Single Letter

HAM/1/2/46

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


      4.

Saturday -- 4 Sepr. 13

As soon as I had sent off my letter by the old Post Woman I took
my Fishing Rod & went to the River & had only one Shower of Rain
& very good Sport -- if I had been an Adept my Bag would
have been distended as it was I brought a very pretty
Dish of Trouts which were acceptable as Two Gentlemen
dined here Revd. Mr. Bere a sensible Clergyman & a Mr.
Badcock who made his fortune in America & is settled in
this Neighborhood -- In my sport I forgot the perpendicular
hill I went around before dinner & had hard work to return
in time as it requires half a Milean hour to come from the bridge
which is only a mile --
Sunday -- We went to Church at 11 -- a very decent Congregation
in the morning -- I was gratified by the manner in which
yr- Knight discharged his Duty as a Parish priest -- his Voice
is loud & clear & he reads extremely well -- I told him if Clergymen
were paid by the Tones of the Voice, in the profession as fine
Ladies pay their Footman wages by their Heigth, his Salary
would be immense -- his Voice would fill Westminster Abbey --
without an effort -- After service I took the poney & rode to the
Bridge to take a Sketch of it for Louisa & tho[1] it is a very rude
Attempt, I presume she will understand it is meant for a
Bridge without much explanation -- The Scenery about it is
beautiful -- The afternoon Service was well attended -- the Church
was crammed full -- James had a Christening & a Churching -- and
the Children sang their Catechism -- & he gave us an excellent Sermon
on the Nature of the Catechism -- There is a fine Orchestra -- 3 Ladies
sing who are much superior to Catalani[2] -- Mrs. Vaughan & Miʃs Hay have
3 Violins & 2 Players on the Violoncello -- So that the Band are sure of one



Performer -- I observed when these Operators wish to shew their Talents
& give a Shake wch. frequently occurs -- They give the Instrument a good
hearty Shake -- & once to produce the same effect, the performer drew
his Bow two or three Times over the same Note rapidly which produces
a degree of Melody that Nothing can exceed & at the same time proves his
taste & fine Ears -- After evening Service Mrs. & Miʃs P. rode to Bampton
& as soon as they returned the Rain began & has seldom ceased for many
minutes --
Monday -- Constant Rain has prevented our going a hunting or
rather to see a Hunt -- if they Sportsmen really go out & find a Deer
they will be as wet as wet -- We talk of going tomorrow to Exeter
but unleʃs there is a probability of better weather it will not be advisable
Mrs. P- shewed me a fine Collection of China -- She has some beauties
& one handsome set with the Arms -- In examining my fishing
apparatus this morning I found two small fish that were overlooked
for you must know dinner was ready when I returned from fishing
but as twelve fish were produced they were immediately dreʃsed
& very delicious they were & the Visitors & all had a feast -- There is
a Custom in this house that at first teazed me -- There are two Clocks on
the Stair Case or rather Leading -- One strikes half an hour before the
other & they should be kept exact -- The late Mr. P. liked to have an Alarm
Clock for the Servants to let them know that the real time of Day was approaching
Phoebe would fall asleep in listening for the second -- There is also a Clock
in the Kitchen which keeps the Cook's time & one there in the Library --
It is delightful to hear Mrs. P. speak of her late Husband, She describes him as
the most perfect of human beings -- She is still in the Deepest Mourning & I
dare say will never change -- Miʃs P. is also in the same dreʃs -- I forgot to men
tion
that Mr. Brickdale who is a Man of large fortune & lives two miles from
hence has made some Thatched Huts in his Woods in places that command
the most interesting Scenes & here the families in the Neighborhood
often resort in summer time & carry a cold dinner -- Mr. P. was very fond
of these excursions & on these Occasions Mr. Brickdale would let off a piece
of Water from the top of those Woods which came foaming & dashing down
the Wood in a great torrent[3] & he would fish off a Corner when the
Reverberations were magnificently sublime -- Mrs. P. is fond of a Garden



& takes as much pains as her Cousin Sarah[4] -- At this moment she is at work in a
heavy shower -- Miʃs P. has knocked at the Window to no purpose -- She wont hear --
there is a News paper that comes here twice a week -- a country paper -- one may
get used to any thing -- I know nothing that has paʃsed since I left Town & am
very content -- I am rather sorry that Mrs. Baldwin discovered the grand Secret
but She may thank herself for it -- I really felt offended with her the last time
She was at our house & walked out of the Room as she was too mad to be
talked to & I dare say my Countenance & manner were legible enough --
I will own she teazes me exceʃsively & She so frequently makes you
nervous & fatigued that I feel no particular anxiety for her Company --
Independently of our affection for Nanny Clarke -- Mad as She is -- She can
command herself & be very agreeable & then there is such a Ferventness
of disposition naturally that one can bear wh. her Oddities -- but Mrs. B.'s
are perversities -- quite a different thing -- A fine Peacock at the Window
reminds me of Taxal -- James contends that he is a finer Bird than at Bullocks Museum[5]
The [tai]l of this Bird is absent at present therefore I cannot judge
of ------ natural dimensions -- If Louisa was here She would
have fine Subjects for her pencil as Memorandums --
The Clouds are magnifique -- & paʃsing by the Window wh- great Rapidity --
I hope Madam de Sott will recover her Spirits to the Tone they were
in when she sketched Louisas Likeneʃs or she will not perfect
the Character which she has so well conceived -- Poor Robert is just
come into the Room -- he is tall & well looking very like Miʃs P- his effort
in speaking seems very laborious as he cannot use his Tongue -- I understand
him tolerably -- he is very good humored -- his legs are very weak -- his feet not
straight & he walks with difficulty -- & has little use of his hands -- he
can open a Door & unlock a padlock with a great effort -- His Amusement is
taking care of some Rabits & his exercise going to visit them frequently
I am going to make him some proper Pens as the poor Creatures are
kept without light & air & he seems much pleased at the thoughts of
it & understands my Description of the proper management -- it is a me
lancholy
Object for a tenderhearted Mother to have constantly under her Ob-
servation
-- .12 Oclock -- have just red. Yrs. of Friday the second letter,
I meant to have presented you wh. a Bullfinch -- I did not go to the Keadges
as I thought their invitation a shuffling one like a Yorkshire preʃsing --
Birds may be very scarce here -- for there is no Shooting -- The Corn will not be cut
in my time -- There is a fatality about my Shooting -- I have had very good
Fishing which I would not have had at the hospitable Benning brough



so the comparison is in my favor as Fishing is a Nuelty -- Mrs. de S. will
not like high prices at Brighton -- Staying a week leʃs makes the difference
I should like to go there if you & L. approve of it -- I agree wh- Mor. that
Louisas face in the picture seems larger than Nature but it will be differ
ent
when properly shaded -- by giving the Head a twist, on the outside

as thank God there is some within -- She has shewn a double Chin
which increases the size of the face & the natural to the Creation
in that position which she is fond of is not exactly what I should
have shown -- but I am content -- it will be a Resemblance of our
Dear Girl, whose Mind is as innocent as the pretty little Pea Chick
at the Window -- Adieu Accept Love from hence to every
Body -- Most Affy. Yrs. JD

                                                         Single
To
Mrs. Dickenson
32 Devonshire Place
London[6]

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


Notes


 1. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton.
 2. Angelica Catalani (1780-1849), an Italian opera singer and a soprano.
 3. Both t's of torrent are crossed with a single horizontal line, as if to emphasise the whole word.
 4. Assumed to be Dickenson's sister Sarah Dickenson, whose interest in plants is evident in HAM/1/3/2/8 and especially HAM/1/3/2/10.
 5. William Bullock (c1773-1849) commissioned the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, in 1812. This museum was also referred to as the London Museum or Bullock's Museum.
 6. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text



Saturday -- 4 September 13

As soon as I had sent off my letter by the old Post Woman I took
my Fishing Rod & went to the River & had only one Shower of Rain
& very good Sport -- if I had been an Adept my Bag would
have been distended as it was I brought a very pretty
Dish of Trouts which were acceptable as Two Gentlemen
dined here Reverend Mr. Bere a sensible Clergyman & a Mr.
Badcock who made his fortune in America & is settled in
this Neighborhood -- In my sport I forgot the perpendicular
hill I went around before dinner & had hard work to return
in time as it requires half an hour to come from the bridge
which is only a mile --
Sunday -- We went to Church at 11 -- a very decent Congregation
in the morning -- I was gratified by the manner in which
your Knight discharged his Duty as a Parish priest -- his Voice
is loud & clear & he reads extremely well -- I told him if Clergymen
were paid by the Tones of the Voice, in the profession as fine
Ladies pay their Footman wages by their Height, his Salary
would be immense -- his Voice would fill Westminster Abbey --
without an effort -- After service I took the pony & rode to the
Bridge to take a Sketch of it for Louisa & though it is a very rude
Attempt, I presume she will understand it is meant for a
Bridge without much explanation -- The Scenery about it is
beautiful -- The afternoon Service was well attended -- the Church
was crammed full -- James had a Christening & a Churching -- and
the Children sang their Catechism -- & he gave us an excellent Sermon
on the Nature of the Catechism -- There is a fine Orchestra -- 3 Ladies
sing who are much superior to Catalani -- Mrs. Vaughan & Miss Hay have
3 Violins & 2 Players on the Violoncello -- So that the Band are sure of one



Performer -- I observed when these Operators wish to shew their Talents
& give a Shake which frequently occurs -- They give the Instrument a good
hearty Shake -- & once to produce the same effect, the performer drew
his Bow two or three Times over the same Note rapidly which produces
a degree of Melody that Nothing can exceed & at the same time proves his
taste & fine Ears -- After evening Service Mrs. & Miss Perkin rode to Bampton
& as soon as they returned the Rain began & has seldom ceased for many
minutes --
Monday -- Constant Rain has prevented our going a hunting or
rather to see a Hunt -- if the Sportsmen really go out & find a Deer
they will be as wet as wet -- We talk of going tomorrow to Exeter
but unless there is a probability of better weather it will not be advisable
Mrs. Perkin shewed me a fine Collection of China -- She has some beauties
& one handsome set with the Arms -- In examining my fishing
apparatus this morning I found two small fish that were overlooked
for you must know dinner was ready when I returned from fishing
but as twelve fish were produced they were immediately dressed
& very delicious they were & the Visitors & all had a feast -- There is
a Custom in this house that at first teased me -- There are two Clocks on
the Stair Case or rather Leading -- One strikes half an hour before the
other & they should be kept exact -- The late Mr. Perkin liked to have an Alarm
Clock for the Servants to let them know that the real time of Day was approaching
Phoebe would fall asleep in listening for the second -- There is also a Clock
in the Kitchen which keeps the Cook's time & one there in the Library --
It is delightful to hear Mrs. Perkin speak of her late Husband, She describes him as
the most perfect of human beings -- She is still in the Deepest Mourning & I
dare say will never change -- Miss Perkin is also in the same dress -- I forgot to mention
that Mr. Brickdale who is a Man of large fortune & lives two miles from
hence has made some Thatched Huts in his Woods in places that command
the most interesting Scenes & here the families in the Neighborhood
often resort in summer time & carry a cold dinner -- Mr. Perkin was very fond
of these excursions & on these Occasions Mr. Brickdale would let off a piece
of Water from the top of those Woods which came foaming & dashing down
the Wood in a great torrent & he would fish off a Corner when the
Reverberations were magnificently sublime -- Mrs. Perkin is fond of a Garden



& takes as much pains as her Cousin Sarah -- At this moment she is at work in a
heavy shower -- Miss Perkin has knocked at the Window to no purpose -- She wont hear --
there is a News paper that comes here twice a week -- a country paper -- one may
get used to any thing -- I know nothing that has passed since I left Town & am
very content -- I am rather sorry that Mrs. Baldwin discovered the grand Secret
but She may thank herself for it -- I really felt offended with her the last time
She was at our house & walked out of the Room as she was too mad to be
talked to & I dare say my Countenance & manner were legible enough --
I will own she teases me excessively & She so frequently makes you
nervous & fatigued that I feel no particular anxiety for her Company --
Independently of our affection for Nanny Clarke -- Mad as She is -- She can
command herself & be very agreeable & then there is such a Ferventness
of disposition naturally that one can bear with her Oddities -- but Mrs. B.'s
are perversities -- quite a different thing -- A fine Peacock at the Window
reminds me of Taxal -- James contends that he is a finer Bird than at Bullocks Museum
The tail of this Bird is absent at present therefore I cannot judge
of ------ natural dimensions -- If Louisa was here She would
have fine Subjects for her pencil as Memorandums --
The Clouds are magnifique -- & passing by the Window with great Rapidity --
I hope Madam de Sott will recover her Spirits to the Tone they were
in when she sketched Louisas Likeness or she will not perfect
the Character which she has so well conceived -- Poor Robert is just
come into the Room -- he is tall & well looking very like Miss Perkin his effort
in speaking seems very laborious as he cannot use his Tongue -- I understand
him tolerably -- he is very good humoured -- his legs are very weak -- his feet not
straight & he walks with difficulty -- & has little use of his hands -- he
can open a Door & unlock a padlock with a great effort -- His Amusement is
taking care of some Rabbits & his exercise going to visit them frequently
I am going to make him some proper Pens as the poor Creatures are
kept without light & air & he seems much pleased at the thoughts of
it & understands my Description of the proper management -- it is a melancholy
Object for a tenderhearted Mother to have constantly under her Observation
-- .12 Oclock -- have just received Yours of Friday the second letter,
I meant to have presented you with a Bullfinch -- I did not go to the Keadges
as I thought their invitation a shuffling one like a Yorkshire pressing --
Birds may be very scarce here -- for there is no Shooting -- The Corn will not be cut
in my time -- There is a fatality about my Shooting -- I have had very good
Fishing which I would not have had at the hospitable Benning brough



so the comparison is in my favour as Fishing is a Novelty -- Mrs. de S. will
not like high prices at Brighton -- Staying a week less makes the difference
I should like to go there if you & Louisa approve of it -- I agree with Morrison that
Louisas face in the picture seems larger than Nature but it will be different
when properly shaded -- by giving the Head a twist, on the outside

as thank God there is some within -- She has shewn a double Chin
which increases the size of the face & the natural to the Creation
in that position which she is fond of is not exactly what I should
have shown -- but I am content -- it will be a Resemblance of our
Dear Girl, whose Mind is as innocent as the pretty little Pea Chick
at the Window -- Adieu Accept Love from hence to every
Body -- Most Affectionately Yours John Dickenson

                                                         Single
To
Mrs. Dickenson
32 Devonshire Place
London

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



 1. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton.
 2. Angelica Catalani (1780-1849), an Italian opera singer and a soprano.
 3. Both t's of torrent are crossed with a single horizontal line, as if to emphasise the whole word.
 4. Assumed to be Dickenson's sister Sarah Dickenson, whose interest in plants is evident in HAM/1/3/2/8 and especially HAM/1/3/2/10.
 5. William Bullock (c1773-1849) commissioned the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, in 1812. This museum was also referred to as the London Museum or Bullock's Museum.
 6. Moved address panel 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/1/2/46

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Oakford (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 4 September 1813

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to his wife Mary née Hamilton. He writes of the people in the Oakwood neighbourhood and of his time there. He attended church and noted that the afternoon service was 'crammed' full. He spent some time fishing and his catch was 'commended as delicious'.
    Dickenson also writes of one of his servants. Hamilton had informed him of the death of one of his servants, a Mrs Baldwin, who drowned. He is sorry to hear this, but also notes that she offended him the last time he was home and he 'had walked out of the room as she was too mad to be talked to'.
    Original reference No. 4.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1475 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 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Isabella Formisano, former MA student, University of Manchester

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Aizhan Amangazina, MA student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2016)

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: 15 June 2020

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