Single Letter

HAM/1/2/18

Journal-letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


4

June 27 -- 89 -- Bath


      The party to which I was invited consisted only of a Mr. & Mrs
Farmer -- sister to Lady Beaumont -- to whom she has a sickly, peevish
resemblance -- the Air was so cold, that the walk to Lincom & the
Strawberry eating was deferred -- we drank tea with Mrs. Rundell and
parted -- 28. yesterday I sent off a Letter to you -- this morning I
did not go out as I found it neceʃsary to take Castor Oil -- at 7 I
went to Mrs. Hartley's -- Mrs. Orde came soon after me, & Mrs. Holroyd
was prevented from joining us -- I stayed till 9 -- and shd. have left
so agreeable, and so uncommon a Woman with extreme reluctance
if I had not recieved a general invitation to visit her -- She shewed
us several beautiful drawings of a Mr. Pocock's who has taught
the young Ladies at Miʃs More's school for 9 Years -- He was origi-
-nally
a captain of a Ship -- & had a naturally a turn for drawing
upon receiving - proper encouragement from Miʃs Mores he was
induced to prefer drawing Veʃsels to navigating them -- he is
now going to London -- where his genius will now doubt be
rewarded. -- Mrs. Hartley shewed a drawing of her own which She
had done for him, as a return for several which he had given to
her -- She said, "he is the humblest of human beings -- ," that, "he will
take one of Smiths drawings & copy it with infinite pleasure at
the same that in her Opinion he far excells him", -- She read us two
very sensible letters from the younger Cox who is commenced a Travel-
ling
Tutor & is now abroad with a young gentleman -- he described
a canton in Swiʃserland where the most perfect liberty & harmony
reigns amongst the inhabitants. The greatest simplicity of dreʃs
& manners -- he happened to be at a feast held under the Shade
of an immense tree where there was musick & dancing -- the fiddle
is not used there -- he said the musick was so plaintive that [it]
had a very powerful Effect both upon him & his pupil -- from wch, he
concluded that it must affect the Natives still more; which no
doubt was the reason why the Swiʃs are never allowed, (when absent
from their own country) to tune their native strains -- lest it shd.
kindle that amor patriae, which has such a wonderful power
over their minds -- he related a story wch. I will give you as well
as I can recollect -- A woman of fortune in the Canton of Berne at ye age of 76
having conceived a maternal affection for a young Man & wishing
to give him her fortune, married him -- she allowed no other con-
nection
to take place, but sent for a beautiful young woman
to whom She knew the young man was attached -- upon a solemn
promise being mutually given between this young couple that
they would be lawfully married as soon as She died -- the young Wo-
man
was taken into her house, where she lived as the Wife of
the young man & bore him 4 Children -- the extreme felicity of
this family was interrupted by malice or envy & totally destroyed
by an uncommon Instance of Tyranny in the magistrates of (what
is extolled as) a free State -- The Man, upon the discovery of the connec-



[tion]
was compelled to put away the object of his Love which was almost the
immediate cause of her death -- The young Man destroyed himself -- The
good old Woman died shortly from exceʃsive grief & despair and The poor
little orphans of this illfated connection were reduced to Beggary ==
last night we had a sharp frost with Hail Storms -- to day it has snowed
twice -- 29. I called upon Mrs. Holroyd, whom I found in her drawing room
where she has got a picture of Ld. Sheffield by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which
was really a treat to me -- for I never saw a picture of any Master's yt
pleased me more -- how happy I shd. be to have such a picture of
the dear Object of my Love -- - I believe votre mari has been a little nervous
lately -- for I never felt so uncomfortable at being separated from you before
You are every instant before my Eyes -- I wish for you every moment & am
really unhappy to be without you -- I sincerely hope Nothing will ever
happen to remove me again to so great a distance from every thing
that is dear to me in this world & I hope the advantages that I
shall derive from my sejour at this place, will compensate to you for my
Absence -- I staid up an hour with Mrs. Holroyd -- at 6 I went to Mrs. Orde's
& staid an hour & half with her -- /She goes tomorrow to Sandleford/ -- and
then went to Miʃs Milnes -- Mr. & Mrs. Vanbrugh, all alive, were there -- Miʃs
Nicolls -- Mrs. Meynell, Mrs. & Miʃs Isted, who reproached me for not havg
called upon them -- The younger Mr. Isted, a sweet creature, Miʃs Milnes
younger Brother & about a dozen Card players who's names I did not
enquire, except one, who at the first glymse, has a likneʃs of my dear Lady
De Veʃsie -- Miʃs Milnes gave me a friendly invitation to dine there on Wed
nesday
quite en famille -- She says She loves reasonable people, who are
great curiosities at Bath, & begs you will come here in the Winter -- Mr. M.
told me that a day or two ago he went upon the top of Gloucester Cathedrall
to see the dismal sight of all the low lands in that Country & in Worces-
tershire
deluged with Water to an amazing extent -- one gentleman
at Tewksbury has had a 1000£ worth of Hay destroyed & the loʃs to the
whole country will be immense -- Mrs. & Miʃs Isted came away when
I did -- I attended the old Lady home & then b---g[1] Miʃs took my
Arm & I walked with her to Mrs. Bowdler's where She was to sup -- I
desired her to make enquiries about Miʃs Foster -- She returned to me
in the paʃsage with a melancholy Acct. indeed -- "that Miʃs Foster by
the last Acct. was speechleʃs & the faculty had pronounced that her
death must happen in a Week" -- This I fear will overset our
Friend / -- 30 -- After my Leʃsons I took up that infamous paper The
Herald in which was a most scandalous allusion to our worthy
King, under the title of Insanity -- & a paragraph mentioned that
Marchesi[2] had been uncommonly noticed by Miʃs Hamilton, & it was
wonderful what means he could have made use of to gain such influence over
the fair -- I had promised S. Nicolls to drink tea with her this afternoon -- about
5 OClock. I recd. a Note from her to say that She had just recd. a Letter, whh-
wd. hasten her departure from Bath -- & cd. not see me -- suspecting what
was really the truth, that my services wd. be absolutely neceʃsary to her,
I posted away directly & found her in great confusion with all her
things about her & Mrs. Hocker giving every aʃsistance -- Mrs- H. could
not stay & I was obliged to pack up most of Sally's Matters -- This



diverted me exceʃsively, for Sally's Maid is a stiff Methodist & I believe thought
it an Abomination that a Man shd. touch any part of a Womans dreʃs
I repeatedly called for her Smickets[3]. but I cd. hardly create a smile
Sally was pleased as neither She or her maid could have got half the
Clothes into a Trunk, which She did not buy till the last moment, I
left them to cram their odd matters as well as they cd. after I had
secured her Laces & best things properly -- like a great Simpleton
She had got no money but in Bath bank bills -- which wd. have
been of no use to her any where else -- & the Banks were shut --
I gave her change for two & with some trouble got the rest con
verted
into Cash -- thō She was to go the next morning She
never thought of securing places in the Coach, which I was oblig
ed
to you -- in short I had a great deal of running about for
this crazy Creature and was quite tired July 1st. This morning
I did not wake as soon as I wished, for thō I made
all the haste that I could, Sally was off about a ¼ of
an hour before I got to the Inn -- which vexed me as
I had promised to see her before She set out -- Ingles called
upon me at 9 -- at one I called upon him & we walked about
The town for an hour -- I bathed last night in the corpora
tion
Baths which are very pleasant. thō more expensive
for the Weather is too cold to bathe in the morning -- I went
to Bed immediately -- & a profuse perspiration came on wh.
continued for a considerable, wch. I rather encouraged as I
have had pains in my limbs since the former bathing, wch.
I attribute to the coldneʃs of the Atmosphere at that tim[e]
I dined at Mrs. Milnes's there was only one Lady, as the young
Man had taken one of flights & I believe is gone to Sweden. I
spent a very pleasant afternoon -- Miʃs M. told me that Ld. Bolin-
broke
[4] was gone off with his half Sister & that Ld. Herbert had
pursued them to Norwich -- I left the Milnes's at 8 & went
to Ingles with whom I stayed an hour -- Mrs. I. was gone
with a Lady to a Cardparty -- /2./ This morng Ingles called
upon me by Appointment, & we walked round Bath, as he
wished to see the New Buildings -- & in the course of it made
two or three proposals of Excursions, to all which I started
objections, however I at last consented to go with him some
where to day, which goes against the grain, as I lose a Leʃson
upon the Violincello, which I regret, as I'm anxious to get all
the information I can, as there are so many more difficult


[5]
ties
on that instrument than on a piano forte -- I am in momen
tary
expectation of seeing Ingles & am writing as fast as I can that
I may send this off to day -- I have got a ridiculous Idea in my
head, which is, that a certain person /whose ideas of things differ
from ours upon most subjects/ will make a proposal to you of
taking a trip into Lancashire whilst I am out of the Way -- to
this I have always had insuperable Objections, which still remain.
I must tell you, that every Body compliments me upon the
Improvement of my Looks -- it is very lucky that Bath is so
thin of Company or I shd. make sad Havoc with the young
Hearts as my Beauty would be irresistable -- I am very well
and in charming Spirits thank God, for the last day or two --
Write to me my dearest Girl soon, for I'm impatient to
hear from you & off you. my dear Louisa &c &c Isaac is
just come from Ingles -- hang him -- I must go., adieu, adieu
a thousand good wishes attend you all -- I am most Affy. Yr. J. D.



2d. we have a tolerable fine day -- a great deal of rain yesterday
Adieu -- God bless my Love & our dear little Darling -- [6]

Kiʃses
100. for Louisa
from Papa[7]

Mrs Dickenson -- [8]
Taxal
Chapel le frith
Derbyshire

X Post.[9]


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


Notes


 1. The original word, possibly becoming, is obscured by self-correction or censorship.
 2. Luigi Marchesi (1754-1829), Italian castrato singer (Wikipedia).
 3. Smicket 'a woman's smock or chemise; a small smock' (OED).
 4. George Richard St John, 3rd Viscount Bolingbroke and 4th Viscount St John (1761-1824 (Wikipedia).
 5. We have turned the image of the last page upside down for ease of presentation. The pdf image therefore differs from that in Luna.
 6. Moved postscript (ps1) here from bottom of p.3, written upside down.
 7. Moved postscript (ps2) here from bottom of p.3, written upside down after another postscript.
 8. Postmark 'BATH' below address when unfolded.
 9. This line appears above address when unfolded.

Normalised Text



June 27 -- 1789 -- Bath


      The party to which I was invited consisted only of a Mr. & Mrs
Farmer -- sister to Lady Beaumont -- to whom she has a sickly, peevish
resemblance -- the Air was so cold, that the walk to Lyncombe & the
Strawberry eating was deferred -- we drank tea with Mrs. Rundell and
parted -- 28. yesterday I sent off a Letter to you -- this morning I
did not go out as I found it necessary to take Castor Oil -- at 7 I
went to Mrs. Hartley's -- Mrs. Orde came soon after me, & Mrs. Holroyd
was prevented from joining us -- I stayed till 9 -- and should have left
so agreeable, and so uncommon a Woman with extreme reluctance
if I had not received a general invitation to visit her -- She shewed
us several beautiful drawings of a Mr. Pocock's who has taught
the young Ladies at Miss More's school for 9 Years -- He was originally
a captain of a Ship -- & had a naturally a turn for drawing
upon receiving proper encouragement from Miss Mores he was
induced to prefer drawing Vessels to navigating them -- he is
now going to London -- where his genius will no doubt be
rewarded. -- Mrs. Hartley shewed a drawing of her own which She
had done for him, as a return for several which he had given to
her -- She said, "he is the humblest of human beings -- ," that, "he will
take one of Smiths drawings & copy it with infinite pleasure at
the same that in her Opinion he far excels him", -- She read us two
very sensible letters from the younger Cox who is commenced a Travelling
Tutor & is now abroad with a young gentleman -- he described
a canton in Switzerland where the most perfect liberty & harmony
reigns amongst the inhabitants. The greatest simplicity of dress
& manners -- he happened to be at a feast held under the Shade
of an immense tree where there was music & dancing -- the fiddle
is not used there -- he said the music was so plaintive that it
had a very powerful Effect both upon him & his pupil -- from which he
concluded that it must affect the Natives still more; which no
doubt was the reason why the Swiss are never allowed, (when absent
from their own country) to tune their native strains -- lest it should
kindle that amor patriae, which has such a wonderful power
over their minds -- he related a story which I will give you as well
as I can recollect -- A woman of fortune in the Canton of Berne at the age of 76
having conceived a maternal affection for a young Man & wishing
to give him her fortune, married him -- she allowed no other connection
to take place, but sent for a beautiful young woman
to whom She knew the young man was attached -- upon a solemn
promise being mutually given between this young couple that
they would be lawfully married as soon as She died -- the young Woman
was taken into her house, where she lived as the Wife of
the young man & bore him 4 Children -- the extreme felicity of
this family was interrupted by malice or envy & totally destroyed
by an uncommon Instance of Tyranny in the magistrates of (what
is extolled as) a free State -- The Man, upon the discovery of the connection



was compelled to put away the object of his Love which was almost the
immediate cause of her death -- The young Man destroyed himself -- The
good old Woman died shortly from excessive grief & despair and The poor
little orphans of this ill-fated connection were reduced to Beggary ==
last night we had a sharp frost with Hail Storms -- to day it has snowed
twice -- 29. I called upon Mrs. Holroyd, whom I found in her drawing room
where she has got a picture of Lord Sheffield by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which
was really a treat to me -- for I never saw a picture of any Master's that
pleased me more -- how happy I should be to have such a picture of
the dear Object of my Love -- I believe votre mari has been a little nervous
lately -- for I never felt so uncomfortable at being separated from you before
You are every instant before my Eyes -- I wish for you every moment & am
really unhappy to be without you -- I sincerely hope Nothing will ever
happen to remove me again to so great a distance from every thing
that is dear to me in this world & I hope the advantages that I
shall derive from my sejour at this place, will compensate to you for my
Absence -- I stayed up an hour with Mrs. Holroyd -- at 6 I went to Mrs. Orde's
& stayed an hour & half with her -- /She goes tomorrow to Sandleford/ -- and
then went to Miss Milnes -- Mr. & Mrs. Vanbrugh, all alive, were there -- Miss
Nicolls -- Mrs. Meynell, Mrs. & Miss Isted, who reproached me for not having
called upon them -- The younger Mr. Isted, a sweet creature, Miss Milnes
younger Brother & about a dozen Card players whose names I did not
enquire, except one, who at the first glimpse, has a likeness of my dear Lady
De Vessie -- Miss Milnes gave me a friendly invitation to dine there on Wednesday
quite en famille -- She says She loves reasonable people, who are
great curiosities at Bath, & begs you will come here in the Winter -- Mr. Milnes
told me that a day or two ago he went upon the top of Gloucester Cathedral
to see the dismal sight of all the low lands in that Country & in Worcestershire
deluged with Water to an amazing extent -- one gentleman
at Tewksbury has had a 1000£ worth of Hay destroyed & the loss to the
whole country will be immense -- Mrs. & Miss Isted came away when
I did -- I attended the old Lady home & then bg Miss took my
Arm & I walked with her to Mrs. Bowdler's where She was to sup -- I
desired her to make enquiries about Miss Foster -- She returned to me
in the passage with a melancholy Account indeed -- "that Miss Foster by
the last Account was speechless & the faculty had pronounced that her
death must happen in a Week" -- This I fear will overset our
Friend / -- 30 -- After my Lessons I took up that infamous paper The
Herald in which was a most scandalous allusion to our worthy
King, under the title of Insanity -- & a paragraph mentioned that
Marchesi had been uncommonly noticed by Miss Hamilton, & it was
wonderful what means he could have made use of to gain such influence over
the fair -- I had promised Sally Nicolls to drink tea with her this afternoon -- about
5 OClock. I received a Note from her to say that She had just received a Letter, which
would hasten her departure from Bath -- & could not see me -- suspecting what
was really the truth, that my services would be absolutely necessary to her,
I posted away directly & found her in great confusion with all her
things about her & Mrs. Hocker giving every assistance -- Mrs- Hocker could
not stay & I was obliged to pack up most of Sally's Matters -- This



diverted me excessively, for Sally's Maid is a stiff Methodist & I believe thought
it an Abomination that a Man should touch any part of a Womans dress
I repeatedly called for her Smickets. but I could hardly create a smile
Sally was pleased as neither She or her maid could have got half the
Clothes into a Trunk, which She did not buy till the last moment, I
left them to cram their odd matters as well as they could after I had
secured her Laces & best things properly -- like a great Simpleton
She had got no money but in Bath bank bills -- which would have
been of no use to her any where else -- & the Banks were shut --
I gave her change for two & with some trouble got the rest converted
into Cash -- though She was to go the next morning She
never thought of securing places in the Coach, which I was obliged
to do -- in short I had a great deal of running about for
this crazy Creature and was quite tired July 1st. This morning
I did not wake as soon as I wished, for though I made
all the haste that I could, Sally was off about a ¼ of
an hour before I got to the Inn -- which vexed me as
I had promised to see her before She set out -- Ingles called
upon me at 9 -- at one I called upon him & we walked about
The town for an hour -- I bathed last night in the corporation
Baths which are very pleasant. though more expensive
for the Weather is too cold to bathe in the morning -- I went
to Bed immediately -- & a profuse perspiration came on which
continued for a considerable, which I rather encouraged as I
have had pains in my limbs since the former bathing, which
I attribute to the coldness of the Atmosphere at that time
I dined at Mrs. Milnes's there was only one Lady, as the young
Man had taken one of flights & I believe is gone to Sweden. I
spent a very pleasant afternoon -- Miss Milnes told me that Lord Bolingbroke
was gone off with his half Sister & that Lord Herbert had
pursued them to Norwich -- I left the Milnes's at 8 & went
to Ingles with whom I stayed an hour -- Mrs. Ingles was gone
with a Lady to a Card-party -- /2./ This morning Ingles called
upon me by Appointment, & we walked round Bath, as he
wished to see the New Buildings -- & in the course of it made
two or three proposals of Excursions, to all which I started
objections, however I at last consented to go with him some
where to day, which goes against the grain, as I lose a Lesson
upon the Violoncello, which I regret, as I'm anxious to get all
the information I can, as there are so many more difficulties



on that instrument than on a piano forte -- I am in momentary
expectation of seeing Ingles & am writing as fast as I can that
I may send this off to day -- I have got a ridiculous Idea in my
head, which is, that a certain person /whose ideas of things differ
from ours upon most subjects/ will make a proposal to you of
taking a trip into Lancashire whilst I am out of the Way -- to
this I have always had insuperable Objections, which still remain.
I must tell you, that every Body compliments me upon the
Improvement of my Looks -- it is very lucky that Bath is so
thin of Company or I should make sad Havoc with the young
Hearts as my Beauty would be irresistible -- I am very well
and in charming Spirits thank God, for the last day or two --
Write to me my dearest Girl soon, for I'm impatient to
hear from you & of you. my dear Louisa &c &c Isaac is
just come from Ingles -- hang him -- I must go., adieu, adieu
a thousand good wishes attend you all -- I am most Affectionately Your John Dickenson



2d. we have a tolerable fine day -- a great deal of rain yesterday
Adieu -- God bless my Love & our dear little Darling --

Kisses
100. for Louisa
from Papa

Mrs Dickenson --
Taxal
Chapel le frith
Derbyshire

X Post.


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



 1. The original word, possibly becoming, is obscured by self-correction or censorship.
 2. Luigi Marchesi (1754-1829), Italian castrato singer (Wikipedia).
 3. Smicket 'a woman's smock or chemise; a small smock' (OED).
 4. George Richard St John, 3rd Viscount Bolingbroke and 4th Viscount St John (1761-1824 (Wikipedia).
 5. We have turned the image of the last page upside down for ease of presentation. The pdf image therefore differs from that in Luna.
 6. Moved postscript (ps1) here from bottom of p.3, written upside down.
 7. Moved postscript (ps2) here from bottom of p.3, written upside down after another postscript.
 8. Postmark 'BATH' below address when unfolded.
 9. This line appears above address when unfolded.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Journal-letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/2/18

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Bath

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Date sent: 2 July 1789

Letter Description

Summary: Journal-letter from John Dickenson to his wife Mary née Hamilton covering the period 27 June-2 July 1789. The letter relates to Dickenson's time at Bath and to his social life whilst in the city, including a visit to a Mrs Holroyd, who he notes had a painting of Lord Sheffield [John Baker Holroyd (1741-1821), first Earl of Sheffield, politician] by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which he writes was really 'a treat' to see, as he 'never saw a picture of any Master's that pleased me more - how happy I sh[oul]d be to have such a picture of the dear Object of my Love'.
    Original reference No. 4.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1943 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: Ana García Maquieira, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2018)

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 2 April 2020

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