Single Letter

HAM/1/4/1/20

Letter from Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Sackville Street Dublin
December 29th. 1781.

My Dear Miʃs Hamilton

      I have at last receiv'd your long expected letter, for be aʃsured that I
am not in default as I answerd your very obliging letter of the 31st. of May
last a few days after it came to hand, & put it into the Post Office myself
for its greater security, & I am in hopes you will recollect having receiv'd that
letter which you might very well have forgot, from the constant hurry of your
attendance. I am very glad to hear that your constitution seems to have
taken a turn so much for the better, but still I cou'd wish that it migh[t]
not be put to too severe a trial, tho' I wou'd strenuously recommend a
steady perseverance however attended with difficulties. I am persua
ded
you require no incitement to carry you on, and I have the firmest hopes that
the period is not far distant, when finding yourself in a state of more
independence, you will look back with pleasure to the steps that
have led you to it. As I have every poʃsible reason to be convinced of
the sincerity of your regard for me, the goodneʃs of your mind united
to a sound understanding having inclined you to consider parts of
my conduct towards you in their proper light, my attachment to you
will for the remainder of my life be firm & sincere, & tho my situation
will never permit me to be a useful friend, I shall at least be a safe
one, as I have an abhorrence to all oblique & interested ideas, and
your having hazarded a very dangerous step on my account was the
most convincing proof of your faithful attachment to me, but not
to be attempted again. I have now been fully Twenty Five years in
Ireland with the same Preferment, with connections avowedly su=
perior
to almost any Persons of the same Profeʃsion in this country.
I have seen in that period of Time a series of Men of the lowest



claʃs with respect either to birth or merit raised to the highest sta=
tions
, to these they have ascended either by base marriages, by servile
situations in great Families, by being The Managers of Corporations &
Borroughs, not to mention country Schoolmasters & College Tutors. My
Rank in life, did not at my setting out, prompt me to aspire after merit
in any of these departments. I cou'd have no other dependence but on
the zealous protection of my Family connections, and principally from a
great Personage having condescended to adopt his Royal Fathers in=
tentions
towards me, which was most expreʃsly signified to me upon various
occasions. But I am leading you through a tiresome deduction of
circumstances to the scope of my letter, which at last is this, whatever my
feelings may be from having been so long neglected & forgot without indulging
myself in unavailing complaints, I mean to retire satisfied with the indepen=
dent
state I find myself in by the bounty of Providence, & after having resigned
my Living, of which I have already notified my intention to my Bishop, I propose
to go to Geneva, there to reside for some time at least, solely for the benefit
of my children, where I shall superintend their education. My Son now
ten years old, has but a weak constitution, having never recover'd the inocula=
tion
. My Daughter now past thirteen years old is in a much happier
state, as she enjoys perfect health, her education being already well ad=
vanced
, and as she has talents to qualify her to reap every benefit from
the society of well educated persons. The idea of serving these Children
so eʃsentially makes me overlook every thing that may not be so flattering
to myself. As for worldly views they will not enter much into my future
plan; the having at last put a period to painful pursuits after advance=
ment
, will in itself be to me a state of happineʃs greater than I have ever
yet enjoy'd. These were my Ideas & Wishes many years ago, but I permitted
them to give way to the persuasions of my Friends. If I cou'd have --



weakneʃs enough at my age to engage in a new round of pursuits, to expect [to]
create new interests, for those I have are good for nothing, when old age h[as]
overtaken me. I shou'd most probably have cause to lament that my latte[r]
follies were greater than my first. I propose to part with all my Persona[l]
Property in this Country as soon as I can find Purchasers. The Management
of my Estates both here and in Scotland, is, I hope, in such a train as
will not require my Attendance. I will take care to give very parti=
cular
instructions that your Remittance may be made punctually.
My Affairs will not I believe permit me to leave Ireland sooner than the
Month of June next. I have already sold my House in Town, having
had the idea of paʃsing the winter at my Villa, but finding it cold &
solitary I have taken a House in Sackville Street for the time I propose
to remain in Ireland & it happens to be one that I had formerly occu=
pied
. I have long thought myself something of a Philosopher, I hope in the
retreat I have chosen to make further progreʃs in sentiments of contentment
& chearful resignation, for a diʃsatisfied & repining spirit is truely con=
temptible
. I please myself with the idea of being able to say when I
shall write to you from that retreat tandem tranquillus, I make
no Apology for a sentence of Latin, for I remember you once surpriz'd
me with a whole letter in that language. If you shou'd happen to
be in London when I paʃs through it I shall be most happy to call upon
you to aʃsure you once more in Person that I am
                                                         My Dear Miʃs Hamilton
                                                         Your very faithful & Affecte Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

Ps...
Mrs.. H. desires to be remember'd
to you, pray do not forget me to
the Grevilles & Cathcarts to the Stormonts
only for form sake.[1]

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


Notes


 1. These four lines appear to the left of the closing salutation and signature.

Normalised Text


Sackville Street Dublin
December 29th. 1781.

My Dear Miss Hamilton

      I have at last receiv'd your long expected letter, for be assured that I
am not in default as I answered your very obliging letter of the 31st. of May
last a few days after it came to hand, & put it into the Post Office myself
for its greater security, & I am in hopes you will recollect having receiv'd that
letter which you might very well have forgot, from the constant hurry of your
attendance. I am very glad to hear that your constitution seems to have
taken a turn so much for the better, but still I could wish that it might
not be put to too severe a trial, though I would strenuously recommend a
steady perseverance however attended with difficulties. I am persuaded
you require no incitement to carry you on, and I have the firmest hopes that
the period is not far distant, when finding yourself in a state of more
independence, you will look back with pleasure to the steps that
have led you to it. As I have every possible reason to be convinced of
the sincerity of your regard for me, the goodness of your mind united
to a sound understanding having inclined you to consider parts of
my conduct towards you in their proper light, my attachment to you
will for the remainder of my life be firm & sincere, & though my situation
will never permit me to be a useful friend, I shall at least be a safe
one, as I have an abhorrence to all oblique & interested ideas, and
your having hazarded a very dangerous step on my account was the
most convincing proof of your faithful attachment to me, but not
to be attempted again. I have now been fully Twenty Five years in
Ireland with the same Preferment, with connections avowedly superior
to almost any Persons of the same Profession in this country.
I have seen in that period of Time a series of Men of the lowest



class with respect either to birth or merit raised to the highest stations
, to these they have ascended either by base marriages, by servile
situations in great Families, by being The Managers of Corporations &
Boroughs, not to mention country Schoolmasters & College Tutors. My
Rank in life, did not at my setting out, prompt me to aspire after merit
in any of these departments. I could have no other dependence but on
the zealous protection of my Family connections, and principally from a
great Personage having condescended to adopt his Royal Fathers intentions
towards me, which was most expressly signified to me upon various
occasions. But I am leading you through a tiresome deduction of
circumstances to the scope of my letter, which at last is this, whatever my
feelings may be from having been so long neglected & forgot without indulging
myself in unavailing complaints, I mean to retire satisfied with the independent
state I find myself in by the bounty of Providence, & after having resigned
my Living, of which I have already notified my intention to my Bishop, I propose
to go to Geneva, there to reside for some time at least, solely for the benefit
of my children, where I shall superintend their education. My Son now
ten years old, has but a weak constitution, having never recover'd the inoculation
. My Daughter now past thirteen years old is in a much happier
state, as she enjoys perfect health, her education being already well advanced
, and as she has talents to qualify her to reap every benefit from
the society of well educated persons. The idea of serving these Children
so essentially makes me overlook every thing that may not be so flattering
to myself. As for worldly views they will not enter much into my future
plan; the having at last put a period to painful pursuits after advancement
, will in itself be to me a state of happiness greater than I have ever
yet enjoy'd. These were my Ideas & Wishes many years ago, but I permitted
them to give way to the persuasions of my Friends. If I could have --



weakness enough at my age to engage in a new round of pursuits, to expect to
create new interests, for those I have are good for nothing, when old age has
overtaken me. I should most probably have cause to lament that my latter
follies were greater than my first. I propose to part with all my Personal
Property in this Country as soon as I can find Purchasers. The Management
of my Estates both here and in Scotland, is, I hope, in such a train as
will not require my Attendance. I will take care to give very particular
instructions that your Remittance may be made punctually.
My Affairs will not I believe permit me to leave Ireland sooner than the
Month of June next. I have already sold my House in Town, having
had the idea of passing the winter at my Villa, but finding it cold &
solitary I have taken a House in Sackville Street for the time I propose
to remain in Ireland & it happens to be one that I had formerly occupied
. I have long thought myself something of a Philosopher, I hope in the
retreat I have chosen to make further progress in sentiments of contentment
& cheerful resignation, for a dissatisfied & repining spirit is truly contemptible
. I please myself with the idea of being able to say when I
shall write to you from that retreat tandem tranquillus, I make
no Apology for a sentence of Latin, for I remember you once surprised
me with a whole letter in that language. If you should happen to
be in London when I pass through it I shall be most happy to call upon
you to assure you once more in Person that I am
                                                         My Dear Miss Hamilton
                                                         Your very faithful & Affectionate Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

Ps...
Mrs.. Hamilton desires to be remember'd
to you, pray do not forget me to
the Grevilles & Cathcarts to the Stormonts
only for form sake.

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



 1. These four lines appear to the left of the closing salutation and 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/1/4/1/20

Correspondence Details

Author: Frederick Hamilton

Place sent: Dublin

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 29 December 1781

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Rev. Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. He writes that he has now been twenty-five years in Ireland at the same preferment and that he has higher connections than most people in his profession in Ireland; yet during his time in the country he has seen a number of men from the lowest class move up the ranks. They have done this by means of 'base marriages, by servile situations in great Families, by being The Managers of Corporations & Borroughs, not to mention country Schoolmasters & College Tutors'. He continues to note that when he was beginning his career, 'My Rank in life, did not [...] prompt me to aspire after [...] any of these departments'. In the letter he suggests that it was the Prince of Wales who had increased his expectations by condescending 'to adopt his Royal Fathers intentions towards me'.
    The letter continues about Frederick Hamilton's future plans. He has written to the Bishop informing him of his intention of resigning his living. He proposes to travel to Geneva and reside there for a time and supervise his children's education. He will dispose of his personal property in Ireland as soon as he can find a purchaser, and his estates in Scotland and Ireland are in a position that should not require his attendance. He is philosophical about the change in his circumstances and writes a line in Latin, for which, he notes, he will not apologise to Mary Hamilton as he remembers being surprised to receive a whole letter written in Latin by her.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1032 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: Stephanie Dobson, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted December 2013)

Transliterator: Hala Shablak, 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: 2 April 2020

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