Single Letter

HAM/1/19/35

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


16th-
      Canterbury March 3d 1773
I was favored with My dearest Mary's letter
dated the last day of Feby last night for wh-
I most Sincerely thank her & am quite happy
to find that Mrs- Hamilton & you are both
well, indeed My Dear Girl Your stile shews
it & I find by it that you are quite happy
& free from all disagreeable thoughts
& in high spirits altho your subject was ra=
ther
a grave one for a young Lady of your
Age, but my surprise is now at an end as you
so very far excell any of them I have the
honor to know & whos disposition is so very
amiable that it must be the greatest plea
=sure
to your friends in having a place
in your friendship & the greatest comfort
in the World to Mrs Hamilton in having
such a Daughter to be continually with her
to repay these Cares which she once took
of her in her younger days & indeed its
the only way left for Children to repay the



many anxious moments Parents has about
their Childrenthem both when young & grown up
& I am sorry to say that the older they
grow, their gratatude declines greatly in
but too many and some times to the horred
though of wishing them gone for ever that
they may the more easily gratify some fa=
vorite
paʃsion or other -- Your Situation in
Life My dear Girl to a mind like yours is
truely enviable /but how few can enjoy such
a mind/ in having a Mother that knows & does
indulge her daughter in every thing she
deʃires, being aʃsured at the same time
that she never does or will deʃire any
thing but whats reasonable there the
Mother is I think full as enviable as
the Daughter if not more so, as nothing
can give a Parent so much joy as to find
their Children what they could wish
as for my Friendship in the most sincere
way you may always depend upon, as



to instructions the Guardian must come
to his amiable Ward but if she should
at any time think otherwise the very
best on any subject she deʃires she shall
always have & may command when
she pleaʃes -- I will not dispute with either
you or Mr Fordyce[1] whither we should turn
from all Vanity's, & Vice, or not /I mean
the obʃerving of them/ but will only put
you in mind that I was writing to Miʃs
Hamilton, Mr Fordyce to young Women
in general which makes a great difference
when a Mind is weak & eaʃily carried of by
a bad example then the turning from
Vanity & Vice is not only right, but ab=
solutely
neceʃsary, but when a Mind is
properly cultivated when young by the
best of educations, must not that mind
be strengthened to good when it sees others
unhappy by following vanity & Vice, & must
not that mind still with greater energy praise



God for the Great advantages that good education
has given them over those weak minds that
goes on in the bad way. Its a doubt with me
but you both agree with me, he preaches to ye
weak, not the strong, and our Saviour says
he came not to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance the parable of the Fig tree
is I think likeways on my side, but I so far
agree with you both, that its better not to
know vices at all, than gain knowledge by
knowing it, but when one lives in this world
I am afraid that it will be impoʃsible at
least not to see it almost every moment
in some thing or other -- I am
afraid I have lost a Correspondant in Mr-
Hope /he may not like my instructions
so well/ for some time but he gave ------me an
opirtunity, it lay in my way, & I found it
as Falstaff says Hotspur did rebellion & in confidence to you,
you yourself was the Subject. I must now give
over but will contrive if poʃsible to add more
before the post goes out to night. Juʃt as I was



sitting down to add a little more a
Mr Dunkerley /a Son of the late Kings/
an old friend of mine came in from
London to See me & is sitting by me
so you will I know excuse me Please
my Compts- to Mrs- Hamilton & believe
me to be My Dearest Mary most
affctly Yours --

you shall know every thing about our
change of quarters from this, after
the review we go to Norwich, Bury,
Ipswich & Sudbery once more My dear
est
Girl Adieu --



To Miʃs Hamilton
------------

------------ Sawbridge

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


Notes


 1. Rev. James Fordyce (1720–1796), 'Sermons to Young Women'.

Normalised Text



      Canterbury March 3d 1773
I was favored with My dearest Mary's letter
dated the last day of February last night for which
I most Sincerely thank her & am quite happy
to find that Mrs- Hamilton & you are both
well, indeed My Dear Girl Your style shews
it & I find by it that you are quite happy
& free from all disagreeable thoughts
& in high spirits although your subject was rather
a grave one for a young Lady of your
Age, but my surprise is now at an end as you
so very far excel any of them I have the
honor to know & whose disposition is so very
amiable that it must be the greatest pleasure
to your friends in having a place
in your friendship & the greatest comfort
in the World to Mrs Hamilton in having
such a Daughter to be continually with her
to repay these Cares which she once took
of her in her younger days & indeed its
the only way left for Children to repay the



many anxious moments Parents has about
them both when young & grown up
& I am sorry to say that the older they
grow, their gratitude declines greatly in
but too many and some times to the horrid
thought of wishing them gone for ever that
they may the more easily gratify some favorite
passion or other -- Your Situation in
Life My dear Girl to a mind like yours is
truly enviable /but how few can enjoy such
a mind/ in having a Mother that knows & does
indulge her daughter in every thing she
desires, being assured at the same time
that she never does or will desire any
thing but whats reasonable there the
Mother is I think full as enviable as
the Daughter if not more so, as nothing
can give a Parent so much joy as to find
their Children what they could wish
as for my Friendship in the most sincere
way you may always depend upon, as



to instructions the Guardian must come
to his amiable Ward but if she should
at any time think otherwise the very
best on any subject she desires she shall
always have & may command when
she pleases -- I will not dispute with either
you or Mr Fordyce whether we should turn
from all Vanity's, & Vice, or not /I mean
the observing of them/ but will only put
you in mind that I was writing to Miss
Hamilton, Mr Fordyce to young Women
in general which makes a great difference
when a Mind is weak & easily carried off by
a bad example then the turning from
Vanity & Vice is not only right, but absolutely
necessary, but when a Mind is
properly cultivated when young by the
best of educations, must not that mind
be strengthened to good when it sees others
unhappy by following vanity & Vice, & must
not that mind still with greater energy praise



God for the Great advantages that good education
has given them over those weak minds that
goes on in the bad way. Its a doubt with me
but you both agree with me, he preaches to the
weak, not the strong, and our Saviour says
he came not to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance the parable of the Fig tree
is I think likeways on my side, but I so far
agree with you both, that its better not to
know vices at all, than gain knowledge by
knowing it, but when one lives in this world
I am afraid that it will be impossible at
least not to see it almost every moment
in some thing or other -- I am
afraid I have lost a Correspondent in Mr-
Hope /he may not like my instructions
so well/ for some time but he gave me an
opportunity, it lay in my way, & I found it
as Falstaff says Hotspur did rebellion & in confidence to you,
you yourself was the Subject. I must now give
over but will contrive if possible to add more
before the post goes out to night. Just as I was



sitting down to add a little more a
Mr Dunkerley /a Son of the late Kings/
an old friend of mine came in from
London to See me & is sitting by me
so you will I know excuse me Please
my Compliments to Mrs- Hamilton & believe
me to be My Dearest Mary most
affectionately Yours --

you shall know every thing about our
change of quarters from this, after
the review we go to Norwich, Bury,
Ipswich & Sudbury once more My dearest
Girl Adieu --



To Miss Hamilton
------------

------------ Sawbridge

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



 1. Rev. James Fordyce (1720–1796), 'Sermons to Young Women'.

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/1/19/35

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 3 March 1773

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton. He writes a sermonizing letter on vices and vanities, and of Hamilton's personality and qualities. Napier writes that Hamilton's mind 'is truly enviable' and that she has a mother who 'indulges her daughter in every thing she desires' knowing that she does not want anything that is not reasonable. He then turns to his correspondence with John Hope (see HAM/1/6/8), which had been on the subject of Hamilton herself, observing that 'he may not like my instructions so well'. [Napier provides no further information on the correspondence.]
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 787 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: Jane Neal, 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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