13 May 1819

 A. Smyth, Bath, to Mary Hays, at Mrs Fenn’s, Peckham Lane, Surrey, 13 May 1819.1


May 13th 1819


Direct to No 22

Queen Square



My dear Friend

       After traversing Ireland for some months past I have now returned to England but without intending to make it my home; as I have not been stationary for some time but have moved from Waterford to Kilkenny from Kilkenny to Dublin and from Dublin to Wicklow I was apprehensive your letters might not reach me and therefore deferred writing until my arrival, I hope now to hear from you soon and I trust the account will be favourable both of your Health spirits and situation Winter I know agrees better with you than Summer and the season has been so mild as to allow of that regular exercise to you so essential I would willingly give you some account of myself but I have nothing to communicate that will make a figure on paper though it may be interesting to your affectionate heart I remained with Mr and Mrs Scott2 until they went to England and should have taken the opportunity of accompanying them had not the claims of other friends to some of my time been too strongly urged for refusal I then went to Mrs Powers the Mother of the lads you remember at Dr Estlin’s now grown fine young men and four sons and a sweet girl of fourteen besides to which family she after an interval of ten years made an addition about three months ago in a daughter of course the finest child that was ever seen I quitted this very pleasing scene of family affection enjoyed not indeed exclusive of the world but in the midst of it from hence I went to Tinnyhinch [sic] but I had stayed too long Mr Gratton was obliged to go to England sooner than he intended and had sailed before I arrived I spent however some time most pleasantly with his family which I left with regret to pay a visit to my father in law3 who is lately married I came to England with a sister of Mrs Grattons who with her daughters was going to Cheltenham we came through Wales and I was inchanted with the beauty and sublimity that alternately presented itself to my eyes the journey was as pleasant as fine weather and agreeable companions could make it but I confess I am not fond of travelling the rapidity with which you pass through a fine country is very tantalizing and the inactivity and confinement ^of a carriage^ is to me disagreeable arrival at < > bustle and delay still more so; I am now at Bath where I shall remain some time Bath is a place where it is said you are sure of meeting every one you know at some time or other I have seen most of the few people I knew in England already almost the first person I met was Miss Wren who has been here some time on a visit to her friends and Mr and Mrs Pn who are here for a week on a very pleasant occasion the arranging business relative to the legacy which has been left them by Mrs Tryon they look and are very well  they are not at Dr Randolphs who has been on the continent & have let their own house for a year Mrs Estlin retains her house & her son is married4 

    This is all that I can tell you of Bristol in England I do not quite give up hopes of our meeting though no direct prospect appears as yet but whether absent or present rest assured of the constant regard of your Affte

A. Smyth 

Address: Mrs M Hays | Mrs Fenn | Peckham Lane | Surrey

Postmark: 14 May 1819, 10 o’clock


1 Misc. Ms. 2197, Pforzheimer Collection, NYPL; Brooks, Correspondence 533-34.

2 Dean Scott and his wife, of Ballyin Gardens, near Lismore Castle and Cathedral, Waterford, Ireland (see Smyth to Hays, 9 January 1818).

3 As her admission makes clear, Mrs. Smyth is a widow. 

4 Smyth is recounting many of Hays’s fomer acquaintances at Bristol, including the Penningtons, Miss Wren (one of the boarders), Dr. Randolph of Bath, and Mrs. John Prior Estlin, now a widow. Mrs. Tryon is unidentified.