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 the illnesses of family and servants, news of friends, a publication by Mrs Barbauld, the birth of an heir to the Duchess of Devonshire and to talk of a possible war.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries begins her letter commiserating with Hamilton on her 'poor servant's severe sickness'. She is relieved that they have now recovered and that no one else 'had caught the infection'</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Mrs Hunter is to have a ball, which Herries wishes Hamilton could attend. Herries does not enjoy balls very much and goes to them particularly to take Nina [Herries], a 'necessity which will increase every year'. She also writes that she has heard from her youngest brother from India in a letter dated 12 September, in which he writes that he is well. She continues that Hamilton has probably read in the papers that Mrs Elizabeth Carter has lost her sister, Mrs Mary Douglas. She notes that Mrs Carter 'bears it with meek[ness]'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter with news of friends and acquaintances including Mrs Carter, her sister and her brother-in-law, Dr Douglas, Mrs Hunter and Miss Bowdler. Hannah More was tolerably well when she last saw her, she reports, but Mrs Garrick is very ill and has gone to Bristol.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes on a pamphlet by Mrs Barbauld [Anna Letitia Barbauld (1743-1825), poet and essayist]. The pamphlet is titled <i><i>An Address to the Opposers of the Corporation and Test Acts</i></i> (1790). Herries has not yet read it but has been told that it is 'very violent' and that it always 'concerns [...] [her] when women & particularly [...] a woman as she is enter into controversy'. Herries moves on to write on Major Murray, who she saw the day before and who talked on the subject of the proposed war. She then turns her letter to the subject of the conflicting reports she has heard of the Duke of Cumberland, who is said to be dying from an abscess in his throat whilst others say that he will recover. In more news the papers report on the birth of a son to the Duchess of Devonshire and 'that she was brought to bed on Friday last at Paris'. Herries continues that the son 'is quite the child of Democracy [...] & surely will shew a republican spirit having imbibed it as it were before it came into the world'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries continues her letter on the subject of Hamilton and her own family before returning to the subject of a possible war and on the Spanish Ambassador stating that there had been a mistake with a ship that had been seized and that the ship had Portuguese colours not Spanish.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at St James's Street, [London].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The two sheets of this letter were formerly catalogued separately as HAM/1/17/139 and HAM/1/17/140.</p>

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