The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton

Napier, Francis Scott, 8th Lord

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton, relating to Napier's regiment and the social life in Worcester. Napier informs Hamilton that he will not go to Bath this Winter as planned as the friend he was to meet there will be in London. Unless he wins the lottery (on which he has ‘risked two Guineas & a half’) he does not expect to come to town but will remain at Quarters. Napier writes of the society in the military line as being good, if he could prevail upon himself ‘to relish Shilling Whist’ with the people of the Town. He does try to put up with ‘all their whims & allow them to pinch my packet with a tolerable good grace’.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier is grateful to Hamilton for mentioning him to the King and Queen but does not expect a promotion from it, as the King is aware that he wishes to go on foreign service and he knows that his regiment is in the West Indies. As Napier is the youngest Captain, he is obliged to stay in England with an additional Company. Napier notes that the officers of the 35th Regiment are not ‘the most desirable of companions’. He thought so poorly of them when in New York that he never made an acquaintance of any of them, as he did not have the foresight then to see that he would one day be in it.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The letter continues dated 21 November. He was interrupted in finishing his letter to her the previous night and he now has not the time to continue on the same subject, but instead writes of the assemblies that are held in Worcester. There are two, one called the Clogg & Patten and the other the Rump & Range. At one time harmony between the gentry and the tradesmen meant that both parties happily danced together but he notes ‘providence ordained’ that the tradesmen's daughters were more beautiful than the gentry's and jealousy turned into abuse. The tradesmen declared that they would have an assembly of their own and ‘shut out all the saucy Misses’. The result of this is that the ‘military men preferring Beauty & Good humour to Pride and affectation, all flocked to the City Assembly so that the County Ball Room appeared almost deserted’. He carries on to document the dispute but notes that military men now attend both assemblies.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Worcester.</p>

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