The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Mary Kerr (née Tompson) to Mary Hamilton

Kerr (née Tompson), Mary

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Mary Kerr to Mary Hamilton. She chastises herself for not writing to her friends more often. She tells Hamilton of her trip to London in May, which she enjoyed all the more for being in better health and having her husband visit her a handful of times during her two month stay. Her hotel in Portland Place was extremely comfortable and she had the opportunity to see many of her friends and see the sights, including the Installation of the Knights in the Chapel, which she particularly enjoyed. She was however keen to get home, which impeded her from paying anyone visits en route, including her friend.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She has succeeded in obtaining a Ladies Lodge at Dunstable for Mary Moore, and tells her that once the lady starts to take in more money she would love to pay her a visit.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Sir William Wake, Mr Bouverie and Mr Andrews have raised a troop of yeomen to be attached to the others. She explains that they were under the impression that they were to be raised under the same conditions as the others but that they received a letter from the Government to say that it would be at their own expense. With a revolt against the Government on the cards, Sir William put a hundred pounds towards the cause, inciting others to come forward and thus saving the credit of the corps. According to Mary, Lord Spencer was so pleased with this conduct [probably George John Spencer (1758-1834), politician and book collector] that he would rather be at the expense of the troops himself that have the movement fail. Mr Armytage has also joined the yeomanry again for the third time, although his wife has unfortunately been quite unwell. She updates her friend on all of their acquaintance, including the children in the West Indies. She confesses to feeling politically frightened and asks her friend if she feels the same way, if she expects London to end up in the same state of commotion as Dublin.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She writes about the 1500 cavalrymen present in Britain and expresses her feeling that if all who are armed have stout and loyal hearts then they have little to fear. She does, however, allude to the danger of feeling too secure. She mentions Miss Hanbury, who has been an invalid for some months but is now much better and the noblemen and gentlemen she has found making repairs to their properties. She spent the previous week at Castle Ashby and expresses her high regard for his ‘Lord Lieutenantship’, and trusts that there are enough people like that to save Britain from external forces. She mentions a certain ‘Duchess’ and expresses the importance of Religion and Loyalty at a time like this, values she hopes have room in her household. She updates her friend on the comings and goings of their acquaintances in these troubled times and passes on her regards to her husband and daughter.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Northampton.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 6.</p>

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