Single Letter

HAM/1/4/3/27

Letter from Jane Holman to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


My dear Cousin,

      I am anxious to know how you all do,
and whether you have escaped inunda-
tion
during the uncommon weather we
have had. It has suspended my journey
to Bath; for the accounts thence, and of
the roads in general, are tremendous.
      I have, thank God, experienced no illneʃs
nor inconvenience; but am in deep
concern at present, for the loʃs of
General Anstruther,[1] with whom I was
acquainted, and who married a friend
and near relation of mine: she is left
with five little ones, to deplore this
dreadful misfortune. The recent events
of war, have been most calamitous. Every
one must poignantly lament Sir John
Moore:[2] I was not acquainted with him,
but am, with some of his family: they
are all (as you may suppose) overwhelmed
with grief -- his poor Mother, in particular.
      I heard lately from my dear Father -- he is



tolerably well. I purpose visiting him when
the weather will permit.      -- I am
extremely comfortable in my little Apartments,
which I have now had a trial of, both
in heat and cold; for the Summer, you
may remember, was intense, and so, I am
sure, has been the Winter. I have got
my Piano-Forte; but have not made any
great use of it yet, as of late, there has
been no stirring from the fire. Àpropos
to fire -- what terrible conflagrations have
occurred this Winter -- I think I never
remember so many in the same space
of time -- Covent Garden Theatre, St: James's
Palace, an Hotel and two or three other
houses in Conduit Street, &c. &c. -- The
Theatre is rebuilding, and, it is said, will
be ready to open in September next; of
the poʃsibility of which, I have my doubts;
but suppose that those who make the aʃser-
tion
know more of the matter than I.
      I have seen by the papers (and so have you
no doubt) that the Trial of Ly: E. B.[3] & Mr. H-y[4]
is over. There was not much said in the



paper I saw, which I was glad of; but I think
the Damages were shamefully light. -- My Sister
has got a House in Merrion Square, Dublin,
for the Winter. I conclude she will not
come to England, this season. I should
think it better avoided, at this period. --
      I hope to receive good accounts of you,
Mr: Dickenson, and my Cousin Louisa.[5] Have
you any idea of London, for this Spring?
I flattered myself the Leʃsons in music
would be an inducement; but I find she
has had them in the Country: however the[re]
are such various attractions beside, that
I still, rather believe you will come. Tell
me your opinion upon the subject; and believe
me, with kindest regards to Mr: Dickenson
and my Cousin,
your sincerely obliged & affectionate
Jane Holman.


50 Mortimer Street
      London
      Feb: 4th: 1809

P.S. I fear the changes of
weather have been trying to
Mr: Dickenson's sprained arm --
Pray let me know how it is.[6]




Mrs: Dickenson[7]
Leighton House
Leighton Buzzard
Bedfordshire
Single

Mrs Holman
1809
[8]

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


Notes


 1. Robert Anstruther (1768–1809), a Scottish general who served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and related to Hamilton through marriage. He died of exhaustion during the retreat to Corunna in 1809 during the Peninsuala War.
 2. Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore (1761-1809), a British soldier and General, also known as Moore of Corunna. Best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he defeated a French army during the Peninsular War. General Anstruther was buried alongside him.
 3. Probably referring to Lady Emily Best, youngest daughter of Elizabeth and John Stratford (c.1742-1823) and niece of Jane Holman.
 4. Probably John Richard Delap Halliday, afterwards Tollemache, husband of Elizabeth Stratford the younger, eldest daughter of Elizabeth and John Stratford and niece of Jane Holman.
 5. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton.
 6. This postscript occurs to the right of the dateline, separated from it by a wavy line.
 7. Postmark 'C F.- 4 [1]80-' above address when unfolded.
 8. These two lines are written vertically on the right side of page 3 next to the address.

Normalised Text


My dear Cousin,

      I am anxious to know how you all do,
and whether you have escaped inundation
during the uncommon weather we
have had. It has suspended my journey
to Bath; for the accounts thence, and of
the roads in general, are tremendous.
      I have, thank God, experienced no illness
nor inconvenience; but am in deep
concern at present, for the loss of
General Anstruther, with whom I was
acquainted, and who married a friend
and near relation of mine: she is left
with five little ones, to deplore this
dreadful misfortune. The recent events
of war, have been most calamitous. Every
one must poignantly lament Sir John
Moore: I was not acquainted with him,
but am, with some of his family: they
are all (as you may suppose) overwhelmed
with grief -- his poor Mother, in particular.
      I heard lately from my dear Father -- he is



tolerably well. I purpose visiting him when
the weather will permit.      -- I am
extremely comfortable in my little Apartments,
which I have now had a trial of, both
in heat and cold; for the Summer, you
may remember, was intense, and so, I am
sure, has been the Winter. I have got
my Piano-Forte; but have not made any
great use of it yet, as of late, there has
been no stirring from the fire. Àpropos
to fire -- what terrible conflagrations have
occurred this Winter -- I think I never
remember so many in the same space
of time -- Covent Garden Theatre, St: James's
Palace, an Hotel and two or three other
houses in Conduit Street, &c. &c. -- The
Theatre is rebuilding, and, it is said, will
be ready to open in September next; of
the possibility of which, I have my doubts;
but suppose that those who make the assertion
know more of the matter than I.
      I have seen by the papers (and so have you
no doubt) that the Trial of Lady Elizabeth Best & Mr. H-y
is over. There was not much said in the



paper I saw, which I was glad of; but I think
the Damages were shamefully light. -- My Sister
has got a House in Merrion Square, Dublin,
for the Winter. I conclude she will not
come to England, this season. I should
think it better avoided, at this period. --
      I hope to receive good accounts of you,
Mr: Dickenson, and my Cousin Louisa. Have
you any idea of London, for this Spring?
I flattered myself the Lessons in music
would be an inducement; but I find she
has had them in the Country: however there
are such various attractions beside, that
I still, rather believe you will come. Tell
me your opinion upon the subject; and believe
me, with kindest regards to Mr: Dickenson
and my Cousin,
your sincerely obliged & affectionate
Jane Holman.


50 Mortimer Street
      London
      February 4th: 1809

P.S. I fear the changes of
weather have been trying to
Mr: Dickenson's sprained arm --
Pray let me know how it is.




Mrs: Dickenson
Leighton House
Leighton Buzzard
Bedfordshire
Single

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 1. Robert Anstruther (1768–1809), a Scottish general who served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and related to Hamilton through marriage. He died of exhaustion during the retreat to Corunna in 1809 during the Peninsuala War.
 2. Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore (1761-1809), a British soldier and General, also known as Moore of Corunna. Best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he defeated a French army during the Peninsular War. General Anstruther was buried alongside him.
 3. Probably referring to Lady Emily Best, youngest daughter of Elizabeth and John Stratford (c.1742-1823) and niece of Jane Holman.
 4. Probably John Richard Delap Halliday, afterwards Tollemache, husband of Elizabeth Stratford the younger, eldest daughter of Elizabeth and John Stratford and niece of Jane Holman.
 5. Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson (1787-1837), daughter of John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton.
 6. This postscript occurs to the right of the dateline, separated from it by a wavy line.
 7. Postmark 'C F.- 4 [1]80-' above address when unfolded.
 8. These two lines are written vertically on the right side of page 3 next to the address.

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/1/4/3/27

Correspondence Details

Author: Jane Holman (née Hamilton)

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Leighton Buzzard, Beds.

Date sent: 4 February 1809

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mrs Jane Holman née Hamilton to Mary Hamilton, concerning general news. She reports the death of General Anstruther [Robert Anstruther, Army Officer (1768-1809), a relation through marriage to Hamilton, died from dysentery after his brigade was ordered to close the retreat from Toro], who leaves five children. She writes that the 'recent events of the war, have been most calamitous'.
    London has seen more terrible fires this winter than ever before, the 'Covent Garden Theatre, St James's Palace, a Hotel and two or three other homes in Conduit Street'. Jane Holman reports that the theatre is being rebuilt and is said to be opening in September, although she herself doubts this.
    Dated at 50 Mortimer Street [London].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 505 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: Adam Selby, undergraduate 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: 13 April 2020

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