Elizabeth Tufton to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

My dear Miss Jefferson cannot conceive how impatient we are to hear of her having had a pleasant passage & being safely arrived in America, we begin to apprehend you have accused us of negligence in not writing last month, you will see by the date of the enclosed that is not the case, it was sent to the Secretary of state to be forwarded the first pacquet, he opened it not reading the direction, but found out his mistake in the first time & returned it to the Duke with a fine letter full of excuses, we were in the country, so that it could not be sent till this month, by this foolish blunder we are very much afraid will hinder us from hearing from hearing from you so soon—The Duke has been married a month this day, the Dutchess is extremely good humoured & lively, we like her very much, she is hardly two & twenty & appears much younger—she used to be very fond of going out, but since her marriage she goes out very little, they very often sit tête a tête in an evening. As Caroline & I like going out as much as usual, we all live together as the Duke has taken Brother’s house until June, when we expect him from his travels with great impatience, the Duke will have time to buy a house in London which he has not got yet—they were married at Knowle, his country house in Kent, which was rather odd as it usually done at the lady’s home. L’d & L’y Hawkesbury, her mother and her father in-law & her sister were at the ceremony & came to town immediately afterwards—I believe you have seen a disagreeable Mr Jenkinson at Paris, he is half-brother to the Dutchess, being son to L’d Hawkesbury. We often hear from Botidoux who complains of ennui, but seems in very good spirits as her letters are very entertaining with all her pretendres, she has only four not counting Boident. Poor Tom is still at Paris, where he most likely will remain some time, as no Ambassador is sent there, he cannot ask for leave of abscence. I heard the Princesse Louis d’Asembes is dead & that Prince Louis was sent for but arrived too late & was very much affected, he did not care much for her before. L’y Musgrave is here, she left Brussells in a great fright, she is lately brought to bed of a daughter, she looks very well. The Coutts have just left Florence & are gone to Rome, they are very much pleased with Italy, Mrs C— says it is very agreeable to spend an Italian winter, she has found out she is a cousin to an Roman Princesse—dont you remember the Countess at Paris. Lord Gray is going to be married to a Miss Hunt who is very handsome & a very great fortune. L’d Mounstuart has packed off Mr Stuart abroad again, he is gone to spend the winter in Spain—little Charles has gone to sea. D’ss of Devonshire & L’y E Foster have been either at Lisle or Brussells all winter, they will stay some time at the latter, the D’ss is to lay in there, the Duke is come to fetch her two little girls, they are very anxious to have a son. We have seen Dashwood, she has been at a pension at Kensington which she is going to leave & to go to another in London, a Mrs Beavoir, who keeps a coach and takes girls after they are fifteen, I think she will like it very much. L’y Murray lives somewhere in town, we have not seen her, we do not wish it much as she is more here than at Panthemont. The Duke desires me to say, milles chois de sa part, pray remember us to Polly; Caroline desires her kind love to you, she will not let me write more to you as she wants to have the pleasure of telling you all the news she can scrape up for next month, we want to take it by turns, it is the only way not to quarrel about it, as we are both equally anxious to converse with you, the only way possible at such a distance—pray believe neither that time nor absence, will diminish the pleasure I feel in hearing from you & that I hope ever to remain my dear very sincerely & affectionately.

Eliz Tufton

I fear you will not be able to read this scrawl I have not patience to write it again if you cannot let me know & I will take more pains next time.

Tr (ViU: ER); in an unidentified hand.

By father in-law, Tufton meant Cope’s stepfather, Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool, who was at this time styled as Lord Hawkesbury (ODNB)