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 a law suit against Sir Robert Herries, the economic situation, their house in Cheltenham and, briefly, to Elizabeth Montagu's will (see HAM/1/17/257).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes on her house in Cheltenham, which they are currently leasing but are hoping to buy. She has heard a few days past that 'some nabob has taken a fancy to it. Herries is concerned that after having had the all the trouble & expense of making it a comfortable dwelling we may have mortification of being obliged to leave it'. Sir Robert has sold his farm in Scotland to enable him to put in an offer for the purchase of the house, 'but if the East Indian has set his mind on having it his purse is so much the largest', even with the benefit of the terms of their lease they may loose out.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries cannot remember if she had told her friend of a law suit against Sir Robert relating to 'the Paris notes', the decision of which was 'severe [...] [having] to pay three times the value ever received'. The case will be retried unless the 'other party will agree to a Compromise'. She continues on the subject and on her hopes that it will be resolved. Sir Robert himself is in good health and has just come from Bristol and Bath, 'to see the Gentleman in question like a young man of 25'. Herries does not have 'half his constitution'. She writes on her own and Hamilton's health. She also writes on Hamilton's daughter Louisa and on the way that Hamilton is bringing her up. 'The method you have taken' of putting a young person under her Care is perhaps the most excellent that could be devised for the improvement of Head & Heart'. Changing topics, she turns to finance and war. She prays God be 'with you to bless the Councils of Parliament will have the wisdom to do for the best for the relief of this afflicted Country'. Herries fears that all they will do whilst war continues, and along with it debt, is to increase taxes. She writes of the 'monopolising contracts w[hic]h are mostly[?)]made at any price to supply the fleets & armies. The quantity of paper money also both of the Bank of England' and from numerous other banks will mean higher prices.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries has not heard from Georgiana for some time and is concerned for her. When she last heard of her, she had been in an accident on her way to Italy, her carriage having overturned. She longs for news of her, describing her as a 'faithful creature -- it is not possible to tell you the Expressions of love for me & sorrow [...] [she shown] at our separation'. She continues that Georgiana was 'very clean in all ways as a Servant & very affect[tiona]te [...] to me indeed'. Herries asks to be remembered to Hamilton's house-keeper, Mrs Morrison. The letter continues on mutual friends. Herries does not know if Mrs Alison [Dorothy Alison, née Gregory (c.1754-1830), companion to Elizabeth Montagu] will be named in Mrs [Elizabeth] Montagu's will, though from what she has hears she should be. Herries has always believed that Mrs Elizabeth Carter will be, and hopes that Mrs Chapman will be 'remembered'. She continues with news of her own family, including the marriage of one of her nieces.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries asks Hamilton to keep part of this letter private between them and to burn the letter.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Cheltenham.</p>

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