Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/37

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


34

Margate October 27th 1789

My dear Friend!

I will say nothing of the time that has elapsed
since I received your letter. In August I think it
was -- this is October! shocking indeed, and as there
is no justifying so long a silence, even by your example
I will not attempt to excuse it. various indeed
arehave been the Events & circumstances of the last 3
Months! you will be surprised to hear that
we are at this place, we who never move from
Horton, from June to January! poor Bell has
been very ill all the Summer, with a low
fever & other nervous complaints, and Dr
Kerr thought seabathing absolutely neceʃsary
in October -- we fixed upon this place as the
nearest to London & at the same time the most
certain as to the poʃsibility of bathing every
day, & we arrived here I think about the beginingfirst
of this month, after stopping two days in
Town in our way. we like it vastly, the
country about it & almost the whole Island
is extremely pretty, & the walks & drive's
beautiful -- the place was very full when
we arrived, tho' not of People we knew -- the
only acquaintance we found were Colel &



Mrs Stanhope -- Mr & Mrs Steele -- Ly E. & Mr York
& Ld Winchilsea -- they are all gone long since
the place is quite deserted & the only people left
are Mr & Mrs Arthur Stanhope, whom we have
become acquainted with since our arrival here
whom we live with every day, & like extremely.
      Bell has received the greatest imaginable
benefit from the bathing, & air, her strength
and appetite are returned & every bad sympt[om]
abated, if not removed -- my Father is very
well, his having no object to interest him &
no occupation, & having long since gratified his
curiosity in riding about the Country, he is
quite tired of the place -- we leave it tomorrow
sev'night, make a visit on our road to London
& shall be there about the 9th -- my Father
stays there two or three days on busineʃs and
then returns to Horton till the beginning
of December, Bell & I during that time shall
be at Richmond & St Leonards & we shall
all meet & settle in Town at before Xmas.
I must now my dear Friend tell you a
piece of news that will surprise you at the
same time that I am sure it will give
you pleasure. I must preface my commu-
nication
, tho' by an injunction of secrecy &
must beg you not to mention it to any body
for some time to come. Inshort my dear



Friend, I am at last going to be married to Mr D- --
I see your astonishment, when you recollect
how seriously I aʃsured you that there was not
a word of truth in the reports that prevailed
upon that subject, but I give you my word
that what I said was truth, & that two months
ago I had no idea of the poʃsibility of an event
now so near taking place -- it is impoʃsible
to tell you, or even myself how it has been
brought about -- suffice it to say that tho' the
original obvious objections to the connection
still remain, I have brought myself to submit
them, to the consideration of Mr D's merits & good qualities &
that I really believe I have every prospect
of rea[son]able happineʃs -- it is not to take
place until the beginning of January -- Mr D
is now in Dorsetshire with his family, we
saw him for a few days just before we left
Horton & when we came here he went to
Windsor & then in to Dorsetshire -- the King & Queen
who were extremely kind & gracious upon the
occasion desired that it might be kept a
secret for some time to come -- so I trust to
you -- I have not yet thanked you my dear
Friend for your long letter, I am truly hapy
to hear that you are quite recovered & that Mr
Dick: has receivd so much benefit from Bath
I have only time to desire you will remember
us all to him, & our love to dear little Louisa



who I imagine grows more & more a comfort &
delight to you every day. I have said nothing of
myself, I was in perfect Health till a week ago
& since that time have had a return of this
old old pain in my stomack which I suffered
from for so many years -- I hope it will leave
me -- I am suffering cruelly at this minute



& must leave you my dear Friend, after having
aʃsured you of my sincere attachment &
Friendship -- adieu God bleʃs you -- most
affec: yours C. M. G-
Bell is not going to be married, there was
no truth whatever in the report you heard.

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

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


Notes


 1. Postmarks 'OC 28 89' above and 'MARGATE' across address.
 2. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically. There are a number of scribbled characters and ink blots around the address.

Normalised Text



Margate October 27th 1789

My dear Friend!

I will say nothing of the time that has elapsed
since I received your letter. In August I think it
was -- this is October! shocking indeed, and as there
is no justifying so long a silence, even by your example
I will not attempt to excuse it. various indeed
have been the Events & circumstances of the last 3
Months! you will be surprised to hear that
we are at this place, we who never move from
Horton, from June to January! poor Bell has
been very ill all the Summer, with a low
fever & other nervous complaints, and Doctor
Kerr thought seabathing absolutely necessary
in October -- we fixed upon this place as the
nearest to London & at the same time the most
certain as to the possibility of bathing every
day, & we arrived here I think about the first
of this month, after stopping two days in
Town in our way. we like it vastly, the
country about it & almost the whole Island
is extremely pretty, & the walks & drive's
beautiful -- the place was very full when
we arrived, though not of People we knew -- the
only acquaintance we found were Colonel &



Mrs Stanhope -- Mr & Mrs Steele -- Lady E. & Mr York
& Lord Winchilsea -- they are all gone long since
the place is quite deserted & the only people left
are Mr & Mrs Arthur Stanhope, whom we have
become acquainted with since our arrival here
whom we live with every day, & like extremely.
      Bell has received the greatest imaginable
benefit from the bathing, & air, her strength
and appetite are returned & every bad symptom
abated, if not removed -- my Father is very
well, his having no object to interest him &
no occupation, & having long since gratified his
curiosity in riding about the Country, he is
quite tired of the place -- we leave it tomorrow
sennight, make a visit on our road to London
& shall be there about the 9th -- my Father
stays there two or three days on business and
then returns to Horton till the beginning
of December, Bell & I during that time shall
be at Richmond & St Leonards & we shall
all meet & settle in Town before Christmas.
I must now my dear Friend tell you a
piece of news that will surprise you at the
same time that I am sure it will give
you pleasure. I must preface my communication
, though by an injunction of secrecy &
must beg you not to mention it to any body
for some time to come. In short my dear



Friend, I am at last going to be married to Mr Digby --
I see your astonishment, when you recollect
how seriously I assured you that there was not
a word of truth in the reports that prevailed
upon that subject, but I give you my word
that what I said was truth, & that two months
ago I had no idea of the possibility of an event
now so near taking place -- it is impossible
to tell you, or even myself how it has been
brought about -- suffice it to say that though the
original obvious objections to the connection
still remain, I have brought myself to submit
them, to the consideration of Mr Digby's merits & good qualities &
that I really believe I have every prospect
of reasonable happiness -- it is not to take
place until the beginning of January -- Mr Digby
is now in Dorsetshire with his family, we
saw him for a few days just before we left
Horton & when we came here he went to
Windsor & then in to Dorsetshire -- the King & Queen
who were extremely kind & gracious upon the
occasion desired that it might be kept a
secret for some time to come -- so I trust to
you -- I have not yet thanked you my dear
Friend for your long letter, I am truly happy
to hear that you are quite recovered & that Mr
Dickenson has received so much benefit from Bath
I have only time to desire you will remember
us all to him, & our love to dear little Louisa



who I imagine grows more & more a comfort &
delight to you every day. I have said nothing of
myself, I was in perfect Health till a week ago
& since that time have had a return of this
old old pain in my stomach which I suffered
from for so many years -- I hope it will leave
me -- I am suffering cruelly at this minute



& must leave you my dear Friend, after having
assured you of my sincere attachment &
Friendship -- adieu God bless you -- most
affectionately yours Charlotte Margaret Gunning
Bell is not going to be married, there was
no truth whatever in the report you heard.

To
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire

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quotations,
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 1. Postmarks 'OC 28 89' above and 'MARGATE' across address.
 2. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically. There are a number of scribbled characters and ink blots around the address.

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/1/15/1/37

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: Margate

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

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

Date sent: 27 October 1789

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She writes of her visit to Margate on account of her sister's health. Dr Kerr suggested that sea bathing would be of benefit to Bell. The letter continues with news of their planned visits on the way back to Horton, and then the surprise news of her forthcoming marriage to Mr Digby, which Hamilton is enjoined to keep secret 'for some time to come', following a request from the King and Queen.
    Dated at Margate, [Kent].
    Original reference No. 34.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 827 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: Keely Watson, 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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