31 October 1801

Mary Hays, [Hatton Garden], to [Thomas Richard] Underwood Junr, Lamb’s Conduit Street, Foundling Hospital, 31 October 1801.1


     I have so often experienced your friendly zeal to serve me, that I am encouraged again to apply to you. Will you, my good friend, procure for me, if in your power, a frank to Mrs Fenwick, with whose present address you are, I believe better acquainted than myself. I believe it would be proper to direct it to Mrs John Fenwick, as Mr F. has several relatives in Penzance. You have, I hope, followed my prescription, & are gaining strength daily. Your sincere and obliged friend,

                                     M Hays

Oct 31st 1801


Address: Mr Underwood Junr. | Lamb’s Conduit Street |Foundling Hospital.

1 Upcott Album, Evelyn Collection, British Library Add. Ms. 78687; Brooks, Correspondence, 331. Thomas Richard Underwood (1772-1735) was born at 43 Lamb's Conduit Street, where his father, also Thomas Underwood, lived until 1808. The younger Underwood was a watercolourist and later a geologist; he exhibited at the Royal Academy often between 1789 and 1802. In 1800 he became a proprietor of the Royal Institution and was instrumental the following year (the same year as Hays's letter) in procuring the appointment of Humphry Davy as assistant lecturer. Underwood was already known to S. T. Coleridge, Southey, Wordsworth by 1801, and most likely Hays came to know him through her literary contacts as well, probably the Fenwicks and their friend, Charles Lamb. Underwood traveled to Paris with Thomas Wedgwood in 1803 and was detained upon his departure until 1814, when he was allowed to return to England.