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, relates to the foundation of ‘Napier’ University and to Wilton Lodge. Napier writes that Hamilton may laugh at his Masonic Dignities and at the differing levels within it but his ‘elevated situation’ comes with a degree of expense and inconvenience ‘fifty of my good Pounds go to assist the building of that College [the new University of Edinburgh], the foundation of which I so happily deposited last November. In return for my cash, I have to boast of having received the freedom of the City of Edinburgh & the Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University’. He confesses he could have spent the money much more to his satisfaction in stone in Wilton Lodge. He continues in a light-hearted manner on the foundation ceremony noting that his public appearances as Grand Master and the speeches he has made are good preparation if the Peers are ‘silly’ enough to vote him into Parliament at the next General Election. Tongue-in-cheek he writes that ‘as an orator, Burke is a joke to me, & Sheridan unfit to hold a Candle’.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier includes a sketch of his home Wilton Lodge and a description of the layout of the house.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier ends his letter by saying that as he never had any ‘particular reason to rejoice in the Military life, I feel no regret from quitting it’.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Wilton Lodge [Roxburghshire].</p>

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