Letter – Jemima Bigge to Diana Beaumont – 23 Aug 1793

Document Type: Letter
Date: 23 Aug 1793
Correspondent: Jemima Bigge
Recipient: Diana Beaumont
Archive Source: AE misc letters
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If the efficacy of good wishes express’d with sincerity & attested by a bumper, does not fail, you must be quite well by this time my dear Mrs Beaumont, & indeed I have the satisfaction of thinking they are of some avail, as a Letter from Miss Lambert received this moment informs me (as being the best news she could send me) that you have been to call on her since your confinement, tho’ she adds what I am sorry to hear that Wednesday next is fix’d for your departure from Hexham. May we not hope to see you en passant? That day we have company at Dinner & if you will be so good to join our party (which is not a large one) & accept of Beds here, we shall be happy to receive you & Mr Beaumont & your sweet Boy, or if you rest in Newcastle that day, will you spend the next with us? However it be you carry with you our sincere wishes for your health & happiness. I was much concern’d to hear of the <event> of your indisposition, <and can only pledge how> much I have been accessory to your fatigues, which may have occasion’d this misfortune, therefore I shall not be quite in charity with you or myself, till the cause of regret is done away by your future good conduct, in which I shall take great interest. It was not only those of this House  who joined in the Chorus of your health, but our Neighbours & Mr Griffith who were doubly united with us on the subject by our good will & your good Moor Game; you was very obliging in thinking of us, & we agree that Lead is very good food in all senses, the Birds were most excellent, & are great rarities for none are to be kill’d at Whitfield this year, which is a secret your Birds have not found out, or they would have taken their flight from the Allen to the Whitfield Water in time. I hope the Bishops blessing & Lady Liddels conversation did not counteract each other, but that rather they made a kind of neutral, which did not destroy the efficacy of the one & assisted you to support the other, if you ventured to encounter it, as I fear’d by your last you meant to do notwithstanding your weakness. Report says you are going to Scarborough; if I was selfish I should wish it was Tynemouth but as I know what it is after sickness to drag ones weak Legs up the Hill from the Bathing place, I content myself with the hopes of hearing of the improvement of your health at a distance. I have often thought there is something in the impression that one mind makes on another like the effect of the steel in the Flint in inanimate nature; when these meet, they produce sparks which neither do with other substances, tho’ more precious than the stone which contains the latent fire; this do I feel with respect to many people I meet with, dull as the untouch’d stone but you my dear Madm. Draw forth the warmth of my heart towards you in a manner peculiar to such natures as your own, & as long as you permit me to do so, I shall be happy to rank myself in the number of your Friends, tho’ I cannot hope to benefit often by your society, which I should be more sorry for, if the duties of my life did not occupy so much of my time as they do at present. I enclose you Dr. Browns extempore lines, but I flatter myself you will give me an opportunity of shewing you a little collection of views which Mr Griffith has given me taken at Whitfield, among them a sketch of the spot where these lines were spoken. I am sure Mr Beaumont will think it necessary you should rest after your journey from Hexham & I trust he will agree with me in thinking you can be quieter here than at Newcastle, add to which the pleasure you will give to all here, especially to Mr Bigge & my Dear Mrs Beaumont

Obliged & affecte Friend

Jemima Bigge

Benton House Friday 
Undated, but reference to her ‘sweet boy’ suggests that TWB was very young at the time. Jemima’s husband died at Bath in October 1794 and her references to ‘we’ might indicate that he was still alive at the time. The Beaumonts were in Hexham in July 1793 and in Bretton in September, and there is mention of shooting so this perhaps dates from later in the preceding month. 23rd  August was a Friday

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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