Single Letter

HAM/1/5/2/20

Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Park Street 7 Aug: 1794


      I need not say the receiving my Dear Mrs. Dickensons kind
letter gave me great pleasure, as she knows too well herself the
feelings it ocasions to hear of a valued Friend ------whose silence has given
pain and the more for being ocasioned by her ill health: the acount
you are so kind to give of it makes us very happy, as we hope
there is every reason to flatter ourselves that your long and pain
full
complaint is got the better of, and that you will enjoy many
years of health and all the comforts you so well deserve --
your scheme of returning to Bath is a very good one both for
your own health and the fair Louisa's improvement so that
I hope nothing will interfere with its being executed -- Mr. Muirhead
and Lady Jane[1] are with the Duke of Atholl[2] at Blair but
leave it the 24 of this month to return South and supose
by Oct: will be resettled at Bath, Lady Amelia Cooke[3] is at
present at Lord George Murray's[4] in Kent but will return to
Bath I understand when Lady Jane does -- the acount you
have heard of the Dutcheʃs of Atholl[5] is the general one, I
never met with a more uniform and general great Character
than she has: she is a very Elegant preaty Woman but Delicate
in health and make,[6] is two and thirty which is a very proper
age to be an agreable friend and companion to him and
also af proper age and experience to introduce and Educate
his Children -- her behaviour to Lord Mcleod[7] who was old enough
to be her father and during her widowhood has been so much
what it should be, that there is every reason to expect as well
as hope, it will prove a happy choice for themselves and All
Concerned: the Duke is deserving of every domestic happineʃs
for I never met with any man more so his atention to his
first Wife which living so much with them as we have, I am a good
judge of, and that to his children cannot be too much admired
and am sure if any body is unhappy with him it must be their



own fault: at his time of life and with such a familly of Children
it was the best thing and the properest he could do and as he
aʃsured me he had not made his choice without anxiously
endevoring to promote his childrens happineʃs as well as his own
I sincerely hope he will be rewarded as he deserves --
poor Miʃs Cathcarts delicate constitution alarms her friends
very much, this has been a very severe attack upon it, and I
am very anxious about her, but have got no intelligence as
every body is out of town and when I called at the house it
was with difficulty I got the door opened by a Girl who said the
Porter was out, and She only knew the familly were all at Caen wood
and very well: so it is plain she knew nothing of the matter --
the great fortune ------------Lady Bath[8] has disposed of herself at last
to her Cousin Sir James Murray (now Pulteney) -- if She will give
him the power have no doubt he will do honor to her choice
and the great Fortune they poʃseʃs, as he was so generous on
his small paternal one that there is no doubt of his having a
good, as well as generous heart, of which I know several traits
another great fortune (in expectation) is agoing to dispose of herself
to Mr. Drummond of Logie Almond[9] a very handsome young man
Nephew to Lord Dunmore -- if She turns out the fortune it will
be a great Match for him, but if disapointed of it will prove a bad
one for Both: as I think a young Woman brought up in all the
Extravagancy and gaity she has is but ill suited to marry and
retire into Perthshire upon a moderate income. I supose you
must know her mother Mrs: Charles Boone; Mr. Boone first
married a great fortune, a sister to the late Lady Ashburnhams
and since that a shewy Young Woman by whom he has only two
daughters one suposed far gone in a decline he is very rich but
will not tye himself down      so time must shew how it will
turn out -- H.R.H.[10] separation from Mrs. Fitzherbert is not to be
wonder'd at the wonder was, it did not take place before, and the event



clearly proves those in the right that never allowed the coniction
to be a matrimonial one -- those that so obseqiously bowed
to a Princeʃs must feel very small at present; I should think,
but that is their Affair -- luckily I am out of that scrape
never chuseing to have any thing to do with such quondam Princeʃses
nothing is here said about his marrying -- an attatchment to Lady
Jersey[11] is much talked of; which from her Character, her beauty
and adreʃs, is very likly to be true! Lord Jersey[12] being anxious
for a house near Windsor confirms the report -- the only
odd thing is, that age should always prove so charming! --
politics I can send none; the World seems so involved in
trouble and perplexity all over the face of the globe that it
is wonderfull and nothing can acount for it but that the
Decrees of Providence are fullfilling in a way to high for
us to understand, the only sure comfort to be found in su[ch]
times is a firm reliance on His goodneʃs who over rul[es]
All things that He will save and protect those who tru[st]
in Him and suddenly turn and grant us peace.
My Husband you know is now Rear Admiral of the Red and
has the command at Halifax for which station he sailed
the 18 of last May no acount has come of him since but I
trust the next packet will bring us good acounts it seems
a very long time. I endevor to amuse myself with music
drawing &c for to take up thought but spight of all I never found
time apear to go so slow; however I comfort myself that no news
is good news as the bad always flies -- this year has certainly
called forth great excersions of spirits to suport the loʃs of so
good a husband, to mourn for my last Brother, and for my
Husbands brother has been a series of events that have gradualy
followed each other and made me a mourner since Novr.
till just now -- but we were not sent into this world for our
pleasure and if we look round certainly have so many bleʃsings
to the thankfull for that it would be ingratitude to repine at what is the



lot of Man -- tho' it requires resolution to be thankfull & submit
with chearfullneʃs -- the King looks very well the Queen very thin
and so does P. Royal[13] -- the others all well tho' I think the P. of
Wales & D. of Clarence[14] very much alter'd -- P. Ernest[15] is very tall
but the same face has his left arm in a sling -- I give you this
act of those I know you will be glad to hear of I go to the
drawing room as it is an expected duty -- but to no other public
place, as I cannot reconcile it a right thing when those we are


                                                        
most nearly concerned for may be God knows in what situation
to be flirting about at idle places -- as I have no children to amuse
am sure I have no business at them --
My Sister on the whole is in much better looks & health than formly
tho' am sorry to say far from good health -- we are very glad to
hear Miʃs Dickensons is much improved -- beg to be kindly
remember'd to her. we hope you will have a pleasant tour the
Weather is delightfull and the country you will be pleased with
in Westmorland -- I am very glad to hear you propose to turn over
a new leaf I shall be content to experience one out of the Oldest
Book that I mean in which you used to write often to my Dear Mrs. Dickenson
Your affectionate & sincere friend
Wilhelmina Murray

My Sister joyns me in love to yrself
& best wishes to Mr Dickenson & Louisa -- [16]

Mrs Dickenson
Post Office
Liverpool
a single sheet[17]

3-17-0
3-15-9 ½
0-  1-2 ½
     1-0-0
[18]

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


Notes


 1. John Grosset Muirhead (d. 1836) and his wife Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846).
 2. John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), brother of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846) and cousin-in-law of Mary Hamilton.
 3. Lady Amelia Cooke (née Murray) (d. 1818), sister of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846) and of John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), cousin-in-law of Mary Hamilton.
 4. Rt. Rev. Lord George Murray (1761-1803), brother of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1836), of John Murray 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), and of Lady Amelia Cooke (née Murray) (d. 1818).
 5. Hon. Margery Murray (née Forbes), Duchess of Atholl (1761-1842), whom the Duke of Atholl had married earlier the same year.
 6. The Duchess of Atholl actually appears to have been 33 at the time of this letter.
 7. Maj.-Gen. John Mackenzie, Lord MacLeod (1727-1789), first husband of the Duchess of Atholl.
 8. Henrietta Laura Pulteney, 1st Baroness of Bath, Somerset (1766-1808), who had married her first cousin once removed Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir James Murray-Pulteney (né Murray) of Dunerne, 7th Baronet (a1759-1811) the previous month.
 9. William James Charles Maria Drummond, 4th of Logie Almond (d. 1827), Scottish diplomat, politician, poet and philosopher, nephew of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1730-1809).
 10. George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales (1762-1830), later King George IV, son of King George III, who had illegally married Maria Anne Fitzherbert (née Smythe) (1756-1837) in 1785.
 11. Frances Villiers (née Twysden), Countess of Jersey (1753-1821).
 12. George Bussy Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey (1735-1805), husband of Lady Jersey.
 13. Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal (1766-1828), daughter of King George III.
 14. Prince William Henry, 1st Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews (1765–1837), son of King George III.
 15. Prince Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), son of King George III.
 16. This postscript appears to the left of the closing salutation and signature.
 17. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 18. This calculation appears to the right of the address, also written vertically. It is a simple subtraction from 3 pounds 17 shillings to leave one shilling and twopence halfpenny [pronounced 'tuppence ha'penny']; the last line shows the digits carried over as part of the working.

Normalised Text


Park Street 7 August 1794


      I need not say the receiving my Dear Mrs. Dickensons kind
letter gave me great pleasure, as she knows too well herself the
feelings it occasions to hear of a valued Friend whose silence has given
pain and the more for being occasioned by her ill health: the account
you are so kind to give of it makes us very happy, as we hope
there is every reason to flatter ourselves that your long and painful
complaint is got the better of, and that you will enjoy many
years of health and all the comforts you so well deserve --
your scheme of returning to Bath is a very good one both for
your own health and the fair Louisa's improvement so that
I hope nothing will interfere with its being executed -- Mr. Muirhead
and Lady Jane are with the Duke of Atholl at Blair but
leave it the 24 of this month to return South and suppose
by October will be resettled at Bath, Lady Amelia Cooke is at
present at Lord George Murray's in Kent but will return to
Bath I understand when Lady Jane does -- the account you
have heard of the Duchess of Atholl is the general one, I
never met with a more uniform and general great Character
than she has: she is a very Elegant pretty Woman but Delicate
in health and make, is two and thirty which is a very proper
age to be an agreeable friend and companion to him and
also a proper age and experience to introduce and Educate
his Children -- her behaviour to Lord Mcleod who was old enough
to be her father and during her widowhood has been so much
what it should be, that there is every reason to expect as well
as hope, it will prove a happy choice for themselves and All
Concerned: the Duke is deserving of every domestic happiness
for I never met with any man more so his attention to his
first Wife which living so much with them as we have, I am a good
judge of, and that to his children cannot be too much admired
and am sure if any body is unhappy with him it must be their



own fault: at his time of life and with such a family of Children
it was the best thing and the properest he could do and as he
assured me he had not made his choice without anxiously
endeavouring to promote his childrens happiness as well as his own
I sincerely hope he will be rewarded as he deserves --
poor Miss Cathcarts delicate constitution alarms her friends
very much, this has been a very severe attack upon it, and I
am very anxious about her, but have got no intelligence as
every body is out of town and when I called at the house it
was with difficulty I got the door opened by a Girl who said the
Porter was out, and She only knew the family were all at Kenwood
and very well: so it is plain she knew nothing of the matter --
the great fortune Lady Bath has disposed of herself at last
to her Cousin Sir James Murray (now Pulteney) -- if She will give
him the power have no doubt he will do honor to her choice
and the great Fortune they possess, as he was so generous on
his small paternal one that there is no doubt of his having a
good, as well as generous heart, of which I know several traits
another great fortune (in expectation) is agoing to dispose of herself
to Mr. Drummond of Logie Almond a very handsome young man
Nephew to Lord Dunmore -- if She turns out the fortune it will
be a great Match for him, but if disappointed of it will prove a bad
one for Both: as I think a young Woman brought up in all the
Extravagancy and gaiety she has is but ill suited to marry and
retire into Perthshire upon a moderate income. I suppose you
must know her mother Mrs: Charles Boone; Mr. Boone first
married a great fortune, a sister to the late Lady Ashburnhams
and since that a shewy Young Woman by whom he has only two
daughters one supposed far gone in a decline he is very rich but
will not tie himself down      so time must shew how it will
turn out -- His Royal Highness' separation from Mrs. Fitzherbert is not to be
wonder'd at the wonder was, it did not take place before, and the event



clearly proves those in the right that never allowed the connection
to be a matrimonial one -- those that so obsequiously bowed
to a Princess must feel very small at present; I should think,
but that is their Affair -- luckily I am out of that scrape
never choosing to have any thing to do with such quondam Princesses
nothing is here said about his marrying -- an attachment to Lady
Jersey is much talked of; which from her Character, her beauty
and address, is very likely to be true! Lord Jersey being anxious
for a house near Windsor confirms the report -- the only
odd thing is, that age should always prove so charming! --
politics I can send none; the World seems so involved in
trouble and perplexity all over the face of the globe that it
is wonderful and nothing can account for it but that the
Decrees of Providence are fulfilling in a way too high for
us to understand, the only sure comfort to be found in such
times is a firm reliance on His goodness who over rules
All things that He will save and protect those who trust
in Him and suddenly turn and grant us peace.
My Husband you know is now Rear Admiral of the Red and
has the command at Halifax for which station he sailed
the 18 of last May no account has come of him since but I
trust the next packet will bring us good accounts it seems
a very long time. I endeavour to amuse myself with music
drawing &c for to take up thought but spite of all I never found
time appear to go so slow; however I comfort myself that no news
is good news as the bad always flies -- this year has certainly
called forth great exertions of spirits to support the loss of so
good a husband, to mourn for my last Brother, and for my
Husbands brother has been a series of events that have gradually
followed each other and made me a mourner since November
till just now -- but we were not sent into this world for our
pleasure and if we look round certainly have so many blessings
to be thankful for that it would be ingratitude to repine at what is the



lot of Man -- though it requires resolution to be thankful & submit
with cheerfulness -- the King looks very well the Queen very thin
and so does Princess Royal -- the others all well though I think the Prince of
Wales & Duke of Clarence very much alter'd -- Prince Ernest is very tall
but the same face has his left arm in a sling -- I give you this
account of those I know you will be glad to hear of I go to the
drawing room as it is an expected duty -- but to no other public
place, as I cannot reconcile it a right thing when those we are


                                                        
most nearly concerned for may be God knows in what situation
to be flirting about at idle places -- as I have no children to amuse
am sure I have no business at them --
My Sister on the whole is in much better looks & health than formerly
though am sorry to say far from good health -- we are very glad to
hear Miss Dickensons is much improved -- beg to be kindly
remember'd to her. we hope you will have a pleasant tour the
Weather is delightful and the country you will be pleased with
in Westmorland -- I am very glad to hear you propose to turn over
a new leaf I shall be content to experience one out of the Oldest
Book that I mean in which you used to write often to my Dear Mrs. Dickenson
Your affectionate & sincere friend
Wilhelmina Murray

My Sister joins me in love to yourself
& best wishes to Mr Dickenson & Louisa --

Mrs Dickenson
Post Office
Liverpool
a single sheet

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



 1. John Grosset Muirhead (d. 1836) and his wife Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846).
 2. John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), brother of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846) and cousin-in-law of Mary Hamilton.
 3. Lady Amelia Cooke (née Murray) (d. 1818), sister of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1846) and of John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), cousin-in-law of Mary Hamilton.
 4. Rt. Rev. Lord George Murray (1761-1803), brother of Lady Jane Muirhead (née Murray) (d. 1836), of John Murray 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), and of Lady Amelia Cooke (née Murray) (d. 1818).
 5. Hon. Margery Murray (née Forbes), Duchess of Atholl (1761-1842), whom the Duke of Atholl had married earlier the same year.
 6. The Duchess of Atholl actually appears to have been 33 at the time of this letter.
 7. Maj.-Gen. John Mackenzie, Lord MacLeod (1727-1789), first husband of the Duchess of Atholl.
 8. Henrietta Laura Pulteney, 1st Baroness of Bath, Somerset (1766-1808), who had married her first cousin once removed Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir James Murray-Pulteney (né Murray) of Dunerne, 7th Baronet (a1759-1811) the previous month.
 9. William James Charles Maria Drummond, 4th of Logie Almond (d. 1827), Scottish diplomat, politician, poet and philosopher, nephew of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1730-1809).
 10. George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales (1762-1830), later King George IV, son of King George III, who had illegally married Maria Anne Fitzherbert (née Smythe) (1756-1837) in 1785.
 11. Frances Villiers (née Twysden), Countess of Jersey (1753-1821).
 12. George Bussy Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey (1735-1805), husband of Lady Jersey.
 13. Charlotte Augusta Matilda, Princess Royal (1766-1828), daughter of King George III.
 14. Prince William Henry, 1st Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews (1765–1837), son of King George III.
 15. Prince Ernest Augustus (1771-1851), son of King George III.
 16. This postscript appears to the left of the closing salutation and signature.
 17. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 18. This calculation appears to the right of the address, also written vertically. It is a simple subtraction from 3 pounds 17 shillings to leave one shilling and twopence halfpenny [pronounced 'tuppence ha'penny']; the last line shows the digits carried over as part of the working.

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/1/5/2/20

Correspondence Details

Author: Wilhelmina Murray (née King)

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Liverpool

Date sent: 7 August 1794

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton. The letter contains news of the Royal family and society news, in particular the marrying of 'great fortune[s]'. It is also concerned with family news, including the Duke of Atholl's marriage and his children. Lady Amelia Cooke is staying with her brother, Lord George Murray, in Kent. The new Duchess of Atholl is described as being an elegant and pretty woman with a 'uniform and general great Character'. Her behaviour to her first husband, Lord Mcleod -- who, she notes, was old enough to be her father -- was everything that it should be. She reports on the health of the Duchess and of another relation, Miss Cathcart. The wealthy Lady Bath [Henrietta Laura Pulteney, 1st Baroness of Bath, Somerset (1766-1808), who had married her first cousin once removed Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir James Murray-Pulteney (né Murray) of Dunerne, 7th Baronet (c.1759-1811) the previous month] has 'disposed of herself at last to her Cousin Sir James Murray [now Pulteney]'. The letter makes reference to the Prince of Wales and his mistress, Lady Jersey. Murray writes: 'the only odd thing is, that age should always prove so charming!'.
    The letter turns to politics. Murray writes that the whole world 'seems so involved in trouble and perplexity [...] that [...] nothing can ac[c]ount for it but that the Decrees of Providence are fullfilling in a way to[o] high for us to understand'. Murray reports that her husband now holds the position of Rear Admiral of the Red and has command at Halifax. He set sail for there last May and she has not heard anything from him as yet. She tries to keep herself amused with music and drawing and finds comfort in the adage that 'no news is good news'. She notes that the King looks very well but that the Queen and the Princess Royal both look thin. The other Royals look well although she thinks that the Prince of Wales and Duke of Clarence look 'much altered'. Prince Ernest is very tall and has his arm in a sling.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 1419 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

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

Transliterator: Gabrielle Royle, 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: 13 April 2020

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