Single Letter

HAM/1/4/1/18

Letter from Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


May 1781

Dear Miʃs Hamilton,

      Six months have now paʃsed without my hearing from
you, not that I mean any reproof, tho' at the same time
I must aʃsure you that I lost no time in making my
acknowledgements for your last very obliging letter. I hope
you are now perfectly settled and happy in your new depart=
ment
; if I understand your disposition, trifling difficulties
will not disturb you more than they ought to do; & where
there are none, there is the leʃs room for addreʃs[1] & ingenuity.
      Seeing the little ground I have made in consequence of
my personal application to my Friends, when I was last
in England, I think I may very properly give up all thoughts
of further Preferment, which I do with perfect contented=
neʃs
of mind. I am now paʃsed the age in which I might
with any prospect of succeʃs attempt to create an interest
with Men in power, besides I am of myself totally unpro=
vided
with the indispensable requisites, the ability of
making them any return. And this is an age in which



none, but the very credulous indeed, will expect to receive favours
gratuitously. See the Men that have risen here for some
years past in my Line, & it woud seem, except in very few ins=
tances
, as if Birth and liberal sentiments were certain dis=
qualifications
; but as I said that my mind was in a conten=
ted
state, you will not believe me if I proceed in reflexions of
this sort.
      My Agent Mr. Charles Brown died lately at Bath & I have
appointed Mr. James Balfour writer to the Signet at Edinburgh[2]
to manage my Affairs in Scotland; I will not fail to give
him directions to attend properly to you. I shou'd be very
happy to hear from you oftner, I know you write with the
greatest ease such letters as I like best, & that do not show
the smallest premeditation.      I am going in a few days
with my Family to Latour to paʃs the summer. I have laid
out more money there than I intended, tho' I hope not
altogether injudiciously or to the prejudice of my family.
Lady Stormont's recommendation of me to Ld. Carlisle[3] has
operated just in the manner I expected, it has not procured
me the smallest notice. I soon perceived she had not the smallest
attachment to me & therefore expected that her application



to the Ld. Ly. wou'd correspond with her regard for me; I shall
not be any further troublesome to her, or my Lord, who has
been so candid to inform me that he shou'd be very happy to
serve me but that my Line was not in his department.
      Adieu My Dear Miʃs Hamilton continue to believe me as I am
with truth
                             Your faithful & Affectionate Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

Sackville Street May 22d. 1781.[4]
------------------------------

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


Notes


 1. The now-rare sense of address here is 'state or quality of being prepared or ready to do something; adroitness, resourcefulness; ability, skill, dexterity' (OED s.v. n., 7a).
 2. A member of The Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet, a private society of Scottish solicitors.
 3. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont (c1758-1843), married to David Murray (1727-1796) and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 4. This line appears to left of signature.

Normalised Text



Dear Miss Hamilton,

      Six months have now passed without my hearing from
you, not that I mean any reproof, though at the same time
I must assure you that I lost no time in making my
acknowledgements for your last very obliging letter. I hope
you are now perfectly settled and happy in your new department
; if I understand your disposition, trifling difficulties
will not disturb you more than they ought to do; & where
there are none, there is the less room for address & ingenuity.
      Seeing the little ground I have made in consequence of
my personal application to my Friends, when I was last
in England, I think I may very properly give up all thoughts
of further Preferment, which I do with perfect contentedness
of mind. I am now passed the age in which I might
with any prospect of success attempt to create an interest
with Men in power, besides I am of myself totally unprovided
with the indispensable requisites, the ability of
making them any return. And this is an age in which



none, but the very credulous indeed, will expect to receive favours
gratuitously. See the Men that have risen here for some
years past in my Line, & it would seem, except in very few instances
, as if Birth and liberal sentiments were certain disqualifications
; but as I said that my mind was in a contented
state, you will not believe me if I proceed in reflexions of
this sort.
      My Agent Mr. Charles Brown died lately at Bath & I have
appointed Mr. James Balfour writer to the Signet at Edinburgh
to manage my Affairs in Scotland; I will not fail to give
him directions to attend properly to you. I should be very
happy to hear from you oftener, I know you write with the
greatest ease such letters as I like best, & that do not show
the smallest premeditation.      I am going in a few days
with my Family to Latour to pass the summer. I have laid
out more money there than I intended, though I hope not
altogether injudiciously or to the prejudice of my family.
Lady Stormont's recommendation of me to Lord Carlisle has
operated just in the manner I expected, it has not procured
me the smallest notice. I soon perceived she had not the smallest
attachment to me & therefore expected that her application



to the Lord Lady would correspond with her regard for me; I shall
not be any further troublesome to her, or my Lord, who has
been so candid to inform me that he should be very happy to
serve me but that my Line was not in his department.
      Adieu My Dear Miss Hamilton continue to believe me as I am
with truth
                             Your faithful & Affectionate Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

Sackville Street May 22d. 1781.
------------------------------

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quotations,
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 1. The now-rare sense of address here is 'state or quality of being prepared or ready to do something; adroitness, resourcefulness; ability, skill, dexterity' (OED s.v. n., 7a).
 2. A member of The Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet, a private society of Scottish solicitors.
 3. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont (c1758-1843), married to David Murray (1727-1796) and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 4. This line appears to left of signature.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/1/18

Correspondence Details

Author: Frederick Hamilton

Place sent: Dublin

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 22 May 1781

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Rev. Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. He reconciles himself to never being in a position to gain advancement in the Church. He is now of an age [almost 52] where he feels it would not be beneficial to attempt to influence 'Men in power', as he can offer little in return. He notes that if you were to look at the majority of men who had risen in his field in Ireland over the past few years, then it would seem that 'Birth and liberal sentiments were certain disqualifications' from advancement. He writes that Lady Stormont does not hold him in regard and that her efforts with Lord Carlisle came to nothing. He shall be no further trouble to Lady and Lord Stormont.
    The letter also talks of his affairs in Scotland and the appointment of a new agent, Mr James Balfour, who he will ensure is aware of Hamilton's affairs in Scotland.
    Dated at Sackville Street [Dublin].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 475 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 2013/14 provided by G.L. Brook bequest, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: George Bailey, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Marta Colleoni, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted December 2013)

Transliterator: Xiaoxin Ou, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted December 2013)

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: 13 April 2020

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