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Letter to B.R. 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
, 1823 August 24

Edited by Elizabeth Raisanen.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 18 November 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 24August1823BRHaydon4b#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon4a#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon3b#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon3a#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon2b#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon2a#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon1a#.JPG, 24August1823BRHaydon1b#.JPG, .

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2014.

Reproduced by courtesy of the The Reading Central Library.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: The Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4, Horizon No.: 1361550 ff. 476

One quarto sheet of paper folded in half to form two octavo pages, which comprise pages 1-4 of the letter. Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1) brown elliptical, single rim Receiving House stamp, reading: 7 Night 7
AU*28
1823 2) Sepia-colored T stamp, reading: T.P
New
3)Large black 3 denoting price of posting. Red wax seal.

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. Added hand for penAnnot. Fixed whitespace and format errors. Checked for completion, fixed spelling errors. Support section needs to be reviewed. Added collection information, corrected stamp and handNote info. Added indo information, photo file idnos. Updated header to include the correct letter xml:id. Checked against ms. and pulled SI entries.
page 1
To B.R. Haydon EsqrBenjamin 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
14 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 24th1823.

Yes, my dear Sir, I plead guilty--since I have been a professed Authoress (woe is me! a washerwoman in good practice hath the better trade) since that misfortune has befallen me I have become a very shabby Correspondent & run the risk of appearing ungrateful to those whose favours I value most--but I will amend & pay you in quantity for the time to come--to pay you in quality I do not promise--who can?--I am not however quite to bad as I must have appeared, for I did write a note of most sincere & heartfelt congratulation to you & Mrs. HaydonMary 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
on your release--Did you receive it? Owing to my having unluckily mislaid your penultimate letter--(Oh pedantry of pedantries! word bluer than indigo! I hope it is wrong) that beautiful letter which I would not lose for an Ingot--added to my faculty of forgetting every thing in the shape of a figure (the multiplication table & ^the English Chronology were the torments of my Schooldays--I never got beyond the Twices in one & the Williams [1] Up until Mitford's time, there had been a total of three King Williams in England: William the Conqueror (c. 1028-1087), William II, aka William Rufus (c. 1056-1100), and William III, aka William of Orange (1650-1702). Mitford jokes that she could remember no dates in English history past 1650.—#rct in the other)--from these two causes I misdirected my note putting as I believe 18 for 6 (I only wonder I came so near) & you being a new Inhabitant would most likely not receive it--Did you?--There was nothing in the blotted paper except our most sincere felicitations--& that assurance of success which burns within me whenever I think of you--especially since your page 2
last equally noble & prudent resolutions--which are really & truly in the NapoleonNapoleon Bonaparte
In 1814 when Napoleon was still powerful but on the retreat in Europe, Mary Russell Mitford published a poem titled Napoleon’s Dream in The Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry VIII: 215-220 . In the poem, she characterized the military leader and emperor as be-nightmared. Betty Bennett featured an edition of Napoleon’s Dream in her digital collection British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism, 1793-1815 in 2004 . --#ebb
spirit--his best spirit. I am so glad that we think alike of that great man--What you say of your old servant is  hardly very distressing--such ingratitude destroys the blessed faith in human nature which is necessary to our happiness & almost to our virtue.--With respect to  Mr. Bewick I cannot but hope & believe that you will find some extenuating circumstances--something to soften & palliate--some mistake or mis-statement--I cannot will not imagine other of one who seemed so interesting & amiable--so connected with the finest parts of your finest pictures--so much a part of you! Oh you will find it as I say I am sure--A man's countenance cannot tell just sad fibs as his would do otherwise.--I am heartily glad to hear of Mr. ChatfieldEdward Chatfield | Born: 1802. Died: 1839-01-22 in 66 Judd Street, Brunswick Square, London, England.
Chatfield was a pupil of Haydonat the same time as William Bewick When Haydon was arrested for debt in June 1823, Chatfield was among those who had put their names to bills for him; reportedly, he was able to pay the debt and did not blame Haydon, who had not accepted any payment for his teaching. Source: DNB. --#xjw #lmw
's constancy--but what fools they must be that act  excessive unkindly--their heads must be as much at fault as their hearts not to see that ^to have been your pupils is & will be their best title let them paint as well as they may. I am as sure of your carrying your point, as I am of finishing this letter both events being, humanly speaking, certain--We may each of us die first to be sure--but the chances are undoubtedly  a million to onein favour of our accomplishing our objects. Let me know what subject you think of taking for your next picture--Is there nothing in which Mrs. HaydonMary 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
& the Little one could be introduced? Two such models!

page 3

Pray are you a Cricketer?--We are very great Ones--I mean our Parish--of which we ^the feminine members act audience, & "though we do not play o'erlook the" balls. When I wrote to you last I was just going to see a grand match in a fine old Park near us--Bramshill--between HampshireHampshire, England | Hampshire England | 51.05769480000001 -1.3080628999999817 | County on the southern coast of England, known historically as the County of Southampton. The county town is Winchester. Abbreviated "Hants." --#lmw51.05769480000001 -1.3080628999999817, with Mr. Budd, & All EnglandEngland | 52.3555177 -1.1743197000000691 | Country in the British Isles. Borders Scotland and Wales. London is the capital city, and is situated on the River Thames.--#bas52.3555177 -1.1743197000000691--anticipating great pleasure from so grand an exhibition & thinking like a simpleton the better the Play the more the enjoyment. Oh what a mistake! there they were a set of ugly men white headed & bald headed (for half of Lord'sMarylebone Cricket Club
Founded in Londonin 1787, the Marylebone Cricket Club ("MCC") is still in existence today. It owns and has been based at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, London since 1814. It was formerly the governing body for cricket worldwide, as well as in England and Wales, and retains the copyright for the Laws of Cricket, first published in 1788. --#rct #lmw
was engaged in the combat, players & gentlemen Mr. Ward & Lord Frederick, the Veterans of the green)--dressed in tight white jackets (the Apollo BelvedereApollo_Belvedere
A marble sculpture from classical antiquity, believed to have been created around 120-150 A.D. as a copy of an earlier bronze original by Leochares. The statue was rediscovered near Rome in the fifteenth century, and restored. The statue was much admired in the 18th- and 19th-century, when it was seen to exemplify the aesthetic ideals of the neoclassical tradition. It depicts the Greek god Apollo as an archer. It has variously been suggested as illustrating Apollo having slain the serpent Python, or as slaying the giant Tityos.--#rct #lmw
could not bear the hideous disguise of a cricketing jacket) with neckcloths [Gap: 2 chars, reason: torn.][pr]imly tied round their throats fine japa[Gap: 4 chars, reason: torn.][nned]shoes silk [Gap: 2 chars, reason: torn.][st]ockings & gloves--instead of our fine village lads with their unbuttoned collars their loose waistcoats & the large shirtsleeves which give an air of picturesque & Italian  to their glowing bounding youthfulness--there they stood railed in by themselves, silent, solemn, slow, playing for money, making a business of the thing--grave as judges--taciturn as chess players--^a sort of dancers without music--instead of the glee, the fun, the shouts, the laughter the glorious confusion of the country game--And there were we the lookers on in tents and Marquees, fine & freezing, dull as the players, cold as this  hard summer weather, shivering & yawning & trying to seem pleased. page 4
The curse of gentility on all our doings, as stupid as we could have been in a ball room. I never was so much disappointed in my life. But every thing is spoilt when Money puts its ugly nose in. To think of playing Cricket for hard cash!--Money & gentility would  spoil ruin any pastime under the sun. Much to my comfort (for the degrading my favourite sport in a "science" as they were pleased to call it had made me quite spiteful) the game ended unsatisfactorily to all parties--winners & losers. Old Lord Frederick on some real or imaginary affront took himself off in the middle of the second Innings--so that the two last [Gap: 1 word, reason: smudged.][were] played without him, by which means his  side lost & the other could hardly be said to win. So be it always when men make an affair of bettings & hedging & cheating may be of the noble game of cricket.


--And now God bless you--Kindest regards & best wishes from all--Ever your's MR MitfordMary Russell Mitford | Born: 1787-12-16 in New Alresford, Hampshire, England. Died: 1855-01-10 in Swallowfield, Berkshire, England.
Poet, playwright, writer of prose fiction sketches, Mary Russell Mitford is, of course, the subject of our archive. Mary Russell Mitford was born on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire, the only child of George Mitford (or Midford) and Mary Russell. She was baptized on February 29, 1788. Much of her writing was devoted to supporting herself and her parents. She received a civil list pension in 1837. Census records from 1841 indicate that she is living with her father George, three female servants: Kerenhappuch Taylor (Mary’s ladies maid), two maids of all work, Mary Bramley and Mary Allaway, and a manservant (probably serving also as gardener), Benjamin Embury. The 1851 census lists her occupation as "authoress," and lists her as living at Three Mile Cross with Kerenhappuch Taylor (lady’s maid), Sarah Chernk (maid-of-all-work), and Samuel Swetman (gardener), after the death of her father. Mitford’s long life and prolific career ended after injuries from a carriage accident. She died on 10 January 1855 at Swallowfield, Berkshire and she is buried in Swallowfield churchyard. The executor of her will and her literary executor was the Rev. William Harness and her lady’s maid, Kerenhappuch Taylor Sweetman, was residuary legatee of her estate. --#lmw #ebb


To
B.R. Haydon EsqreBenjamin 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

8 Paddington Green
near the Church
Paddington