4 June 1803

Mary Hays, 9 St. George’s Place, Camberwell, to William Tooke, [39 Ormond Street, Lamb’s Conduit Street], 4 June 1803.1


       Will you allow me once more to presume on your friendly offices, & to request that you will have the goodness to communicate the enclosed, in my name, to Messrs Longman & Co, and Messrs Baldwin, & to enforce it with your recommendation.2

       Having done with P—ps,3 I am now entirely unoccupied, & impatient to commence some new labour. I will send you, in the course of next week, a paper for the literary journal, of which we spoke when I had last the pleasure of seeing you.

       I hope the ladies of your family mean to favour me with a visit ere long. Mrs Kingsford4 waits till they shall appoint a day. Your good father5 & yourself will, I flatter myself, accompany them.

      I ought perhaps to apologize for the trouble I give you, & I would do so, if apologies had any tendency to make that trouble less.

                                     With sincerity & esteem, I

                                                am your friend &c.

                                                            Mary Hays


June 4th – 1803

No 9 – St George’s Place, Camberwell

Address: Mr Wm Tooke, | No 39 – Ormond Street, | Lamb’s Conduit Street. | June 4th

Postmark: 4 June 1803, 2 o’clock.

Penny Post Unpaid

1 MH 0030, Pforzheimer Collection, NYPL; Brooks, 336.

2 In the late 1790s, under the direction of Thomas Longman (1730-97), the firm added Owen Rees as a partner, becoming “Longman and Rees.” The former’s son, Thomas Norton Longman (1771-1842), added two more partners in 1804 to become “Longman, Rees, Brown, and Green,” publishing  works by such Romantic writers as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, and Sir Walter Scott. Charles and Robert Baldwin were printers/booksellers located in New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, and at 47 Paternoster Row, not far from the premises of Richard Phillips, with whom Hays has now broken (see following paragraph above).

3 Richard Phillips. The "paper" mentioned here remains untraced, though it may never have been published.

4 She was the wife of the Revd Sampson Kingsford (1740-1821), chief minister at the General Baptist meeting in Black Friars, Canterbury, from 1771 until his death on 27 August 1821. Mary Hays visited the Kingsfords at their home in Wepham near Canterbury in the summer of 1799 (see Eliza Fenwick to Mary Hays, 30 August [1799]), so connections with Elizabeth Hays and the Kingsfords most likely date from that same period. How the two families became close enough to allow for one to host the other for a visit is not known. Elizabeth Kingsford (b. 1783) of the Vicarage at Kensworth was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Kingsford and most likely a relation of Sampson Kingsford. The same was probably true for Mrs Kennett Kingsford of Beeleigh, Essex, whose husband purchased the Beeleigh Steam Mill in 1822 from John Dunkin. Beeleigh is the same village in which several of Elizabeth Lanfear’s relations on the Dunkin side lived (some of whom also subscribed to Fatal Errors). For another reference to the Kingsfords, see John Dunkin to Mary Hays, 29 November 1807.

5 William Tooke (1777-1863) and his father, William Tooke, Sr. (1744-1820), an important historian, had been friends of Mary Hays since the 1790s. Hays borrowed books from the elder Tooke for use in her Female Biography. For more on the Tookes, see Biographical Index.