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. She thanks Hamilton for sending her 'precious volume' [i.e. her letter], which she thanked her for in her head though not on paper. With her poor sight, Herries has had to spend the time she is able to write on those letters that could not be put off, and also helping Sir Robert copy letters.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton's letter to Herries included some 'confidence' that she can be assured Herries will keep 'sealed'. It is unclear to what Herries refers to other than to Hamilton's relatives, but she writes that from 'what motives the ill offices of which you have too much Course to suspect in a certain quarter proceeds it is difficult to say', and that 'whatever that person's conduct' they know Hamilton 'certain [...] [that she] w[oul]d not interfere between them'. Yet, Herries concedes when we know we are not doing 'right' we are 'jealous of every thing & every body'. When she writes to Lady Cunynghame, she will tell her what Hamilton wishes to be told to her uncle for her [Frederick Hamilton, see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/4/1</a>]. She continues that both Hamilton and her husband have always 'behaved like angels to all these Relatives though you have far from meeting a proper return'. She continuing also on the marriage of Hamilton's cousin, Jane Hamilton, to Joseph Holman (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/4/3</a>). Herries writes on Jane Hamilton's father [Frederick Hamilton] and on this poor match, that Mary's uncle's feelings 'as a Father are at least gratified by Mr H[olman's] good behaviour to his daughter -- whatever pain such an alliance must have given him as to rank & profession'. Herries reports that Frederick Hamilton's other daughter, Lady Aldborough, has been in Cheltenham for some time but 'nobody visits her -- at least nobody did more than leave tickets in return for hers. She was not asked any where -- for my part I felt very glad I never visited her at any time'. Herries had forgotten to tell Hamilton that Sir Robert has bought their house in Cheltenham (see HAM/1/17/259 and previous letters), which she is pleased about, although she does acknowledge that too much was paid for it. The furniture alone cost almost £200, describing it as 'scanty' and 'wretched'. She will forward the plan of her house to Hamilton as promised in previous letters, which she can do so without cost as she feels that it is not worth postage because it does not give a good view of the house.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries writes on not having any 'spare money' to allow her to visit her friend, but refuses to dwell on such subjects. She continues to light heartedly note that her husband Sir Robert does not think John Dickenson 'an old Woman for dreaming of completion of old Nixon's prophesy not improbably in these times', as he has always thought 'an Invasion of this Country very feasible'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Cheltenham.</p>

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