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Letter to Sir William ElfordWilliam Elford, Sir, baronet , Recorder for Plymouth, Recorder for Totnes, Member of Parliament for Plymouth , Member of Parliament for Rye, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the Linnaean Society (FLS) | Born: 1749-08 in Kingsbridge, Devon, England. Died: 1837-11-30 in Totnes, Devon, England.
According to L’Estrange, Sir William was first a friend of Mitford’s father, and Mitford met him for the first time in the spring of 1810 when he was a widower nearing the age of 64. They carried on a lively correspondence until his death in 1837. Elford worked as a banker at Plymouth Bank (Elford, Tingcombe and Purchase) in Plymouth, Devon, from its founding in 1782. He was elected a member of Parliament for Plymouth as a supporter of the government and Tory William Pitt, and served from 1796 to 1806. After his election defeat in Plymouth in 1806, he was elected member of Parliament for Rye and served from July 1807 until his resignation in July 1808. For his service in Parliament as a supporter of Pitt, he was made a baronet in 1800. After his son Jonathan came of age, he tried to secure a stable government post for him but never succeeded. Mayor of Plymouth in 1796 and Recorder for Plymouth from 1797 to 1833, he was also Recorder for Totnes from 1832 to 1834. Sir William served as an officer in the South Devon militia from 1788, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; the unit saw active service in Ireland during the Peninsular Wars. Sir William was a talented amateur painter in oils and watercolors who exhibited at the Royal Society from 1774 to 1837; he exhibited still lifes and portraits but preferred landscapes. He was elected to the Royal Society Academy in 1790. He was also a talented amateur naturalist and was elected to the Royal Linnaean Society in 1790; late in life, he published his findings on an alternative to yeast. He married his first wife, Mary Davies of Plympton, on January 20, 1776 and they had one son, Jonathan, and two daughters, Grace Chard and Elizabeth. After the death of his first wife, he married Elizabeth Hall Walrond, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Maine Swete Walrond of the Coldstream Guards. His only son Jonathan died in 1823, leaving him without an heir. --#ebb #lmw
, January 9, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 5 October 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: IMG_0200.jpg, IMG_0201.jpg, IMG_0202.jpg, IMG_0203.jpg, IMG_0204.jpg, IMG_0205.jpg, IMG_0206.jpg, IMG_0207.jpg, IMG_0208.jpg, IMG_0209.jpg, IMG_0210.jpg, IMG_0211.jpg, .

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2013.

Reproduced by courtesy of the Reading Central LibraryReading Central Library The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.
The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.--
.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4 Horizon No.: 1361550 ff. 357

One and one-half sheets of folio paper, six surfaces photographed.Address leaf bearing black circular mileage stamp, partially illegible, reading
READING
.Half sheet (pages five and six) torn on right edge where wax seal was removed.Black wax seal, remnants of black wax adhered elsewhere on page six.

Hands other than Mitford's noted on this manuscript:

Mitford’s spelling and punctuation are retained, except where a word is split at the end of a line and the beginning of the next in the manuscript. Where Mitford’s spelling and hyphenation of words deviates from the standard, in order to facilitate searching we are using the TEI elements “choice," “sic," and “reg" to encode both Mitford’s spelling and the regular international standard of Oxford English spelling, following the first listed spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary. The long s and ligatured forms are not encoded.
Bertram HouseBertram House, Berkshire, England | Grazeley | Berkshire | England | | Mansion built by George Mitford for his family residence, begun in April 1802 and completed in June 1804, after tearing down the previous house on the property, Grazeley Court Farm, a farmhouse about three miles outside of Reading, in the hamlet of Grazeley. George Mitford named his new house after a knight from the reign of William the Conqueror, Sir Robert de Bertram, who had married Sibella Mitford, daughter of Sir John de Mitford (source: Vera Watson). This estate signified George Mitford’s status as a land-owning country gentleman. Prior to this time, the Mitford family lived in Alresford and then in Reading. The family removed from Bertram House in April 1820, after financial reverses forced the family to sell the property.--#ebb #lmwJany 9th 1819.

I don't remember that I promised in my last not to write till I heard from you, my dear Friend. So for once I may indulge my scribbling inclination without incurring the risk of being laughed at--no not laughed--smiled at by you as "infirm of purpose".[1] Shakespeare's MacbethMacbeth. William Shakespeare. , II.ii—#lmw--"A very woman"[2] The title of a 1655 play by Massinger and FletcherA Very Woman; or the Prince of Tarent. Massinger, Fletcher.
Authorship and date contested.--#lmw
. Also a line from Beaumont and Fletcher's A Woman HaterThe Woman Hater. Beaumont, Fletcher. 1607. : "Thou art a filthy impudent whore; a woman, a very woman" (2.1.46).—#lmw
& so forth. Besides next week is Sessions week & Members will be "as plentiful as blackberries" [3] Falstaff from Henry IV, part oneHenry IV, part one. William Shakespeare.
First printed in 1598; likely in performance before that date.--#lmw
: "If reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I." (II.iv).—#lmw
--And then considering my doleful prognostications you will like to know that I have outlived the Ball--So I must write. ItsIt'sa thing of necessity. Yes I am living & lifelich--as ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer | Born: 1343 in London, England. Died: 1400-10-25 in London, England.
--
says[4] "The letter sleeth, the spirit yeveth lifelich understandyng." From ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer | Born: 1343 in London, England. Died: 1400-10-25 in London, England.
--
's The Testament of LoveThe Testament of Love.
In Mitford’s time, believed to be the work of Chaucer. Now attributed to Thomas Usk.--#lmw
. Mitford may have read this text in The Works of the English Poets, with prefaces, biographical and critical, from Chaucer to Cowpwer (1810)The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowpwer, with prefaces, biographical and critical. Alexander Chalmers , Samuel Johnson . London: J. Johnson. 1810.
--
. Volume 1 of 21 features Chaucer.—#lmw
--And that I did survive that dreaded night I owe principally to that charming thing a Dandy. Don't you like Dandies--the beautiful race? I am sure you must--But such a Dandy as our Dandy[5] In Mitford's 1819 January 10 letter to Mary Webb, she identies her "Dandy" as Mr. Crowther.—#lmw few have been fortunate enough to see. In general they are on a small scale--slim whipper snapper youths fresh from College--or new mounted on a Dragoon's saddle--Dainty Lighthorsemen--or trim schoolboys--Ours is of a Patagonian breed--6 feet & upwards without his shoes, & broad in proportion--Unless you have seen a wasp in a Solar Microscope you have never seen any thing like him--Perhaps a BrobdingnagianBrobdingnag | Fictional country in Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels. Populated by giants.--#ncl #lmw Hourglass [6] Reference to BrobdingnagBrobdingnag | Fictional country in Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels. Populated by giants.--#ncl #lmw, fictional land of giants in Swift's Gulliver's TravelsTravels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, Gulliver’s Travels. Jonathan Swift. London: Motte. 1726.
Amended 1735 --#lmw
.—#ncl
might be more like him still--only I don't think the hourglass would be small enough in the waist. Great as my admiration has always been for the mechanical  forcesinventions of this age, I know no thing that has ever given me so high an idea of the power of machinery--not the Portsmouth BlockhousesPortsmouth Blockhouses | 50.800531 -1.109465900000032 | Also known as the Portsmouth Block Mills, established in 1802 by Marc Isambard Brunel. Factories in the Portsmouth dockyard that produced pulley blocks for Royal Navy ships’ rigging. The Mills were the site of the world’s first mass production line and used all-metal machine tools.--#lmw50.800531 -1.109465900000032, or the new MintNew Mint, Little Tower Hill, London, England | Tower Hill | London | England | 51.509062981334914 -0.07496774196624756 | A new Royal Mint was built on Little Tower Hill beginning in 1805, once space had run out at the previous Mint location at the Tower of London, which also served as an armoury during this period. The new site provided a dedicated location for coining British currency and made use of the latest steam-powered minting machinery. The buildings were completed by 1809, the machinery tested by 1811 and the new Mint opened officially in 1812. Several prints of the new Mint appear between 1811 and 1813. | --#lmw51.509062981334914 -0.07496774196624756--as that perfection of mechanism--by which those ribs are endued in those stays. I think one or two must have been page 2
broken to render such  compression possible. But it is improper to dwell so exclusively on the  breaststays when every part ^of the thing was equally perfect. TrowsersTrousers, Coat, neckcloth--Shirt Collar--head inside & out--All were  alike in  & exact keeping. Every look every word, every attitude belonged to those inimitable stays. Sweet Dandy! I have seen nothing like him since ListonJohn Liston
English actor. (1776-1846) Specialized in comedy; most famous role was Paul Pry. Charles Lamb wrote a fictional "Memoir" of the actor in the London Magazine (1825). --#lmw
in Lord GrizzelLord Grizzle
Character in the pantomime Tom Thumb. John Liston played Lord Grizzle in a Haymarket production in 1810.--#lmw
[7] John ListonJohn Liston
English actor. (1776-1846) Specialized in comedy; most famous role was Paul Pry. Charles Lamb wrote a fictional "Memoir" of the actor in the London Magazine (1825). --#lmw
played Lord GrizzleLord Grizzle
Character in the pantomime Tom Thumb. John Liston played Lord Grizzle in a Haymarket production in 1810.--#lmw
in the pantomime Tom ThumbAirs, duets, &c. in the comic opera of Tom Thumb, in two acts, Tom Thumb: a burlesque tragedy. Kane O’Hara, Henry Fielding, Henry Fielding.
Comic opera adapation of Henry Fielding’s Tom Thumb . Roach’s edition of 1811 features illustrations of Sarah Tyrer in the role of Queen Dollalolla in the 1805 production. [Source: WorldCAT]--#ebb
at the HaymarketTheatre Royal Haymarket, Westminster, London, England | Haymarket Theatre | the Little Theatre | Westminster | London | England | 51.50850639999999 -0.13155540000002475 | Theatre in Westminster, London, on Suffolk Street in the West End. London’s third "patent theater," after Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Originally built in 1720, farther north on the same street, it was relocated in 1821 to a building redesigned by John Nash as part of his renovations to the entire neighborhood. | --#ebb51.50850639999999 -0.13155540000002475 in 1810. LambCharles Lamb
British essayist. (10 Feb. 1775-27 Dec. 1834) Born London and died Edmonton, Middlesex. Best known for his Essays of Elia (1823-1833), many of which originally appeared in the London Magazine. --#lmw #cmm
and HazlittWilliam Hazlitt | Born: 1778-04-10 in Maidstone, Kent, England. Died: 1830-09-18 in Soho, London, England.
Essayist and critic, acquaintance of Mary Russell Mitford. Author of Table Talk (1821) and The Spirit of the Age (1825). Also authored collections of critical essays such as Characters of Shakespeare (1817), A View of the English Stage (1818), and English Comic Writers (1819). In a letter of 2 October 1820 , Mary Russell Mitford writes of Hazlitt to their mutual friend Haydon, He is the most delightful critic in the [world]-- puts all his taste, his wit, his deep thinking, his matchless acuteness into his subject, but he does not put his whole heart & soul into it [. . . ] What charms me most in Mr. Haslitt is the beautiful candour which he bursts forth sometimes from his own prejudices [ . . . ] I admire him so ardently that when I begin to talk of him I never know how to stop. I could talk on for an hour in a see saw of praise and blame as he himself does of Beaumont & Fletcher & some of his old [favourites]. --#lmw #cmm
mention ListonJohn Liston
English actor. (1776-1846) Specialized in comedy; most famous role was Paul Pry. Charles Lamb wrote a fictional "Memoir" of the actor in the London Magazine (1825). --#lmw
in this role. More usually spelled Grizzle. In Charles LambCharles Lamb
British essayist. (10 Feb. 1775-27 Dec. 1834) Born London and died Edmonton, Middlesex. Best known for his Essays of Elia (1823-1833), many of which originally appeared in the London Magazine. --#lmw #cmm
's essay, "The New Style of Acting," he writes: "For a piece of pure drollery, Liston's Lord Grizzle has not competitor." HazlittWilliam Hazlitt | Born: 1778-04-10 in Maidstone, Kent, England. Died: 1830-09-18 in Soho, London, England.
Essayist and critic, acquaintance of Mary Russell Mitford. Author of Table Talk (1821) and The Spirit of the Age (1825). Also authored collections of critical essays such as Characters of Shakespeare (1817), A View of the English Stage (1818), and English Comic Writers (1819). In a letter of 2 October 1820 , Mary Russell Mitford writes of Hazlitt to their mutual friend Haydon, He is the most delightful critic in the [world]-- puts all his taste, his wit, his deep thinking, his matchless acuteness into his subject, but he does not put his whole heart & soul into it [. . . ] What charms me most in Mr. Haslitt is the beautiful candour which he bursts forth sometimes from his own prejudices [ . . . ] I admire him so ardently that when I begin to talk of him I never know how to stop. I could talk on for an hour in a see saw of praise and blame as he himself does of Beaumont & Fletcher & some of his old [favourites]. --#lmw #cmm
also mentions ListonJohn Liston
English actor. (1776-1846) Specialized in comedy; most famous role was Paul Pry. Charles Lamb wrote a fictional "Memoir" of the actor in the London Magazine (1825). --#lmw
in this role in Lectures on the English Comic WritersLectures on the English Comic Writers, delivered at the Surry Institution. William Hazlitt. London: Taylor and Hessey . 1819.
Spelled "Surry" on title page.--#lmw
.—#lmw
--He kept me awake & alive the whole evening. I don't think I ever laughed so much in my life--and all this laughter I owe to that exquisite person. Dancing or sitting still he was my "Cynosure"--I followed him with my eyes [8] A cliche by Mitford's time, the phrase refers to MiltonJohn Milton | Born: 1608-12-09. Died: 1674-11-08.
English poet and essayist, best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667).--#esh
's L'AllegroL’Allegro. John Milton. 1645.
Poem found in Milton’s 1645 Poems of Mr. John Milton both English and Latin, Compos’d at Several Times.--#lmw
(1632): "the cynosure of neighb'ring eyes."—#lmw
as a schoolboy follows the vagaries of  a newhis top--or the rolling of  ahis hoop--Much & generally as he was admired I don't think he made so strong an impression on anyone as on me--He is even indebted to me for the distinguished attention of a great wit, who was attacking a friend of mine, & whose shafts I was lucky enough to direct to that impenetrable Target of Dandyism--He owed me for at least twenty good things said by the aforementioned wit--& for twenty other good things more valuable still as being spoken by those who never uttered a good thing before in their lives--All this he owes me--& is like to owe me still--for I am sorry to say my Dandy is an ungrateful Dandy--Our admiration was by no means mutual--"He had an idea" he said (a very bold assertion by the bye)--"He had an idea that I was Blueish"--So he scorned away  upon being threatened with an introduction, just as my dog MossyMossy
Mitford’s dog; He died on Saturday, August 21, 1819 at Bertram House. "Mossy" was a nickname for "Moss Trooper."--#lmw #ncl
(begging MossyMossy
Mitford’s dog; He died on Saturday, August 21, 1819 at Bertram House. "Mossy" was a nickname for "Moss Trooper."--#lmw #ncl
's pardon for the comparison) whisks off at the first whiff of our dog-hating Cook. Well peace be to him--poor swain--& better fortune--for the poor Dandy is rather unlucky. He fell into the ThamesRiver Thames, England | Thames | England | 51.5855735 -0.6160753000000341 | The longest river in England, the Thames has its source in Gloucestershire and flows through Reading, Oxford, Windsor, and London into the Thames Estuary to the North Sea.--#ebb51.5855735 -0.6160753000000341 last summer on a water party & got wet through his stays--& this Autumn having affronted a young page 3
lady & being knocked down by her brother a lad not 19 he had the misfortune to fall flat on his back & was forced to lie till some one came to pick him up being too strait laced to help himself. How I should have enjoyed the sight! Should not you? Oh if he had lain till I had helped him!

Now for an enormous jerk.

two jerks one is not enough to express the immense distance between a Dandy & a clever woman!

I see that poor Mrs. BruntonMary Brunton Balfour | Born: 1778-11-01 in Burray, Orkney Islands, Scotland. Died: 1818-12-07 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
--
is dead--The Authoress you know of Self ControlSelf Control: A Novel. Mary Brunton. Edinburgh: George Ramsay & Co.. 1811.
First edition published anonymously.--#lmw
& DisciplineDiscipline: A Novel. Mary Brunton. Edinburgh: George Ramsay & Co.. 1814.
First edition published anonymously.--#lmw
& I believe some other book. Did I ever talk to you about her? If I did it was probably under the name of Mrs. DisciplineMary Brunton Balfour | Born: 1778-11-01 in Burray, Orkney Islands, Scotland. Died: 1818-12-07 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
--
--the name by which Mrs. RowdenFrances Arabella St. Quentin Rowden | Born: 1774 in London. Died: 1840.
English school teacher, author, and Mitford tutor. Also taught Caroline Lamb, Fanny Kemble, and L.E.L.. Worked at M. St. Quentin School at 22 Hans Place, London, where Mary Russell Mitford attended as a student, and where she in company with Rowden, attended plays at the London theatres. The St. Quentin school at Hans Place was founded by Dominique de St. Quentin, a French emigre, whose name (and the school’s name) is spelled "Quintin" in the L’Estrange edition of Mitford’s letters. St. Quentin and his wife, Ann Pitts, originally ran a school in Reading, where he first hired Frances Rowden to teach, but according to the ODNB, St. Quentin had to sell the Reading school due to gambling debts he accumulated in the company of Richard Valpy and George Mitford. When the St. Quentins moved to Paris following Napoleon’s defeat, Rowden followed them there in 1818 and started a school at the rue d’Angoulême which later moved to Champs-Elysées , and it was in her Paris school that she taught Fanny Kemble between 1821 and 1825 . After the death of St. Quentin’s wife, Frances Rowden married him in 1825 but little is known of her following this point, and the ODNB indicates that the death date of 1840 supplied for her is speculative. In The Queens of Society by Grace and Philip Wharton, the authors note that, while unmarried, Frances Rowden "styled herself Mrs. Rowden" (1860: 148). Rowden wrote poetry, including Poetical Introduction to the Study of Botany (1801) and The Pleasures of Friendship: A Poem, in two parts (1810, rpt. 1812, 1818); also wrote textbooks, including A Christian Wreath for the Pagan Dieties (1820, illus. Caroline Lamb), and A Biographical Sketch of the Most Distinguished Writers of Ancient and Modern Times (1821, illus. Caroline Lamb). (See Landon Memoirs; See also L’Estrange, ed. The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Told by Herself, Volume I, pages 11-17 . --#lmw #ebb
[9] In The Queens of Society by Grace and Philip Wharton, the authors note that, while unmarried, Frances RowdenFrances Arabella St. Quentin Rowden | Born: 1774 in London. Died: 1840.
English school teacher, author, and Mitford tutor. Also taught Caroline Lamb, Fanny Kemble, and L.E.L.. Worked at M. St. Quentin School at 22 Hans Place, London, where Mary Russell Mitford attended as a student, and where she in company with Rowden, attended plays at the London theatres. The St. Quentin school at Hans Place was founded by Dominique de St. Quentin, a French emigre, whose name (and the school’s name) is spelled "Quintin" in the L’Estrange edition of Mitford’s letters. St. Quentin and his wife, Ann Pitts, originally ran a school in Reading, where he first hired Frances Rowden to teach, but according to the ODNB, St. Quentin had to sell the Reading school due to gambling debts he accumulated in the company of Richard Valpy and George Mitford. When the St. Quentins moved to Paris following Napoleon’s defeat, Rowden followed them there in 1818 and started a school at the rue d’Angoulême which later moved to Champs-Elysées , and it was in her Paris school that she taught Fanny Kemble between 1821 and 1825 . After the death of St. Quentin’s wife, Frances Rowden married him in 1825 but little is known of her following this point, and the ODNB indicates that the death date of 1840 supplied for her is speculative. In The Queens of Society by Grace and Philip Wharton, the authors note that, while unmarried, Frances Rowden "styled herself Mrs. Rowden" (1860: 148). Rowden wrote poetry, including Poetical Introduction to the Study of Botany (1801) and The Pleasures of Friendship: A Poem, in two parts (1810, rpt. 1812, 1818); also wrote textbooks, including A Christian Wreath for the Pagan Dieties (1820, illus. Caroline Lamb), and A Biographical Sketch of the Most Distinguished Writers of Ancient and Modern Times (1821, illus. Caroline Lamb). (See Landon Memoirs; See also L’Estrange, ed. The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Told by Herself, Volume I, pages 11-17 . --#lmw #ebb
"styled herself Mrs. Rowden" (1860: 148).—#lmw
used to call her. You are not likely to have admired her books which always seemed to me to have almost all the faults which very clever books could have--preachy ^& prosy--false to character, to nature & to passion--and yet with occasional powerful flashes of sense & talent. I liked the lady much better than her works. She was exceedingly robust in mind & person--perhaps even coarse in both respects--large boned, dark complexioned,  red complexioned rather, & of loud speech & abrupt manner. But there was in all she said some point & much strength--much bodyshe seemed too perfectly frank, kindly, & unaffected,--& her very awkwardness had sometimes a grace from its genuineness (Have I speltspelledthat hard word right?) its genuineness its ease & its power. Now that she is dead, poor thing, I wish I had cultivated her acquaintance more earnestly--I met her once or twice at the house of some very clever people in Sloane StreetSloane Street, Kensington, London, England | Kensington | London | England | 51.49719830000001 -0.15897680000000491 | Major London thoroughfare now in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Runs between Knightsbridge and Sloane Square. Sloane Street takes its name from Sir Hans Sloane, who purchased the surrounding area in 1712.--#lmw51.49719830000001 -0.15897680000000491 where Mrs. RowdenFrances Arabella St. Quentin Rowden | Born: 1774 in London. Died: 1840.
English school teacher, author, and Mitford tutor. Also taught Caroline Lamb, Fanny Kemble, and L.E.L.. Worked at M. St. Quentin School at 22 Hans Place, London, where Mary Russell Mitford attended as a student, and where she in company with Rowden, attended plays at the London theatres. The St. Quentin school at Hans Place was founded by Dominique de St. Quentin, a French emigre, whose name (and the school’s name) is spelled "Quintin" in the L’Estrange edition of Mitford’s letters. St. Quentin and his wife, Ann Pitts, originally ran a school in Reading, where he first hired Frances Rowden to teach, but according to the ODNB, St. Quentin had to sell the Reading school due to gambling debts he accumulated in the company of Richard Valpy and George Mitford. When the St. Quentins moved to Paris following Napoleon’s defeat, Rowden followed them there in 1818 and started a school at the rue d’Angoulême which later moved to Champs-Elysées , and it was in her Paris school that she taught Fanny Kemble between 1821 and 1825 . After the death of St. Quentin’s wife, Frances Rowden married him in 1825 but little is known of her following this point, and the ODNB indicates that the death date of 1840 supplied for her is speculative. In The Queens of Society by Grace and Philip Wharton, the authors note that, while unmarried, Frances Rowden "styled herself Mrs. Rowden" (1860: 148). Rowden wrote poetry, including Poetical Introduction to the Study of Botany (1801) and The Pleasures of Friendship: A Poem, in two parts (1810, rpt. 1812, 1818); also wrote textbooks, including A Christian Wreath for the Pagan Dieties (1820, illus. Caroline Lamb), and A Biographical Sketch of the Most Distinguished Writers of Ancient and Modern Times (1821, illus. Caroline Lamb). (See Landon Memoirs; See also L’Estrange, ed. The Life of Mary Russell Mitford: Told by Herself, Volume I, pages 11-17 . --#lmw #ebb
was intimate--but I did not like her husband who was exceedingly priggish & parsonic--that was one reason page 4
& vanity (perhaps at the time I might call it modesty) was another--She was always civil but it was perfectly clear that she did not care a farthing for me--Besides I never could get over those sermonizing books.

Have you read Mr. FearonHenry Bradshaw Fearon | Born: 1770 in England. Died: .
English surgeon who wrote Sketches of America. A Narrative of a Journey of Five Thousand Miles through the Eastern and Western States of America. The dedication to the volume is dated from "Plaistow, Essex." --#ncl #lmw
's bookSketches of America: a Narrative of a Journey of Five Thousand Miles Through the Eastern and Western States of America; Contained in Eight Reports Addressed to the Thirty-nine English Families by whom the Author was Deputed, in June 1817, to Ascertain Whether Any, and What Part of the United States Would be Suitable for Their Residence. With Remarks on Mr. Birkbeck’s Notes and Letters . Henry Bradshaw Fearon , Christopher Flynn. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. 1818.
The work’s subtitle refers to to Morris Birkbeck’s Notes on a Journey in America, from the coast of Virginia to the territory of Illinois and Letters from Illinois, works that were believed to be instrumental in encouraging many disaffected Europeans to emigrate to the American prairies Birkbeck and Fearon’s works were part of an early nineteenth-century pamphlet war about on the topic of American emigration to the so-called English Prairie. A second edition of Sketches appeared in 1819. In his preface, Fearon claims to be an unbiased observer and reporter and implicitly contrasts himself with other writers on the topic: My Reports were originally composed neither with a view to fame nor profit,--neither to exalt a country, to support a party, nor to promote a settlement. I have had every motive to speak what I thought the truth, and none to conceal or pervert it. The volume is dedicated to The Friends of Civil and Religious Liberty, and the dedication is dated Plaistow, Essex. October 2, 1818 . As Christopher Flynn points out in Americans in British Literature, 1770-1832: A Breed Apart, Such [claims afford] Fearon room for statements that seem to emerge from differing, often contradictory ideological predilections. Sometimes he presents himself as an ardent convert to republicanism. At other times he is so fastidious in manners and appearance that he seems to the guardian of an older English probity Americans have recklessly abandoned (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008: 117) .--#lmw
on AmericaUnited States of America | United States of America | 37.09024 -95.71289100000001 --37.09024 -95.71289100000001? I have just finished it with the greatest amusement. I don't know any thing more agreeable than to have one's preconceived notions of a place or people confirmed by a good clever authority--a matter of fact authority--who brings you in a tangible shape good reasons for old prejudices. This is the pleasure Mr. FearonHenry Bradshaw Fearon | Born: 1770 in England. Died: .
English surgeon who wrote Sketches of America. A Narrative of a Journey of Five Thousand Miles through the Eastern and Western States of America. The dedication to the volume is dated from "Plaistow, Essex." --#ncl #lmw
has given me. I always detested AmericaUnited States of America | United States of America | 37.09024 -95.71289100000001 --37.09024 -95.71289100000001 & the AmericansAmericans
people of the former British colonies recently become the United States in Mitford’s day, or more generally of North America.--
(all except WashingtonGeorge Washington, General Washington, President of the United States of America, or: General Washington , President of the United States of America | Born: 1732-02-22 in Westmoreland county, Virginia, British America. Died: 1799-12-14 in Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA.
--
& FranklinBenjamin Franklin | Born: 1706-01-17 in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, British America. Died: 1790-04-17 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
--
) without very well knowing why--except that in that fair & fresh & beautiful world-- with every thing to inspire & incite them to excellence in Art & in Nature--they had done nothing, & they were Nothing. Mr. FearonHenry Bradshaw Fearon | Born: 1770 in England. Died: .
English surgeon who wrote Sketches of America. A Narrative of a Journey of Five Thousand Miles through the Eastern and Western States of America. The dedication to the volume is dated from "Plaistow, Essex." --#ncl #lmw
has now added positive to these negative proofs, & has fairly set them forth as the most boasting vainglorious, ignorant trumpery cold hearted people that ever crept on the face of the earth. His book is invaluable as an antidote to the delicious poison of Mr. BirkbeckMorris Birkbeck | Born: 1764-01-23 in Settle, England. Died: 1825-06-04 in Bonpas Creek, Illinois, USA.
Quaker, abolitionist, radical reformer in politics and religion, and an agricultural experimenter in the cross-breeding of Merino sheep, Birkbeck emigrated to America in 1817 in order to establish a utopian community in the Illinois territory. Author of Notes on a Journey in America and Letters from Illinois. These much-read works, which presented a utopian, anti-clerical, and anti-aristocratic vision of American settlement, were believed to be instrumental in encouraging many disaffected Europeans to emigrate to the American prairies, and set off a pamphlet war about on the topic of American emigration to the so-called "English Prairie." (See Eaton, Joseph. The Anglo-American Pamphlet War, 1800-1825. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012). He became president of Illinois’s first agricultural society, worked against the establishment of slavery in the state, and briefly served as Secretary of State for Illinois. He was acquainted with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Edward Coles, and Robert Owen, himself the founder of another midwestern utopian community in New Harmony, Indiana. --#ncl #lmw
's beautifully written works--an antidote the more powerful as coming from a friend to Liberty & an admirer of the Republican form of government.

I have just had a very pretty little present The Literary Pocket Book.The Literary Pocket Book, or Companion for the Lover of Art and Nature. Leigh Hunt.
Literary almanac edited by Leigh Hunt that includes original poems by P. Shelley, Keats, and B.W. Proctor. Mitford’s January 1819 letters to Elford and Mary Webb refer to the first edition ever published of this almanac, published at the end of 1818 for 1819, which she received as a gift from her father.--#lmw
Have you seen one of them  my dear Sir William? They are edited I believe by Leigh HuntJames Henry Leigh Hunt, or: Leigh Hunt | Born: 1784-10-19 in Southgate, England. Died: 1859-08-28 in Putney, England.
One of the founders and editors of The Examiner. --#ncl #lmw
certainly the greater part is written by him & exceedingly well written. I have seen nothing of the sort so well executed. First of all there is a Naturalist's Calendar very beautifully written--indeed those not quite extensive enough for the title page 5
It should rather have been called the Florist's Calendar--& even then it would seem a little suburbian--rather Hampstead HeathHampstead, Camden, London, England | Hampstead village | Hampstead | Camden | London | England | 51.5556461 -0.17617489999997815 | Village nearLondon, north west of Charing Cross, now enclosed by it. Its population was rapidly growing through the nineteenth century, and Hampstead Heath is now a public park.--#lmw #ebb51.5556461 -0.17617489999997815ish--but very pretty nevertheless--Then in the common pocket book part--the months & weeks & days there are occasional notices of birth days of great men--BaconFrancis Bacon, Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount St. Alban, knight, Attorney General of England and Wales, Lord Chancellor of England, or: Sir Francis Bacon , Viscount St. Alban , knight , Attorney General of England and Wales , Lord Chancellor of England | Born: 1561-01-22 in Strand, London, England. Died: 1626-04-09 in Highgate, Middlesex, England.
--
ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare | Born: 1564-04 in Stratford upon Avon. Died: 1616-04-23 in Stratford upon Avon.
English author and actor (1564-1616) --#lmw
& so forth, which come upon one very pleasantly--Then lists of Artists Musicians Actors & Authors (only think of their having left me out! That Authorial list is very incomplete indeed! Not one word about me! And my own friends too! Ah they have no "idea that I am blueish" to borrow my friend the Dandy's phrase--He would have stuck me at the head of the list) well these catalogues notwithstanding this great omission are very gratifying--& then there is Poetry--not quite so good as I expected from Mr. HuntJames Henry Leigh Hunt, or: Leigh Hunt | Born: 1784-10-19 in Southgate, England. Died: 1859-08-28 in Putney, England.
One of the founders and editors of The Examiner. --#ncl #lmw
, Mr. KeatsJohn Keats | Born: 1795-10-31 in Moorgate, London. Died: 1821-02-23 in Rome. , &c but still much better than ever adorned a pocket book before--[Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][good] enough to stare & wonder how it came there. If you wa[Gap: 2 chars, reason: torn.][nt] such a book I would recommend it to you.--And now my [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][very]dear Friend good bye! I shall finish before Tuesday.

Monday Morning. I have just finished Nightmare AbbeyNightmare Abbey. Thomas Love Peacock. London: T. Hookham, Jr. Baldwin, Craddock & Joy. 1818.
First edition published anonymously as "by the Author of Headlong Hall."--#lmw
--Have you met with it? By far the best of Mr. PeacockThomas Peacock Love | Born: 1785-10-18 in Weymouth, Dorset, England. Died: 1866-01-23 in Lower Halliford, Shepperton, Surrey, England.
Poet, essayist, satiric novelist. Most famous novels were published between 1815 and 1822. --#ncl
's works--worth all his prose & all his poetry RhododaphneRhododaphne: Or, The Thessalian Spell: A Poem. Thomas Love Peacock. London: T. Hookham, Jr. Baldwin, Craddock & Joy. 1818. & MelincourtMelincourt. Thomas Love Peacock. London: T. Hookham, Jr. & co.. 1817.
First edition published anonymously as "by the Author of Headlong Hall."--#lmw
inclusive. There never was a more cheerful & amiable piece of persiflage--full of laughing raillerie & smiling philosophy--This Nightmare AbbeyNightmare Abbey. Thomas Love Peacock. London: T. Hookham, Jr. Baldwin, Craddock & Joy. 1818.
First edition published anonymously as "by the Author of Headlong Hall."--#lmw
is really the most sunshiny book I have met with for many a day in spite of its gloomy title--It is a very clever attack   on mystical metaphysics & misanthropical poetry (Deuce take the book for putting me to hard words.) And knocks them completely down in the person of my poor dear friend Mr. ColeridgeSamuel Taylor Coleridge | Born: 1772-10-21 in Ottery St. Mary, Devon, England. Died: 1834-07-25 in Highgate, Middlesex, England.
--
& Lord ByronGeorge Gordon Noel Byron, sixth Baron Byron | Born: 1788-01-22 in Holles Street, London. Died: 1824-04-19 in Missolonghi, Greece.
--
--knocks them down (as his unruly subjects did poor SanchoSancho Panza
"Squire" character, a former farmer enlisted by Don Quixote in his service, from Don Quixote.--#ncl #lmw
in the Island of BaratariaSancho Panza is awarded the governorship of this imaginary island in Don Quixote --& then dances upon them--Nothing was ever better managed than the way in which Mr. page 6
PeacockThomas Peacock Love | Born: 1785-10-18 in Weymouth, Dorset, England. Died: 1866-01-23 in Lower Halliford, Shepperton, Surrey, England.
Poet, essayist, satiric novelist. Most famous novels were published between 1815 and 1822. --#ncl
continues to put divers stanzas of Childe HaroldeChilde Harold’s Pilgrimage. Byron. London: John Murray.
Published in parts between 1812 and 1818.--#lmw
done into prose into the mouth of Mr. CypressMr. Cypress
Character in Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey. Identified by Mitford and others as a satirical portrait of Coleridge. Peacock’s footnote indicates that his name is a corruption of Filosky, from the Greek philoskios (φιλοσκιος), "a lover, or sectator, of shadows."--#lmw
--the Lord ByronGeorge Gordon Noel Byron, sixth Baron Byron | Born: 1788-01-22 in Holles Street, London. Died: 1824-04-19 in Missolonghi, Greece.
--
of the story. The book has another great merit too. It is short.

After great search we have been lucky enough to obtain an actual & undoubted sonWhite kitten Selima Grizzy
White kitten belonging to Mitford that she plans to give to Elford. The kitten’s father is Selim. Mitford variously proposes to name the kitten "Selima" (after the kitten’s father) or "Grizzy" (after the character in Ferrier’s novel Marriage). Unknown whether Elford eventually takes the kitten. More research needed.--#lmw
of my White cat SelimSelim
Mitford’s cat. A white Persian male cat with an aggressive personality.--#lmw #ncl
, nearly half grown ^& quite White--but I am sorry to say rather defective in two material points--being unluckily neither deaf nor two eyed--misfortunes which he owes to his vulgar English Mama. I shall keep him for you very carefully & take all the care that I can that my beautiful puppy MirandaMiranda
A greyhound owned by Mitford, described by her as "blue all sprinkled with little white spots just like a starry night" in her 13 February 1819 letter to Haydon.--#lmw
does not kill him, till you tell me what to do with him. Do come & fetch him, my dear Friend, there is no way so safe.--

Adieu--PapaGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
George Mitford was born on November 15, 1760 in Hexham, Northumberland, the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. He was related to the Mitfords of Mitford Castle, Northumberland. In 1784, he was living in Alresford and is listed in a Hampshire directory as "surgeon (medicine)." Although later sources would claim that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree; his father and grandfather worked as surgeon-apothecaries and it seems likely that he served a medical apprenticeship with family members. He married Mary Russell on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford; they later came to live at Broad Street in New Alresford. Their only child to live to adulthood, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. George Mitford died on December 11, 1842 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. --#lmw
& MamaMary Russell Mitford, or: Mrs. Mitford | Born: 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire, England. Died: 1830-01-02 in Three Mile Cross, parish of Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
Mary Russell was the youngest child of the Rev. Dr. Richard Russell and his second wife, Mary Dicker; she was born about 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire. (Her birth date is as yet unverified; period sources indicate that she was ten years older than her husband George, born in 1760.) Through the Russells, she was a distant relation of the Dukes of Bedford (sixth creation, 1694). She had two siblings, Charles William and Frances; both predeceased her and their parents, which resulted in Mary Russell inheriting her family’s entire estate upon her mother’s death in 1785. Her father’s rectory in Ashe was only a short distance from Steventon, and so she was acquainted with the young Jane Austen. She married George Mitford or Midford on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford. Their only daughter, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. Mary Russell died on January 2, 1830 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. Her obituary in the 1830 New Monthly Magazine gives the "New Year’s day" as the date of her death. --#ajc #lmw
join in kindest regards & good wishes, & I am always most affectionately your'syours
M.R. Mitford.Mary Russell Mitford | Born: 1787-12-16 in New Alresford, Hampshire, England. Died: 1855-01-10 in Swallowfield, Berkshire, England.
Poet, playwright, writer of prose fiction sketches, Mary Russell Mitford is, of course, the subject of our archive. Mary Russell Mitford was born on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire, the only child of George Mitford (or Midford) and Mary Russell. She was baptized on February 29, 1788. Much of her writing was devoted to supporting herself and her parents. She received a civil list pension in 1837. Census records from 1841 indicate that she is living with her father George, three female servants: Kerenhappuch Taylor (Mary’s ladies maid), two maids of all work, Mary Bramley and Mary Allaway, and a manservant (probably serving also as gardener), Benjamin Embury. The 1851 census lists her occupation as "authoress," and lists her as living at Three Mile Cross with Kerenhappuch Taylor (lady’s maid), Sarah Chernk (maid-of-all-work), and Samuel Swetman (gardener), after the death of her father. Mitford’s long life and prolific career ended after injuries from a carriage accident. She died on 10 January 1855 at Swallowfield, Berkshire and she is buried in Swallowfield churchyard. The executor of her will and her literary executor was the Rev. William Harness and her lady’s maid, Kerenhappuch Taylor Sweetman, was residuary legatee of her estate. --#lmw #ebb

ReadingReading, Berkshire, England | Reading | Berkshire | England | 51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753 | County town in Berkshire, in the Thames valley at the confluence of the Thames and the River Kennet. The town developed as a river port and in Mitford’s time served as a staging point on the Bath Road and was developing into a center of manufacturing. Mitford lived here with her parents from 1791 to 1795, on Coley Avenue in the parish of St. Mary’s and attended the Abbey School. The family returned to Reading from 1797 to about 1804, after which they relocated to Bertram House. They frequently visited Reading thereafter from their homes at nearby Bertram House, Three Mile Cross and Swallowfield. Mitford later used scenes from Reading as the basis for Belford Regis; or Sketches of a Country Town.--#lmw51.4542645 -0.9781302999999753January ninth
1819
Sir WmElfordWilliam Elford, Sir, baronet , Recorder for Plymouth, Recorder for Totnes, Member of Parliament for Plymouth , Member of Parliament for Rye, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the Linnaean Society (FLS) | Born: 1749-08 in Kingsbridge, Devon, England. Died: 1837-11-30 in Totnes, Devon, England.
According to L’Estrange, Sir William was first a friend of Mitford’s father, and Mitford met him for the first time in the spring of 1810 when he was a widower nearing the age of 64. They carried on a lively correspondence until his death in 1837. Elford worked as a banker at Plymouth Bank (Elford, Tingcombe and Purchase) in Plymouth, Devon, from its founding in 1782. He was elected a member of Parliament for Plymouth as a supporter of the government and Tory William Pitt, and served from 1796 to 1806. After his election defeat in Plymouth in 1806, he was elected member of Parliament for Rye and served from July 1807 until his resignation in July 1808. For his service in Parliament as a supporter of Pitt, he was made a baronet in 1800. After his son Jonathan came of age, he tried to secure a stable government post for him but never succeeded. Mayor of Plymouth in 1796 and Recorder for Plymouth from 1797 to 1833, he was also Recorder for Totnes from 1832 to 1834. Sir William served as an officer in the South Devon militia from 1788, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; the unit saw active service in Ireland during the Peninsular Wars. Sir William was a talented amateur painter in oils and watercolors who exhibited at the Royal Society from 1774 to 1837; he exhibited still lifes and portraits but preferred landscapes. He was elected to the Royal Society Academy in 1790. He was also a talented amateur naturalist and was elected to the Royal Linnaean Society in 1790; late in life, he published his findings on an alternative to yeast. He married his first wife, Mary Davies of Plympton, on January 20, 1776 and they had one son, Jonathan, and two daughters, Grace Chard and Elizabeth. After the death of his first wife, he married Elizabeth Hall Walrond, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Maine Swete Walrond of the Coldstream Guards. His only son Jonathan died in 1823, leaving him without an heir. --#ebb #lmw
Bart.
BickhamBickham, Somerset, England | Bickham | Somerset | England | 51.163534 -3.506621999999993 | Hamlet near Plymouth, and residence of Sir William Elford, who lived there until the failure of his finances in 1825 forced him eventually to sell his family’s estate. He sold his property in Bickham in 1831 and moved to The Priory, in Totnes, Devon the house of his daughter (Elizabeth) and son-in-law.--#ebb #lmw51.163534 -3.506621999999993
PlymouthPlymouth, Devonshire, England | Plymouth | Devonshire | England | 50.3754565 -4.14265649999993 | City on the coast of Devonshire. After declines in the seventeenth century, increasingly important from the late eighteenth century into the nineteenth as a seaport, site of trade and emigration to and from the Americas, and a center of shipbuilding. Birthplace of Benjamin Robert Haydon. Sir William Elford was also born nearby at Bickham. Elford worked as a banker at Plymouth Bank (Elford, Tingcombe and Purchase) in Plymouth, from its founding in 1782, and he was elected a member of Parliament for Plymouth and served from 1796 to 1806.--#ebb #lmw50.3754565 -4.14265649999993
CFPalmerCharles Fyshe Palmer, or: Long Fyshe | Born: 1769 in Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1843-01-24 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Charles Fyshe Palmer was baptised on April 24, 1769, the son of Charles Fyshe Palmer and Lucy Jones. He married Lady Madelina Gordon Sinclair in 1805 at Kimbolton Castle in Kimbolton, Herefordshire . They lived at Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire and at East Court, Finchampstead, Berkshire. Through her siblings, Lady Madelina was connected to several of the most influential aristocratic families in the country, and Charles Fyshe Palmer’s marriage to Lady Madelina thus gained him access to aristocratic houses, including the Holland House. A Whig politician, Palmer began running for Parliament elections as the member for Reading after 1816, and appears to have served off and on in that role until 1841. He led the Berkshire meetings to protest British government’s handling of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. On March 16, 1820, Palmer ran for a seat in Parliament against two other candidates. The votes ran: John Berkeley Monck (418 votes), Charles Fyshe Palmer(399 votes), and John Weyland(395 votes.) Mitford’s letters around this time indicate she much preferred his opponent J. B. Monck, and she had earlier satirized Palmer in 1818 as "vastly like a mop-stick, or, rather, a tall hop-pole, or an extremely long fishing-rod, or anything that is all length and no substance." Mitford also mentions Palmer in connection with a legal issue surrounding the Billiard Club, in her letter to Talfourd of 31 August 1822 . Mitford also mentions the ways that Palmer’s political opponents sometimes undermined his Whig reformist positions by referencing the noble privileges (and money) he accrued by marrying the Lady Madelina Gordon in 1805. See note 2 in The Browning’s Correspondence rendering of Mitford’s letter of 12 March 1842 to Elizabeth Barrett Browning . --#ajc #lmw