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Letter to T.N. TalfourdThomas Noon Talfourd | Born: 1795-05-26 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Died: 1854-03-13 in Stafford, Staffordshire, England.
Close friend, literary mentor, and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Thomas Noon Talfourd was born on May 26, 1795 at Reading, Berkshire and baptised on July 12, 1795 at the Broad Street Chapel in Reading, the eldest child of Rev. Edward Talfourd and Anne Isabella Noon. His father was a brewer and later established a lunatic asylum for female patients at Normand House, Fulham, which he ran until his death, and the supervision of which was later conducted by his wife and his daughter Anne. Thomas Noon Talfourd married Rachel Rutt on August 31, 1822 at St. John, Hackney, Middlesex. Rachel was the daughter of radical politician and writer John Towill Rutt. Thomas and Rachel had five children: Francis, Mary, Katharine, Thomas Noon [II], and William Wordsworth. In 1832, the family lived at 26 Henrietta Street, St Andrew, Holborn and St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury, England. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. Talfourd’s chambers were at 2 Elm Court, Temple, London. Talfourd was educated at the newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy in Reading, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. He completed a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817, and was called to the bar in London in 1821. He ultimately earned a D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Laws) from Oxford on June 20, 1844. While establishing his practice as a barrister and special pleader, he worked as legal correspondent for The Times, reporting on the Oxford Circuit, and also continued his literary interests. After 1833, he was appointed Serjeant at Law, as well as a King’s and Queen’s Counsel. He was elected and served as Member of Parliament for Reading from 1835 to 1841 and from 1847 to 1849 ; he served with Charles Fyshe Palmer, Charles Russell, and Francis Piggott. Highlights of his political and legal career included introducing the first copyright bill into Parliament in 1837 (for which action Charles Dickens dedicated Pickwick Papers to him) and defending Edward Moxon’s publication of Percy Shelley’s Queen Mab in 1841 . He was appointed Queen’s Serjeant in 1846 and Judge of Common Pleas in 1849 , at which post he served until his death in 1854. He was knighted in 1850 . Talfourd’s literary works include his plays Ion (1835), The Athenian Captive (1837) and Glencoe, or the Fate of the MacDonalds(1839). --#lmw #cmm
, 12 August 1825

Edited by Amy Colombo.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 2 June 2014. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. The Digital Mitford editors' photos from this archive are not permitted for public distribution. Photo files: DSCN1180.jpg, DSCN1181.jpg, DSCN0942.jpg, DSCN0943.jpg, .

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

Reproduced by courtesy of the The John Rylands University Library.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: The John Rylands University Library. Shelf mark: JRL English MS 665 no. 21 Coles no.93

Quarto sheet of paper (likely torn from folio sheet folded in half to form four quarto pages) with correspondence on 1 and address leaf on page 2, then folded in thirds twice more and sealed for posting.Address leaf bears postmarks: 1) black circular mileage stamp Reading READING AU12 1825
A large handwritten X (in another hand than Mitford's) is placed above the name J. B. Monck on the address leaf, indicating this letter was franked through Monck.

A thousand thanks my dear friendThomas 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
for all your kindness--I am better--the abscess has burst externally & all will soon be well--I hope you will approve of the enclosed--They do not--but it satisfies my own feelings and surely he will not & cannot make an ill use of it.[1] "They" perhaps refers to Mitford's parentsMr.and Mrs.Mitford. "He" refers to William 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
. Mitford enclosed a copy of her letter to Mr. Macready dated August 12th 1825 with this letter to Talfourd. The letter (in the Rylands CollectionThe John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester holds 180 of Mitford’s letters from 1821 to 1843, including most of her correspondence to Thomas Noon Talfourd.--#ghb
immediately following this one, JRL #22, and currently being edited for the Digital Mitford project) documents 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
's rift with 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 believed she had written a piece under the pseudonym "Philo-Dramaticus" recently published in Blackwood's MagazineBlackwood’s Magazine. 1817-04-1980.
Founded as a Tory magazine in opposition to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review.--#ebb
, complaining about the state of 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 stage, criticizing the excessive power of actor-managers like Macready, and their abuse of authors
Letter reprinted in the Observer on June 20, 1825 from Blackwoods. The letter is signed by Philo-Dramaticus, and urges Charles Kemble and Robert Elliston, managers of Covent Garden and Drury Lane, respectively, to resist the demands of the leading actors of the day, which Philo-Dramaticus sees as ruining the theater. The letter specifically identifies Edmund Kean, Charles Young, and William Macready. Such demands include insisting on a limited run of performances and rewrites from the authors of plays to suit the actors’ tastes. The letter refers to the changes that Macready required for Mitford’s play Rienzi.--#kdc
. In the enclosed copy of the letter to Macready, Mitford assures him that she had nothing to do with the piece: "In answer to your enquiries I can only say that I knew nothing of the article in question till I saw it with great regret a few days afgter the publication in Blackwood's Magazine." Mitford appears to have seen the Philo-Dramaticus letter on the decline of the English stage
Letter reprinted in the Observer on June 20, 1825 from Blackwoods. The letter is signed by Philo-Dramaticus, and urges Charles Kemble and Robert Elliston, managers of Covent Garden and Drury Lane, respectively, to resist the demands of the leading actors of the day, which Philo-Dramaticus sees as ruining the theater. The letter specifically identifies Edmund Kean, Charles Young, and William Macready. Such demands include insisting on a limited run of performances and rewrites from the authors of plays to suit the actors’ tastes. The letter refers to the changes that Macready required for Mitford’s play Rienzi.--#kdc
as it was reprinted in The ObserverThe Observer.
Founded on December 4, 1791 by W.S> Bourne. It is the first Sunday newspaper in the world. Although its earliest years supported a conservative view, it has been generally centrist/liberal for most of its existence. --#kdc
of 20 June 1825, based on her letter to Talfourd of 29 June.—#ebb
--Pray tell me if you approve it for I am very anxious till I hear--You see that I have committed no one.--I shall tell William HarnessWilliam Harness | Born: 1790-03-14 in near Wickham, Hampshire. Died: 1869-11-11 in the deanery at Battle.
A lifelong friend of Mary Russell Mitford who knew her from their childhood in the 1790s, Harness launched the first major effort to collect and edit Mitford’s letters into a series of volumes, which was completed by his assistant, Alfred Guy Kingan L’Estrange a year after Harness’s death, and published as The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, Related in a Selection from her Letters to her Friends. This collection was originally intended to be six volumes, but was cut back to three by the publishers, to Harness’s distress. Harness and Byron were also friends from their schooling at Harrow, as Byron sympathized with Harness’s experience of a disabled foot, crushed in an accident in early childhood. Byron considered dedicating the first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage to Harness, but refrained so as not to taint Harness’s reputation as he was taking orders as an Anglican curate. Harness admired and encouraged Mitford’s playwrighting in particular, and she commented that he was one of the few of her friends who thought she should prioritize the drama over prose. When William Macready was attacked in an anonymous Blackwood’s Magazine piece in 1825 for his demands and rudeness to Mitford over revisions to Rienzi, Macready assumed that Harness was the author of the anonymous piece, though in 1839 after many years of distance, Harness assured Macready in person that he was not the writer, though he may have shared word of the poor treatment his friend had endured. William Harness was born on March 14, 1790 in Wickham, Berkshire to John Harness, M.D. and Sarah Dredge; he was baptized at Whitchurch, Hampshire on April 13, 1790. He received his B.A. in 1812 and his M.A. in 1816 from Christ’s College, Cambridge. He served as curate at Kelmeston, Hampshire (1812) and Dorking (1814-1816). He was preacher at Trinity Chapel, Conduit Stree, London and minister and lecturer at St. Anne’s in Soho. He was Boyle lecturer in London (1822) and was curate at Hampstead from 1828 to 1844. In 1825, he published an eight-volume edition of Shakespeare, including a biography; his friends would later endow a prize in his name at Cambridge for the study of Shakespearean literature. He also authored numerous essays and reviews, some for the Quarterly Review. From 1844 to 1847 he was minister of Brompton Chapel in London. He undertook to raise the funds to build the church of All Saints, Knightsbridge, in the parish of St. Margaret’s Westminster, which opened in 1849, and became perpetual curate of that congregation. At the 1851 and 1861 censuses, he lived at 3 Hyde Park Terrace, Westminster St. Margaret, Middlesex, with his sister Mary Harness and his first cousin Jemima Harness, daughter of his uncle William. He died on November 11, 1869 while on a visit to one of his former curates in Battle, Sussex. At the time of his death he living at the same address at 3 Hyde Park Terrace; he is buried in Bath. [Sources: Duncan-Jones, Miss Mitford and Mr. Harness (1955). Lord Byron and His Times: ] --#ebb #lmw
To send "Charles"Charles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. to you next week on his return--I write in great haste to save the cross post & am still weak--Tell dear Mrs TalfourdRachel Rutt Talfourd, or: Mrs. Thomas Talfourd | Born: 1793 in London, England. Died: 1875-02-12 in Margate, Kent, England.
The eldest daughter of John Towill Rutt, she married Thomas Noon Talfourd in 1822 . Coles observes that Talfourd secured a position through Henry Crabb Robinson to write legal reports for The Times to afford this marriage. Coles cites Vera Watson’s two-part Times’ Literary Supplement piece of April 20 and April 27, 1956, Thomas Noon Talfourd and His Friends for more information (Coles p. 193, note 2). 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. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. On May 1, 1843, Rachael and the five children were all baptized into the Church of England. After the death of her husband, she lived at Margate, Kent, where she died on February 12, 1875. --#ajc #ebb #lmw
& Mr. RuttJohn Towill Rutt | Born: 1760-04-04 in London, England. Died: 1841-03-03 in Bexley, Kent, England.
Political radical and writer. Dissenter and later Unitarian. He edited the The Theological and Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Priestley between 1817 and 1831 , as well as other biographical, political, and Unitarian religious works. Rachel, his eldest daughter, married Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd. --#ajc #lmw
how much I regret having been the occasion of a fresh worry & fright to them & to you--I hope the little girl is well--.


Ever your'syoursM.R. Mitford

I shall desire the play to be sent to the TempleTemple, London, England | Temple | London | England | 51.5123032 -0.1110459000000219 | District in central London, traditional location for barristers’ chambers and other offices for legal practice, with its four Inns of Court. The Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court, was responsible for training and licensing barristers. Talfourd had chambers in this neighborhood, although not in the Inner Temple, and Mitford addressed letters to him there.--#ebb #err51.5123032 -0.1110459000000219page 2
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 twelve 1825
T.N. TalfourdThomas Noon Talfourd | Born: 1795-05-26 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Died: 1854-03-13 in Stafford, Staffordshire, England.
Close friend, literary mentor, and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Thomas Noon Talfourd was born on May 26, 1795 at Reading, Berkshire and baptised on July 12, 1795 at the Broad Street Chapel in Reading, the eldest child of Rev. Edward Talfourd and Anne Isabella Noon. His father was a brewer and later established a lunatic asylum for female patients at Normand House, Fulham, which he ran until his death, and the supervision of which was later conducted by his wife and his daughter Anne. Thomas Noon Talfourd married Rachel Rutt on August 31, 1822 at St. John, Hackney, Middlesex. Rachel was the daughter of radical politician and writer John Towill Rutt. Thomas and Rachel had five children: Francis, Mary, Katharine, Thomas Noon [II], and William Wordsworth. In 1832, the family lived at 26 Henrietta Street, St Andrew, Holborn and St George the Martyr, Bloomsbury, England. In 1837, they lived at 56 Russell Square, St. George, Bloomsbury. Talfourd’s chambers were at 2 Elm Court, Temple, London. Talfourd was educated at the newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy in Reading, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. He completed a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817, and was called to the bar in London in 1821. He ultimately earned a D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Laws) from Oxford on June 20, 1844. While establishing his practice as a barrister and special pleader, he worked as legal correspondent for The Times, reporting on the Oxford Circuit, and also continued his literary interests. After 1833, he was appointed Serjeant at Law, as well as a King’s and Queen’s Counsel. He was elected and served as Member of Parliament for Reading from 1835 to 1841 and from 1847 to 1849 ; he served with Charles Fyshe Palmer, Charles Russell, and Francis Piggott. Highlights of his political and legal career included introducing the first copyright bill into Parliament in 1837 (for which action Charles Dickens dedicated Pickwick Papers to him) and defending Edward Moxon’s publication of Percy Shelley’s Queen Mab in 1841 . He was appointed Queen’s Serjeant in 1846 and Judge of Common Pleas in 1849 , at which post he served until his death in 1854. He was knighted in 1850 . Talfourd’s literary works include his plays Ion (1835), The Athenian Captive (1837) and Glencoe, or the Fate of the MacDonalds(1839). --#lmw #cmm
Esqure
Oxford Circuit
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