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HAM/1/19/1

Letter from Mrs Napier to Mary Hamilton's mother

Diplomatic Text


Mrs- Napier X

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Boston July 24th 1768
[1]
Dear Madam

     

      You see I take the earliest Oportunity
to Obey yr obligeing commands of writeing to you in hopes
it will entitle me to have the Pleasure of hearing
from You as we are quite Anxious to hear you have
enjoyd more Health & Satisfaction since we parted
than has faln to our Share be asured nothing will
ever be more pleasing to me than to have any Occaʃsion
of Acknowledgeing our Grate ful Sensibility of the
many prooffs we received of yr friendship whilest
in yr neighbourhood I wont call it Politeneʃs because
it was Something much beyond it & much more
agreeable but these Days are past & I fear not soon
to Return for ther's litle Likelehood of our leaveing
this beffore Octr: Mr Napier had got no further than
Petter borough when he was Seized wt what he took to
be the Heart=Burn to relieve which he took a Large
Draught of Chalk & Watter but as it was the Gout that
aild him it imeditly reduced him to a very Alarming
Condition in the worst Inn (at the Talbot) & with the



most Inhuman people in England for they would not Send to
provide the least thing neceʃsary for an Invallid so that I
was obliged to send all over the town to provide Veall
& Chickens to make his Broths at the same time we
were paying most exhorbitant Bills to them I mention
this, in case you ever go there that you may Shun that
Inn Mr Napier continued too Ill even to be moved to a
better House but a very Skilful Apothecary a very good
Sort of Man gave him so much rellieffe that he was
able to come here the third Day but when we did arrive
we found ourselves arrived in the Regions of Babel which
are by many degrees worse than those of Babylon for we
Seemd to be got into an Aʃsemblage of all Tongues & Nations
collected together to torment us: they could not keep us out
of the Inn where Mr Napier had his Billet but there
we were forced to remain -- the other two Inns being more
than full Surrounded at all Hours wt Justices Constables
Tenants Stewarts Cottagers Prisoners Rioters Attornies
Clerks & examination of Witneʃs's in every corner
while the Inn Yard & Stairs were so fill'd wt people
dureing our Stay there that 'twas near to impoʃsible to
Stirr while we were Stun'd wt the Bay[2] of all this mixt
multitude from every Corner from Monday till Fryday
was we so shut up wt the Comfort of finding there
was no House nor Lodgeing to be Hired in the town
at last our good Genious apeard in the shape of a Mr Barlow
who told us that pityeing our Situation he came to beg
our Acceptance of a House of his four Milles distant
wch was ready furnisht & which he had no use for as his



Buʃsineʃs detaind him always in Boston so here we are at his
Chateau wch we should like greatly if he would have let us
pay Rent for but its disagreeable to be so much obliged to
Strangers to whom its not poʃsible to make any Return
upon the whole Im happy I did not Stay behind as Mr Napier
has been so very Ill I would not have been absent from him
for the World thank God he begins to get pretty well again
Col Douglaʃs will soon be at Northampton for two days to bring
his familly to Stafford where he has hired a House four
troops stay here & two goes there till further orders -- Sir John
Cust & the other Gentlemen have been very dilligent to find
out the extent of this affair wch proves a deeper laid Scheme
& more Mischivious than was at first aprehended however
they did not chuse to trie their forces wt that of this Regt:
& ye Justices very wisely have hitherto sent only Constables
& Millitia to enforce their orders where they have been
Resisted so our people remain in Quiete thus have
I obey'd yr commands an long et an Large[3] by telling
you ev'ry thing that has hapned us if it fatigues You
blame yourself for engageing in a Correspondance too
agreeable to me to be easily given up on my Side
pray tell me all about Yourselves & a litle about
yr Babylonians our friends have not yet left London
Mr Napier & the Children join me in offers of our
best respects to you Mr & Miʃs Hamilton Mary Says
I want to see Couse Ma-ry again so does her Br:
though he is ashamed to talk of it I think they could
contrive to have a fine Romp here altogether. bellieve



me to be Dear Madam
                                                         Your most Faithfull
                                                         & most Humble Servant
M A Napier


Direct to me
at Boston
I'm sorry I have no Frank for this Letter.[4]

Lady Napiers Letters[5]

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


Notes


 1. An edited version of this letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 5-7).
 2. 'The chorus of barking raised by hounds in immediate conflict with a hunted animal' (OED s.v. bay n.4, 2a).
 3. Misspelled French idiom en long et en large 'in detail, in full'.
 4. These three lines appear to the left of the signature.
 5. This line appears at the bottom of p.3, written upside down, and is split in half and reversed by unfolding.

Normalised Text




Boston July 24th 1768

Dear Madam

     

      You see I take the earliest Opportunity
to Obey your obliging commands of writing to you in hopes
it will entitle me to have the Pleasure of hearing
from You as we are quite Anxious to hear you have
enjoyed more Health & Satisfaction since we parted
than has fallen to our Share be assured nothing will
ever be more pleasing to me than to have any Occasion
of Acknowledging our Grateful Sensibility of the
many proofs we received of your friendship whilst
in your neighbourhood I won't call it Politeness because
it was Something much beyond it & much more
agreeable but these Days are past & I fear not soon
to Return for there's little Likelihood of our leaving
this before October Mr Napier had got no further than
Peterborough when he was Seized with what he took to
be the Heart=Burn to relieve which he took a Large
Draught of Chalk & Water but as it was the Gout that
ailed him it immediately reduced him to a very Alarming
Condition in the worst Inn (at the Talbot) & with the



most Inhuman people in England for they would not Send to
provide the least thing necessary for an Invalid so that I
was obliged to send all over the town to provide Veal
& Chickens to make his Broths at the same time we
were paying most exorbitant Bills to them I mention
this, in case you ever go there that you may Shun that
Inn Mr Napier continued too Ill even to be moved to a
better House but a very Skilful Apothecary a very good
Sort of Man gave him so much relief that he was
able to come here the third Day but when we did arrive
we found ourselves arrived in the Regions of Babel which
are by many degrees worse than those of Babylon for we
Seemed to be got into an Assemblage of all Tongues & Nations
collected together to torment us: they could not keep us out
of the Inn where Mr Napier had his Billet but there
we were forced to remain -- the other two Inns being more
than full Surrounded at all Hours with Justices Constables
Tenants Stewards Cottagers Prisoners Rioters Attornies
Clerks & examination of Witness's in every corner
while the Inn Yard & Stairs were so fill'd with people
during our Stay there that 'twas near to impossible to
Stir while we were Stun'd wt the Bay of all this mixed
multitude from every Corner from Monday till Friday
was we so shut up with the Comfort of finding there
was no House nor Lodging to be Hired in the town
at last our good Genius appeared in the shape of a Mr Barlow
who told us that pitying our Situation he came to beg
our Acceptance of a House of his four Miles distant
which was ready furnished & which he had no use for as his



Bussiness detained him always in Boston so here we are at his
Château which we should like greatly if he would have let us
pay Rent for but its disagreeable to be so much obliged to
Strangers to whom its not possible to make any Return
upon the whole Im happy I did not Stay behind as Mr Napier
has been so very Ill I would not have been absent from him
for the World thank God he begins to get pretty well again
Colonel Douglass will soon be at Northampton for two days to bring
his family to Stafford where he has hired a House four
troops stay here & two goes there till further orders -- Sir John
Cust & the other Gentlemen have been very diligent to find
out the extent of this affair which proves a deeper laid Scheme
& more Mischievous than was at first apprehended however
they did not choose to try their forces with that of this Regiment
& the Justices very wisely have hitherto sent only Constables
& Militia to enforce their orders where they have been
Resisted so our people remain in Quiet thus have
I obey'd your commands en long et en Large by telling
you every thing that has happened us if it fatigues You
blame yourself for engaging in a Correspondence too
agreeable to me to be easily given up on my Side
pray tell me all about Yourselves & a little about
your Babylonians our friends have not yet left London
Mr Napier & the Children join me in offers of our
best respects to you Mr & Miss Hamilton Mary Says
I want to see Cousin Mary again so does her Brother
though he is ashamed to talk of it I think they could
contrive to have a fine Romp here altogether. believe



me to be Dear Madam
                                                         Your most Faithful
                                                         & most Humble Servant
Mary Ann Napier


Direct to me
at Boston
I'm sorry I have no Frank for this Letter.

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quotations,
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 1. An edited version of this letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 5-7).
 2. 'The chorus of barking raised by hounds in immediate conflict with a hunted animal' (OED s.v. bay n.4, 2a).
 3. Misspelled French idiom en long et en large 'in detail, in full'.
 4. These three lines appear to the left of the signature.
 5. This line appears at the bottom of p.3, written upside down, and is split in half and reversed by unfolding.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Mrs Napier to Mary Hamilton's mother

Shelfmark: HAM/1/19/1

Correspondence Details

Author: Lady Mary Ann Napier (née Cathcart)

Place sent: Boston

Addressee: Mary Catherine Hamilton (née Dufresne)

Place received: Northampton (certainty: medium)

Date sent: 24 July 1768

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Anne Napier [née Cathcart (1727-1774), later Lady Napier, married William, 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton's mother [Mary Catherine Hamilton née Dufresne]. It details their movements, especially Mr Napier's sudden illness in Peterborough, which forced them to stay 'in the worst Inn [...] & with the most Inhuman people in England'.
    Dated at Boston, [Lincolnshire].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 834 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 2017/18 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Georgia Tutt, MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Qianru Li, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2018)

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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