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Letter to 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
, 1823 August 21

Edited by Elizabeth Raisanen.

Sponsored by:

First digital edition in TEI, date: 26 April 2015. P5.Edition made with help from photos taken by Digital Mitford editors. Digital Mitford photo files: 21August1823SirWilliamElford6a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford6b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford5b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford5a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford4a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford3b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford2b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford3a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford2a#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford1b#.JPG, 21August1823SirWilliamElford1b#.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.--#ghb
.

Digital Mitford Letters: The Mary Russell Mitford Archive

Repository: Reading Central Library. Shelf mark: qB/TU/MIT Vol. 4 Horizon No.: 1361550 ff. 474

One quarto sheet of paper folded in half to form four octavo pages, which comprise pages 1-4 of the letter and placed inside of a second quarto sheet folded in half to form pages 5 and 6 on one side of the sheet. The address was written on page 6 and then this entire set of sheets was folded by nines. Address leaf bearing black postmark, partially illegible, reading
READING
. A large 3 denoting the posting fee has been written in black ink by the postal service across the address leaf. Address leaf bearing the following postmarks: 1)black circular mileage stamp READING
[gap: 1 lines, reason: illegible.] Sheet slightly torn on right edge of page one and bears a large tear on the address leaf above the address line. Red wax seal, complete, 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. Fixed transcription/whitespace errors. Page numbers corrected, facs attributes added Checked for completion, comments checked and deleted where unnecessary. Support section needs to be reviewed. Completed letter tagging, pulled backlist, updated beginning of header. Needs proofing against ms. and Proofing Header.
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To Sir W. 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
Three Mile CrossThree Mile Cross, Berkshire, England | Three Mile Cross | Berkshire | England | 51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 | Village in the parish of Shinfield in Berkshire, where Mary Russell Mitford moved with her parents in 1820. They lived in a cottage there until 1851. --#ebb51.4047211 -0.9734518999999864 August 21st 1823.

I hasten my dear & kind friend to reply to your very kind & welcome letter—I ought to have written sooner but I have been waiting to hear; & an aversion to the pen, equal I suppose to that which a sempstressseamstress may feel to the needle, makes me now a dilatory correspondent. I think however the more of those few dear old friends on whose goodness & sympathy I know I can rely—It is a possession—a certain good—a piece of the exquisite blue sky in a dark & stormy season—& of those few none are so very kind, so fine, so sympathisingsympathizing as my [del: .] excellent friends 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. Your letter really did my heart good. I have the pleasure to tell you, that the quiet & repose of the Country & the entire absence of all theatrical cabal have had the happiest effect on my health & mind. I am quite well  again now, & if not as hopeful as I used to be yet less anxious & far less depressed than I ever expected to feel again. This is merely the influence of the scenery, the flowers the cool yet pleasant season, & the absence of all literary society—for our prospects are not other ways changed—my dear 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
, relying with a blessed sanguineness on my poor endeavors has not I believe even enquiredinquired for a situation, & I do not press the matter though I anxiously wish it, being willing to give one more trial to the Theatre—If I could but get the assurance of earning for my dear dear 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
& MotherMary 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
a humblepage 2
competence I should be the happiest creature in the world—but for these dear ties I should never write another line but go out in some situation as other destitute women do—It seems to me however my duty to try a little longer, the more especially as I am sure seperationseparation would be felt by all of us to be the greatest of all evils. My present occupation is a great secret—I will tell it to you in strict confidence—It is the boldest attempt ever made by woman, which I have undertaken at the vehement desire of 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
, who confesses that he has proposed the subject to every dramatic Poet of his acquaintance that it has been the wish of his life & that he never met with any one courageous enough to attempt it before—In short I am engaged in a grand historical Tragedy on the greatest subject in English story CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
The only English king to have been tried and executed by the British people, Charles's autocratic rule resulted in the Civil War, his deposition and execution, and the founding of the short-lived English Republic. These events are the subject matter of Mitford's tragedy Charles the First. The second son of James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England when Charles was three years old, the future king became James's heir in 1612, upon the death of his extremely popular brother Henry, Prince of Wales. As king, he was susceptible to the influence of his father's ambitious favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, until Buckingham's assassination by a disturbed veteran in 1628. Charles quarrelled with Parliament over matters ranging from finances to control of religion and cultural observances. He instituted a disastrous policy of personal rule, and in August 1642, declared war on Parliament. After the Parliamentary faction, with its New Model Army, achieved victory, Charles was tried for treason and, declaring himself the martyr of the people, was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall that had been designed by Inigo Jones for James I. A week after his execution, he was quietly buried at Windsor and the monarchy was abolished. Charles I is the apocryphal author of the Eikon Basilike, or Pourctraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings (1649), which was probably written substantially by John Gauden. --#rnes
& CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
English Republican military leader, politician, and dictator. The effective protagonist of Mitford's playCharles the First. A descendant of the Tudor politician Thomas Cromwell, raised in the Cambridgeshire Fens and educated at Cambridge University, he became deeply spiritual in the 1620s, identifying as a Puritan. (He never called himself a Roundhead, and resisted others' use of this Royalist slur.) He became an M.P. and, in 1641, attacked what he considered ecclesiastical tyranny and usurpation. During the Civil Wars, he commanded Parliamentary forces as Lieutenant-General, second only to Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax, who served as the Parliamentary army's General. Cromwell quickly overshadowed Fairfax and devised the New Model Army (founded 1645). After the king's capture and extradition from the Isle of Wight, Cromwell seemed not committed to the notion of trying and executing the king until the eleventh hour, but ultimately served as a Commissioner at the trial and signed the warrant. In the aftermath of the King's execution, Ireland (which had rebelled in 1641) developed a Royalist resistance, which Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton suppressed between 1649 and 1651. This war resulted in genocide which killed (through violence, displacement, or disease) up to one third of the Irish population; the exact number of casualties and the time-extent of the period are still debated by historians. The period came to be called An Mallact Cromail (The Curse of Cromwell). In Commonwealth England, Cromwell chaired the Republic's Council of State, then, 1653 until his death in 1658, served as Lord Protector, essentially converting the Republic to a dictatorship and alienating many former supporters. After Cromwell's death and the abdication of the second Lord Protector, his son Richard Cromwell, the Republican experiment ended with Parliament inviting Charles I's son to return from exile to be restored as king. Throughout the nineteenth century, Cromwell's reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb #rnes
—should you ever have suspected your poor little friend of so adventurous a spirit? 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
does not mean the Author to be known—& I do not think it will be found out—which is the reason of my requesting so earnestly your silence on the subject. 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
thinks that my set was in great part the occasion of the intolerable malignity with which JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. was attacked. They at least cannot call this a melodrama. My wish is to do strict poetical justice, in the best sense of the word, to both the men & both their causes—but I am afraid I shall not be able to do so, because CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
The only English king to have been tried and executed by the British people, Charles's autocratic rule resulted in the Civil War, his deposition and execution, and the founding of the short-lived English Republic. These events are the subject matter of Mitford's tragedy Charles the First. The second son of James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England when Charles was three years old, the future king became James's heir in 1612, upon the death of his extremely popular brother Henry, Prince of Wales. As king, he was susceptible to the influence of his father's ambitious favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, until Buckingham's assassination by a disturbed veteran in 1628. Charles quarrelled with Parliament over matters ranging from finances to control of religion and cultural observances. He instituted a disastrous policy of personal rule, and in August 1642, declared war on Parliament. After the Parliamentary faction, with its New Model Army, achieved victory, Charles was tried for treason and, declaring himself the martyr of the people, was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall that had been designed by Inigo Jones for James I. A week after his execution, he was quietly buried at Windsor and the monarchy was abolished. Charles I is the apocryphal author of the Eikon Basilike, or Pourctraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings (1649), which was probably written substantially by John Gauden. --#rnes
is that desperate common place of the drama a King in distress, & CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
English Republican military leader, politician, and dictator. The effective protagonist of Mitford's playCharles the First. A descendant of the Tudor politician Thomas Cromwell, raised in the Cambridgeshire Fens and educated at Cambridge University, he became deeply spiritual in the 1620s, identifying as a Puritan. (He never called himself a Roundhead, and resisted others' use of this Royalist slur.) He became an M.P. and, in 1641, attacked what he considered ecclesiastical tyranny and usurpation. During the Civil Wars, he commanded Parliamentary forces as Lieutenant-General, second only to Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax, who served as the Parliamentary army's General. Cromwell quickly overshadowed Fairfax and devised the New Model Army (founded 1645). After the king's capture and extradition from the Isle of Wight, Cromwell seemed not committed to the notion of trying and executing the king until the eleventh hour, but ultimately served as a Commissioner at the trial and signed the warrant. In the aftermath of the King's execution, Ireland (which had rebelled in 1641) developed a Royalist resistance, which Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton suppressed between 1649 and 1651. This war resulted in genocide which killed (through violence, displacement, or disease) up to one third of the Irish population; the exact number of casualties and the time-extent of the period are still debated by historians. The period came to be called An Mallact Cromail (The Curse of Cromwell). In Commonwealth England, Cromwell chaired the Republic's Council of State, then, 1653 until his death in 1658, served as Lord Protector, essentially converting the Republic to a dictatorship and alienating many former supporters. After Cromwell's death and the abdication of the second Lord Protector, his son Richard Cromwell, the Republican experiment ended with Parliament inviting Charles I's son to return from exile to be restored as king. Throughout the nineteenth century, Cromwell's reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb #rnes
with his enthusiasm his subtlety his wonderful power over the minds of all who approachpage 3
him is the very thing for the drama—I have nearly written the whole of that part, & the one dear friend who alone knows the plan, Mr. 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
, who has been & who is as a brother to me, says that in what he has seen I have far outrun his hopes—You will see at once the tremendous difficulty of the undertaking, & even how I sometimes despair of finishing the Play & am quite in doubt, whether even if I write the other characters up to CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
(which I shall not be able to do) it will ever be represented. I have been obliged of course to have a good deal of republicanism & far more cant than I could wish—& the Trial scene, which I have not done yet, frightens me whenever I think of it. There is a great deal of laborious reading, too, necessary to the undertaking—What is your opinion of CromwellOliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon, or: Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland Member of Parliament for Cambridge Member of Parliament for Huntingdon | Born: 1599-04-25 in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England. Died: 1658-09-03 in Whitehall, London, England.
English Republican military leader, politician, and dictator. The effective protagonist of Mitford's playCharles the First. A descendant of the Tudor politician Thomas Cromwell, raised in the Cambridgeshire Fens and educated at Cambridge University, he became deeply spiritual in the 1620s, identifying as a Puritan. (He never called himself a Roundhead, and resisted others' use of this Royalist slur.) He became an M.P. and, in 1641, attacked what he considered ecclesiastical tyranny and usurpation. During the Civil Wars, he commanded Parliamentary forces as Lieutenant-General, second only to Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax, who served as the Parliamentary army's General. Cromwell quickly overshadowed Fairfax and devised the New Model Army (founded 1645). After the king's capture and extradition from the Isle of Wight, Cromwell seemed not committed to the notion of trying and executing the king until the eleventh hour, but ultimately served as a Commissioner at the trial and signed the warrant. In the aftermath of the King's execution, Ireland (which had rebelled in 1641) developed a Royalist resistance, which Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton suppressed between 1649 and 1651. This war resulted in genocide which killed (through violence, displacement, or disease) up to one third of the Irish population; the exact number of casualties and the time-extent of the period are still debated by historians. The period came to be called An Mallact Cromail (The Curse of Cromwell). In Commonwealth England, Cromwell chaired the Republic's Council of State, then, 1653 until his death in 1658, served as Lord Protector, essentially converting the Republic to a dictatorship and alienating many former supporters. After Cromwell's death and the abdication of the second Lord Protector, his son Richard Cromwell, the Republican experiment ended with Parliament inviting Charles I's son to return from exile to be restored as king. Throughout the nineteenth century, Cromwell's reputation was on an upswing. The trend was towards viewing him as a man guided by devout faith in God, a desire to provide for his country, and a desire to purify the Protestantism in his country. --#lmw #ejb #rnes
? Mine is that he was a man acting under an intense conviction of the justice of his cause & little scrupulous as to the means employed in its furtherance—In his domestic character he appears in the old Memorials & letters & state papers which I have been consulting to have been delightful & amiable past expression. I shall give only the short time of CharlesCharles Stuart, Charles I, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. | Born: 1600-11-19 in Dunfermline Palace, Dunfermline, Scotland. Died: 1649-01-30 in Whitehall, London, England.
The only English king to have been tried and executed by the British people, Charles's autocratic rule resulted in the Civil War, his deposition and execution, and the founding of the short-lived English Republic. These events are the subject matter of Mitford's tragedy Charles the First. The second son of James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England when Charles was three years old, the future king became James's heir in 1612, upon the death of his extremely popular brother Henry, Prince of Wales. As king, he was susceptible to the influence of his father's ambitious favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, until Buckingham's assassination by a disturbed veteran in 1628. Charles quarrelled with Parliament over matters ranging from finances to control of religion and cultural observances. He instituted a disastrous policy of personal rule, and in August 1642, declared war on Parliament. After the Parliamentary faction, with its New Model Army, achieved victory, Charles was tried for treason and, declaring himself the martyr of the people, was executed outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall that had been designed by Inigo Jones for James I. A week after his execution, he was quietly buried at Windsor and the monarchy was abolished. Charles I is the apocryphal author of the Eikon Basilike, or Pourctraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitudes and Sufferings (1649), which was probably written substantially by John Gauden. --#rnes
's being in Town before his execution—not at all varying from history except by bringing in the QueenQueen Henrietta Maria
Queen of England in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
, & giving CromwellOliver Cromwell
Cromwell’s character in King in Mitford’s play, Charles I.--#ebb
a [del: .]loyalist daughterElizabeth Stuart, Princess Elizabeth | Born: 1635-12-28 in St. James's Palace, London, England. Died: 1650-09-08 in Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight.
The second daughter of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria. She was imprisoned during the English Civil Wars from age six to her death from pneumonia in 1650 at age fourteen. She is portrayed as a girl aged twelve, in Mitford's play, Charles I. --#ebb #lmw
—Do you think I shall succeed? 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
says he is sure of it—but I fear, I greatly fear—He himself will probably have no power at all next season since I find they have engaged 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
. But then there is FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. which provided they do not make 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
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play the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
they are heartily welcome to perform & from Charles KembleCharles Kemble | Born: 1775-11-25 in Brecon, South Wales. Died: 1854-11-12 in England.
British actor, the younger brother of John Phillip Kemble and Sarah Siddons. Although he was considered by some to be as fine an actor as his sister and brother, he mostly appeared in secondary rather than leading roles. Father of Frances Kemble. One of the co-proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre . He served as Examiner of Plays in the early nineteenth-century, reviewing plays for licensing by the Lord Chamberlain. --#lmw
's passion for that play, or rather from his passionate desire to act the hero in that play I think it not unlikely if 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
will  play perform the DogeDoge Foscari
character in Mitford’s play Foscari See also historical counterpart: Doge Foscari.--#ebb
that they may. The FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. is a pretty, interesting, graceful Tragedy—evidently written by a woman entirely free from the faults of JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. , yet in my opinion of inferiourinferior merit—not so vivid or so vigorous as, false modesty apart, I cannot but feel that Play to be—Your approbation has given me the truest delight, I am aware of your kind partiality, yet I am sure that you would not tell me what you do not think—& indeed I hear from many & most gratifying quarters the same opinion of JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. —I mean of its power—especially its dramatic power. Its faults of plot I am most ready to admit, & hope to avoid in future. It must have had great power to survive the acting—except 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
& Miss FooteMaria Foote Stanhope | Born: 1797-07-24 in Plymouth, England. Died: 1867-12-27 in Whitehall, London, England.
Well-known English theater actor. She was the daughter of Samuel Foote. She played Alfonso, the King of Sicily in Julian. She performed at Drury Lane from 1814 to 1825 and then began to perform at Covent Garden in 1826. --#ejb
the performers were more fit for a barn than a Theatre Royal—& we had not one new scene—& only one new dress! [1] Mitford means that no new scenery or costumes were made for the production.—#lmw If The FoscariFoscari: A Tragedy. Mary Russell Mitford. London : G. B. Whittaker . 1826. had been brought out it was to have had entire new scenery & the most splendid decorations—& that together with the [del: .] great superiority of the general cast of characters induces me to hope that they will play it next season—It will not fail I think the first night, it is too good for that— & if it survive that ordeal Charles KembleCharles Kemble | Born: 1775-11-25 in Brecon, South Wales. Died: 1854-11-12 in England.
British actor, the younger brother of John Phillip Kemble and Sarah Siddons. Although he was considered by some to be as fine an actor as his sister and brother, he mostly appeared in secondary rather than leading roles. Father of Frances Kemble. One of the co-proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre . He served as Examiner of Plays in the early nineteenth-century, reviewing plays for licensing by the Lord Chamberlain. --#lmw
's jealousy of 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
would carry it on to beat JulianJulian; a Tragedy in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London New York: G. B. Whittaker W. B. Gilley . 1823. —so that between the chance of that play & of Charles the FirstCharles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. I begin topage 5
have a little more hope than I had—only a little. Once again do not mention Charles the FirstCharles the First; An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. Mary Russell Mitford. London : J. Duncombe . 1834. not to any one, especially if it should happen to come out anonymously—& pray my dear friend if you should hear of any situation that would suit my dear 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
do not fail to let me know for that work would be the real comfort to be rid of the Theatre & all its troubles. Any thing in the medical line provided the income however small were certain he would be well qualified to undertake. I hope there is no want of duty in my wishing him to contribute his efforts with mine to our support—God knows if I could—if there were any certainty how willingly how joyfully I would do all—but that there is not. Pray forgive this long detail, & the apparent vanity with which I have spoken of my Tragedies—casting off all the usual circumlocutions & writing my very thoughts—but I have learnt to know my [gap: 1 word, reason: torn.][self] too well for vanity—my weakness, my impatience, my many faults. If I were better, more industrious, more patient more consistent, I do think I should succeed & I will try to be so I promise you I will & to make the best use of my poor talents. Pray forgive this egotism it is a relief & a comfort to me to pour forth my feelings to so dear & so respected a friend, & they are not now so desolate, not quite so desolate as they have been. God grant me to deserve success What you say of your own dear family interests & affects & delights me. In spite of the terrible bereavement [2] The "bereavement" is almost certainly the death of Elford's son Jonathan on March 11, 1823, five months before this letter was written.—#ejb you have suffered how much happiness there is remaining in an union of so many excellent & accomplished persons endeared to each other by such remarkable family affection page 6
God bless you all together for many many happy years! I rejoice to hear that Mr. Elford has derived benefit from the 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 remedy. Has he tried the rust of iron? Make my most respectful & grateful compliments to him & your dear daughters Were you not very sorry to hear of 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 killed himself in 1846. English painter and author (1786-1846) Published Autobiography in 3 vols. (1853) John Keats named him in several poems. --#ebb #lmw
's misfortunes? He writes to me very often & I am happy to tell you that he keeps up his fine spirits & is still sanguine & hopeful & full of prudent resolutions. He & his sweet wifeMary 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
are gone into humble lodgings, & he has rolled up the Crucifixion [3] A planned painting of Mr. Haydon's. The sketch of it was confiscated in 1821 when Haydon was arrested and sent to the King's Bench Prison. The sketch was sold at an auction. Haydon, upon his release in July 1823, apparently intended to start this painting again, but this did not happen. According to Haydon, he abandoned this painting because of his wife's objections.—#ejb which promised from the sketch to be the finest of his pictures & intends painting two or three of a moderate size to lay in food for the Garrison before returning to that great undertaking. You may imagine how deeply I felt their misfortunes after the affectionate sympathy I received from them in the Spring—your favorite Lady MadelinaMadelina Madalina Sinclair Palmer, the Lady, or: Lady M.P., Lady Mad., Lady Madelina Palmer | Born: 1772-06-19 in Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Died: 1847 in Chapel Street, Grosvenor Place, London, England.
Lady Madelina Gordon was born on June 10, 1772, the daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, and Jane Maxwell, at Gordon Castle, Bellie, Moray, Scotland. Her first husband was Robert Sinclair, 7th Baronet Sinclair; they married in 1789 and had one child, John Gordon Sinclair. Her second husband was the Reading Whig politician Charles Fyshe Palmer. They married in 1805 at Kimbolton Castle in Kimbolton, Herefordshire. They lived at Luckley House, Wokingham, Berkshire and at East Court, Finchampstead, Berkshire. Through her siblings, Lady Madelina was connected to several of the most influential aristocratic families in the country. Her sister Charlotte Gordon became Duchess of Richmond through her marriage to Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox and 4th Duke of Aubigny. Her sister Susan Gordon became Duchess of Manchester through her marriage to William Montagu, Duke of Manchester. Her sister Louise Gordon became Marchioness Cornwallis through marriage to Charles Cornwallis, Marquess of Cornwallis. Her sister Georgiana Gordon became Duchess of Bedford through marriage to John Russell, Duke of Bedford. Her brothers were George Duncan Gordon, who became 5th Duke of Gordon, and Lord Alexander Gordon. Charles Fyshe Palmer’s marriage to Lady Madelina thus gained him access to aristocratic houses, including the Holland House. Lady Madelina’s name is variously spelled Madelina and Madalina, although Madelina appears to be the more common and standard spellling of the name, as an anglicization of the French Madeline. For more on the Palmers, see note 2 in The Browning’s Correspondence rendering of Mitford’s letter of 12 March 1842 to Elizabeth Barrett Browning .--#kab #ebb #ad #lmw
is in this neighborhood—well & agreeable I understand as ever—I have not seen her myself. I rarely ever go out except for exercise. My dear 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
& motherMary 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 well & join in Kindest Compliments


—Ever my dearest & kindest friend most gratefully & affectionately your'syours Mary 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
M. R. Mitford.

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 twenty three
1823
W Elford BartWilliam 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

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
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
PlymouthPlymouth, Devonshire, England | Plymouth | Devonshire | England | 50.3754565 -4.14265649999993 | City on the coast of Devonshire. After declines in the seventeenth century, increasingly important from the late eighteenth century into the nineteenth as a seaport, site of trade and emigration to and from the Americas, and a center of shipbuilding. Birthplace of Benjamin Robert Haydon. Sir William Elford was also born nearby at Bickham. Elford worked as a banker at Plymouth Bank (Elford, Tingcombe and Purchase) in Plymouth, from its founding in 1782, and he was elected a member of Parliament for Plymouth and served from 1796 to 1806.--#ebb #lmw50.3754565 -4.14265649999993
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Pray forgive the sad stupidity of this letter—Every body says that since I have become a professed Authoress (woe is me!) I am a shabby Correspondent. Pray forgive it, & forgive me—& continue to think of me with your old & invaluable kindness & write to me when you have time pray do—It is much a comfort & pleasure to me. God bless you!