(988) Entitled “Anglo-Norman Antiquities considered, in a Tour through part of Normandy."-E.
My dear lord, I am very sorry that I must speak of a loss that will give you and Lady Strafforct concern; an essential loss to me, who am deprived of a most agreeable friend, with whom I passed here many hours. I need not say I mean poor Lady Suffolk.(989) I was with her two hours on Saturday night; and, indeed, found her much changed, though I did not apprehend her in danger. I was going to say she complained—but you know she never did complain—of the gout and rheumatism all over her, particularly in her face. It was a cold night, and she sat below stairs when she should have been in bed; and I doubt this want of care was prejudicial. I sent next morning. She had a bad night; but grew much better in the evening. Lady Dalkeith came to her; and, when she was gone, Lady Suffolk said to Lord Chetwynd, “She would eat her supper in her bedchamber.” He went up with her, and thought the appearances promised a good night: but she was scarce sat down in her chair, before she pressed her hand to her side, and died in half an hour.
I believe both your lordship and Lady Strafford will be surprised to hear that she was by no means in the situation that most people thought. Lord Chetwynd and myself were the only persons at all acquainted with her affairs, and they were far from being even easy to her. It is due to her memory to say, that I never saw more strict honour and justice. She bore knowingly the imputation of being covetous, at a time that the strictest economy could by no means prevent her exceeding her income considerably. The anguish of the last years of her life, though concealed, flowed from the apprehension of not satisfying her few wishes, which were, not to be in debt, and to make a provision for Miss Hotham.(990) I can give your lordship strong instances of the sacrifices she tried to make to her principles. I have not yet heard if her will is opened; but it will surprise those who thought her rich. Lord Chetwynd’s friendship to her has been unalterably kind and zealous, and has not ceased. He stays in the house with Miss Hotham till some of her family come to take her away. I have perhaps dwelt too long on this subject; but, as it was not permitted me to do her justice when alive, I own I cannot help wishing that those who had a regard for her, may at least know how much more she deserved it than even they suspected. In truth, I never knew a woman more respectable for her honour and principles, and have lost few persons in my life whom I shall miss so much. I am, etc.
(989) Henrietta Hobart, Countess of Suffolk. She died at Marble Hall, on the 24th of July.-E.
(990) Her great-niece.