Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/20

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


21

March the 24th 1787

My dear Friend!

I thought it long before I heard from you because I was
impatient & anxious for a particular account of you & your
little love -- I know it was unreasonable to expect you to
write sooner than you did, when I am aware of the many
demands your Friends make upon you. I rejoice
so sincerely in your happineʃs! do you ever sleep?
for I think I never should, for some Months at least
if I had so delightful & dear an object to occupy my
thoughts -- I am mortified that you could not nurse
it yourself -- how did this happen? Bell never
mentioned this circumstance to me, or indeed
any other, but that you were brought to bed of a Daug[hter]
and very well. you continue perfectly so I hope
& your little Girl -- what is her name & who stood
for her. Is Mr Dickenson better -- & how long do
you continue at Bath -- I wish to be answered
on all these points, and wish it much, tho' you have
reason to doubt it, & to wonder at my having allowed
three weeks to ellapse without answering your letter.
I cannot account for this silence satisfactorily to you
my dear Friend nor to myself, tho' I feel how incapa[ble]
I have been for this Month past of writing a line
to any being or of doing anything else that afforded a
minutes pleasure at the time or that left one pleasing
idea or reflection behind it -- since the return of my
family I am never left a minute to myself, &



tho' I cannot regret this, or wish to have employed the
hours I spend with them, in any other manner,
the constant diʃsipation of the mind, & impoʃsibility
of application to anything, is very disagreeable, & very
dangerous -- inshort it has broke into all my plans
of occupation & has unhinged me quite -- I feel
desœuvreed diʃsipated, without an object or a pursuit
which is worse than death to me, this produces
disgust, disatisfaction, & a total incapacity of exertion
there lye my Memoirs, my Euclid &c there my
paper pen & ink -- here I sit & talk or listen, go
out & come home, dreʃs & ennuyer myself during
a long long Evening, 3 times in the week with the
Queen, 4 times without her -- this has been my
situation & journal for this month past -- & a most
dreadful & uncomfortable one it has been -- you my
dear Friend have been long acustomed to my
changes & inconsistences, to my Fits & Starts &
will therefore pity & not blame me -- so I am --
dependant on circumstances, on humours, on
Events, not for my principles or my opinions
but very much for my comfort & my bien etre
the last time I wrote to you I was all elasticity
spring, eager, occupied, happy -- since then
in the state I have been describing -- I am beginning
to emerge from it now, & the first proofsymptom I have
perceived of my approaching change, is my ability
to write to you -- The Weather is heavenly, & in Easter
week I go out of Town -- to Richmond Park, where



the air, the liberty & the quiet will restore my health
& spirits, for tho' I have no particular complaint,I
feel oppreʃsed, heavy, stupid, inshort the disorder
of London, of having been immured here for Month[s]
I have been scarce ever in publick however, except
with the Queen, tho' you might have suspected
I had lived there from what I have said -- I
dine every day with my Father -- by the by they
are all perfectly well -- & Is[1] behaves extremely
so -- I have [seen] Lady Wake twice -- we called upon
her one Morning, & met her another -- she looks
very well, & says Miʃs Wake is much better.
Mrs Walsingham & I have entirely lost sight
of each other -- we have never had any quarel
or t[he] appearance of one, yet she never asks
me to her House & we do but just speak -- this
is odd n'estce pas after all we remember --
Miʃs Boyle is presented & out in the World
but not liked, & a true Miʃs -- my dear frie[nd]
write to me everything you think & do -- & do
not spare my money -- could you imagine
I could grudge it, or think of it -- you must
not direct under cover to S.G.E. I will endeav[our]
to get this franked to you either to day or
Monday -- this is a true scrawl, but I have ------
to finish it before my Sister returns who is
gone to pay some visits, when I recollect that
I have filled it with my complaints, caprices
& contrarietys, I cannot help thinking it almost



too great a trespaʃs upon even your indulgence --
I conclude with the aʃsurance of my sincere &
tender affection for you -- God bleʃs you my dear
                                                         Friend
yours ever
CMGunning.




my kind Compts to Mr Dickenson --

London March twenty fourth
1787
Mrs Dickenson
Abbey Street
Bath

Free Geo:
Fitzroy---
[2][3][4]

Honble. Miʃs Gung.
March 1787
[5]

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


Notes


 1. Charlotte Margaret Gunning's sister Isabella Barbara Evelyn (d. 1794), usually referred to in these letters as 'Bell'.
 2. These two lines appear to the left of 'Bath'. George Fitzroy was generally known at this time as Lord Euston, as in HAM/1/15/1/23.
 3. Postmark '24 MR' to right of address when unfolded.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 5. These two lines are written upside down at the bottom of p.3.

Normalised Text



March the 24th 1787

My dear Friend!

I thought it long before I heard from you because I was
impatient & anxious for a particular account of you & your
little love -- I know it was unreasonable to expect you to
write sooner than you did, when I am aware of the many
demands your Friends make upon you. I rejoice
so sincerely in your happiness! do you ever sleep?
for I think I never should, for some Months at least
if I had so delightful & dear an object to occupy my
thoughts -- I am mortified that you could not nurse
it yourself -- how did this happen? Bell never
mentioned this circumstance to me, or indeed
any other, but that you were brought to bed of a Daughter
and very well. you continue perfectly so I hope
& your little Girl -- what is her name & who stood
for her. Is Mr Dickenson better -- & how long do
you continue at Bath -- I wish to be answered
on all these points, and wish it much, though you have
reason to doubt it, & to wonder at my having allowed
three weeks to elapse without answering your letter.
I cannot account for this silence satisfactorily to you
my dear Friend nor to myself, though I feel how incapable
I have been for this Month past of writing a line
to any being or of doing anything else that afforded a
minutes pleasure at the time or that left one pleasing
idea or reflection behind it -- since the return of my
family I am never left a minute to myself, &



though I cannot regret this, or wish to have employed the
hours I spend with them, in any other manner,
the constant dissipation of the mind, & impossibility
of application to anything, is very disagreeable, & very
dangerous -- in short it has broken into all my plans
of occupation & has unhinged me quite -- I feel
désœuvréeed dissipated, without an object or a pursuit
which is worse than death to me, this produces
disgust, disatisfaction, & a total incapacity of exertion
there lie my Memoirs, my Euclid &c there my
paper pen & ink -- here I sit & talk or listen, go
out & come home, dress & ennuyer myself during
a long long Evening, 3 times in the week with the
Queen, 4 times without her -- this has been my
situation & journal for this month past -- & a most
dreadful & uncomfortable one it has been -- you my
dear Friend have been long accustomed to my
changes & inconsistencies, to my Fits & Starts &
will therefore pity & not blame me -- so I am --
dependent on circumstances, on humours, on
Events, not for my principles or my opinions
but very much for my comfort & my bien être
the last time I wrote to you I was all elasticity
spring, eager, occupied, happy -- since then
in the state I have been describing -- I am beginning
to emerge from it now, & the first symptom I have
perceived of my approaching change, is my ability
to write to you -- The Weather is heavenly, & in Easter
week I go out of Town -- to Richmond Park, where



the air, the liberty & the quiet will restore my health
& spirits, for though I have no particular complaint,I
feel oppressed, heavy, stupid, in short the disorder
of London, of having been immured here for Months
I have been scarce ever in public however, except
with the Queen, though you might have suspected
I had lived there from what I have said -- I
dine every day with my Father -- by the by they
are all perfectly well -- & Isabella behaves extremely
so -- I have seen Lady Wake twice -- we called upon
her one Morning, & met her another -- she looks
very well, & says Miss Wake is much better.
Mrs Walsingham & I have entirely lost sight
of each other -- we have never had any quarrel
or the appearance of one, yet she never asks
me to her House & we do but just speak -- this
is odd n'est-ce pas after all we remember --
Miss Boyle is presented & out in the World
but not liked, & a true Miss -- my dear friend
write to me everything you think & do -- & do
not spare my money -- could you imagine
I could grudge it, or think of it -- you must
not direct under cover to Sir G. Elliot I will endeavour
to get this franked to you either to day or
Monday -- this is a true scrawl, but I have ------
to finish it before my Sister returns who is
gone to pay some visits, when I recollect that
I have filled it with my complaints, caprices
& contrarieties, I cannot help thinking it almost



too great a trespass upon even your indulgence --
I conclude with the assurance of my sincere &
tender affection for you -- God bless you my dear
                                                         Friend
yours ever
Charlotte Margaret Gunning.




my kind Compliments to Mr Dickenson --



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



 1. Charlotte Margaret Gunning's sister Isabella Barbara Evelyn (d. 1794), usually referred to in these letters as 'Bell'.
 2. These two lines appear to the left of 'Bath'. George Fitzroy was generally known at this time as Lord Euston, as in HAM/1/15/1/23.
 3. Postmark '24 MR' to right of address when unfolded.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 5. These two lines are written upside down at the bottom 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/1/15/1/20

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Bath

Date sent: 24 March 1787

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She questions Hamilton about motherhood (her daughter Louisa had been born on 26 January), asking if Hamilton ever sleeps, as she thinks she should not for months if she 'had so delightful an object to occupy my thoughts'. Gunning is 'mortified' that Hamilton is unable to nurse the baby herself and asks why this is the case. She still does not know the name Hamilton has given her daughter and also asks who she chose for godparents.
    The letter continues with news of Gunning's period of ennui amid social engagements, and on how her time is spent. She writes of engagements with the Queen. Gunning notes that Miss [Charlotte] Boyle [the daughter of Hamilton's friend, Mrs Walsingham, married Lord Henry FitzGerald in 1791] has been presented, and is now 'out in the world but not liked'.
    Original reference No. 21.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 841 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: Daniel Grogan, 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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