Single Letter

HAM/1/4/4/3

Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


      Uncle Archies M[1]
      typed

Naples Novr. 5th. 1782.


A thousand thanks My Dear Niece
for your very affectionate letter I know
that your tender heart wou'd sensibly
feel for me in my present distreʃs,
you have indeed loʃt a valuable friend
but it is not in the power of Words
to expreʃs what I have lost. In spite
of all my philosophy and that I know
that all regrets are vain I cannot
help indulging myself in them every
moment -- a Chair a table a Piano-
forte
Alas! every little circumstance
recalls to my mind the happy moments that are
                                                         gone



gone for ever, I have nothing for it
but to drive away thought as much as
I can and indeed H.S. Majesty is so
good as to aʃsist me greatly in that
respect, for He takes me out a shooting
every day & says he will do so as long
as the Shooting Season continues, to day
above 70 Wild Boars have fall'n
& when we have nothing better to do
we shoot larks -- I often think of a
farce[2] in which one is described as
such a perfect Nimrod, that he
hunted every thing, from the flea
in the blanket to the Elephant in
the forrest; which is pretty near our
                                                         Case



Case; The air and exercise keeps up my
health and Spirits which woud infallibly
suffer was I to stay much at home which
is no longer comfortable to me -- The Queen
of Naples is also very kind to me & often
sends for me to paʃs the Evening with Her
and the Princeʃs Royal -- The present
Diʃsipation and the healing hand of
time will I hope recover my spirits
in some degree, but I must for ever
sensibly feel the loʃs of the most amiable,
the most gentle & virtuous Companion
that ever man was bleʃsed with. Shou'd
the Peace take place, as I hope, I mean
to ask the King's leave to return home
for a short time to settle some affairs of



real consequence to me -- The journey woud
also be of use to me.
      The kind sensibility which
Their Majesties were pleased to shew
& their Gracious expreʃsions on Learning
of my heavy loʃs (& which have been
reported to me by others as well as
yourself) have, as you, may well think,
given me great satisfaction, pray
when you have an opportunity expreʃs
my warmest & most respectfull Grati
tude
to Their Majesties -- I have long
had the honor of being well acquainted
with the tenderneʃs & goodneʃs of the
Kings Heart & no One has ever doubted
of that of the Queen's -- Adieu My Dr. Niece
Yours most affectionately

Wm: Hamilton




      P.S. I have set aside for You an
Antique ring, which was constantly
worn by poor Ly. H., & will send it You
by the first opportunity, it is on a
Turkey Stone & the Subject is a
Perseus.



[vi]a Mantua

To
The Honble: Miʃs Hamilton
at St. James's Palace
Windsor Palace
Inghilterra London
at Buckingham House

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


Notes


 1. This annotation is very faint and may have been erased. The letter does not appear to be quoted in Sir Archibald Anson's memoirs (for which see HAM/1/4/4/1). It is, however, quoted from in Anson & Anson (1925: 151-2).
 2. Charles Macklin, 'Love à-la-mode' (first played 1759, published 1779).

Normalised Text


     
     

Naples November 5th. 1782.


A thousand thanks My Dear Niece
for your very affectionate letter I know
that your tender heart would sensibly
feel for me in my present distress,
you have indeed lost a valuable friend
but it is not in the power of Words
to express what I have lost. In spite
of all my philosophy and that I know
that all regrets are vain I cannot
help indulging myself in them every
moment -- a Chair a table a Pianoforte
Alas! every little circumstance
recalls to my mind the happy moments that are
                                                        



gone for ever, I have nothing for it
but to drive away thought as much as
I can and indeed His Sicilian Majesty is so
good as to assist me greatly in that
respect, for He takes me out a shooting
every day & says he will do so as long
as the Shooting Season continues, to day
above 70 Wild Boars have fall'n
& when we have nothing better to do
we shoot larks -- I often think of a
farce in which one is described as
such a perfect Nimrod, that he
hunted every thing, from the flea
in the blanket to the Elephant in
the forest; which is pretty near our
                                                        



Case; The air and exercise keeps up my
health and Spirits which would infallibly
suffer was I to stay much at home which
is no longer comfortable to me -- The Queen
of Naples is also very kind to me & often
sends for me to pass the Evening with Her
and the Princess Royal -- The present
Dissipation and the healing hand of
time will I hope recover my spirits
in some degree, but I must for ever
sensibly feel the loss of the most amiable,
the most gentle & virtuous Companion
that ever man was blessed with. Should
the Peace take place, as I hope, I mean
to ask the King's leave to return home
for a short time to settle some affairs of



real consequence to me -- The journey would
also be of use to me.
      The kind sensibility which
Their Majesties were pleased to shew
& their Gracious expressions on Learning
of my heavy loss (& which have been
reported to me by others as well as
yourself) have, as you, may well think,
given me great satisfaction, pray
when you have an opportunity express
my warmest & most respectful Gratitude
to Their Majesties -- I have long
had the honor of being well acquainted
with the tenderness & goodness of the
Kings Heart & no One has ever doubted
of that of the Queen's -- Adieu My Dear Niece
Yours most affectionately

William Hamilton




      P.S. I have set aside for You an
Antique ring, which was constantly
worn by poor Lady Hamilton, & will send it You
by the first opportunity, it is on a
Turkey Stone & the Subject is a
Perseus.



via Mantua

To
The Honorable Miss Hamilton
at

Inghilterra
at Buckingham House

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



 1. This annotation is very faint and may have been erased. The letter does not appear to be quoted in Sir Archibald Anson's memoirs (for which see HAM/1/4/4/1). It is, however, quoted from in Anson & Anson (1925: 151-2).
 2. Charles Macklin, 'Love à-la-mode' (first played 1759, published 1779).

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/4/3

Correspondence Details

Author: Sir William Hamilton

Place sent: Naples

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Windsor

Date sent: 5 November 1782

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. The letter is concerned with Sir William's life in Naples and the loss of his wife. He reports that he frequently goes hunting with the King of Naples, which diverts his mind from his grief. He reports that today they have shot over 70 wild boars and 'when we have nothing better to do we shoot larks'. He notes that the Queen of Naples is also being very kind to him and often sends for him to spend the evening with her and the Princess Royal.
    Sir William writes that he is to send his niece an antique ring which had belonged to his wife. The ring is described as being 'on a Turkey Stone & the Subject is a Perseus'.
    Dated at Naples.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 494 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 2016/17 provided by The John Rylands Research Institute.

Research assistant: Isabella Formisano, former MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Andrew Gott, dissertation student, University of Manchester (submitted June 2012)

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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