30 June 2014

Eliza Pretyman to her sister: January 1806

On January 15, 1806, Eliza Pretyman wrote to her sister about William Pitt's weakened state, insisting that “…Bark [the overuse of strong opiates] and Quiet are strongly enforced…” [1] Mrs. Pretyman also mentioned that her husband, Bishop Tomline, had gone to Pitt's house at Putney to be with him. To emphasise Pitt's gentle, sympathetic nature, she also related how Pitt lamented taking the Bishop away from his family. "Mr. Pitt is greatly reduced, but in good spirits. He accepted the Bishop’s offer to continue with him “most gladly for himself,” but like himself, “regretted taking him from his family,” naming me [Elizabeth] in the kindest manner possible.” [2] 

Sadly, Pitt died eight days later. The day after his death, Elizabeth Pretyman wrote again to her sister to convey the melancholy news:

“…You know Mr. Pitt is withdrawn from the World - from us - and you will conceive in part - you cannot wholly, what we feel. But God be thanked for the happiness we have enjoyed in the “most close and uninterrupted friendship” (to use his own invaluable words in his Letter to the King when urging the Appointment to [the Archbishopric of] Canterbury), with such an unequalled character from his Childhood to his Death, and for the blessings we still possess through his means! They are dearer from that thought. The Bishop [who was Pitt's former tutor as well as a personal friend] is all resignation and composure. I need not tell you he feels inexpressibly comforted in having stayed with him to the last - in having prayed with him, and witnessed the calm, humble, and religious frame of his mind, and trust in the mercy of God for happiness - which I humbly trust he has begun to enjoyJudge of my beloved Husband’s feelings when His dying friend took hold of his hand, and said, “I know not how to thank you sufficiently for all your kindness to me throughout life….” [3]

Eliza and her husband owed much to Pitt's kindness and patronage over the years, not least of which to his patronage and religious preferment. George Pretyman had been appointed the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, and later he became the Bishop of Lincoln. He became known as George Pretyman Tomline, or Bishop Tomline, and this was almost entirely due to Pitt's benefaction and elevation. After Pitt's death, Tomline would become the Bishop of Winchester. The passing reference Eliza makes to Pitt's urging [King George III] to appoint Tomline to the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1801 was another strenuous, although ultimately unsuccessful, effort on Pitt's part to elevate his friend. The Pretymans could truly say that they owed much to Pitt's friendship. 

Nevertheless, Elizabeth arguably flaunted her intimacy with the late Premier by asserting that “…no one who did not intimately  know Mr. Pitt can form any idea of the affection his heart, disposition, and manners united with his talents for conversation (not to mention any other), could not fail to excite in the breast of his chosen friends. I am happy that I saw him so lately - and in a way so gratifying to my feelings - No “picture” can equal the likeness indelibly engraved on my heart…” [4] Pitt's death was an inexpressible loss to his friends, but one does wonder just how close the Pretymans were to Pitt.


1. The Kent History & Library Centre, Maidstone. Elizabeth Pretyman to her sister, January 15, 1806. Pitt MSS: U1590/S5/C55.

2. Ibid.

3.The Kent History & Library Centre, Maidstone. Elizabeth Pretyman to her sister, January 24, 1806. Pitt MSS: U1590/S5/C55.

4. Ibid.

1 comment:

  1. Thủy hải sản giàu axit béo omega 3, protein, sắt, canxi, rất hữu ích cho thực đơn dinh dưỡng khi mang thai bà bầu 3 tháng đầu có nên ăn hải sản hay không, bà bầu có nên ăn rau muống không, Bà bầu ăn rau muống không hề có hại như nhiều người nghĩ mà con rất bổ dưỡng cho cả mẹ và còn, bà bầ̀u có dùng được nấm linh chi không vì người thường khi sử dụng nấm linh chi rất tốt cho cơ thể, bà bầu có ăn yến sào được không vì yến sào rất tốt cho cơ thể, vậy bà bầu có nên tập yoga không vì nghe nói yoga tốt cho sức khỏe, tập yoga giúp máu lưu thông dễ và giúp sinh tốt, bà bầu uống dầu cá được không vì dầu cá có chứa nhiều omega 3 giúp phát triển thai nhi và ngoài ra còn bổ sung các chất cho cả mẹ, bà bầu có nên uống sữa đậu nành không, sữa đậu nành rất tốt cho cơ thể vì trong sữa đậu nành có nhiều chất dinh dưỡng nhưng không nên uống nhiều qá trong một ngày, bà bầu có ăn măng cụt được không, khi ăn măng cụt bà bầu vừa bổ sung chất dinh dưỡng cho cơ thể mình và cả thai nhi, ngoài ra vỏ măng cụt còn có thể chữa bệnh nữa.