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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
, 1822 April 28

Edited by Elizabeth Raisanen.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: . P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 28April1822SirWilliamElford1a#.JPG, 28April1822SirWilliamElford2b#.JPG, 28April1822SirWilliamElford3b#.JPG, 28April1822SirWilliamElford4a#.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. 452

One quarto sheet of paper folded in half to form two octavo pages, which comprise pages 1-4 of the letter. The fourth page exposes the address with the end of the letter written along three sides and has been folded in sixths. The third page has a slight rip where the wax seal was attached. Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1) Black circular mileage stamp reading READING
[Gap: 1 chars, reason: illegible.] A large 3 denoting the posting fee has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf. Sheet torn on right edge of page three where wax seal was removed. Red wax seal, complete, 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.
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 April 28th1822.

Oh, my dear friend, how very very sorry we are to hear of your accident! And yet, since it is so happily past, & has been some with such delightful cheerfulness and good humour, it seems almost as much a matter of congratulation as of condolence--think of what such an accident would have been to some people! But you are an extradorniary man--as I have a say now--(By the bye your prototype Hor: Wal:Horace Walpole, Member of Parliament for Callington , Member of Parliament for Castle Rising , Member of Parliament for King’s Lynn , or: 4th Earl of Orford (second creation), Member of Parliament for Callington , Member of Parliament for Castle Rising , Member of Parliament for King’s Lynn | Born: 1745-12-10 in London, England. Died: 1797-03-02 in Berkeley Square, London, England.
Youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, British Prime Minister and Catherine, his wife. Built Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. --#lmw
would have taken a broken arm so philosophically)--& I never have seen such an instance of the friend? of real severity & good humour over pain and weariness as the delicious letter, which in the midst of a sick room you dictated to me. Really a misfortune to some is always a happiness--it is such a great thing to think of. And Miss ElfordMary Davies Elford, or: Mrs. Elford | Born: 1753. Died: 1807-08-02.
Mary was the first wife of Sir William Elford; they married on January 20, 1776 in Plympton. Together they had one son, Johnathan, and two daughters, Grace Chard and Elizabeth. She was the daughter of the Rev. John Davies and Mary Chard of Plympton. Birth and death dates unverified by primary source records, and her son Jonathan’s will gives her name as "Jane Mary;" additional research needed.--#ajc #lmw
's charming letter how can I thank her enough for that--I should have written to her as well as to you, only that all our Mr. P's I have sendded back to town--I even ?? whether I should not write to her instead of you--file? prevented that such a letter & met a transfer are & moved be one. Thank her a thousand times for her delightful kindness--Oh she may never think of me as a stranger--I even could think of her as one--some day or other than presumptuous enough to hope that she may think of me as a friend--Every word of her letter was so gratifying--especially what the pages of Mrs. AdamsElizabeth Adams Elford | Born: . Died: . , & of your undying consi-deration. I thank her most sincerely and heartily--Infinite love page 2
her. May I?--I must not forget to say that 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
who is just returned from town, was here soon   after her letter arrived, & from the warm interest you can so well imagine both in the glad tidings & the  singular playfullness of one fact of the letter, & the delightful simplici-ty & amiableness of the other. By the way you should have seen this 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
herself--she was just a thing for a painter to look at--dressed in a high gown of rich black satin, made close to her beautiful shape, with a superb stuff of "Flanders lace"--a magnificent plume of feathers & a veil that really swam about her like a cloud. She looked just like the portrait of some Spanish or Venetian. Beauty by Velazquez or Titian. Mr. DCharles 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 better. And the little girl the very moral of him. What a strange thing family likeness is. How impossible it seems that a little fair blooming laughing round-about apple blossom of a  girl child should resemble an old weather-beaten stern looking man-- as shriveled & yellow as a golden pippin--And yet so it is. I am long for it. I wanted the child to be like her mother.(Jerk) You must have gotten my last worthless letter long before this--Well--I have read Madeline--& I like it rather less than I did before I read it--So I advise you not to be "fashed?" with it. Really my plum pudding smile was a very good one--only a plum pudding is a better thing. This is a sort of Pamela story (not half so pretty as Pamela though) of a young Scotch girl adopted by an English Lady & then at her death returned to her parents cottage &c. How this Opie might have made a pretty thing of this--for the idea was a good one--& the manners of a Scottish farm works in proper hands ?? page 3
but delightful. Instead of this she hides & puts behind a curtain all the real & tone & picturesque homeliness which would have given life & nature to the scene, & brings forth info full view this Madeline sighing & playing & painting- her pianos & hopes & laughter & miniatures & really thinks these vulgar common-places of fashionable life making of gentility. Then she makes her Scotch people from first to last-- Farmers-farmers wives-chicken & ale ?? English-- think of that-- London English-- instead of their own beautiful DoriaAndrea Doria, or: D’Oria | Born: 1466-11-30 in Oneglia, Republic of Genoa. Died: 1560-11-25 in Genoa, Republic of Genoa.
--
. How we really feel that as an inspiring? & an a front--to be true it's just possible that Mrs. Opie's   scotch might be worse than her English. It's possible--though considering what her English is--but if her scotch be worse, why she was right to   eschew it then her story is abomiminable--not particularly moral I think--& I made out the latter part she is forced to take up jealousy -- wifely jealousy--that passion with which no one sympathizes! Even at the fountain head--in Othello--in spite of the passion, the poetry--the esquisite illusion of the scene, one cannot help thinking what a booby that black man is! And for Mrs. Opieto try her funny smile! Well I think I have pretty nearly saw enough of Madeline.-- I have read, too, the celebrated Adam Blair-- but I don't recommend that to you either. Some parts of the writing are exquisite-- as fine? as we all can be -- but the story is exceedingly disagreeable, & which to you will be quite enough--it is melancholy. So I do not recommend "Some Passages of the Life of Mr. Adam Blair".--although the wife of London & of join in its praise.--Pray, 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
, do you read page 4
Blackwoods magazineBlackwood’s Magazine. 1817-04-1980.
Founded as a Tory magazine in opposition to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review.--#ebb
, & John BullJohn Bull.
Presumably the popular periodical founded in 1820.--#err
? or do you leave to use a whig, the sole enjoyment of these sorry iniquities? To be nice? there is in these modest periodicals a fine swaggering bold-faced independence, a perfection of lying & of carrying it off which is delightfully amazing. One should think that it won't be only one man's gift--but the endowment must be general. It will be a heavy day for me when John Bull goes to the thunder. I read no other newspaper. And in my secret soul (don't tell Mr. 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
) though he &I both ?? in 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, along with the fact is the ?? & the 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
-- I like BlackwoodBlackwood’s Magazine. 1817-04-1980.
Founded as a Tory magazine in opposition to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review.--#ebb
's better. By the bye do you ever see 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
. Charley 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
's articles signed Elia are irrevocably the first ?? of English horse in the ?? memoir is as delicate as Addison's & far more piquant-- Oh how you won't enjoy it! Do borrow or hire all the hundreds of ?? & Hessey's 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
, & read all Opia's articles as well as the Fable Letters & the Confessions of an English Opium-EaterConfessions of an English Opium-Eater. Thomas de Quincey. & the Dramatic Sketches (underlined) & tell me how you like 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
. I shall depend on soon hearing how you ?? not I fear from your own hand-but from that fair & kind one which I should be so glad to shake. Kind-est regards & good wishes to you & her & all from all here--?? from home more heartily than your being affectious friend.

M. R. M.Mary 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

Sir William Elford Bart

Bickham

Plymouth