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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
, 1823 August 21

Edited by Elizabeth Raisanen.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 26 April 2015. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 21August1823SirWilliamElford6a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford6b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford5b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford5a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford3b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford2b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford3a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford2a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford1b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford1b#.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. 474

One quarto sheet of paper folded in half to form four octavo pages, which comprise pages 1-4 of the letter and placed inside of a second quarto sheet folded in half to form pages 5 and 6 on one side of the sheet. The address was written on page 6 and then this entire set of sheets was folded by nines. Address leaf bearing black postmark, partially illegible, reading
READING
. A large 3 denoting the posting fee has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf. Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1)black circular mileage stamp READING
[Gap: 1 lines, reason: illegible.] Sheet slightly torn on right edge of page one and bears a large tear on the address leaf above the address line. 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. Fixed transcription/whitespace errors. Page numbers corrected, facs attributes added Checked for completion, comments checked and deleted where unnecessary. Support section needs to be reviewed. Completed letter tagging, pulled backlist, updated beginning of header. Needs proofing against ms. and Proofing Header.
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To Sir W. ElfordWilliam Elford, Sir, baronet , Recorder for Plymouth, Recorder for Totnes, Member of Parliament for Plymouth , Member of Parliament for Rye, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the Linnaean Society (FLS) | Born: 1749-08 in Kingsbridge, Devon, England. Died: 1837-11-30 in Totnes, Devon, England.
According to L’Estrange, Sir William was first a friend of Mitford’s father, and Mitford met him for the first time in the spring of 1810 when he was a widower nearing the age of 64. They carried on a lively correspondence until his death in 1837. Elford worked as a banker at Plymouth Bank (Elford, Tingcombe and Purchase) in Plymouth, Devon, from its founding in 1782. He was elected a member of Parliament for Plymouth as a supporter of the government and Tory William Pitt, and served from 1796 to 1806. After his election defeat in Plymouth in 1806, he was elected member of Parliament for Rye and served from July 1807 until his resignation in July 1808. For his service in Parliament as a supporter of Pitt, he was made a baronet in 1800. After his son Jonathan came of age, he tried to secure a stable government post for him but never succeeded. Mayor of Plymouth in 1796 and Recorder for Plymouth from 1797 to 1833, he was also Recorder for Totnes from 1832 to 1834. Sir William served as an officer in the South Devon militia from 1788, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; the unit saw active service in Ireland during the Peninsular Wars. Sir William was a talented amateur painter in oils and watercolors who exhibited at the Royal Society from 1774 to 1837; he exhibited still lifes and portraits but preferred landscapes. He was elected to the Royal Society Academy in 1790. He was also a talented amateur naturalist and was elected to the Royal Linnaean Society in 1790; late in life, he published his findings on an alternative to yeast. He married his first wife, Mary Davies of Plympton, on January 20, 1776 and they had one son, Jonathan, and two daughters, Grace Chard and Elizabeth. After the death of his first wife, he married Elizabeth Hall Walrond, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Maine Swete Walrond of the Coldstream Guards. His only son Jonathan died in 1823, leaving him without an heir. --#ebb #lmw
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 August 21st 1823.

I hasten my dear & kind friend to reply to your very kind & welcome letter--I ought to have written sooner but I have been waiting to hear; & an aversion to the pen, equal I suppose to that which a sempstressseamstress may feel to the needle, makes me now a dilatory correspondent. I think however the more of those few dear old friends on whose goodness & sympathy I know I can rely--It is a possession--a certain good--a piece of the exquisite blue sky in a dark & stormy season--& of those few none are so very kind, so fine, so sympathisingsympathizing as my   excellent friends at 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. Your letter really did my heart good. I have the pleasure to tell you, that the quiet & repose of the Country & the entire absence of all theatrical cabal have had the happiest effect on my health & mind. I am quite well  again now, & if not as hopeful as I used to be yet less anxious & far less depressed than I ever expected to feel again. This is merely the influence of the scenery, the flowers the cool yet pleasant season, & the absence of all literary society--for our prospects are not other ways changed--my dear 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
, relying with a blessed sanguineness on my poor endeavors has not I believe even enquiredinquired for a situation, & I do not press the matter though I anxiously wish it, being willing to give one more trial to the Theatre--If I could but get the assurance of earning for my dear dear 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
& 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
a humblepage 2
competence I should be the happiest creature in the world--but for these dear ties I should never write another line but go out in some situation as other destitute women do--It seems to me however my duty to try a little longer, the more especially as I am sure seperationseparation would be felt by all of us to be the greatest of all evils. My present occupation is a great secret--I will tell it to you in strict confidence--It is the boldest attempt ever made by woman, which I have undertaken at the vehement desire of Mr. MacreadyWilliam 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
, who confesses that he has proposed the subject to every dramatic Poet of his acquaintance that it has been the wish of his life & that he never met with any one courageous enough to attempt it before--In short I am engaged in a grand historical Tragedy on the greatest subject in English story CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
--
& CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
Member of Parliament, Puritan, Parliamentarian ("Roundhead") military commander. Gained prominence as a military general during the the English Civil War, leading the New Model Army who supported Parliament against the monarchy, under Charles I. Cromwell became the First Lord Protectorate of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1658, then exhumed and posthumously "executed" by Royalists after 1660 and is buried in Tyburn. Throughout the 19th century, Cromwell’s reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb
--should you ever have suspected your poor little friend of so adventurous a spirit? Mr. MacreadyWilliam 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
does not mean the Author to be known--& I do not think it will be found out--which is the reason of my requesting so earnestly your silence on the subject. MacreadyWilliam 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
thinks that my set was in great part the occasion of the intolerable malignity with which JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. was attacked. They at least cannot call this a melodrama. My wish is to do strict poetical justice, in the best sense of the word, to both the men & both their causes--but I am afraid I shall not be able to do so, because CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
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is that desperate common place of the drama a King in distress, & CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
Member of Parliament, Puritan, Parliamentarian ("Roundhead") military commander. Gained prominence as a military general during the the English Civil War, leading the New Model Army who supported Parliament against the monarchy, under Charles I. Cromwell became the First Lord Protectorate of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1658, then exhumed and posthumously "executed" by Royalists after 1660 and is buried in Tyburn. Throughout the 19th century, Cromwell’s reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb
with his enthusiasm his subtlety his wonderful power over the minds of all who approachpage 3
him is the very thing for the drama--I have nearly written the whole of that part, & the one dear friend who alone knows the plan, Mr. 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
, who has been & who is as a brother to me, says that in what he has seen I have far outrun his hopes--You will see at once the tremendous difficulty of the undertaking, & even how I sometimes despair of finishing the Play & am quite in doubt, whether even if I write the other characters up to CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
(which I shall not be able to do) it will ever be represented. I have been obliged of course to have a good deal of republicanism & far more cant than I could wish--& the Trial scene, which I have not done yet, frightens me whenever I think of it. There is a great deal of laborious reading, too, necessary to the undertaking--What is your opinion of CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
Member of Parliament, Puritan, Parliamentarian ("Roundhead") military commander. Gained prominence as a military general during the the English Civil War, leading the New Model Army who supported Parliament against the monarchy, under Charles I. Cromwell became the First Lord Protectorate of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in 1658, then exhumed and posthumously "executed" by Royalists after 1660 and is buried in Tyburn. Throughout the 19th century, Cromwell’s reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb
? Mine is that he was a man acting under an intense conviction of the justice of his cause & little scrupulous as to the means employed in its furtherance--In his domestic character he appears in the old Memorials & letters & state papers which I have been consulting to have been delightful & amiable past expression. I shall give only the short time of CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
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's being in Town before his execution--not at all varying from history except by bringing in the QueenQueen Henrietta Maria
Queen of England in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
, & giving CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
a  loyalist daughterPrincess Elizabeth
Daughter of Queen Henrietta Maria and King Charles I, a girl aged 12, in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
--Do you think I shall succeed? MacreadyWilliam 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
says he is sure of it--but I fear, I greatly fear--He himself will probably have no power at all next season since I find they have engaged Mr. YoungMayne Charles Young
English actor (1777-1856). Performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. --#lmw
. But then there is FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. which provided they do not make Mr. MacreadyWilliam 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
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play the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
they are heartily welcome to perform & from Charles KembleCharles Kemble's passion for that play, or rather from his passionate desire to act the hero in that play I think it not unlikely if Mr. YoungMayne Charles Young
English actor (1777-1856). Performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. --#lmw
will  play perform the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
that they may. The FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. is a pretty, interesting, graceful Tragedy--evidently written by a woman entirely free from the faults of JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. , yet in my opinion of inferiourinferior merit--not so vivid or so vigorous as, false modesty apart, I cannot but feel that Play to be--Your approbation has given me the truest delight, I am aware of your kind partiality, yet I am sure that you would not tell me what you do not think--& indeed I hear from many & most gratifying quarters the same opinion of JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. --I mean of its power--especially its dramatic power. Its faults of plot I am most ready to admit, & hope to avoid in future. It must have had great power to survive the acting--except Mr. MacreadyWilliam 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
& Miss FooteMaria Foote Stanhope | Born: 1797-07-24 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1867-12-27 in Whitehall, London, England.
Well known English theater actor. She was the daughter of Samuel Foote. She played Alfonso, the King of Sicily in Julian. She performed at Drury Lane from 1814 to 1825 and then began to perform at Covent Garden in 1826. --#ejb
the performers were more fit for a barn than a Theatre Royal--& we had not one new scene--& only one new dress! [1] Mitford means that no new scenery or costumes were made for the production.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
—#lmw
If The FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. had been brought out it was to have had entire new scenery & the most splendid decorations--& that together with the   great superiority of the general cast of characters induces me to hope that they will play it next season--It will not fail I think the first night, it is too good for that-- & if it survive that ordeal Charles KembleCharles Kemble's jealousy of Mr. MacreadyWilliam 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
would carry it on to beat JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. --so that between the chance of that play & of Charles the FirstCharles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. I begin topage 5
have a little more hope than I had--only a little. Once again do not mention Charles the FirstCharles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. not to any one, especially if it should happen to come out anonymously--& pray my dear friend if you should hear of any situation that would suit my dear 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
do not fail to let me know for that work would be the real comfort to be rid of the Theatre & all its troubles. Any thing in the medical line provided the income however small were certain he would be well qualified to undertake. I hope there is no want of duty in my wishing him to contribute his efforts with mine to our support--God knows if I could--if there were any certainty how willingly how joyfully I would do all--but that there is not. Pray forgive this long detail, & the apparent vanity with which I have spoken of my Tragedies--casting off all the usual circumlocutions & writing my very thoughts--but I have learnt to know my [Gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][self] too well for vanity--my weakness, my impatience, my many faults. If I were better, more industrious, more patient more consistent, I do think I should succeed & I will try to be so I promise you I will & to make the best use of my poor talents. Pray forgive this egotism it is a relief & a comfort to me to pour forth my feelings to so dear & so respected a friend, & they are not now so desolate, not quite so desolate as they have been. God grant me to deserve success What you say of your own dear family interests & affects & delights me. In spite of the terrible bereavement [2] The "bereavement" is almost certainly the death of Elford'sWilliam 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
son Jonathan on March 11, 1823, five months before this letter was written.—#ejb
you have suffered how much happiness there is remaining in an union of so many excellent & accomplished persons endeared to each other by such remarkable family affection page 6
God bless you all together for many many happy years! I rejoice to hear that Mr. Elford has derived benefit from the 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 remedy. Has he tried the rust of iron? Make my most respectful & grateful compliments to him & your dear daughters Were you not very sorry to hear of 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
's misfortunes? He writes to me very often & I am happy to tell you that he keeps up his fine spirits & is still sanguine & hopeful & full of prudent resolutions. He & his sweet wifeMary Hyman Haydon
The daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Cobley, the Rector of Dodbrooke, Kingsbridge, Devon, she was widowed with two children when she married Benjamin Robert Haydon on 10 October 1821.--#ghb
are gone into humble lodgings, & he has rolled up the Crucifixion [3] A planned painting of Mr. Haydon'sBenjamin 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
. The sketch of it was confiscated in 1821 when 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
was arrested and sent to the King's Bench Prison. The sketch was sold at an auction. 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
, upon his release in July 1823, apparently intended to start this painting again, but this did not happen. According to Haydon, he abandoned this painting because of his wife's objections.—#ejb
which promised from the sketch to be the finest of his pictures & intends painting two or three of a moderate size to lay in food for the Garrison before returning to that great undertaking. You may imagine how deeply I felt their misfortunes after the affectionate sympathy I received from them in the Spring--your favorite Lady MadelinaMadelina Madalina Sinclair Palmer, the Lady, or: Lady M.P., Lady Mad., Lady Madelina Palmer | Born: 1772-06-19 in Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Died: 1847 in Chapel Street, Grosvenor Place, London, England.
Lady Madelina Gordon was born on June 10, 1772, the daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, and Jane Maxwell, at Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Her first husband was Robert Sinclair, 7th Baronet Sinclair; they married in 1789 and had one child, John Gordon Sinclair. Her second husband was the Reading Whig politician Charles Fyshe Palmer. They married in 1805 at Kimbolton Castle in Kimbolton, Herefordshire. They lived at Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire and at East Court, Finchampstead, Berkshire. Through her siblings, Lady Madelina was connected to several of the most influential aristocratic families in the country. Her sister Charlotte Gordon became Duchess of Richmond through her marriage to Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox and 4th Duke of Aubigny. Her sister Susan Gordon became Duchess of Manchester through her marriage to William Montagu, Duke of Manchester. Her sister Louise Gordon became Marchioness Cornwallis through marriage to Charles Cornwallis, Marquess of Cornwallis. Her sister Georgiana Gordon became Duchess of Bedford through marriage to John Russell, Duke of Bedford. Her brothers were George Duncan Gordon, who became 5th Duke of Gordon, and Lord Alexander Gordon. Charles Fyshe Palmer’s marriage to Lady Madelina thus gained him access to aristocratic houses, including the Holland House. Lady Madelina’s name is variously spelled Madelina and Madalina, although Madelina appears to be the more common and standard spellling of the name, as an anglicization of the French Madeline. For more on the Palmers, see note 2 in The Browning’s Correspondence rendering of Mitford’s letter of 12 March 1842 to Elizabeth Barrett Browning .--#kab #ebb #ad #lmw
is in this neighborhood--well & agreeable I understand as ever--I have not seen her myself. I rarely ever go out except for exercise. My dear 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
& 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
are well & join in Kindest Compliments


--Ever my dearest & kindest friend most gratefully & affectionately your'syours 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
M. R. Mitford.

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 August twenty three
1823
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
J.B. MonckJohn Berkeley Monck
Member of Parliament for Reading area 1820-1830, who frequently franked Mary Russell Mitford’s letters. Mitford’s letter to Sir William Elford of 20 March 1820 about the election of Monck describes him in context with a politically active "Patriot" shoemaker, Mr. Warry, who brought him from France. Monck was the author of General Reflections on the System of the Poor Laws (1807), in which he argued for a gradual approach to abolishing the Poor Laws, and for the reform of workhouses. Francis Needham claims that it is he who is referred to in "Violeting", when the narrator thinks she sees "Mr. and Mrs. M. and dear B.". ("Dear B." would be their son, Bligh.) Dr. Webb’s research suggests that "celebrated shoemaker" is Mr. Warry, possibly Joseph Source: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 26 March 1954. Needham Papers, Reading Central Library.--#lmw #ebb #scw
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
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Pray forgive the sad stupidity of this letter--Every body says that since I have become a professed Authoress (woe is me!) I am a shabby Correspondent. Pray forgive it, & forgive me--& continue to think of me with your old & invaluable kindness & write to me when you have time pray do--It is much a comfort & pleasure to me. God bless you!