Single Letter

HAM/1/1/2/3

Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Q. Lodge Windsor. 16th- july 1780.

My dear Miʃs Hamilton. Experience goes a great way in
this World, I find it with regret, that notwithstanding.
all my envy I cannot obtain that agreeable stile of
writing Both You and Lady Charlotte Finch are poʃseʃsed
of, I grieve and fret for days about it, but it avails
me nothing else but making me diʃsatisfied with myself.
which is the true way of preventing my poor Head to
make any real progreʃs in such a desirable talent. I shall
therefore renounce all claim to Elegance of stile and de-
sire
You to be contented with a very simple Natural
way of writing, well meant at all times but making
no pretentions whatever. having prepared You for this
I may without the least fear of offending Your feelings
upon that subject say any thing that occurs to me without
being criticised,, (I mean by that severely) for a little will do



me good as I love to improve/,, Pray do not think me to Old
for that for thatit would be mortifying indeed.
      Oh how beautifull is the discription of Fairford
Church, and how just all the remarks upon the founder
of it, my inclination would lead me to copy the actions
of this Marchant to in preference to some of the grea-
test
Men of Our acquaintance whose Ideas are of spen-
ding
money merely for the sake of being great, without
considering that true greatneʃs cannot exist unleʃs accom-
panied
by goodneʃs, for every action becomes more or leʃs valuable
iaccording to the motive it arises from.
      Our amusements at Windsor are much the same they
were last Year, the drives not quite so long, ason my account,
which is indeed the only change that can be observed in
Our way of living, for You know we deal not much in variety.



toujours la même, is an amiable quality. I swear by it.
and here I am against variety. but toujours Perdrix.[1] is
somewhat disagreable. and in this instance I am for some
little change, pray should it not be so in our Society?
We both agree and say Yes! but when it must not be,
what is to be done then? why to submit! Well then I
never refuse good advice, and therefore am determined
to come in to every thing You can suggest upon that
subject, thinking myself a being totally void of any wish
or desire contrary to the ------oppinion of those I live with. fully
determined to promote the chearfulneʃs and Amusements
of those who are dependent ofon me, as a neceʃsary ingredient tow-
ards
happineʃs as far as it can reasonably be obtained in
this. World, human power will stretch no farther, whos-
ever
the Will may be.



      Now You would willingly know how the World
goes, upon that subject I have but little to say, Our
Thursdays Court was thin and not a Person You inte-
rest
Yourself about present, excepting Miʃs Gunning who
I find lives in the Neighbourhood of Richmond. Sir Robert
is not to settle in Northamptonshire this Summer.
      Lady Warwick is hardly ever mentioned, but there
is a report that her arrival is to be followed by that
of the Dowager Lady Carlisle, which makes her Son very
uneasy, there may be various reasons for that, and
had not his Lordships little Wife been obliged to keep com-
pany
with some body who shall be Nameleʃs. I should
have suspected that introducing her was the most sense
great obstacle, but that cannot be the case now.
      I am glad to find that Bathing does agree so well
with You, pray continue it as long as You can, for I do hope
it will be of use to Your health.
Charlotte[2]

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


Notes


 1. Toujours perdrix, literally 'always partridge', i.e. 'too much of a good thing' (OED s.v. toujours 2).
 2. This line appears to the right of the previous sentence.

Normalised Text



My dear Miss Hamilton. Experience goes a great way in
this World, I find it with regret, that notwithstanding.
all my envy I cannot obtain that agreeable style of
writing Both You and Lady Charlotte Finch are possessed
of, I grieve and fret for days about it, but it avails
me nothing else but making me dissatisfied with myself.
which is the true way of preventing my poor Head to
make any real progress in such a desirable talent. I shall
therefore renounce all claim to Elegance of style and desire
You to be contented with a very simple Natural
way of writing, well meant at all times but making
no pretensions whatever. having prepared You for this
I may without the least fear of offending Your feelings
upon that subject say any thing that occurs to me without
being criticised,, (I mean by that severely) for a little will do



me good as I love to improve/,, Pray do not think me too Old
for that it would be mortifying indeed.
      Oh how beautiful is the description of Fairford
Church, and how just all the remarks upon the founder
of it, my inclination would lead me to copy the actions
of this Merchant in preference to some of the greatest
Men of Our acquaintance whose Ideas are of spending
money merely for the sake of being great, without
considering that true greatness cannot exist unless accompanied
by goodness, for every action becomes more or less valuable
according to the motive it arises from.
      Our amusements at Windsor are much the same they
were last Year, the drives not quite so long, on my account,
which is indeed the only change that can be observed in
Our way of living, for You know we deal not much in variety.



toujours la même, is an amiable quality. I swear by it.
and here I am against variety. but toujours Perdrix. is
somewhat disagreeable. and in this instance I am for some
little change, pray should it not be so in our Society?
We both agree and say Yes! but when it must not be,
what is to be done then? why to submit! Well then I
never refuse good advice, and therefore am determined
to come in to every thing You can suggest upon that
subject, thinking myself a being totally void of any wish
or desire contrary to the opinion of those I live with. fully
determined to promote the cheerfulness and Amusements
of those who are dependent on me, as a necessary ingredient towards
happiness as far as it can reasonably be obtained in
this. World, human power will stretch no farther, whosever
the Will may be.



      Now You would willingly know how the World
goes, upon that subject I have but little to say, Our
Thursdays Court was thin and not a Person You interest
Yourself about present, excepting Miss Gunning who
I find lives in the Neighbourhood of Richmond. Sir Robert
is not to settle in Northamptonshire this Summer.
      Lady Warwick is hardly ever mentioned, but there
is a report that her arrival is to be followed by that
of the Dowager Lady Carlisle, which makes her Son very
uneasy, there may be various reasons for that, and
had not his Lordships little Wife been obliged to keep company
with some body who shall be Nameless. I should
have suspected that introducing her was the
great obstacle, but that cannot be the case now.
      I am glad to find that Bathing does agree so well
with You, pray continue it as long as You can, for I do hope
it will be of use to Your health.
Charlotte

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



 1. Toujours perdrix, literally 'always partridge', i.e. 'too much of a good thing' (OED s.v. toujours 2).
 2. This line appears to the right of the previous sentence.

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/1/1/2/3

Correspondence Details

Author: Queen Charlotte

Place sent: Windsor

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Eastbourne (certainty: low)

Date sent: 16 July 1780

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton. The Queen regrets that she does not have the same writing style as either Mary Hamilton or Lady Charlotte Finch [née Fermor (1725-1813), Royal Governess], and asks that instead Mary Hamilton content herself with Charlotte's 'simple Natural way of writing, well meant at all times but making no pretensions whatever'. She continues that their amusements at Windsor are much the same as they were the previous year, although the 'drives [are] not so long'. The letter moves on to Court gossip and notes that Thursday's Court was thin with not a person that Mary Hamilton may have been interested in present, with the exception of Miss Gunning [Charlotte Gunning (d.1794), a friend of Mary Hamilton's and a Maid of Honour to Queen Charlotte. She married Stephen Digby in 1794]. Charlotte also writes that Lady Warwick is rarely mentioned, although she notes that there is a report that her arrival is to be followed by that of the 'Dowager Lady Carlisle, which makes her son very uneasy, there may be various reasons for that, and had not his Lordships little Wife been obliged to keep company with some body who shall be Nameless. I should have suspected that introducing her was the great obstacle, but that cannot be the case now'. Charlotte ends the letter by writing that she is happy that [sea] bathing agrees with Mary Hamilton and encourages her to continue with it for as long as she can, for the good of her health. Dated at Windsor.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 611 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 2017/18 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Georgia Tutt, MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Usama Ali, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2018)

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: 2 April 2020

Document Image (pdf)