Single Letter

HAM/1/4/3/15

Letter from Jane Holman to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


daughter of Rev Fredk
Jane Hamilton
afterwards
Mrs Holman

Portman Square
London.
December 27th:-
1792

My dear Mrs: Dickenson,

      I am afraid you begin to suspect me of
having forgotten my Promise of writing to
you. I deferr'd it purposely, till I cou'd tell
you of my being got into this House, which
happen'd above a Fortnight ago. Our unsettled
State must be my Excuse for not writing
more immediately. --      Before I proceed
any farther, I must return many Thanks,
in my Father and Mother's Name, as well as
my own, to you and Mr: Dickenson, for a very
fine Hare that we received from you the
other Day. Don't however, fancy that it
reminded me of writing to you, for I aʃsure
you I had been talking of doing so, for some



Time. --      We like this House extremely; its
Situation is very fine. We inhabit the Parlours
for the present, the Drawing-Room not
being as yet, quite finish'd. I think that
when once we become entirely settled, we
shall find ourselves as comfortably lodged as
ever we were.
I hope your little Daughter is well -- I
understand she is a remarkably clever, and
agreeable Child. I shall be very glad when
you have an Opportunity of introducing this
little Cousin to me. Tell me whether there
is any Chance of it in the next Spring. London
is very pleasant at that Season, if it were
but convenient for you to come. I think
I am a graceleʃs Creature, to have written so



far, without enquiring after my Brother. I
hope he is quite well, and will be so old-fashion'd
as to wish him, in all our Names, a merry
Christmas, a happy New-Year, and a great
many Returns of them. I beg you, Mr: Dickenson,
and little Louisa, will accept of the same
good Wishes from us. --      I suppose you
have a hundred ingenious Devices for ma-
king
long Christmas Evenings short. You used
to have a famous Collection of Riddles, which,
for that Kind of Purpose, often prove an
Aʃsistance. --      I have not been at the Play
this Winter, owing to the Busineʃs of our moving;
but I hope I shall go soon. I continue
to amuse myself very much, with Music.
I have been once at the Opera, and was very



well entertained.      Lady Stormont[1] is come
to Town. Her Daughter is much improved --
she is really a very pretty little Girl. The Boys
are likewise, grown, and improved.
      This is expected to be a remarkably gay Season
among the fine People, on account of the
Ducheʃs of York.[2] I have not seen her yet -- I
understand she is very amiable, but no Beauty.
She will be a great Acquisition to the poor
Princeʃses, for I think it is impoʃsible to stand
more in Need than they did, of some young Friend.
I suppose they may go into Public with her -- may
they not? --      Pray don't let my long Silence
prevent your writing to me soon. I shall be
happy to hear from you. Our best Regards attend
you, Mr: Dickenson, and my Brother, and I am,
                             my dear Cousin,
                             truly and affectely: your's.
Jane Hamilton

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


Notes


 1. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 2. Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820), married to her cousin Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), son of King George III.

Normalised Text



Portman Square
London.
December 27th:-

My dear Mrs: Dickenson,

      I am afraid you begin to suspect me of
having forgotten my Promise of writing to
you. I deferr'd it purposely, till I could tell
you of my being got into this House, which
happen'd above a Fortnight ago. Our unsettled
State must be my Excuse for not writing
more immediately. --      Before I proceed
any farther, I must return many Thanks,
in my Father and Mother's Name, as well as
my own, to you and Mr: Dickenson, for a very
fine Hare that we received from you the
other Day. Don't however, fancy that it
reminded me of writing to you, for I assure
you I had been talking of doing so, for some



Time. --      We like this House extremely; its
Situation is very fine. We inhabit the Parlours
for the present, the Drawing-Room not
being as yet, quite finish'd. I think that
when once we become entirely settled, we
shall find ourselves as comfortably lodged as
ever we were.
I hope your little Daughter is well -- I
understand she is a remarkably clever, and
agreeable Child. I shall be very glad when
you have an Opportunity of introducing this
little Cousin to me. Tell me whether there
is any Chance of it in the next Spring. London
is very pleasant at that Season, if it were
but convenient for you to come. I think
I am a graceless Creature, to have written so



far, without enquiring after my Brother. I
hope he is quite well, and will be so old-fashion'd
as to wish him, in all our Names, a merry
Christmas, a happy New-Year, and a great
many Returns of them. I beg you, Mr: Dickenson,
and little Louisa, will accept of the same
good Wishes from us. --      I suppose you
have a hundred ingenious Devices for making
long Christmas Evenings short. You used
to have a famous Collection of Riddles, which,
for that Kind of Purpose, often prove an
Assistance. --      I have not been at the Play
this Winter, owing to the Business of our moving;
but I hope I shall go soon. I continue
to amuse myself very much, with Music.
I have been once at the Opera, and was very



well entertained.      Lady Stormont is come
to Town. Her Daughter is much improved --
she is really a very pretty little Girl. The Boys
are likewise, grown, and improved.
      This is expected to be a remarkably gay Season
among the fine People, on account of the
Duchess of York. I have not seen her yet -- I
understand she is very amiable, but no Beauty.
She will be a great Acquisition to the poor
Princesses, for I think it is impossible to stand
more in Need than they did, of some young Friend.
I suppose they may go into Public with her -- may
they not? --      Pray don't let my long Silence
prevent your writing to me soon. I shall be
happy to hear from you. Our best Regards attend
you, Mr: Dickenson, and my Brother, and I am,
                             my dear Cousin,
                             truly and affectionately your's.
Jane Hamilton

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quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 2. Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820), married to her cousin Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), son of King George III.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Jane Holman to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/3/15

Correspondence Details

Author: Jane Holman (née Hamilton)

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith (certainty: low)

Date sent: 27 December 1792

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Jane Hamilton to Mary Hamilton, concerning general family news. Jane writes to her cousin that she assumes she has many 'ingenious Devices for making long Christmas Evenings short', as she remembers that she used to have a famous collection of riddles for such a purpose. Jane hopes to see her cousin in London soon and writes that it is expected to be a 'gay Season among the fine People, on account of the Duchess of York [Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820)]'. Jane has not seen her yet, though she believes that she is very agreeable 'but no Beauty', and that her coming to London will be good for the princesses, for she thinks it is 'impossible to stand more in Need than they did, of some young Friend'.
    Dated at Portman Square, London.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 518 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: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Adriana Pérez-Pazo, dissertation student, University of Vigo (submitted March 2015)

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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