Single Letter

HAM/1/4/7/10

Letter from Jean Cathcart to Charles Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


St. Petersb:g 1n.s. Janry 1770

Dear Brother,

      I take the opportunity of a Meʃsenger
going to London to wish you, Mrs. Hamilton
& your Daughter, a happy New year
and better health than for these last
years past. I wont reproach you for
not having wrote to me, nor I wont
allow you to say that I am unmind:
:ful
of my Eldest Brother. Indeed I shd.
be unjust to myself did I give room
for such an appearance, & you would
be so to me, did you think yourself
forgot. This Country particularly
often puts you in my thoughts, I be:
:lieve
it is much improved in its buildgs
since that date, another difference
is, that now, that they are very refined,
after the french taste in their way
of living; drinking is out of fashion
but Eating, to say the truth has taken
its place. There is great plenty of fish



flesh & fowl (All froze at prest) but I
think every thing has a better taste in
Engd than here. Mutton I never taste nor
do I like any one Ruʃsian dainty such
as Caviar Sterlit are but witht: these there are
plenty & variety sufficient, & now that we
are settled & have all our Poultry fatted at
home I think you wd. approve of our Table
in all respects, & otherwise of our House
wch. is in one of the finest streets called La ------Grande
Mosckaie. Our Summer residence is lent
us, by the G. Duke it was built & laid out
by Chancellor Bestuchett & is in an Island
a few Wersts[1] from St. Petersb:g Called Kaminoj
Ostroff,[2] we like it very much & it is
given to us again for next Summer.
The Cold dry air here proves specific-k
for My Dear Lord thank God his
health is perfectly restored. he offers
you his most Affectionate Complimts:
as does your Three Nephews & three
Neices who are all prodigeously grown
& I must so far forget for a momt. that
they are my Children as to tell you, what
I dare say you will hear with pleasure
that they are universally reckoned here
a very remarkable fine family. They
are all good natured Children & nothing



is spared for their Education. I heartily
wiʃh you may think at their return
that they desarve what has been said
all the family as well as my Ld enjoy perfect health
      The Court has I believe always been
since the first of the Empreʃs's very
brilliant, it is so now, & the Reigning
Sovereign, is the finest Woman in Every
distinguishing quality & perfection, in
her Kingdom: she has been very ex
traordinarily
fortunate in the Succeʃs
of the first Campaign, the Second pro:
bably
will be decicive. They speak
here upon these victories with the
utmost moderation. I sometimes
see Genl Fullarton, he is I think very fond
of you & if you would send him your
Compliments I am sure it would please
him he had the Command in Petersbg last
Summer, Mr. Fowel remembers you
& Consul Swallow who has been long
here, & much & justly Esteemed. Lord
Marischal is settled with the K of Prusia
he writes to me sometimes he is a
Charmg Old man & as lively as at forty
Adieu My Dear Brother once more
remember me kindly to yourself &
family & believe me Ever your most
                                                         Affectionate Sister & Humble
                                                         Servant. J. Cathcart.

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Notes


 1. Verst 'a Russian measure of length equal to 3500 English feet or about two-thirds of an English mile.' (OED).
 2. Russian Каменный Остров ('stone island').

Normalised Text


St. Petersburg 1new style January 1770

Dear Brother,

      I take the opportunity of a Messenger
going to London to wish you, Mrs. Hamilton
& your Daughter, a happy New year
and better health than for these last
years past. I won't reproach you for
not having wrote to me, nor I won't
allow you to say that I am unmindful
of my Eldest Brother. Indeed I should
be unjust to myself did I give room
for such an appearance, & you would
be so to me, did you think yourself
forgot. This Country particularly
often puts you in my thoughts, I believe
it is much improved in its buildings
since that date, another difference
is, that now, they are very refined,
after the french taste in their way
of living; drinking is out of fashion
but Eating, to say the truth has taken
its place. There is great plenty of fish



flesh & fowl (All froze at present) but I
think every thing has a better taste in
England than here. Mutton I never taste nor
do I like any one Russian dainty such
as Caviar Sterlet are but without these there are
plenty & variety sufficient, & now that we
are settled & have all our Poultry fatted at
home I think you would approve of our Table
in all respects, & otherwise of our House
which is in one of the finest streets called La Grande
Morskaia. Our Summer residence is lent
us, by the Grand Duke it was built & laid out
by Chancellor Bestuchett & is in an Island
a few Versts from St. Petersburg Called Kaminoj
Ostroff, we like it very much & it is
given to us again for next Summer.
The Cold dry air here proves specific
for My Dear Lord thank God his
health is perfectly restored. he offers
you his most Affectionate Compliments
as does your Three Nephews & three
Nieces who are all prodigeously grown
& I must so far forget for a moment that
they are my Children as to tell you, what
I dare say you will hear with pleasure
that they are universally reckoned here
a very remarkable fine family. They
are all good natured Children & nothing



is spared for their Education. I heartily
wish you may think at their return
that they deserve what has been said
all the family as well as my Lord enjoy perfect health
      The Court has I believe always been
since the first of the Empress's very
brilliant, it is so now, & the Reigning
Sovereign, is the finest Woman in Every
distinguishing quality & perfection, in
her Kingdom: she has been very extraordinarily
fortunate in the Success
of the first Campaign, the Second probably
will be decisive. They speak
here upon these victories with the
utmost moderation. I sometimes
see General Fullarton, he is I think very fond
of you & if you would send him your
Compliments I am sure it would please
him he had the Command in Petersburg last
Summer, Mr. Fowel remembers you
& Consul Swallow who has been long
here, & much & justly Esteemed. Lord
Marischal is settled with the King of Prussia
he writes to me sometimes he is a
Charming Old man & as lively as at forty
Adieu My Dear Brother once more
remember me kindly to yourself &
family & believe me Ever your most
                                                         Affectionate Sister & Humble
                                                         Servant. Jean Cathcart.

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quotations,
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 1. Verst 'a Russian measure of length equal to 3500 English feet or about two-thirds of an English mile.' (OED).
 2. Russian Каменный Остров ('stone island').

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Jean Cathcart to Charles Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/4/7/10

Correspondence Details

Author: Jean Cathcart (née Hamilton)

Place sent: St Petersburg

Addressee: Charles Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 01 January 1770

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Jean Cathcart to her brother, Charles Hamilton, wishing him and his family a happy New Year. She writes that she 'will not reproach' him for not having written to her. Cathcart describes her life in St Petersburg, the food she eats, and the house in which she lives, which is on one of the 'finest streets' in the area, and that her summer residence has been let to them by the Grand Duke. She reports that the cold, dry air of the city has benefited the health of Lord Cathcart. She continues with news of her children and notes that she spares nothing for their education. Cathcart also writes on the Russian Empress [Catherine 'the Great' (1729-1796)], noting that she is 'the finest woman' and that she finds her 'very brilliant'. She writes on her military campaigns, noting that she met with great success in her first campaign but '[t]hey speak here upon these victories with the utmost moderation'. The letter concludes with news of others acquaintances from England who are in St Petersburg, including General Fullerton. Dated at St Petersburg.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 573 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 2017/18 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Georgia Tutt, MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Jérémie Josse, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2018)

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: 2 April 2020

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