Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/9

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


8

St James's Dec: 3d 1785


      My very dear Friend,

I cannot tell you how happy your long expected letter made
me -- I had almost despaired of hearing from you, and was
just thinking of writing to make you give some account
of yourself; for my dear I have received no such letter
as you mention, or any since the end of November, which
one I answered the very next day from Horton --
To hear of your Health & happineʃs, always gives
me unspeakable happineʃs, let me have it as often
as your leisure will admit of it -- I am well -- excepting
an accidental Cold -- I wish I could tell you I was happy --
but you cannot expect I should be so after the great
loʃs I have sustained -- You my dear Friend who are
so well acquainted with every pli et repli of my heart
will conceive what it has felt and still feels, & will
give to my situation the compaʃsion it deserves -- you
know how I adore my Father, my Brother, how tenderly
I love the Sister of my Heart, & always did, but you
know not how amiable she is grown, how strengthend
in every virtue, & improved in every grace, you know
not that that in that Sister, I lost a sincere Friend,
from whom I do not conceal a thought, & who as she
enhanced every enjoyment, consoled me for every misfortune



At the dreadful moment of separation, I could not however
but look up to Heaven with gratitude, that she departed
in tolerable Health -- excepting loʃs of appetite & sleep, all
her Symtoms had left her -- & I trust she will receive
much benefit from change of air & a quiet life --
I have been malgré moi in very bad spirits -- for I aʃsure
you I have exerted myself to the utmost, nothing can
exceed Ly Carlisle's[1] Kindneʃs to me -- she came to carry
me away the moment they were gone, & has never
left me to myself one Day since -- I regularly drive
& sup there every Day -- at least I did so till the Argylls[2]
came, to whom I now give some of my time -- they
are all well, the Dʃs is grown fat. Ly Louisa Stuart[3]
is come to Town too, I have spent one Evening with
her -- I get up early as usual, read a good deal, & having
begun to play on the harpsicord, practising musick
takes up a great deal of my time -- not to speak of
the constant letters to Nancy, where they are gone to
spend the Winter. How shocked I was to hear of
poor Ly Wake's[4] misfortune, whether her Friends
can call it one, I doubt, but it must have been a great
shock, so unexpected, so sudden -- I saw Ly Dartrey[5] the
other Day who told me she was with her, was going to
Courteen Hall, where you were coming to her -- She likewise
added that you had been ill, but your letter my



dear Friend, wipes away every disagreeable impreʃsion
made by that information -- So you are going into
Northamtonshire -- yes that because we are not there --
I verily believed that Sir Wm would not have died
had we been at Horton -- So the fates have decreed it --
you do not mention London, my dear, do not you
mean to come, or only in the Spring? where are you
to be? Mrs Walsingham[6] is I believe not yet come
to Town, at least I have heard nothing of her, I fancy
myself out of her good graces; for she has never taken
the least notice of me this Summer, or invited me
to Thames Ditton -- I shall remind Bell of a
promise I am sure she will with great pleas[ure]
fulfil, that of writing to you -- I shall write to her
again on Tuesday -- think of my never having
yet heard from them since they left Calais, of
their safe arrival there I was informed by a few lines
which I received on the 17th -- Mr Digby[7] does not
come to Town till after Xmaʃs, but I shall not fail
to give your remembrance to him -- adieu my
dear Friend, let me hear from you from Courteenhall
excuse this horrid scrawl -- I have a wretched Pen &
am hurried for the Post -- adieu God Almighty bleʃs
& preserve you -- adieu your affec: CMG-



Miʃs G to
To[8]
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
- Macclesfield Cheshire

1-8

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red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. Margaret Caroline Howard (née Leveson-Gower), Countess of Carlisle (1753-1824).
 2. Colonel John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll (1723-1806), and his wife Elizabeth Campbell (née Gunning), Duchess of Argyll (c1733-1790).
 3. Lady Louisa Stuart (1757-1851).
 4. Lady Mary Wake (née Fenton) (d. 1823), recent widow of Sir William Wake, 8th Baronet (1742-1785).
 5. Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte.
 6. Charlotte Hanbury Boyle-Walsingham (née Williams) (d. 1790).
 7. Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800), whom Gunning would marry in 1790.
 8. Postmarks [?]'CHESTER 182' above address and '[5] DE' below.

Normalised Text



St James's December 3d 1785


      My very dear Friend,

I cannot tell you how happy your long expected letter made
me -- I had almost despaired of hearing from you, and was
just thinking of writing to make you give some account
of yourself; for my dear I have received no such letter
as you mention, or any since the end of November, which
one I answered the very next day from Horton --
To hear of your Health & happiness, always gives
me unspeakable happiness, let me have it as often
as your leisure will admit of it -- I am well -- excepting
an accidental Cold -- I wish I could tell you I was happy --
but you cannot expect I should be so after the great
loss I have sustained -- You my dear Friend who are
so well acquainted with every pli et repli of my heart
will conceive what it has felt and still feels, & will
give to my situation the compassion it deserves -- you
know how I adore my Father, my Brother, how tenderly
I love the Sister of my Heart, & always did, but you
know not how amiable she is grown, how strengthened
in every virtue, & improved in every grace, you know
not that in that Sister, I lost a sincere Friend,
from whom I do not conceal a thought, & who as she
enhanced every enjoyment, consoled me for every misfortune



At the dreadful moment of separation, I could not however
but look up to Heaven with gratitude, that she departed
in tolerable Health -- excepting loss of appetite & sleep, all
her Symptoms had left her -- & I trust she will receive
much benefit from change of air & a quiet life --
I have been malgré moi in very bad spirits -- for I assure
you I have exerted myself to the utmost, nothing can
exceed Lady Carlisle's Kindness to me -- she came to carry
me away the moment they were gone, & has never
left me to myself one Day since -- I regularly drive
& sup there every Day -- at least I did so till the Argylls
came, to whom I now give some of my time -- they
are all well, the Duchess is grown fat. Lady Louisa Stuart
is come to Town too, I have spent one Evening with
her -- I get up early as usual, read a good deal, & having
begun to play on the harpsichord, practising music
takes up a great deal of my time -- not to speak of
the constant letters to Nancy, where they are gone to
spend the Winter. How shocked I was to hear of
poor Lady Wake's misfortune, whether her Friends
can call it one, I doubt, but it must have been a great
shock, so unexpected, so sudden -- I saw Lady Dartrey the
other Day who told me she was with her, was going to
Courteen Hall, where you were coming to her -- She likewise
added that you had been ill, but your letter my



dear Friend, wipes away every disagreeable impression
made by that information -- So you are going into
Northamptonshire -- yes that because we are not there --
I verily believed that Sir William would not have died
had we been at Horton -- So the fates have decreed it --
you do not mention London, my dear, do not you
mean to come, or only in the Spring? where are you
to be? Mrs Walsingham is I believe not yet come
to Town, at least I have heard nothing of her, I fancy
myself out of her good graces; for she has never taken
the least notice of me this Summer, or invited me
to Thames Ditton -- I shall remind Bell of a
promise I am sure she will with great pleasure
fulfil, that of writing to you -- I shall write to her
again on Tuesday -- think of my never having
yet heard from them since they left Calais, of
their safe arrival there I was informed by a few lines
which I received on the 17th -- Mr Digby does not
come to Town till after Christmas, but I shall not fail
to give your remembrance to him -- adieu my
dear Friend, let me hear from you from Courteenhall
excuse this horrid scrawl -- I have a wretched Pen &
am hurried for the Post -- adieu God Almighty bless
& preserve you -- adieu your affectionate Charlotte Margaret Gunning



Miss Gunning to
To
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
- Macclesfield Cheshire


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 1. Margaret Caroline Howard (née Leveson-Gower), Countess of Carlisle (1753-1824).
 2. Colonel John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll (1723-1806), and his wife Elizabeth Campbell (née Gunning), Duchess of Argyll (c1733-1790).
 3. Lady Louisa Stuart (1757-1851).
 4. Lady Mary Wake (née Fenton) (d. 1823), recent widow of Sir William Wake, 8th Baronet (1742-1785).
 5. Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte.
 6. Charlotte Hanbury Boyle-Walsingham (née Williams) (d. 1790).
 7. Colonel Hon. Stephen Digby (1742-1800), whom Gunning would marry in 1790.
 8. Postmarks [?]'CHESTER 182' above address and '[5] DE' below.

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/1/15/1/9

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

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

Date sent: 3 December 1785

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She writes about her unhappiness over the 'Sister of my Heart' [Isabella Barbara Evelyn Gunning] leaving in order to take a 'change of air' in Nancy, France, for the benefit of her health. Since her sister, her father and brother have gone, Gunning has been spending much time with Lady Carlisle, who she describes as being exceedingly kind to her. She notes that she has dined and supped at Lady Carlisle's every day, 'at least I did so till the Argylls came, to whom I now give some of my time'. She reports that the Argylls are all well although the Duchess has grown fat. Gunning writes of her usual daily routine, rising early and playing the harpsichord. She notes that 'practising musick' and letter-writing take up a great part of her day. Gunning continues with news of friends, including Lady Dartrey, Mr Stephen Digby and Lady Wake, whose husband had recently died.
    Dated at St James's, [London].
    Original reference No. 8.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 741 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: Rachael Jones, 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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