The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton

Charlotte, Queen

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Queen Charlotte to Mary Hamilton, in which she reprimands Hamilton for failing to bathe in the sea at Eastbourne, writing: 'When a child is naughty, a good parent corrects it in order to make it the better behaved. Pray, can You tell me what punishment is to be made use of, when the Physician recommends bathing in the Sea and it is not complied with?' Charlotte writes that Hamilton had promised her doctor to bathe. She continues her letter by noting that Hamilton will find her correspondence not as entertaining as those she receives from her many 'scribes'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Charlotte notes that she is still in town and that the King will leave soon for the country, which they both find more agreeable. They remain in town to fulfil their duties, a task that the Queen acknowledges, though it is 'very often connected with difficulty', to be 'nevertheless attended with a secret inward satisfaction'. She believes that 'Our ow[n] Conscience' is the 'sincerest friend we have', and she will endeavour to ensure to keep it alive.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter then turns to news of friends at Court. Charlotte reports that Lady Warwick [Elizabeth Warwick née Hamilton, the sister of Hamilton's father (c.1721-1800). Married Francis Greville Earl of Warwick in 1742 and became Countess of Warwick. After her first husband's death she married General Robert Clark] is living in her own house in town, and that she intends to lead a very retired life but is available to receive all her family. Although Charlotte notes that Lady Warwick's daughter, Lady Frances Harpur [Lady Frances Harpur (née Greville) (1744-1825), cousin of Mary Hamilton] has been given 'directions – or orders' from her husband 'to deprive her Mother of this pleasure', and this makes 'both parties very unhappy'. Charlotte continues that 'the duty's of a Child to a parent is one thing, and the making oneself a party in the indiscretions of a Mother is another'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She informs Hamilton that her friends Lady King and her daughter had visited court and seemed in good health. Lady Dartrey [Philadelphia Hannah Dawson (née Freame), Baroness Dartrey (1740-1826), granddaughter of William Penn and former Lady in Waiting to Queen Charlotte (see HAM/1/1/1/13)] had also been to court and talked of her pleasure at being settled in Chelsea. Lady Stormont [Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, cousin of Mary Hamilton], she reports, goes back and forth each day to the country, the air of which seems to agree with her.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Princess Dashkova [Princess Yekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova (1743-1810), Russian noblewoman, author and President of the Academy of Sciences in Russia] took her leave the day before and will travel for a further two years through France, Italy and Germany; Charlotte tells an anecdote which reflects ironically on the Princess's 'superior Character'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Charlotte finishes her letter by asking Hamilton not to let anybody else read it, as she is aware of a number of errors which if she had the time she would correct.</p>

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