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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/36
Former ReferenceD3311/8/3/38
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Porden to John Franklin, on the nature of her close friendship with Henry Elliott
Date23 Jul 1823
DescriptionShe found the enclosed note [as at D8760/F/FEP/1/7/8] from Henry Elliott last night; though not intended to be seen by him, she sends it to him to make him better acquainted with a long valued friend; due to the close relations between their families and their association over the Attic Chest, many of her friends imagined she was with Henry Elliott; in case any of these "idle fancies" come to his attention, she thought Franklin ought to see the nature of their relationship; she knew his affections were devoted elsewhere, and had no scruple about his intentions being misconstrued by her; having been glad to meet him on Sunday, after not having met for a long time, she felt she needed to communicate with him on Monday; the latter part of Henry's letter relates to his promise made when he first engaged himself 7 or 8 years ago to a lady, whom Eleanor hoped he would be marry one day; it was in the days of the Attic Chest, and the claim to write an Epithalamium [a wedding poem], which she did not think would apply to her first.
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Porden
Sender LocationUpper Portland Place
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationNo address
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or Index[In pencil] July 23 – 1823

My Dear Sir
I found the enclosed note on my return last night, and though it bears its own evidence that it was not intended for your eye, I send it to you as the means of making you better acquainted with a long valued friend of mine - I have also another motive. From the intimacy which subsisted between our families, and the familiar association produced by the Attic Meetings, many of my friends imagined that I must necessarily belong hereafter to one of the Mr Elliotts, and Henry was more especially pitched upon. As some of these idle fancies might possibly come round to your ear, I thought it due to you to shew what were the terms on which I had really been with him. If some persons might be inclined to wonder that such long intercourse did not lead to the anticipated result, I will make hold to answer that it is greater matter for surprize, that the mutual consciousness of such belief being entertained, did not put an end to our acquaintance; but in fact the knowledge on my part that his affections were otherwise devoted, made me apply to him on all occasions without scruple, while at the same time he felt certain that no attention of his would ever be misconstrued by me. I was particularly glad to see him on Sunday – for though I knew that he was aware of my situation with respect to you, I felt it due to our long friendship <and habits of confidence even on such subjects> to make some communication myself and we had not met for so long a time that I knew not how to enter on it. I had however another reason for sending to him on Monday, and the matter then came in naturally.
The latter part relates to his own affairs – and to an old promise made when he first engaged himself (7 or 8 years ago!) to the Lady whom I hope he will one day be married to. It was in the days of the Attic Chest, & we settled that which ever required it first should claim an Epithalamium of the other. I then little thought to have been the one to whom the debt would be paid, though to speak truth I suspect it never will.
You will say this is like many of mine, a long note about nothing, but the habit of talking on paper was given me so early, that, as you have had occasion to remark, my pen will often run more glibly than my tongue.
Ever your sincere & affectionate
Eleanor Anne Porden.

Upper Portland Place
July 23d 1823
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