Correspondence from Julia Henrietta Salis

Scope and Content

Julia Henrietta Blosset (d. 1819), known as Harriet, was the second daughter and co-heir of Solomon Stephen Blosset of Dublin and Meath, Ireland. She married Rev. Henry Jerome de Salis (1740-1810), son of the 2nd Comte de Salis, in November 1775. De Salis was Rector of St Antholin in the City of London and Vicar of Wing in Buckinghamshire. Harriet Blosset is best known as being the woman who in 1768 had been 'led to believe' that she would marry Sir Joseph Banks once he had returned from his journey with Cook aboard the Endeavour. She died on 18 January 1819.

This sub-series comprises letters from Julia de Salis and her husband Henry Jerome de Salis to Mary Hamilton and John Dickenson, the majority being from Julia to Hamilton. They contain news of family and friends, invitations and discussions of social engagements. Julia de Salis discusses her own and her family's health and minor ailments, her reading habits, and visits to Hastings for sea-bathing (HAM/1/21/23-25). She congratulates Hamilton on the occasion of of her daughter Louisa's birthday (HAM/1/21/19, /27), and speaks warmly of their friendship. She indulges in society gossip and discusses the news of the day, for example the imprisonment and later suicide of Lady Elizabeth Luttrell (HAM/1/21/6, /19), news of Lord and Lady Byrom (HAM/1/21/54), and of Sir William Hamilton and Lady Emma Hamilton (HAM/1/21/26). She also discusses gossip concerning the Royal family, for example touching upon Prince George's estranged wife, Princess Caroline (HAM/1/21/57). There are also frequent references to wider political and military affairs, including the peace conference of 1797 between Britain and France (HAM/1/21/4), the strained relations between George III and Prince George (HAM/1/21/28), and the heavy burden of taxation caused by the wars (HAM/1/21/36).


The correspondence has been arranged in chronological order. A number of undated items were found within an envelope and these have been kept together in the original order in which they were received.