The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Jane Holman to Mary Hamilton

Holman (née Hamilton), Jane

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Jane Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. The letter reports on a visit to Bath for the benefit of the waters. Jane's mother had long wished her to take the waters, as Jane suffers headaches on occasions, which her mother says are 'bilious'. They have been in Bath for two weeks and hope to stay for a further five, as she says she enjoys bathing and drinking the waters and it is now the time of year when one can conveniently be away from London.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter turns to mutual friends and on Mrs Halsey's choice of a husband. Jane reports that her sister had not gone to Naples, which she was thinking of doing, as her husband, Mr Stratford, '(having got into some Difficulties,) wish'd to break up House-keeping; and live with his Brother', and had suggested that his wife move to Naples with their three children and remain there for a number of years, by which time he hoped to be out of his 'Embar[r]assments'. Her family and friends persuaded her against Naples. [The letter has been damaged, but a later letter confirms that her chosen location is Geneva.] She is reported to be with a respectable family who had travelled with her from Dublin as a matter of economy.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter carries on to talk of Mrs Siddons [Sarah Siddons (née Kemble) (1755-1831), famous actress, friend of Mary Hamilton], who is not to act this summer, which Jane hopes will mean that she will be in better health this winter. Mrs Siddons was to spend some time with Lord and Lady Harcourt [George Simon Harcourt, 2nd Earl Harcourt (1736-1809), and his wife and first cousin Elizabeth Harcourt (née Vernon), Countess Harcourt (d. 1826)] and the rest of the summer in other visits. The letter ends with Hamilton writing that she is glad to hear that Mary Hamilton's daughter Louisa has recovered from smallpox and continues: 'you may now reckon her Beauty safe, you know'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Bath.</p>

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