Charles Dickens

Kathleen Mary Tillotson, Madeline House, and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 3: 1842–1843

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pg 288To THOMAS MITTON, 26 JULY 1842

MS Free Library of Philadelphia.

Devonshire Terrace. | Twenty Sixth July 1842.

My Dear Mitton

I am heartily sorry to hear of your poor father's death;1 though it is a very great comfort to hear of any death, that it was unaccompanied by Pain. It is a real happiness, too, to know that for many years past, he has lived respectably and happily, which he never could have done but for your arrangements and care.

I should have written to you, directly on the receipt of this sad intelligence; but taking it for granted that you would be out of town, and would have many things to attend to, I deemed it best to wait a little. I did not yield to my first impulse, which was to write and tell you that I should be glad to attend the Funeral, if you desired it, because a moment's reflection assured me that if you had any such wish, you would have summoned me without hesitation.

Remember me with all the kindness possible, to your mother and sister.2 And believe me, in this trouble, as in all others, and at all times

  •                                              Faithfully | Your friend
  • Thomas Mitton Esquire.                              Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
1 Thomas Mitton, senior (?1773–1842), one-time publican of Saffron Hill and Battle Bridge, London, and possibly for a time a near neighbour of the Dickenses (see Vol. i, p. 35n), had died 22 July 42 from a stroke, at Isleworth (where his son was living).
Editor’s Note
2 Mary Ann Mitton (?1815–1913); married John Cartwright Cooper, a market gardener, and lived at Southgate where she was known as Mrs Strawberry Cooper. Notorious locally for her eccentric clothes (e.g. a dress trimmed with bells, in which she went to church until requested not to). In her 90s gave a number of interviews to newspapers, describing herself as a childhood playmate of CD's, who—she averred —called her "Little Dorrit". See W. J. Carlton, "The Strange Story of Thomas Mitton", D, lvi (1960), 141–6.
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