Single Letter

HAM/1/2/2

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


recd April 12th. 1785
24

25

MarchApril 7 -- I am now ma chere Amie at
my estimable friend's, at Moston near
Chester -- Mrs. Mosley[1] has lately present[ed]
her husband with a very fine Boy, and
I came here to make him personally
my Complts. of Congratulation -- Mr. M-[2]
has given me a convincing proof of his
friendship for me -- which may be of Servic[e]
to us -- he wishes very much that I wd.
contrive to live near him in Staffordshir[e]
where he is building an house -- which is
only a few miles distant from yr- amiable
Relation Lady F. Harpur -- in a cheap & pleasant
country -- we shd. be excellent Neighbours --
for we have a very great regard for each other
and I must do him the justice to say -- that
he poʃseses the best Heart and the best princi



ples
of any Man I ever met with -- his failings
(of which he has only a moderate share) are
merely foibles -- Vice of every Kind, he is an
entire and perfect Stranger to -- and his
Virtues have endeared him to me -- he has
a good fortune and lives within it --
On the 3d I wrote to my dear Mary and on
the 5th- came here to spend a few days -- The
Assizes are now at Chester -- 6th. We paʃsed
the greatest part of our time in hearing
the trials of the poor Culprits -- one Man was
condemned for burglary -- Pepper Arden my
Lord Judge -- was so much affected previous to
the delivery of the awful Sentence, that I thought
he wd. not have been able to have gone thrō. it
We dined with a relation of mine -- who lately
married a Lady with a fortune of 3000£ -- and the
pretty creature, to shew her taste -- laid out
no more than 5000£ for the furniture of their
house -- in the evening we returned to the



Castle to hear a curious trial -- in consequence
of an Action that was brought against a Man
for presuming to give a young Lady a Kiʃs --
as to my part, I hardly understand the meaning
of the word -- but hope that you will not
allways allow me to remain in a State of
Ignorance -- This extraordinary trial -- lasted
5 hours -- in the course of it a very beautiful
Woman of Character underwent a long Examination to the
infinite entertainment of the Court -- I was
quite in pain for her -- The poor Man was
condemned to pay a fine of 20 Shillings, and
probably would pay it with the greatest Reluctan[ce]
and think the favor a very dear purchase --
How superlatively happy shd. I be to steal a
Kiʃs from my deareʃt and most amiable friend
and afterwards be condemned to take a 1000
more -- that pleasure I hope will not be
long denied to me -- as a little time
will give me a right to claim that favor



won't you say that I am very impertinent
or some such sort of thing? -- Had I been
a determined old Batchelor -- the happineʃs
which my friend enjoys with his amiable
Partner would have staggered the firmest
resolutions -- I never saw two people more
adapted for each other, and consequently are
as happy as they can be in this world --
Mr. M- has been upon many Accounts extremely
fortunate -- from his strong partiality to
a domestick Life -- which I think he carries
too far -- there was great reason to suppose
that he would not meet with a woman of
his turn of Mind -- particularly when fortune
alone
was the first Consideration -- in
this instance he has been succeʃsful, as Mrs. M
is every thing he cd. poʃsibly wish, and has
brought him a fortune of 40,000£ -- and



much more is settled upon his Children --
He tells me, that he does not know what
will become of him if his Father should
die before him -- for an increase of income
of 5000£ a Year wd ruin his happineʃs,
as he would not know how to make a proper
use of so much Money -- his present In-
-come
being fully adequate to supply
all his Neceʃsities, and to procure him
all the enjoyments of Life that would
be suitable to his Ideas and disposition
I have heard of an instance of generosity
in the Inhabitants of Chester, which
pleased me -- there was lately a dreadful
Fever in the town which raged with the
greatest violence amongst the poor American
Refugees -- A Mr. Skinner who had given



up an Estate in America of 3000£ a Year was
attacked, to gether with his wife, and a
beautiful and amiable Daughter, with
this dire disease -- they were reduced to
the last extreme of misery and despair, not
having a single morsel of Bread or one
poor penny in the world -- their situation
being made known to the opulent -- there were
none who were blest with tender feelings
that did not contribute to the relief
of this unhappy family -- a great many
Bank Notes were sent to them in blank
Covers, and presents were made to them, in
such a manner, as could not wound their
delicacy -- to the amount of 260£ in one day --
This unfortunate Man was bereft of his
Wife and D- -- and upon his recovery, being ------the first
time he went to church he gave thanks



publickly for the restoration of his Health -- to
his Maker -- and expreʃsed his Gratitude to his
unknown and generous Benefactors in a
very handsome Manner. -- --

I don't know my very dear friend how
long I shall remain here -- I believe it will
be neceʃsary for me to be in Lancashire in
a few days -- Mr. M- has had half an Inclina
-tion
to treat with me about T-axal -- Mos[t]
probably I shall be at home the beginn[ing]
of next week -- You are constantly in my
Thoughts -- both Night and Day -- I long to
see you again to tell you how much I Love
you -- Our next happy Meeting will unite
us for Ever and Ever -- Adieu my Love
      I am always and forever will be
                             Yr. J. Dickenson --
God bleʃs you




Miʃs Hamilton
Clarges Street
London

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


Notes


 1. Elizabeth Mosley (née Tonman).
 2. Oswald Mosley (1761-1789). The son, also named Oswald, later became an MP.

Normalised Text





April 7 -- I am now ma chere Amie at
my estimable friend's, at Moston near
Chester -- Mrs. Mosley has lately presented
her husband with a very fine Boy, and
I came here to make him personally
my Compliments of Congratulation -- Mr. Mosley
has given me a convincing proof of his
friendship for me -- which may be of Service
to us -- he wishes very much that I would
contrive to live near him in Staffordshire
where he is building an house -- which is
only a few miles distant from your amiable
Relation Lady Frances Harpur -- in a cheap & pleasant
country -- we should be excellent Neighbours --
for we have a very great regard for each other
and I must do him the justice to say -- that
he posseses the best Heart and the best principles



of any Man I ever met with -- his failings
(of which he has only a moderate share) are
merely foibles -- Vice of every Kind, he is an
entire and perfect Stranger to -- and his
Virtues have endeared him to me -- he has
a good fortune and lives within it --
On the 3d I wrote to my dear Mary and on
the 5th- came here to spend a few days -- The
Assizes are now at Chester -- 6th. We passed
the greatest part of our time in hearing
the trials of the poor Culprits -- one Man was
condemned for burglary -- Pepper Arden my
Lord Judge -- was so much affected previous to
the delivery of the awful Sentence, that I thought
he would not have been able to have gone through it
We dined with a relation of mine -- who lately
married a Lady with a fortune of 3000£ -- and the
pretty creature, to show her taste -- laid out
no more than 5000£ for the furniture of their
house -- in the evening we returned to the



Castle to hear a curious trial -- in consequence
of an Action that was brought against a Man
for presuming to give a young Lady a Kiss --
as to my part, I hardly understand the meaning
of the word -- but hope that you will not
always allow me to remain in a State of
Ignorance -- This extraordinary trial -- lasted
5 hours -- in the course of it a very beautiful
Woman of Character underwent a long Examination to the
infinite entertainment of the Court -- I was
quite in pain for her -- The poor Man was
condemned to pay a fine of 20 Shillings, and
probably would pay it with the greatest Reluctance
and think the favor a very dear purchase --
How superlatively happy should I be to steal a
Kiss from my dearest and most amiable friend
and afterwards be condemned to take a 1000
more -- that pleasure I hope will not be
long denied to me -- as a little time
will give me a right to claim that favor



won't you say that I am very impertinent
or some such sort of thing? -- Had I been
a determined old Bachelor -- the happiness
which my friend enjoys with his amiable
Partner would have staggered the firmest
resolutions -- I never saw two people more
adapted for each other, and consequently are
as happy as they can be in this world --
Mr. Mosley has been upon many Accounts extremely
fortunate -- from his strong partiality to
a domestic Life -- which I think he carries
too far -- there was great reason to suppose
that he would not meet with a woman of
his turn of Mind -- particularly when fortune
alone
was the first Consideration -- in
this instance he has been successful, as Mrs. Mosley
is every thing he could possibly wish, and has
brought him a fortune of 40,000£ -- and



much more is settled upon his Children --
He tells me, that he does not know what
will become of him if his Father should
die before him -- for an increase of income
of 5000£ a Year would ruin his happiness,
as he would not know how to make a proper
use of so much Money -- his present Income
being fully adequate to supply
all his Necessities, and to procure him
all the enjoyments of Life that would
be suitable to his Ideas and disposition
I have heard of an instance of generosity
in the Inhabitants of Chester, which
pleased me -- there was lately a dreadful
Fever in the town which raged with the
greatest violence amongst the poor American
Refugees -- A Mr. Skinner who had given



up an Estate in America of 3000£ a Year was
attacked, to gether with his wife, and a
beautiful and amiable Daughter, with
this dire disease -- they were reduced to
the last extreme of misery and despair, not
having a single morsel of Bread or one
poor penny in the world -- their situation
being made known to the opulent -- there were
none who were blessed with tender feelings
that did not contribute to the relief
of this unhappy family -- a great many
Bank Notes were sent to them in blank
Covers, and presents were made to them, in
such a manner, as could not wound their
delicacy -- to the amount of 260£ in one day --
This unfortunate Man was bereft of his
Wife and Daughter -- and upon his recovery, the first
time he went to church he gave thanks



publicly for the restoration of his Health -- to
his Maker -- and expressed his Gratitude to his
unknown and generous Benefactors in a
very handsome Manner. -- --

I don't know my very dear friend how
long I shall remain here -- I believe it will
be necessary for me to be in Lancashire in
a few days -- Mr. Mosley has had half an Inclination
to treat with me about Taxal -- Most
probably I shall be at home the beginning
of next week -- You are constantly in my
Thoughts -- both Night and Day -- I long to
see you again to tell you how much I Love
you -- Our next happy Meeting will unite
us for Ever and Ever -- Adieu my Love
      I am always and forever will be
                             Your John Dickenson --
God bless you




Miss Hamilton
Clarges Street
London

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quotations,
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 1. Elizabeth Mosley (née Tonman).
 2. Oswald Mosley (1761-1789). The son, also named Oswald, later became an MP.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/2/2

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 7 April 1785

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton. He writes of his friends the Mosleys, with whom he is staying at Moston near Chester. He praises Mr Mosley, who is building a house in Staffordshire, near Hamilton's relation, Lady Frances Harpur. Dickenson and the Mosleys attended Chester Assizes, and he describes various trials, including an action against a young man for stealing a kiss from a young lady; he was fined 20 shillings. 'How superlatively happy sh[oul]d I be to steal a Kiss from my dearest and most amiable friend [i.e. Mary] - and afterwards be condemned to take a 1000 more - that pleasure I hope will not be long denied to me.'
    Dickenson discusses Mosley's prosperous financial position: his wife brought him a fortune of £40,000, and more is settled upon his children. Dickenson adds that 'Mr. Mosley has had half an Inclination to treat with me about Taxal.'
    Original reference No. 25.
   

Length: 5 sheets, 1011 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 2016/17 provided by The John Rylands Research Institute.

Research assistant: Sarah Connor, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Megan Speakman, MA student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2017)

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: 6 April 2020

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