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

Herries (née Foote), Catherine

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Herries to Mary Hamilton, relating to friends and to James Boswell's <i><i>Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson</i></i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter is written in a journal format. Herries writes of her sorrow for Hamilton over the ill health of her friend Mr Glover 'whose illness I fear leaves little hope of recovery'. She notes that she too has a 'darling companion an intimate of my mother, who loves me as Mr Glover does you - like her child' and so can sympathise with Hamilton. Herries notes that she visited Mrs Vesey the previous night and that she makes a 'point just now to go as often as I can, as there was so few people in town to amuse her'. Anna Maria Clarke had dined with her and Horace Walpole had just left. Herries notes that she likes providing such small details to Hamilton as it 'cheats distance, for letters written to a friend far off are commonly too general'. She continues that all the talk was on [James] Boswell's book [possibly, <i><i>The Journal of a Tour to The Hebrides</i></i>] 'some amused & many more laughing at it - for my part nothing can be more absurd than to publish such a book, but there are clever things here & there'. Herries writes that there are some 'excellent observations of Johnson's hue' and that Boswell means 'no harm' although 'he will bring a number of persons upon his back by such indiscretions'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter a few days later, noting that Anna Maria Clarke told her of the death of Hamilton's friend, Sir William Wake (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/8/8</a>), noting that is 'the condition of humanity of those that live to mourn those that go before them'. Herries reports that Mr Glover is 'visibly on the decline' and that there is little hope for him. Continuing her letter dated 22 November, Herries writes that the long interval is caused by the ill health of Sir Robert and her own discomfort with toothache. Herries may have to have some false teeth. At worst, she notes it may alter her looks but 'her Husband will love me the same', as will her friends. She continues with news of Sir Robert, who is to travel to Paris, and with her promise to pass on Hamilton's message to Mrs Vesey and Mrs Handcock. She notes that they are both well and often talk of Hamilton. She also notes that Horace Walpole spoke of Hamilton the other night 'with the greatest love & regard'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at St James's Street, [London].</p>

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