The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Louisa Dickenson (later Anson) to Mary Hamilton

Dickenson, Louisa Frances Mary (later Anson)

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Louisa Dickenson to her mother, in which she describes and gossips about the people she met and the activities she carried out on a visit to Chicksands Priory in Befordshire. Louisa writes of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith and of a Miss Smith who 'is not pretty, has a pretty figure, and not very vulgar'. They were taken into the Library 'at the end of the new gothic room' when they reached Chicksands. There she found Lady H. O. [Lady Heneage Osborn (née Finch) (d. 1820)]. Lady Calder [Lady Louisa Calder (née Osborn)] and her nieces, the two Miss Wilkinsons, were pleasing and unaffected. The party also consisted of Colonel Osborn [Colonel John Osborn (1772-1848), son of Lady Heneage Osborn] and Sir Henry Calder [Sir Henry Rodham Calder, 5th Baronet (1790-1868), son of Lady Calder], who was approximately 19 years old. She writes that the latter was cheerful and good humoured and called Colonel Osborn 'Uncle'. The gentlemen joined the ladies in the library in the evening. The ladies left them a half hour later and 'all worked, talked and laugh'd till Eleven o'clock', when 'the young Colonel [Osborn]' came home.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She continues that Sir George [Sir George Osborn, 4th Baronet (1742-1818), husband of Lady Heneage Osborn] 'is to meet us at the Trees this morning' and that he was in London the previous day. She reports that Lady Heneage Osborne was pleased with '[her] white paper Puzzles as they call them', as no-one had seen any before. She also reports that there is a 'foreign gentleman [there]', but that she has been unable to find out his name. The gentleman sketches and pastes the sketches into a book. Sir Henry Calder is 'wild about shooting' and asked Louisa if her father also enjoyed it. She does not believe that he has had good sport. Miss Smith boasts that a Mr. Pickford 'kill'd 17 brace of birds before breakfast' and then gave an account of him as being 'a very Gentlemanlike Man', though she had 'already told [them], that he is a poacher'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Louisa ends her letter describing the rooms. She sleeps in one of the new rooms and instead of being numbered every room has a Greek letter 'painted on the Wall to distinguish them'. She is to stay until Monday and she will return in a Hackney Chaise.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 12.</p>

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