The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Mrs Maria Eliza Rundell (née Ketelby) to Mary Hamilton

Rundell (née Ketelby), Maria Eliza

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Maria Eliza Rundell to Mary Hamilton. She begs Hamilton to look after her eyes as she ‘has not half done with them’ [Hamilton had been suffering with an eye complaint]. Rundell writes of her children and that her work increases as they grow older. She writes of ‘instructing’ her children when she can and that she ‘always found that school learning was deficient even in Boys, unless he remain there longer than is consistent with the plans for those bred to business’ which is why she pays close attention to her elder son, instructing him at breakfast time to the best of her abilities. Her success with him as encouraged her to do the same with his brother. She continues that her own and Hamilton’s views on girls schools are similar but governesses are difficult to obtain and Rundell would also need a larger house if she were to employ one. She is sure that if she had kept her daughter Mary at home then she would not have been able to do her the justice that ’her lively temper requires’. She would have ‘worn [Rundell] to death’. She feels she has done her duty with her daughter and is confident of the person who is instructing her. The letter details the steps she has taken to ensure that her daughter is well looked after and educated.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton has asked Rundell to look for lodgings for her in Bath and she reports in great detail on the possible houses she has found for her including the rooms and even the utensils available [for example linen and china] in the lodgings and the prices.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Rundell ends her letter noting that her husband Dr Rundell is to attend Mrs Talbot in April as Hamilton’s nurse ‘has lately been at a great Lady’s lying in that has made her quite rich and has put out her son with the money, alas for gentleness, who would have suspected y[ou]r maid’.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Bath.</p>

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