Single Letter

HAM/1/2/3

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


26

May 3d. 1785 Taxal

I was at Moston my dear friend when I wrote to
you last which was on the 29th of last month -- 1t May
Mosley and I went to the parish Church in the
Morning and in the afternoon we went to Chester
where I attended a Methodist preaching -- I
wished exceedingly for the pencils of Bunbury[1]
that I might have given you a sketch of the
whole Group -- the preacher was exalted upon
a Tub reared upon an End -- His sanctified affecte[d]
Manner with the curious Phizes[2] of many of
the Devotees would have provoked my Risibility
had I not been in Company with a thoughtleʃ[s]
imprudent young Man whose Manners I
am very anxious to reform -- We were walking
thrō the Streets -- and on a Sudden our Ears
were regaled with some of the finest Voices
I ever heared -- I immediately suspected wt.
was the Occasion of the Harmonious Concert
and drew the young Libertine to the place
his tittering and joking upon my Gravity
cd. not alter a single Muscle of my Jaw -- for
besides the pleasure I recieved from the Voices
of the heavens -- I wish'd to hear wt. the Man
intended to say -- and by preserving my Countenance
I thought it wd. give me an excellent opporty of talkg
to this unfortunate young Man upon serious Subject[s]
thō I must confeʃs htat I was ready to die with



Laughing inwardly -- as I thought how much you wd.
have been diverted -- After the conclusion of the psalm
the Preacher made a long prayer which had very
little of the profeʃsional Cant and with which
I was extremely pleased -- but the Manner of this
delivery was quite in Character -- and might have
made a much graver Man laugh -- imagine to yourself
a Man exalted upon an Hogshead /of Ale for ougth I
Knew/ with an handsome countenance -- his black hair
flowing in Curls upon his Neck and Shoulders -- with
a delicate Lisp exhorting his attentive congregation
his Eyelids closed -- and his black Eyes perpetually
rolling underneath. thrō the fervency of his devotion
and his delicate white hands exalted upon high -- when
his prayer was ended -- I took my Leave -- My Companion
was the Brother of Mrs. Mosley -- in the early part of
of his Life his Father never allowed him to receive the
least contradiction -- he has had a very liberal Educa-
tion
, and every encouragement given to him -- but very
unfortunately has fallen into a bad set of Acquaintance
from whom he cannot liberate himself -- he poʃseʃses
a very good Understanding, and No Man has a better
Heart -- He often thanks me for the advice that I
have given to him -- profeʃses and I believe really has
a sincere Regard for me -- and always speaks of me in
the handsomest Terms -- the fair promises that he
makes are soon forgotten, and he relapses into his
usual course of Life -- he is in poʃseʃsion of a good fortune
tho not yet of Age -- How shocking it is, my dear
Mary -- to see a young Man of only twenty years of Age who
by his Exceʃses has totally ruined his Constitution, and brough[t]
upon himself the infirmities of Old Age -- and tho an early
Death is inevitable -- yet depending upon the shattered



remains of a good Constitution -- he is still guilty of every act
of inprudence -- how probable it is. that he will leave
this world in a very hasty Manner, without one serious
thought -- I really like this Man for his many good
qualities, and wt. sincere pleasure it wd. afford to me to be
the means of Reclaiming him -- 2d. May -- I returned
to Taxal, and found poor Eliz very much indisposed
my Father and Sister both well and in great Spirits --
3d. Your Letters were just put in to my hands of the
end of April -- I am made extremely happy my
dearest Love to hear that you are well -- You
may if you please tell Amaria.[3] that I shall not write
to her any more as I'm quite affronted --
I shall with infinite pleasure leave it to you to chuse
the furniture that we shall want, as I wish to submit
every thing to your prudent Management.
and I beg you will not look upon it as a
compliment of course from a Lover -- because
I have that confidence in yr- prudence and
good Sense -- that convinces me that you will manage
my Affairs much better than I can myself --
& if the house is to be furnished after we are married
where am I to have the happineʃs of living with my
dear Mary -- till our own is ready to receive us --
      I am just returned from Buxton where I have
been to bathe and drink the Waters -- I have had a
Rheumatick Headach for several days -- which is very
disagreeable -- but it will go off, after bathing a few
times -- Miʃs D. desires I will, present her
best Love to you and make her Acknowledgmts.
to you for your goodneʃs in purchasing an aumonier[4]
for her -- She and Eliza will be obliged to you to send
them hats of some sort -- they dont wish to have 'em
so very hoity toity -- they complain of havg none at
present that are fit to be seen -- I think it would be
very proper if you was to lay in a tolerable stock of



eight guinea Caps and every other Article of female
Apparel in the same proportion -- I shd. like it vastly
because you know my happineʃs depends so much
upon Yr- Dreʃs
-- I will send another Bill: and I
must beg your pardon for having given you so
much trouble -- Miʃs F. and Miʃs D are gone to
Stockport today and will not return time
enough for me to give you an Answer about the
boot. I believe he wishes the money to be paid into
the hands of an old friend of his in London -- if

that shd. be his determination, I will desire that
person to wait upon you -- if otherwise you shall
know time enough howwhat to do with it --
I am very angry with myself for havg made a foolish
promise to go by Wels bourne in my way to London -- I wish
he was from home -- I shd. indeed be surprised if you cd.
leave your friends without that Regret which I know you
must feel upon that occasion -- ------ it is a great addition to my
Happineʃs to know that you are deservg of their Esteem -- and
I'm very sensible that it is the greatest proof of yr- Affection
that you can make so great a Sacrifice for yr- faithful
John Dickenson --

I shall go into Staffordshire in a few days. My Love &c to every Body.

Miʃs Hamilton
Clarges Street
London[5]

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


Notes


 1. Henry William Bunbury (1750–1811), artist and caricaturist (ODNB).
 2. Phiz 'face or facial expression' (OED s.v., n.).
 3. Possibly Anna Maria Clarke, see HAM/1/10/1.
 4. Aumoniere 'kind of pouch carried at the waist as a purse' (OED s.v.).
 5. Moved address here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text



May 3d. 1785 Taxal

I was at Moston my dear friend when I wrote to
you last which was on the 29th of last month -- 1t May
Mosley and I went to the parish Church in the
Morning and in the afternoon we went to Chester
where I attended a Methodist preaching -- I
wished exceedingly for the pencils of Bunbury
that I might have given you a sketch of the
whole Group -- the preacher was exalted upon
a Tub reared upon an End -- His sanctified affected
Manner with the curious Phizes of many of
the Devotees would have provoked my Risibility
had I not been in Company with a thoughtless
imprudent young Man whose Manners I
am very anxious to reform -- We were walking
through the Streets -- and on a Sudden our Ears
were regaled with some of the finest Voices
I ever heard -- I immediately suspected what
was the Occasion of the Harmonious Concert
and drew the young Libertine to the place
his tittering and joking upon my Gravity
could not alter a single Muscle of my Jaw -- for
besides the pleasure I recieved from the Voices
of the heavens -- I wish'd to hear what the Man
intended to say -- and by preserving my Countenance
I thought it would give me an excellent opportunity of talking
to this unfortunate young Man upon serious Subjects
though I must confess htat I was ready to die with



Laughing inwardly -- as I thought how much you would
have been diverted -- After the conclusion of the psalm
the Preacher made a long prayer which had very
little of the professional Cant and with which
I was extremely pleased -- but the Manner of this
delivery was quite in Character -- and might have
made a much graver Man laugh -- imagine to yourself
a Man exalted upon an Hogshead /of Ale for ought I
Knew/ with an handsome countenance -- his black hair
flowing in Curls upon his Neck and Shoulders -- with
a delicate Lisp exhorting his attentive congregation
his Eyelids closed -- and his black Eyes perpetually
rolling underneath. through the fervency of his devotion
and his delicate white hands exalted upon high -- when
his prayer was ended -- I took my Leave -- My Companion
was the Brother of Mrs. Mosley -- in the early part of
of his Life his Father never allowed him to receive the
least contradiction -- he has had a very liberal Education
, and every encouragement given to him -- but very
unfortunately has fallen into a bad set of Acquaintance
from whom he cannot liberate himself -- he possesses
a very good Understanding, and No Man has a better
Heart -- He often thanks me for the advice that I
have given to him -- professes and I believe really has
a sincere Regard for me -- and always speaks of me in
the handsomest Terms -- the fair promises that he
makes are soon forgotten, and he relapses into his
usual course of Life -- he is in possession of a good fortune
though not yet of Age -- How shocking it is, my dear
Mary -- to see a young Man of only twenty years of Age who
by his Excesses has totally ruined his Constitution, and brought
upon himself the infirmities of Old Age -- and though an early
Death is inevitable -- yet depending upon the shattered



remains of a good Constitution -- he is still guilty of every act
of imprudence -- how probable it is. that he will leave
this world in a very hasty Manner, without one serious
thought -- I really like this Man for his many good
qualities, and what sincere pleasure it would afford to me to be
the means of Reclaiming him -- 2d. May -- I returned
to Taxal, and found poor Elizabeth very much indisposed
my Father and Sister both well and in great Spirits --
3d. Your Letters were just put in to my hands of the
end of April -- I am made extremely happy my
dearest Love to hear that you are well -- You
may if you please tell Amaria. that I shall not write
to her any more as I'm quite affronted --
I shall with infinite pleasure leave it to you to choose
the furniture that we shall want, as I wish to submit
every thing to your prudent Management.
and I beg you will not look upon it as a
compliment of course from a Lover -- because
I have that confidence in your prudence and
good Sense -- that convinces me that you will manage
my Affairs much better than I can myself --
& if the house is to be furnished after we are married
where am I to have the happiness of living with my
dear Mary -- till our own is ready to receive us --
      I am just returned from Buxton where I have
been to bathe and drink the Waters -- I have had a
Rheumatic Headache for several days -- which is very
disagreeable -- but it will go off, after bathing a few
times -- Miss Dickenson desires I will, present her
best Love to you and make her Acknowledgments
to you for your goodness in purchasing an aumoniere
for her -- She and Elizabeth will be obliged to you to send
them hats of some sort -- they don't wish to have 'em
so very hoity toity -- they complain of having none at
present that are fit to be seen -- I think it would be
very proper if you was to lay in a tolerable stock of



eight guinea Caps and every other Article of female
Apparel in the same proportion -- I should like it vastly
because you know my happiness depends so much
upon Your Dress
-- I will send another Bill: and I
must beg your pardon for having given you so
much trouble -- Miss F. and Miss Dickenson are gone to
Stockport today and will not return time
enough for me to give you an Answer about the
boot. I believe he wishes the money to be paid into
the hands of an old friend of his in London -- if

that should be his determination, I will desire that
person to wait upon you -- if otherwise you shall
know time enough what to do with it --
I am very angry with myself for having made a foolish
promise to go by Wellsbourne in my way to London -- I wish
he was from home -- I should indeed be surprised if you could
leave your friends without that Regret which I know you
must feel upon that occasion -- it is a great addition to my
Happiness to know that you are deserving of their Esteem -- and
I'm very sensible that it is the greatest proof of your Affection
that you can make so great a Sacrifice for your faithful
John Dickenson --

I shall go into Staffordshire in a few days. My Love &c to every Body.

Miss Hamilton
Clarges Street
London

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



 1. Henry William Bunbury (1750–1811), artist and caricaturist (ODNB).
 2. Phiz 'face or facial expression' (OED s.v., n.).
 3. Possibly Anna Maria Clarke, see HAM/1/10/1.
 4. Aumoniere 'kind of pouch carried at the waist as a purse' (OED s.v.).
 5. Moved address here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

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/1/2/3

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

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

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 3 May 1785

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton. He updates her with general news of what he has been doing including hearing a Methodist preaching in Chester: 'His sanctified affected Manner with the curious Phizes [facial expressions] of many of the Devotees would have provoked my Risibility had I not been in Company with a thoughtless imprudent young Man whose Manners I am very anxious to reform.'
    Dickenson has just returned from Buxton where he has been to bathe and take the waters. He asks Hamilton to send Miss Dickenson and Eliza some hats: 'they dont wish to have 'em so very hoity toity - they complain of hav[in]g none at present that are fit to be seen - I think it would be very proper if you was to lay in a tolerable stock of eight guinea Caps and every other Article of female Apparel in the same proportion.'
    Original reference No. 26.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1135 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: Isak Ferati, 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: 2 April 2020

Document Image (pdf)