QUEEN CHARLOTTE TO GRANDDAUGHTER OF WILLIAM PENN
CHARLOTTE, Queen (1744-1818), consort of George III. Autograph letter signed “Charlotte” to Lady Dartrey, one side of lined paper (122 x 950mm), Kew, 20th June 1783, thanking her for the “expeditious way you have executed my Commission. I am sorry to find that you are again confined with an inflammation in your eyes, flatter myself they will soon recover their Brilliancy”. She goes on to ask if her correspondent enjoys the company of her friend Lady Wake and hopes she [Charlotte] can see Lady Dartrey at Windsor before going abroad “but not before older acquaintances than myself are indulged. As you are Truth itself, I shall expect a Sincere answer.” In a footnote she sends “Compliments to little Julia & your son. I hope good accounts from Ireland”. Slight staining to the foot of the letter.
This letter was written at a difficult time for Queen Charlotte, some 7 weeks after the death (on 3 May) of Prince Octavius, whilst she was heavily pregnant with another child, Princess Amelia, born on 7th August. Charlotte’s correspondent Lady Dartrey was born Philadelphia Hannah Freame in 1741, the daughter of Thomas Freame and Margaret Penn. Margaret Penn was the daughter of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, and thus Philadelphia was his granddaughter. Thomas Dawson (1725-1813) landowner and politician, was elevated to the Irish peerage as Baron Dartrey of Dawson’s Grove, Monaghan in 1770, and that same year married Philadelphia who bore him two children, Thomas who died 1787 aged 16, and Juliana who died 1787 aged 10. Lady Philadelphia Dartrey died in 1826 and was buried at Stoke Poges Church, Buckinghamshire, alongside her late husband Thomas Dawson.