Amelia Opie to Henry Perronet Briggs: 22 December 1840


12th Mo 22nd 1840

My dear Henry,

I do so wish to know where thou art!

I hope thou art about to eat thy Xtmas dinner at Sir S. Merrick’s[1] or Mr Bailey’s but if at home now pray tell me so –

I have nothing new to tell thee – Aunty[b] dined here last Saturday (7th day) & was quite well as well as years ago — and she remains so

I am not gay enough for her so she dines at John Grand’s[2] on Xtmas day —

What is become of friend Foy?[3] He is never mentioned by thee — How is Catherine?[b] But above all, how are the dear children?[b]

I am footloose again but with a cold on me, I went to stay 6 days in Siberia – alias Burke Park & was ill there –

I still keep the house tho’ home – but hope to go out tomorrow

I wish Thomas[4] would be so good as to ascertain for me beyond a doubt whether Lord Normanby’s[5] own house where he & his lady live be 31 Hill Street Berkley Square – They are now at Brighton & he has still his arm in a sling – so I dare say he can’t yet sign his name therefore I will not write again till he can

Pray little dear, write soon wherever thou art —

Tom[b] seems très lié[6] with the <Adies> & they are very kind to him – a place at their table whenever he chuses –

Well there – I have said enough to remind & so farewel! for the present!

Thy ever affecte cousin

Amelia Opie

A lump of love to the bairns[b]


Source: Dr. Shelley King and Dr John B. Pierce


Address: none


Postmark: none

[1] Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, rather than Merrick, (1783-1848) was an antiquary and historian of arms and armour. He attended Queen’s College Oxford where he earned a BA, MA, BCL, and DCL, and then went on to practice as an advocate in the ecclesiastical and admiralty courts. In 1827 he tried and failed to purchase Goodrich Castle, near Ross, Herefordshire, and so bought the hill opposite. With architect Edward Blore, who was Meyrick’s fellow member of the Society of Antiquaries, Meyrick created Goodrich Court in part to showcase his collection. Meyrick was knighted in 1832, and later helped form the British Archaeological Association. Sarah Barter Bailey. “Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush (1783-1848).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 16 July 2013.

[2] The Grand family were friends of Amelia Opie and her aunt’s, and likely lived in Norwich. Opie’s aunt dined at the Grand’s on Christmas Day previously. See Amelia Opie. Letter to Elizabeth Briggs. 19 December 1838. MS. Huntington Library. Print.

[3] Foy was a mutual acquaintance of Amelia Opie to Henry Perronet Briggs, for Briggs earlier sent Opie a concerned account of his (Foy’s) position. Amelia Opie. Letter to Henry Perronet Briggs. 10 April 1842.

[4] Thomas was the servant of Henry Perronet Briggs and Elizabeth Briggs from 1833 onwards. Amelia Opie frequently requested he fulfill commissions for her; see, for instance Amelia Opie. Letter to Henry Perronet Briggs and Elizabeth Briggs. 6 August 1834. MS. Huntington Library. Print. and, Amelia Opie. Letter to Henry Perronet Briggs. 26 August 1842. MS. Huntington Library. Print.

[5] Constantine Henry Phipps (1797-1863), made first Marquess of Normanby in 1838, was a politician and diplomatist. He attended Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge, before marrying Maria Liddell. Phipps served as a Conservative MP for Scarborough in 1818, and for Higham Ferrers in 1822. Appointed Governor of Jamaica in 1832, he oversaw emancipation from slavery and suppressed a rebellion. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. After being involved in the “Bedchamber Crisis,” he was transferred to the Home Office, and his political career gradually declined. Richard Davenport-Hines. “Phipps, Constantine Henry, First Marquess of Normanby (1797-1863).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Web. 15 July 2013.

[6] Very close