Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/17

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


18

18[1]

St James's December 5th 1786

a rambling life and a teazing painful complaint, has made
me paʃs over the fortnight you had prescribed to me for directing
my letters to Taxal -- This I shall addreʃs to you at Courteenhall
aʃsured that ere now you are settled in Ly Wakes neighbourhood
& that she will take good care of my letter & transmit it to you --
Unlucky, unfortunate inded am I in again miʃsing you in
Northamtonshire, but when was I otherwise, we are absolulety
like the Man & Woman in the weather House, never out or in togethe[r]
I never had an idea of your having any of being confined at
Northamton -- I am truly rejoiced to think that you will be under
Dr Kerrs Eye and Care -- I cannot then but feel perfectly comfortable
and easy about you -- & this, as I cannot have even a hope of
seeing you, is a great satisfaction to me. You are at Northam[ton]
by this time, I long to hear where you are settled & whether
comfortably, it must give you some of the feels of home &
recall those of early youth and enjoyment! I can hardly
represent you to myself in the Character of a Mother and a
nurse, or fancy you making all your little caps & shirts but
I feel that in that ------------ light and in that situation, I shall
admire and love you at least as well as in any other I have
hitherto seen you ------ -- The alteration in my Plan & arrange
-ment
respecting Horton, was made in consequence & on
account of Bell's state of Health which required her absence
from that place, and frequent change of air and scene.
My Father always intending going to Bath about this time
so that tho' my Sister is quite recovered we had no opportunity
of returning thereto Horton -- they ------ set out of Bath on Tuesday
last -- my Sister went from St Leonard's Hill where we had
been sometime, I met my Father at Oxford -- they have got
a House in Brock street -- the Town is very full but not of
their acquaintance, I hope & imagine they will both
like their sejour there, my Father the early & regular Hours
my Sister the dancing -- as for myself I detest the Place
dancing ------------------------------ is not absolute[ly]
my paʃsion, tho' it is often pleasant in an impromptu
private way, and as to early hours, I keep them here.
what delightful mild weather we have had, and have --
I cannot tell you how vexed I was to come to Town & leav[e]



my pleasant walks, and my pleasant Society -- I have been
flying from place to place the whole Autumn, & my regrets
at leaving one Friend for another, have been lost in the
prospect of a quick return to them -- I went again to
Mrs Wilmots, to the Ly Kerr's -- we had dancing & singing
& good sense, and wit, a great deal of laughing and merrine[ʃs]
I have been with the Hobart's, with Ly Carlisle at Putney
again -- with Madame de Reventelau -- at Richmond
Park, at St Leonard's -- sometimes with the gay, then
with the wretched -- for Mrs Stuart is still so, & will not soon
recover the loʃs of an amiable, beloved Daughter -- I have
alternately paʃsed a week, in a serious, or quiet tête à tête
& another in the midst of a circle of 20 People -- I have
been gravely playing at Whist & cribbagge, & then laughing
& cheating at Pope Joan[2] -- Inshort whilst I tr was last
at Mrs Harcourts, I was appointed Lectrice to the society
and every morning read a French Drama or story of some
kind, loud to a very attentive audience, from which I
generally drew tears, for the choice of the lecture being
left to me, you may imagine it was of a serious or
affecting nature -- I was drove to Town by a Pain in
face which I believe I have mentioned to you before my
dear, & for which concluding it to be the toothache I had
two teeth drawn -- I had been kept awake in torture so
many nights, that Mrs Harcourt & Stuart insisted
on my coming to see Dr Turton, who thinks it is rheuma[tism]
from my being almost perfectly free from it till I go to
bed -- he comes every day & is very attentive to me.
I hope my dear that I shall be able to give you a better
account of myself when I write again -- I came on
Friday & have never left my room since then -- how long
I am to be confined to it I know not, but I know that I
am not in the least impatient to be released -- what
can be more comfortable than to be placed in a clean
warm chearful habitation, with Musick, Books, pen &
ink & every means of amusement -- to be able to



breathe without difficulty, & to lie down when one is sleepy --
to be spared the misery of dreʃsing twice a day & the
still greater one of keeping 1000 disagreeable engagements --
Those Friends who care for me & for whom I care will
certainly come to me -- as for all others, I never wish now
to set my eyes on them -- what a pleasant line to draw,
& how impoʃsible to draw it, by any other means whate[ver]
They tell me that the Town is full -- the Play Houses --
Parties every night -- thank God I only hear of them --
the amusement in the morning is, for Beaus & Belles
soi disant old & young to shoot arrows at a mark!
at night they all play at Loo -- & have a uniform!
I fancy the P. of W -- & Mrs Fit. tho' Man & Wife are not yet
tired of each other -- they say he is more in love, more
attracted & more entirely hers than ever -- what a crush
of all confidences, probabilities & wise predictions! je n'y
comprens rien, nor does anybody else I believe -- Pʃs Eliz
is at this moment, at least she was a few Days ago, fairly
well -- vastly better than she was -- but I much fear by all
accounts that the first severe weather will throw he[r]
back -- and a relapse cannot but be attended with t[he]
utmost danger -- everybody loves her -- adores her -- [Miʃs]
Goldsworthy will I think break her heart if she dies --
Mr Digby is not in Town nor have I seen him since
June -- he is very well tho' I hear -- Ly Lucy has been
extremely ill, but is now rather better -- he is vastly
out of spirits about her -- I suppose he will be here for
New Year's Day -- There is just a poʃsibility of my going
to Bath, which on one account and only one, that of
seeing my Family, I shall be glad of. I have promised
Mrs Harcourt to go with her if her Health makes a
journey neceʃsary -- She has been very unwell lately
but it draws too near the Birthday to be practicable, if no[t]
undertaken immediatly -- I conclude Col. Cathcart
is at Dallington -- I have never seen him yet, to talk to him
about his Friend Mr Young, or to thank him for his
attentions to me -- he was so good as to call here in my
absence & to take a letter &c which he has promised to
convey to India -- if you see him thank him for me



and ask him a little about Mr Young -- I hear Ld & Ly Cathc[art]
like Dallington -- my sudden disappearance from Horton
prevented me waiting upon her, which I shall take the
first opportunity of doing on my return -- My Brother
has just left me, he came for a few Days to Town to see
me and tomorrow goes to Bath -- so here I am left alone --
it is very odd, that I never had any illneʃs (my continued
complaint in my stomack excepted) but in the absence of
my Family -- Charlotte is very well, & pretty good -- she gives
me great pleasure & promises me great comfort -- she is
very very clever -- & quick -- but is not very fond of work --
[T]hank you my dear [for] inquiring --




[Ad]ieu my very dear Friend, I beg to hear if but in two
words that you are settled comfortably -- you have my
constant & ardent prayers, for that your confinement
may be attended with every favourable circumstances, &
that nothing may o'ercloud the joy, which the event of it will
produce to both you and Mr Dickenson -- may every bleʃsing
& every happineʃs always attend you -- the little unknown &
expected Being already poʃseʃses a strong interest in the hea[rt]
of your affectionate CMG -- remember me very kindly --

To[3]
Mrs Dickenson
Courteen Hall
Northamton[4]

Honble. Miʃs Gunning
Decbr. 1786
Recd. at Bath
[5][6]

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


Notes


 1. Moved annotation (ann1) here from right margin of p.1.
 2. 'A card game for three or more players, using a pack without the eight of diamonds' (OED s.v. Pope Joan n. 2).
 3. Two postmarks '6 DE', one, smudged, to left and right of address when unfolded, the other split by unfolding.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 5. Moved annotation (ann2) here from right side of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 6. Metadata panel records only date and place of first sending and place of final receipt, but XML file holds details of redirection via Courteenhall.

Normalised Text




St James's December 5th

a rambling life and a teasing painful complaint, has made
me pass over the fortnight you had prescribed to me for directing
my letters to Taxal -- This I shall address to you at Courteenhall
assured that ere now you are settled in Lady Wakes neighbourhood
& that she will take good care of my letter & transmit it to you --
Unlucky, unfortunate indeed am I in again missing you in
Northamptonshire, but when was I otherwise, we are absolutely
like the Man & Woman in the weather House, never out or in together
I never had an idea of your having any of being confined at
Northampton -- I am truly rejoiced to think that you will be under
Doctor Kerrs Eye and Care -- I cannot then but feel perfectly comfortable
and easy about you -- & this, as I cannot have even a hope of
seeing you, is a great satisfaction to me. You are at Northampton
by this time, I long to hear where you are settled & whether
comfortably, it must give you some of the feels of home &
recall those of early youth and enjoyment! I can hardly
represent you to myself in the Character of a Mother and a
nurse, or fancy you making all your little caps & shirts but
I feel that in that light and in that situation, I shall
admire and love you at least as well as in any other I have
hitherto seen you -- The alteration in my Plan & arrangement
respecting Horton, was made in consequence & on
account of Bell's state of Health which required her absence
from that place, and frequent change of air and scene.
My Father always intending going to Bath about this time
so that though my Sister is quite recovered we had no opportunity
of returning to Horton -- they set out of Bath on Tuesday
last -- my Sister went from St Leonard's Hill where we had
been sometime, I met my Father at Oxford -- they have got
a House in Brock street -- the Town is very full but not of
their acquaintance, I hope & imagine they will both
like their séjour there, my Father the early & regular Hours
my Sister the dancing -- as for myself I detest the Place
dancing is not absolutely
my passion, though it is often pleasant in an impromptu
private way, and as to early hours, I keep them here.
what delightful mild weather we have had, and have --
I cannot tell you how vexed I was to come to Town & leave



my pleasant walks, and my pleasant Society -- I have been
flying from place to place the whole Autumn, & my regrets
at leaving one Friend for another, have been lost in the
prospect of a quick return to them -- I went again to
Mrs Wilmots, to the Lady Kerr's -- we had dancing & singing
& good sense, and wit, a great deal of laughing and merriness
I have been with the Hobart's, with Lady Carlisle at Putney
again -- with Madame de Reventlau -- at Richmond
Park, at St Leonard's -- sometimes with the gay, then
with the wretched -- for Mrs Stuart is still so, & will not soon
recover the loss of an amiable, beloved Daughter -- I have
alternately passed a week, in a serious, or quiet tête à tête
& another in the midst of a circle of 20 People -- I have
been gravely playing at Whist & cribbage, & then laughing
& cheating at Pope Joan -- whilst I was last
at Mrs Harcourts, I was appointed Lectrice to the society
and every morning read a French Drama or story of some
kind, loud to a very attentive audience, from which I
generally drew tears, for the choice of the lecture being
left to me, you may imagine it was of a serious or
affecting nature -- I was driven to Town by a Pain in
face which I believe I have mentioned to you before my
dear, & for which concluding it to be the toothache I had
two teeth drawn -- I had been kept awake in torture so
many nights, that Mrs Harcourt & Stuart insisted
on my coming to see Doctor Turton, who thinks it is rheumatism
from my being almost perfectly free from it till I go to
bed -- he comes every day & is very attentive to me.
I hope my dear that I shall be able to give you a better
account of myself when I write again -- I came on
Friday & have never left my room since then -- how long
I am to be confined to it I know not, but I know that I
am not in the least impatient to be released -- what
can be more comfortable than to be placed in a clean
warm cheerful habitation, with Music, Books, pen &
ink & every means of amusement -- to be able to



breathe without difficulty, & to lie down when one is sleepy --
to be spared the misery of dressing twice a day & the
still greater one of keeping 1000 disagreeable engagements --
Those Friends who care for me & for whom I care will
certainly come to me -- as for all others, I never wish now
to set my eyes on them -- what a pleasant line to draw,
& how impossible to draw it, by any other means whatever
They tell me that the Town is full -- the Play Houses --
Parties every night -- thank God I only hear of them --
the amusement in the morning is, for Beaus & Belles
soi disant old & young to shoot arrows at a mark!
at night they all play at Loo -- & have a uniform!
I fancy the Prince of Wales -- & Mrs Fitzherbert though Man & Wife are not yet
tired of each other -- they say he is more in love, more
attracted & more entirely hers than ever -- what a crush
of all confidences, probabilities & wise predictions! je n'y
comprends rien, nor does anybody else I believe -- Princess Elizabeth
is at this moment, at least she was a few Days ago, fairly
well -- vastly better than she was -- but I much fear by all
accounts that the first severe weather will throw her
back -- and a relapse cannot but be attended with the
utmost danger -- everybody loves her -- adores her -- Miss
Goldsworthy will I think break her heart if she dies --
Mr Digby is not in Town nor have I seen him since
June -- he is very well though I hear -- Lady Lucy has been
extremely ill, but is now rather better -- he is vastly
out of spirits about her -- I suppose he will be here for
New Year's Day -- There is just a possibility of my going
to Bath, which on one account and only one, that of
seeing my Family, I shall be glad of. I have promised
Mrs Harcourt to go with her if her Health makes a
journey necessary -- She has been very unwell lately
but it draws too near the Birthday to be practicable, if not
undertaken immediately -- I conclude Colonel Cathcart
is at Dallington -- I have never seen him yet, to talk to him
about his Friend Mr Young, or to thank him for his
attentions to me -- he was so good as to call here in my
absence & to take a letter &c which he has promised to
convey to India -- if you see him thank him for me



and ask him a little about Mr Young -- I hear Lord & Lady Cathcart
like Dallington -- my sudden disappearance from Horton
prevented me waiting upon her, which I shall take the
first opportunity of doing on my return -- My Brother
has just left me, he came for a few Days to Town to see
me and tomorrow goes to Bath -- so here I am left alone --
it is very odd, that I never had any illness (my continued
complaint in my stomach excepted) but in the absence of
my Family -- Charlotte is very well, & pretty good -- she gives
me great pleasure & promises me great comfort -- she is
very very clever -- & quick -- but is not very fond of work --
Thank you my dear for inquiring --




Adieu my very dear Friend, I beg to hear if but in two
words that you are settled comfortably -- you have my
constant & ardent prayers, that your confinement
may be attended with every favourable circumstances, &
that nothing may o'ercloud the joy, which the event of it will
produce to both you and Mr Dickenson -- may every blessing
& every happiness always attend you -- the little unknown &
expected Being already possesses a strong interest in the heart
of your affectionate Charlotte Margaret Gunning -- remember me very kindly --

To
Mrs Dickenson
Courteen Hall
Northampton


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



 1. Moved annotation (ann1) here from right margin of p.1.
 2. 'A card game for three or more players, using a pack without the eight of diamonds' (OED s.v. Pope Joan n. 2).
 3. Two postmarks '6 DE', one, smudged, to left and right of address when unfolded, the other split by unfolding.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 5. Moved annotation (ann2) here from right side of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 6. Metadata panel records only date and place of first sending and place of final receipt, but XML file holds details of redirection via Courteenhall.

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/1/15/1/17

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Bath

Date sent: 5 December 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton, conveying news of society and friends. She has been playing whist and cribbage and was 'appointed Lectrice to the society' [at Mrs Harcourt's] and read a French Drama to an attentive audience. Gunning also writes of her health, saying that she has been suffering from toothache and has had two teeth pulled. She also writes of the health of Princess Elizabeth and the fear that she may suffer a relapse if there is severe weather.
    Dated at St James's, [London].
    Original reference No. 18.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1468 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: Kathryn Baldwin, 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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