Correspondence from Martha Carolina Goldsworthy

Scope and Content

Martha Carolina Goldsworthy (c.1740-1816) was the daughter of Burrington Goldsworthy (c.1705-1774), English Consul at Leghorn and Cadiz, and Philippia Goldsworthy (1716-1777). Her brother Lieutenant-General Philip Goldsworthy, was a royal equerry. Alongside Mary Hamilton, Goldsworthy was a sub-governesses to the princesses. She lived with the Royal family for thirty-three years. Goldsworthy was a good friend of Hamilton and they continues their friendship once Hamilton left Court.

The correspondence in this sub-series relates to Goldsworthy's life at Court and to her position as a sub-governess. She comments that she has little time to write as she has to take the air with her royal charges twice a day, and the young prince and his nurses keep her busy for many hours of the day (HAM/1/14/5). She later writes that one of these walks lasted two and a half hours, noting that her 'Dancing days' are over (HAM/1/14/29) and describing Kew as a 'Dungeon' (HAM/1/14/43) and that she does not have a moment to herself for the twelve hours the children are awake (HAM/1/14/82). Other letters relate to Goldsworthy's and Hamilton's poor health, and of the tiring duty of waiting on the King and Queen in the evenings. She describes the Royal children, their personalities and illnesses, and the death of Prince Octavius (HAM/1/14/92). She also writes of the King's illness, Hamilton's decision to leave Court, news of friends and acquaintances, and attending a ball.


The correspondence has been arranged in chronological order with undated items placed at the end of the sequence unless dates could be inferred from their content, context or physical characteristics.