The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton (née Barlow) to Mary Hamilton

Hamilton (née Barlow), Catherine, Lady

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. She has been in Caserta for three months, as the Court is there for the hunting. She notes that the King and Queen are practising for a Pantomime Ballet that is to have singing, on the subject of the 'Judgement of Paris', and the King is to represent Paris. The Queen is to represent Venus, the French ambassador Apollo and the Russian Ambassador Mercury. The rest of the characters are to be made up from the gentlemen of the bedchamber. Sir William is not to be in the Ballet. William Beckford [William Thomas Beckford (1760-1844), writer and art collector], Sir William's cousin, has just left them and is on his way to Venice. He had visited the Hamiltons for a number of weeks, and she writes that they are sorry to part with him. His 'very superior parts & talents, his extensive knowledge at so early an age, & his perpetual Wit & good humour has been a continual amusement'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter also relates to the war and financial matters. Lady Catherine notes that they may have to return home to settle some affairs of their estate in Wales. Their agent has died and a number of farms have fallen in and 'encroachments made, by which we lose considerably'. They have a debt of £6,000 for which they are paying 5 per cent interest. Lady Catherine writes of her dread of the journey but that she desires to see her friends.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 14.</p>

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