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 Herries's delight at receiving a letter at last from Hamilton, Herries's health, news from Naples, the Palombis, Sir William and Lady Hamilton.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes of her pleasure at receiving Hamilton's letter by last post from Bath (dated 9 April). Herries had not received a letter from Hamilton since before she left England and was therefore concerned for her. Herries had worried that she may have lost her 'invaluable friendship'. The letter continues on Hamilton's 'silence' suggesting that it may have been caused by Hamilton's 'health & spirits being far worse than any body would own to me'. Hamilton can therefore imagine the joy her letter has given her, although she notes her disappointment that the news of Hamilton's health is not better.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries confirms that Mr Sackville's letter from Mr Dickenson did not reach London until he had already left on his journey, so he did not receive it until the beginning of this month, and she thinks that Sackville may have 'deferred thanking your good Husband for the friendly contents' in the hope 'that he may [...] [be able] to give a more comfortable account' of Herries. She continues on Mr S[ackville], who she writes had joined her and Sir Robert in Bologna last month (see HAM/1/17/203), 'a place' she doubts she will ever return to with Sir Robert 'from causes which deeply agitated my mind but w[hic]h I cannot explain on paper & which are now intirely over thank God'. She continues that Sir Robert was obliged to leave Bologna whilst Herries remained behind on account of her poor health. She had intended to return directly to London to meet her friend Miss Bowdler but was prevented from doing so because of this. Herries was suffering from inflammation of her eyes and a fever which 'detained' her in the city until the beginning of this month. Herries notes that it was 'with much difficulty I got back to Florence' and then on to Pisa. The letter continues on her health, on the aid given to her by an English physician whilst in Italy, and the 'fatigue of long journies'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Mr Sackville had left for Rome the previous day and Herries notes 'whither we were to have gone also'. She is disappointed by being 'obliged to give up seeing the place' and has now little chance of ever being able to visit it. Moving on to her friend Miss Bowdler, Herries reports that she is much better and 'desires me much to say for her to you & Mr Dickenson'. Miss Bowdler thanks Hamilton and her husband for Mrs Palombi's remembrance [Hamilton's sister-in-law, living in Naples, see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/3/2</a>] and returns them. Herries continues on the Palombis. It is unclear as to what has passed between the Palombis and the Dickensons but Herries writes that she hopes 'they will not come to live in England, according to Mr Dickenson's generous offer'. She thinks 'It w[oul]d be a sad plague to you all -- yet I fear they will do it'. She continues on her wish to see Hamilton's daughter, Louisa.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues with general news and gossip, on the health of Mrs Douglas, Herries' surprise at Miss [GD?]'s choice of husband and is sorry for her brother and more so for Dr Burney [Charles Burney, 1726-1814, father of Frances Burney] on the 'wretched match of his Daughter's'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues dated 29th. Herries writes on Sir Robert Herries who will shortly be back in England and who had visited both Rome and Naples -- 'Would I had been also' in Naples. Sir Robert had been received well by Hamilton's uncle, Sir William (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/4/4</a>) and his wife Lady Hamilton. Herries puts down his good reception down to Hamilton and notes that Sir Robert 'is quite in love with Lady H'. Moving on Herries reports that she has heard no news to report, though she briefly writes on France and on the possibility of travelling to Italy so that she can take the waters, where she hopes to meet Mrs Hare-Naylor, whom she believes Hamilton knew when she was Miss G[eorgiana] Shipley.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Florence, [Italy].</p>

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