Single Letter

HAM/1/4/5/8

Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


7

      1778

Naples
      Jan 27


      -- The various frightfull and
disagreeable accidents wch. befel us on our journey
really made me for some time incapable of
holding a pen -- & when I did, ye. recollection of one
of our adventures affected my nerves so much
that I (after having once wrote down ye. circumstanc[es)]
have been obliged to make Sr. Wm. Hamilton's
Secretary write me two or 3 copies that I might
give (those friends who are so good to interest
themselves about me[)] some account of it. wch-
yu. will find inclosed[1] -- when I attempted writing
it myself -- I still feel as if ye. Horses were running
away with me, & I fear I have lost my courage
for ever -- Our journey thro' Holland was delight-
ful
-- neither fears or difficulties, we went
up as far as Hoorn, Medenblick, & Hemaer
& where enchanted with ye. scene -- from thence
we went to Antwerp & to Spa where we staid
a Month, from thence to Duʃseldorf, to Bonn
from whence we embark'd & went up ye. Rhine
to Mayence, from thence by land to Manheim,
to Augsbourg -- Inspruck & to Mantua [where]
our ill luck began, by terrible ------



& we were near being carried away upon ye. Po, by
ye. violence of the Torrent -- we rested a few days
at Florence & Bologna, & when we came to
Radicofani found ye. Old Chateau there (wch is ye.
only lodging place on an bare bleak Mountain)
crack'd thro' & partly shook down by repeated
Earthquakes, we were however obliged to lodge
there, tho' the House trembled ye. whole Night
so much as to burst our door wch. was bolted.
ye. next day, we met wth- the accident, the account
of wch. I inclose, after wch. we were obliged to
stay a considerable time at Rome to wait for our
poor Courier & recruit ourselves wch I (however)
am not yet enough to go into ye. World, & I have
not been one evening out except when obliged
to go to ye. Queen -- I must now launch out, for
I have eight Ladies to present, & I have had
a terrible piece of Work about Ldy Maynard
who wanted to make ye. ninth, but I thought
it improper in my situation either to receive
her into my house or to attempt presenting her
to ye Queen, as I obliged to answer for all I
present, & it is not in my above 6 or 7 Years
ago that Ldy. Maynard -- was here in another
Character with ye. Duke of Dorset --
Mr Mackenzie & Ldy. Betty whom yu know were
at Turin in ye same Situation wth us say I have



done right -- so I am quite easy tho' Ld. Maynard
says he will complain to our King of my not
receiving Ldy- Maynard -- a fine complaint! he
says she shall be presented immediately to our
Queen when she gets home & that Her Majesty
cannot refuse her -- I doubt that -- Sr. Wm. has
been for a long time & is still at one of
the Kings hunting steats, but I am expect him
tomorrow to join in my hurries.

Naples 27th Janry.
1778[2]

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Notes


 1. HAM/1/4/5/8/2.
 2. It is possible that the year is not in Lady Catherine Hamilton's hand but has instead been added by Mary Hamilton.

Normalised Text



     



      -- The various frightful and
disagreeable accidents which befell us on our journey
really made me for some time incapable of
holding a pen -- & when I did, the recollection of one
of our adventures affected my nerves so much
that I (after having once wrote down the circumstances)
have been obliged to make Sir William Hamilton's
Secretary write me two or 3 copies that I might
give (those friends who are so good to interest
themselves about me) some account of it. which
you will find enclosed -- when I attempted writing
it myself -- I still feel as if the Horses were running
away with me, & I fear I have lost my courage
for ever -- Our journey through Holland was delightful
-- neither fears or difficulties, we went
up as far as Hoorn, Medernblik, & Hemaer
& were enchanted with the scene -- from thence
we went to Antwerp & to Spa where we stayed
a Month, from thence to Dusseldorf, to Bonn
from whence we embark'd & went up the Rhine
to Mainz, from thence by land to Mannheim,
to Augsburg -- Innsbruck & to Mantua where
our ill luck began, by terrible ------



& we were near being carried away upon the Po, by
the violence of the Torrent -- we rested a few days
at Florence & Bologna, & when we came to
Radicofani found the Old Chateau there (which is the
only lodging place on a bare bleak Mountain)
crack'd through & partly shook down by repeated
Earthquakes, we were however obliged to lodge
there, though the House trembled the whole Night
so much as to burst our door which was bolted.
the next day, we met with the accident, the account
of which I inclose, after which we were obliged to
stay a considerable time at Rome to wait for our
poor Courier & recruit ourselves which I (however)
am not yet enough to go into the World, & I have
not been one evening out except when obliged
to go to the Queen -- I must now launch out, for
I have eight Ladies to present, & I have had
a terrible piece of Work about Lady Maynard
who wanted to make the ninth, but I thought
it improper in my situation either to receive
her into my house or to attempt presenting her
to the Queen, as I obliged to answer for all I
present, & it is not above 6 or 7 Years
ago that Lady Maynard -- was here in another
Character with the Duke of Dorset --
Mr Mackenzie & Lady Betty whom you know were
at Turin in the same Situation with us say I have



done right -- so I am quite easy though Lord Maynard
says he will complain to our King of my not
receiving Lady Maynard -- a fine complaint! he
says she shall be presented immediately to our
Queen when she gets home & that Her Majesty
cannot refuse her -- I doubt that -- Sir William has
been for a long time & is still at one of
the Kings hunting seats, but I expect him
tomorrow to join in my hurries.

Naples 27th January
1778

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 1. HAM/1/4/5/8/2.
 2. It is possible that the year is not in Lady Catherine Hamilton's hand but has instead been added by Mary Hamilton.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/5/8

Correspondence Details

Author: Lady Catherine Hamilton

Place sent: Naples

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 27 January 1778

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. The letter describes Lady Catherine's journey back to Naples and her refusal to receive Lady Maynard and to present her to the Queen of Naples. She writes of the difficulties she encountered on her journey, which involved 'disagreeable accidents', and that she still feels 'as if the horses were running away with me' and that she is fearful that she has now lost her courage for ever. The journey through Holland was 'delightful', they then went to Antwerp and spent a month at Spa, and from there they travelled to Dusseldorf, Bonn, then up the Rhine to various other locations but were troubled at Man[n]hiem by terrible weather. They feared that they were going to be 'carried away [...] by the violence of the torrent'. When they reached Radicofani they found the Chateau that they were to stay at had been partially demolished by a suspected earthquake, but they had no other option but to stay there. The house 'trembled the whole night' so much as to burst our door w[hi]ch was bolted'. The next day they met with their accident, an account of which she notes that she has enclosed. After this they were forced to stay in Rome.
    Lady Catherine does not yet feel fit enough to be in public and has not been, except when she has to go to the Queen. She has now again to go as she has eight ladies to present. A Lady Maynard also wanted to be presented but she thought it 'improper' to do so, as it was only six years ago that Lady Maynard was here with quite a different 'character' [she was the Duke of Dorset's mistress]. Lord Maynard says that he will complain to the King of her not receiving his wife. He says that she will be presented to and received by Queen Charlotte immediately when they return to England. Lady Catherine Hamilton notes that she doubts that the Queen will receive her.
    Dated at Naples.
    Original reference No. 7.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 521 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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