Single Letter

HAM/1/7/7/3

Letter from Wilhelmina King (later Murray) to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


                             Tunbridge Wells 19 July
                                                         1782 --

my Dear Miʃs Hamilton,

      You will be surprised, by a letter from
the Mountains of Ephraim[1]; & I daresay will not scruple
paying postage, tho' it came from the promised land;
as you are always tooso anxious to hear from your
friends: tho' I ought to apologise for intruding on your
time, unleʃs there was something worth amusing with.
We arrived here the 10th, since which time the weather
has had a tersian[2] Ague, and continualy spoils
our prospect of the hay making which is a beautifull
scene interspersed on the Hills all round. We have a
comfortable House (for this place) on the top of Mount
Ephraim stone inside as well as out: for the owners
have thought it too fine to hide in the parlours
with any thing more than a little paint -- the floors
partake of the Hilly situation, so that in the center
of the room, we can sit or walk on the slope -- the



outside is as singular as the in; having no top, or roof:
it apears very odd but as we have had very heavy rain
and found ourselves safe from the storm have been
satisfied we are well secured, tho' it makes no figure[3] --
the Hill is all interspersed with Lumps of rock among
which are squeezed little cottages & Hovels which form
a picturesque view, and at the Bottom we look over
the Well, Mount Sion, Mount Pleasant[4] -- &c &c to talk
to you of views is rather presumptious who walk the
Terrace and commend that beautifull one of the Thames
&c but should be glad to raise your curiosity to come
and see it, as well as Les Roché tout proche;[5] which are
so celebrated; we would give you, a comfortable room
and sincere welcome, perhaps, a little Tunbridge Water,[6]
might be good for your nerves! my Mother was very weak
when we came, and has already found great Benefit
from them, and the Air; which is allowed to be very fine.
We flatter ourselves she will return so recruited and stout
that you will be quite pleased at the improvement --
here is a great deal of company, Lady Morton, Ly. Mary
Bowlby
, Ly. Darnley, Ly. Robert Manners,[7] Ly. Bows, Heathcote,
Grosvenor, Lord & Lady Parker but they go very soon, Mrs.



John Pitt
& daughter, Mrs Wyndham, Nisbett. &c will tell you no more
that you may have a curiosity to come and see, particularly
our Beaus, that I wont say any thing about till you come
here are some great Cheʃs Players also Dtr: DBowdler who
belongs to Count Bhruhls club, Mr. Aufrere &c &c -- the
Phisician we left here two years ago Dtr: Wright has
left the Place, and tis said his practice, in order
to enter the line of matrimony with Mrs. Gray, who
perhaps you know something of: She was Maid of
Honour to the Late Princeʃs of Orange and Sister of Sir
James Gray
: her Mother who is lately Dead near 100
was always against the match and her daught[er]
tho' near or quite 70 was too dutifull to dispose of
herself, but that obstacle being removed 'tis expected
to take place very soon --
have you heard of Lady Hamilton[8] yet? Lady Morton
complains of the loss of Letters sadly, and as Prince
Caramanico
Lays abed all day he is of little use
to employ about sending them more safely --
I hope now we are removed so far asunder you will
find time to send me a few lines to say how you do
and whether you aprove our hint of a trip to Tunbridge
I hope the news story about Prince William is like most



other false, and that you and all the R. Familly are quite
well --
my Sister is but indifferent and has not been out since
here, so only my Ly.[9] & I have attended the tea dringskings
and Pantiles; the Balls are but just began & we have



not exhibited there as yet --
My Mother and Sister Joyn with me in best wishes
and in hopes of a few lines to tell me these were
acceptable I remain my Dear Miʃs Hamilton
                                                         Yours Sincerely
                                                                   Wil: King

Miʃs Hamilton[10] [11]
      Queens Lodge
                             Windsor
a single sheet

(hover over blue text or annotations for clarification;
red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. Mount Ephraim is a street in Tunbridge Wells. In the Old Testament, the tribe of Ephraim settled in the mountains in Israel following their exodus from Egypt (Joshua 17). King is playing on the idea that she has escaped London to the 'promised land' of Tunbridge Wells.
 2. ‘Of a fever or ague: Characterized by the occurrence of a paroxysm every third (i.e. every alternate) day’ (OED s.v. tertian adj. and n. A.1).
 3. That is, it is not visually imposing.
 4. Fashionable locations in eighteenth-century Tunbridge Wells.
 5. Sandstone outcrops known as The Rocks.
 6. Tunbridge Wells is a spa town built on mineral springs believed to have curative properties.
 7. Her husband, Lord Robert Manners, had died on 31 May 1782 (Wikipedia).
 8. Hamilton's aunt by marriage, Lady Catherine Hamilton (née Barlow), who died at Naples on 25 August 1782.
 9. Presumably, Lady Morton.
 10. The address is crossed with a '5' to indicate postage paid.
 11. The postmarks are illegible.

Normalised Text


                             Tunbridge Wells 19 July
                                                         1782 --

my Dear Miss Hamilton,

      You will be surprised, by a letter from
the Mountains of Ephraim; & I daresay will not scruple
paying postage, though it came from the promised land;
as you are always so anxious to hear from your
friends: though I ought to apologise for intruding on your
time, unless there was something worth amusing with.
We arrived here the 10th, since which time the weather
has had a tertian Ague, and continually spoils
our prospect of the hay making which is a beautiful
scene interspersed on the Hills all round. We have a
comfortable House (for this place) on the top of Mount
Ephraim stone inside as well as out: for the owners
have thought it too fine to hide in the parlours
with any thing more than a little paint -- the floors
partake of the Hilly situation, so that in the centre
of the room, we can sit or walk on the slope -- the



outside is as singular as the in; having no top, or roof:
it appears very odd but as we have had very heavy rain
and found ourselves safe from the storm have been
satisfied we are well secured, though it makes no figure --
the Hill is all interspersed with Lumps of rock among
which are squeezed little cottages & Hovels which form
a picturesque view, and at the Bottom we look over
the Well, Mount Sion, Mount Pleasant -- &c &c to talk
to you of views is rather presumptious who walk the
Terrace and commend that beautiful one of the Thames
&c but should be glad to raise your curiosity to come
and see it, as well as Les Roché tout proche; which are
so celebrated; we would give you, a comfortable room
and sincere welcome, perhaps, a little Tunbridge Water,
might be good for your nerves! my Mother was very weak
when we came, and has already found great Benefit
from them, and the Air; which is allowed to be very fine.
We flatter ourselves she will return so recruited and stout
that you will be quite pleased at the improvement --
here is a great deal of company, Lady Morton, Lady Mary
Bowlby, Lady Darnley, Lady Robert Manners, Lady Bows, Heathcote,
Grosvenor, Lord & Lady Parker but they go very soon, Mrs.



John Pitt & daughter, Mrs Wyndham, Nisbett. &c will tell you no more
that you may have a curiosity to come and see, particularly
our Beaus, that I wont say any thing about till you come
here are some great Chess Players also Dtr: Bowdler who
belongs to Count Bruhls club, Mr. Aufrere &c &c -- the
Physician we left here two years ago Dtr: Wright has
left the Place, and tis said his practice, in order
to enter the line of matrimony with Mrs. Gray, who
perhaps you know something of: She was Maid of
Honour to the Late Princess of Orange and Sister of Sir
James Gray: her Mother who is lately Dead near 100
was always against the match and her daughter
though near or quite 70 was too dutiful to dispose of
herself, but that obstacle being removed 'tis expected
to take place very soon --
have you heard of Lady Hamilton yet? Lady Morton
complains of the loss of Letters sadly, and as Prince
Caramanico Lays abed all day he is of little use
to employ about sending them more safely --
I hope now we are removed so far asunder you will
find time to send me a few lines to say how you do
and whether you approve our hint of a trip to Tunbridge
I hope the news story about Prince William is like most



other false, and that you and all the Royal Family are quite
well --
my Sister is but indifferent and has not been out since
here, so only my Lady & I have attended the tea drinkings
and Pantiles; the Balls are but just begun & we have



not exhibited there as yet --
My Mother and Sister Join with me in best wishes
and in hopes of a few lines to tell me these were
acceptable I remain my Dear Miss Hamilton
                                                         Yours Sincerely
                                                                   Wilhelmina King

Miss Hamilton
      Queens Lodge
                             Windsor
a single sheet

(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications, persons,
quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Mount Ephraim is a street in Tunbridge Wells. In the Old Testament, the tribe of Ephraim settled in the mountains in Israel following their exodus from Egypt (Joshua 17). King is playing on the idea that she has escaped London to the 'promised land' of Tunbridge Wells.
 2. ‘Of a fever or ague: Characterized by the occurrence of a paroxysm every third (i.e. every alternate) day’ (OED s.v. tertian adj. and n. A.1).
 3. That is, it is not visually imposing.
 4. Fashionable locations in eighteenth-century Tunbridge Wells.
 5. Sandstone outcrops known as The Rocks.
 6. Tunbridge Wells is a spa town built on mineral springs believed to have curative properties.
 7. Her husband, Lord Robert Manners, had died on 31 May 1782 (Wikipedia).
 8. Hamilton's aunt by marriage, Lady Catherine Hamilton (née Barlow), who died at Naples on 25 August 1782.
 9. Presumably, Lady Morton.
 10. The address is crossed with a '5' to indicate postage paid.
 11. The postmarks are illegible.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Wilhelmina King (later Murray) to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/7/7/3

Correspondence Details

Sender: Wilhelmina Murray (née King)

Place sent: Tunbridge Wells

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Windsor

Date sent: 19 July 1782

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Wilhelmina King to Mary Hamilton, relating to the waters and society in Tunbridge Wells. King also reports on the gossip there, specifically that a Dr Wright has left his business and Tunbridge Wells to reportedly marry Mrs Gray, who was a Maid of Honour to the late Princess of Orange and sister of Sir James Gray. Her mother who had recently died aged almost 100 was against the match and now Mrs Gray, who is aged around 70 'was too dutiful to dispose of herself, but that obstacle being removed 'tis expected to take place very soon'.
    Dated at Tunbridge Wells [Kent].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 710 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited in the project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers' (Hannah Barker, Sophie Coulombeau, David Denison, Tino Oudesluijs, Cassandra Ulph, Christine Wallis & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2019-2023).

All quotation marks are retained in the text and are represented by appropriate Unicode characters. Words split across two lines may have a hyphen on the first, the second or both fragments (reco-|ver, imperfect|-ly, satisfacti-|-on); or a double hyphen (pur=|port, dan|=ger, qua=|=litys); or none (respect|ing). Any point in abbreviations with superscripted letter(s) is placed last, regardless of relative left-right orientation in the original. Thus, Mrs. or Mrs may occur, but M.rs or Mr.s do not.

Acknowledgements: Transcription and XML version created as part of project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers', funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council under grant AH/S007121/1.

Transliterator: Aileen Loftus, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted 22 April 2020)

Cataloguer: Lisa Crawley, Archivist, The John Rylands Library

Cataloguer: John Hodgson, Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 2 November 2021

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