Single Letter

HAM/1/4/5/8/2

Copy of letter by Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text

[1]
      During the fine part of the day, We generally
travel'd in a Phaeton, & our Post Chaise follow'd; after having
chang'd horses at a Place call'd Montefiasconi, our Postillion
wanted to have the Wheel (which had been dragg'd) unlock'd,
Our Courier was gone on, & the Postillion was getting down
to do it, but Sr. Wm. order'd the fellow to stay till the
Other Carriage with the Servants came up, that one of
them might do it (not to have the horses left alone)
he was however obstinate & left them, in Consequence of
which they set off with us so furiously, that we could
scarce keep Ourselves in the Chaise -- Sr. Wm. seeing
the Courier hollow'd to him, he turn'd, seeing our distreʃs
immediately leap'd off his horse, jump'd out of his
Jack boots, & waited at the point of a hill to stop the
horses while the weight was against them, he made
a Spring & unluckilly miʃs'd, at the second Spring
he caught them, & tried to turn them, but the
                                                         (weight of)



the weight of the Carriage being turn'd the point
of the hill /[2] made it impoʃsible -- notwithstanding
which Our brave Courier, tho' he might have saved
himself, wou'd not quit us, he determined to perish or
or save us, & having run holding the bridle as long as
he could he hung himself to it, & was carried away
with Us till that broke, & he was trod down by the
horses, We after met his horse whom we threw down
& went over this gave the alarm to some Peasants
in a field, who came out with hats & Cloaks & frighten'd
our horses, who instead of stopping, turn'd to the left
& sprung Phaeton & all over a ditch; We were so near
over that a dog of Ours was thrown at a great distance,
We got then- into a plough'd field, where these furious
Animals were galloping toward a precipice, but the
loose ground making the Carriage heavier, the Peasants
had then time to come, & Seize them -- but judge of our
Affliction, when the first object we saw, was the



poor fellow, who had shewn so much Courage and
Attachment to us, to all Appearance lifeleʃs on the
Ground, We run to him, & found however that he was
still living, but We had gone over his Collar bone &
Breast & the horse had kick'd him in the face that
his Eye was quite laid open -- We got what help we
could, & had him blooded on the Spot, & then carried
into the town; We were for some time in doubt whether
he had not received inward hurts, however, thank
God, we were ------ satisfied that the poor Man (t[o]
whom we ow'd so much) was out of danger tho' he
had twenty Cuts upon his head, his eye terribly
cut, his collar-bone broke, his body all over bruis'd,
and his legs cover'd with the kicks he got from
the horse to whose bridle he hung. We went on
when we were satisfy'd of his safety & waited for him
at Rome, & he was well enough to come here with
Us, as We came gently & put him into a Chaise --


[3]

      to be return'd[4]

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


Notes


 1. This letter was enclosed with HAM/1/4/5/8. The main text is a copy in an unknown secretary's hand of Lady Catherine Hamilton's account.
 2. Slash as punctuation mark with unidentified function.
 3. This page is left blank
 4. This line appears in the middle of the page

Normalised Text


      During the fine part of the day, We generally
travel'd in a Phaeton, & our Post Chaise follow'd; after having
chang'd horses at a Place call'd Montefiascone, our Postillion
wanted to have the Wheel (which had been dragg'd) unlock'd,
Our Courier was gone on, & the Postillion was getting down
to do it, but Sir William order'd the fellow to stay till the
Other Carriage with the Servants came up, that one of
them might do it (not to have the horses left alone)
he was however obstinate & left them, in Consequence of
which they set off with us so furiously, that we could
scarce keep Ourselves in the Chaise -- Sir William seeing
the Courier hollow'd to him, he turn'd, seeing our distress
immediately leap'd off his horse, jump'd out of his
Jack boots, & waited at the point of a hill to stop the
horses while the weight was against them, he made
a Spring & unluckily miss'd, at the second Spring
he caught them, & tried to turn them, but
                                                        



the weight of the Carriage being turn'd the point
of the hill / made it impossible -- notwithstanding
which Our brave Courier, though he might have saved
himself, would not quit us, he determined to perish or
save us, & having run holding the bridle as long as
he could he hung himself to it, & was carried away
with Us till that broke, & he was trod down by the
horses, We after met his horse whom we threw down
& went over this gave the alarm to some Peasants
in a field, who came out with hats & Cloaks & frighten'd
our horses, who instead of stopping, turn'd to the left
& sprung Phaeton & all over a ditch; We were so near
over that a dog of Ours was thrown at a great distance,
We got then into a plough'd field, where these furious
Animals were galloping toward a precipice, but the
loose ground making the Carriage heavier, the Peasants
had then time to come, & Seize them -- but judge of our
Affliction, when the first object we saw, was the



poor fellow, who had shown so much Courage and
Attachment to us, to all Appearance lifeless on the
Ground, We run to him, & found however that he was
still living, but We had gone over his Collar bone &
Breast & the horse had kick'd him in the face that
his Eye was quite laid open -- We got what help we
could, & had him blooded on the Spot, & then carried
into the town; We were for some time in doubt whether
he had not received inward hurts, however, thank
God, we were ------ satisfied that the poor Man (to
whom we ow'd so much) was out of danger though he
had twenty Cuts upon his head, his eye terribly
cut, his collar-bone broke, his body all over bruis'd,
and his legs cover'd with the kicks he got from
the horse to whose bridle he hung. We went on
when we were satisfy'd of his safety & waited for him
at Rome, & he was well enough to come here with
Us, as We came gently & put him into a Chaise --




(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications,
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 1. This letter was enclosed with HAM/1/4/5/8. The main text is a copy in an unknown secretary's hand of Lady Catherine Hamilton's account.
 2. Slash as punctuation mark with unidentified function.
 3. This page is left blank
 4. This line appears in the middle of the page

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Copy of letter by Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/5/8/2

Correspondence Details

Author: Lady Catherine Hamilton

Place sent: Naples (certainty: medium)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 2 January 1778

Letter Description

Summary: The enclosed letter relates to the coach accident Lady Catherine Hamilton had and has a note on the back of the sheet stating that the letter is to be returned. The horses to Lady and Sir William Hamilton's chaise were left unsupervised while they were in it, and the horses took off. Sir William called for help and the Courier ran to assist them and attempted to stop the horses as they ran down a hill. He caught them on his second attempt and tried to turn them but he failed and was dragged by the horses. Lady Catherine writes that a group of peasants ran from a field and started to help, but instead further frightened the horses which made them veer to the left and the chaise went over a ditch. The horses were eventually stopped but the courier was badly injured. The chaise had driven over his collar bone and breast and he had been kicked in the face by a horse. The Hamiltons had him 'blooded on the spot & then carried into town'. Lady Catherine continues to detail his injuries.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 539 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: 3 August 2020

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