The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Sir Robert Herries to Mary Hamilton

Herries, Robert

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Sir Robert Herries to Mary Hamilton, relating to Lady Herries's health and his seeking a friend to help nurse her.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Sir Robert writes that before his wife fell ill she had a presentment that her life was in danger and she passed to him a letter from Hamilton asking that it be burnt unread. He confirms that this has been done and, though she has recovered to some degree, she has not recovered her memory. She has also not recovered the use of her right hand or indeed her whole right side. She is now unable to read or write and he is sorry to inform Hamilton that her first attack has been followed by a second one. She would not have survived this without the immediate medical assistance she received. Although the present danger has been prevented, her complaints have increased 'especially those that depend on the powers of the mind'. Sir Robert is afraid that she will not improve and that she will not survive a further attack. He has removed himself from society and spends as much time as he can looking after his wife. He has also employed a woman to assist her in 'what women can only do to each other'. Sir Robert is satisfied with the help she has, 'yet still they are only servants'. As he cannot be with her to offer her comfort as much as he would wish, her cousin Miss Foote [Harriet Footte, see HAM/1/17/301] has also come to help and she sleeps in the room formerly occupied by Sir Robert's relation, Miss Herries. Miss Foote needs to leave for Oxford for a prior engagement at some point and Sir Robert has to go to London. Miss Foote hopes that she will be able to stay with Lady Herries whilst Sir Robert is away, but if this is not possible Sir Robert needs to find another of Lady Herries's friends who may be able to stay with her. He suggests Hamilton's friend, Miss Anna Clarke, who had recently written to Lady Herries. Sir Robert asks for Hamilton's opinion on this. He continues that he was obliged to open Miss Clarke's letter to Lady Herries and asks for Hamilton's answer as soon as she is able to, since it will guide him in answering Miss Clarke's.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Cheltenham.</p>

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