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Letters from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Margaret Gunning

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Library References

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

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letters from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Shelfmark: HAM/1/15/2/23

Document Details


Date: 14 July and 21 August 1782

Summary: Two letters from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Gunning.
    Hamilton begins the first of two letters noting that she has waited on Hero [Charlotte Hanbury Boyle-Walsingham (née Williams) (d. 1790)] and flatters herself that she is 'in good Odour with her'. They attended Walker's Lecture together. She continues that Hero talked of Gunning but did not say anything about Gunning's coming to her and Hamilton did not 'venture the question'. Hamilton asks what Gunning's father has to say about all the changes to the Ministry. Gunning has asked Hamilton to obtain for her a lock of hair (she does not specify whose, possibly one of the princesses') and writes that she will do so but that she 'must on no account boast of having this invaluable Treasure in [her] possession'. Hamilton is interested to know what Gunning intends to study during the summer and which books she has been reading. She continues on the subject of books and wishes they could have read together. Some text has been censored by Hamilton so it is not possible to read all that she writes on her interests, but she does note that she wishes to know something on natural history. She has seen advertised a new novel, Cecilia, by Miss Burney [Frances Burney (1752–1840)], who wrote Evelina, and she would like to see it. Hamilton thought Evelina to be 'a wonderful proof of genius for that Kind of Writing[,] if it is true that she was so young & had no assistance'. The new book is in five volumes and Hamilton thinks it may be a good 'lounging' book, and advises Gunning to purchase it and write to her on how she gets on with it.
    In the second letter, dated 21 August 1782, Hamilton informs Gunning of the death of Prince Alfred. She details the funeral arrangements for the Prince and writes on the King and Queen.
    Dated at Kew.
    Original reference No. 20.

Length: 2 sheets, 14 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited in the project 'Image to Text' (David Denison & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2013-2019), now incorporated 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 or Mr.s do not.

Acknowledgements: XML version: Research Assistant funding in 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

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: 15 October 2021

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