Single Letter

HAM/1/5/2/18

Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Park Street 110
Grosvr. Sqr-
1792
Febry

My Dear Mrs. Dickenson

      anxious to know how you are in health
and spirits, will plead apology for teazing you with a letter when
perhaps you are better engaged than to read a dull letterscrall but I
flatter'd myself to have had a letter from you on coming to town
the end of last month as since your last I have not been
satisfied about you -- Nervous complaints are so teazing and
lingering that I feel distreʃst about you having seen so much of
them in those I loved -- therefore pray let me have a few lines
I try to comfort myself with the often true idea: no news, good
news: but it dont always satisfie me --
We left Scotland in very severe weather the ground cover'd with
Snow and the ice six inches deep, it was very favorable for our
travelling as it smooth'd the rough roads and enabled us to come
in four days & half from Edinbr. with the greatest ease; my Sister
who had grown fat and enjoyed better health than for several
years back unfortunately took a cold by a cold bed at Bowroughbridge
which has given her furr and relaxation[1] &c so that she has kept
house ever since she came home but is now getting better and
goes out of airing in a morning -- as among other complaints she



was very deaff, it confined me at home very much, it being so un
comfortable
to leave her, therefore dont expect much acount of the
Grand-Monde for I am only preparing to look at it -- can only
tell you coming from our fine clear air sharp and cold into this
smokey region with weather that would be pleasant and suitable
to April, makes me so hot that was not other people in the same
case I should be alarmed and think I had a fever -- but joking
apart I dont recollect such at this season of ye year, sunday, last:
Kensington Gardens was crouded, as well as the park, every body
sitting on the Wall and Benches, Men walking with Hats in their
hands and others carring the ladies Muffs who having dreʃst
for Feb: did not know what to do when they came to walk in
so hot a sun, every thing but the bare trees made me think it a
summer day: the weather has continued as fine every since but
the wind a little cooler --
poor Lady Frances Harpur[2] is to be pitied, but I think spite
of the Methodism which has suported her so long and well she
must feel: supose you know Sir Henry[3] went to the sea side I think
East-bourn and then saw Miʃs Monsons maid, took an attatchment
and carried her off: after the birth of a daughter he wrote for a special
licence, which was refused as it was unusual to grant unleʃs with
Familly consent -- upon which Lady Frances wrote to the ArchBishop
saying her son had always been so good to her that she could not stand
in the way of any thing that would conduce to his happineʃs
that indeed she thought it the only recompense he could make
the Young Woman, and that he had so much good sence that



he must be the best judge of what would make him happy --
it is said he intends to live altogether in the country and retired
having rather refused with hauteur the compt: that the familly
offerr'd him; of visiting and receiving his Lady --
our new Dutcheʃs[4] I have not yet seen -- report says she is very
pleasing, very little and very civil -- that she makes a better
Curtsey than has been seen at court a long time -- but her health
is very delicate and she cannot enter into the hours: so has
her dinner between two and three; sups when He dines, and
goes to bed when he goes out for his evening amusement -- so that
she finds London very dull, and dislikes their new house very
much -- which I dont wonder at -- was always surprised at
their changeing, for surely she need not have brought such
an adition to the familly as that a house built for the Duke
of York would not hold her -- after all this, tis no wonder they
say she dislikes England and wishes to go back: indeed it would
be the wisest thing they could do, as H.R.H. chuses to frequent
Brookes's and loses large sums -- which I think he should always
do, for as he has contracted the extrordinary method of receiving
when he wins and not paying when he loses: nobody ought to play
with him but when he loses -- but if this continues to be sure they
will cutt, it is imagined and he had better go to Germany
and take up his Dignity as Bishop- --
have you heard of Sir William Hamilton[5] since at Naples, and
------if she[6] ------enters into the Grand-monde -- it might be happier for both
perhaps if she declines it it is said, the King made him a speech
when He told him he was married that must have surprised him



the Queen bowed, and said nothing
the Dutcheʃs of Marlbro'[7] has at last seen Lady Blandford so all
parties are happy. the Old Dutcheʃs of Bedford[8] still lives and
is unoticed by those who ought to take care of her for it is
certainly extrordinary in the Childish state she is in for none
of them to take care of her and prevent her exposeing herself
Mrs. Leland our old friend has taken a new lease, having
made a Tour into Somersetshire last summer and left her
complaints behind her, the General you know is on the Staff
in Ireland: that commiʃsion ends in Octr: so he will not visit
London this winter --
I wish I had more news to send you: but as I wish to ask
how you do, and as that is the intent of this letter, will not apologise
for its stupidity; my Sister and Husband joyn me in compts
and best wishes to yourself Mr. Dickenson and La Charmante
Louise which concludes me my Dear Madam
Yours very sincerely

Wilhelmina Murray

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


Notes


 1. Possibly what is meant is a furred tongue and relaxation in the medical sense of 'diminution of firmness or tension' (OED s.v., 1).
 2. Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 3. Sir Henry Harpur, 7th Baronet, son of Lady Frances Harpur, who would marry his mistress Ann Hawkins the same year.
 4. Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820), who the previous year married her cousin Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), son of King George III.
 5. Sir William Hamilton (1730/31-1803), uncle of Mary Hamilton. Scottish diplomat and envoy at the court of Naples.
 6. Lady Emma Hamilton (formerly Hart, née Lyon) (bap. 1765, d. 1815), second wife of Sir William Hamilton (married in London 6 September 1791) (ODNB).
 7. Caroline Spencer (née Russell), Duchess of Marlborough (1742/3-1811), and her daughter-in-law Susan Spencer-Churchill (née Stewart), Marchioness of Blandford (1767-1841).
 8. Gertrude Russell (née Leveson-Gower), Duchess of Bedford (1715-1794), mother of the Duchess of Marlborough.

Normalised Text


Park Street 110
Grosvenor Square

February

My Dear Mrs. Dickenson

      anxious to know how you are in health
and spirits, will plead apology for teasing you with a letter when
perhaps you are better engaged than to read a dull scrall but I
flatter'd myself to have had a letter from you on coming to town
the end of last month as since your last I have not been
satisfied about you -- Nervous complaints are so teasing and
lingering that I feel distressed about you having seen so much of
them in those I loved -- therefore pray let me have a few lines
I try to comfort myself with the often true idea: no news, good
news: but it don't always satisfy me --
We left Scotland in very severe weather the ground cover'd with
Snow and the ice six inches deep, it was very favorable for our
travelling as it smooth'd the rough roads and enabled us to come
in four days & half from Edinburgh with the greatest ease; my Sister
who had grown fat and enjoyed better health than for several
years back unfortunately took a cold by a cold bed at Boroughbridge
which has given her fur and relaxation &c so that she has kept
house ever since she came home but is now getting better and
goes out of airing in a morning -- as among other complaints she



was very deaf, it confined me at home very much, it being so uncomfortable
to leave her, therefore don't expect much account of the
Grand-Monde for I am only preparing to look at it -- can only
tell you coming from our fine clear air sharp and cold into this
smokey region with weather that would be pleasant and suitable
to April, makes me so hot that was not other people in the same
case I should be alarmed and think I had a fever -- but joking
apart I don't recollect such at this season of the year, sunday, last:
Kensington Gardens was crowded, as well as the park, every body
sitting on the Wall and Benches, Men walking with Hats in their
hands and others carrying the ladies Muffs who having dressed
for February did not know what to do when they came to walk in
so hot a sun, every thing but the bare trees made me think it a
summer day: the weather has continued as fine ever since but
the wind a little cooler --
poor Lady Frances Harpur is to be pitied, but I think spite
of the Methodism which has supported her so long and well she
must feel: suppose you know Sir Henry went to the sea side I think
Eastbourne and then saw Miss Monsons maid, took an attachment
and carried her off: after the birth of a daughter he wrote for a special
licence, which was refused as it was unusual to grant unless with
Family consent -- upon which Lady Frances wrote to the ArchBishop
saying her son had always been so good to her that she could not stand
in the way of any thing that would conduce to his happiness
that indeed she thought it the only recompense he could make
the Young Woman, and that he had so much good sense that



he must be the best judge of what would make him happy --
it is said he intends to live altogether in the country and retired
having rather refused with hauteur the compliment that the family
offered him; of visiting and receiving his Lady --
our new Duchess I have not yet seen -- report says she is very
pleasing, very little and very civil -- that she makes a better
Curtsey than has been seen at court a long time -- but her health
is very delicate and she cannot enter into the hours: so has
her dinner between two and three; sups when He dines, and
goes to bed when he goes out for his evening amusement -- so that
she finds London very dull, and dislikes their new house very
much -- which I don't wonder at -- was always surprised at
their changing, for surely she need not have brought such
an addition to the family as that a house built for the Duke
of York would not hold her -- after all this, tis no wonder they
say she dislikes England and wishes to go back: indeed it would
be the wisest thing they could do, as His Royal Highness chooses to frequent
Brookes's and loses large sums -- which I think he should always
do, for as he has contracted the extraordinary method of receiving
when he wins and not paying when he loses: nobody ought to play
with him but when he loses -- but if this continues to be sure they
will cut, it is imagined and he had better go to Germany
and take up his Dignity as Bishop- --
have you heard of Sir William Hamilton since at Naples, and
if she enters into the Grand-monde -- it might be happier for both
perhaps if she declines it it is said, the King made him a speech
when He told him he was married that must have surprised him



the Queen bowed, and said nothing
the Duchess of Marlborough has at last seen Lady Blandford so all
parties are happy. the Old Duchess of Bedford still lives and
is unnoticed by those who ought to take care of her for it is
certainly extraordinary in the Childish state she is in for none
of them to take care of her and prevent her exposing herself
Mrs. Leland our old friend has taken a new lease, having
made a Tour into Somersetshire last summer and left her
complaints behind her, the General you know is on the Staff
in Ireland: that commission ends in October so he will not visit
London this winter --
I wish I had more news to send you: but as I wish to ask
how you do, and as that is the intent of this letter, will not apologise
for its stupidity; my Sister and Husband join me in compliments
and best wishes to yourself Mr. Dickenson and La Charmante
Louise which concludes me my Dear Madam
Yours very sincerely

Wilhelmina Murray

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



 1. Possibly what is meant is a furred tongue and relaxation in the medical sense of 'diminution of firmness or tension' (OED s.v., 1).
 2. Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), cousin of Mary Hamilton.
 3. Sir Henry Harpur, 7th Baronet, son of Lady Frances Harpur, who would marry his mistress Ann Hawkins the same year.
 4. Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820), who the previous year married her cousin Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), son of King George III.
 5. Sir William Hamilton (1730/31-1803), uncle of Mary Hamilton. Scottish diplomat and envoy at the court of Naples.
 6. Lady Emma Hamilton (formerly Hart, née Lyon) (bap. 1765, d. 1815), second wife of Sir William Hamilton (married in London 6 September 1791) (ODNB).
 7. Caroline Spencer (née Russell), Duchess of Marlborough (1742/3-1811), and her daughter-in-law Susan Spencer-Churchill (née Stewart), Marchioness of Blandford (1767-1841).
 8. Gertrude Russell (née Leveson-Gower), Duchess of Bedford (1715-1794), mother of the Duchess of Marlborough.

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/1/5/2/18

Correspondence Details

Author: Wilhelmina Murray (née King)

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

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

Date sent: February 1792

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton, conveying news of family and friends. Murray reports that Lady Frances Harpur is to be pitied because of the actions of her son Sir Henry, who went to Eastbourne and there met Miss Monson's maid. He took a liking to her and 'carried her off'. After the birth of a daughter he applied for a special licence (to marry) but was refused, as it is unusual to grant one without the consent of the family. Lady Frances wrote to the archbishop to say that her son had always been good to her and that she would not stand in the way of his happiness, and that 'he had so much good sence that he must be the best judge of what would make him happy'. Murray reports that she has not yet seen the new Duchess [Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany (1767-1820)] but has heard that she is 'very pleasing, very little and very civil' and 'makes a better Curtsey than has been seen at court a long time'. Her health is described as delicate, and she retires to bed while the Duke goes out for his evening amusements, and she finds London dull.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1036 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: Jessica Rigby, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted November 2014)

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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