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. The letter relates to Hamilton's health and possible pregnancy, Herries's esteem for Hamilton and her family, and the purchase of lace.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes of her pleasure at receiving Hamilton's letter and of the news that her health is improving. She urges her for the sake of all her friends to do all she can not to neglect her health. Alluding to a pregnancy, Herries writes that 'what you suspect of your situation' will be a 'pleasing Circumstance' and that it would also account for the 'derangement' of her health, but if this is not the case then Herries implores her to consult a physician. Herries hopes that Hamilton will forgive her for broaching the subject but knows that she will understand that she does so because she cares for and loves her.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues on Herries's feelings and her high esteem for Hamilton and her family and that it gives her great pleasure to know that Hamilton's father-in-law and sister think well of her and her 'excellent friend Mr Sackville -- for their own characters are so truly estimable & amiable that approbation from them is indeed of the greatest value'. She continues of being 'smitten' with John Dickenson Senior and she has never known Mr Sackville 'so taken with one he had known so short a time'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries turns to the subject of Hamilton's visitor at Taxal [probably her cousin Robert Hamilton, the son of Frederick Hamilton (see HAM/1/4/2/17) who visited Hamilton in September 1791]. She is happy the situation 'of a certain young gentleman' who has lately been in Hamilton's charge has been resolved and believes that no-one but this man could behave towards Hamilton as he has done. Herries is pleased that Dickenson has reproved him and hopes that this will have an effect on the 'young gentleman'. Herries continues her letter with news on a previous incident concerning this man.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries urges Hamilton to have no 'uneasiness [...] about the precious manuscript that you have intrusted to me for my perusal'. She will not let it out of her hands. Herries writes on the subject of her enquiries regarding the 'lace'. Herries has shown it to just one person who acknowledges that it is pretty but who believes that she would not get a good price, for it is 'so bad a time of year'. Herries will take it to one or two others and when she has been made an offer she will let Hamilton know, though she thinks that she is more likely to get a better price for it when there are more people in town. Continuing on a similar subject, Herries asks Hamilton to send her the measurements for her sofa and chairs so that she can match the cotton. She assures her that she will not purchase any material without first consulting her. She also asks for details of which coach she should use to send packages to Taxal. Besides a package for John Dickenson Senior she also has a small 'trifle' to send Mrs Morrison [housekeeper]. Herries is soon to leave town and asks Hamilton to forward her letters to Sir Robert Herries's clerk who is charged with looking after her post. She is probably going to visit the seaside for a couple of weeks to continue her 'country rambles' at Brighton. Herries is glad that Hamilton is going to Birch [Birch Hall, Manchester], which she feels will do her much good.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries ends her letter in writing about Mr Sackville.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at St James's Street, [London].</p>

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