Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/10

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


9

16th Jan: 1786



      Why do I not hear from you my dear Friend? have
you not received my letter, which I wrote the day after
yours reached, as I did at Horton about the beginning
of October immediatly on the receipt of yours. I imagine
you at Courteen hall, as you mentioned being to go there
immediatly -- How is Lady Wake[1] in Health and spirits?
How are you yourself my dear Friend? this severe Weather
does not agree with you I fear -- yet we have had within this
10 Days some very mild & charming, I was at the
Park, and walked out for hours without a Hat -- 'you dont
know how I have expected a letter by every days Post
from you,' or you would before now have let me hear
from you -- you say that you are well convinced that every
thing that concerns you, interests me, so it does indeed
most truly, how can you then keep me in ignorance
of your health your affairs & your proceedings -- Indeed
my dear I love you with as much warmth & sincerity
as I ever did, & never, never will these sentiments change
in my Breast, tho' change of situation & a variety of
circumstances may have put us leʃs in the way of
each other -- I think all my Friends forget me -- They
write from France so seldom & then so uncomfortably
that I had almost as lief not hear at all -- tho' they



are perfectly well, & my Sister likes the place &
Society extremely -- I am in a low, uncomfortable state
of mind, not miserable, but not happy -- ant' that the
worst disposition one can be in? I feel heavy, stupid, indiff[erent]
I should like never to leave my room or open my lips --
& should certainly give way to this vis inertia (this word
is only for you -- ) if my Friends did not come to take
me out by main force -- I go out certainly every day --
Foley House[2] is my home & when I am not asked out to
Dinner, I dine there -- sometimes the society amuses
me and I my spirits are raised, but these are only false
ones, intoxication, & when I wake, I find myself more
dejected than before -- you will say, occupy yourself,
pursue some study, voila le mal that I have tried their
remedy & it fails -- tho' I do not pursue a study, my
mind & pen are constantly occupied -- I have all my
Fathers Busineʃs to transact, & never write leʃs than
4 or 5 letters in a Day -- then by way of recreation I am
learning to play on the Harpsicord -- yet all this does
not do -- There are few People in Town -- Ly Louisa Stuart[3]
I see sometimes -- she is now as happy as are all the
family; on Lord Macartneys[4] return, with the honor
& glory of having spent 4 years in India, & returning home
with only one servant, & very little addition to his income
& that only from having saved part of his appointments --
Ly Lucy[5] & Mr Digby[6] are in Town, he has been confined
almost ever since he came by a fit of the Gout, so that



I have had very little comfort from him -- he looks like
Death, and is more out of spirits & melancholy than
you can imagine -- the Argylls[7] are at Ealing where
I paʃsed some Days about Xmaʃs -- it is the D. of Malbro's[8]
House which the D- has bought & it seems to be
a pretty place -- Pʃs Elisabeth[9] is recovering very
fast -- she had been out once when Lady Harcourt[10]
wrote to me yesterday, & P. Augustus[11] is much better --
Mrs Harcourt is gone abroad for the Winter -- she
left this a month ago, and was detained above
3 Weeks at Dover -- adieu my dear Friend I leave
you to dreʃs for Mrs Wals:[12] with whom I dine ------
is but just come to Town -- I have seen nothin[g of]
her the whole summer & fear I am quite out of
favor -- I think of, & miʃs you at dinner -- think of me
& write to me very soon, a comfortable letter --
remember me kindly to Mr Dickenson & Ly Wake

                                                         adieu your affec:
[C]MG




Mrs Dickenson
at
      Courteen hall
      Northamton[13]

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


Notes


 1. Lady Mary Wake (née Fenton) (d. 1823), wife of Sir William Wake, 8th Baronet (1742-1785).
 2. 'It was around Foley House in the 1770s that the Adam brothers arranged Portland Place, the widest contemporary street in London.' (Sir John Soane's Museum Collection Online).
 3. Lady Louisa Stuart (1757-1851).
 4. George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney (1737-1806), brother-in-law of Lady Louisa Stuart.
 5. Lady Lucy Digby (née Fox-Strangways) (d. 1787), married to Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800).
 6. Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800), married Charlotte Margaret Gunning in 1790 after the death of Lady Lucy Digby (née Fox-Strangways) in 1787.
 7. Colonel John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll (1723-1806), and his wife Elizabeth Campbell (née Gunning), Duchess of Argyll (c1733-1790).
 8. George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739-1817), who sold Ealing Grove to the Duke of Argyll sometime between 1775 and the date of this letter.
 9. Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain (1770-1840), daughter of King George III.
 10. Elizabeth Harcourt (née Vernon), Countess Harcourt (d. 1826).
 11. Prince Augustus Frederick of Great Britain (1773-1843), son of King George III.
 12. Charlotte Hanbury Boyle-Walsingham (née Williams) (d. 1790).
 13. Postmark '17 JA' below address when unfolded.

Normalised Text



16th January 1786



      Why do I not hear from you my dear Friend? have
you not received my letter, which I wrote the day after
yours reached, as I did at Horton about the beginning
of October immediately on the receipt of yours. I imagine
you at Courteen hall, as you mentioned being to go there
immediately -- How is Lady Wake in Health and spirits?
How are you yourself my dear Friend? this severe Weather
does not agree with you I fear -- yet we have had within this
10 Days some very mild & charming, I was at the
Park, and walked out for hours without a Hat -- 'you don't
know how I have expected a letter by every days Post
from you,' or you would before now have let me hear
from you -- you say that you are well convinced that every
thing that concerns you, interests me, so it does indeed
most truly, how can you then keep me in ignorance
of your health your affairs & your proceedings -- Indeed
my dear I love you with as much warmth & sincerity
as I ever did, & never, never will these sentiments change
in my Breast, though change of situation & a variety of
circumstances may have put us less in the way of
each other -- I think all my Friends forget me -- They
write from France so seldom & then so uncomfortably
that I had almost as lief not hear at all -- though they



are perfectly well, & my Sister likes the place &
Society extremely -- I am in a low, uncomfortable state
of mind, not miserable, but not happy -- ain't that the
worst disposition one can be in? I feel heavy, stupid, indifferent
I should like never to leave my room or open my lips --
& should certainly give way to this vis inertiae (this word
is only for you -- ) if my Friends did not come to take
me out by main force -- I go out certainly every day --
Foley House is my home & when I am not asked out to
Dinner, I dine there -- sometimes the society amuses
me and my spirits are raised, but these are only false
ones, intoxication, & when I wake, I find myself more
dejected than before -- you will say, occupy yourself,
pursue some study, voila le mal that I have tried their
remedy & it fails -- though I do not pursue a study, my
mind & pen are constantly occupied -- I have all my
Fathers Business to transact, & never write less than
4 or 5 letters in a Day -- then by way of recreation I am
learning to play on the Harpsichord -- yet all this does
not do -- There are few People in Town -- Lady Louisa Stuart
I see sometimes -- she is now as happy as are all the
family; on Lord Macartneys return, with the honor
& glory of having spent 4 years in India, & returning home
with only one servant, & very little addition to his income
& that only from having saved part of his appointments --
Lady Lucy & Mr Digby are in Town, he has been confined
almost ever since he came by a fit of the Gout, so that



I have had very little comfort from him -- he looks like
Death, and is more out of spirits & melancholy than
you can imagine -- the Argylls are at Ealing where
I passed some Days about Christmas -- it is the Duke of Marlborough's
House which the Duke has bought & it seems to be
a pretty place -- Princess Elizabeth is recovering very
fast -- she had been out once when Lady Harcourt
wrote to me yesterday, & Prince Augustus is much better --
Mrs Harcourt is gone abroad for the Winter -- she
left this a month ago, and was detained above
3 Weeks at Dover -- adieu my dear Friend I leave
you to dress for Mrs Walsingham with whom I dine ------
is but just come to Town -- I have seen nothing of
her the whole summer & fear I am quite out of
favor -- I think of, & miss you at dinner -- think of me
& write to me very soon, a comfortable letter --
remember me kindly to Mr Dickenson & Lady Wake

                                                         adieu your affectionate
Charlotte Margaret Gunning




Mrs Dickenson
at
      Courteen hall
      Northampton

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quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Lady Mary Wake (née Fenton) (d. 1823), wife of Sir William Wake, 8th Baronet (1742-1785).
 2. 'It was around Foley House in the 1770s that the Adam brothers arranged Portland Place, the widest contemporary street in London.' (Sir John Soane's Museum Collection Online).
 3. Lady Louisa Stuart (1757-1851).
 4. George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney (1737-1806), brother-in-law of Lady Louisa Stuart.
 5. Lady Lucy Digby (née Fox-Strangways) (d. 1787), married to Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800).
 6. Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800), married Charlotte Margaret Gunning in 1790 after the death of Lady Lucy Digby (née Fox-Strangways) in 1787.
 7. Colonel John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll (1723-1806), and his wife Elizabeth Campbell (née Gunning), Duchess of Argyll (c1733-1790).
 8. George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739-1817), who sold Ealing Grove to the Duke of Argyll sometime between 1775 and the date of this letter.
 9. Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain (1770-1840), daughter of King George III.
 10. Elizabeth Harcourt (née Vernon), Countess Harcourt (d. 1826).
 11. Prince Augustus Frederick of Great Britain (1773-1843), son of King George III.
 12. Charlotte Hanbury Boyle-Walsingham (née Williams) (d. 1790).
 13. Postmark '17 JA' below address when unfolded.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/15/1/10

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London (certainty: medium)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Courteenhall, near Northampton

Date sent: 16 January 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. The letter relates to Gunning's feelings as well as to news of family, friends and the Royal family. Gunning asks for news on Lady Wake [Lady Mary Wake, née Fenton (d. 1823)], and wonders why she has not heard from Hamilton for some time. She wishes to have news of her. The letter continues with general news of friends and family and on what Gunning has been doing. She writes of having walked in the park without a hat for hours and of her sister enjoying the society in Nancy. Stephen Digby [Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800), whom Gunning would marry in 1790] is in town and suffering from gout. He 'looks like Death, and is more out of spirits & melancholy than [one] can imagine'.
    Gunning also writes of her own feelings. She is in an 'uncomfortable state of mind' and is not happy. She feels 'heavy, stupid, indifferent' and 'should like never to leave [her] room or open [her] lips'. She would give way to such feelings if her friends did not force her to go out, but she continues that she does go out each day. Society at times amuses her and '[her] spirits are raised, but these are only false ones'. She keeps her mind occupied with her father's business and notes that she writes at least four letters a day. In her leisure time she is learning to play the harpsichord. Even so, she notes, 'all this does not do'.
    Dated at St James's, [London].
    Original reference No. 9.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 719 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: Jack Hurlock, 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: 13 April 2020

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