Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/14

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


13

Horton August 24th 1786

Why do I never hear from you my very dear Friend?
Have you forgot that I exist, either for myself or you?
Have I ceased to be anything to you, or have you chose
to imagine that you no longer interest me? I
answered your last letter which I received I believe in
May, or before, immediately -- & since that, I have
never heard from, nor even of you but from Lady Wake
whom a variety of unpleasant circumstances have
prevented me seeing but very little of -- When first
I came down here which was in the middle of June
I was in daily expectation of a Letter -- Indeed nothing
could equal my diʃsappointment in not finding
you at Courteenhall, except the constant ill luck whic[h]
has invariably attended my wishes on this subject --
my Brother told me he had seen you well, Lady Wake
whom I found very low myself gave me the same
comfortable account of you, she herself seemed to have
lost all comfort with you -- I was not surprised at her
having felt your loʃs greatly -- her Daughter ill too --
I hear she is still indifferent -- I am going there tomorr[ow]



to see her, to inquire after you, and to procure your
direction for this letter. I will now continue my
account of myself this summer -- a few Days after
I arrived here we had Company whom I could not leave
provoked and mortified by your silence I then intended
to have written to you, when received the news of Miʃs
Charlotte Stuart's short illneʃs & sudden Death almost in one
letter -- this was a shock to me, both on my own accoun[t]
& that of the miserable Family she had left, which I have
at this minute far from recovered -- I my first thought
was to fly to them -- & upon the repeated sollicitations of
Ly Lonsdale, Ly Louisa, & Mr Stuart himself, (for I wished
to be aʃsured that it would be as agreeable to them as to
me) I set out for Richmond leaving all that was
dear & agreeable to me, here -- the scene of misery &
the various expreʃsions of it at the Lodge, were what
I cannot describe & shall I think never forget -- Mr Stuarts
affliction was the most affecting & heart rending thing I ever saw --
my intention was to have staid 4 Days & brought them
back with me here -- but no persuasion could make
Mrs Stuart move -- I could not leave them -- I staid
three weeks there without ever stirring out of the House
above three times -- I grew so thin, so ill, that when
I returned here, I was mecconnoiʃsable. never slept one
night the whole time I was there -- & as for appetite I
have none at this minute -- after I had been weeping



the whole with Mrs Stuart, Mary (her eldest Daughter
who is exceʃsively attached to me) used to sit by my bed
side till 2 in the morning talking over all the horrid
circumstances of her Sister's Death -- with this horrible
images, I used to fall asleep, but in my sleep they
still followed me, till I woke agitated & unrefreshed --
on the 11th inst I returned here with Mr and Mrs Stuart
& their Son & Daughter -- during their stay here I never
left them a minute -- & I have the comfort & satisfaction
of seeing them all infinitly better both in Health &
spirits -- they left me yesterday morning & Mr Stuart
(who has all his life bore the character & the appearan[ce]
of an unfeeling hard heart) burst into tears when [he]
embraced me, and said God bleʃs you, I shall never
forget what you have done for me and mine! How he is
altered -- how softened, how improved -- never swears
never gives way to paʃsions! I was to have gone up for
to day's Drawing, but received an expreʃs from Windsor
to say that there would be none on account of Princeʃs
Elisabeth's dangerous illneʃs -- my Sister went with
Mrs Stuart & stays three weeks with her -- I am now
thank God left to myself & to a state of peace & tranquility
I have been a stranger to for some time past -- the first
use I make of my liberty is to write to you my very dear
Friend -- for Godsake writte me fully -- & tell me that
you love me -- I am sure I love you most sincerely &
tenderly -- & am most truly interested about you --
you see how I have been prevented writing before -- my




head has been turned & my heart & my spirits oppreʃsed --
the weather has been miserable -- I shall be here till this
Day fortnight & afterwards at Ly Carlisle's Putney Lodge --
but direct to St James's -- I go one day to the Races -- here
Wednesday --



God bleʃs you -- my dear dear Friend -- write soon if you
love me -- remember me very kindly to Mr Dickenson --
my F. & Mother are well -- Bell only so so -- I mean to allud[e]
only to the reestablishment of my Health -- I am the greatest
Physician & Apothecary du canton & all the poor come to
me from far to be cured -- this is my employment wth
musick & a little reading -- I shall read more now I am alone
adieu -- once more God bleʃs you --

To[1]
Mrs Dickenson
at Taxal
near Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire[2]

      Miʃs Gunning Augst. 1786[3]

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


Notes


 1. Postmark '-7 NORT[H]AMPTON' below address when unfolded.
 2. Moved address here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 3. Moved annotation here from top of p.3.

Normalised Text



Horton August 24th 1786

Why do I never hear from you my very dear Friend?
Have you forgotten that I exist, either for myself or you?
Have I ceased to be anything to you, or have you chosen
to imagine that you no longer interest me? I
answered your last letter which I received I believe in
May, or before, immediately -- & since that, I have
never heard from, nor even of you but from Lady Wake
whom a variety of unpleasant circumstances have
prevented me seeing but very little of -- When first
I came down here which was in the middle of June
I was in daily expectation of a Letter -- Indeed nothing
could equal my disappointment in not finding
you at Courteenhall, except the constant ill luck which
has invariably attended my wishes on this subject --
my Brother told me he had seen you well, Lady Wake
whom I found very low myself gave me the same
comfortable account of you, she herself seemed to have
lost all comfort with you -- I was not surprised at her
having felt your loss greatly -- her Daughter ill too --
I hear she is still indifferent -- I am going there tomorrow



to see her, to inquire after you, and to procure your
direction for this letter. I will now continue my
account of myself this summer -- a few Days after
I arrived here we had Company whom I could not leave
provoked and mortified by your silence I then intended
to have written to you, when received the news of Miss
Charlotte Stuart's short illness & sudden Death almost in one
letter -- this was a shock to me, both on my own account
& that of the miserable Family she had left, which I have
at this minute far from recovered -- my first thought
was to fly to them -- & upon the repeated solicitations of
Lady Lonsdale, Lady Louisa, & Mr Stuart himself, (for I wished
to be assured that it would be as agreeable to them as to
me) I set out for Richmond leaving all that was
dear & agreeable to me, here -- the scene of misery &
the various expressions of it at the Lodge, were what
I cannot describe & shall I think never forget -- Mr Stuarts
affliction was the most affecting & heart rending thing I ever saw --
my intention was to have stayed 4 Days & brought them
back with me here -- but no persuasion could make
Mrs Stuart move -- I could not leave them -- I stayed
three weeks there without ever stirring out of the House
above three times -- I grew so thin, so ill, that when
I returned here, I was méconnaissable. never slept one
night the whole time I was there -- & as for appetite I
have none at this minute -- after I had been weeping



the whole with Mrs Stuart, Mary (her eldest Daughter
who is excessively attached to me) used to sit by my bed
side till 2 in the morning talking over all the horrid
circumstances of her Sister's Death -- with these horrible
images, I used to fall asleep, but in my sleep they
still followed me, till I woke agitated & unrefreshed --
on the 11th instant I returned here with Mr and Mrs Stuart
& their Son & Daughter -- during their stay here I never
left them a minute -- & I have the comfort & satisfaction
of seeing them all infinitely better both in Health &
spirits -- they left me yesterday morning & Mr Stuart
(who has all his life borne the character & the appearance
of an unfeeling hard heart) burst into tears when he
embraced me, and said God bless you, I shall never
forget what you have done for me and mine! How he is
altered -- how softened, how improved -- never swears
never gives way to passions! I was to have gone up for
to day's Drawing, but received an express from Windsor
to say that there would be none on account of Princess
Elizabeth's dangerous illness -- my Sister went with
Mrs Stuart & stays three weeks with her -- I am now
thank God left to myself & to a state of peace & tranquility
I have been a stranger to for some time past -- the first
use I make of my liberty is to write to you my very dear
Friend -- for Godsake write me fully -- & tell me that
you love me -- I am sure I love you most sincerely &
tenderly -- & am most truly interested about you --
you see how I have been prevented writing before -- my




head has been turned & my heart & my spirits oppressed --
the weather has been miserable -- I shall be here till this
Day fortnight & afterwards at Lady Carlisle's Putney Lodge --
but direct to St James's -- I go one day to the Races -- here
Wednesday --



God bless you -- my dear dear Friend -- write soon if you
love me -- remember me very kindly to Mr Dickenson --
my Father & Mother are well -- Bell only so so -- I mean to allude
only to the reestablishment of my Health -- I am the greatest
Physician & Apothecary du canton & all the poor come to
me from far to be cured -- this is my employment with
music & a little reading -- I shall read more now I am alone
adieu -- once more God bless you --

To
Mrs Dickenson
at Taxal
near Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire

     

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



 1. Postmark '-7 NORT[H]AMPTON' below address when unfolded.
 2. Moved address here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 3. Moved annotation here from top of p.3.

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/1/15/1/14

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: Horton, Bucks.

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Date sent: 24 August 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She asks why Hamilton has not replied to her letter and wonders if Hamilton has forgotten her or perhaps chooses to imagine that she no longer interests Gunning. The letter is also concerned with the death of a Miss Charlotte Stuart and Gunning's subsequent stay with her bereaved family.
    Dated at Horton.
    Original reference No. 13.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 906 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: Isabella Formisano, former MA student, University of Manchester

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Alexandra Morton, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2016)

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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