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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
, January 07, 1821

Edited by Samantha Webb .

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: February 08, 2017. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF8092.jpg, DSCF8091.jpg, DSCF8090.jpg, DSCF8089, .

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. 373

One page, four surfaces photographed 12 centimeters by 18 centimeters. Folded width wise at 11 and a half centimeters length. Sheet (pages three and four) torn on right edge of page three 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.
Someone, apparently other than Mitford, perhaps cataloging letters and describing them, who left grey pencil marks and numbered her letters now in the Reading Cnetral Library's collection. This letter is numbered "24" in the top left hand corner. Janr 7th1821. My Dear Sir

I take the advantage of a County meeting which will make franks as plenty as blackberries to thank you for the 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 letter which was so delightful a companion to the EdinburghEdinburgh, Lothian, Scotland | Edinburgh | Lothian | Scotland | 55.953252 -3.188266999999996 | The capital and second-largest city in Scotland, located on the Firth of Forth. Site of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace.--#lmw55.953252 -3.188266999999996 one--I agree with you very thoroughly in your love for the endless city--I am something of a Cockneythe Cockney School
Satirical term coined by an anonymous Blackwood’s article of October 1817 targeting a circle of intellectuals, writers, and artists specifically including John Keats, William Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, and Benjamin Robert Haydon.--#ebb
in my tastes in spite of my rustic habits--I like no other great town--but I like 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 & all that comes from it-- ? friends [betters] gowns are all the more [welcome] for bearing the 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 mark--The London magazineThe London Magazine. 1820-1829.
An 18th-century periodical of this title (The London Magazine, or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer) ran from 1732 to 1785 . In 1820, John Scott launched a new series of The London Magazine emulating the style of Blackwood’s Magazine, though the two magazines soon came into heated contention. This series ran until 1829, and this is the series to which Mitford and her correspondents frequently refer in their letters. Scott’s editorship lasted until his death by duel on 27 February 1821 resulting form bitter personal conflict with the editors of Blackwood’s Magazine connected with their insulting characterization of a London Cockney School. After Scott’s death, William Hazlitt took up editing the magazine with the April 1821 issue.--#ebb #lmw
itself is the better for its title--& I do not think Mr. Charles LambCharles Lamb
British essayist. (10 Feb. 1775-27 Dec. 1834) Born London and died Edmonton, Middlesex. Best known for his Essays of Elia (1823-1833), many of which originally appeared in the London Magazine. --#lmw #cmm
would write so delightfully any where else.--I say who is Mr. Edgeworth BensonJohn Scott, or: John Scott | Born: 1784-10-24 in Broadgate, Aberdeen. Died: 1821-02-21 in Chalk Farm.
Editor who revived The London Magazine in 1820 and edited it until his death on 27 February 1821. Died as the result of a gunshot wound received in a duel fought on 16 February with Jonathan Henry Christie (John Gibson Lockhart’s agent) at Chalk Farm. The duel resulted from an escalation of attacks and counterattacks between the editors of the London and Blackwood’s Magazines over Blackwood’s characterizations of a Cockney School.--#lmw #ebb
--

How have you borne this cold weather [?] Every body abuses it.--even I myselfpage 2
from sympathy or complaisance of the contagious habit of grumbling I have sometimes caught myself complaining of cold notwithstanding a strong internal feeling that a trot something between a run & a walk of three or four miles through the frost is one of the highest of physical pleasures. We have all stood the winter remarkably well--nobody has caught cold in the house except my plants which being crammed into a sad little windy hole, very different from their former spacious & comfortable habitation have been silly enough to die in their very prime of life & beauty--Ah my pretty plants that I had reared & watered & nursed so tenderly they are all dead- ? Geraniums Macartney roses--geranium all dead. I have not a pot left alive except an old tough Cammellia Japonica--& he is turning yellow & curls his leaves--I am afraid he will follow poor fellow--Thank God 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
& 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
are not so killable--I shall stick to them for thepage 3
future--this snow which keeps me indoors against my will, is good for them--it will keep them warm & cherish & comfort their young leaves.--Poor dear DaphneDaphne
Mitford’s dog, a female greyhound. However, there is also a pug named Daphne in the Our Village sketch Our Godmothers from 3: 1828, 266-287 . That Daphne was a particularly ugly, noisy pug, that barked at every body that came into the house, and bit at most.--#lmw
disliked the frost almost as much as my Geraniums--I was obliged to give up taking her to walk with me--but she is pretty well, only too delicate and shrinking to brave the East wind--We have had a sad fright about your Puppy. The woman to whose care we trusted him, the widow of a butcher who fancied herself & I believe was under obligations to 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
suddenly failed & had left 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 before we  had heard a word of the matter--when we sent to enquire after the Puppy we found that he was gone & could hear no tidings of him till yesterday, when 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
found that the poor grateful woman had taken him with her. He is very safe--& we have a place for him as soon as he can be  ? returned to us--for at present we only know that he is with her. PapaGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
George Mitford was born on November 15, 1760 in Hexham, Northumberland, the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. He was related to the Mitfords of Mitford Castle, Northumberland. In 1784, he was living in Alresford and is listed in a Hampshire directory as "surgeon (medicine)." Although later sources would claim that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree; his father and grandfather worked as surgeon-apothecaries and it seems likely that he served a medical apprenticeship with family members. He married Mary Russell on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford; they later came to live at Broad Street in New Alresford. Their only child to live to adulthood, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. George Mitford died on December 11, 1842 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. --#lmw
had very little coursing in HampshireHampshire, England | Hampshire England | 51.05769480000001 -1.3080628999999817 | County on the southern coast of England, known historically as the County of Southampton. The county town is Winchester. Abbreviated "Hants." --#lmw51.05769480000001 -1.3080628999999817 [Gap: 2 chars, reason: torn.][si]nce his return the frost has of course prevented his taking out the dogs. Nothing haspage 4
tended so much to console him for his disapointment in not seeing you as the bad sport he has had this season. He talks of going into []Ilfordshire for now--> next week if the weather breaks & will try DaphneDaphne
Mitford’s dog, a female greyhound. However, there is also a pug named Daphne in the Our Village sketch Our Godmothers from 3: 1828, 266-287 . That Daphne was a particularly ugly, noisy pug, that barked at every body that came into the house, and bit at most.--#lmw
on the hills, the very place for her to show off.

Adieu my dear Sir--My Father & 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 rememberances & in every good wish. Many happy & glorious years to you My dear 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
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Ever very sincerely your's,

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
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How do you go on with the little picture. Will it be profitable even for you to paint up to that [1] Mitford is referring to Haydon's painting Christ's Agony in the Gardon—#SCR Head of Christ? I think not.