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Letter to Benjamin Robert 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
, September 22, 1822

Edited by Anne Longmuir.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: April 26, 2019. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 22Sept1822BRHaydon1.JPG, 22Sept1822BRHaydon2.JPG, 22Sept1822BRHaydon3.JPG, 22Sept1822BRHaydon4.JPG, .

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

Reading Central LibraryReading Central Library The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.
The principal archive of Mary Russell Mitford’s personal papers and related documents, holding approximately 1,000 manuscripts and a nearly comprehensive collection of her publications.--

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4 Horizon No.: 1361550 ff. 458

One sheet of paper, four surfaces photographed, folded in half once vertically. No address leaf, no postmarks. No seal

Hands other than Mitford's noted on this manuscript:

Mitford’s spelling and punctuation are retained, except where a word is split at the end of a line and the beginning of the next in the manuscript. Where Mitford’s spelling and hyphenation of words deviates from the standard, in order to facilitate searching we are using the TEI elements “choice," “sic," and “reg" to encode both Mitford’s spelling and the regular international standard of Oxford English spelling, following the first listed spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary. The long s and ligatured forms are not encoded. Began transcription
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B. R. Haydon Esq. 47 ThreeMileCrossThree 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 Sept 22nd 1822.

I cannot thank you enough my dear sir, for your kindness in retaining & in reading so indulgently my "FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. " — you are aware that in the original limitations of the time I had forgotten to take into account the probability of your absence — your approbation is delightful to me — particularly so as it embraces the particular character which I like myself & which some of my prudish friends male & female were pleased to object to! But you like my Camilla & like her fidelity & now I am quite certain that I was right in not attending to squeamish scruples. Your two suggestions are quite the thing I shall be attended to - I suppose I can make that sort of alteration in the rehearsal. — I cannot thank page 2
you sufficiently for giving me so much of your time & attention. I have such a reliance on your opinion that it has really fortified & strengthened me. — If you will have the goodness to send the play sometime before next Friday [del: .] directed to the care of Richard 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
Esqre Red Lion Court Fleet Street it will reach me safely. I am ashamed to give you so much trouble — but you are so very very kind -

Tell dearest Mrs HaydonMary Hyman Haydon
The daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Cobley, the Rector of Dodbrooke, Kingsbridge, Devon, she was widowed with two children when she married Benjamin Robert Haydon on 10 October 1821.--#ghb
that her little note enchanted me - I would write to her to say so—but are you not one? Shall I - Can I separate you for a moment even in a letter? - Oh no. Tell her that I do say & think & feel that she is a happy woman — a most happy woman — & again & again I say you are a happy man. God bless you together! - page 3

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I have had the pleasure of Miss JamesSusan Susy Deane James | Born: 1788 in Bath, Somerset, England. Died: 1860-12-27 in 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey.
Friend of Mary Russell Mitford, and sister to Elizabeth James and Emily James and cared for pupils with her. She was born about 1788 in Bath, Somerset, the daughter of Thomas Webb and Susanna Haycock. She was baptized on October 3, 1788 at the parish of St. James, Bath, Somerset. Her father died in 1818 and her mother in 1835. In 1819, Mitford reports in her letters that Susan has taken a position as a governess, and refers to her by the nickname "Susy." After her parents’ deaths, she lived with her two sisters in Green Park Buildings, Bath, Walcot, Somerset; High Street, Mortlake, Surrey; and 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey. She died on December 27, 1860, at 3 Pembroke Villas, Richmond, Surrey and was buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey.--#lmw
’s company partly with me & partly in 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 for the last fortnight - She is going on Tuesday, & if the weather be quite propitious talks of calling on you before one o' clock on Wednesday - Do not I beseech you expect or stay at home for her - because her having it in her power to call must be uncertain - She sends her very best remembrances & so do 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
and 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
to you & Mrs HaydonMary Hyman Haydon
The daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Cobley, the Rector of Dodbrooke, Kingsbridge, Devon, she was widowed with two children when she married Benjamin Robert Haydon on 10 October 1821.--#ghb
- I would send my love - may I? - in all my life I have never seen any other so loveable and so lovely.

Once more God bless you
Every yours
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 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


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It was no critic or judge who objected to Camilla — only lady and gentlemen simpletons. The Kembles
This includes Charles Kemble, his brother John Phillip Kemble, his sister Sarah Siddons, his wife Mrs. Charles Kemble, and his daughter Fanny Kemble.--#ebb
& Talfourds & Macreadys knew better.-

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P.S. This should have gone on Sunday for which day I though I had a frank but I found on examination that our dear M.P. had antedated the cover. Apropos - pray do not pain me again by a “post paid” - the only way in which your letters can pain me. How does poor Mr Hazlitt go on? - Have you been to Fonthill? Is not the John Bull a pretty fellow? — Once more Goodbye.— I hope I will not inconvenience you to send FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. to Red Lion Court by Friday.