Single Letter

HAM/1/2/50

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Monday 13[1]
James went a Coursing at 7 -- & returned to
breakfast -- & went again as soon as that was
over -- Mr. Dayvy came at ten & said it was a fine
morning for fishing & the Water in a proper state, so we went directly
We found the fish very cautious & not in the humour to take our
flies, however by dint of Persevereance & superior skill we
caught 30 -- Mr. Dayvy fished on horseback -- which by the bye is
downright poaching, as by means of his Horse he fishes every
part of the river & can throw his flies to the places where the
largest fish harbour -- Nothwithstanding my disadvantage
I brought home half his Number & a blister or two -- We
caught several small fishes that are very like Trout &
are only the Inhabitants of the Ex[2] & this part of it -- They
are very pretty & have a Van Dyke pattern on their sides
I will get the proper Names as there are two -- Dayvy dined here
& Mr. James returned with a Hare & a Leveret --
Tuesday -- At 8 I set out to go to Mr. Bere's of Morebath
A Man came at 7 to say he had a Child very bad & desired James
to christen it, which stopt him near Bampton Mr.
E. Bere's Servt. met me to conduct me acroʃs the Country
which gave me an Oppy of seeing the beautiful Scenery --
I was stationed at a Farm House, the Rendezvous -- & after
waiting half an hour I went into the Farm House & chatted
with the respectable looking Dame -- who told me that
Potatoes which were now sold at 4/ pr. Sack of 8 pecks
was so plentiful the Year after the great Scarcity that they
were sold at 2½ pr. Sack -- Mr. E. Bere came at 11 & we found a
few Birds & each killed one -- The Land lies so uneven & in many
parts is as steep of the Roof of a House that I cannot imagine
how they are cultivated unleʃs they use Goats to draw their ploughs
for I could hardly stand on the side of some hills where Corn had




grown & also where there were very fine Turnips -- James Perkin went
a coursing wh- Mr. Bere but had no succeʃs -- Mr. Badcock & Mr. Lucas
dined there -- Mr. Lucas is going to be married to a Niece of Mr. B --
a Daughter of his Elder Brothers who is dead, & Sister to Mr. E. B -- I
observed Mr. Bere always addreʃsed Mr. Bedcock to soften as
much poʃsible the asperity of the Name -- The Gentn. went away at 9
& I would have given the world to have gone to bed -- I was tired by
running up & down those precipices & some parts of the day
had been exceʃsively hot
Wednesday -- Mr. Lucas & Mr. E. Bere came at 9 & we sallied out
again -- Mr. B. Mr. Lucas & I went a shooting -- the other two
a coursing -- We shooters found some Birds & killed two
Brace which were preʃsed on Me & also a Bird of a different
Description that Mr. L. shot the day before in his own grounds
& which he insisted on giving to me -- You must keep it at
home, as the first of October is the day fixed for putting
Salt on their tails -- We met the Coursers & returned at
2 -- had some Luncheon & tho much preʃsed to stay another
day, we returned home -- laden, but not, heavily wh- spirit --
to dinner --
Thursday -- I shall send by a Meʃsenger who is going, not on purpose,
to Tiverton 6 Bird's -- James & I had fixed to go out this morning
to kill if poʃsible a Hare to send with them, but as the person
set out at 8 that can't be -- we shall however go out -- We
found the Times Newspaper here which Somebody had sent
detailing Bonapartes Succeʃs at Dresden, which dampens
hopes -- What a surprising Being he is -- Mrs. P. has the
same paʃsion for a Garden that my Sister has -- She employs an
old Woman to pick up Weeds & gives her 4d a day -- the old Woman
is an immense size & upwards of 80 -- Mrs. P. thinks it best to
give the Money for Work -- it contributes to the old Womans health
& she does something for the Charity -- The Soil here tho stoney




is so favorable to Vegetation that Trees & Shrubs grow too fast & the Fruits
ripen here perfectly well tho the Situation is very high -- at Mr. Bere's
there is no kind of fruit ripe -- tho his place is in a retired Valley
his House is very pretty & the Garden &c as neat as poʃsible -- he is a
great farmer & has beautiful Cattle -- Oxen are used in this
Country & the Drivers use a continual Noise in driving them wch
has a melancholy tone -- they cheer the Beasts by callg out their Names
which are -- such as these -- Good Luck -- Forty -- Young & Tender --
& the whole ends with a plaintive Note that has a singular Effect,
& now the Country seems quite in motion as every body is busy
in taking in their Corn, it is heard on every side -- Last night We
walked into the fields to see the manner of driving & addreʃsing the
Oxen -- Sledges are used in this Country & a kind of Ponies which
will contain a prodigious quantity of Corn or Hay & is used on the
precipices where no Sledge could be drawn up
the Steep -- these ponies are most formidable
Things to meet in a narrow Lane they are so
wide & so large & would terrify a foreign horse               [3] they are
in this farm supposing this mark to be the saddle &                take up
a whole Lane when loaded -- Crook is the proper Name -- 9 OClock
it rains therefore there is an end to rural Sports -- The Barometer is as
high as it can rise therefore it may clear up at 12 wch. will will
enable me to take a Sketch that I wish to present to Louisa[4] & to
remember myself -- My Sketches required explanation Viz -- this is
meant for a Tree & so on -- but I will understand them --
We have some Company to dine here to day a Coll. & Mrs. Teale who live
in the Neighborhood -- Others invited who were engaged -- we dine tomorrow
at Mr. Dayvys & Miʃs P. & I go on Sunday on purpose to hear [him] preach
I eggspect to be zatizfied wh- the preaching & zinging wch I hear iz exzellent[5]
Hayden P. had offered to attend me to Plymouth or give me an introduc-
tion
to some of his friends there -- I think I shall be in motion after
Monday therefore if You write on Saturday I shall have it on Monday
Poor Robert has been ill for some days -- he has got a bad leg from a kick
that a Boy gave him -- his blood is in a bad state -- it would be a great




Bleʃsing if it shd. please God to take him out of this World -- he is a sad object --
his Eyes cannot be fixed to enable him to read -- his hands are of little use to him --
he walks wh- great difficulty & speaks with more -- yet is very sensible -- he
has fits frequently -- There was a Stag Hunt yesterday -- They commenced



about ten miles from Mr. Bere's -- I wished much to see it but cd. not
contrive it on acct. of Distance -- This is a unique Diversion, hunting
the Wild Stag & confined to their Country -- Mr. Lucas had a Haunch
that weighed 47½ lb & the fat was near 3 Inches thick -- it is ye- Opinion
of the Country that its flavour far exceeds Pork Venison & a great fuʃs is made
about it -- The Hinds are hunted in October -- Adieu till 12 OClock as
probably may have a letter to day -- Most Affy Yrs. J.D --
Best Regards from hence --
James spoke of a Mr. Coleridge's[6] /a native of Devon/ examination at Oxford with prodigious Enthusiasm
his Examns. took up 2 days -- it embraced almost every Science Latin Greek & Hebrew -- in every
Thing he was perfectly at home & frequently was interrupted by universal Applause --
He says Mants Bampton Lectures were admired beyond any since White's[7] --
½ past ten -- The day is clearing & is now fair I will go a fishing & shall
meet the old Lady --


                                                         Single
To
Mrs. Dickenson
32 Devonshire Place
London[8]

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


Notes


 1. This dateline appears near the top left of p.1, with the first 3 lines of the letter inset to its right.
 2. River Exe.
 3. Dickenson draws a little crook-shaped sketch across two lines here.
 4. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton
 5. Cf. 'The very worst preacher in England -- uses z for s on all occasions' (HAM/1/2/45) and further mockery of Mr Dayvy's preaching in HAM/1/2/51.
 6. John (later Sir John) Taylor Coleridge (1790-1876), Oxford scholar and judge.
 7. Refers to the annual Bampton lecture at the University of Oxford. Richard Mant delivered his in 1812, Joseph White his in 1784 (Wikipedia).
 8. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text


Monday 13
James went a Coursing at 7 -- & returned to
breakfast -- & went again as soon as that was
over -- Mr. Dayvy came at ten & said it was a fine
morning for fishing & the Water in a proper state, so we went directly
We found the fish very cautious & not in the humour to take our
flies, however by dint of Perseverance & superior skill we
caught 30 -- Mr. Dayvy fished on horseback -- which by the bye is
downright poaching, as by means of his Horse he fishes every
part of the river & can throw his flies to the places where the
largest fish harbour -- Notwithstanding my disadvantage
I brought home half his Number & a blister or two -- We
caught several small fishes that are very like Trout &
are only the Inhabitants of the Ex & this part of it -- They
are very pretty & have a Van Dyke pattern on their sides
I will get the proper Names as there are two -- Dayvy dined here
& Mr. James returned with a Hare & a Leveret --
Tuesday -- At 8 I set out to go to Mr. Bere's of Morebath
A Man came at 7 to say he had a Child very bad & desired James
to christen it, which stopped him near Bampton Mr.
E. Bere's Servant met me to conduct me across the Country
which gave me an Opportunity of seeing the beautiful Scenery --
I was stationed at a Farm House, the Rendezvous -- & after
waiting half an hour I went into the Farm House & chatted
with the respectable looking Dame -- who told me that
Potatoes which were now sold at 4/ per Sack of 8 pecks
was so plentiful the Year after the great Scarcity that they
were sold at 2½ per Sack -- Mr. E. Bere came at 11 & we found a
few Birds & each killed one -- The Land lies so uneven & in many
parts is as steep of the Roof of a House that I cannot imagine
how they are cultivated unless they use Goats to draw their ploughs
for I could hardly stand on the side of some hills where Corn had




grown & also where there were very fine Turnips -- James Perkin went
a coursing with Mr. Bere but had no success -- Mr. Badcock & Mr. Lucas
dined there -- Mr. Lucas is going to be married to a Niece of Mr. Bere --
a Daughter of his Elder Brothers who is dead, & Sister to Mr. E. Bere -- I
observed Mr. Bere always addressed Mr. Bedcock to soften as
much possible the asperity of the Name -- The Gentlemen went away at 9
& I would have given the world to have gone to bed -- I was tired by
running up & down those precipices & some parts of the day
had been excessively hot
Wednesday -- Mr. Lucas & Mr. E. Bere came at 9 & we sallied out
again -- Mr. Bere Mr. Lucas & I went a shooting -- the other two
a coursing -- We shooters found some Birds & killed two
Brace which were pressed on Me & also a Bird of a different
Description that Mr. Lucas shot the day before in his own grounds
& which he insisted on giving to me -- You must keep it at
home, as the first of October is the day fixed for putting
Salt on their tails -- We met the Coursers & returned at
2 -- had some Luncheon & though much pressed to stay another
day, we returned home -- laden, but not, heavily with spirit --
to dinner --
Thursday -- I shall send by a Messenger who is going, not on purpose,
to Tiverton 6 Bird's -- James & I had fixed to go out this morning
to kill if possible a Hare to send with them, but as the person
set out at 8 that can't be -- we shall however go out -- We
found the Times Newspaper here which Somebody had sent
detailing Bonapartes Success at Dresden, which dampens
hopes -- What a surprising Being he is -- Mrs. Perkin has the
same passion for a Garden that my Sister has -- She employs an
old Woman to pick up Weeds & gives her 4pence a day -- the old Woman
is an immense size & upwards of 80 -- Mrs. Perkin thinks it best to
give the Money for Work -- it contributes to the old Womans health
& she does something for the Charity -- The Soil here though stoney




is so favorable to Vegetation that Trees & Shrubs grow too fast & the Fruits
ripen here perfectly well though the Situation is very high -- at Mr. Bere's
there is no kind of fruit ripe -- though his place is in a retired Valley
his House is very pretty & the Garden &c as neat as possible -- he is a
great farmer & has beautiful Cattle -- Oxen are used in this
Country & the Drivers use a continual Noise in driving them which
has a melancholy tone -- they cheer the Beasts by calling out their Names
which are -- such as these -- Good Luck -- Forty -- Young & Tender --
& the whole ends with a plaintive Note that has a singular Effect,
& now the Country seems quite in motion as every body is busy
in taking in their Corn, it is heard on every side -- Last night We
walked into the fields to see the manner of driving & addressing the
Oxen -- Sledges are used in this Country & a kind of Ponies which
will contain a prodigious quantity of Corn or Hay & is used on the
precipices where no Sledge could be drawn up
the Steep -- these ponies are most formidable
Things to meet in a narrow Lane they are so
wide & so large & would terrify a foreign horse                they are
in this farm supposing this mark to be the saddle &                take up
a whole Lane when loaded -- Crook is the proper Name -- 9 OClock
it rains therefore there is an end to rural Sports -- The Barometer is as
high as it can rise therefore it may clear up at 12 which will
enable me to take a Sketch that I wish to present to Louisa & to
remember myself -- My Sketches required explanation Viz -- this is
meant for a Tree & so on -- but I will understand them --
We have some Company to dine here to day a Colonel & Mrs. Teale who live
in the Neighborhood -- Others invited who were engaged -- we dine tomorrow
at Mr. Dayvys & Miss Perkin & I go on Sunday on purpose to hear him preach
I expect to be satisfied with the preaching & singing which I hear is excellent
Hayden Perkin had offered to attend me to Plymouth or give me an introduction
to some of his friends there -- I think I shall be in motion after
Monday therefore if You write on Saturday I shall have it on Monday
Poor Robert has been ill for some days -- he has got a bad leg from a kick
that a Boy gave him -- his blood is in a bad state -- it would be a great




Blessing if it should please God to take him out of this World -- he is a sad object --
his Eyes cannot be fixed to enable him to read -- his hands are of little use to him --
he walks with great difficulty & speaks with more -- yet is very sensible -- he
has fits frequently -- There was a Stag Hunt yesterday -- They commenced



about ten miles from Mr. Bere's -- I wished much to see it but could not
contrive it on account of Distance -- This is a unique Diversion, hunting
the Wild Stag & confined to their Country -- Mr. Lucas had a Haunch
that weighed 47½ pounds & the fat was near 3 Inches thick -- it is the Opinion
of the Country that its flavour far exceeds Pork Venison & a great fuss is made
about it -- The Hinds are hunted in October -- Adieu till 12 OClock as
probably may have a letter to day -- Most Affectionately Yours John Dickenson --
Best Regards from hence --
James spoke of a Mr. Coleridge's /a native of Devon/ examination at Oxford with prodigious Enthusiasm
his Examinations took up 2 days -- it embraced almost every Science Latin Greek & Hebrew -- in every
Thing he was perfectly at home & frequently was interrupted by universal Applause --
He says Mants Bampton Lectures were admired beyond any since White's --
½ past ten -- The day is clearing & is now fair I will go a fishing & shall
meet the old Lady --


                                                         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. This dateline appears near the top left of p.1, with the first 3 lines of the letter inset to its right.
 2. River Exe.
 3. Dickenson draws a little crook-shaped sketch across two lines here.
 4. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton
 5. Cf. 'The very worst preacher in England -- uses z for s on all occasions' (HAM/1/2/45) and further mockery of Mr Dayvy's preaching in HAM/1/2/51.
 6. John (later Sir John) Taylor Coleridge (1790-1876), Oxford scholar and judge.
 7. Refers to the annual Bampton lecture at the University of Oxford. Richard Mant delivered his in 1812, Joseph White his in 1784 (Wikipedia).
 8. 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/1/2/50

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Oakford (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 13 September 1813
when 13 September 1813 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Dickenson continues his letter of the same date (HAM/1/2/49) writing about his visits and the area. The letter also relates to the social life of Dickenson and his friends; for instance, he writes on the popularity of stag hunting.
    Original reference No. 8.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1441 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: Ethan Newton, 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: 2 April 2020

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