Single Letter

HAM/1/4/1/34

Letter from Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


July 1791

Dear Mrs. Dickenson,

      My Daughter had the pleasure of your letter
a few days ago, & she desires me to aʃsure you that she is sensible
of your goodneʃs to her & wou'd not have deferr'd writing
to you had I not informed her that I proposed myself that
pleasure immediately to thank you & Mr. Dickenson for your
very great attention & kindneʃs to us by your invitation of
my Son to paʃs some time with you at Taxal, by which I
find he is very happy, & I believe he proposes setting out
the end of the present week. I shou'd think myself unworthy
the constant attachment & friendship I have experienced from

you & Mr. Dickenson[1] were I silent upon the character of
your Cousin, which is to me at this moment a subject of the
utmost distreʃs. You have reason to know the date of his
Commiʃsion in the 10th. light Dragoons, since it was mark'd
by an instance of generosity of a Friend of yours that I can
never forget. My Son join'd the Regt. the beginning of last
February twelve month & has been constantly with it till



within these three weeks, when he obtain'd leave of absence. I have
had the mortification to receive constant complaints of him, for
conduct unbecoming an Officer, by keeping low company, ne=
gligence
of his duty, contracting debts, withdrawing himself
from the society of his Brother Officers, under the pretence that it
was to avoid drinking, & upon all occasions having a dirty
slovenly appearance. Under these circumstances it is no wonder
that he is disliked & despised by almost every Officer in the Regt.
& had it not been from the particular friendship of General Pitt &
the Lieutenant Colonel's to Mr. Robt. Greville, he wou'd long since have
been desir'd to withdraw from the Regt. Having by an uncommon
quick succeʃsion attain'd the Rank of eldest Cornet, he might
in a few weeks have succeeded by purchase to a Lieutenancy,
which I have not only been obliged to decline but to take
him out of the Regt voluntarily, apprehending that I might
soon be obliged to do it by neceʃsity, as upon examination I found
the complaints too well founded with respect to his conduct in
the Regt. Tho' I allow'd him two Hundred Pounds a year in addition
to his pay, & sent him to the Regt. well provided in every respect
& without debt, he now leaves the Army without reputation
& much in debt, to save his credit as much as poʃsible I have
agreed to pay his Debts, a list of which he gave me upon honor



as being the whole amount of them, but he is now as he has ever
been a stranger to truth & honor for I am daily making discoveries
of engagements he has enter'd into for very large Sums for things un=
neceʃsary
& which it wou'd be impoʃsible for him to discharge for ins=
tance
, I made a discovery yesterday that he had bespoke a watch for
which he was to pay £70.0.0 A few days ago I discover'd that he had
given promiʃsory Drafts payable in a few months for one hundred
& five Guineas for a Phaeton, in which he proposed making his
appearance at Taxal; the Horses wou'd have been an other great
expence, however I have had the addreʃs to persuade the man to
keep his Phaeton which is not worth more than £25. & ------
the Drafts which are now in my poʃseʃsion. Judge of the painfu[l]
state of my mind in the recollection of having a Son so totally
devoid of truth honesty & common sense, what can be done
with such a subject? He is very desirous that I shou'd permit
him to go to Germany after his visit at Taxal, I think I shall not
agree to it as I have not the smallest confidence in him. As for
having him in my house with such principles, what cou'd
be expected but continual discord? Palombi has commu=
nicated
to me his expected happineʃs; if Miʃs D. resembles her
Br. in any respect O Derbyshire! supply the rest yourself Remem=
ber
me most affectionately to Mr D. & believe me your Affect. Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

July 12th. 1791
      No. 19. Orchard St. Portman Sqr.



      Since my writing the within complaints of Rt. I have been informed
that he had countermanded the order for the watch before his final
disclosure to me of the whole amount of his debts, so that in that
single Article only there is room for some little extenuation.
      none of the particulars shou'd be mention'd to him, it only lead[2] him to falsify
I must insist my Dear Mrs. Dickenson, if you shou'd find him in
the least troublesome that you will give me a hint & he shall be withdrawn
immediately & the secret kept. I wou'd not let him come with either Servant or horse



      P.S. Pray acquaint Mr. Dickenson that as soon as Roberts
Succeʃsor lodges the money for the Cornetcy I shall be ready to
discharge my Debt to him with the Interest that will be due in
October; this is but just on my part as I have avail'd myself
so much of Mr. D.'s kindneʃs.


my ---- husband.


Mrs. Dickenson
Taxal Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire[3]

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


Notes


 1. The marginal note which reads 'my ---- husband' probably belongs here.
 2. Either 'would ... lead' or 'leads' probably intended.
 3. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded.

Normalised Text



Dear Mrs. Dickenson,

      My Daughter had the pleasure of your letter
a few days ago, & she desires me to assure you that she is sensible
of your goodness to her & would not have deferr'd writing
to you had I not informed her that I proposed myself that
pleasure immediately to thank you & Mr. Dickenson for your
very great attention & kindness to us by your invitation of
my Son to pass some time with you at Taxal, by which I
find he is very happy, & I believe he proposes setting out
the end of the present week. I should think myself unworthy
the constant attachment & friendship I have experienced from

you & Mr. Dickenson were I silent upon the character of
your Cousin, which is to me at this moment a subject of the
utmost distress. You have reason to know the date of his
Commission in the 10th. light Dragoons, since it was mark'd
by an instance of generosity of a Friend of yours that I can
never forget. My Son join'd the Regiment the beginning of last
February twelve month & has been constantly with it till



within these three weeks, when he obtain'd leave of absence. I have
had the mortification to receive constant complaints of him, for
conduct unbecoming an Officer, by keeping low company, negligence
of his duty, contracting debts, withdrawing himself
from the society of his Brother Officers, under the pretence that it
was to avoid drinking, & upon all occasions having a dirty
slovenly appearance. Under these circumstances it is no wonder
that he is disliked & despised by almost every Officer in the Regiment
& had it not been from the particular friendship of General Pitt &
the Lieutenant Colonel's to Mr. Robert Greville, he would long since have
been desir'd to withdraw from the Regiment Having by an uncommon
quick succession attain'd the Rank of eldest Cornet, he might
in a few weeks have succeeded by purchase to a Lieutenancy,
which I have not only been obliged to decline but to take
him out of the Regiment voluntarily, apprehending that I might
soon be obliged to do it by necessity, as upon examination I found
the complaints too well founded with respect to his conduct in
the Regiment though I allow'd him two Hundred Pounds a year in addition
to his pay, & sent him to the Regiment well provided in every respect
& without debt, he now leaves the Army without reputation
& much in debt, to save his credit as much as possible I have
agreed to pay his Debts, a list of which he gave me upon honor



as being the whole amount of them, but he is now as he has ever
been a stranger to truth & honor for I am daily making discoveries
of engagements he has enter'd into for very large Sums for things unnecessary
& which it would be impossible for him to discharge for instance
, I made a discovery yesterday that he had bespoke a watch for
which he was to pay £70.0.0 A few days ago I discover'd that he had
given promissory Drafts payable in a few months for one hundred
& five Guineas for a Phaeton, in which he proposed making his
appearance at Taxal; the Horses would have been an other great
expense, however I have had the address to persuade the man to
keep his Phaeton which is not worth more than £25. & ------
the Drafts which are now in my possession. Judge of the painful
state of my mind in the recollection of having a Son so totally
devoid of truth honesty & common sense, what can be done
with such a subject? He is very desirous that I should permit
him to go to Germany after his visit at Taxal, I think I shall not
agree to it as I have not the smallest confidence in him. As for
having him in my house with such principles, what could
be expected but continual discord? Palombi has communicated
to me his expected happiness; if Miss Dickenson resembles her
Brother in any respect O Derbyshire! supply the rest yourself Remember
me most affectionately to Mr Dickenson & believe me your Affectionate Uncle
Frederick Hamilton

July 12th. 1791
      No. 19. Orchard Street Portman Sqr.



      Since my writing the within complaints of Robert I have been informed
that he had countermanded the order for the watch before his final
disclosure to me of the whole amount of his debts, so that in that
single Article only there is room for some little extenuation.
      none of the particulars should be mention'd to him, it only lead him to falsify
I must insist my Dear Mrs. Dickenson, if you should find him in
the least troublesome that you will give me a hint & he shall be withdrawn
immediately & the secret kept. I would not let him come with either Servant or horse



      P.S. Pray acquaint Mr. Dickenson that as soon as Roberts
Successor lodges the money for the Cornetcy I shall be ready to
discharge my Debt to him with the Interest that will be due in
October; this is but just on my part as I have avail'd myself
so much of Mr. Dickenson's kindness.





Mrs. Dickenson
Taxal Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire

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



 1. The marginal note which reads 'my ---- husband' probably belongs here.
 2. Either 'would ... lead' or 'leads' probably intended.
 3. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded.

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/1/4/1/34

Correspondence Details

Author: Frederick Hamilton

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Date sent: 12 July 1791

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Rev. Frederick Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. He thanks Mary Hamilton for inviting Robert Hamilton, Frederick's son, to her house in Taxal, Derbyshire. Robert Hamilton had gained a commission in the 10th Light Dragoons over a year ago, due in part to his cousin's influence, and he had been with the regiment until his now having three weeks' leave of absence. His father reports that he has been causing him 'some distress'. He has received many complaints on his conduct, which is described as 'unbecoming an Officer'. He mixes with 'low' company, contracts debts and also has a 'dirty, slovenly appearance', and is disliked by almost all the other officers. Frederick Hamilton has withdrawn him from the Regiment voluntarily, aware that if he stays there much longer he may be made to withdraw. The letter continues to describe Robert's character and is concerned with his debts. Frederick Hamilton advises his niece to let him know if she has any concerns about his son's behaviour while visiting her.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 889 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

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Benjamin Fearn, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted December 2013)

Transliterator: Gracie Smith, 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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