Single Letter

HAM/1/19/40

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


21st-

about Cathcart
family

21

      Canterbury Apl- 26th- 1773[1]

      Since I got yours My dearest Mary I have been
mostly confinded to Bed with my old Bowel complaint
& indeed every uneaʃineʃs I have sends me a visit
of that sort, the Hurry at first upon My Fathers
death & that of one of my greatest friends who
died a few hours after him for some time
keeped my thoughts employ'd as I had a
good deal to do, as I thought, but finding I
really had nothing to do & that every thing
was ordered without giving myself any trouble
than reflection & a sensibility I have in my
nature began to give me disturbance &
was confined really very ill in bed for four
days but I hope I am now getting pretty
well again as My Phiʃician only now says he
visits me as a friend so hope from that, that he
thinks all the bad is over -- You do me but
justice My dear Ward when you say that writing
to Col or Ld Napier you think the ʃame, believe
me my regard & friendʃhip will ever continue



the ʃame for you, espicially as I flatter myself that
you will ever act up to those ʃentiments I know
you are Miʃstriʃs off, which if you do every body
of your acquaintance must be happy in your
friendʃhip. You ask much abt Miʃs Cathcarts
marriage I really do not believe it, as I have
not been made acquainted with it, not in
most distant manner nor do I believe there
is any thing of it at present but as she is a
very fine amiable Young Lady I should be
more surprised at her not going to be
married should a proper match be proposed
than to hear of it being settled, the other
two young Ladys grown up dont yeild in
my opinion to their eldest Sister as they
likeways most amiable young Ladys and
as handʃome as I would wish them, so
conʃidering my partiality for my Neices
out of the question I'll turn them out against
any family I know of the ʃame number for
every accomplishment whatsoever. The



youngest little Kitty one of the finest children
I ever ʃay as likeways the youngest Son, the
two eldest Gentlemen are in Scotland, My Lord
himself I think looks better than he did when
he went to Ruʃsia & in better spirits, He
Goes ʃome time next Month for Scotland
in a publick Character where I hope to meet
him & to see you abt. the end of May in paʃsing
to Buxton where I still hope to get for three
weeks nor have I changed my motions in
the least from my old designs -- I beg you
may anʃwer me one question, You ʃeem to
know very little about your Uncle Cathcarts
family & I thought they seemed to know
as little about you or Mrs Hamilton, are there
any dryneʃs between you or not, or do you
not write to them concerning yourself
or Mama, I can see a little reason for your
dryneʃs with regard to Mr F. Hamilton &
family but that can be nothing to My Lord
& Sir William that should make a shyneʃs



between them & you. I beg an anʃwer by return of
the post as I dont propose staying but a few
days longer at Canterbury whatever you say
shall be confined entirely to my own breast
nor shall any ever hear of it from me
Adieu My dearest Ward Remember me most
affctly to Mrs Hamilton & believe me to be
with great truth Your most Affct Guardian
Napier --


Let me know what is become
of Mr Hope & where he is

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


Notes


 1. Three extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 22-3).

Normalised Text





      Canterbury April 26th- 1773

      Since I got yours My dearest Mary I have been
mostly confined to Bed with my old Bowel complaint
& indeed every uneasiness I have sends me a visit
of that sort, the Hurry at first upon My Fathers
death & that of one of my greatest friends who
died a few hours after him for some time
kept my thoughts employ'd as I had a
good deal to do, as I thought, but finding I
really had nothing to do & that every thing
was ordered without giving myself any trouble
then reflection & a sensibility I have in my
nature began to give me disturbance &
was confined really very ill in bed for four
days but I hope I am now getting pretty
well again as My Physician only now says he
visits me as a friend so hope from that, that he
thinks all the bad is over -- You do me but
justice My dear Ward when you say that writing
to Colonel or Lord Napier you think the same, believe
me my regard & friendship will ever continue



the same for you, especially as I flatter myself that
you will ever act up to those sentiments I know
you are Mistress of, which if you do every body
of your acquaintance must be happy in your
friendship. You ask much about Miss Cathcarts
marriage I really do not believe it, as I have
not been made acquainted with it, not in
most distant manner nor do I believe there
is any thing of it at present but as she is a
very fine amiable Young Lady I should be
more surprised at her not going to be
married should a proper match be proposed
than to hear of it being settled, the other
two young Ladys grown up don't yield in
my opinion to their eldest Sister as they
likeways most amiable young Ladys and
as handsome as I would wish them, so
considering my partiality for my Nieces
out of the question I'll turn them out against
any family I know of the same number for
every accomplishment whatsoever. The



youngest little Kitty one of the finest children
I ever say as likeways the youngest Son, the
two eldest Gentlemen are in Scotland, My Lord
himself I think looks better than he did when
he went to Russia & in better spirits, He
Goes some time next Month for Scotland
in a public Character where I hope to meet
him & to see you about the end of May in passing
to Buxton where I still hope to get for three
weeks nor have I changed my motions in
the least from my old designs -- I beg you
may answer me one question, You seem to
know very little about your Uncle Cathcarts
family & I thought they seemed to know
as little about you or Mrs Hamilton, are there
any dryness between you or not, or do you
not write to them concerning yourself
or Mama, I can see a little reason for your
dryness with regard to Mr Frederick Hamilton &
family but that can be nothing to My Lord
& Sir William that should make a shyness



between them & you. I beg an answer by return of
the post as I don't propose staying but a few
days longer at Canterbury whatever you say
shall be confined entirely to my own breast
nor shall any ever hear of it from me
Adieu My dearest Ward Remember me most
affectionately to Mrs Hamilton & believe me to be
with great truth Your most Affectionate Guardian
Napier --


Let me know what is become
of Mr Hope & where he is

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quotations,
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 1. Three extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 22-3).

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/1/19/40

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Northampton (certainty: medium)

Date sent: 26 April 1773

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier, 7th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton. He writes of being ill and confined to bed, and of the deaths in quick succession of his father and of one of his greatest friends. In response to an enquiry Hamilton had made about a report of the engagement of one of Lord Cathcart's daughters, Napier replies that he does not believe there is anything in the rumour, as he has not been told of it, but as she is 'a very fine amiable Young Lady' he would be more surprised that she was not getting married 'should a proper match be proposed'. He continues on the subject of his nieces and their accomplishments, and of other members of the Cathcart family. Napier asks Hamilton why she seems to know very little about her Uncle Cathcart's family, and why they seem to know as little about her. He asks if there is any 'dryness' between them, or does she not write to them about herself and her mother? He can see 'a little reason for your dryness with regard to Mr F. [Frederick] Hamilton & his family but that can be nothing to My Lord & Sir William that should make a shyness between them & you'.
    Napier ends his letter by asking Hamilton to let him know what has become of John Hope and where he is.
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 622 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: Tiffany Winterburn, 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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