Single Letter

HAM/1/19/33

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text

[1]
14th-

marriage

      Canterbury Feby 11th- 1773
Yours My dearest Mary of the 4th & 5th- inclosing
Mr Hope letter only came to hand last post
where it has been lying I know not but it
has come in an unlucky day to answer it
as I am afraid it will not be in my Power
to make this a long one having many to write
but would not delay it, as you ʃeem to be
deʃirous to know about my health which I
thank God is at present very well tho I have
a small Cough which in this weather is not
surprising as the Snow is now lying deeper
here than ever remembered by the oldest
person in the County with a very hard
frost. It gives me the greatest pleasure
imaginable to hear from you that Mrs-
Hamilton is so very well believe me she
has my most ʃincere Wish that her health
may continue that you may both be
bliʃsing to one another. Indeed My dear
Girl I take as great care of my health as
any body can poʃsible do, tho I own was I



with you I might still be induced to take
more in purpose to be nursed by My dear
Ward, which might not be the best way to
be free from Complaints as invalids very
frequently over nurse themʃelves however if
I was free from the little Cough that I have
I dont remember being better for ʃeveral
years than I feel myself this very day, Be
lieve
me no bodys instructions will go farther
with me than yours as I am quite satisfied
that every thing you would deʃire me to do
would be for my advantage. You deʃire to
know whither the Greys come to Northampton
this year or not, it is not as yet decided
whither the Regiment goes to Suffolk or Northampton
the last named place by the rotation we sh.-
most certainly go too but I hear Ld Panmure
is making interest for us to go to Suffolk &
as I am to be from the regiment its much
the ʃame thing to me whither they send
us or not to any of them, had I been to con
tinue
with the regiment this year I should



most certainly have chused to have been with
you but as thats not the case I am very indifferent
where they are sent. What a flattering little Gipʃy
you are with your penetration however as
I can just return the Compliments in the
same way & words I shall only beg you to
remember what you ʃaid about it and
to believe you have just wrote & spoke
my sentiments of yourself exactly and
I make no doubt but the ʃame will last
as long as I do, & I hope I shall never forfeit
those sentiments you are so kind as to
profeʃs for me and believe me had I ever
thought you had any thing of a mere Miʃs I
should never have had any conexion wt you
as I think them one of the greatest plagues
God almighty sends on the earth for the
punishment of our Sins (I dont mean the
Male Sex only, as they are a plague to every
creature they are concerned with) & from
whom Good Lord deliver me & my friends.
I do not My dearest Girl accuse you of vanity as



I most sincerely believe you think every
word of what you write concerning a mutual
attachment, but great care ought to be taken
before any body forms one, especially the
fair Sex with the Male Sex, as those attachments
may be extremely dangerous, especially in
this age where the Men are bred up & indeed
think there is not ʃuch a thing as a virtuous
Woman in the world. (I am ʃorry to ʃay they
have really ʃome reasons for their opinion
at least among the married ones in high life
for ʃome years past) and where attachments
are formed with ʃuch person I am afraid
the Lady commonly comes off with the
worst of it, so I beg My dearest Ward to be
always cautious and never in a hurry to make
friendship's with either Sex especially ours, & I
know was you to be disappointed in any of your
friendships you are by constitution much
too sanguine to take it coolly & give them
up without hurting yourself, so my advice to
[M]y dearest Ward to summer & winter them as the


[2]
proverb ʃays before you form any connexion
with them, People like you with a good honest
affectionate heart are apt to believe every
body is like yourself but believe me My dear
Mary the world is very, very, different from
what they appear, and deceit now ʃeems to be
a science more studied than any of the virtues
ever were -- It give me great pleaʃure to hear
your little Mare is come home tho I beg you'll
take care of yourself when riding her and
always keep a good bridle hand upon her
for fear of Accidents I wish I was near
enough to ride every day with you however
I am happy she has no vicious tricks, & that
she may learn none let nobody ride her
but yourself
on any Account whatsoever
I need say nothing of the kitten but ʃend Compts-
& I am afraid she is poʃsed mending.
You deʃire to know what occaʃsion a Woman
has to take an offer where her heart is not
concerned. In my opinion None but from the
instant a Girl is able to understand any thing she



is told she must have a Husband by Mother, Maid,
& viʃitors till ʃuch time as her little head
is full of nothing elʃe & she believes it the
summum bonum of this Life and the
thoughts of being that detested thing an old
Maid frights Miʃs so that rather than wait
till she meets with a Man that can engage
her heart and make her happy she takes
the first offer as Mama tells her that
good ones dont come every day, so Miʃs
is married, (as Love is to come afterwards)
and finds herself in a few months a most
miserable animal especially if she is
unfortunate enough to see a man she
likes better than her Husband now My
dearest Mary have I not anʃwer'd your question
Yea, or Nay, is not what I say com̄only the
Case I refer to Mrs- Hamilton if you chuse
an umpire in the mean time My dearest Girl
believe me most Affctly- yours W. N.-
remember me particularly to
Mrs- Hamilton & please send ye inclosed to Mr Hope

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


Notes


 1. Edited extracts from this letter and others appear in an unbroken sequence in Anson & Anson (1925: 21-2).
 2. The PDF image has page 5 (column 2 of image 2) and page 6 (image 4) in reverse order.

Normalised Text




      Canterbury February 11th- 1773
Yours My dearest Mary of the 4th & 5th- enclosing
Mr Hope letter only came to hand last post
where it has been lying I know not but it
has come in an unlucky day to answer it
as I am afraid it will not be in my Power
to make this a long one having many to write
but would not delay it, as you seem to be
desirous to know about my health which I
thank God is at present very well though I have
a small Cough which in this weather is not
surprising as the Snow is now lying deeper
here than ever remembered by the oldest
person in the County with a very hard
frost. It gives me the greatest pleasure
imaginable to hear from you that Mrs-
Hamilton is so very well believe me she
has my most sincere Wish that her health
may continue that you may both be
blessing to one another. Indeed My dear
Girl I take as great care of my health as
any body can possible do, though I own was I



with you I might still be induced to take
more in purpose to be nursed by My dear
Ward, which might not be the best way to
be free from Complaints as invalids very
frequently over nurse themselves however if
I was free from the little Cough that I have
I dont remember being better for several
years than I feel myself this very day, Believe
me no bodys instructions will go farther
with me than yours as I am quite satisfied
that every thing you would desire me to do
would be for my advantage. You desire to
know whether the Greys come to Northampton
this year or not, it is not as yet decided
whether the Regiment goes to Suffolk or Northampton
the last named place by the rotation we should
most certainly go to but I hear Lord Panmure
is making interest for us to go to Suffolk &
as I am to be from the regiment its much
the same thing to me whether they send
us or not to any of them, had I been to continue
with the regiment this year I should



most certainly have choosed to have been with
you but as thats not the case I am very indifferent
where they are sent. What a flattering little Gipsy
you are with your penetration however as
I can just return the Compliments in the
same way & words I shall only beg you to
remember what you said about it and
to believe you have just wrote & spoke
my sentiments of yourself exactly and
I make no doubt but the same will last
as long as I do, & I hope I shall never forfeit
those sentiments you are so kind as to
profess for me and believe me had I ever
thought you had any thing of a mere Miss I
should never have had any conexion with you
as I think them one of the greatest plagues
God almighty sends on the earth for the
punishment of our Sins (I dont mean the
Male Sex only, as they are a plague to every
creature they are concerned with) & from
whom Good Lord deliver me & my friends.
I do not My dearest Girl accuse you of vanity as



I most sincerely believe you think every
word of what you write concerning a mutual
attachment, but great care ought to be taken
before any body forms one, especially the
fair Sex with the Male Sex, as those attachments
may be extremely dangerous, especially in
this age where the Men are bred up & indeed
think there is not such a thing as a virtuous
Woman in the world. (I am sorry to say they
have really some reasons for their opinion
at least among the married ones in high life
for some years past) and where attachments
are formed with such person I am afraid
the Lady commonly comes off with the
worst of it, so I beg My dearest Ward to be
always cautious and never in a hurry to make
friendship's with either Sex especially ours, & I
know was you to be disappointed in any of your
friendships you are by constitution much
too sanguine to take it coolly & give them
up without hurting yourself, so my advice to
My dearest Ward to summer & winter them as the



proverb says before you form any connection
with them, People like you with a good honest
affectionate heart are apt to believe every
body is like yourself but believe me My dear
Mary the world is very, very, different from
what they appear, and deceit now seems to be
a science more studied than any of the virtues
ever were -- It give me great pleasure to hear
your little Mare is come home though I beg you'll
take care of yourself when riding her and
always keep a good bridle hand upon her
for fear of Accidents I wish I was near
enough to ride every day with you however
I am happy she has no vicious tricks, & that
she may learn none let nobody ride her
but yourself
on any Account whatsoever
I need say nothing of the kitten but send Compliments
& I am afraid she is possed mending.
You desire to know what occassion a Woman
has to take an offer where her heart is not
concerned. In my opinion None but from the
instant a Girl is able to understand any thing she



is told she must have a Husband by Mother, Maid,
& visitors till such time as her little head
is full of nothing else & she believes it the
summum bonum of this Life and the
thoughts of being that detested thing an old
Maid frights Miss so that rather than wait
till she meets with a Man that can engage
her heart and make her happy she takes
the first offer as Mama tells her that
good ones dont come every day, so Miss
is married, (as Love is to come afterwards)
and finds herself in a few months a most
miserable animal especially if she is
unfortunate enough to see a man she
likes better than her Husband now My
dearest Mary have I not answer'd your question
Yea, or Nay, is not what I say commonly the
Case I refer to Mrs- Hamilton if you choose
an umpire in the mean time My dearest Girl
believe me most Affectionately yours William Napier
remember me particularly to
Mrs- Hamilton & please send the enclosed to Mr Hope

(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications,
quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Edited extracts from this letter and others appear in an unbroken sequence in Anson & Anson (1925: 21-2).
 2. The PDF image has page 5 (column 2 of image 2) and page 6 (image 4) in reverse order.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/19/33

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Northampton (certainty: low)

Date sent: 11 February 1773

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton. He has just received Hamilton's letter and one from John Hope that she enclosed with it. Possibly referring to John Hope, Napier says he is sure that Hamilton believes every word she writes about a 'mutual attachment' but advises that everyone should take great care before actually forming one, women more so than men. He advises her to be cautious and not to be in a hurry to form friendships with either sex especially the male sex. Hamilton is too sanguine a person to 'take it easily & give them up [friendships] without hurting yourself'. Hamilton, with her 'affectionate heart' is apt to believe that every body is like her and Napier asks her to believe him when he says that the world is very different from what it appears to be. '[D]eceit now seems to be a science more studied than any of the virtues'.
    Napier also writes of Hamilton's desire to know 'on what occasion a woman has to take an offer where her heart is not concerned'. In Napier's opinion there is none, but he notes that from the 'instant a girl is able to understand anything, she is told she must have a Husband, by Mother, maid & visitors, till such time as her little head is full of nothing else & she believes it the summum bonum of this life and the thoughts of being that detested thing an old Maid frights Miss so that rather than wait till she meets with a Man that can engage her heart & make her happy she takes the first offer as Mama tells her that good ones dont come every day'. After which she finds herself miserable, especially if she later sees a man she likes better than her husband. Napier asks if this answers her question.
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1118 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 2018/19 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Chenming Gao, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Seren Morgan-Roberts, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted June 2019)

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

Document Image (pdf)