Correspondence from Court Dewes

Scope and Content

Court Dewes (1742-1793) was the son of John Dewes (1695-1780) and his wife Anne née Granville (1707-1761), who married in 1740. His maternal aunt was the artist and Court favourite, Mary Delany (HAM/1/6/3). Dewes was a friend and correspondence of Anna Seward. However, he was said to be of 'a cold, ungenial nature' and to have been 'obliged to live a good deal abroad for the sake of his health' [George Paston, Mrs. Delany (Mary Granville): a memoir, 1700-1788 (London: Grant Richards, 1900), pp. 277-8]. He died unmarried on his estate at Wellesbourne, Staffordshire, on 11 November 1793.

Hamilton met Court Dewes when she visited Mrs Delany at Bulstrode. It is clear from her Hamilton's diaries that Mrs Delany was in hopes that Hamilton and her nephew would marry. The letters in this sub-subseries are concerned with news of Hamilton's acquaintances including Mrs Delany, Mr and Mrs Smelt and Frances Burney. He sends his aunt's congratulations on her engagement to John Dickenson and writes that the King and Queen still continue to show her attention. He also notes that Delany's society has been 'improved' by the addition of Frances Burney at Windsor (HAM/1/8/9/2). The letters also detail Dewes's visit to the continent and discuss the King's health.


The correspondence is arranged in chronological order.