Single Letter

HAM/1/2/53

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text

[1]

11

Thursday -- I sent you a hasty short letter on Tuesday -- in fact
there was little for me to say, as nothing had occurred worth
relating -- That day Mr. Paynter had appraised Mrs. P. of
the Neceʃsity of some Arrangement taking place between
her & her eldest Son respecting her residence here, as he
has refused to grant her a Lease of the house &c -- wants
her to depend on his honor &c -- values the premium at
six times as much as she thinks it worth or would
give -- Therefore it is neceʃsary to have this uncertainty
made certain & if She is to leave the place it shd. be
decided upon without delay -- She therefore seeing
it in its proper light, sent her little Maid on the
poney to Tiverton with a letter to desire Hayden to
come here whilst I staid -- & accordingly he came
here last night -- Yesterday we set out early as I
promised Mr. Dayvy to give my Opinion about the
picture -- D. was gone to Tiverton & had forgot to have
it put in the Chancel -- however we got the Clerk to help
us & we hoisted it as high as we could & still it
has a bad effect -- The Subject is our Saviour bearing
his Croʃs -- a half length figure -- the head & Limbs
coloʃsal & the Executioner holding a hammer
over his Shoulder with a Countenance expreʃsive
of malicious pleasure that his Office afforded
him & he is dreʃed as a Roman Soldier -- One would



not expect such malice in a Roman Soldier -- it might have
been more natural for an enthusiastic Jew -- The face of this
Man is painted so dark that place it in the best poʃsible
light it can hardly be distinguished & some people would not
see it at all if it were not for the Helmet -- Upon the whole it is a
vile picture -- There are some figures about a mile off
also leading the two Malefactors sketched in!!! Cosway[2]
was christened in this Church on the 5 Nov 1742 -- & the
Bishop of Bath & Wales was born in this parish & was under
great Obligations to Mr. Perkin who seems to have been
beloved & most deservedly so, by every body -- We should have
liked him very much -- he was an uncommonly fine preacher
& extremely accomplished & his Widow makes him a proper
Angel -- When I was fishing on Tuesday, a Man at work
on a Saw Pit said to me, Sir Mr. James does not like fishing
or shooting, but he runs famously after a Hare a Coursing
& he is an extraordinary good preacher -- There is not a young
Man or old in all this Country that is able to preach with him
Dare say he will be much liked if his Indolence does not
get predominant, as he is always in an extreme at present
but extremely well disposed -- The fishing Season is over -- I
caught more leaves than fish -- I have had excellent sport & am
satisfied -- There were Mr. Bere & two others dined wh- us at
Mr. Badcocks -- Our Conversation was principally confined
to the good News from Germany -- The Acct. you maintained in
yr- letter of Monday which I had the pleasure to receive before I set
out to Bampton, is not confirmed -- but the dispatches are not



arrived from Ld. Cathcart -- The Allies are going on very well & it seems
very probable that they will succeed -- I expect great News from
Ld. Wellington[3] -- he would not sacrifice so much at St. Sebastian
without a determination to proceed into France & at this moment
it would be of infinite Consequence if he could penetrate as
far a[s] Bourdeeaux with an hostile Army -- Poor Pill Garlic[4] -- I
wonder what he is about -- Cl. Greville[5] has seen a great deal of hard
Service -- he is a fine young Man & if his Abilities expand wh- his Experi
ence
he may be a great Officer in time -- Morr. is gratified by not
seeing the home of an Anser[6] killed or wounded -- the black Duck is
not a favourite, I suppose she thinks he dives in time to avoid [all]
Danger -- I like Mr. Bere very much -- he is very
sensible -- his manners are uncommonly gentle
& mild -- he is well bred & agreeable & much beloved -- I am sure you
would like him -- We returned at half past 9 -- at first we found
it very dark, but the twinkling of a few stars & our Eyes getting by
degrees accustomed to the degree of borrowed light we had enabled
us to get home very safe -- We found Mr. Hayden Perkin here
Mr. J. Paynter seems very weak & is sensible of his precarious Situa
tion
-- his family cannot be sensible of his great danger or they wdnt let
him go about alone & teaze him with busineʃs, a time must soon
come when they must supply his place -- he is very cheerful -- he
was sick & brought up a quantity of Bile yesterday -- I fear that if he
reaches[7] much he may break a blood Veʃsel again & go off imme
diately
-- which is to be apprehended -- I am sorry the Bird did
not arrive eatable -- There were some feathers for Louisa at the bottom
of the basket -- James wished me to send the 2 Hares wch. I declined
We are going out a Coursing this morning -- I got up at ½ past 6 to scribble
to my Love -- I dare say Louisa made a lasting impreʃsion on Lady
Cis[8] -- the old Woman wd. be delighted with her -- I rejoice that Mrs. Biggs
has been so fortunate -- the last time She was well at first -- I didnt
expect she would survive the Busineʃs -- I expect to reach



Plymouth on Tuesday therefore if you have a letter on the Stocks
on Saturday direct it to me at the Post Office Plymouth Dock
Perhaps you had better not write to me there again after
Monday, as I shall not make a long Stay at Plymouth I only
wish to be acquainted with the place & a few days will satisfy me



& to be alone at an Inn -- Wednesday & Friday are the days for seeing
Mount Edgcumbe -- I shall proceed to Clifton after satisfying my
Curiosity at Plymouth & stay there two days & then direct
my face homewards with great pleasure to embrace those
who are dearest to my Heart -- Adieu -- I must now pre-
pare
to adonize my person for the morning -- I feel half inclined
to write to Mrs. deSalles[9] before I leave this place as you would like me to do
so -- Say pretty Things for me to those I like -- dear Mrs Savile will be wh- you this
evening at Drury Lane -- I have a great Affection for her -- I shall think of you & see
you in my Minds Eye & I hope you will laugh heartily -- 8 OClock Good
morning to You --

                                                         Single
To[10]
Mrs. Dickenson
32 Devonshire Place
London[11]

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


Notes


 1. This letter is catalogued out of sequence. It belongs chronologically between HAM/1/2/51 and HAM/1/2/52.
 2. Richard Cosway RA (1742-1821), leading English portrait painter of the Regency era. Born in Tiverton, Devon.
 3. Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852).
 4. Possibly a reference to Napoleon, prompted by the publication in 1813 of Edmond Temple's The life of Pill Garlick; rather a whimsical sort of fellow.
 5. Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Fulke Greville (1751-1824), a British MP, and served as Equerry to King George III from 1781 to 1797.
 6. Anser, Latin for 'goose'.
 7. Variant of retches (OED s.v. reach v.2).
 8. Lady Cecilia Johnston (1730-1817), née Henrietta Cecilia West, mentioned also in HAM/1/2/48,56,57, writer of HAM/1/14/110.
 9. Possibly Mrs de Salis: cf. HAM/1/4/3/28.
 10. Postmark 'E 27SE27 1813' to left of address panel when unfolded.
 11. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text



Thursday -- I sent you a hasty short letter on Tuesday -- in fact
there was little for me to say, as nothing had occurred worth
relating -- That day Mr. Paynter had appraised Mrs. Perkin of
the Necessity of some Arrangement taking place between
her & her eldest Son respecting her residence here, as he
has refused to grant her a Lease of the house &c -- wants
her to depend on his honor &c -- values the premium at
six times as much as she thinks it worth or would
give -- Therefore it is necessary to have this uncertainty
made certain & if She is to leave the place it should be
decided upon without delay -- She therefore seeing
it in its proper light, sent her little Maid on the
pony to Tiverton with a letter to desire Hayden to
come here whilst I stayed -- & accordingly he came
here last night -- Yesterday we set out early as I
promised Mr. Dayvy to give my Opinion about the
picture -- Dayvy was gone to Tiverton & had forgotten to have
it put in the Chancel -- however we got the Clerk to help
us & we hoisted it as high as we could & still it
has a bad effect -- The Subject is our Saviour bearing
his Cross -- a half length figure -- the head & Limbs
colossal & the Executioner holding a hammer
over his Shoulder with a Countenance expressive
of malicious pleasure that his Office afforded
him & he is dresed as a Roman Soldier -- One would



not expect such malice in a Roman Soldier -- it might have
been more natural for an enthusiastic Jew -- The face of this
Man is painted so dark that place it in the best possible
light it can hardly be distinguished & some people would not
see it at all if it were not for the Helmet -- Upon the whole it is a
vile picture -- There are some figures about a mile off
also leading the two Malefactors sketched in!!! Cosway
was christened in this Church on the 5 November 1742 -- & the
Bishop of Bath & Wales was born in this parish & was under
great Obligations to Mr. Perkin who seems to have been
beloved & most deservedly so, by every body -- We should have
liked him very much -- he was an uncommonly fine preacher
& extremely accomplished & his Widow makes him a proper
Angel -- When I was fishing on Tuesday, a Man at work
on a Saw Pit said to me, Sir Mr. James does not like fishing
or shooting, but he runs famously after a Hare a Coursing
& he is an extraordinary good preacher -- There is not a young
Man or old in all this Country that is able to preach with him
Dare say he will be much liked if his Indolence does not
get predominant, as he is always in an extreme at present
but extremely well disposed -- The fishing Season is over -- I
caught more leaves than fish -- I have had excellent sport & am
satisfied -- There were Mr. Bere & two others dined with us at
Mr. Badcocks -- Our Conversation was principally confined
to the good News from Germany -- The Account you maintained in
your letter of Monday which I had the pleasure to receive before I set
out to Bampton, is not confirmed -- but the dispatches are not



arrived from Lord Cathcart -- The Allies are going on very well & it seems
very probable that they will succeed -- I expect great News from
Lord Wellington -- he would not sacrifice so much at St. Sebastian
without a determination to proceed into France & at this moment
it would be of infinite Consequence if he could penetrate as
far as Bourdeeaux with an hostile Army -- Poor Pill Garlic -- I
wonder what he is about -- Colonel Greville has seen a great deal of hard
Service -- he is a fine young Man & if his Abilities expand with his Experience
he may be a great Officer in time -- Morrison is gratified by not
seeing the home of an Anser killed or wounded -- the black Duck is
not a favourite, I suppose she thinks he dives in time to avoid all
Danger -- I like Mr. Bere very much -- he is very
sensible -- his manners are uncommonly gentle
& mild -- he is well bred & agreeable & much beloved -- I am sure you
would like him -- We returned at half past 9 -- at first we found
it very dark, but the twinkling of a few stars & our Eyes getting by
degrees accustomed to the degree of borrowed light we had enabled
us to get home very safe -- We found Mr. Hayden Perkin here
Mr. J. Paynter seems very weak & is sensible of his precarious Situation
-- his family cannot be sensible of his great danger or they wouldn't let
him go about alone & tease him with business, a time must soon
come when they must supply his place -- he is very cheerful -- he
was sick & brought up a quantity of Bile yesterday -- I fear that if he
retches much he may break a blood Vessel again & go off immediately
-- which is to be apprehended -- I am sorry the Bird did
not arrive eatable -- There were some feathers for Louisa at the bottom
of the basket -- James wished me to send the 2 Hares which I declined
We are going out a Coursing this morning -- I got up at ½ past 6 to scribble
to my Love -- I dare say Louisa made a lasting impression on Lady
Cis -- the old Woman would be delighted with her -- I rejoice that Mrs. Biggs
has been so fortunate -- the last time She was well at first -- I didnt
expect she would survive the Business -- I expect to reach



Plymouth on Tuesday therefore if you have a letter on the Stocks
on Saturday direct it to me at the Post Office Plymouth Dock
Perhaps you had better not write to me there again after
Monday, as I shall not make a long Stay at Plymouth I only
wish to be acquainted with the place & a few days will satisfy me



& to be alone at an Inn -- Wednesday & Friday are the days for seeing
Mount Edgcumbe -- I shall proceed to Clifton after satisfying my
Curiosity at Plymouth & stay there two days & then direct
my face homewards with great pleasure to embrace those
who are dearest to my Heart -- Adieu -- I must now prepare
to adonize my person for the morning -- I feel half inclined
to write to Mrs. de Salis before I leave this place as you would like me to do
so -- Say pretty Things for me to those I like -- dear Mrs Savile will be with you this
evening at Drury Lane -- I have a great Affection for her -- I shall think of you & see
you in my Minds Eye & I hope you will laugh heartily -- 8 OClock Good
morning to You --

                                                         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 letter is catalogued out of sequence. It belongs chronologically between HAM/1/2/51 and HAM/1/2/52.
 2. Richard Cosway RA (1742-1821), leading English portrait painter of the Regency era. Born in Tiverton, Devon.
 3. Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852).
 4. Possibly a reference to Napoleon, prompted by the publication in 1813 of Edmond Temple's The life of Pill Garlick; rather a whimsical sort of fellow.
 5. Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Fulke Greville (1751-1824), a British MP, and served as Equerry to King George III from 1781 to 1797.
 6. Anser, Latin for 'goose'.
 7. Variant of retches (OED s.v. reach v.2).
 8. Lady Cecilia Johnston (1730-1817), née Henrietta Cecilia West, mentioned also in HAM/1/2/48,56,57, writer of HAM/1/14/110.
 9. Possibly Mrs de Salis: cf. HAM/1/4/3/28.
 10. Postmark 'E 27SE27 1813' to left of address panel when unfolded.
 11. 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/1/2/53

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Oakford (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 23 September 1813
when 23 September 1813 (precision: medium)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to his wife Mary née Hamilton, relating to a dispute over a jointure. Dickenson writes of a Mrs Paynter and the arrangements to be made between her and her eldest son about a property. The son refuses to grant his mother a lease of the house: he wants her to rely on his honour as to the value. There is a dispute between the two as to the value of the property -- the son 'values the premium at six times as much as she thinks it worth'. Dickenson notes that this has caused uncertainty and needs to be cleared up 'if she is to leave this place'. Dickenson continues the letter with general news of his friends and the area.
    Original reference No. 11.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1174 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: Almira Sejfic, 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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