Single Letter

HAM/1/4/3/7

Letter from Jane Holman to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Miʃs Hamilton
Octr. 1786
[1]


Dear Mrs: Dickenson --

      Thank you for the long Letter that I receiv'd from
you a little while ago -- you see I have taken a large
Sheet of Paper in order to pay you in kind; but I don't
promise that you won't be tir'd before you have got thro,
it -- however, you desir'd a long Letter, so you must have
patience. I had the pleasure of seeing Mrs: and Miʃs Glover,[2]
a few Days ago -- they were in Town for a couple of Days --
they don't come to stay, 'till December -- they are both ve-
-ry
well -- I told Miʃs Glover that I had lately receiv'd
a Letter from you, and that I shou'd write to you
shortly, so she begg'd me to give her Love to you.
      I am much oblig'd to you for the interest you are so good as
to take, in the health of my Sister, and her Children -- I
had a Letter from her lately, and she was very well -- she
mention'd that her eldest Daughter had been ill, but
was recover'd -- She has three Daughters, but no Son.
      I see by the Papers, that Lord Napier[3] has got a Son -- so I
suppose you will not be permitted to be God-Mother -- As
you say Lord Napier is an admirer of mine, I think my-
-self
bound in gratitude to take his part -- therefore say,
that he is in the right, not to hazard his Son's Bones, by
letting him have an opportunity of receiving any instructions
from so saucy a Lady as you -- I think, now, I have taken
his part very handsomely.      I suppose you know by this time,
that it is true that Mr: Charles Hamilton of Bath[4] is dead --
though, upon second thoughts, you may not know it, be-
-cause
, (being in the Country) you may not have heard
any thing further than what you saw in the News-Papers.
      Colonel Cathcart[5] is much recover'd -- travelling he found too



much for him, long before he got near Scotland, therefore,
return'd to London -- he is now at Lord Cathcarts[6] House, in
Charles Street, Berkeley Square -- he was with us last
Friday Evening, and seem'd pretty well. Lady Stormont[7]
was likewise with us, and brought William, George, and
Charles Murray -- all the little Murray's have had the
Measles, except William -- Lord[8] and Lady Stormont wish'd
much that he shou'd have them, because he is going
to Westminster School -- but he did not catch them tho'
he try'd for it, by not only being in the House with his
Brothers, while they had them, but by nursing little Henry --
William is to go to Westminster, in leʃs than a fort-
-night
, I believe -- he is much grown and improv'd,
and is really, as fine a Boy as can be seen, of his age.
My Mother has been extremely ill, of a Cold which fell
violently on her Lungs -- she had much fever, kept her
Bed some Days, and was blooded twice in two Days -- she
is now, however, (thank God,) pretty well recover'd, but must
be very careful of herself. My Father and myself have
been well, excepting colds, and are now quite well.
My Father begs his best Compliments to you and Mr:
Dickenson -- he is oblig'd to you for your desire of
making him acquainted with the bad state of the
Irish affairs -- he knows it but too well -- all the in-
-telligence
you receiv'd about it is true, but he lives
in hopes of an amendment. Dowager Lady Warwick[9]
is very well, and returns her Compliments to you,
with thanks for your kind remembrance of her.
Mrs: Walkinshaw[10] is not yet come to Town.
I don't describe the Plan of our new House to you,
because I hope for the pleasure of seeing you
in London before it is completed, and I shou'd have
more satisfaction in shewing it to you, than in describing



it in a Letter -- However if I must not expect to see you
soon, I will describe it as well as I can, in my
next Letter. I like our Situation extremely -- indeed it is
impoʃsible to do otherwise, for it is certainly, one of the
finest in London.      My Brother is very well, and much
flatter'd by Mr: Dickenson's & your affectionate remembrance of him -- he
does not forget either you, or his friend Mr: Dickenson --
you are both great favourites of his -- he is much
grown and improv'd, and I hear he makes a pretty
good progreʃs in Latin -- We are now so much more
in his Neighbourhood than when we were in
Bedford-Square, that 'till very lately, he came
to dine with us every Sunday, but the Days are
now too short for that.      I go on with Music as much
as ever, and like it (of course,) better and better, the
more I know about it. I have learnt Italian since
I saw you -- indeed I continue to take Leʃsons in
it -- I think it a remarkable pretty Language --
it is certainly, peculiarly adapted to Music.
      Do you walk about much in the Country? I
suppose you do. I walk in Hyde Park when
the Weather permits. Do you ride? I suppose
you know that Miʃs Glover has learnt to drive
a pair of Ponies, in a low Phaeton, this Summer -- she
likes driving, very much. Miʃs Clarke's[11] came to Town
the other Day -- I have not yet seen them, but
hope to do so shortly. -- I shou'd think it must begin
to be cold in the Country, but suppose you are grown
so hardy, by living there, as not to mind it.
      This is a stupid Letter enough; but I can't help it -- I



seldom have much news to tell.      Poor Princeʃs Amelia[12]
(the King's Aunt,) is dying -- indeed she may be dead
now, for this Morning's Paper said, she was but just
alive last Night -- it is said, she will be a great
loʃs, for that she is a very charitable, good, Woman --
I don't know whether 'tis true, but the Papers said,
that she never recover'd the shock she receiv'd at the
death of her Cousin the King of Pruʃsia,[13] for that
she had taken it into her Head some time before his last illneʃs, that she shou'd
not long, survive him. I suppose you heard a great
deal about the attempt of Margaret Nicholson[14] to
aʃsaʃsinate the King -- there was more piece of
Work than enough, made about it, for the poor
Woman was undoubtedly mad -- she has been in Bed-
-lam
, ever since a Day or two after her mad action,
and I suppose (poor Creature!) will continue there, the
remainder of her Life. My Mother desires her
best Compliments to you, and says, she is sure you
don't stand in need of any instruction about your
Work; and that she shou'd commend it very much
if she was to see it, for that she knows what a
nice Work-Woman you are. Pray give her Compts:
and mine to Mr: Dickenson. I have seen my charming
friend Mrs: Siddons,[15] only once this season in public, as yet --
she call'd on us the other Morning, and look'd beautiful,
tho' she was rather indispos'd, having a great Cold -- I
hope soon, to see her perform, again. The next time
you do me the favour of writing to me, let me know
when I may expect the pleasure of seeing you in
London, for I think it very long since I have had that
pleasure. Adieu my dear Cousin, believe me yours sincerely
Jane Hamilton

October 30th: 1786. London.[16]

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


Notes


 1. These two lines are written vertically at the top right of page 1.
 2. Eleanor Glover and Mary Glover, wife and daughter, respectively, of Richard Glover (1712-1785), English writer and politician, best known for his epic poem Leonidas (1737).
 3. Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1758-1823), son of William, 7th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (d. 1775), Mary Hamilton's guardian.
 4. Hon. Charles Hamilton (1704-1786), great uncle of Mary Hamilton.
 5. Colonel Hon. Charles Allan Cathcart (1759-1788), cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 6. Lieutenant-Colonel William Schaw Cathcart, 10th Lord Cathcart (1755-1843), Scottish soldier and diplomatist, brother of Colonel Cathcart and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 7. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont (c1758-1843), married to David Murray (1727-1796) and cousin of Mary Hamilton. Sister of Colonel Cathcart and Lord Cathcart.
 8. David Murray, 7th Viscount of Stormont (1727-1796), husband of Lady Stormont (c1758-1843).
 9. Elizabeth Greville (née Hamilton), Countess of Warwick (c1721-1800), aunt of Mary Hamilton.
 10. A cousin of Mary Hamilton, according to HAM/1/7/12/3.
 11. Sisters Anna Maria and Caterina Clarke, friends of Mary Hamilton.
 12. Princess Amelia of Great Britain (1711-1786), aunt of King George III. She died the day after this letter was written.
 13. King Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great (1712-1786).
 14. Margaret Nicholson (c1750-1828), who assaulted King George III with a dessert knife in 1786 and was committed to Bethlem Royal Hospital for life.
 15. Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) (1755-1831), famous actress, friend of Mary Hamilton.
 16. This dateline appears to the left of the signature.

Normalised Text




Dear Mrs: Dickenson --

      Thank you for the long Letter that I receiv'd from
you a little while ago -- you see I have taken a large
Sheet of Paper in order to pay you in kind; but I don't
promise that you won't be tir'd before you have got through
it -- however, you desir'd a long Letter, so you must have
patience. I had the pleasure of seeing Mrs: and Miss Glover,
a few Days ago -- they were in Town for a couple of Days --
they don't come to stay, 'till December -- they are both very
well -- I told Miss Glover that I had lately receiv'd
a Letter from you, and that I should write to you
shortly, so she begg'd me to give her Love to you.
      I am much oblig'd to you for the interest you are so good as
to take, in the health of my Sister, and her Children -- I
had a Letter from her lately, and she was very well -- she
mention'd that her eldest Daughter had been ill, but
was recover'd -- She has three Daughters, but no Son.
      I see by the Papers, that Lord Napier has got a Son -- so I
suppose you will not be permitted to be God-Mother -- As
you say Lord Napier is an admirer of mine, I think myself
bound in gratitude to take his part -- therefore say,
that he is in the right, not to hazard his Son's Bones, by
letting him have an opportunity of receiving any instructions
from so saucy a Lady as you -- I think, now, I have taken
his part very handsomely.      I suppose you know by this time,
that it is true that Mr: Charles Hamilton of Bath is dead --
though, upon second thoughts, you may not know it, because
, (being in the Country) you may not have heard
any thing further than what you saw in the News-Papers.
      Colonel Cathcart is much recover'd -- travelling he found too



much for him, long before he got near Scotland, therefore,
return'd to London -- he is now at Lord Cathcarts House, in
Charles Street, Berkeley Square -- he was with us last
Friday Evening, and seem'd pretty well. Lady Stormont
was likewise with us, and brought William, George, and
Charles Murray -- all the little Murray's have had the
Measles, except William -- Lord and Lady Stormont wish'd
much that he should have them, because he is going
to Westminster School -- but he did not catch them though
he try'd for it, by not only being in the House with his
Brothers, while they had them, but by nursing little Henry --
William is to go to Westminster, in less than a fortnight
, I believe -- he is much grown and improv'd,
and is really, as fine a Boy as can be seen, of his age.
My Mother has been extremely ill, of a Cold which fell
violently on her Lungs -- she had much fever, kept her
Bed some Days, and was blooded twice in two Days -- she
is now, however, (thank God,) pretty well recover'd, but must
be very careful of herself. My Father and myself have
been well, excepting colds, and are now quite well.
My Father begs his best Compliments to you and Mr:
Dickenson -- he is oblig'd to you for your desire of
making him acquainted with the bad state of the
Irish affairs -- he knows it but too well -- all the intelligence
you receiv'd about it is true, but he lives
in hopes of an amendment. Dowager Lady Warwick
is very well, and returns her Compliments to you,
with thanks for your kind remembrance of her.
Mrs: Walkinshaw is not yet come to Town.
I don't describe the Plan of our new House to you,
because I hope for the pleasure of seeing you
in London before it is completed, and I should have
more satisfaction in shewing it to you, than in describing



it in a Letter -- if I must not expect to see you
soon, I will describe it as well as I can, in my
next Letter. I like our Situation extremely -- indeed it is
impossible to do otherwise, for it is certainly, one of the
finest in London.      My Brother is very well, and much
flatter'd by Mr: Dickenson's & your affectionate remembrance of him -- he
does not forget either you, or his friend Mr: Dickenson --
you are both great favourites of his -- he is much
grown and improv'd, and I hear he makes a pretty
good progress in Latin -- We are now so much more
in his Neighbourhood than when we were in
Bedford-Square, that 'till very lately, he came
to dine with us every Sunday, but the Days are
now too short for that.      I go on with Music as much
as ever, and like it (of course,) better and better, the
more I know about it. I have learnt Italian since
I saw you -- indeed I continue to take Lessons in
it -- I think it a remarkable pretty Language --
it is certainly, peculiarly adapted to Music.
      Do you walk about much in the Country? I
suppose you do. I walk in Hyde Park when
the Weather permits. Do you ride? I suppose
you know that Miss Glover has learnt to drive
a pair of Ponies, in a low Phaeton, this Summer -- she
likes driving, very much. Miss Clarke's came to Town
the other Day -- I have not yet seen them, but
hope to do so shortly. -- I should think it must begin
to be cold in the Country, but suppose you are grown
so hardy, by living there, as not to mind it.
      This is a stupid Letter enough; but I can't help it -- I



seldom have much news to tell.      Poor Princess Amelia
(the King's Aunt,) is dying -- indeed she may be dead
now, for this Morning's Paper said, she was but just
alive last Night -- it is said, she will be a great
loss, for that she is a very charitable, good, Woman --
I don't know whether 'tis true, but the Papers said,
that she never recover'd the shock she receiv'd at the
death of her Cousin the King of Prussia, for that
she had taken it into her Head some time before his last illness, that she should
not long, survive him. I suppose you heard a great
deal about the attempt of Margaret Nicholson to
assassinate the King -- there was more piece of
Work than enough, made about it, for the poor
Woman was undoubtedly mad -- she has been in Bedlam
, ever since a Day or two after her mad action,
and I suppose (poor Creature!) will continue there, the
remainder of her Life. My Mother desires her
best Compliments to you, and says, she is sure you
don't stand in need of any instruction about your
Work; and that she should commend it very much
if she was to see it, for that she knows what a
nice Work-Woman you are. Pray give her Compliments
and mine to Mr: Dickenson. I have seen my charming
friend Mrs: Siddons, only once this season in public, as yet --
she call'd on us the other Morning, and look'd beautiful,
though she was rather indispos'd, having a great Cold -- I
hope soon, to see her perform, again. The next time
you do me the favour of writing to me, let me know
when I may expect the pleasure of seeing you in
London, for I think it very long since I have had that
pleasure. Adieu my dear Cousin, believe me yours sincerely
Jane Hamilton

October 30th: 1786. London.

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



 1. These two lines are written vertically at the top right of page 1.
 2. Eleanor Glover and Mary Glover, wife and daughter, respectively, of Richard Glover (1712-1785), English writer and politician, best known for his epic poem Leonidas (1737).
 3. Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1758-1823), son of William, 7th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (d. 1775), Mary Hamilton's guardian.
 4. Hon. Charles Hamilton (1704-1786), great uncle of Mary Hamilton.
 5. Colonel Hon. Charles Allan Cathcart (1759-1788), cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 6. Lieutenant-Colonel William Schaw Cathcart, 10th Lord Cathcart (1755-1843), Scottish soldier and diplomatist, brother of Colonel Cathcart and cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 7. Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont (c1758-1843), married to David Murray (1727-1796) and cousin of Mary Hamilton. Sister of Colonel Cathcart and Lord Cathcart.
 8. David Murray, 7th Viscount of Stormont (1727-1796), husband of Lady Stormont (c1758-1843).
 9. Elizabeth Greville (née Hamilton), Countess of Warwick (c1721-1800), aunt of Mary Hamilton.
 10. A cousin of Mary Hamilton, according to HAM/1/7/12/3.
 11. Sisters Anna Maria and Caterina Clarke, friends of Mary Hamilton.
 12. Princess Amelia of Great Britain (1711-1786), aunt of King George III. She died the day after this letter was written.
 13. King Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great (1712-1786).
 14. Margaret Nicholson (c1750-1828), who assaulted King George III with a dessert knife in 1786 and was committed to Bethlem Royal Hospital for life.
 15. Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) (1755-1831), famous actress, friend of Mary Hamilton.
 16. This dateline appears to the left of the signature.

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/1/4/3/7

Correspondence Details

Author: Jane Holman (née Hamilton)

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

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

Date sent: 30 October 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Jane Hamilton to Mary Hamilton, relating to London society, family news and the Royal family.
    Jane is sympathetic to the plight of Margaret Nicholson [c.1750-1828], a woman who had assaulted King George III with a dessert knife. The newspapers, she believes, are making more of the incident than they should, as 'the poor Woman was undoubtedly mad'. Jane continues: 'She has been in Bedlam [...] and I suppose (poor Creature!) will continue there, the remainder of her Life'.
    The letter also reports on George III's aunt, Princess Amelia [Princess Amelia of Great Britain (1711-1786), who died the day after this letter was written], whom the newspapers reported as dying. Indeed, Jane writes, she may already be dead as that morning's paper reported that she was barely alive the previous night. The papers note that Princess Amelia was a very charitable woman and will be a great loss. Although Jane is not sure if it is true, the papers also report that Princess Amelia had never recovered from the death of her cousin, the King of Prussia [King Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great (1712-1786)], as she believed that her death would soon follow.
    Jane Hamilton has read about the birth of Lord Napier's [Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1758-1823), son of William, 7th Lord Napier of Merchistoun (d. 1775), Mary Hamilton's guardian] son in the newspapers (see HAM/1/20), and she jokes with Mary Hamilton about the prospective godparents. She assumes that Hamilton will not be allowed to be a godmother to the child -- 'As you say Lord Napier is an admirer of mine' -- and that in gratitude for his admiration she will take his part rather than her cousin's, and that Napier is 'in the right, not to hazard his Son's Bones, by letting him have an opportunity of receiving any instructions from so saucy a Lady as [Hamilton]'.
    The letter also updates Mary Hamilton with family news and the death of Charles Hamilton of Bath [Hon. Charles Hamilton (1704-1786), great uncle of Mary Hamilton]. Lady Stormont [Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, sister of Colonel Cathcart and Lord Cathcart and cousin of Mary Hamilton] has visited with her children and all have had measles with the exception of William. Lady Stormont hoped that he would have had it as well, as he is to go to Westminster soon [the public school]. Jane reports on a visit to the Hamiltons by Mrs. Siddons [Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) (1755-1831), famous actress, friend of Mary Hamilton], though she has seen her only once in public this season and hopes to see her at the theatre again soon. Dated at London.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1260 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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