The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Charlotte Finch to Princess Augusta Sophia

Finch (née Fermor), Charlotte, Lady

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Charlotte Finch to Princess Augusta. Writing from Caldas, Portugal, Charlotte notes that the two letters that she has just received from Augusta were the most entertaining that she had ever received. She also writes of the inconvenience of delays in sending and receiving post.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She expects that Augusta has already heard of Mrs Fielding's disaster. Lady Finch writes that she has not 'yet had the comfort of seeing her' even though she landed in Spain over a month since. Charlotte expects her 'any day'. It is impossible, she notes, to describe the slowness and the 'inconvenience of travelling in this country'. Mules pull 'ugly narrow open chaises' at a slow pace and that there is nothing to be found in the towns or on the roads so they are compelled to transport their beds as well as their food.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Charlotte writes that they often sit in a public garden close to their house and take tea and listen to a 'very good Band of Music' that Lord Winchilsea [George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea and 4 Earl of Nottingham (1752-1826)] 'brought with us from Lisbon'. The Portuguese enjoy dancing and excel in it and the Fandango is a fashionable dance here which 'Miss__ can give you an account of'. Charlotte notes that she has collected the coins of Portugal for Augusta to add to her collection. She follows by describing the clothes of the country noting 'that in summer they never go out but in long cloaks of cloth, velvet, a satin trim[me]d with furs, and are all astonishment, at any little thin bit of a Cloak, that your Royal Highness knows does not always escape censure [...] in England'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Charlotte hopes to return to England soon and writes that her son, Lord Winchilsea is regaining his strength. She writes of the Prince of Wales and that he has such 'good taste that I dare say his Uniform is very pretty'. Writing of Prince William, she notes that she is sure that he is more pleased with the distinction he has received than the Princess is for him [later King William IV (1765-1837), in 1779 William served as a midshipman on the <i><i>Prince George</i></i>] and that long absences are trying but she 'thinks it will add so much to his Glory, that you will reconcile yourself to it'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Caldas, [Portugal].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 13.</p>

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