Single Letter

HAM/1/5/2/17

Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


      12
      March. 1789

'On the day when he (the king) resumed his authority
'there was unbidden by the Govt. a general illumination
'of London'. Stanhope in Pitt. ii. 27.
[1]

From Honble Wilhelmina
Murray
[2]
6.

      my Dear Mrs. Dickenson

      I delayed writing from day to day
in imitation of the Parliment adjourning; and on the
same principle of hopeing to have good news: that happy
time is at last come and I am sure nobody has rejoiced
more sincerely, or will receive my congratulations with
more pleasure than my good Friend: every Body has been
or apear'd to be, very happy; which has made the
world quite a new scene, as there are on all ocasions
but this fretters, or grumblers -- last Tuesday was
the day of rejoicing -- their Majesties & Princeʃses dined
at Windsor, on their return found their Palace lighted
up, in a most Elegant manner; the transparancy
represented Doctor Willis in the Character of Esculapius[3]
leading the King to the Temple of Health; with eight
lines, the exact words were forgot but the meaning
was, that the Best of Fathers, Husbands, Kings was
restored to the wishes of a Loyal People -- it was
a surprise the Queen compt'd Him with & she
intended to have had Kew Bridge illuminated but



no lamps could be got either in town or country --
after she had seen her own illumination she came to
town with the princeʃses drank tea at Lord Bathursts
and then went in differrent coaches about the town
to see the illuminations and did not return till
two in the Morning to Kew -- it is generaly agreed
there never was a more general illumination nor any
ever atended from first to last, with so much good
humor and so few accidents -- I went as far as
the India House it was a charming sight, the city
was very fine and some beautifull scenes among
it, a number of mottos all expreʃsive of joy and
affection to the King -- we saw it without the least confuʃsion
or alarm as niether Bonfire nor crackers were seen
but on our return home at Charing croʃs we met
the stop which you will be convinced was a serious
one when I say it was eleven o clock when we were
there and it was two in the morning when we had
got to the Star & Garter in Pall-mall the whole
Street so full of Carriages not one moved; I then
by my Husbands advice got into a chair & came
home seeing the beautifull shew of St. James's St.



Berkley Sqr. & Hill Street -- when I think Ld. Willough
by's
was among the preatiest I saw, as the pillars to
his porch was twisted round with color'd lamps
a fringe of the same round the cornice of it. and
every widow frame which altogether, made an Ele:
gant
apearance -- the histories every body furnish
of their difficultys are truely laughable -- but
poor Mr. Geo: Claytons were very mortifying, Ly.
Louisa has Mrs. Delaynes house in Cleveland Court
he was engaged to Lord Sydney's Ball, but sd. he
would walk out first to see the illuminations and
while he dreʃst Lady Louisa and Mrs. Fox might
make a little Tour in his Chariot and come home
time enough for him to go -- the first part of the plan
succeed he sat down to dreʃs the Ladies went off
in the Carriage and got into St. James's place,
but there was no poʃsibility of getting out of it
and then they sat tired & fretting till three
o clock in the Morning; poor Mr. Clayton full
dreʃst could not even get a chair the croud was so
immence so he sat expecting till it was too late



to go. I have sent you this little item that you
may form some idea of the Bustle we were all in
nothing but the Coronation one I have ever seen
gives any notion of the present. every Body is
now in a Bustle preparing for the Drawing room
which is to be consider'd as a Birthday -- I shall
exhibit a trimming of my own making which I
expect to look smart without much shew or expence
every body is to be in new cloaths, and no mourning
a general lighting is again to take place and
a third when the King goes to St. Pauls but as
that is not wished to be it will be put off as long
as poʃsible as it [is] thought to be attended with too
much fatigue for the King, and will create such
a concourse and croud in the Streets for that
length of way that it may be atended with mischief
the Lady's have been mortified with thenot being able
to exhibit their regent caps that cost from nine
to forescore guineas, some few excepted who like
The Irish Embaʃsadors apear'd too soon and retired
in haste well laughed at -- last thursday at Almacks



a Mrs. Bainsford (a preaty Woman) had one on the
only one in the Room the Prince of Wales came in
very Drunk, and began talking with a gentleman
of the oposite party (tis sd. Mr. Greville) the cap began
the subject they grew warm but all Mrs. Fitzherberts
interest was not sufficient to make the Lady remove
out of sight -- the Prince swore he Gloried in his party
he never would desert his friends, as long as he lived
in short was so longd they Hurrah'd him as if he
had been on the stage, but at last he grew more
sencible & said; I will say no more on the subject
now, as I may be sorry tomorrow, for what I have
said to night -- the Duke of York every Body
is shocked at -- and the general cry is, that he is
a great fool; that is the best apology a friend
can make for him as nothing can excuse his
behaviour -- the King has not seen the Duke of
Cumberland, so I supose he will remain in disgrace
as he deserves --
Miʃs Louisa Lenox is going to be married to Ld.



Appsley; Ly. Tryphoena Bathurst, to a Mr. Batt
a great fortune. Miʃs Rodney is gone off with
the Wilson that ran away with & Married Miʃs
Townshend some years ago -- Lord Rodney seems to
have little comfort of his last wifes Children --
but that is no wonder --
every body is reading Lady Cravens Books, letters
from the Crimea -- it is a very light performance like herself
and is only read from her being the Author of it
she is return'd to Anspach where she has made an
English Garden at an im̄ense expence, has built
an English House, has her horses &c all à l'Englaise
and her dear Adopted Brother pays for all, which
puts the whole court in confuʃsion. as his highneʃs
Estat was heavily burthend with debt, which he formed
a plan for paying and has for years consistantly
adhered to it and they were in hopes some more
would have clear'd them, but this lively Lady has
seated herself on one side of him and overturns all
their prudential schemes, as he is exsesively attattched
to her and only sees with her Eyes --



      tis time to leave her, and thank you for the kind
letter & trouble you have taken about the masters but
you was so long in answering and our time grew
short we could not wait any longer, therefore consulting
Mr. Farquharson he desired she might begin with
Miʃs Black without loʃs of time -- so she is now very busy
and if she improves as much by her masters as she
does in her growth I flatter myself we shall have
great credit when we return her, to her Father -- [4]
if you come to town this spring pray come Early
as most likly we shall leave Town in May --
Mrs. Graham has been all this time with Lady
Stormont, oweing to a long confinement Mr. Graham
has had but he is now out again and as usual
talking of going in a day or two to Leicestershire
he is oposite of Lord Stormonts way of thinking
it makes a disagreable break among such near
conections I shd. think poor Lady Stormonts nervous
Complaints proceed a good deal from that as I
think tho' politic's may differ a Man shd. not unleʃs



his vote could be decisive forget he is a Brother, and
the viscounts violence on Ld. Cathcarts Election would
be very hard to digest for a Sister I should think
      but Basta -- I have complied with your wishes in
sending you a long letter, which I expect you will
soon, send me thanks for; as London is not a
place for much leisure time -- and if you are
as good as I expect & wish my next may tell
you how his Majesty looks as I hope to have
had the pleasure of seeing him by that time
      I return the enclosed with many thanks it is a curious
spot and I am always pleased when such are presumd
as it is to be lamented so many memorable spots
are plowed over and not now to be traced. I pleaded
hard for the remains of some Druidical stones
near Stanley (there are many about the country) but
the ground is taken into cultivation and I fear the
Gentleman is so void of taste as to think his field
will not only plow better but look handsomer for
being clear'd of that peice of antiquity -- We all joyn
in best wishes to Miʃs & Mr. Dickenson particularly from
Dear Mrs. D. Yrs. Affectionately
Wilhelmina Murray

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


Notes


 1. This extract is from Life of the Right Honourable William Pitt (4 vols., 1861-1862), by Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope (1805–1875).
 2. This annotation appears to the left of the Stanhope quotation.
 3. Asclepius (Latin Aesculapius), Greek god of medicine.
 4. On Miss Farquharson, the niece being looked after by Mrs Murray, see also HAM/1/5/2/14, 16.

Normalised Text


     
     




      my Dear Mrs. Dickenson

      I delayed writing from day to day
in imitation of the Parliament adjourning; and on the
same principle of hoping to have good news: that happy
time is at last come and I am sure nobody has rejoiced
more sincerely, or will receive my congratulations with
more pleasure than my good Friend: every Body has been
or appear'd to be, very happy; which has made the
world quite a new scene, as there are on all occasions
but this fretters, or grumblers -- last Tuesday was
the day of rejoicing -- their Majesties & Princesses dined
at Windsor, on their return found their Palace lighted
up, in a most Elegant manner; the transparency
represented Doctor Willis in the Character of Esculapius
leading the King to the Temple of Health; with eight
lines, the exact words were forgot but the meaning
was, that the Best of Fathers, Husbands, Kings was
restored to the wishes of a Loyal People -- it was
a surprise the Queen complimented Him with & she
intended to have had Kew Bridge illuminated but



no lamps could be got either in town or country --
after she had seen her own illumination she came to
town with the princesses drank tea at Lord Bathursts
and then went in different coaches about the town
to see the illuminations and did not return till
two in the Morning to Kew -- it is generally agreed
there never was a more general illumination nor any
ever attended from first to last, with so much good
humor and so few accidents -- I went as far as
the India House it was a charming sight, the city
was very fine and some beautifull scenes among
it, a number of mottos all expressive of joy and
affection to the King -- we saw it without the least confusion
or alarm as neither Bonfire nor crackers were seen
but on our return home at Charing cross we met
the stop which you will be convinced was a serious
one when I say it was eleven o'clock when we were
there and it was two in the morning when we had
got to the Star & Garter in Pall-mall the whole
Street so full of Carriages not one moved; I then
by my Husbands advice got into a chair & came
home seeing the beautiful shew of St. James's Street



Berkley Square & Hill Street -- when I think Lord Willoughby's
was among the prettiest I saw, as pillars to
his porch were twisted round with color'd lamps
a fringe of the same round the cornice of it. and
every window frame which altogether, made an Elegant
appearance -- the histories every body furnish
of their difficulties are truly laughable -- but
poor Mr. George Claytons were very mortifying, Lady
Louisa has Mrs. Delaynes house in Cleveland Court
he was engaged to Lord Sydney's Ball, but said he
would walk out first to see the illuminations and
while he dressed Lady Louisa and Mrs. Fox might
make a little Tour in his Chariot and come home
time enough for him to go -- the first part of the plan
succeeded he sat down to dress the Ladies went off
in the Carriage and got into St. James's place,
but there was no possibility of getting out of it
and then they sat tired & fretting till three
o'clock in the Morning; poor Mr. Clayton full
dressed could not even get a chair the crowd was so
immense so he sat expecting till it was too late



to go. I have sent you this little item that you
may form some idea of the Bustle we were all in
nothing but the Coronation one I have ever seen
gives any notion of the present. every Body is
now in a Bustle preparing for the Drawing room
which is to be consider'd as a Birthday -- I shall
exhibit a trimming of my own making which I
expect to look smart without much shew or expense
every body is to be in new clothes, and no mourning
a general lighting is again to take place and
a third when the King goes to St. Pauls but as
that is not wished to be it will be put off as long
as possible as it is thought to be attended with too
much fatigue for the King, and will create such
a concourse and crowd in the Streets for that
length of way that it may be attended with mischief
the Lady's have been mortified with not being able
to exhibit their regent caps that cost from nine
to forescore guineas, some few excepted who like
The Irish Ambassadors appear'd too soon and retired
in haste well laughed at -- last thursday at Almacks



a Mrs. Bainsford (a pretty Woman) had one on the
only one in the Room the Prince of Wales came in
very Drunk, and began talking with a gentleman
of the opposite party (tis said Mr. Greville) the cap began
the subject they grew warm but all Mrs. Fitzherberts
interest was not sufficient to make the Lady remove
out of sight -- the Prince swore he Gloried in his party
he never would desert his friends, as long as he lived
in short was so long they Hurrah'd him as if he
had been on the stage, but at last he grew more
sensible & said; I will say no more on the subject
now, as I may be sorry tomorrow, for what I have
said to night -- the Duke of York every Body
is shocked at -- and the general cry is, that he is
a great fool; that is the best apology a friend
can make for him as nothing can excuse his
behaviour -- the King has not seen the Duke of
Cumberland, so I suppose he will remain in disgrace
as he deserves --
Miss Louisa Lenox is going to be married to Lord



Appsley; Lady Tryphoena Bathurst, to a Mr. Batt
a great fortune. Miss Rodney is gone off with
the Wilson that ran away with & Married Miss
Townshend some years ago -- Lord Rodney seems to
have little comfort of his last wifes Children --
but that is no wonder --
every body is reading Lady Cravens Books, letters
from the Crimea -- it is a very light performance like herself
and is only read from her being the Author of it
she is return'd to Anspach where she has made an
English Garden at an immense expense, has built
an English House, has her horses &c all à l'Anglaise
and her dear Adopted Brother pays for all, which
puts the whole court in confusion. as his highness
Estate was heavily burdened with debt, which he formed
a plan for paying and has for years consistently
adhered to it and they were in hopes some more
would have clear'd them, but this lively Lady has
seated herself on one side of him and overturns all
their prudential schemes, as he is excessively attached
to her and only sees with her Eyes --



      tis time to leave her, and thank you for the kind
letter & trouble you have taken about the masters but
you were so long in answering and our time grew
short we could not wait any longer, therefore consulting
Mr. Farquharson he desired she might begin with
Miss Black without loss of time -- so she is now very busy
and if she improves as much by her masters as she
does in her growth I flatter myself we shall have
great credit when we return her, to her Father --
if you come to town this spring pray come Early
as most likely we shall leave Town in May --
Mrs. Graham has been all this time with Lady
Stormont, owing to a long confinement Mr. Graham
has had but he is now out again and as usual
talking of going in a day or two to Leicestershire
he is opposite of Lord Stormonts way of thinking
it makes a disagreeable break among such near
connections I should think poor Lady Stormonts nervous
Complaints proceed a good deal from that as I
think though politic's may differ a Man should not unless



his vote could be decisive forget he is a Brother, and
the viscounts violence on Lord Cathcarts Election would
be very hard to digest for a Sister I should think
      but Basta -- I have complied with your wishes in
sending you a long letter, which I expect you will
soon, send me thanks for; as London is not a
place for much leisure time -- and if you are
as good as I expect & wish my next may tell
you how his Majesty looks as I hope to have
had the pleasure of seeing him by that time
      I return the enclosed with many thanks it is a curious
spot and I am always pleased when such are presumed
as it is to be lamented so many memorable spots
are plowed over and not now to be traced. I pleaded
hard for the remains of some Druidical stones
near Stanley (there are many about the country) but
the ground is taken into cultivation and I fear the
Gentleman is so void of taste as to think his field
will not only plow better but look handsomer for
being clear'd of that piece of antiquity -- We all join
in best wishes to Miss & Mr. Dickenson particularly from
Dear Mrs. D. Yours Affectionately
Wilhelmina Murray

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 1. This extract is from Life of the Right Honourable William Pitt (4 vols., 1861-1862), by Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope (1805–1875).
 2. This annotation appears to the left of the Stanhope quotation.
 3. Asclepius (Latin Aesculapius), Greek god of medicine.
 4. On Miss Farquharson, the niece being looked after by Mrs Murray, see also HAM/1/5/2/14, 16.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/5/2/17

Correspondence Details

Author: Wilhelmina Murray (née King)

Place sent: London (certainty: medium)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith (certainty: low)

Date sent: March 1789

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton. The letter relates to the return to health of George III. Murray writes that everybody seems to be rejoicing at the news. The previous Tuesday the King and Queen with two of the Princesses dined at Windsor and on their return 'found their Palace lighted up, in a most Elegant manner', after which the Queen took tea with the Princesses, and they departed in different coaches to look at the illuminations that were on show all over London in celebration, not returning to Kew until two in the morning. The streets were full of bustle and carriages were unable to move; Murray was forced to give up her coach for a chair to get home.
    Murray reports that everybody is busy preparing for the Drawing Room. She is to wear a trimming that she has made herself and which she expects to look 'smart without much shew or expen[s]e'. She reports that everybody 'is to be in new cloaths and no mourning'. She reports that 'a general lighting' is to take place again and at a third time when the King goes to St Paul's. This will be put off to as late a date as possible, as it is believed that the King may find it very tiring. Murray notes that the ladies are 'mortified with not being able to exhibit their regent caps that cost from nine to fourscore guineas, some few excepted who like the Irish [A]mbassadors ap[p]ear[e]d too soon and returned in haste well laughed at'.
    It was reported that on Thursday at Almacks the Prince of Wales came in drunk 'and began talking with a gentleman of the op[p]osite party', the Prince swore he 'Gloried in his party he never would desert his friends, as long as he lived in short was so long they Hurrah[e]d him as if he had been on the stage'. He became calmer and said that he would say no more on the subject, as he might regret what he said the following day. She notes that everybody is shocked at the Duke of York and it is thought that he is 'a great fool, that is the best apology a friend can make for him as nothing can excuse his behaviour', and the King has not seen the Duke of Cumberland, so she assumes 'that he will remain in disgrace as he deserves' (possibly relating to his marriage).
    The letter continues on news of society marriages and engagements, including Louisa Lenox's engagement to Lord Appsley.
    Original reference No. 6.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1573 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 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Nerea Rodríguez-Estévez, dissertation student, University of Vigo (submitted March 2015)

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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