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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
, November 11, 1820

Edited by Samantha Webb .

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: February 8, 2017. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: .

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. 422

Four pages of paper, eight page surfaces photographed. 7 inches wide, and 9 inches length height. The pages are folded in half lengthwise and again in thirds for posting. No seal is present

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.
This letter is numbered "21" in diagonal at the top right corner. Three Mile Cross, Berkshire, England | Three Mile Cross | Berkshire | England | 51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 | Village in the parish of Shinfield in Berkshire, where Mary Russell Mitford moved with her parents in 1820. They lived in a cottage there until 1851. --#ebb51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 Novr11th 1820. 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

Your kind & charming letter, my dear 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
was exceedingly welcome to me. I shall obey  ofyou in all my best--but you & Mrs Elford will spoil not only me but my letters by your exquisite kindness--If once you make me think for a moment of what I am going to say--I am undone &--you will get a satisfaction--a fine specimen of the Lithographic art instead of the nonsense you are so good as to like.--We agree completely respecting the QueenCaroline Queen Consort of the United Kingdom Caroline of Brunswick Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Princess of Wales | Born: 1768-05-17 in Brunswick, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empire. Died: 1821-08-07 in Hammersmith, London, England.
The cousin and estranged wife of the Prince Regent (later George IV). Caroline was adopted as the leader of the parliamentary reform movement around the time that the Regent attempted to divorce her on grounds of adultery in 1818, and his struggles with Parliament to divorce her and prevent her from becoming Queen are known as the Queen Caroline Affair. --#lmw #ebb
--her defence seems to me to strengthen the evidence--& I am convinced that 10 years hence every body will be of our opinion. It will never be a disputed point in history like the guilt of Queen Mary of ScotlandMary Stuart | Born: 1542-12 in Linlithgow Scotland . Died: 1587-02-08 in Stirling .
Mary, Queen of Scots was executed by the order of Queen Elizabeth I, against whom she was supposed to have conspired. She was succeeded by her son, James I, the first Stuart king of England and Scotland.--#rnes
--Indeed I rather think that except 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
& that part of the "reading public" called the mob every body is of the same opinion now. I have not the least notion that the Whigs think her innocent or the reformers either--they treat it as a mere party question--an engine for dislodging & leaving out the ministry--& they ought to be ashamed of themselves for confounding the great moral distinctions of right & wrong to attain their own ambitious ends. I have done with them. And I beg you of all love, 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
, never to call me "Miss Whig" again. In the mean time I am heartily glad that the cause is over. It is no great triumph God knows to the Guilty -- & the cessation & laying to rest of the subject will be the greatest possible comfort & relief to all sane persons. Of late one really could not stir without being haunted with it--people breathed an atmosphere ofpage 2
impurity, & some persons  reallythe became so hardened to the improprieties of the topic as to say with perfect unconsciousness things exceedingly distressing to hear. Our dear friend Dr. Valpy for instance got so used to talk in the style of the Queen's Trial, that his daughters have been several times obliged to leave the breakfast table & really regarded the unfolding of a newspaper as a signal for quitting the room. To be sure the dear & excellent Doctor is not very particular. He brought a fair neighbour of your's into a curious "scrape" the other day--If you will promise to be very discreet & not repeat it to any one who will tell the Bowes I will tell is you. You promise? Will Miss Bowe--Hannah--Glumdalclitch as 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
used to call her, is staying in the [Forbury] & they have had in 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 an Itinerant Lecturer--a showman of the sciences whose lectures were attended by all the house of Valpy & half of the school. Well the last lecture was on Electricity–-one of the boys was electrified–-& the good Doctor before a hundred people very gravely led poor Glumdalclitch up to the youth, & desired him to kiss her by way of communicating the shock & completing the experiment. Luckily the boy was a lad of grace & had too much modesty to comply–-& as to poor Hannah she was quite enough electrified by the proposal. They say it was a curious scene. I did not see it myself–-for I have a horror of those sort of things & hate an electrical apparatus as bad as a gun–-I don’t know why I hate either for I have never been   shot or electrified–-but I have run away pretty often from both machines–-I remember when we had Mr. Walker to give us a course of Lectures at school I absconded from the Electricity-–I scudded away like a hare and I skulked under the bed till the Lecturer & his apparatus were safe out of the house-–& I verily believe I should do the same page 3
tomorrow rather than stay–-only that I have now sufficient moral courage to own my fear.-–To return to our friend the Queen. I heard the other day a curious story of the way in which the “ladies address processions” are got up. Mrs. Bartley the actress was at her Mantua Makers giving some orders & observed an unusual hurry scurry about the house–-at last a coach & four stopped at the door & four gaily dressed women got into it-–one of whom was very handsome.  When the Mantua Maker came to her she apologised for detaining her & explained the bustle by saying, that some customers of hers had requested she would lend some finery to the persons whom they should lend & who were to fill a carriage in one of the Brandenburgh House processions that accordingly she had decked out these females    who were to be returned safely to herwho on their return were to be stripped of their borrowed plumage & that the woman whom Mrs Bartley admired so much was a person, & to whom she had trusted the most valuable of the dresses, (a French silk richly flowered with lace) knowing her to be exceedingly honest & careful-–she (the Mantua Maker) had known her for many years-–she kept an apple [uncertain] the corner of the street! pretty [uncertain?] are they not? ___ When I said that Mrs Dickinson was the only living woman who believed the Queen innocent I did not mean to accuse Lady [scribble] Madelina Palmer of saying the thing that is not [? her Ladyship is I doubt not a little led away by party spirit and by the Lord of indulgence which women of fashion extend to those cases-–& when she says she thinks the Queen innocent she means a very different sort of innocence from Mrs Dickinson, who really believes her to be as pure as the [uncertain] snow. Lady M. PMadelina Madalina Sinclair Palmer, the Lady, or: Lady M.P., Lady Mad., Lady Madelina Palmer | Born: 1772-06-19 in Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Died: 1847 in Chapel Street, Grosvenor Place, London, England.
Lady Madelina Gordon was born on June 10, 1772, the daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, and Jane Maxwell, at Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Her first husband was Robert Sinclair, 7th Baronet Sinclair; they married in 1789 and had one child, John Gordon Sinclair. Her second husband was the Reading Whig politician Charles Fyshe Palmer. They married in 1805 at Kimbolton Castle in Kimbolton, Herefordshire. They lived at Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire and at East Court, Finchampstead, Berkshire. Through her siblings, Lady Madelina was connected to several of the most influential aristocratic families in the country. Her sister Charlotte Gordon became Duchess of Richmond through her marriage to Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox and 4th Duke of Aubigny. Her sister Susan Gordon became Duchess of Manchester through her marriage to William Montagu, Duke of Manchester. Her sister Louise Gordon became Marchioness Cornwallis through marriage to Charles Cornwallis, Marquess of Cornwallis. Her sister Georgiana Gordon became Duchess of Bedford through marriage to John Russell, Duke of Bedford. Her brothers were George Duncan Gordon, who became 5th Duke of Gordon, and Lord Alexander Gordon. Charles Fyshe Palmer’s marriage to Lady Madelina thus gained him access to aristocratic houses, including the Holland House. Lady Madelina’s name is variously spelled Madelina and Madalina, although Madelina appears to be the more common and standard spellling of the name, as an anglicization of the French Madeline. For more on the Palmers, see note 2 in The Browning’s Correspondence rendering of Mitford’s letter of 12 March 1842 to Elizabeth Barrett Browning .--#kab #ebb #ad #lmw
’s notion of an innocent Queen is probably, not very guilty-–how Mrs Dickinson would page 3
I am convinced shake her own existence or her baby’s whom the perfect purity of the Queen’s very thought & word & action. I [shant?] think this a false perception & be afraid that my dear Friend was upon this subject a little deceived, if I did not know that she has an instinct of credulity a power of believing such as no mortal ever possessed. She does not know what doubt means. Every word that is said she believes au pied de la lettre. The common forms of politeness, the dearest madam-–& your faithful humble servant find in her the most absolute faith-–This is a very amiable mistake-–resulting from her own singular truth & frankness-–but it’s a very troublesome one to some of her stiff proud neighbors, whose drawing talk, & civil subterfuges she [oversets?] at a blow by not understanding them-–[??] people out of their carriage who only meant to leave a card & “were sorry they had no time to [alight?]”-–& [?] with regrets to fix his own day, an excuse-making grandee who had called to express his regret that he could not attend her dinner party--“[Whether?] why won’t you stay to day"--was her last answer to his last apology--& the luckless {uncertain] ran away-–as I did from the electrification. “How sorry he was not to be able to stay-–how extremely unlucky that he is so engaged-–he’s a very polite man, and would be very glad to be a good neighbor.” Was all her remark. Her faith in human truth is incorrigible, and as she reads an opposition paper, no wonder she believes in the Queen-–the only chance was that the Attorney General might have gained her by having the first word-–[but Alderman?] Wood had [scribbles] [served?] her before.-–By the way have you read a clever little joke upon the aforesaid Alderman called [?]? Very page 4
well done indeed! The story of Whittington and his cat--applied--as you may guess-–a very clever little book! (By the bye they are illuminating tonight in Reading-–making a terrible tintamarre-–bells ringing-–and a prodigious quantity of popping noises, produced as the conjecture by some little [pross things?] kept by a war-fancying Gentleman who calls them cannon-–and pistols and blunder busses and what not-–Thank Heaven I am not in that region of squibs and crackers. We don’t illuminate in Three Mile CrossThree Mile Cross, Berkshire, England | Three Mile Cross | Berkshire | England | 51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 | Village in the parish of Shinfield in Berkshire, where Mary Russell Mitford moved with her parents in 1820. They lived in a cottage there until 1851. --#ebb51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864-–that enlightened village is wiser.-–Besides Tentamen I have been reading a clever little Poem called Advice to Julia, which was in the abominable bad taste of addressing very graceful pleasant and Horatian verses to a lady of no equivocal character would be a most recommendable book-–and a cleverish work called Essays by a Gentleman who has left his lodgings; [scribbles] (skipping the Political Economy which I can’t understand and the English Constitution two words I am tired of )-–and Mrs. [ ???]-–of which the most certain thing that can be said is that they are exceedingly like her others--just the same things. She has no [real?] discrimination of character like our two favorites-–and incidents cannot be varied ad infinitum-–so that I should really think she must begin to find herself [?] how to shew off her good heroines in small acts of generosity, and her war heroes in killing their fathers and mothers. __ Oh how different from [???]-–Have you read the Critique on Mr. Edgeworth’s life in the last Quarterly? There is some truth in what they say of him-–but surely this Edgeworth deserved more respect.-–I don’t think my dear Friend that I quite agree page 5
with you as to the facility of imitating Scott’s novels--We have had nothing like them yet--& I do not think we soon shall. Consider, with all [scribble] his faults the great & rare qualities that must be united in such a novelist &-–the [uncertain] and union learning which [uncertain] with the [scribbles] certainty [uncertain] of accurate knowledge on all the antiquarian detail that [uncertain] his purpose. The almost magical power of placing scenes and forms before you as in a picture--& leading you through a changing country which you trace as in a map. (This power of external representation is only equaled by Chaucer, Bocacio & as far as scenery goes by Spenser)--& lastly his various & extraordinary delineations of character. It is quite nonsense to compare him as the Edinburgh Reviewers do to Shakespeare in this respect and gives one the tendency to underrate him that such extravagant praises by a natural re-action always do-–his Characters have not the exquisite freedom of Shakespeare’s-–there is too much identity. He is afraid to [uncertain] them out of their prescribed bounds. Afraid to let them make any speech which cannot instantly be assigned to the right person. The keeping is too exact to be true to our [uncertain] & varying nature-–[uncertain] still the characters are finely [scribbles] conceived & finely drawn, & there is a noble spirit of humanity an indulgence to human frailty which sets a grand lesson to the world. He makes good Shakespeare’s most beautiful saying “There is some soul of goodness in things evil.” & is as far as I know the only writer who has ever had candour & fairness enough to tolerate opposite bigotries. No, my dear Friend--it is not the mere [uncertain] on some peculiar piece of history to illustrate that will [uncertain] even in powerful hands page 6
such novels as Walter Scott’s. As to Miss Hollow I don’t think she has the slightest intention to imitate him-–Warbeck of Wolfstein seems to me an attempt to portray in very black & exaggerated colours the character of Lord Bryon-–does it not strike you so? Some of the anecdotes-–that of the role with the ^ flowers for instance-–are stories which have been currently told of his Lordship, & altogether I am afraid there can be no doubt but it was intended as a portrait. I say afraid-–because Mrs. Joanna Baillie the friend  & of Lady Byron ought not to have given the sanction of her name to such a libel-–He is quite bad enough, Heaven knows, without being loaded with crimes that do not belong to him. I wonder I did not mention the work to you, which I thought as you do very powerful-–you will have found out by this time that the [uncertain] was not an [uncertain] woman, & that the conclusion though rather too combustible to [suit?] my fancy can hardly be called unhappy. (I really think they must be [uncertain] a mine in Reading-–there is such a grand crash every now & then rising out of the hubbub-–“God help them silly one’s”-–as Mr. Canning says in his clever parody of Mr. [uncertain] ode. Don’t you delight in the “Poetry of the Antijacobin?)-–Miss Holford wrote you know a very fine & powerful Poem Wallace or the [Light?] of Falkirk which came out the same year with my Christina & was worth a thousand of it. (Don’t contradict this-–if you do I shall think that you think I am begging for a compliment instead of telling a truth) & rather think that Miss Holford’s present work is more like Miss Porter than Walter Scott. Did you ever read Thaddeus of Warsaw? Or the Pastor’s [uncertain]? They are much in the lame style only less powerful-–less manly. page 7
I am very glad to hear that Lady Madelina does not write to you-–it is exceedingly kind & civil in her indeed. If she did woe be to me! My [uncertain] would certainly be out of joint. I dare say her silence is purely in condescension of my feelings for I [uncertain] her she had superseded me & that I took it very hard. She is amazingly kind not to write-–And yet she ought to write too, that I might enjoy my right of reprisal by reading her letter. Would you show them to me? You are not the only traitor among my correspondents-–if that be any consolation-–I happened to say to a friend in Town that Mr. [Harbitt?] was “the most delightful & most impudent of writers” or words to that effect & what did my correspondent do but read him this curious [uncertain] the first time they met. Luckily Mr. Hazlitt is good humoured and too in it without being astounded at my impudence.-–Mrs. Jonathan Elford is only too kind in condescending to be [uncertain] with such chit chat-–flattery of that sort is very dangerous to me-–one’s heart warms to as kindness-–does it not? I will certainly write again as you did me-–but what shall I do for a subject? How is Lady Madelina altered? Was not she a Queen’s woman at [Birkham?] She was a very determined one at Reading I know-–Yes-–she is a most delightful woman though she is my rival-–I wish she and her excellent and most gentlemanly [scribbles] husband would come to live at Luckley-–It is quite tantalizing to know a little of her and wish to know a great deal.

Adieu, my dear Friend--Forgive this long stupid letter, and believe me ever & most affectionately yours
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

Kindest thoughts from Papa and Mama. Pray don’t mention the story of Hannah Rowe and the doctor.

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