Single Letter

HAM/1/19/30

Letter from Mrs Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


My Dear Madam

      Your obligeing Letter & Your & Mrs
Hamiltons kindneʃs meritted an earlier acknowled
=gement
than it has been in my power to offer
Mr Napier was too much charmed wt yr Company
to expect he'd spare you a Moment to write to me
believe me the only Letters Ive had from him were
filled with nothing but about you & yr Mamma
pray indulge him in yr Correspondance he wants
such agreeable aʃsistances to Support his Spirits
in dull Country Quarters. I’m very sorry Mrs
Hamilton has been so much Indisposed but hope
by this time shes much better & agree wt Mr
Napier in his Prescription of Buxton. I am now
to thank you in Mairie's name & my own for yr
kind present to her: which are come saffe to hand
be asured she stood in need of Nothing to keep you
in her Mind but will wear & prize them infinatly



for your sake she would have wrote her acknowledgements
herself had she not so constant an Engagement at a
french Boarding Schooll where she is a day Boarder
that she has not a Moment to herself the rest of yr
Cousins here join her in their most Affectionate
Remembrances to you & Mrs Hamilton as to Mr
Brown I went to his House & in vain Endevoured to
make him give me a Letter to enclose to yr Mamma
but he asured me he would do it wt out delay
& send it by the Post if he does not: let me know &
I'll attackt him again. by a Letter received last
Post from my Btr[1] dated the 3/14 July[2] I am made very Uneasy
he had been very Ill of a feaver for a fortnight he
then was getting gradualy better & for some timedays had
taken the Bark five times a day & proposed if
no relapse hapned to embark on board the Flora[3]
en famille the Monday fortnight after his Letter
was wrote he says it was the Opinion of the
Physicians that the feaver would be of use to
his Constitution & that the Sea Voyage would serve
to Reastablish his Health: he bids me not wish



to hear again for unleʃs he was worse he would not
write again till in England. though I hope all
is well I cannot help being Anxious where so
much is at Stake.
Im sorry but not Surprized you find poor Miʃs
Litchfield so little better pray give my Love to her
I heartily pity though I fear none of us can
relieve her. All I did was only what Humanity
required. I'm glad she returns to Buxton the Dr
told me he thought it the best chance for her
Recovery to give that place a fair trial which
as yet they had not had from reasons she can
tell You but I fear ev'ry thing considerd her
chance is but precarious.
My best wishes attend Mrs Hamilton my best
affection is ever Yours & I remain my Dear
Miʃs Hamiltons
                                                         Most faithfully &c &c
M A Napier

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Notes


 1. Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart, ambassador in St Petersburg 1768-Aug 1772 (ODNB).
 2. The Julian date is above the line, the Gregorian date below (observation due to Christopher Whittick). The Gregorian calendar had been adopted throughout Britain in 1752 (some aspects much earlier in Scotland), but Russia and other orthodox countries remained on the Julian calendar.
 3. HMS Flora 'sailed for Cronstadt on 2 June 1772, to deliver the new ambassador' [to St Petersburg] (Wikipedia).

Normalised Text


My Dear Madam

      Your obliging Letter & Your & Mrs
Hamiltons kindness merited an earlier acknowledgement
than it has been in my power to offer
Mr Napier was too much charmed with your Company
to expect he'd spare you a Moment to write to me
believe me the only Letters I've had from him were
filled with nothing but about you & your Mamma
pray indulge him in your Correspondence he wants
such agreeable assistances to Support his Spirits
in dull Country Quarters. I’m very sorry Mrs
Hamilton has been so much Indisposed but hope
by this time shes much better & agree with Mr
Napier in his Prescription of Buxton. I am now
to thank you in Mairie's name & my own for your
kind present to her: which are come safe to hand
be assured she stood in need of Nothing to keep you
in her Mind but will wear & prize them infinitely



for your sake she would have wrote her acknowledgements
herself had she not so constant an Engagement at a
french Boarding School where she is a day Boarder
that she has not a Moment to herself the rest of your
Cousins here join her in their most Affectionate
Remembrances to you & Mrs Hamilton as to Mr
Browne I went to his House & in vain Endeavoured to
make him give me a Letter to enclose to your Mamma
but he assured me he would do it with out delay
& send it by the Post if he does not: let me know &
I'll attack him again. by a Letter received last
Post from my Brother dated the 3/14 July I am made very Uneasy
he had been very Ill of a fever for a fortnight he
then was getting gradually better & for some days had
taken the Bark five times a day & proposed if
no relapse happened to embark on board the Flora
en famille the Monday fortnight after his Letter
was wrote he says it was the Opinion of the
Physicians that the fever would be of use to
his Constitution & that the Sea Voyage would serve
to Re-establish his Health: he bids me not wish



to hear again for unless he was worse he would not
write again till in England. though I hope all
is well I cannot help being Anxious where so
much is at Stake.
Im sorry but not Surprised you find poor Miss
Litchfield so little better pray give my Love to her
I heartily pity though I fear none of us can
relieve her. All I did was only what Humanity
required. I'm glad she returns to Buxton the Doctor
told me he thought it the best chance for her
Recovery to give that place a fair trial which
as yet they had not had from reasons she can
tell You but I fear every thing considered her
chance is but precarious.
My best wishes attend Mrs Hamilton my best
affection is ever Yours & I remain my Dear
Miss Hamiltons
                                                         Most faithfully &c &c
Mary Ann Napier

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quotations,
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 1. Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart, ambassador in St Petersburg 1768-Aug 1772 (ODNB).
 2. The Julian date is above the line, the Gregorian date below (observation due to Christopher Whittick). The Gregorian calendar had been adopted throughout Britain in 1752 (some aspects much earlier in Scotland), but Russia and other orthodox countries remained on the Julian calendar.
 3. HMS Flora 'sailed for Cronstadt on 2 June 1772, to deliver the new ambassador' [to St Petersburg] (Wikipedia).

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Mrs Napier to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/19/30

Correspondence Details

Author: Lady Mary Ann Napier (née Cathcart)

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: July or August 1772
notBefore July 1772 (precision: high)
notAfter August 1772 (precision: medium)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Anne Napier [later Lady Napier] to Mary Hamilton. She encourages Hamilton to keep up her correspondence with her guardian [William Napier], as it is good for his spirits when he is away in such dull country quarters. She thanks Hamilton on her daughter Maria's behalf for the present she has sent her. Maria [Mairie] is at present a day boarder at school and does not have a moment to herself. She would have written herself, but she is constantly engaged.
    Napier notes that she has visited Mr Browne [who looks after the family estate in Scotland (see HAM/1/19/11)] on her behalf to ask him to give her the letter so that she could forward it to Mrs Hamilton, but he assured her that he would forward it himself. Napier continues her letter on the health of Mrs Litchfield [from Northampton (see HAM/1/9/53)], who is to return to Buxton for the waters.
    The letter can be dated from the reference to Napier's brother and his return from St Petersburg.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 516 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: Yujue Yan, 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: 2 April 2020

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