Letter – Thomas Wentworth Beaumont to Diana Beaumont – 19 Aug 1815

Document Type: Letter
Date: 19 Aug 1815
Correspondent: Thomas Wentworth Beaumont
Recipient: Diana Beaumont
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								Geneva - 19th Augst. 1815

My dear Mother,

      Being on the point of setting out for the valley of Chamonny situated at the foot of the Montblanc 18 leagues from hence I have only time to give you a few lines in order to assure you of my perfect health and safety – Judging from the number of stories, that are spread through this country of the dreadful state of affairs in France, and through the obscurity of which one has much difficulty in discovering the real, you no doubt feel some anxiety on my account, which I have done the utmost in my power to remove by the regularity of my letters. You have I trust received a letter from me dated from Florence and William sh[oul]d have received another from Milan. Paris appears to be much quieter than I could have hoped, and curiosity is emptying Switzerland very fast of English Travellers into that Capital – I shall take the road by Dijon which is the shortest and the most frequented, and intend to leave Geneva towards the end of the following week.

	On my way from Milan I passed a day at the Boromean islands in the lac Majeur, which the Princess of Wales had visited only two days previous to my arrival, Her suite consisted entirely of Milanais, with the exception of her Chamberlain who is English; She is at present <making> the town of Piemont, from whence she means to return to Naples and after visiting Sicily to embark for Turkey, where she intends to reside until her new house on the banks of the lake de Como between Milan & the lac Majeur is finished; She has already spent an enormous sum of money on the building which appears to have hardly risen from its foundations.

	The new road over the Mount Simplon was most interesting and may well be considered as the finest work of that wonderful man, whom everybody feared when he was at liberty and nobody knows what to do with when he is taken. He has little to fear on the score of immortality, and if he is loudly and deservedly cursed by the French, the Italians are as extravagant in his praise.

	The Mountain is 28 miles long on the Italian side and upwards of 20 on the Swiss, forming the only entrance from one country to the other; Sixteen years ago the pass c[oul]d only be passed by mules and not without considerable danger to the Passengers. In six years a road between 3 <....> feet in breadth was cut upon the rock, where the steepness of the precipice threatened to put an end to the undertaking the perseverance of the workmen hollowed out a subterranean passage in six different places, of which the longest is upwards of 300 yards in length, and 20 feet in height and except the considerable delay occasioned by the steepness of the Mountain, <.........> is carried on with the same ease as in the Plain. I began the ascent at six in the morning, and did not arrive at the foot of the Mountain before 7 o clock in the evening. The scenery was most romantic and beautiful.

	On account of the irregularity of the Italian Post which is proverbial and would not of course be out of <fashion> at present, I have not received a letter since I left Zurich 10 weeks ago [page torn –word missing] shall find an answer to my last at Paris, when I shall lose no time in joining you in England.

	Give my best love to my Father, Brothers and Sisters;

I remain, my Dear Mother, your affectionate Son,

      T.W. Beaumont

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467