Maintained by: Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar (ebb8 at pitt.edu) Creative Commons LicenseLast modified: 2018-11-17T06:57:46.277Z

Our default is the Diplomatic view.
Click to toggle the Normalized view
(shows conventional spellings;
hides pagebreaks, insertion marks, and deletions):

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 12, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 16 October 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: IMG_0212.jpg, IMG_0213.jpg, IMG_0214.jpg, IMG_0215.jpg, IMG_0216.jpg, IMG_0217.jpg, IMG_0218.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.359

One sheet of folio paper, four surfaces photographed.No address leaf. No seal.

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 #lmwJany12th 1819. My dear Sir

I avail myself of the influx of MembersMembers of Parliament occasioned by the Quarter Sessions to thank you for all the kindness of your very feeling letter, & to express once again the strong interest we all take in your welfare. All I trust has gone well with you the last month--& most of all I hope both your strength & your eyes have continued to improve. Firm health & strong sight are indeed almost all that your friends need to ask for you. Such Genius so directed must force its way to fame & fortune.

Your kindness will I know be gratified in hearing that things are looking better with us. A great point has been gained before the Master of the RollsThomas Plumer, Vice Chancellor of England, Master of the Rolls, or: Sir Thomas Plumer, Vice Chancellor of England , Master of the Rolls | Born: 1753-10-10. Died: 1824-04-05.
--
[1] Thomas Plumer was Master of the Rolls from 6 January 1818 to 5 April 1824. The full title of the position was "Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England," and, as Mitford's letter suggests, in this period his role was judicial as well as clerical.—#lmw & though there is no great chance of a ChanceryCourt of Chancery
Court founded in Norman England, adjudicating equity cases with a tradition of leniency. This court had powers to cancel debts in cases of poverty.--#ebb
Suit's making haste, we page 2
have the comfort of knowing that there is little doubt of our ultimate success within no very unreasonable period. My poor Uncle too is likely soon to be released. It seems as if the magic of your good wishes had had a favorable influence on our destiny, for the Decision of the Master of the RollsThomas Plumer, Vice Chancellor of England, Master of the Rolls, or: Sir Thomas Plumer, Vice Chancellor of England , Master of the Rolls | Born: 1753-10-10. Died: 1824-04-05.
--
arrived the very day after your kind & inspiriting letter. I cannot sufficiently thank you for your cheering caution against mental depression. My dear Sir it was needless. Amongst the many blessings I enjoy--my Dear FatherGeorge 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
, my admirable MotherMary 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
--my tried & excellent friends, there is nothing for which I ought to thank God so earnestly as for the constitutional buoyancy of spirits--the aptness to hope--the will to be happy, which I inherit from my FatherGeorge 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
.--Yes I agree with you in all you say--I am grateful to misfortune for having shown me how much goodness & kindness exists in the world. They page 3
who have been always prosperous may be misanthropes. They cannot know a tenth part of the excellence of their fellow creatures.

If you should again travel Westward this winter I hope you will continue to give us the pleasure of a visit. You will forgive the deficiencies of this large & dilapidated mansion in favor of the smiling faces & the joyful hearts that will press forward to receive you--There is no one in the whole world whom we should esteem it such an honour to see. My FatherGeorge 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
will perhaps have the pleasure of calling on you before long--at least I think it probable that he may be in TownLondon, England | London | England | 51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223 | Capital city of England and the United Kingdom; one the oldest cities in Western Europe. Major seaport and global trading center at the mouth of the Thames. From 1831 to 1925, the largest city in the world.--#lmw51.5073509 -0.12775829999998223 soon on his ChanceryCourt of Chancery
Court founded in Norman England, adjudicating equity cases with a tradition of leniency. This court had powers to cancel debts in cases of poverty.--#ebb
business & I am sure that he will not be there without waiting on you--May I be forgiven for writing to you--I believe the caution is needless--but it is better to tell you that 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
does not know the full extent of the communication page 4
I made to you in my last. He told me to tell the truth--but he is not aware of the perfect unreserve--the entire detail into which I entered. There is no man in the universe to whom he would sooner have confided any secret than yourself--but in pecuniary affairs he has a sensitiveness which I can respect though I do not participate. It is the only fault of a proud & liberal mind--a fault that I am sure you will pardon. In telling you this my Dear Sir I make an avowal which touches me far more nearly than any confession of poverty--but I make it from an impulse that I am sure not to repent--& even in consequence of your delicacy, your frank & friendly kindness might lead to some betrayal of the extent of your information. You are yourself so lifted above false pride & false shame that I may be pardoned for suspecting you of forgetting that all the world is not equally generous xxxThe  endconclusion of this letter is missing.