Single Letter

HAM/1/2/54

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


12

29 September[1]

Saturday -- I took my letter to Bampton & called on Mr. Dayvy
where we took some pains to adjust the picture -- he walked wh-
me to the Limestone Quarry at the end of the town but as Mor
rison
would have it there were no foʃsils there, but a fine Lime Stone
almost black -- When I returned to Oakford found a person has been

there full of the great News that put us all in high Spirits --
Sunday -- We all tried to prevail on Mr. Paynter to receive the Sa-
crament
with us this morng -- but nothing can make him talk
seriously -- It was the first time James administered it & his Mo-
ther
was much affected -- After dinner a Meʃsenger was sent
to Bampton to see if there was a Letter for me & to bring News
papers from Mr. Badcock -- which damped our Spirits again
tho the Reports from the Allies are very encouraging --
Monday -- Owing to Mr. Paynters dilatorineʃs We did not set
off till eleven this morng -- James accompanied us to Bampton
& is to set out to meet his Cousin at Oakhampton tomorrow &
attend him to Cornwall as he is not fit to go so far alone -- Mrs
P. seemed much affected at parting with us -- & I felt much
obliged by her Civilities & those of every one else -- I set Mrs.
P. down at Tiverton & as there was no Conveyance by Coach
before tomorrow morning, I ordered another Post Chaise & came
to Exeter -- brought Perkin's & Paynters trunks wh- me as they
would have been distreʃsed by a mis calculation of a Conveyance
from thence -- I had a very fine drive to Exeter -- Sir T. Ackland[2]
paʃsed me in his Curricle -- his Servt. drove & he was makg Notes
to speechify at Exeter I suppose -- I had some Conversation wh-
the Boy that drove me up the long hill -- he said the Road from
Tiverton to South Molton is rough & stoney, up hill & down -- 19
miles & 18 hills & all Gentn. grumble at being obliged to be
4½ hours in going so short a distance -- I have now paʃsed 3



times thro this beautiful Country & am become pretty well aquaint[ed]
with it -- I find the new Mayor is chosen today & the old gives an Entertain
ment
-- As soon as I came here I took another peep at Exeter Mr. P
told me to day that the County rates in Devon are enormous -- There
are 500L[3] County Bridges & the expence of their Repairs & ye- prosecution
of felons is never leʃs than 36,000L & frequently exceeds 40,000L -- he said
there is a bridge which divides the Counties of Devon & Cornwall that
fell down, I dont know how long since & for want of funds has been
allowed to remain in that state -- part of it belongs to ye- Deanery
of Exeter & there was an idea of selling the Trees that ornament
that beautiful Walk called Northeney[4] that constitutes a prin
cipal
feature in this place toward's defraying the expence of
the Church's Share of this bridge -- fortunately this horrible
Act of Barbarism is given up -- Immediately on my arrival
here I went to the Mail Coach Office -- but could not get a place
at present know not the hour when I can get away -- The Weather is
so fine that I am anxious to get to Plymouth & I understand
there is only one day allowed to see Mount Edgecumbe & that day is
at present unknown to me -- formerly Wed- & Fridays were given up
to the public -- I shall go sometime & till then will amuse myself
by thinking of you -- Miʃs Perkin has more sense than all her family
put together -- her manners are not fine & she holds herself ill, but
She appears to me to be a very amiable Woman -- She has had a great
many good Offers but rejected them all -- I dont at all like
her friend Mr. H. -- he is an artful longheaded -- dirty Scotchman --
who has coaxed her from interested Motives & it is natural for a
young Woman much secluded from Society, to form a warm Attach-
ment
to those who have contributed to make her happy --
      I am now to be off in two hours but as I am to go all night will
not send this from hence as it will be pleasanter to you to know that I am
arrived at Plymouth -- where I expect to have the pleasure of finding a letter
from You -- The Beagles have just been playing delightfully



before my Window
Plymouth -- Fountain Inn

Tuesday -- Last night I took Coach at ten OClock & arrived at this place
at 7 -- The road is the most hilly I ever travelled The first 9 miles required
full 2 hours -- The Mail is allowed that time -- at 5 it began to rain & has never
ceased -- I slept frequently on the way, so that on my arrival here instead
of going to bed I dreʃsed & made myself comfortable by 8 Oclock & then sat
down to breakfast -- The Post Office is not open till ten -- Patience! -- I have
seen Mount Edgecumbe & Ld Borringdons[5] from the Coach & can see Mt. E. any
day by applying to the Housekeeper, so I'm easy on that score -- The Land
in the Dock belonged to Sir John St. Aubin[6] -- The Crown paid him a Sum of Money
& a Quit Rent of 200£ pr. An. -- All the Land at Dock on wch. Houses are built on
leases belongs to him & he is supposed to derive an income from this property
of 20,000 pr. An. his Monies in Cornwal 10000 more & yet he is poor -- he has
a number of natural Children who are very extravagant
      I have been to the Post Office -- no letter -- if you wrote on Saturday as I requested it
must be here -- The Mail to day is not arrived -- that can only bring a letter by mistake
      It is too soon to call on the Commiʃsioner[7] -- I will try to find out Mrs. Rundells
Retreat -- I have at last found Mrs. Rundell
and a retreat it is -- ½ past one -- I am now 5
Miles from Dock -- I went to Plymouth thinking
it poʃsible that you might have docked yr- direction
& I shd. find it at the Post Office there -- however there I
learnt tidings of this Seclusion & hired a Man to walk
with me part of the Way & here I am & just concluding
my letter to send it in time for the Post -- Dont write again
as I feel no inclination to prolong my Stay -- No words
can describe the Beauties I have seen this day --
      Adieu -- Mrs. R. is looking vastly well I see no
difference except what the loʃs of Teeth accretes --
Most Affy Yrs JD.





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

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


Notes


 1. Moved date here from left side of top of p.1, written vertically in margin.
 2. Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1787-1871), 10th Baronet, British politician.
 3. Pound sign above figure 500 probably inserted by Dickenson in error when marking others elsewhere in sentence.
 4. A different form is given in HAM/1/2/48.
 5. Possibly the estate at Saltram or Plympton of John Parker, Lord Boringdon, later 1st Earl of Morley (1772-1840).
 6. Sir John St Aubyn, 5th Baronet (1758-1839), British Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Cornwall and Grand Master of the Freemasons.
 7. Probably Mr Fanshaw, Commissioner of the Dockyard at Plymouth.
 8. Postmark 'SE 29 1813' to right of address.

Normalised Text





Saturday -- I took my letter to Bampton & called on Mr. Dayvy
where we took some pains to adjust the picture -- he walked with
me to the Limestone Quarry at the end of the town but as Morrison
would have it there were no fossils there, but a fine Lime Stone
almost black -- When I returned to Oakford found a person has been

there full of the great News that put us all in high Spirits --
Sunday -- We all tried to prevail on Mr. Paynter to receive the Sacrament
with us this morning -- but nothing can make him talk
seriously -- It was the first time James administered it & his Mother
was much affected -- After dinner a Messenger was sent
to Bampton to see if there was a Letter for me & to bring News
papers from Mr. Badcock -- which damped our Spirits again
though the Reports from the Allies are very encouraging --
Monday -- Owing to Mr. Paynters dilatoriness We did not set
off till eleven this morning -- James accompanied us to Bampton
& is to set out to meet his Cousin at Oakhampton tomorrow &
attend him to Cornwall as he is not fit to go so far alone -- Mrs
Perkin seemed much affected at parting with us -- & I felt much
obliged by her Civilities & those of every one else -- I set Mrs.
Paynter down at Tiverton & as there was no Conveyance by Coach
before tomorrow morning, I ordered another Post Chaise & came
to Exeter -- brought Perkin's & Paynters trunks with me as they
would have been distressed by a miscalculation of a Conveyance
from thence -- I had a very fine drive to Exeter -- Sir Thomas Ackland
passed me in his Curricle -- his Servant drove & he was making Notes
to speechify at Exeter I suppose -- I had some Conversation with
the Boy that drove me up the long hill -- he said the Road from
Tiverton to South Molton is rough & stoney, up hill & down -- 19
miles & 18 hills & all Gentlemen grumble at being obliged to be
4½ hours in going so short a distance -- I have now passed 3



times through this beautiful Country & am become pretty well aquainted
with it -- I find the new Mayor is chosen today & the old gives an Entertainment
-- As soon as I came here I took another peep at Exeter Mr. Paynter
told me to day that the County rates in Devon are enormous -- There
are 500L County Bridges & the expense of their Repairs & the prosecution
of felons is never less than 36,000L & frequently exceeds 40,000L -- he said
there is a bridge which divides the Counties of Devon & Cornwall that
fell down, I don't know how long since & for want of funds has been
allowed to remain in that state -- part of it belongs to the Deanery
of Exeter & there was an idea of selling the Trees that ornament
that beautiful Walk called Northeney that constitutes a principal
feature in this place toward's defraying the expense of
the Church's Share of this bridge -- fortunately this horrible
Act of Barbarism is given up -- Immediately on my arrival
here I went to the Mail Coach Office -- but could not get a place
at present know not the hour when I can get away -- The Weather is
so fine that I am anxious to get to Plymouth & I understand
there is only one day allowed to see Mount Edgecumbe & that day is
at present unknown to me -- formerly Wednesday & Fridays were given up
to the public -- I shall go sometime & till then will amuse myself
by thinking of you -- Miss Perkin has more sense than all her family
put together -- her manners are not fine & she holds herself ill, but
She appears to me to be a very amiable Woman -- She has had a great
many good Offers but rejected them all -- I don't at all like
her friend Mr. H. -- he is an artful longheaded -- dirty Scotchman --
who has coaxed her from interested Motives & it is natural for a
young Woman much secluded from Society, to form a warm Attachment
to those who have contributed to make her happy --
      I am now to be off in two hours but as I am to go all night will
not send this from hence as it will be pleasanter to you to know that I am
arrived at Plymouth -- where I expect to have the pleasure of finding a letter
from You -- The Beagles have just been playing delightfully



before my Window
Plymouth -- Fountain Inn

Tuesday -- Last night I took Coach at ten OClock & arrived at this place
at 7 -- The road is the most hilly I ever travelled The first 9 miles required
full 2 hours -- The Mail is allowed that time -- at 5 it began to rain & has never
ceased -- I slept frequently on the way, so that on my arrival here instead
of going to bed I dressed & made myself comfortable by 8 Oclock & then sat
down to breakfast -- The Post Office is not open till ten -- Patience! -- I have
seen Mount Edgecumbe & Lord Borringdons from the Coach & can see Mount Edgecumbe any
day by applying to the Housekeeper, so I'm easy on that score -- The Land
in the Dock belonged to Sir John St. Aubin -- The Crown paid him a Sum of Money
& a Quit Rent of 200£ per Annum. -- All the Land at Dock on which Houses are built on
leases belongs to him & he is supposed to derive an income from this property
of 20,000 per Annum. his Monies in Cornwall 10000 more & yet he is poor -- he has
a number of natural Children who are very extravagant
      I have been to the Post Office -- no letter -- if you wrote on Saturday as I requested it
must be here -- The Mail to day is not arrived -- that can only bring a letter by mistake
      It is too soon to call on the Commissioner -- I will try to find out Mrs. Rundells
Retreat -- I have at last found Mrs. Rundell
and a retreat it is -- ½ past one -- I am now 5
Miles from Dock -- I went to Plymouth thinking
it possible that you might have docked your direction
& I should find it at the Post Office there -- however there I
learnt tidings of this Seclusion & hired a Man to walk
with me part of the Way & here I am & just concluding
my letter to send it in time for the Post -- Don't write again
as I feel no inclination to prolong my Stay -- No words
can describe the Beauties I have seen this day --
      Adieu -- Mrs. Rundell is looking vastly well I see no
difference except what the loss of Teeth accretes --
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. Moved date here from left side of top of p.1, written vertically in margin.
 2. Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1787-1871), 10th Baronet, British politician.
 3. Pound sign above figure 500 probably inserted by Dickenson in error when marking others elsewhere in sentence.
 4. A different form is given in HAM/1/2/48.
 5. Possibly the estate at Saltram or Plympton of John Parker, Lord Boringdon, later 1st Earl of Morley (1772-1840).
 6. Sir John St Aubyn, 5th Baronet (1758-1839), British Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Cornwall and Grand Master of the Freemasons.
 7. Probably Mr Fanshaw, Commissioner of the Dockyard at Plymouth.
 8. Postmark 'SE 29 1813' to right of address.

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/1/2/54

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Plymouth (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 29 September 1813
when 29 September 1813 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to his wife Mary née Hamilton. The letter relates to general news of Dickenson's visit to Oakford and his journey to Plymouth, where he visited the Rundells. He also writes about the high rates in the county. The 'rates in Devon are enormous -- there are 500 County Bridges & the expen[s]e of their repairs & preservation alone is never less than [£]36,000 and frequently exceeds [£]40,000'.
    Original reference No. 12.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1160 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

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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