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Letter to Mary WebbMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
, June 9, 1819

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: September 10, 2017. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF8945.jpg, DSCF8946.jpg, DSCF8947.jpg, DSCF8948.jpg, DSCF8950.jpg, DSCF8952.jpg, DSCF8953.jpg, DSCF8954.jpg, DSCF8955.jpg, DSCF8956.jpg, DSCF8957.jpg, DSCF8958.jpg, DSCF8959.jpg, DSCF8960.jpg, DSCF8961.jpg, DSCF8962.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.: 1361552

One and a half sheets of paper, six surfaces photographed. Sheet measures 16.5 x 23 cm. Folded in half, then in thirds No postmarks Half sheet (pages five and six) torn on right edge where wax seal was removed. Red wax seal, complete, adhered to page six.

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.
page 1
 about9th June, 1819 Wednesday Evening.

Your kind & charming letter, my own kind & charming friend, gave me two pleasures^ that of hearing from you & that of not hearing from Miss NoothCharlotte Nooth | Born: 1780. Died: .
A friend of Dr. Richard Valpy, who resided at Kew, Surrey, but was often in Paris. She wrote a poem to Dr. Valpy, published volumes of poetry in 1815 & 1816, including a verse tragedy. --#scw #lmw
). "Humph" quoth I when LucyLucy Sweatser Hill | Born: 1790-05-02 in Stratfield Saye, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Beloved servant for twelve years in the Mitford household who, on 7 August 1820 married Charles Hill. She is the basis for the title character in the Our Village story. Source: Needham Papers, Reading Central Library. --#scw
gave it me "Here had I just got quit of my blue-stocking, just sent her a huge packet to ParisParis, France | Paris | Paris | France | 48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177 | Capital of France and important center of trade, banking, publishing, fashion, and artistic and scientific activity. Center of Enlightenment activity in the eighteenth century. A key site in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars; travel between London and Paris was much restricted during this period.--#lmw48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177—all the wit & learning I have to spare; & now have another letter to answer! I wish her pen & ink were Corked up. And down I plumped the letter. Meanwhile I read one from somebody else (you always contrive to come in a good company MaryMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
) & then condescended to take it up again. Imagine my surprise & my pleasure to find dear Mary WebbMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
) in the place of Charlotte NoothCharlotte Nooth | Born: 1780. Died: .
A friend of Dr. Richard Valpy, who resided at Kew, Surrey, but was often in Paris. She wrote a poem to Dr. Valpy, published volumes of poetry in 1815 & 1816, including a verse tragedy. --#scw #lmw
so you see you were right as to the similarity of the handwriting for I had quite forgotten what you said on the subject & Miss N.Charlotte Nooth | Born: 1780. Died: .
A friend of Dr. Richard Valpy, who resided at Kew, Surrey, but was often in Paris. She wrote a poem to Dr. Valpy, published volumes of poetry in 1815 & 1816, including a verse tragedy. --#scw #lmw
was not at all in my head—You write like her in every way—only that you have a much greater knack of making people believe you love them—I suppose my dear because it happens to be true—& that it is which gives your letters that preference over hers which one gives to a living flower over a dead one—the principle of life.—You must not say that I would not come to page 2
Watlington—I was quite ready—packed—dressed—nothing wanting but the promised horse—ours never could have dragged me—PapaGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: 1760-11-15 in Hexham, Northumberland, England. Died: 1842-12-11 in Three Mile Cross, Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
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
says he walked half the way—& think of my weight. I was very much disappointed—for I wanted to see you all—particularly you & dear ElizaEliza Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1797-03-03 in . Died: .
Elizabeth Webb, called "Eliza," was a neighbor and friend of Mary Russell Mitford. Eliza Webb was born about 1797, the youngest daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. She was baptized privately on March 3, 1797, and publicly on June 8, 1797 in Wokingham, Berkshire. She is the sister of Mary Elizabeth and Jane Eleanor Webb. In 1837 she married Henry Walters, Esq., in Wokingham, Berkshire. In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham. Her date of death is unknown. She died after 1822, at which date she is mentioned in papers relating to her father’s will and estate. Source: See Needham’s letter to Roberts on November 27, 1953 . More research needed.--#scw #lmw
—no you must not say—you must not think I would not come—for really & truly I meant it (this it is to have a bad reputation—if I had not broken some 22 engagements this Spring to TwickenhamTwickenham, Richmond upon Thames, London, England | Twickenham | Richmond upon Thames | London | England | 51.44458100000001 -0.3352459999999837 | Twickenham, a town on the Thames, now part of Greater London. In the eighteenth century, the home of Alexander Pope and Horace Walpole, who built a neo-Gothic mansion at Strawberry Hill. --#lmw51.44458100000001 -0.3352459999999837 RichmondRichmond, London, England | Richmond upon Thames | Richmond | London | England | 51.46131099999999 -0.3037420000000566 | Richmond upon Thames, now a borough of London, formerly part of Surrey. The Hoflands lived there and Thomas Hofland painted views of the area.--#lmw51.46131099999999 -0.3037420000000566, 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 & ParisParis, France | Paris | Paris | France | 48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177 | Capital of France and important center of trade, banking, publishing, fashion, and artistic and scientific activity. Center of Enlightenment activity in the eighteenth century. A key site in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars; travel between London and Paris was much restricted during this period.--#lmw48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177 I need not take so much pains to be dis-believed—take warning by my fate & keep all promises MaryMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
mine—but breaking engagements is a family fault—MamaMary Russell Mitford, or: Mrs. Mitford | Born: 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire, England. Died: 1830-01-02 in Three Mile Cross, parish of Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
Mary Russell was the youngest child of the Rev. Dr. Richard Russell and his second wife, Mary Dicker; she was born about 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire. (Her birth date is as yet unverified; period sources indicate that she was ten years older than her husband George, born in 1760.) Through the Russells, she was a distant relation of the Dukes of Bedford (sixth creation, 1694). She had two siblings, Charles William and Frances; both predeceased her and their parents, which resulted in Mary Russell inheriting her family’s entire estate upon her mother’s death in 1785. Her father’s rectory in Ashe was only a short distance from Steventon, and so she was acquainted with the young Jane Austen. She married George Mitford or Midford on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford. Their only daughter, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. Mary Russell died on January 2, 1830 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. Her obituary in the 1830 New Monthly Magazine gives the "New Year’s day" as the date of her death. --#ajc #lmw
never makes one without meaning to break it—& my honoured FatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: 1760-11-15 in Hexham, Northumberland, England. Died: 1842-12-11 in Three Mile Cross, Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
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
has within one week promised to spend August at ParisParis, France | Paris | Paris | France | 48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177 | Capital of France and important center of trade, banking, publishing, fashion, and artistic and scientific activity. Center of Enlightenment activity in the eighteenth century. A key site in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars; travel between London and Paris was much restricted during this period.--#lmw48.85661400000001 2.3522219000000177 & August 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—How he'll settle it I don't know. Perhaps he may quiet his conscience by breaking both promises & and bringing all his friends alike to come back to Watlington—I desire you will give my kindest love to the lovely Aunt MaryMary Webb
Friend ofMary Russell Mitford. Sister or sister-in-law of James Webb and aunt of Eliza, Jane and Mary Webb. Francis Needhamsuggests that she was the basis for the character of Aunt Martha in the Our Villagestory of that title. [Sources: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 16 June 1953 . Needham Papers, Reading Central Library . Relationship to other Webbs and birth and death dates unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
& condole with her from the on the bed-breaking calamity—Pray did you fair ladies "sleep in strata"[2] Refers to a footnote in Tom Crib: "The Germans sleep between two beds; and it is related that an Irish traveller, upon finding a feather bed thus laid over him, took it into his head that the people slept in strata, one upon the other, and said to the attendant, 'will you be good enough to tell the gentleman or lady, that is to lie over me, to make haste, as I want to go asleep?'."—#lmw—this mis-fortune looks rather suspicious—she will understand this question—& so will you if you have read Tom CribTom Crib’s Memorial to Congress. Thomas Moore . London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. 1819. —I am very glad you have read Les Memoires de page 3
Grammont
—It's a book one should not quite to like to recommend to a jeune & gentille demoiselle—but being read there is no harm in saying how very much one admires it. Live for ever la blonde Blague & the Princess of Babylon—& above all live Count Anthony Hamilton their immortal Historian the unrivalled painter of manners & of men. DrydenJohn Dryden | Born: 1631-08-09 in Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England. Died: 1700-05-01 in London, England.
Named Poet Laureate in 1668 , Dryden authored Annus mirabilis: the Year of Wonders, MDCLXVI in 1667 , reflecting on climactic events of the previous year, the Great Fire of London and the second Anglo-Dutch War. Dryden supported a revival of drama in Restoration England, and in 1668 he wrote Of Dramatick Poesie , which contained critiques of William Shakespeare’s and Ben Jonson’s plays and reflection on English and French theater and playwrights from the Renaissance to the Restoration in England. Several of his plays were staged in London in the 1670s, including his treatment of the Antony and Cleopatra narrative, in All for Love, or, The World Well Lost, performed in December 1677 and published in 1678 . His satirical poem Absalom and Achitophel, published in 1681, presents Restoration politicians and government figures in Old Testament roles, casting King Charles II in flattering terms as a merciful and benevolent David. --#ebb
's character of BuckinghamGeorge Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, 20th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, or: 2nd Duke of Buckingham , 20th Baron de Ros of Helmsley | Born: 1628-01-30. Died: 1687-04-16.
--
is perhaps the finest passage in his works & PopeAlexander Pope | Born: 1688-05-21 in London. Died: 1744-05-30 in Twickenham.
English author (1688-1744) --#lmw
's rival lives though not quite equal are the best of his good—but do either of them give you half so vivid an idea of the "blest madman"[3] Quotation from Absalom and Achitophel describing the character of Zimri, identified with Buckingham—#lmw as Count Hamilton's description of him dandling Lady Muskerry's dropped cushions & going to look for a wet nurse among the maids of Honour? I hope you read this delightful book in French—it is so untranslateable—the class of Memoires is the only one in which the French literature is richer than ours—there are perhaps a hundred publications of that sort (Most of them less witty & less licentious than the Memoires de Grammont) in the language. The very best are the Memoires de Sully—the pleasantest perhaps those ofM. Le Duke de St. Simon—a wit who hated every body. These MemoiresFontaine's FablesMadame de SevignéMarie de Sévigné de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné, or: Marquise de Sévigné , Madame Sévigné | Born: 1626-02-05 in Paris, France. Died: 1696-04-17 in Grignan, France.
--
's letters—All MolièreJean-Baptiste Poquelin | Born: 1662-01-15 in Paris, France. Died: 1673-02-17 in Paris, France.
Author of Tartuffe. --
& all Regnard are the only things which console one for the page 4
trouble of learning French. (What a nice pen I have made!!) No! I never saw Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill House, Twickenham, England | Twickenham | England | 51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 | Horace Walpole’s house at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham. | --#lmw51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 though I have seen the famous Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill House, Twickenham, England | Twickenham | England | 51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 | Horace Walpole’s house at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham. | --#lmw51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 books—all I believe—especially the edition of Les Memoires de Grammont for which the pictures were collected. I never saw Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill House, Twickenham, England | Twickenham | England | 51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 | Horace Walpole’s house at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham. | --#lmw51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584—but I know exactly what it is—a gingerbread castle—Modern Gothic—all gilding & painted glass—smelling of courts all over—a very abomination of trumpery—I know all this—& yet I had rather see Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill House, Twickenham, England | Twickenham | England | 51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 | Horace Walpole’s house at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham. | --#lmw51.4382596 -0.3345635000000584 than any place I know of. I should like to see Count Anthony's heroes & heroines—I should like to see the Kings & beauties of the white rose—my dear Edward the Fourth & Richard the ThirdRichard III King of England Richard of Gloucester | Born: 1452-10-02 in Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire. Died: 1485-08-22 in Bosworth Field, Leicestershire.
After the death of his brother King Edward IV, Richard of Gloucester was appointed protector to his young sons, King Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, the Duke of York, and in preparation for Edward V’s coronation, he lodged them at the Tower of London, and upon the mysterious disappearance of the boys, Richard took the throne. Richard is often accused, without proof, of having ordered the boys execution to usurp the throne, a plot immortalized in Shakespeare’s play, Richard III . His death at the Battle of Bosworth Field made him the last English king to die in battle, and effectively ended the dynastic Wars of the Roses between the Houses of York and Lancaster.--#ebb
—I should like to see Madame de SevignéMarie de Sévigné de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné, or: Marquise de Sévigné , Madame Sévigné | Born: 1626-02-05 in Paris, France. Died: 1696-04-17 in Grignan, France.
--
& Madame de Grignan I should like even to see the old China—but chiefly I should like to see the abode of Horace WalpoleHorace 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
—the man of the last Century who pleases the best. Did you never read any of his letters? His unrivalled letters? I shall always consider it as one of the misfortunes of my life to have been born too late to be his Correspondent—Unless you have seen some of his letters there is no giving you any idea of them, the perfection of lightness, elegance, sarcasm & humour as picturesque as old Tapestry—as vivid as page 5
stained glass—as graceful as a Grecian scroll. There is no giving you any notion of Horace WalpoleHorace 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
—except perhaps by negatives. He is never wise—never good—very seldom right—& never dull. He is just become the fashion—to my great annoyance—I have loved him—all my days & am quite provoked that EdinburghEdinburgh Review, second series.
Quarterly political and literary review founded by Francis Jeffrey, Sydney Smith, Henry Brougham, and Francis Horner in 1802 and published by Archibald Constable in Edinburgh. It supported Whig and reformist politics and opposed its Tory and conservative rival, The Quarterly Review. Ceased publication in 1929.--#lmw
& QuarterlyQuarterly Review. 1809-1967.
Tory periodical founded by George Canning in 1809, published by John Murray. William Gifford edited the Quarterly Review from its founding in 1809 until 1824, was succeeded briefly by John Taylor Coleridge in 1825, until John Gibson Lockhart took over as editor from 1826 through 1853. Archived at Romantic Circles, Quarterly Review Archive --#lmw
Reviews should step in & make him common.—The only consolation that I have in being born some fifty or sixty years too late to rival his old blind Correspondent Madame du Deffand—is that I have much such another myself—not quite so good—but almost—incredibly good for a living man—very like him at all points—pleasant, humourous, graceful & as courtly as HoraceHorace 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
himself—only rather to apt to be right. This Correspondent you know is 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
—He has been here while you were away & gave me a long account of the Exhibition—the picture of the year Madam, is he says the Post Office,the judges prefer it to Wilkie's[4] Refers to Penny Wedding—#lmw—& being by a new man, the wonder & pleasure go hand in hand.—Then I have a long account of pictures from Mrs. HoflandBarbara Wreaks Hofland | Born: 1770 in Yorkshire. Died: 1844-11-04 in Richmond-on-Thames.
Novelist and writer of children’s books popular in England and America, Barbara Hofland was a native of Sheffield, Yorkshire, where she published poems from July 1794 in the local newspaper, The Sheffield Iris. Her first marriage to Thomas Bradshawe Hoole left her widowed and in poverty, raising a son, Frederic, on her own, and she supported herself by publishing poems and children’s books, and by running a girl’s school in Harrogate. second marriage was to the artist Thomas Christopher Hofland. (Source: ODNB)--#ebb
who says the hanging Committee ought to be hanged—a short one from 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
. (today) who except this Post Office, Wilkie's Picture—& Cooper's Battle of Marston & Alstons' Jacob['s]Dream—says of all the  Exhibitors AcademyRoyal Academy of Arts
The private arts institution The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by George III on 10 December 1768, at the behest of architect Sir William Chambers. Chambers and other artists and architects sought to establish a British national "society for promoting the Arts of Design," a society that would sponsor an annual exhibition (later the Summer Exhibition) as well as a School of Design (later the Royal Academy Schools.) Thirty-four founding members were elected; today, the society elects no more than 80 members at one time as Royal Academicians (Members of the Royal Academy, RA). During Mitford’s time, the Royal Academy was housed at Somerset House, a building designed and built by Chambers beginning in 1776 and likely not completed until after 1819. The institution moved to Trafalgar Square in the 1830s, to share space with the newly-founded National Gallery, and remained there until 1867. Mitford’s friend and correspondent Benjamin Robert Haydon, was a Member of the Royal Academy. --#lmw
"Heaven help them! Instead of having over their door in Greek Let no one unskilled in Art enter here, They should put "lasciete ogni Speranza voi ch' entrate"[5] Dante's Inferno, Canto 3—>—#lmw—which lovely line you must know 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
has taken from from the Inscription over the Gate of Hell in Dante's InfernoInferno. Dante . Foligno, Italy: 1472.
The Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem %h3 Divine Comedy. Scholars believe the Divine Comedy was completed in 1420; it was first printed in .--#lmw
, & means literally all ye who enter leave all hope behind. So you find he is growing saucy again—& well enough to paint thank Heaven.—When you come & see me I write tell you all the little things which prevented my sending you to see his picture—the greatest was my intention to come to TownLondon, 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 & take you myself—I do hope however before the summer is over to show you to him here which will be better every way.—I want most dismally to see you my own dear MaryMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
—when can you come? PapaGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: 1760-11-15 in Hexham, Northumberland, England. Died: 1842-12-11 in Three Mile Cross, Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
George Mitford was born on November 15, 1760 in Hexham, Northumberland, the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. He was related to the Mitfords of Mitford Castle, Northumberland. In 1784, he was living in Alresford and is listed in a Hampshire directory as "surgeon (medicine)." Although later sources would claim that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree; his father and grandfather worked as surgeon-apothecaries and it seems likely that he served a medical apprenticeship with family members. He married Mary Russell on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford; they later came to live at Broad Street in New Alresford. Their only child to live to adulthood, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. George Mitford died on December 11, 1842 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. --#lmw
& MamaMary Russell Mitford, or: Mrs. Mitford | Born: 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire, England. Died: 1830-01-02 in Three Mile Cross, parish of Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
Mary Russell was the youngest child of the Rev. Dr. Richard Russell and his second wife, Mary Dicker; she was born about 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire. (Her birth date is as yet unverified; period sources indicate that she was ten years older than her husband George, born in 1760.) Through the Russells, she was a distant relation of the Dukes of Bedford (sixth creation, 1694). She had two siblings, Charles William and Frances; both predeceased her and their parents, which resulted in Mary Russell inheriting her family’s entire estate upon her mother’s death in 1785. Her father’s rectory in Ashe was only a short distance from Steventon, and so she was acquainted with the young Jane Austen. She married George Mitford or Midford on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford. Their only daughter, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. Mary Russell died on January 2, 1830 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. Her obituary in the 1830 New Monthly Magazine gives the "New Year’s day" as the date of her death. --#ajc #lmw
are going into 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 on Sunday or Monday for the week—Now the now in your unbounded hospitality. page 6
that full or empty you will will be asking me to come to you. But I can't our people are all crazed with love—MamaMary Russell Mitford, or: Mrs. Mitford | Born: 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire, England. Died: 1830-01-02 in Three Mile Cross, parish of Shinfield, Berkshire, England.
Mary Russell was the youngest child of the Rev. Dr. Richard Russell and his second wife, Mary Dicker; she was born about 1750 in Ashe, Hampshire. (Her birth date is as yet unverified; period sources indicate that she was ten years older than her husband George, born in 1760.) Through the Russells, she was a distant relation of the Dukes of Bedford (sixth creation, 1694). She had two siblings, Charles William and Frances; both predeceased her and their parents, which resulted in Mary Russell inheriting her family’s entire estate upon her mother’s death in 1785. Her father’s rectory in Ashe was only a short distance from Steventon, and so she was acquainted with the young Jane Austen. She married George Mitford or Midford on October 17, 1785 at New Alresford, Hampshire. On the marriage allegation papers, both gave their addresses as Old Alresford. Their only daughter, Mary Russell Mitford, was born two years later on December 16, 1787 at New Alresford, Hampshire. Mary Russell died on January 2, 1830 at Three Mile Cross in the parish of Shinfield, Berkshire. Her obituary in the 1830 New Monthly Magazine gives the "New Year’s day" as the date of her death. --#ajc #lmw
would not go till I had promised her not to leave the house—so you must come & see me that is certain. Cannot you come on Tuesday you & our dear ElizaEliza Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1797-03-03 in . Died: .
Elizabeth Webb, called "Eliza," was a neighbor and friend of Mary Russell Mitford. Eliza Webb was born about 1797, the youngest daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. She was baptized privately on March 3, 1797, and publicly on June 8, 1797 in Wokingham, Berkshire. She is the sister of Mary Elizabeth and Jane Eleanor Webb. In 1837 she married Henry Walters, Esq., in Wokingham, Berkshire. In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham. Her date of death is unknown. She died after 1822, at which date she is mentioned in papers relating to her father’s will and estate. Source: See Needham’s letter to Roberts on November 27, 1953 . More research needed.--#scw #lmw
—or dear Aunt MaryMary Webb
Friend ofMary Russell Mitford. Sister or sister-in-law of James Webb and aunt of Eliza, Jane and Mary Webb. Francis Needhamsuggests that she was the basis for the character of Aunt Martha in the Our Villagestory of that title. [Sources: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 16 June 1953 . Needham Papers, Reading Central Library . Relationship to other Webbs and birth and death dates unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw
or dear Kate WheelerKate Wheeler, or: Miss Wheeler
Friend of Miss James. Mitford refers to her as providing home remedies and advice. See 29 January 1821 letter to Mary Webb. More research needed.--#lmw
—or even you alone? Pray do if possible & let me know—or any other day that will suit you better—only let me know for fear of my prime minister LucyLucy Sweatser Hill | Born: 1790-05-02 in Stratfield Saye, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Beloved servant for twelve years in the Mitford household who, on 7 August 1820 married Charles Hill. She is the basis for the title character in the Our Village story. Source: Needham Papers, Reading Central Library. --#scw
hopping out. Do come & spend a long day with me & tell me all about the James's & a thousand things that I wish to hear. I will be very charming & amusing in my turn I promise you.—You shall then chusechoose some books. BurnsRobert Burns | Born: 1759-01-25 in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland. Died: 1796-07-21 in Dumfries, Scotland.
Scottish poet, author of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786). Rented and farmed the 170-acre Ellisand Farm, where he built a house and collected and rewrote local songs and ballads from his neighbors. Burns’s poems and songs were mostly published in posthumous collections between 1799 and 1808 . --#ebb #esh
though you may have seen it here was not mine—I have only a trumpery small edition—Dr. Currie's Life I had from ColeyColey Park, Berkshire, England | Coley | Coley Park | Berkshire | England | 51.4432268 -0.9902848000000404 | An estate just south west of Reading. The Moncks owned Coley Park from 1810 and Mitford occasionally posted franked letters from there when J. B Monck was a Member of Parliament. Also referred to as "Coley," although this name also refers to a nearby district of Reading proper. | --#lmw51.4432268 -0.9902848000000404—If Dr. ValpyRichard Valpy, Doctor of Divinity (DD), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), or: Dr. Valpy | Born: 1754-12-07 in St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. Died: 1836-03-28 in Reading, Berkshire, England.
Richard Valpy (the fourth of that name) was the eldest son of Richard Valpy [III] and Catherine Chevalier. He was born on December 7, 1754 at St. John’s, Jersey, Channel Islands. He was a friend and literary mentor to Mary Russell Mitford. He matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford University on April 1, 1773, aged eighteen, as a Morley scholar. He received from Oxford a B.A. (1776), M.A. (1784), B.D. & D.D. (1792). He took orders in the Church of England in 1777. Richard Valpy served as Second Master at Bury School, Bury, Huntindonshire from 1771 to 1781, and was also collated to the rectory of Stradishall, Suffolk, in 1787. He became the Headmaster at Reading School, Reading, Berkshire, in 1781 and served until 1830, at which time he turned the Headmastership over to his youngest son Francis E. J. Valpy and continued in semi-retirement until his death in 1836. During his tenure as Headmaster of Reading Grammar School for boys over the course of fifty years, he expanded the boarding school and added new buildings. He is the author of numerous published works, including Greek and Latin textbooks, sermons, volumes of poetry, and adaptations of plays such as Shakespeare’s King John and Sheridan’s The Critic. His Elements of Greek Grammar, Elements of Latin Grammar,,Greek Delectus and Latin Delectus, printed and published by his son A. J. Valpy, were all much used as school texts throughout the nineteenth century. Valpy’s students performed his own adaptations of Greek, Latin, and English plays for the triennial visitations and the play receipts went to charitable organizations. Valpy enlisted Mitford to write reviews of the productions for the Reading Mercury. In 1803, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s King John was performed at Covent Garden Theatre. Richard Valpy was married twice and had twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adulthood. His first wife was Martha Cornelia de Cartaret; Richard and Martha were married about 1778 and they had one daughter, Martha Cartaretta Cornelia, born 1779. His first wife Martha died about 1780 and he married Mary Benwell of Caversham, Oxfordshire on May 30, 1782. Together they had six sons and five daughters and ten of their eleven children survived to adulthood. Richard Valpy and Mary Benwell’s sons were Richard Valpy (the fifth of that name), Abraham John Valpy, called John; Gabriel Valpy, Anthony Blagrove Valpy; and Francis Edward Jackson Valpy. His daughters were Mary Ann Catherine Valpy; Sarah Frances Valpy, called "Frances" or "Fanny"; Catherine Elizabeth Blanch Valpy; Penelope Arabella Valpy; and Elizabeth Charlotte Valpy, who died as an infant. Richard Valpy died on March 28, 1836 in Reading, Berkshire, and is buried in All Souls cemetery, Kensal Green, London. Dr. Valpy’s students placed a marble bust of him in St. Lawrence’s church, Reading, Berkshire, after his death. John Opie painted Dr. Valpy’s portrait. See . --#ebb #lmw
has it I will borrow it for you—No book can be more charming.—I am delighted to hear so favorable an account of your dear FatherJames Webb | Born: 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire, England. Died: 1822-01-11 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Born about 1769 and baptized on February 19, 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire. Prominent manufacturer in the Wokinghambrewing industry, and community leader in Woking and the county of Berkshire. Father of Eliza, Jane, and Mary Webb, and brother (or brother-in-law) of his daughters’ "Aunt Mary," another Mary Webb. Francis Needham suggested that he was the original of the "gentleman" in the Our Villagesketch "Aunt Martha" . Sources: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 16 June 1953 . Needham Papers, Reading Central Library . --#scw #lmw
—I hope he has been very prudent this week & not suffered from his hospitality—The puppies arrived very late & are the greatest beauties ever seen—I have scarcely room for my kindest love to All & God bless you.

Ever yours M.R.MMary 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 prove that my Correspondent is at least as courtly as HoraceHorace 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
the well-beloved, his very fine landscape in the Exhibition this year is intended for Carlton House—The RegentGeorge Augustus Frederick , King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Prince Regent, or: Prince Regent | Born: 1762-08-12 in St James’s Palace, London, England. Died: 1830-06-26 in Windsor Castle, London, England.
The Regency period was named for George when he ruled in his father’s stead from 1811 to 1820. --#ebb
asked for it—imagine the lecture I read the luckless painter—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
put me in mind of Mr. WebbJames Webb | Born: 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire, England. Died: 1822-01-11 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England.
Born about 1769 and baptized on February 19, 1769 in Hurley, Berkshire. Prominent manufacturer in the Wokinghambrewing industry, and community leader in Woking and the county of Berkshire. Father of Eliza, Jane, and Mary Webb, and brother (or brother-in-law) of his daughters’ "Aunt Mary," another Mary Webb. Francis Needham suggested that he was the original of the "gentleman" in the Our Villagesketch "Aunt Martha" . Sources: Francis Needham, Letter to William Roberts, 16 June 1953 . Needham Papers, Reading Central Library . --#scw #lmw
—he said I should certainly come to be hanged. Are you forgiven do you think my own love? page 7
Let me have just one line on Saturday to say you will come.


To Mary WebbMary Elizabeth Webb, or: Mary Elizabeth Webb | Born: 1796-04-15 in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Died: .
Close friend and frequent correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. Mary Webb was born about 1796, the daughter of James Webb, Esq., and Jane Elizabeth Ogbourn. Baptized on April 15, 1796 in Wokingham, Berkshire. Sister of Elizabeth (called "Eliza") and Jane Eleanor Webb and niece of the elder Mary Webb, "Aunt Mary". In Needham’s papers, he notes from the Berkshire Directorythat she lived on Broad street, presumably in Wokingham, Berkshire. She was the wife of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., as she is referred to thus in probate papers of 1858 regarding the wills of her sister Eliza Webb Walter and her husband Henry Walter. Date of death unknown. More research needed.--#scw #lmw