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Letter to Thomas Noon 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. A native of Reading, Talfourd was educated at the Reading’s newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. His career in law began with a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817. He was called to the bar in London in 1821 and 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 #ebb
, November 30, 1821

Edited by Lisa M. Wilson.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: . P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: DSCF6126.jpg, DSCF6127.jpg, DSCF6128.jpg.

Published by: Digital Mitford: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive, Greensburg, PA, USA: 2013.

Courtesy of The University of ManchesterThe 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
.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: John Rylands Library. Shelf mark: JRL English MS 665 (R69047) no. 10; Coles no. 25

Paper, four surfaces photographed. Folded in half, then in thirds. Address leaf bearing black circular mileage postmark, partially illegible, reading
READING
. Second postmark is red double circle Duty stamp reading B
1 DE 1
1821
. A large 2 denoting the posting fee has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf. Sheet (pages three and four) torn on top right edge; more than half of the top edge missing, measuring 8 cm long and 1.5 to 2 cm deep. Red wax seal, partial, 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.
10 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 Friday Night.

Thank you very much very much, my dear SirThomas 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. A native of Reading, Talfourd was educated at the Reading’s newly-established Mill Hill school, a dissenting academy, from 1808 to 1810. He attended Dr. Richard Valpy’s Reading School from 1810 to 1812. His career in law began with a legal apprenticeship with Joseph Christy, special pleader, in 1817. He was called to the bar in London in 1821 and 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 #ebb
, for your kind letter of preparation. Ah you need not fear that I should be too sanguine—Those happy days are passed with me long long ago. I am now perfectly resigned to either of the two other Catastrophes that await me & FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. , the being rejected on the one hand or wretchedly acted on the other. Neither calamity can alter the sincere & ardent gratitude that I shall always feel to you, my Kindest friend—though I am heartily sorry to have engaged so much of your valuable time on so worthless a subject.—No, we shall not I think gain any thing by speaking to Mr. MilmanHenry Hart Milman, Very Reverend, or: Very Reverend | Born: 1791-02-10 in London, England. Died: 1868-09-24 in London, England.
After a brilliant career at Brasenose College, Oxford, Milman was ordained into the Church of England in 1816 and became parish priest of St Mary's, Reading, in 1818, where he became acquainted with Mary Russell Mitford. Mitford mentions Milman's literary, critical, and editing work in her correspondence and indicates that he made written suggestions on the manuscript of Foscari in 1821. Milman was elected professor of poetry at Oxford in 1821; Sir Robert Peel made him Rector of St Margaret's, Westminster, and Canon of Westminster in 1835, and in 1849 he became Dean of St Paul's. He published poetry, several tragedies, and hymns, as well as translations of Euripides, and an edition of Horace. He also wrote several important histories, including History of the Jews (1829), History of Christianity to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire (1840), and History of Latin Christianity (1855); he also edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and published a Life of Gibbon (1838, 1839). Milman was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. --#lmw
—It was not to me but to my fatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
Father of Mary Rusell Mitford, George Mitford was the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. The family name is sometimes recorded as Midford. Immediate family called him by nicknames including Drum, Tod, and Dodo. He was a member of a minor branch of the Mitfords of Mitford Castle in Northumberland. Although later sources would suggest that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree and he did not generally refer to himself as Dr. Mitford, preferring to style himself Esq.. In 1784, he is listed in a Hampshire directory as surgeon (medicine) of Alresford. His father and grandfather worked as apothecary-surgeons 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. He assisted Mitford's literary career by representing her interests in London and elsewhere with theater owners and publishers. He was active in Whig politics and later served as a local magistrate. He coursed greyhounds with his friend James Webb. --#lmw
that he made the speech which I reported to you verbatim—on returning the Play, he again said that he was sorry his hands were tied—he seemed rather luke warm then my FatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
Father of Mary Rusell Mitford, George Mitford was the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. The family name is sometimes recorded as Midford. Immediate family called him by nicknames including Drum, Tod, and Dodo. He was a member of a minor branch of the Mitfords of Mitford Castle in Northumberland. Although later sources would suggest that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree and he did not generally refer to himself as Dr. Mitford, preferring to style himself Esq.. In 1784, he is listed in a Hampshire directory as surgeon (medicine) of Alresford. His father and grandfather worked as apothecary-surgeons 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. He assisted Mitford's literary career by representing her interests in London and elsewhere with theater owners and publishers. He was active in Whig politics and later served as a local magistrate. He coursed greyhounds with his friend James Webb. --#lmw
says—which I have no doubt resulted from his not greatly liking the Piece, indeed the little merit that it has is of quite an opposite nature to that which he admires—I cannot think that the Tragedy now in the Theater is his—He could not have said & repeated that he was sorry he had not known of mine before recommending another if it were. No gentleman could do such a thing. But we had better say nothing to him. It might do harm.—Mr. RobinsGeorge Henry Robins | Born: 1777-05-29 in London, England. Died: 1847-02-08 in Brighton, England.
Auctioneer and theater patron. Acquaintance of Byron, Sheridan, and J.P. Kemble. --#lmw
is, my fatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
Father of Mary Rusell Mitford, George Mitford was the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. The family name is sometimes recorded as Midford. Immediate family called him by nicknames including Drum, Tod, and Dodo. He was a member of a minor branch of the Mitfords of Mitford Castle in Northumberland. Although later sources would suggest that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree and he did not generally refer to himself as Dr. Mitford, preferring to style himself Esq.. In 1784, he is listed in a Hampshire directory as surgeon (medicine) of Alresford. His father and grandfather worked as apothecary-surgeons 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. He assisted Mitford's literary career by representing her interests in London and elsewhere with theater owners and publishers. He was active in Whig politics and later served as a local magistrate. He coursed greyhounds with his friend James Webb. --#lmw
thinks, worth trying. We are sure of his kindness, & some time ago he had a coniderable sum of money in the concern—whether that continues or not we do not exactly know—if it does he mustpage 2
have influence, if not he probably has no other interest than that of mere personal intimacy with Mr. HarrisHenry Harris
At the time of Foscari’s composition, Henry Harris was manager of Covent Garden Theatre. He took over the management from October 1820, following the death of his father, Thomas Harris, and the transfer by John Kemble of his one-sixth share to his younger brother Charles. Source: Covent Garden Theatre and the Royal Opera House: Management. Survey of London: Volume 35, the theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Ed. F. H. W. Shepard. London: London County Council, 1970. 71-85 . British History Online. Web. 9 June 2015. .--#lmw
—which I agree with you in rating very low—he is also intimate with Mr. FawcettJohn Fawcett, Mr., or: Mr. Fawcett | Born: 1768-08-29. Died: 1837.
English actor and dramatist. Mitford likely refers to the younger Fawcett, a contemporary of John Emery (John Fawcett the elder, 1740-1817, was also an actor). Appeared in Colman's The Heir at Law. Wrote pantomime version of Obi, or Three-Fingered Jack (1800) Source: DNB. --#lmw
& Mr. YoungCharles Mayne Young, or: Mr. Young | Born: 1777-01-10 in Fenchurch Street, London, England. Died: 1856.
Actor who performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. His son wrote a memoir of him in 1871. --#lmw
—Would that do any good? At all events my father thinks Mr. RobinsGeorge Henry Robins | Born: 1777-05-29 in London, England. Died: 1847-02-08 in Brighton, England.
Auctioneer and theater patron. Acquaintance of Byron, Sheridan, and J.P. Kemble. --#lmw
's interest so well worth trying that he proposes to go 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 on Sunday to see him. He will take care to steer clear of Mr. Taylor—& will of course report to you his success with Mr. RobinsGeorge Henry Robins | Born: 1777-05-29 in London, England. Died: 1847-02-08 in Brighton, England.
Auctioneer and theater patron. Acquaintance of Byron, Sheridan, and J.P. Kemble. --#lmw
. Mr. QuaylMr. Quayle Quayle Mr. Mr. Quale
Mentioned in Mitford’s letters of November 6 and 16 1821 as a friend willing to help in Mitford’s theatrical aspirations. Surname spelled in the letter of November 16 as Quale. Forename unknown. Not identified in Coles. Needs further research. --#lmw
e seems so completely have vanished from the scene that there is no use in running after him.

Do you think it would do any good to get Miss JamesElizabeth Mary James, or: Miss James | Born: 1775 in Bath, Somerset, England. Died: 1861-11-25 in 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey, England.
Close friend and correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Webb and Susanna Haycock. Her father died in 1818 and her mother in 1835. After her parents’ deaths, she lived with her two younger sisters, Emily and Susan, in Green Park Buildings, Bath, Walcot, Somerset; High Street, Mortlake, Surrey; and 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey. According to Coles, referring to Mitford’s diary, letters were also addressed to her at Bellevue, Lower Road, Richmond (Coles 26). She was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey. In the 1841 census, she is listed as living on independent means; in the 1851 census, as landholder; in the 1861 census, she as railway shareholder.--#lmw
to call on Mr. YoungCharles Mayne Young, or: Mr. Young | Born: 1777-01-10 in Fenchurch Street, London, England. Died: 1856.
Actor who performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. His son wrote a memoir of him in 1871. --#lmw
or write to him? I don't know that she would—for ever since the unlucky affair of the rejected alterations she has maintained a dignified silence—that is to say that she is in a thorough fit of the sullens. Nevertheless I know so well the [del: 1 chars.] excellence & kindness of her heart, that I am quite sure she would be most ready & willing to do any good office to even [del: 1 word.] to a friend in disgrace—& you know the opportunity of [del: 1 chars.] conferring a favor is a glorious come off for an angry lady, who happens to be rather romantic. I am quite sure of her dear soul—but I would not engage her in a troublesome solicitation unless it were likely to avail—& I am very much afraid that with the present Catastrophe it is quite in vain to expect >Mr. YoungCharles Mayne Young, or: Mr. Young | Born: 1777-01-10 in Fenchurch Street, London, England. Died: 1856.
Actor who performed at Covent Garden and Drury Lane between 1807 and 1832. Rival of Kean. Known for his Hamlet. Written about by Washington Irving. His son wrote a memoir of him in 1871. --#lmw
to play the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
—though she (Miss JamesElizabeth Mary James, or: Miss James | Born: 1775 in Bath, Somerset, England. Died: 1861-11-25 in 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey, England.
Close friend and correspondent of Mary Russell Mitford. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Webb and Susanna Haycock. Her father died in 1818 and her mother in 1835. After her parents’ deaths, she lived with her two younger sisters, Emily and Susan, in Green Park Buildings, Bath, Walcot, Somerset; High Street, Mortlake, Surrey; and 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey. According to Coles, referring to Mitford’s diary, letters were also addressed to her at Bellevue, Lower Road, Richmond (Coles 26). She was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey. In the 1841 census, she is listed as living on independent means; in the 1851 census, as landholder; in the 1861 census, she as railway shareholder.--#lmw
) had the strange notion that his was the first character. Shall I write to her? You must tell by my fatherGeorge Mitford, Esq., or: George Midford | Born: . Died: .
Father of Mary Rusell Mitford, George Mitford was the son of Francis Midford, surgeon, and Jane Graham. The family name is sometimes recorded as Midford. Immediate family called him by nicknames including Drum, Tod, and Dodo. He was a member of a minor branch of the Mitfords of Mitford Castle in Northumberland. Although later sources would suggest that he was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh medical school, there is no evidence that he obtained a medical degree and he did not generally refer to himself as Dr. Mitford, preferring to style himself Esq.. In 1784, he is listed in a Hampshire directory as surgeon (medicine) of Alresford. His father and grandfather worked as apothecary-surgeons 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. He assisted Mitford's literary career by representing her interests in London and elsewhere with theater owners and publishers. He was active in Whig politics and later served as a local magistrate. He coursed greyhounds with his friend James Webb. --#lmw
if I should.

We are delighted to hear that you require no advice—Take care of yourself nevertheless—Kindest regards from all—

Ever most gratefully & affectionately your'syours
M. R. 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 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
.

I hope you have made my most grateful thanks to Mr. MacreadyWilliam Charles Macready | Born: 1793-03-03 in London, England. Died: 1873-04-27 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.
English actor, one of the most prominent tragedians of his era. He appeared at Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres in London and also toured the United States. He appeared in Sheridan Knowles's William Tell, Byron's Sardanapolus, and Bulwer-Lytton's Money (1840), as well as in many Shakespearean roles. He also managed both Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres. In his role as actor-manager, Macready was a correspondent and collaborator with Mary Russell Mitford. The first play on which they worked was Mitford's Julian. Mitford dedicated to Macready the print edition of Julian: To William Charles Macready, Esq., with high esteem for those endowments which have cast new lustre on his art; with warm admiration for those powers which have inspired, and that taste which has fostered the tragic dramatists of his age; with heartfelt gratitude for the zeal with which he befriended the production of a stranger, for the judicious alterations which he suggested, and for the energy, the pathos, and the skill with which he more than emhodied its principal character; this tragedy is most respectfully dedicated by the author. Macready retired from the stage in 1851. --#lmw
. I wish FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. were more worthy of him!

To

T. N. Talfourd Esqre

No. 1 Pump Court

Temple

London