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, concerning the Prince Regent and Mrs Fitzherbert and a visit by Herries to Brighton.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes that nothing would give her greater pleasure than visiting Hamilton in Taxal, where they could 'really enjoy each other's society which in London unavoidably suffers so many interruptions'. Herries writes that she is unable to visit noting that she does not know when she will be able 'to realize so delicious a scheme' and hopes that such a proposal may be possible and that it may be more so if she and Sir Robert do not travel abroad. Herries continues on the subject of Hamilton visiting London, noting that many of her friends would be delighted if they were to see her in London.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries has been in Brighton all month, accompanied by Mr Foote's daughter and Nina [Herries]. Herries writes Hamilton that Miss Foote became ill only 3 days after arriving in Brighton with a 'pain in her breast' and a cough. Her cough became worse each day, which caused Herries some anxiety, and she advised her to go back to Little Chelsea immediately', which she did and is now much better.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues on the subject of Brighton. Herries knew only a few people when she first arrived but now has a few acquaintances. She outlines to Hamilton how she spends her time, noting that she bathes and has a short walk before breakfast and then she will perhaps make a visit or two although she admits that she does not do this often. She writes of a Ball being held which will 'wake the young & set the old ones to sleep'. The Prince of Wales, she notes, gave a ball and supper on Wednesday for the 'Company & neighbourhood on his birthday' but not on 'the real day he being absent'. Herries describes the evening as 'fine' and writes that the Prince 'looked remarkably well & in good spirits'. She continues with gossip of the Pavilion and of contradictory reports that the Prince 'is tired to death of —— [Mrs Fitzherbert] another that they have quarrelled', or 'in a Phaeton together and quite on the best apparent terms', later she was 'at his right hand at dinner'. Herries believes that the relationship between the Prince and Mrs Fitzherbert is one more of 'habit & perhaps of honor than anything else'. Herries continues on the subject of Mrs Fitzherbert, who she says 'looks well but grows very fat'. The letter continues with Herries listing the members of the aristocracy and royalty who are currently in Brighton, who include the Duke of Queensberry and the Duke of York. She writes of a cricket match that was held, where the Prince and his party dined in his tent. A friend of hers supped at the Pavilion and heard Mrs Sheridan [Elizabeth Sheridan, née Linley, (1754-1792), Singer, married Richard Brinsley Sheridan] and that Mrs Fitzherbert 'did the honours (& very well) as a wife does at her husband's house'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Writing of her husband, Herries reports that Sir Robert has returned from his Scottish and Irish 'expedition about 10 days a go & paid me a little visit'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries reports that she [Mrs Fitzherbert] was said to have 'behaved with great propriety & was pleasing in conversation' [at a supper given at the Pavilion by the Prince Regent]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes that she is expecting her friend, Miss Bowdler, in Brighton by Tuesday and hopes that she will be able to stay with her throughout September as Sir Robert Herries will no doubt be in France at this time. She reports that Hamilton's friends, the Gunnings (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/15</a>) are in Brighton and continues her letter on the subject of where and who she expects to visit during the year, and with general news of her family.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Brighton.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The two sheets of this letter were formerly catalogued separately as HAM/1/17/145 and HAM/1/17/146.</p>

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