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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
, February 27, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 3 Oct. 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: IMG_0246.jpg, IMG_0247.jpg, IMG_0248.jpg, IMG_0249.jpg, IMG_0250.jpg, IMG_0251.jpg, IMG_0252.jpg, IMG_0253.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.364

Folio sheet of paper folded in half to form quarto pages, with correspondence on 1-6 and address leaf on page 6, then folded in thirds twice more and sealed for posting. Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1) black circular mileage stamp illegible. Sheet (pages five and six, which are the same page front and back) torn on right edge (page 5) where wax seal was removed.

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.
To Sir W. 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

6
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 #lmw
Feby 27th 1819.

No! My dear Sir WilliamWilliam 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
--your kind & delightful letter with all its enclosures did not make me bless myself at all--Kindnesses never take me by surprise especially from you--Hoping is one of my pleasures--I always begin expecting to hear from you as soon as ever I have left off a letter. So now you know why I always write so soon, & may answer me at any time by return of post without danger of expecting my nerves by taking me unawares.

I have now to thank you most sincerely for your kindness & frankness with regard to Miss JamesElizabeth Mary James | Born: . Died: .
Close friend and correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. She was born about 1775 in Bath, Somerset, the eldest daughter of Thomas Webb and Susanna Haycock. Her father died in 1818 and her mother in 1835. After her parents’ deaths, she lived with her two younger sisters, Emily and Susan, in Green Park Buildings, Bath, Walcot, Somerset; High Street, Mortlake, Surrey; and 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey. According to Coles, referring to Mitford’s diary, letters were also addressed to her at Bellevue, Lower Road, Richmond (Coles 26). She died on November 25, 1861, at 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey and was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey. In the 1841 census, under "profession, trade, employment, or independent means" she lists "Ind." for "independent means;" in the 1851 census, she lists "landholder;" in the 1861 census, she lists "railway shareholder."--#lmw
& to apologize for having troubled you with her terms--but I did not know at all that your interest was so strongly & so laudably pre-engaged, & could not resist the temptation of mentioning her scheme wherever there was a chance of doing her good. I am quite sure you will forgive me. It seems to me that I & my friend are in a conspiracy to plague you with terms & proposals--I find by a letter from Mrs. HoflandBarbara Wreaks Hofland | Born: 1770 in Yorkshire. Died: 1844-11-04 in Richmond-on-Thames.
Novelist and writer of children’s books popular in England and America, Barbara Hofland was a native of Sheffield, Yorkshire, where she published poems from July 1794 in the local newspaper, The Sheffield Iris. Her first marriage to Thomas Bradshawe Hoole left her widowed and in poverty, raising a son, Frederic, on her own, and she supported herself by publishing poems and children’s books, and by running a girl’s school in Harrogate. second marriage was to the artist Thomas Christopher Hofland. (Source: ODNB)--#ebb
that the poor dear woman, has sent you the proposals of her book--but this was none of my doing--She sends it to you not as my friend but as a Patron of Art--She has sent about a thousand to all the great men in the Kingdom--It is not a book you would have the slightest temptation to buy--It consisted of Plates from the Hofland's Views of WhiteknightsA Descriptive Account of the Mansion and Gardens of White-Knights: A Seat of His Grace the Duke of Marlborough. By Mrs. Hofland. Illustrated with twenty-three engravings, from pictures taken on the spot by T.C. Hofland. T.C. Hofland, Barbara Hofland. London: T. C. Hofland . 1819.
Printed by T.C. Hofland for the 6th Duke of Marlbourough; publisher and printer names are given variously in WorldCat. Mitford suggests that the Hoflands supported the entire cost of printing themselves and printed only 50 copies, because the bankrupt Duke could not finance the venture. In her February 27, 1819 letter to Elford, Mitford indicates that she does not expect him to buy a copy, since he is "a great deal too wise to deal in books printed upon drawing paper in Atlas quarto--books merely meant to make a show." It is unknown how many copies were sold.--#lmw
You are a great deal too wise to deal in books printed upon drawing paper in Atlas quarto--books merely meant to make a show--but if you would have the goodness when you go into 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 merely to  begleave the proposals on the table in the Reading Room it might do good--there are fools in Devonshire I suppose as well as elsewhere & some one who happened to be at page 2
once silly & rich might see the proposals might buy the Volumes. The prints are beautiful.--I take the liberty to make this request because it is one that cannot give you much trouble, & may do good--& above all because the sale of these miserable fifty copies is all poor Mr. HoflandThomas Christopher Hofland | Born: 1777-12-25 in Nottinghamshire. Died: 1843-01-03 in Leamington Spa.
Landscape painter, and second husband of the author Barbara Hofland.--#ebb
is likely to get for the paintings drawings  journies--his wife's writing--&, which is worst of all, the whole of the engravings--every one of which he was obliged to pay for--not a single engraver in LondonLondon, 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 chusingchoosing to strike a single stroke upon the Duke of MarlboroughGeorge Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, or: 6th Duke of Marlborough, Member of Parliament , Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire | Born: 1793-12-27 in Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1857-01-07 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
--
's credit--& the Duke of MarlboroughGeorge Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, or: 6th Duke of Marlborough, Member of Parliament , Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire | Born: 1793-12-27 in Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1857-01-07 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
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, not having, to use his own elegant phrase "a brass farthing" to repay Mr. HoflandThomas Christopher Hofland | Born: 1777-12-25 in Nottinghamshire. Died: 1843-01-03 in Leamington Spa.
Landscape painter, and second husband of the author Barbara Hofland.--#ebb
. I can tell you when we meet some curious anecdotes of this Noble DukeGeorge Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, or: 6th Duke of Marlborough, Member of Parliament , Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire | Born: 1793-12-27 in Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1857-01-07 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
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--Mrs. HoflandBarbara Wreaks Hofland | Born: 1770 in Yorkshire. Died: 1844-11-04 in Richmond-on-Thames.
Novelist and writer of children’s books popular in England and America, Barbara Hofland was a native of Sheffield, Yorkshire, where she published poems from July 1794 in the local newspaper, The Sheffield Iris. Her first marriage to Thomas Bradshawe Hoole left her widowed and in poverty, raising a son, Frederic, on her own, and she supported herself by publishing poems and children’s books, and by running a girl’s school in Harrogate. second marriage was to the artist Thomas Christopher Hofland. (Source: ODNB)--#ebb
came from WhiteknightsWhiteknights, Berkshire, England | Whiteknights | Berkshire | England | 51.440426 -0.9427994999999783 | Berkshire estate of George Spencer-Churchill, the sixth Duke of Marlborough. Purchased by him in 1798 and extensively renovated at great expense until the Duke’s bankruptcy in 1819, when the estate and contents were sold at auction. Subject of an 1818 publication by the Hoflands. Formerly the manor of Earley Whiteknights; now Whiteknights Park, part of the campus of the University of Reading.--#lmw51.440426 -0.9427994999999783 here--the DukeGeorge Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, or: 6th Duke of Marlborough, Member of Parliament , Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire | Born: 1793-12-27 in Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1857-01-07 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
--
left the house at the same time--taking with him the contents of the larder--half a cold turkey & three quarters of a ham--after he had driven off he remembered that he had left behind some scraps of a loin of mutton & actually came back to fetch them--the servants are not at board wages observe & the Housekeeper knowing they could not get even a twopenny loaf without twopence & naturally alarmed at this clearance of eatables ventured to ask him for money--after much stuttering he gave her ten pounds--which being perceived by his son Lord CharlesCharles Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, or: Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament | Born: 1794-12-03. Died: 1840-04-28.
Second son of George --#mco
--he lingered behind & borrowed five of it--All this time for him & his Son there were three carriages   with four post horses ^each--one of them empty. Is this not stopping one hole in a cullendercolander? Mrs. HoflandBarbara Wreaks Hofland | Born: 1770 in Yorkshire. Died: 1844-11-04 in Richmond-on-Thames.
Novelist and writer of children’s books popular in England and America, Barbara Hofland was a native of Sheffield, Yorkshire, where she published poems from July 1794 in the local newspaper, The Sheffield Iris. Her first marriage to Thomas Bradshawe Hoole left her widowed and in poverty, raising a son, Frederic, on her own, and she supported herself by publishing poems and children’s books, and by running a girl’s school in Harrogate. second marriage was to the artist Thomas Christopher Hofland. (Source: ODNB)--#ebb
saw the whole transaction with her own eyes--You should hear her tell the story--with the DukeGeorge Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, or: 6th Duke of Marlborough, Member of Parliament , Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire | Born: 1793-12-27 in Bill Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1857-01-07 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
--
's stuttering--Lord CharlesCharles Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament, or: Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, Member of Parliament | Born: 1794-12-03. Died: 1840-04-28.
Second son of George --#mco
's Dandyism--& the poor Housekeeper's dismal whine--She cannot help laughing now in the midst of her troubles. You will say that Mr. HoflandThomas Christopher Hofland | Born: 1777-12-25 in Nottinghamshire. Died: 1843-01-03 in Leamington Spa.
Landscape painter, and second husband of the author Barbara Hofland.--#ebb
was mad to engage in such an undertaking--& I shall say I think so too--

The lozenges are excellent. I have not got a cough, but page 3
I must make some after your recipe & then get a cough on purpose to be cured by them--I do not think though that I shall prove so neat handed a confectioner as you--truly my dear friend an universal genius--your jujubie (is that the proper name?) may vie with those cream tarts by which a certain PrincePrince Bedreddin Hassan
A character in Arabian tales (also known as One Thousand and One Nights) who appears in the story variously titled "Noureddin Ali of Cairo" or "Noureddin and his Son."--#lmw
in the Arabian TalesArabian Tales; or, A Continuation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, consisting of stories related by the Sultana of the Indies, newly tr[anslated] from the original Arabic into French by Dom Chavis and Cazotte; and tr[anslated] from the French into English, by Robert Heron. Robert Heron. Edinburgh London: Bell & Bradfute G.G.J. & J. Robinson. 1792.
Mitford likely refers to this 1792 English translation of the Thousand and One nights; the earliest English translations of the work were titled "The Arabian Nights Entertainment" and appeared around 1706.--#lmw
(the Prince Bedreddin HassanPrince Bedreddin Hassan
A character in Arabian tales (also known as One Thousand and One Nights) who appears in the story variously titled "Noureddin Ali of Cairo" or "Noureddin and his Son."--#lmw
I think) recovered his birthright. I must catch cold on purpose to try them, being unluckily quite recovered (by the help of treacle posset) of the one I had when I wrote last. But catching cold will be a very easy exploit in this weather--it freezes, snows, hails & rains every day regularly--demolishes my primrosesprimrose
One of Mitford’s favorite flowers, blooms in spring in Berkshire. Mitford likely refers to Primula vulgaris, a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, native to western and southern Europe, commonly called the English primrose or common primrose. It is not to be confused with evening primrose or Oenothera, a genus of 100+ species of herbaceous flowering plants native to the Americas, which are not closely related to the true primroses (genus Primula). Mitford also mentions the evening primrose in her writing. Evening primroses have been cultivated in Europe since the early seventeenth century and are now naturalized in some parts of Europe and Asia. --#lmw
, cuts off my violetsviolet
One of Mitford’s favorite flowers (as it was of many of her contemporaries), blooms in spring in Berkshire. Mentioned in the 1811 Poems as well as in Our Village Mitford likely refers to wild forms of the Viola, a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing more than 500 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are used as bedding plants. The terms "viola" and "violet" are used for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the species. --#lmw
, souses poor 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
& dirties the white catSelim
Mitford’s cat. A white Persian male cat with an aggressive personality.--#lmw #ncl
--All this tornado too is come after an absolute Spring--a fortnight ago 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
found a pheasant's nest with 4 eggs in Lord BraybrookeRichard Griffin, 2nd Baron Braybrooke, Lord Braybrooke, or: 2nd Baron Braybrooke , Lord Braybrooke
Until 1797, known as Richard Aldworth-Neville or Richard Aldworth Griffin-Neville.Came into possession of estates Billingbear Park in Berkshire and Audley End in Essex. --#lmw
's parkBillingbear Park, Berkshire, England | Billingbear Park Berkshire England | 51.4438638 -0.8182454000000234 | During Mitford’s life, the Berkshire estate of Richard Griffin, second Baron Braybrooke. Billingbear House was destroyed by fire in 1924 and no longer stands.--#lmw51.4438638 -0.8182454000000234
--Grass was springing--flowers were blowing & the elder leaves coming out--now we have winter in its worst & dreariest form--a white world every morning--a black one every night--Nothing will be easier than to catch cold.

I am happy to say the Persian PrincessWhite 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
is still unkilled, though the brute her fatherSelim
Mitford’s cat. A white Persian male cat with an aggressive personality.--#lmw #ncl
has lost nothing of his legitimate fury--He is a most perfect representative of the Sultans of the old metrical romances, the bloody followers of "Mahound and Termagaunt" [1] Mitford paraphrases a line from PercyThomas Percy, chaplain to George III, Dean of Carlisle Cathedral, Bishop of Dromore, or: chaplain to George III , Dean of Carlisle Cathedral , Bishop of Dromore | Born: 1729-04-13 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England. Died: 1811-09-30 in Dromore, county Down, Ireland.
--
's ReliquesReliques of Ancient English Poetry, consisting of Old Heroic Ballads, Songs, and other Pieces of our Earlier Poets, Together with Some of Later Date. Thomas Percy . London: J. Dodsley. 1765. introducing "King Estmere," in which PercyThomas Percy, chaplain to George III, Dean of Carlisle Cathedral, Bishop of Dromore, or: chaplain to George III , Dean of Carlisle Cathedral , Bishop of Dromore | Born: 1729-04-13 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England. Died: 1811-09-30 in Dromore, county Down, Ireland.
--
states, "The Mahometans are spoken of in ver. 49, &c, just in the same terms as in all other old Romances. The author of the ancient Legend of Sir Bevis represents his hero, upon all occasions, breathing out fire against 'Mahound and Termagaunte.'" "Mahound" is another name for Mahomet; Termagaunte was believed to be a violent Islamic god. One aspect of the stereotype of evil Saracen characters was to show them swearing on "Mahound and Termagaunte."—#wnb #lmw
who made nothing of striking off fifty heads at a blow, or eating an enemy for supper, or murdering their own daughters, or any other enormity--He is likewise a strong resemblance of the ranting Sultans of DrydenJohn Dryden | Born: 1631-08-09 in Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England. Died: 1700-05-01 in London, England.
Named Poet Laureate in 1668 , Dryden authored Annus mirabilis: the Year of Wonders, MDCLXVI in 1667 , reflecting on climactic events of the previous year, the Great Fire of London and the second Anglo-Dutch War. Dryden supported a revival of drama in Restoration England, and in 1668 he wrote Of Dramatick Poesie , which contained critiques of William Shakespeare’s and Ben Jonson’s plays and reflection on English and French theater and playwrights from the Renaissance to the Restoration in England. Several of his plays were staged in London in the 1670s, including his treatment of the Antony and Cleopatra narrative, in All for Love, or, The World Well Lost, performed in December 1677 and published in 1678 . His satirical poem Absalom and Achitophel, published in 1681, presents Restoration politicians and government figures in Old Testament roles, casting King Charles II in flattering terms as a merciful and benevolent David. --#ebb
& LeeNathaniel Lee | Born: 1653. Died: 1692-05-06 in London, England.
Lee’s best-known work is his 1677 tragedy The Rival Queens, or the Death of Alexander the Great, which was a theatrical staple well into the nineteenth century for its portrayal of powerful female protagonists. In 1681, he adapted de La Fayette’s 1678 novel La Princesse de Clèves for the stage. --#lmw
who dragged people about by the hair of their head--talked (or MiowedMeowed)them to death--clawed them & burnt them alive. In short he is the wickedest person that ever walked on four feet. I have a vast inclination to whip this Sultan SelimSelim
Mitford’s cat. A white Persian male cat with an aggressive personality.--#lmw #ncl
--but the beast is too formidable when he takes these fits, that really I page 4
am afraid. So we keep the poor dear little gentle thing in a safe quiet room & only bring her out when we can make sure of her PapaSelim
Mitford’s cat. A white Persian male cat with an aggressive personality.--#lmw #ncl
's prowling elsewhere. She is exceedingly pretty--much too pretty to be caged--you must come & fetch her--Do pray--And let me know when you are likely to 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. I shall pass a few days there myself sometime about the end of April or the beginning of May.

You need not at all be alarmed at the too great virtue of any of Lady Morgan'sSydney Owenson, Lady Morgan, or: Lady Morgan | Born: 1781-12-25 in Either Dublin, Ireland or the Irish Sea. Died: 1859-04-14 in London, England.
--
heroes or heroines--she is not single minded enough--has not sufficient moral taste to draw a really excellent man--Her virtues are all of the exaggerated melodramatic sort--grand--fine--magnanimous--all claptraps & stage tricks. The want of invention is really astonishing--her three principal personages all come in under borrowed names. And yet there is a good deal of talent among all this--a Miss CrawleyMiss Crawley
A character in Lady Morgan’s novel Florence Macarthy.--#lmw
for instance who is almost as good as Mr. DexterMr. Dexter
A character in Lady Morgan’s novel The O’Donnel’s.--#lmw
, & some other under   personages who show quick perception of character & considerable power of humour.--I understand that the very best novel that has been published for a long time is "Marriage"Marriage: A Novel. Susan Ferrier. Edinburgh London: William Blackwood John Murray. 1818. --I have not seen it--but a friend whose taste can be trusted tells me it is equal to any of Miss AustenJane Austen | Born: 1775-12-16 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Died: 1817-07-18 in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
Novelist celebrated for her wit and style, whose works investigated women’s social and economic vulnerabilities in English society. During her lifetime she published Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815), all anonymously. Northanger Abbey, the first written of her novels (composed in 1798-1799) was published posthumously in 1818 along with her last finished novel, Persuasion. Mitford claims in a letter to Sir William Elford of 3 April 1815 that she has recently discovered Austen "is my countrywoman,", that is, a neighbor. Later in a letter of 2 July 1816 praised Emma in particular among Austen’s novels. She and Elford evidently knew the identity of Austen as the author long before the information was public knowledge, and she claims in the April 3 letter that her mother remembered Jane Austen in her youth as "the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers", but that Jane was by the 1810s extremely quiet, which impressed Mitford: "till Pride and Prejudice showed what a precious gem was hidden in that unbending case, she was no more regarded in society than a poker or a fire-screen, or any other thin upright piece of wood or iron that fills its corner in peace and quietness. The case is very different now; she is still a poker--but a poker of whom every one is afraid. It must be confessed that this silent observation from such an observer is rather formidable. Most writers are good-humoured chatterers--neither very wise nor very witty:--but nine times out of ten (at least in the few that I have known) unaffected and pleasant, and quite removing by their conversation any awe that may have been excited by their works. But a wit, a delineator of character, who does not talk, is terrific indeed!" Source: L’Estrange. --#ebb
's. This to me is the very highest recommendation that can be given, & I believe it will be to you. Miss AustenJane Austen | Born: 1775-12-16 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Died: 1817-07-18 in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
Novelist celebrated for her wit and style, whose works investigated women’s social and economic vulnerabilities in English society. During her lifetime she published Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815), all anonymously. Northanger Abbey, the first written of her novels (composed in 1798-1799) was published posthumously in 1818 along with her last finished novel, Persuasion. Mitford claims in a letter to Sir William Elford of 3 April 1815 that she has recently discovered Austen "is my countrywoman,", that is, a neighbor. Later in a letter of 2 July 1816 praised Emma in particular among Austen’s novels. She and Elford evidently knew the identity of Austen as the author long before the information was public knowledge, and she claims in the April 3 letter that her mother remembered Jane Austen in her youth as "the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers", but that Jane was by the 1810s extremely quiet, which impressed Mitford: "till Pride and Prejudice showed what a precious gem was hidden in that unbending case, she was no more regarded in society than a poker or a fire-screen, or any other thin upright piece of wood or iron that fills its corner in peace and quietness. The case is very different now; she is still a poker--but a poker of whom every one is afraid. It must be confessed that this silent observation from such an observer is rather formidable. Most writers are good-humoured chatterers--neither very wise nor very witty:--but nine times out of ten (at least in the few that I have known) unaffected and pleasant, and quite removing by their conversation any awe that may have been excited by their works. But a wit, a delineator of character, who does not talk, is terrific indeed!" Source: L’Estrange. --#ebb
's books were so true to Nature, that   facts theselves--history or Biography looked false by the side of her fictions.--I cannot tell you whether AubreyJohn Aubrey | Born: 1626-12-03 in Kington St. Michael, Wiltshire, Malmesbury, England. Died: 1897-07-06 in Oxford, England.
--
's Lives had ever been printed before or not--I have seen them quoted in many books--but they might have been quoted from the original M.S. in the Bodleian LibraryOxford University, Bodleian Library
83 letters from MRM to Thomas Noon Talfourd.--#ghb
. The book where I read them (a borrowed book which I have returned without absolutely copying the title) is I should think not rare. It page 5
was printed at the Clarendon PressClarendon Press in 2 Vols--but the 2nd Vol so large that it was perforce divided into two parts--& the title is as I can remember to this effect--Letters of eminent Persons in the Bodleian Library, Hearne's journeys to Reading & Silchester, & Aubrey's LivesLetters Written by Eminent Persons in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: To Which are Added, Hearne’s Journeys to Reading, and to Whaddon Hall, the Seat of Browne Willis, Esq., and Lives of Eminent Men by John Aubrey, Esq., the Whole Now First Published from the Originals. John Aubrey , John Walker , Thomas Hearne . London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. 1813. --I should think the work rather common than scarce. With the Lives I am sure you will be delighted--they are rather portraits than Lives--not longer than a page or two to each person--& very numerous embracing almost all of the distinguished characters of JamesJames I
James I of England and James IV of Scotland. British monarch (19 June 1566-27 Mar. 1625) Born in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland to Mary ("Queen of Scots"). King of Scotland until 1603 and the first Stuart king of England. Considered responsible for creating the first united Kingdon of Great Britain. --#lmw #cmm
& Charles the FirstCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
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's Days & the Commonwealth--full of curious anecdotes, & written in the strongest & raciest English. I am sure of your liking old AubreyJohn Aubrey | Born: 1626-12-03 in Kington St. Michael, Wiltshire, Malmesbury, England. Died: 1897-07-06 in Oxford, England.
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. I would not much recommend the letters, some of which are surely antiquarian, & as dull as Antiquarians are privileged [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.][to be]--Pray did you ever see a delightful piece of pleasantry [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.]Old Master FullerMaster Fuller
"Old Master Fuller" is a figure found in Collectanea Curiosa, where he appears as "Mr. Fuller," in no. XXIII: "Mr. Fuller’s Observations of the Shires;" his name becomes proverbial.--#lmw
where he makes all the shires quarrel [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.] at the CapitalLondon, 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? I have just met with it in another OxfordOxford, Oxfordshire, England | Oxford | Oxfordshire | England | 51.7520209 -1.2577263000000585 | County town of Oxfordshire, in the south east of England about twenty-five miles from Reading. Site of Oxford University.--#lmw51.7520209 -1.2577263000000585 book--the Collectanea CuriosaCollectanea Curiosa, or Miscellaneous Tracts: Relating to the History and Antiquities of England and Ireland, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a Variety of Other Subjects. John Gutch. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1781. which well deserves its name. This is a mere pleasantry so gay--so hearty--so healthy--fresh & laughing like Gammer Gurton's NeedleGammer Gurton’s Needle.
Comic play written during the 1550s, considered one of the first comedies in English. Published anonymously, authorship is now likely attributed to William Stevenson (1530–1575).--#lmw
--Did you never remark how superior old gaiety is to new? There is a critical & comparative spirit about us moderns which dulls the sunshine--they laughed where we sneer--we cannot fire a feu de joie[2] A celebratory firing of rifles, normally with blanks.—#lmw without loading with ball cartridges. Well I will not talk any more of books lest you should say like a friend of mine "My dear Miss MitfordMary 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
you read so much that you will finish by knowing nothing"--This pretty Speech was made 5 years ago--What would he say now! But reading is my favourite mode of idleness--I like it better than any of my play-works--better than firfir
One of Mitford’s favorite trees. Firs (Abies) are a genus of approximately fifty species of evergreen coniferous trees in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Unlike other conifers, firs bear erect cones that are raised above the branches like candles; at maturity, the cones disintegrate to release winged seeds.--#lmw
topping--better than violetviolet
One of Mitford’s favorite flowers (as it was of many of her contemporaries), blooms in spring in Berkshire. Mentioned in the 1811 Poems as well as in Our Village Mitford likely refers to wild forms of the Viola, a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing more than 500 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are used as bedding plants. The terms "viola" and "violet" are used for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the species. --#lmw
ing--better than working page 6
gown tails--better than playing with 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
--better ^than feeding the white kittenWhite 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
--better than riding in a gig--better than any thing other than that other pet idleness talking (that is to say writing to you.--But it is time to release you. Adieu, my dear Friend--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
desire their kindest regards--write--& above all--come.


Ever most affectionately your'syours
Mary Russell MitfordMary 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 -0.9781302999999753March two
1819
Sir W. Elford BtWilliam 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

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

The white kittenWhite 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
sends her duty.