

Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Q.H. 23d of June 1780.

My dear Miʃs Hamilton. When a Child is naughty, a good
parent corrects it in order to make it the better behaved,
Pray, can You tell me? what punishment is to be made use
of, when the Physician recommends bathing in the Sea and
it is not complied with? I am very impatient to have
that point determined, as isI intend practising it upon
a certain Miʃs. M. H. who promised Dr Turton[1] to
wash herself quite clean, and who since her arrival at
Eastbourne pretends to be a little fearfull, for I dare
not make use of the Word[2] which begins with a C. for
fear of Shocking Your delicacy, that I am the more --
anxious to avoid as at best my correspondence can be
but little entertaining, when I know that You have so
many Friends which are such good scribes and can make
their letters so much more interesting.
      Our head quarters are still in town, and not



very likely that the King will leave it soon, it is certain
ly
not so agreable as the Country, yet to a well thinking
mind it is always pleasing to fulfill its Duty, and
though I have frequently found that the fulfilling that
duty is very often connected with difficulty, it is never-
theleʃs
attended with a secret inward satisfaction, which
none but those that act right can enjoy, and which no
Earthly power can deprive us of, and can we wont any better
approbation than Our ow Conscience? I think not! it is
the sincerest friend we have, I found it so at all times, &
shall endeavour to keep it all alive, for fear my indolence
should make it slumber, and my fears should prevent me
ever waking it again: that I am afraid has been the case
with many, and as I pity them sincerely, I will try to
avoid getting into the same difficulty.
      Lady Warwick[3] is come and lives at her own



house in town,[4] She intends leading a very retired life
and is ready to receive all her Family, Lady Francis
Harper[5] is however by the “directions -- or orders” of her
Husband to deprive her Mother of this pleasure,
which makeʃ both parties very unhappy. il y a du
pour & du contre dans tout ceci: the duty's of a Child
to a parent is one thing, and the making oneself a party
in the indiscretions of a Mother is another, this last can̄ot
happen, and the first should be done, car je ne voit pas
que la mauvaise conduite d'une Mere, excuse l'enfant
a remplir ses devoirs vis a vis d'Elle. this remains a-
mongst
Ourselves, but my dear Miʃs Hamilton must
feel that I am not quite wrong in what I have said.
      Lady King & her daughter were both at
Court last Thursday, Your old Friend seems to reco-
ver
both good looks & strengths which I was very glad to



see, she bore the heat of the room even better than a great
many young people present. Lady Dartrey[6] was also at
court yesterday, she looks well & talks with great pleasure
of being settled at Chelsea. Lady Stormont[7] looked beautiful,
when I saw her at court, she is backwards & forwards every
day in the country and the air seems to agree with her.
      Princeʃs Daschkow[8] took leave yesterday, she still intends
travelling two years longer in France, Italy & Germany.
as she is so very delicate a Lady I cannot help men-
tioning
what she said to Lady Egremont[9] when talking uponabout
the riots, where a natural brother of hers playedacted a very
ungentleman like part at Monsieur Cordons.[10] she said. je ne
serai pas faché Milady de le voir un peut pendue. it
is so sisterly & feelingly expreʃsed that I am sure you are
not sorry to know it, it makes one thouroyghly acquainted
with the Princeʃses superior Character, which appears to
one to be above heumanity & feeling.
      Pray my dear Miʃs Hamilton let not this Paper be
read by any Body but Yourself, I know it to be full of faults
both in expreʃsions and writing, and if I had time would correct
it immediately, but I am not Miʃtreʃs of that nor of myself, there-
fore
excuse the faults & do not expose my ignorance or rather my --
innattention.                                                   Charlotte

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


Notes


 1. Probably John Turton, who occupied the post of Physician in the household 1783-1806 but may have been appointed earlier (Inst. of Hist. Research).
 2. Perhaps coward(ly)?
 3. Elizabeth Greville (née Hamilton), Countess of Warwick (c1721-1800), aunt of Mary Hamilton.
 4. Her first marriage had evidently broken down long before, possibly because of a scandal involving a General Clarke (who she married in 1773). Lady Dalkeith wrote in 1765: 'Lady Warwick has come to England, was refused admittance at her Lord's House in Hill Street, and has taken lodgings in Kensington.' (Wikipedia).
 5. Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), daughter of Lady Warwick and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 6. Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte.
 7. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 8. Princess Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova (1743-1810), Russian noblewoman, author and President of the Academy of Sciences in Russia, whose illegitimate half-brother Ivan Rontsov played an active role in the Gordon Riots of 1780.
 9. Alicia Maria Brühl (née Carpenter), Countess of Egremont (d. 1794), a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte.
 10. Lord George Gordon (1751–1793), a prime mover in petitions to abolish the Catholic Relief Act, which led to serious riots in London in June 1780 (ODNB).

Normalised Text


Queen's House 23d of June 1780.

My dear Miss Hamilton. When a Child is naughty, a good
parent corrects it in order to make it the better behaved,
Pray, can You tell me? what punishment is to be made use
of, when the Physician recommends bathing in the Sea and
it is not complied with? I am very impatient to have
that point determined, as I intend practising it upon
a certain Miss. Mary Hamilton who promised Dr Turton to
wash herself quite clean, and who since her arrival at
Eastbourne pretends to be a little fearful, for I dare
not make use of the Word which begins with a C. for
fear of Shocking Your delicacy, that I am the more --
anxious to avoid as at best my correspondence can be
but little entertaining, when I know that You have so
many Friends which are such good scribes and can make
their letters so much more interesting.
      Our head quarters are still in town, and not



very likely that the King will leave it soon, it is certainly
not so agreeable as the Country, yet to a well thinking
mind it is always pleasing to fulfill its Duty, and
though I have frequently found that the fulfilling that
duty is very often connected with difficulty, it is nevertheless
attended with a secret inward satisfaction, which
none but those that act right can enjoy, and which no
Earthly power can deprive us of, and can we want any better
approbation than Our own Conscience? I think not! it is
the sincerest friend we have, I found it so at all times, &
shall endeavour to keep it all alive, for fear my indolence
should make it slumber, and my fears should prevent me
ever waking it again: that I am afraid has been the case
with many, and as I pity them sincerely, I will try to
avoid getting into the same difficulty.
      Lady Warwick is come and lives at her own



house in town, She intends leading a very retired life
and is ready to receive all her Family, Lady Frances
Harpur is however by the “directions -- or orders” of her
Husband to deprive her Mother of this pleasure,
which makes both parties very unhappy. il y a du
pour & du contre dans tout ceci: the duty's of a Child
to a parent is one thing, and the making oneself a party
in the indiscretions of a Mother is another, this last cannot
happen, and the first should be done, car je ne vois pas
que la mauvaise conduite d'une Mere, excuse l'enfant
a remplir ses devoirs vis a vis d'Elle. this remains amongst
Ourselves, but my dear Miss Hamilton must
feel that I am not quite wrong in what I have said.
      Lady King & her daughter were both at
Court last Thursday, Your old Friend seems to recover
both good looks & strengths which I was very glad to



see, she bore the heat of the room even better than a great
many young people present. Lady Dartrey was also at
court yesterday, she looks well & talks with great pleasure
of being settled at Chelsea. Lady Stormont looked beautiful,
when I saw her at court, she is backwards & forwards every
day in the country and the air seems to agree with her.
      Princess Daschkow took leave yesterday, she still intends
travelling two years longer in France, Italy & Germany.
as she is so very delicate a Lady I cannot help mentioning
what she said to Lady Egremont when talking about
the riots, where a natural brother of hers acted a very
ungentleman like part at Monsieur Gordons. she said. je ne
serais pas fâchée Milady de le voir un peu pendu. it
is so sisterly & feelingly expressed that I am sure you are
not sorry to know it, it makes one thoroughly acquainted
with the Princesses superior Character, which appears to
one to be above humanity & feeling.
      Pray my dear Miss Hamilton let not this Paper be
read by any Body but Yourself, I know it to be full of faults
both in expressions and writing, and if I had time would correct
it immediately, but I am not Mistress of that nor of myself, therefore
excuse the faults & do not expose my ignorance or rather my --
inattention.                Charlotte

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



 1. Probably John Turton, who occupied the post of Physician in the household 1783-1806 but may have been appointed earlier (Inst. of Hist. Research).
 2. Perhaps coward(ly)?
 3. Elizabeth Greville (née Hamilton), Countess of Warwick (c1721-1800), aunt of Mary Hamilton.
 4. Her first marriage had evidently broken down long before, possibly because of a scandal involving a General Clarke (who she married in 1773). Lady Dalkeith wrote in 1765: 'Lady Warwick has come to England, was refused admittance at her Lord's House in Hill Street, and has taken lodgings in Kensington.' (Wikipedia).
 5. Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), daughter of Lady Warwick and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 6. Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte.
 7. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 8. Princess Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova (1743-1810), Russian noblewoman, author and President of the Academy of Sciences in Russia, whose illegitimate half-brother Ivan Rontsov played an active role in the Gordon Riots of 1780.
 9. Alicia Maria Brühl (née Carpenter), Countess of Egremont (d. 1794), a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Charlotte.
 10. Lord George Gordon (1751–1793), a prime mover in petitions to abolish the Catholic Relief Act, which led to serious riots in London in June 1780 (ODNB).

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/1/2/2

Correspondence Details

Author: Queen Charlotte

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Eastbourne (certainty: medium)

Date sent: 23 June 1780

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton, in which she reprimands Hamilton for failing to bathe in the sea at Eastbourne, writing: 'When a child is naughty, a good parent corrects it in order to make it the better behaved. Pray, can You tell me what punishment is to be made use of, when the Physician recommends bathing in the Sea and it is not complied with?' Charlotte writes that Hamilton had promised her doctor to bathe. She continues her letter by noting that Hamilton will find her correspondence not as entertaining as those she receives from her many 'scribes'.
    Charlotte notes that she is still in town and that the King will leave soon for the country, which they both find more agreeable. They remain in town to fulfil their duties, a task that the Queen acknowledges, though it is 'very often connected with difficulty', to be 'nevertheless attended with a secret inward satisfaction'. She believes that 'Our ow[n] Conscience' is the 'sincerest friend we have', and she will endeavour to ensure to keep it alive.
    The letter then turns to news of friends at Court. Charlotte reports that Lady Warwick [Elizabeth Warwick née Hamilton, the sister of Hamilton's father (c.1721-1800). Married Francis Greville Earl of Warwick in 1742 and became Countess of Warwick. After her first husband's death she married General Robert Clark] is living in her own house in town, and that she intends to lead a very retired life but is available to receive all her family. Although Charlotte notes that Lady Warwick's daughter, Lady Frances Harpur [Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), cousin of Mary Hamilton] has been given 'directions -- or orders' from her husband 'to deprive her Mother of this pleasure', and this makes 'both parties very unhappy'. Charlotte continues that 'the duty's of a Child to a parent is one thing, and the making oneself a party in the indiscretions of a Mother is another'.
    She informs Hamilton that her friends Lady King and her daughter had visited court and seemed in good health. Lady Dartrey [Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte (see HAM/1/1/1/13)] had also been to court and talked of her pleasure at being settled in Chelsea. Lady Stormont [Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton], she reports, goes back and forth each day to the country, the air of which seems to agree with her.
    Princess Dashkova [Princess Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova (1743-1810), Russian noblewoman, author and President of the Academy of Sciences in Russia] took her leave the day before and will travel for a further two years through France, Italy and Germany; Charlotte tells an anecdote which reflects ironically on the Princess's 'superior Character'.
    Charlotte finishes her letter by asking Hamilton not to let anybody else read it, as she is aware of a number of errors which if she had the time she would correct.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 728 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: Research Assistant funding in 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Emily Aston, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted November 2014)

Cataloguer: Lisa Crawley, Archivist, The John Rylands Library

Cataloguer: John Hodgson, Head of Special Collections, The John Rylands Library

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

Revision date: 3 August 2020

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