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Letter to Mary WebbMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
, January 20, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF8901-Copy.jpg, DSCF8916.jpg, DSCF8917.jpg, DSCF8918.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

One sheet of paper, 18.5 x 12 cm., two surfaces photographed. Folded in half, then again in thirds. No postmarks. Sheet ragged on left and bottom edge. 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.
Wednesday. [20 Jan. 1819]

Your dear letter, my own sweet MaryMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
should have been answered in person had the weather, & indeed my health permitted. I went on Saturday into 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 -0.9781302999999753, & whether with talking laughing or the cold was so very ill in the night 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
was quite frightened. I am quite well now--but he is going to TownLondon_city
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.--#lmw
on Sunday & so engaged till then that I have no chance of the pleasure of seeing you.--Most of our books & above all my favorites are packed up & at ColeyColey Park, Berkshire, England | Coley | Coley Park | Berkshire | England | 51.4432268 -0.9902848000000404 | An estate just south west of Reading. The Moncks owned Coley Park from 1810 and Mitford occasionally posted franked letters from there when J. B Monck was a Member of Parliament. Also referred to as "Coley," although this name also refers to a nearby district of Reading proper. | --#lmw51.4432268 -0.9902848000000404--& I am afraid the greater part of those here come under the interdicted quantity & quality, being most of them long histories--or longer travels. One of my favorites is unpacked (but I will not answer for your liking it) an old edition page 2
of an old translation of Mariana's old history of Spain--It is one Volume Folio--Did you ever read RichardsonSamuel Richardson | Born: 1689-08-19 in Mackworth, Derbyshire, England. Died: 1761-07-04 in London, England.
--
's letters
? I mean his private correspondence in 6 Vols. Perhaps you would be amused with them--Shall I bring them? Then we have a fine edition of Chatterton in 3 Vols--Should you like that? Blairs Lectures? CoxeWilliam Coxe, Master of Arts, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Archdeacon of Wilts | Born: 1748 in London, England. Died: 1828-05-08.
--
s Travels
?--After all my dear you had better come & chusechoose. En attendant I send you Shee's Elements of Art which besides being very beautiful as poetry will give you some good ideas on painting & sculpture & a book about the South Sea Islands which pleases me for its simplicity.--Since so many of our books have been packed my reading has been chiefly from borrowed books--books lent me by Dr. ValpyRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
--Mrs. DickinsonCatherine Dickinson Allingham | Born: . Died: .
Catherine Allingham was born about 1787 in Middlesex, the daughter of Thomas Allingham. She married Charles Dickinson on August 2, 1807 at St. Giles, South Mimms, Middlesex. They lived in Swallowfield, Berkshire, where their daughter Frances was born, and where they were visited by the Mitford family. According to Mitford, Catherine Dickinson was fond of match-making among her friends and acquaintances. (See Mitford’s February 8th, 1821 letter to Elford . Her husband Charles died in 1827, when her daughter was seven. She died on September 2, 1861 at St. Marylebone, Middlesex. Source: L’Estrange). --#ajc #lmw
--Mr. Liebenrood--Mr. Brooke--Mr. NewberryJacob Newberry
According to Francis Needham, a solicitor. Coles identifies him as “Jacob Newberry, attorney, of 35 Great Queen Street Lincoln’s Inn Fields [London] and Friar Street, Reading" ( #17, p. 109, note 32) --#scw #lmw
--& others--besides the libraries of 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 -0.9781302999999753--The Institution, the Billiard room &I heard of your dance from Dr. Bailey who spoke of it as very pleasant he said there was a very beautiful girl--Miss Teasdale.--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
had a charming letter from Mrs. Hayward yesterday about his Godfather-ship--I heard yesterday from Mr. HaydonBenjamin Robert Haydon | Born: 1786-01-26 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1846-06-22 in London.
Benjamin Robert Haydon was a painter educated at the Royal Academy, who was famous for contemporary, historical, classical, biblical, and mythological scenes, though tormented by financial difficulties. He painted William Wordsworth’s portrait in 1842. MRM was introduced to him at his London studio in the spring of 1817, and Sir William Elford was a mutual friend. He committed suicide in 1846. English painter and author (1786-1846) Published Autobiography in 3 vols. (1853) John Keats named him in several poems. --#ebb #lmw
, whom I hope we shall see soon--Only think of his having a pet greyhound.--I will read you some of his letter when I see you--& today I got one from 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
which you shall see too. She is beginning to be pretty sick of FranceFrance | 46.227638 2.213749000000007 | Country in western Europe. Paris is the capital and largest city.--#bas46.227638 2.213749000000007. One of my schoolfellows is going to marry a son of the Duke de Fitz James, & is turning Catholic in preparation for these august nuptuals. A year ago she was a methodist--Ainsi va le monde.--You need never fear any doublecharge about letters put into the Reading Post Office--it is only a penny if there were 10 sheets.--Adieu--my dear love--Kind regards to all from all--

Ever yours M.R.M.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
page 4

You must send me an account of the ball & tell me how you liked Mr. Joseph--Tell my own dear ElizaEliza Elizabeth Webb | Born: . Died: .
Elizabeth Webb, called "Eliza," was a neighbor and friend of Mary Russell Mitford. Eliza Webb was born about 1797, the youngest daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. She was baptized privately on March 3, 1797, and publicly on June 8, 1797 in Wokingham, Berkshire. She is the sister of Mary Elizabeth and Jane Eleanor Webb. In 1837 she married Henry Walters, Esq., in Wokingham, Berkshire. In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham. Her date of death is unknown. She died after 1822, at which date she is mentioned in papers relating to her father’s will and estate. Source: See Needham’s letter to Roberts on November 27, 1953 . More research needed.--#scw #lmw
I want to see her too very much indeed. 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
is the greatest beauty under Heaven.


To Mary WebbMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw