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 marriage of Nina Herries to her brother, Edward James Foote, and to Nina's return to England.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Lady Herries had written to Hamilton from Falmouth a few days prior to travelling to Lisbon (HAM/1/17/200) and she had also written from Madrid (HAM/1/17/201), but she has still not received any letters from Hamilton and has no idea whether or not Hamilton had received her letters. Herries is sure of Hamilton's 'love' for her and that Hamilton 'would wish to hear how I am & where I am'. She writes now because she is unsure as to when she will next have the opportunity to send correspondence -- war has been declared between France and Spain. She continues on the subject of postage and whether she will be able to send 'private letters w[hic]h no way mention or regard politics'. If this is not possible, she will have to write in 'future by Lisbon to England', which she acknowledges will be a safe but very slow method. Herries takes the opportunity now of writing that she and Sir Robert are safe after a journey of many hundreds of miles since her last letter. She reports that Nina is no longer travelling with them and has returned home by sea accompanied by a servant and the 'surgeon', Mr Bayne, who had travelled abroad with them but who is now 'obliged to return immediately to England'. The surgeon is a particular friend of Herries's brother, Captain Foote, and is a 'most worthy' man. She continues on the marriage of Nina to her brother which took place on 22 January in Madrid. Hamilton may have seen in the papers that her brother returned to England from Lisbon. Nina had accompanied Catherine and her husband but she had become ill and Mr Bayne advised against her continuing her journey by land, as it may 'prove fatal' if she did so. He advised a 'sea journey' and her 'native air' for her recovery. This was Nina's opinion also and hence she returned home. Herries cannot describe how much the separation 'of one I brought up as my child' affected her, but it was impossible for Catherine and Sir Robert to return home with her. After much anxiety Nina sailed from Alicante on 26 February, initially to Gibraltar, before returning to England. Herries is anxious to hear of news of her sailing to and arriving in England. She has the comfort to know that her brother Edward approves of Nina's returning home. Nina will probably miss Edward when she arrives in England but she is to go to St. James's Street and she will have the advice of her physician, who knows 'her constitution perfectly'. Herries believes that Nina leaving by sea was the correct decision as the distance from Alicante to Barcelona is between three and four hundred miles with many poor roads.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues on Herries's time in Alicante, where she spent a fortnight in the house of Mr Falls, who had married a sister of Sir Robert's. Herries writes of her admiration of the 'town' and writes on when she expects to return to England. The letter continues on her friend, Miss Bowdler, on Hamilton's affairs in Taxal, Sir Robert's business and her friend Mr Sackville.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Barcelona.</p>

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