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Letter to Benjamin Robert 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
, November 6, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: . P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 6Nov1819BRHaydon1.jpg, 6Nov1819BRHaydon2.jpg, 6Nov1819BRHaydon3.jpg, 6Nov1819BRHaydon4.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. 387

One sheet paper, two surfaces photographed, folded once vertically then folded twice horizontally for posting. Address leaf bearing sepia postmark, reading
7 O'CLOCK
8 * NO
1819 NT. Second brown oval postmark, illegible. A large 3 denoting the posting fee has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf. Sheet (pages three and four) torn on where wax seal was removed. No seal present, although remnants of red wax are visible.

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 #lmw Nov. 6th 1819. My dear SirBenjamin 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

I am shocked to think how ungracious & ungrateful my long silence might have appeared. When your kind letter gave us the disappointment, the very great disappointment, of not seeing you we were expecting to leave this place at Michaelmas & did not write hoping to be fixed in a new habitation & to have the power as well as the desire of requesting the pleasure of your company as one earliest & most welcome guest--but we knew very little of lawyers in spite of our long experience--very little of the strong vital principle 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. A tortose itself does not take so much killing--I am afraid that our'sours is not dead yet--at all events here we are and here we have been, expecting every day to go and every day delayed to some new obstacle of Titles and valuations. Even now there is much to settle, and though we talk of going in a fortnight I should not wonder to find myself here at xmasChristmas though in this tormenting uncertainty there is no counting even on a day. Under these cirumstances you I am sure will pardon our seeming want of politeness. Most assuredly it did not proceed from any want of remembrance--we have thought of you and talked of you perpetually, and do most earnestly hope that whenever our plans shall be so fixed as to allow us to look forward to a few weeks unalloyed by the misery of packing and house moving you write be able to make it convenient to favour us with your promised Visit.--And pray forgive my seeming neglect.

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Your greyhound has not been forgotten--but there too misforture and vexation has punished us. Poor Mr. WebbJames Webb | Born: 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire, England. Died: 1822-01-11 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Born about 1769 and baptized on February 19, 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire. Prominent manufacturer in the Wokinghambrewing industry, and community leader in Woking and the county of Berkshire. Father of Eliza, Jane, and Mary Webb, and brother (or brother-in-law) of his daughters’ "Aunt Mary," another Mary Webb. Francis Needham suggested that he was the original of the "gentleman" in the Our Villagesketch "Aunt Martha" . Sources: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 16 June 1953 . Needham Papers, Reading Central Library . --#scw #lmw
has been ill ever since I wrote and is now in a state of health which affords no prospect of recovery--A series of [sinister] operations the most painful and exhausting that can be imagined. We feel this very severely--he is my Fathers most intimate friend--has been always a second Father to me and his charming Daughters are my most intimate friends.--The only thing which has seemed to give him pleasure was the idea of sending a greyhound to 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
, (for amongst his other good qualities is a high degree of moral taste--he thinks a Great Artist a much greater Man than a great King) and would not relinquish the prospect of selecting the dog himself. He wavers between two very beautiful ones both blue, and of the highest blood--You shall certainly have  one of them in a week or two.--"Shall I like a sketch of it?" How could you ask such a question! Were you not sure that any thing from your pencil would be unspeakably precious! Our English RaphaelRaphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino | Born: 1483. Died: 1520-04-06.
Italian Renaissance artist and architect.--#ebb
--who condescends to call me his friend! I shall value it more than all my possessions put together. Do not however,  suffer let a kind wish to oblige me interfere with your more important avocations or your more necessary rest--any time will do for me.--How are your eyes? Is your picture finished? These are two most interesting questions to us all--Apropos of that matchless picture--I took a great liberty the other day--I told a gentleman that I believed if he made use of my name you would allow him to see your great work. The gentleman in question is Mr. TalfourdThomas Noon Talfourd | Born: 1795-05-26 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Died: 1854-03-13 in Stafford, Staffordshire, England.
Close friend, literary mentor, and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Thomas Noon Talfourd was born on May 26, 1795 at Reading, Berkshire and baptised on July 12, 1795 at the Broad Street Chapel in Reading, the eldest child of Rev. Edward Talfourd and Anne Isabella Noon. His father was a brewer and later established a lunatic asylum for female patients at Normand House, Fulham, which he ran until his death, and the supervision of which was later conducted by his wife and his daughter Anne. Thomas Noon Talfourd married Rachel Rutt on August 31, 1822 at St. John, Hackney, Middlesex. Rachel was the daughter of radical politician and writer John Towill Rutt. Thomas and Rachel had five children: Francis, Mary, Katharine, Thomas Noon [II], and William Wordsworth. In 1832, the family lived at 26 Henrietta Street, St Andrew, Holborn and St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury, England. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. Talfourd’s chambers were at 2 Elm Court, Temple, London. Talfourd was educated at the newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy in Reading, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. He completed a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817, and was called to the bar in London in 1821. He ultimately earned a D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Laws) from Oxford on June 20, 1844. While establishing his practice as a barrister and special pleader, he worked as legal correspondent for The Times, reporting on the Oxford Circuit, and also continued his literary interests. After 1833, he was appointed Serjeant at Law, as well as a King’s and Queen’s Counsel. He was elected and served as Member of Parliament for Reading from 1835 to 1841 and from 1847 to 1849 ; he served with Charles Fyshe Palmer, Charles Russell, and Francis Piggott. Highlights of his political and legal career included introducing the first copyright bill into Parliament in 1837 (for which action Charles Dickens dedicated Pickwick Papers to him) and defending Edward Moxon’s publication of Percy Shelley’s Queen Mab in 1841 . He was appointed Queen’s Serjeant in 1846 and Judge of Common Pleas in 1849 , at which post he served until his death in 1854. He was knighted in 1850 . Talfourd’s literary works include his plays Ion (1835), The Athenian Captive (1837) and Glencoe, or the Fate of the MacDonalds(1839). --#lmw #cmm
--a young man of great talents whom I have generally the pleasure of seeing a good deal of during his annual visits to 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 where he page 3
was from and educated. He is a very delightful person I think and quite worthy of seeing your Picture--Did you ever hear of him? He speaks of you with a very lively interest.

Pray forgive this very long intrusion on your valuable time--you are too very kind and good that you foster my impertinence. 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
and 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
join in kindest regards to you--They as well as I, much as we respect your relations, could hardly help wishing your good Aunt safe beyond fear again the month before last--Another time I must & will be more fortunate--

Ever my dear Sir
Most sincerely your'syours
M. R. 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
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To

B. R. 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
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22 Lisson GroveLisson Grove, Westminster, London, England | Lisson Grove | Westminster | London | England | 51.5247788 -0.16831469999999626 | District in the City of Westminster, London, west of Regent’s Park. Student artists and painters from the Royal Academy lived in this district in the early nineteenth century, including William Blake, Richard Cosway, and Benjamin Robert Haydon. Also the name of a road in the district.--#lmw51.5247788 -0.16831469999999626

Regent's ParkRegent’s Park, London, England | Regent’s Park | London | England | 51.5312705 -0.15696939999997994 | Now an upscale neighborhood in north London, Regent’s Park is named for the Royal Park it encompasses. The district was developed after 1811 when the Prince Regent commissioned John Nash to create a plan for the area. The Park was made part of Nash’s larger plans for nearby Regent Street and Carlton House Terrace. The Park’s residential terraces and Inner Circle villas were built during the early nineteenth century, and the Park was opened to the public in 1835. Also the site of the London Zoo (or Regent’s Zoo), created in 1828 for scientific study and opened to the public in 1847.--#ghb #lmw51.5312705 -0.15696939999997994