Maintained by: Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar (ebb8 at pitt.edu) Creative Commons LicenseLast modified: 2018-07-21T05:47:55.402-04:00

Our default is the Diplomatic view.
Click to toggle the Normalized view
(shows conventional spellings;
hides pagebreaks, insertion marks, and deletions):

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
, March 2, 1822

Edited by Elizabeth Raisanen.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: August 8, 2017. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files:2March1822SirWilliamElford1a.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford1b.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford2a.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford2b.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford3a.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford3b.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford4a.JPG, 2March1822SirWilliamElford4b.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. 448

Folio sheet of paper folded in half to form four quarto pages, with correspondence on pages 1-3 and address leaf on page 4, then folded in thirds twice more and sealed for posting Address leaf bearing black postmark, mostly illegible, reading RE
9
42 A portion of page 3 has been torn away under the seal. The address leaf (page 4) is degraded at the folded corners, possibly due to bleaching. Red wax seal, complete, and adhered to page four.

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. Elford 40 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 March 2nd1822.

In all the variety of letters & modes of letters which, we have at different times sent to one another, pray did we ever  try that fine classical thing a fragment? If not I have the pleasure of beginning the practice with the enclosed half  pagesheet[1] After the inserted word "sheet," there is an X (as described in one of the handNotes in the TEI header) that has been inserted by a later annotator that points to a footnote at the bottom of the first page of the letter. This inserted footnote reads as follows: "This half sheet  is [printed] at the end of the letter."—#err--without an end--& beginning most Pindarically in the middle of a subject--"Ruin seize thee ruthless King"[2] Mitford quotes from The Bard. A Pindaric Ode by Thomas GrayThomas Gray | Born: 1716-12-26 in Cornhill, London, England. Died: 1771-07-30 in Cambridge, England.
--
(I.1.1-4. Bard: "'Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!/Confusion on thy banners wait,/Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing/They mock the air with idle state.'")—#jcm
is not a finer instance of abruptness.--The truth is, my dear friend, that about a week ago, I began a letter to ask you a question respecting a person whom I thought it possible you might know--but getting the information I wished from another quarter, the first page & a half of my letter became useless--& being as you know a great economist of time & paper I tore off the un-business part of the epistle & shall enclose what remains. I was talking I believe of Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
's new Poem The Martyr of Antioch--I know that you don't read much of things printed in uneven lines--& I fancy that nine tenths of Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
's readers care as little for poetry as you do--only that very few have the honesty to say so--They read him for fashion--for the honour & glory of reading a poem--& the soberer credit of reading a good book--ItsIt's a sort of union of Sermon & romance--a Sunday evening amusement, which Mamas tolerate & Papas smile upon--so the book sells--And it ought to sell for it is full of splendid passages--with only one faux pas--all the Heathen persons odes & descriptions are worth a million of the Christian hymns & people--indeed Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
has a fine sense of classical page 2
beauty--he would make a glorious thing of some old Grecian story--but then that would never make him a Dean or a Bishop--Now you will not be very violently at a loss for a connexionconnection with the fragment--which I have made still more of a subject for the Antiquarian Society (do you belong to that learned body?) by tearing off with my usual mal-adressemaladresse the beginnings & endings of some of the lines--Never mind you like riddles.

By the bye coming back to our eternal theme the Author of WaverleyWaverley; or ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Walter Scott. Archibald Constable. 1814. Walter Scott | Born: 1771-08-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died: 1832-09-21 in Abbotsford, Scotland.
Scottish antiquarian, poet, and novelist. Also worked as clerk of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. He assembled a collection of Scottish ballads, many of which had never before been printed, in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, first published in 1802, but continually expanded in revised editions through 1812 . Author of the long romance poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810). From 1814-1831, Scott published 23 novels, and over the course of his literary career, he wrote review articles for the Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and the Foreign Quarterly Review.--#ebb #esh
--I heard a day or two back from the young American Traveller of whom I have I think elsewhere made honorable mention [3] Mitford appears to have met an American with whom she corresponded, possibly Nathaniel Parker WillisNathaniel Parker Willis | Born: 1806-01-20 in Portland, Maine, USA. Died: 1867-01-20 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
American poet, journalist, periodical editor, and lecturer. Also published under N.P. Willis. The brother of American author, Sara Willis, "Fanny Fern". Literary celebrity and considered something of a gossip and a dandy. Corresponded with Mary Russell Mitford. --#lmw
.—#jcm
that Captain Scott is much respected by those much with him in Canada (our Traveller aforesaid had the honour to be introduced to him) of having at least some share in the novels[4] Thomas Scott was rumored to have been the author of WaverleyWaverley; or ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Walter Scott. Archibald Constable. 1814. , or at least a major contributor to the Waverley Novels. Many of ScottWalter Scott | Born: 1771-08-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died: 1832-09-21 in Abbotsford, Scotland.
Scottish antiquarian, poet, and novelist. Also worked as clerk of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. He assembled a collection of Scottish ballads, many of which had never before been printed, in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, first published in 1802, but continually expanded in revised editions through 1812 . Author of the long romance poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810). From 1814-1831, Scott published 23 novels, and over the course of his literary career, he wrote review articles for the Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and the Foreign Quarterly Review.--#ebb #esh
's novels subsequent to WaverleyWaverley; or ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Walter Scott. Archibald Constable. 1814. were simply ascribed to "the Author of Waverley".—#jcm
--he is certainly eternally writing--& if that be not the subject no one can guess what is.

To come back to a less distant Traveller (really I have done injustice to my own excellence in the art of transition--the ScottWalter Scott | Born: 1771-08-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Died: 1832-09-21 in Abbotsford, Scotland.
Scottish antiquarian, poet, and novelist. Also worked as clerk of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. He assembled a collection of Scottish ballads, many of which had never before been printed, in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, first published in 1802, but continually expanded in revised editions through 1812 . Author of the long romance poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810). From 1814-1831, Scott published 23 novels, and over the course of his literary career, he wrote review articles for the Edinburgh Review, The Quarterly Review, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, and the Foreign Quarterly Review.--#ebb #esh
question being in itself a sort of conundrum would have hitched into the MilmanHenry Hart Milman
--#lmw
& Antiquarian subject with no bigger a link than the little word Enigma--& Traveller would have served equally for Him of AmericaUnited States of America | United States of America | 37.09024 -95.71289100000001 --37.09024 -95.71289100000001 & Her of Exmouth[5] Here, Mitford refers to the "American Traveller" (possibly Nathaniel Parker WillisNathaniel Parker Willis | Born: 1806-01-20 in Portland, Maine, USA. Died: 1867-01-20 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
American poet, journalist, periodical editor, and lecturer. Also published under N.P. Willis. The brother of American author, Sara Willis, "Fanny Fern". Literary celebrity and considered something of a gossip and a dandy. Corresponded with Mary Russell Mitford. --#lmw
) and the "less distant Traveller" (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
), respectively. She compares their geographical distance to the disparity of her topics mentioned above.—#jcm
--there was not the slightest occasion for a mark of jerkification inasmuch as there was no jerk) Mrs. DickensonDickinsonCatherine 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
is come back from the West--quite delighted with DevonshireDevonshire, England | Devon | 50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 | County in the south west of England bordering the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. Now called Devon.--#ebb #lmw50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 scenery DevonshireDevonshire, England | Devon | 50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 | County in the south west of England bordering the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. Now called Devon.--#ebb #lmw50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 manners, & DevonshireDevonshire, England | Devon | 50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 | County in the south west of England bordering the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. Now called Devon.--#ebb #lmw50.7155591 -3.5308750000000373 people. We shall never get her to like BerkshireBerkshire, England | Berkshire | England | 51.4669939 -1.185367700000029 | The county of Berkshire, England, abbreviated "Berks."--51.4669939 -1.185367700000029 again. She spent her time very gaily & very happily at Exmouth & they have laid in a stock of health, she & her little girlFrances Vikris Dickinson | Born: 1820-03-07 in Farley Hill, near Swallowfield, Berkshire, England. Died: 1898-10-26 in Siena, Toscana, Italy.
Frances Dickinson was the only child of Charles Dickinson and Catherine Allingham. She was born on 7 March 1820 at Farley Hill, near Swallowfield, Berkshire, and was baptized on April 17. Her father Charles died when she was seven years old. She died at Siena, Toscana, Italy on October, 26 1898 and is buried in Rome. She was married to and divorced from her first husband, John Edward Geils (1813-1894) and later married the Rev. Gilbert Elliott (1800-1891). --#ajc #lmw
, which will last them a twelvemonth--Mr. D.Charles Dickinson, or: Mr. Dickinson | Born: 1755-03-06 in Pickwick Lodge, Corsham, Wiltshire, England. Died: 1827 in Farley Hill, near Swallowfield, Berkshire, England.
Friend of the Mitford family. Charles Dickinson was born on March 6, 1755 at Pickwick Lodge, Corsham, Wiltshire. He was the son of Vikris Dickinson and Elizabeth Marchant. The Dickinson family were Quakers who lived in the vicinity of Bristol, Gloucestershire. On August 3, 1807, he married Catherine Allingham at St Giles, South Mimms, Middlesex. They lived at Farley Hill, near Swallowfield, Berkshire, where their daughter Frances was born, and where the Mitfords visited them. Charles Dickinson owned a private press he employed to print literary works by his friends (See letters to Elford from March 13, 1819 and June 21, 1820). Charles Dickinson died at Farley Hill in 1827.--#ajc #lmw
is still indifferent--they are page 3
talking of going to 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 for advice (N.B. when it is got he won't take it--I am sure of that)--Perhaps they are already gone--for they set off with a whole family with little more preparation than a bird makes when it takes flight from a tree--The Albatross whose wing has five joints to put in motion before it can get under way (vide 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
for this month)[6] An article titled "Narrative of a Voyage to New South Wales" in the March 1822 issue of 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
recounts a sea voyage to Australia that the author of the piece (B.F.) undertook between August 1816 and February 1817. What was particularly notable about the voyage was the large number of albatrosses observed by the author, including one in particular that followed the ship from Rio de Janeiro onward. The author of the piece notes that the albatross "had possessed a great interest in my mind, from the conspicious part it plays in Mr. Coleridge's wonderful ballad of the 'Ancient Marinere' (223). The full text of the article can be found here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015019351223;view=1up;seq=277.—#err
is much longer in taking flight than [Gap: 1 chars, reason: torn.][M]rs. 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
. Pray [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][are] you going to Town this season? If you think of such a thing don't forget that we are only three miles from 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 & that we shall be delighted to see you in our hut. There is some chance that I might be able to shewshow you 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
--for I think she will come to Dr. ValpyRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
's at Easter--& when she comes for the form of the thing to D. ValpyRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
's she spends most of her time here. I think I love her better than I used to do when you used to laugh at me about her--we have ha[Gap: 1 chars, reason: torn.][d] a quarrel--in which I scolded & she sulked--& as [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][her] only fault before was being faultless the discovery of this little imperfection has only made her the more charming--besides we are more upon an equality--she knew plenty of my little imperfections before--for my faults I thank them poor things lie visibly enough upon the surface--you may [run & read]--whilst her one sin lay buried like a tulip root at Christmas. I should like you to know her.

Was not I very poorly when I wrote to you last? Yes. I am quite well again--& quite ready for a letter from you as soon as ever you may condescend to write one--This is my second remember. Pray write soon & long. God bless you my dear friend--Kindest regards from 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
--.


Ever most faithfully 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
.

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 March Four--1822

Sir W. Elford--BartWilliam 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

[C F PalmerCharles Fyshe Palmer, or: Long Fyshe | Born: 1769 in Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: 1843-01-24 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Charles Fyshe Palmer was baptised on April 24, 1769, the son of Charles Fyshe Palmer and Lucy Jones. He married Lady Madelina Gordon Sinclair 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, and Charles Fyshe Palmer’s marriage to Lady Madelina thus gained him access to aristocratic houses, including the Holland House. A Whig politician, Palmer began running for Parliament elections as the member for Reading after 1816, and appears to have served off and on in that role until 1841. He led the Berkshire meetings to protest British government’s handling of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. On March 16, 1820, Palmer ran for a seat in Parliament against two other candidates. The votes ran: John Berkeley Monck (418 votes), Charles Fyshe Palmer(399 votes), and John Weyland(395 votes.) Mitford’s letters around this time indicate she much preferred his opponent J. B. Monck, and she had earlier satirized Palmer in 1818 as "vastly like a mop-stick, or, rather, a tall hop-pole, or an extremely long fishing-rod, or anything that is all length and no substance." Mitford also mentions Palmer in connection with a legal issue surrounding the Billiard Club, in her letter to Talfourd of 31 August 1822 . Mitford also mentions the ways that Palmer’s political opponents sometimes undermined his Whig reformist positions by referencing the noble privileges (and money) he accrued by marrying the Lady Madelina Gordon in 1805. See note 2 in The Browning’s Correspondence rendering of Mitford’s letter of 12 March 1842 to Elizabeth Barrett Browning . --#ajc #lmw
]


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