The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Charlotte Finch to Charlotte, Princess Royal

Finch (née Fermor), Charlotte, Lady

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Charlotte Finch to the Princess Royal. Lady Charlotte Finch [née Fermor (1725-1813), Royal Governess, married William Finch, the second surviving son of the 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea] to the Princess Royal. In the letter, written from Caldas, Portugal, Charlotte writes that she had hoped that Mrs Fielding [née Sarah Finch, a daughter of Lady Finch (1748-1852), married Captain Charles Fielding] would have passed the Princess a letter she had asked her to by now. In the letter she expresses how grateful she is to the Royal Family for their 'Goodness and Indulgence' and updates the Princess Royal upon her situation. She is not yet ready to leave her son, who is ill, and talks of the waters at Caldas noting that although the waters do not disagree they 'have not yet had so much effect'. She hopes that she will be free to return to her duties at court soon but for the time being her son 'feels the comfort of having us here'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Lady Finch writes that although the country around where she is staying is very pleasant for riding, the place itself is very dull and does not 'attempt anything like amusement'. There are two agreeable families of English Merchants and 'some Portuguese' here visiting for the waters but the 'want of language on both sides makes that less agreeable'. Lady Finch writes that she and her companions have been endeavouring to learn the language and are doing well in reading but less so in speaking and in understanding when being spoken to. She continues to describe the Portuguese visitor's character and looks and then moves on to fashion and how people's hair is being dressed in the town. She hopes to have some 'intelligence of my poor Prisoner' soon. [Whilst travelling home, Lady Finch's daughter, Mrs Fielding's ship was captured by an American ship; see HAM/1/12/29.]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Written in Hamilton's hand is an annotation saying that the Princess Royal gave her this letter as she knew Hamilton loved Lady Finch and that Hamilton had refused a gift from the Princess Royal.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Caldas, [Portugal].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 12.</p>

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