Mary Hamilton (1756-1816) was the daughter of Charles Hamilton and Mary Catherine Dufresne, and the granddaughter of Archibald Hamilton, youngest son of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton. Her mother was the daughter of Archibald Hamilton’s aide-de-camp. She was the niece of Sir William Hamilton, envoy to the Court of Naples who after the death of his first wife married Emma Lyon, who became Lord Nelson’s mistress. From 1777-1782 she was assistant governess to daughters of King George III and Queen Charlotte, working under the direction of Lady Charlotte Finch. From 1783-1785 she lived in Clarges Street, London, with two friends, Isabella and Anna Maria Clarke, and on 13th June 1785 married John Dickenson, whom she had met as a child; they had one daughter, Louisa Dickenson (1787-1837), who married Sir William Anson in 1815. They lived until 1793 in Taxal, near Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, later moving to Leighton House in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, and finally moving back to London in 1811, where they lived in Devonshire Place. During her time living as an independent woman in London, she joined the Bluestocking circle, whose members are represented in her extensive archive held in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. These consist of 16 autograph diaries, 6 manuscript volumes and over 3,000 pages of notes and letters, currently in the process of being digitised and edited by the Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers project. Her correspondents included prominent members of the Bluestocking circle such as Elizabeth Montagu, Fanny Burney, Frances Boscawen, Elizabeth Vesey and Mary Delany, as well as Court figures such as the Duchess of Portland, Lady Charlotte Finch and Charlotte Gunning. In addition, the Houghton Library at Harvard holds 111 letters to Hamilton from Elizabeth Carter and 199 letters to her from Hannah More.
Also known as:
- Mary Hamilton
|Oxford DNB DOI|
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Mentioned in 2 letters
|Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to John Dickenson||1865|
|Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Hamilton||1876|
Recipient of 2 letters
Showing transcribed and un-transcribed letters | show transcribed only
|Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Hamilton||Dec. 17, 1787||1876|
|Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Mary Hamilton||Oct. 28, 1788||1881|
Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.