The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Wilhelmina Murray (née King) to Mary Hamilton

Murray (née King), Wilhelmina

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Wilhelmina Murray to Mary Hamilton. The letter contains general news of society and the Royal Family. A cousin of Hamilton's, a Miss Cathcart, went to stay at Lady Stormont's [Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess of Stormont, also a cousin of Mary Hamilton], who was ill at the time, and became herself ill with chicken-pox and passed this on to the children, but they are all now recovered. Murray reports that the King has gout in his feet 'to the great joy of the Gentlemen about Him who triumph in the idea that He must now acknowledge that cruel disorder will attack sober people as well as those that sit over the bottle'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Murray notes that at the Duchess of Cumberland's [Anne Hanover (née Luttrell), Duchess of Cumberland (1742/3-1808)] last Thursday, a Lady Ferrars [possibly Charlotte Mainwaring Townshend (née Ellerker), Lady Ferrers (1753-1811)] 'took her leave of the Faro table as usual at a stated hour, being too great an invalid to keep the fashonable late hours', and left five guineas on the table saying that she would be much obliged if someone would play for her. She 'was no sooner gone than the Prince of W[ales] [George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales (1762-1830), later King George IV of the United Kingdom] sat down & said he would [do so]'. The Prince had won about 100 guineas by 3 in the morning and wanted to go straight to Lady Ferrars' to give it to her even though she would be asleep. After he repeatedly knocked at her door a servant stuck his head out of a window and asked where the fire was. When they were finally admitted, the Prince 'had the grace to stop at the bedchamber door', while Lady Elizabeth [Lady Elizabeth Luttrell (1739-1797), sister of the Duchess of Cumberland], who had gone to Lady Ferrars' with him, entered her room 'saying the Prince of Wales sends You a Shower of Gold and flinging the money on the table went home leaving the whole house in an uproar'. At Lady Hopetoun's [Elizabeth Hope (née Carnegie), Countess of Hopetoun (d. 1793)] ball the Prince was 'so drunk he could not stand[,] making violent love to the Dutchess of Argyle [Elizabeth Campbell (née Gunning), Duchess of Argyll (c.1733-1790)] & swearing she was still handsomer than all the D-d young things'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Murray continues her letter on the subject of it being seemingly fashionable to marry without adequate money for a home. She reports that Miss Caroline Walpole is 'to try the same fashon [sic]' the following week.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 4.</p>

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