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Letter to T.N. 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
, [16 November] 1821

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 24 May 2014. P5. . .

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2013.

Reproduced by courtesy of the The John Rylands University Library.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: The John Rylands University Library. Shelf mark: JRL English MS 665 no. 8 Coles no. 21

Folio sheet of paper folded in half to form four quarto pages, with correspondence on 1-3 and address leaf on page 4, then folded in thirds twice more and sealed for posting.Address leaf bearing two postmarks, both illegible. One black, one sepia: circle with crown (text illegible).A portion of page 1 has been torn away under the seal.Wax seal missing, traces of red wax remain.

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.
Friday Morning.My dear Sir

Here is another Catastrophe, my dear Sir, for William Macready
English actor (1793-1873) Born London, died Cheltenham. Appeared at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Appeared in Sheridan Knowles’s William Tell (1825) and Bulwer-Lytton’s Money (1840) --#lmw
Mr. Macready's consideration--I only wait hearing from you to finish the poisoning Scene, which I shall send up as soon as I possibly can consistently with my natural slowness. If you like none of them I shall be quite ready to try another--or to alter any of these--Of course they are submitted to you with the most full & perfect liberty to cut & alter & add wherever you think is proper--the last would be the greatest favor that could be done. Was it necessary to say this?--Not having the copy to which these two sheets may perhaps be appended I [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.][do not] exactly know where the page began--but I believe [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.][I am] not--far from the mark & the  cutting striking out a few [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][words] would not I suppose spoil the copy for presentation--I am quite sorry to give you this sort of petty trouble--but whilst I am talking of these details I must tell you two or three very trifling things Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
suggested--or rather marked as faults--In the first scene that part of Erizzo'sErizzo
Count Erizzo, character in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
speech on Donato's return, "And such a boon as he would grant his Page to pay the song that lulls him off to sleep"[1] —#lmw--I rather think that may be like somebody else--I think he must mean that--at all events be so good as to strike it  up out. Early in the Senate scene I had made a very stupid mistake in accenting a name--In Erizzo'sErizzo
Count Erizzo, character in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
Speech to his faction will you write "PisaniCount Pisani
Count Pisani in Foscari--#lmw
, or Donato's Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
riper years" instead of "Donato Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
or Count PisaniCount Pisani
Count Pisani in Foscari--#lmw
on thine" [2] Printed text has: On vigorous manhood's clustering curls? On thine,
Donato Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
? Or, Pisani, upon thine?
Or any man of us? Lords, have ye changed
This appears to be the only mention by name of Count Pisani in the play.—#lmw
--In the third Act he objects to the getting off of Laura
Senator Donato’s niece in Foscari, as mentioned in Cast List--#lmw
Laura--but that the Manager must manage--& to Ida'sMount Ida | Sacred mountain of classical Greek antiquity.--#lmwtopin the Doge'sDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
compliment to Olivia.Olivia
One of the Ladies in Foscari--#lmw
--he says myrtles won't blow there--which I believe is time enough--Will Ida'sMount Ida | Sacred mountain of classical Greek antiquity.--#lmwside do? And will you be so good as to write it so--He has likewise marked "guiltless of brains" [3] —#lmw  in the Doge'sDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
account of the prophecy--but I don't know why--Should I alter it do page 2
[4] —#lmwyou think? He has likewise made himself two or three verbal alterations of no great consequence one way or the other which I have retained in the copy for printing but which would never be noticed on the stage.--One thing I wish myself to submit to you. In the Trial scene ErizzoErizzo
Count Erizzo, character in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
in his last question to CamillaCamilla Donato
daughter of Senator Donato in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
says--Did'st thou not hear Donato Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
call onFoscariDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
?" Now does not this approach too nearly to the real truth & not to the inference which he intended to draw from it? Would Didst thou not hear Donato's Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
voice cry FoscariFrancesco Foscari
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: son of Doge Foscari.--#ebb #ebb
? be better?--And may the Audience be trusted to make out that [5] —#lmwDonato Donato Senator
character in Foscari See also historical counterpart: Senator Donato.--#lmw #ebb
knew he was with CamillaCamilla Donato
daughter of Senator Donato in Mitford’s play Foscari --#ebb
or should some such intimation be introduced? This will probably appear better at the rehearsal. Oh if it should ever come to that! Do you really think it will?--Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
speaks very civilly of the PlayFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. as pretty & affecting--increasing very much in interest as it proceeeds & exceedingly likely to tell well in representation. This is more than I expected a great deal--& full as much as it deserves. If you see Mr. QualeMr. Quayle Mr. Quale
Mentioned in Mitford’s letters of November 6 and 16 1821 as a friend willing to help in Mitford’s theatrical aspirations. Surname spelled in the letter of November 16 as Quale. Forename unknown. Not identified in Coles. Needs further research. --#lmw
& tell him the state of our affair will you assure him of my sincere gratitude for his kindness--I am sure he was [6] —#lmwsincere in his offers of service --How very very good my friends are to me [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][--you ] Shall certainly get the new act by the midd [Gap: 2 word, reason: torn.][le of]next week--

page 3

Pray[7] —#lmw excuse the wafer as I am afraid of weight--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
& Mother join in a thousand thanks & good wishes &


I am always your very grateful & troublesome friend--
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


To T. N. 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
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