The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Mary Beauvoir (née Sharpe) to Mary Hamilton

Beauvoir (née Sharpe, later Douglas), Mary

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Mrs Mary Beauvoir (née Sharpe) to Mary Hamilton [Sharpe is now married and signs herself M Beauvoir]. The letter relates to a dispute between Sharpe and Hamilton. To Sharpe's surprise, Mrs Rundell had informed her that Hamilton had asked Mr Dickenson to call on Sharpe to present Hamilton's condolence on Sharpe's 'heavy affliction'[the death of her husband]. It was only on Mrs Rundell's good judgement that Sharpe was saved from the 'distressing necessity I should have been under of giving pain to a stranger, by confessing my opinion of the impropriety of a person who has behaved to me as Miss Hamilton did, intruding on my distress'. Sharpe writes that the breach of intimacy between them was caused by Hamilton alone and 'would never have happened had you chosen to stay silent on the subject of my difference with Mrs Carter', on which subject Sharpe does not think Hamilton had any right to interfere. Sharpe had fallen out with Mrs Carter for the last two years and notes that Hamilton would have known this. Sharpe also notes that on a number of occasions Hamilton had walked past her in the street without acknowledging her. Sharpe applauds 'the proper sense [...] [Hamilton] seemed to have of the degradation it wou[l]d be to my character to permit the civilities of my friendship and acquaintance to depend on my being or not being the intimate of Mrs Carter'. Sharpe did not think it possible that Hamilton would attempt to renew their friendship at such a moment. She viewed it as 'glaringly insulting to the memory of my beloved husband'. She writes to inform Hamilton that as long as she has 'life and understanding' she will accept no attention from anyone whose 'behaviour has been disrespectful during his life'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Bath.</p>

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