Single Letter

HAM/1/4/5/9

Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


      8

Tuesday Feby. 17th-
      1778      

      I feel myself so incapable of forgeting
or wilfully neglecting My friends My Dear Miʃs Hamilton
that tho' your Silence gave me pain, & that (had I not
heard from you I should probably have wrote to have
reproach'd you for it) I never once suspected you of
loving me leʃs than you formerly did, I think I
know your heart, & I have no little claim upon
that in return for the Affection mine feels for you --
however don't let this encourage you in your
idleneʃs & I must tell you that your writing constantly
will be an eʃsential comfort to me in this Country
where Society (what you & I call Society) is so much
wanting -- the Shocking accident we met with in
the Popes Dominions has shook my nerves very
much; but thank God we have suffer'd no lasting
harm -- & our poor Swiʃs (whom you may remember)
is perfectly recover'd except a mark of honour wch-
he has in his face & which he will never lose, Sr.
Wm. has settled a little Annuity upon him for his
life, which has redoubled his anxiety to Serve us
well, & I fancy he will never leave us -- the effects
of this accident have serv'd me for an excuse from
going out in an Evening (excepting Court balls & those days when
I have been obliged to attend the Queen) & I do aʃsure
you that has been no small Satisfaction to me, the
Aʃsemblys here are noisy, numerous, & hot & I have ------



anyno intimacy with any Italian Woman to make
them tolerable to me, for if you neither play or con=
=verse
at those places, it is a dreadfull punishment,
to go to them a punishment which I must have gone thro' had
I gone out in order to introduce several English
Ladys who are here & who have not that aversion
to noise & hurry that I have -- there are some of
these Ladys who appear very amiable, but my only
reall comfort among them is Ly Betty Mackenzie
who is one of the most valuable worthy women
in the World, there is a sincerity & warmth of heart
abtabout her that is adorable, & a good humour &
indulgence that attaches one to her in the Strongest
manner, I have at different times presented Ly Betty
& the rest of the English Ladys to the Queen who
has receiv'd them most graciously, shew'd them all
the Children & invited them to all the Balls at
Court which are really magnificent -- when I tell
you however that I have introduced all the English
Ladys -- don't imagine Ly Maynard[1] (whose reputation
must be known to you) has been of the number, Ld
Maynard has given me a great deal of trouble & un=
=easineʃs
about my not receiving her when she came
to my door, & not returning her visit, & afterwards perse=
=cuted
me to get her presented at Court which I could
by no means consent to, upon the former part (the not
receiving her) he desired to speak with Sr. Wm., & then ask'd
him if he supported me in my refusal to receive Ly M's
Visits? to which Sr Wm. answer'd him that I had told him,



“that consistent with my situation I did not think I could
act otherwise,” & that being my fix'd opinion he could not
urge me to act contrary to it -- upon this Ld M flew in
a violent paʃsion & said that His Majesty should either recall
his Minister or forfeit his friendship -- these were big words -- but
you may believe made no impreʃsion on Sr Wm. -- since this,
Ld M- has applied to Sr Wm. to present him, (which he of course
did) but no to Ly M. j'espére qu'il n'en est plus question --
one hates to repeat refusals, & I could never answer in any
other tone -- the Queen said publickly that all those I
presented would ever be well receiv'd but she knew I
would take care who I presented, & that they should be only
such as my own Sovereign would receive -- but I think you
have had enough of this silly story -- I am out of patience that
such despicable occurrences should take up so much of that
precious time which one might employ in a better manner
                             & I am ashamed to say how
                             much it has robb'd me of mine
                             & how much uneasineʃs it has
                             caused me, I hate to offend even
                             these whom I despise, & besides
that, Ld Maynard is so hot headed, that I did not like
he should have any altercation with Sr Wm. Mens Quar=
=rels
terrify me. -- Your friends Mr Litchfield & Mr- (I can't
think of his name) came Yesterday, they dine with us tomor=
=row
-- we are in the midst of the hurries of the Carnival
but I have been but at one ball at Court, I have a
few sensible foreigners who aʃsemble here every evening &
converse when all the Young World (who first meet here)
are gone to the Balls, I wish you was of the partythese parties I think
they are of a kind you would like -- I wish if ever you have
any oppertunity that you would pay my respectfull Duty to our
Gracious Queen -- I feel an honour & (I may say) affection for her
Character that I cannot describe -- the more I see of other Sovereigns the
more I am confirm'd toin this sentiment, but all this is only



between you & me -- in a few days I shall write to you
again -- & give you some further account of the Carnival
but I would not delay writing by this Post -- My Love attends Mrs
Hamilton



Sr Wm. has had a vexatious accident -- the Man
who was bringing a great number of Letters from the Post
tumbled down & his pocket was Pick'd of them -- we don't
know who has wrote to us -- this has just happen'd --
Adieu      My Dr. Miʃs Hamilton      Ever Yrs Most Affecly CH [2]

To[3]
Miʃs Hamilton
at Her apartment in
      St James Palace
                             London[4]

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


Notes


 1. The ODNB entry begins as follows: 'Parsons, Anne [Nancy; married name Anne Maynard, Viscountess Maynard] (c.1735–1814/15), courtesan and political mistress, was said to have been the daughter of a Bond Street tailor.'
 2. This section appears at bottom of p.3 below the address when unfolded.
 3. Postmarks 'MR 14' and 'NAPOLI' to left of address when unfolded.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text



Tuesday February 17th-
           

      I feel myself so incapable of forgetting
or wilfully neglecting My friends My Dear Miss Hamilton
that though your Silence gave me pain, & that (had I not
heard from you I should probably have written to have
reproach'd you for it) I never once suspected you of
loving me less than you formerly did, I think I
know your heart, & I have no little claim upon
that in return for the Affection mine feels for you --
however don't let this encourage you in your
idleness & I must tell you that your writing constantly
will be an essential comfort to me in this Country
where Society (what you & I call Society) is so much
wanting -- the Shocking accident we met with in
the Popes Dominions has shook my nerves very
much; but thank God we have suffer'd no lasting
harm -- & our poor Swiss (whom you may remember)
is perfectly recover'd except a mark of honour which
he has in his face & which he will never lose, Sir
William has settled a little Annuity upon him for his
life, which has redoubled his anxiety to Serve us
well, & I fancy he will never leave us -- the effects
of this accident have serv'd me for an excuse from
going out in an Evening (excepting Court balls & those days when
I have been obliged to attend the Queen) & I do assure
you that has been no small Satisfaction to me, the
Assemblys here are noisy, numerous, & hot & I have



no intimacy with any Italian Woman to make
them tolerable to me, for if you neither play or converse
at those places, it is a dreadful punishment,
to go to them a punishment which I must have gone through had
I gone out in order to introduce several English
Ladys who are here & who have not that aversion
to noise & hurry that I have -- there are some of
these Ladys who appear very amiable, but my only
real comfort among them is Lady Betty Mackenzie
who is one of the most valuable worthy women
in the World, there is a sincerity & warmth of heart
about her that is adorable, & a good humour &
indulgence that attaches one to her in the Strongest
manner, I have at different times presented Lady Betty
& the rest of the English Ladys to the Queen who
has receiv'd them most graciously, show'd them all
the Children & invited them to all the Balls at
Court which are really magnificent -- when I tell
you however that I have introduced all the English
Ladys -- don't imagine Lady Maynard (whose reputation
must be known to you) has been of the number, Lord
Maynard has given me a great deal of trouble & uneasiness
about my not receiving her when she came
to my door, & not returning her visit, & afterwards persecuted
me to get her presented at Court which I could
by no means consent to, upon the former part (the not
receiving her) he desired to speak with Sir William, & then ask'd
him if he supported me in my refusal to receive Lady Maynard's
Visits? to which Sir William answer'd him that I had told him,



“that consistent with my situation I did not think I could
act otherwise,” & that being my fix'd opinion he could not
urge me to act contrary to it -- upon this Lord Maynard flew in
a violent passion & said that His Majesty should either recall
his Minister or forfeit his friendship -- these were big words -- but
you may believe made no impression on Sir William -- since this,
Lord Maynard has applied to Sir William to present him, (which he of course
did) but no to Lady Maynard j'espère qu'il n'en est plus question --
one hates to repeat refusals, & I could never answer in any
other tone -- the Queen said publicly that all those I
presented would ever be well receiv'd but she knew I
would take care who I presented, & that they should be only
such as my own Sovereign would receive -- but I think you
have had enough of this silly story -- I am out of patience that
such despicable occurrences should take up so much of that
precious time which one might employ in a better manner
                             & I am ashamed to say how
                             much it has robb'd me of mine
                             & how much uneasiness it has
                             caused me, I hate to offend even
                             these whom I despise, & besides
that, Lord Maynard is so hot headed, that I did not like
he should have any altercation with Sir William Mens Quarrels
terrify me. -- Your friends Mr Litchfield & Mr- (I can't
think of his name) came Yesterday, they dine with us tomorrow
-- we are in the midst of the hurries of the Carnival
but I have been but at one ball at Court, I have a
few sensible foreigners who assemble here every evening &
converse when all the Young World (who first meet here)
are gone to the Balls, I wish you were of these parties I think
they are of a kind you would like -- I wish if ever you have
any opportunity that you would pay my respectful Duty to our
Gracious Queen -- I feel an honour & (I may say) affection for her
Character that I cannot describe -- the more I see of other Sovereigns the
more I am confirm'd in this sentiment, but all this is only



between you & me -- in a few days I shall write to you
again -- & give you some further account of the Carnival
but I would not delay writing by this Post -- My Love attends Mrs
Hamilton



Sir William has had a vexatious accident -- the Man
who was bringing a great number of Letters from the Post
tumbled down & his pocket was Pick'd of them -- we don't
know who has written to us -- this has just happen'd --
Adieu      My Dear Miss Hamilton      Ever Yours Most Affectionately Catherine Hamilton

To
Miss Hamilton
at Her apartment in
      St James Palace
                             London

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



 1. The ODNB entry begins as follows: 'Parsons, Anne [Nancy; married name Anne Maynard, Viscountess Maynard] (c.1735–1814/15), courtesan and political mistress, was said to have been the daughter of a Bond Street tailor.'
 2. This section appears at bottom of p.3 below the address when unfolded.
 3. Postmarks 'MR 14' and 'NAPOLI' to left of address when unfolded.
 4. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

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/1/4/5/9

Correspondence Details

Author: Lady Catherine Hamilton

Place sent: Naples (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: London

Date sent: 17 February 1778

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. The letter is concerned with Lady Catherine's social obligations as the wife of an ambassador, and her dispute with Lady Maynard. The letter also refers to her coach accident (see HAM/1/4/5/8/2) and to Sir William organizing an annuity for the courier who had been injured.
    Lady Catherine describes the society of Naples as 'wanting' and reports that she is obliged to attend the Queen at Court balls, and she also writes of the British women visiting Naples, including Lady Maynard, who has given her much trouble. Lady Catherine had refused to receive her when she called at her house and did not return her call, and she refused to present Lady Maynard at Court because of her 'reputation'. Lord Maynard approached Sir William to ask if he supported his wife in her views and then in a violent temper said that King George should either recall his minister or lose his friendship. Lady Catherine writes that Maynard's words had no effect on Sir William. She continues her letter on this subject.
    Original reference No. 8.
   

Length: 3 sheets, 1023 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: Sarah Connor, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Xinyu Shi, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2017)

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

Document Image (pdf)