Single Letter

HAM/1/19/25

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier

Diplomatic Text


9th-

Canterbury Decb, 20th- 1772

I suppose and make no doubt but My dearest
Mary is surprised at not hearing from
me so long, but tho appearances are
greatly against me, yet I am not afraid
but she will very readily excuse me
when I aʃsure her, it was not want of
affection for her, but want of health
on my Side having been dangerous
ill with a Bowel complaint which at=
=tacked
me the day after I had your
last letter & indeed stop'd all my Corres=
=pondance
which I now by degrees
begin to open again, dont mention
this when you write to Mrs Napier
as I was oblig'd to own only a little
sickneʃs to her However thank God
I am greatly mended & ride out every
day again, it pleases me greatly yt.
you have taken to riding as I was





really uneaʃy at your too sedentary Life
and believe me My dearest Girl nothing
hurts young people so much and I speak
I am ʃorry to say from ʃad experience
as nobody that I know of took so little ex=
=ercise
as I did till very lately tho I'm
afraid I began too late in Life to do me
much good now, however the proverb
says better late as never, so I am trying
to get health again, by the very thing
which would have preʃerved it had I
been wise enough to have always
practised it. I have likeway another
reaʃon to be glad that you ride wh-
is I own a selfish one /but I know my
dearest Girl will even excuse that/ Viz
that I shall be happy in riding out every
day with her when we are at Buxton.
Apropos I have a quarrel with you, how
comes it that you pay the post in yr



letters to me I dont take that well
from you so I beg no more of that
when you have franks Good, when none
pray let letters be delivered before they
are paid for, as the Postage is nothing
& when sent post pd- they are com̄only
smugled for the money & I would much
rather pay five thousand times for
yours as have one miscarry. When
I was ill I ordered a Collar of Brawn to
be ʃent to Mrs- Hamilton & wrote the
derection myself, but was not able to
write You at the ʃame time I hope she
recd it ʃafe & that it was good, but
pray let me know every thing about
it, as the maker ʃent me word that
she had taken double pains upon that
very Collar as I was an old acquaintance
so if it was not right, and Good, I'll scold
not a little; Please my best Compts- t[o]



your Mama & I hope You both will accept
those of the Seaʃon as I most ʃincerely
mean from the bottom of my heart
You'll observe that I have not anʃwered
one word of your last but abt, Yr riding
the reaʃon is I keep it to anʃwer when I
am more able to write a long letter
but believe me My dearest Mary that
its not in my nature to be angry wt
you my Love, Friendʃhip, & regard for you
is by far too great to allow me to be so
was it poʃsible you could give me any
reaʃon, but where Miʃs Hamilton profeʃses
a friendʃhip & regard I am quite ʃure she
never will give that friend any reaʃon
to ʃay she does not keep up to it. So my
dearest Girl write on & open Yr Heart to
me always ʃincerely & you'll make me
happy Adieu My dearest Mary believe
me ever Yours most Affctly-
WmNapier
--
my next will be longer but pray write me soon --

-- Compliments of ye season to ye kitten -- [1]

(hover over blue text or annotations for clarification;
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Notes


 1. Moved postscript here from bottom of p.1.

Normalised Text



Canterbury December, 20th- 1772

I suppose and make no doubt but My dearest
Mary is surprised at not hearing from
me so long, but though appearances are
greatly against me, yet I am not afraid
but she will very readily excuse me
when I assure her, it was not want of
affection for her, but want of health
on my Side having been dangerous
ill with a Bowel complaint which attacked
me the day after I had your
last letter & indeed stop'd all my Correspondence
which I now by degrees
begin to open again, don't mention
this when you write to Mrs Napier
as I was oblig'd to own only a little
sickness to her However thank God
I am greatly mended & ride out every
day again, it pleases me greatly that
you have taken to riding as I was





really uneasy at your too sedentary Life
and believe me My dearest Girl nothing
hurts young people so much and I speak
I am sorry to say from sad experience
as nobody that I know of took so little exercise
as I did till very lately though I'm
afraid I began too late in Life to do me
much good now, however the proverb
says better late as never, so I am trying
to get health again, by the very thing
which would have preserved it had I
been wise enough to have always
practised it. I have likeways another
reason to be glad that you ride which
is I own a selfish one /but I know my
dearest Girl will even excuse that/ Viz
that I shall be happy in riding out every
day with her when we are at Buxton.
Apropos I have a quarrel with you, how
comes it that you pay the post in your



letters to me I don't take that well
from you so I beg no more of that
when you have franks Good, when none
pray let letters be delivered before they
are paid for, as the Postage is nothing
& when sent post paid they are commonly
smuggled for the money & I would much
rather pay five thousand times for
yours as have one miscarry. When
I was ill I ordered a Collar of Brawn to
be sent to Mrs- Hamilton & wrote the
direction myself, but was not able to
write You at the same time I hope she
received it safe & that it was good, but
pray let me know every thing about
it, as the maker sent me word that
she had taken double pains upon that
very Collar as I was an old acquaintance
so if it was not right, and Good, I'll scold
not a little; Please my best Compliments- to



your Mama & I hope You both will accept
those of the Season as I most sincerely
mean from the bottom of my heart
You'll observe that I have not answered
one word of your last but about Your riding
the reason is I keep it to answer when I
am more able to write a long letter
but believe me My dearest Mary that
its not in my nature to be angry with
you my Love, Friendship, & regard for you
is by far too great to allow me to be so
was it possible you could give me any
reason, but where Miss Hamilton professes
a friendship & regard I am quite sure she
never will give that friend any reason
to say she does not keep up to it. So my
dearest Girl write on & open Your Heart to
me always sincerely & you'll make me
happy Adieu My dearest Mary believe
me ever Yours most Affectionately
William Napier
--
my next will be longer but pray write me soon --

-- Compliments of the season to the kitten --

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quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Moved postscript here from bottom of p.1.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from William 7th Lord Napier

Shelfmark: HAM/1/19/25

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 20 December 1772

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton. He apologises for not writing sooner but he has been dangerously ill with a bowel complaint. He asks that she not mention this when she writes to Mrs Napier, as he has only acknowledged that he was slightly sick to her. Napier is pleased that Hamilton has started riding, as he was uneasy about her sedentary lifestyle. He is happy for a more selfish reason and that is that they can now go riding together when they are in Buxton. The letter continues on the subject of postage and of his sending Hamilton a brown collar in the post which was made by an acquaintance of his.
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 639 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: Shiqi 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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