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. It gives her 'a heartfelt pleasure' to receive a letter from Hamilton. It is as though she is together with her as she reads them. 'I would to God I could retain so sweet an illusion a little longer'. She continues that tears of pleasure fill her eyes when she read the description that Hamilton has written. She knows that Hamilton is 'incapable of flattery' and of 'mere compliment' and notes that it gives her pleasure to think that she is so highly regarded by 'such a mind as yours'. Herries writes that when she feels 'unequal to what she ought' then she will look to Hamilton's words to reassure her.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter on her concern for Hamilton's health during her pregnancy. Hamilton has been bleeding and Herries attempts to reassure her friend. She writes that although she has no experience in such things she has spoken with a woman that morning who has and who assures her that there 'is no reason to doubt of being with child' for the reason that Hamilton had given her. She continues the letter with news of her husband, Sir Robert Herries who she reports sailed to Dieppe in poor weather. She assumes that he has arrived there safely but is still awaiting confirmation of this and is eagerly awaiting news.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter from Tunbridge Wells (dated 18 August) in which she writes on Nina Herries and of making acquaintances there. Mrs Vesey had written her asking for information on suitable lodgings at Tunbridge Wells. She hopes that she will come but fears that it is 'too late in the year for such a weak & failing frame'. If Vesey does come, Herries assures Hamilton that she will do all in her power to amuse her friends.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter two days later (dated 20 August) informing Hamilton that she has now received a letter from Sir Robert, who reports that he had 'an excellent passage' to Dieppe and expects to be in Paris by Thursday. Herries also reports that Mrs Vesey's godson, Edward, has come to Tunbridge Wells and has found a vacant house for Mrs Vesey. Herries is pleased by his news but is worried in case either Mrs Vesey or Mrs Handcock catch a cold on their journey. Herries also writes on acquaintances including Lady Bristol and her daughter, Lady Louisa Hervey, whom she describes as a 'sweet looking young woman'. Herries writes on her own health, on Mrs Jackson's death and its effect on Hamilton.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Brighthelmstone.</p>

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