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Nancy Johnson (ed.), The Court Journals and Letters of Frances Burney, Vol. 6: 1790–1791

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In this final volume of Frances Burney's court journals and letters, we find Burney ailing physically, depressed in spirit, and planning her resignation. By 1790, Burney had found the isolation she had endured at court and the demands of her position as Keeper of the Robes to be unsustainable. On 20 January 1790, Burney described her life of exile in a letter to her friend Dorothea (Gregory) Alison: 'It is a situation that has every possible recommendation from the character, manners, favour & goodness of the Royal Lady I serve,—but it necessarily requires a degree of confinement & seclusion, that nearly exile me wholly from the rest of the world' (6). The anticipation of confinement, seclusion, and its consequent deprivation gave Burney pause when she first arrived at court in July 1786. In her first journal letter from Windsor, she wrote to her sister Susanna Burney Phillips, 'I was now on the point of entering,—probably for-ever!—into an entire new way of life, & of fore-going by it all my best hopes—all my most favourite schemes—& every dear expectation my Fancy had ever indulged of happiness adapted to its taste,—as now, all was to be given up.'1 She declared herself 'married', confessed that she was 'averse to forming the union', and had 'endeavoured to escape it', but was resigned to her fate: 'I am bound to it in Duty, & I will strain every Nerve to succeed.'2 Burney was prescient in her remark about straining every nerve to succeed because she would do just that to the point of exhaustion and depletion.

Nonetheless, throughout this difficult eighteen months at court, Burney continued to write her monthly journal letters to her sister Susanna and friend Frederica Lock, conversing about royal events and personal intrigues. She corresponded with her brother Charles Burney, Jr about his efforts to obtain the headmastership of the prestigious Charterhouse school, with her brother James Burney about securing a ship for his future in the British navy, and with her father, Dr Charles Burney, about arrangements to resign from court. She also offered counsel to her friend Georgiana Mary Ann Port Waddington, who suffered the loss of a baby; sought advice from Horace Walpole when she was embroiled in the execution of a servant's will; and recorded encounters with a variety of friends and acquaintances. In May 1790, when on her pg xviway to church, Burney came face to face with Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi. Burney had been abandoned by her close friend when Thrale married the Italian music master Gabriel Piozzi in 1784, a marriage Burney thought inappropriate and demeaning. Burney's response to this unexpected meeting, their first in six years, was one of relief but with a degree of censoriousness. In October 1790, Burney met James Boswell outside the newly renovated St George's Chapel. Boswell charmed Burney with his 'amusement' and 'good humour' but even more so with his ebullient support of her resignation from court: ' "If you do not quit, ma'am, very soon," he cried, "some violent measures, I assure you, will be taken! We shall address Dr. Burney in a body! I am ready to make the Harangue myself! We shall call a National Assembly, & fall upon him all at once!—" ' 209. Burney often recorded the urgent encouragement of friends and family to resign from court, but she took particular pleasure in Boswell's jovial insistence.

We frequently see Burney at her most vulnerable in this volume. While she was recovering from a romantic disappointment involving Colonel Stephen Digby, Vice-Chamberlain to the Queen, she was still anxious about encounters with an earlier romantic interest, the Revd George Owen Cambridge. When her father agreed to her resignation in May 1790, Burney wrote of her immense relief and gratitude, followed by weary dismay as the queen proposed a mere leave of absence instead. In addition, throughout her journals, Burney expressed her frustration with attempts to obtain favours for her brothers. Whereas she found her brother James's request for a ship unreasonable and unlikely, she was genuinely disappointed when her efforts on behalf of her brother Charles failed and he was neither granted a mandate degree, nor named headmaster at Charterhouse. Finally, Burney's illness became increasingly debilitating by the autumn of 1790, and her correspondence from that point on is marked by physical and emotional pain, news of treatments and medical remedies, and a renewed urgency to resign.

romantic turmoil

Burney's journals and letters from 1790–1 open in the midst of a romantic drama. Since the summer of 1788, Burney had been enjoying the attentions of the recently widowed Colonel Stephen Digby. His first wife, Lucy Fox-Strangways, had died in August 1787. Burney found in him a congenial, sympathetic, and learned companion, a man with pg xviiwhom she could discuss not just the intrigues of court but also life, literature, and an array of intellectual matters. Her effusions about his character and her wistful descriptions of the time they spent together in July 1788 in Cheltenham betray her romantic inclinations; however, she was also aware of the social discrepancies of their families. He was the son of Edward Digby, whose father was William Digby, 5th Baron Digby, and Charlotte Fox, daughter of Sir Stephen Fox, M.P. When Colonel Digby married Charlotte Gunning, daughter of Sir Robert Gunning and a newly appointed Maid of Honour, he chose a wife whose family's status was closer to his own. He also married a woman of means. It was rumoured that Charlotte Gunning brought £10,000 into the marriage.

Burney understood the business of marriage. She anticipated the unlikely event of her marriage to Digby as early as 1788, and by 1789 she had begun to manage her representation of the thwarted romance. In January of 1789, Burney cast Digby as 'Poor Mr. Digby', a man who despairs of ever finding joy. According to Burney, Digby returned from a visit with his family, saddened, declaring 'with a deep, a most unrepressed, a piercing sigh … I never am happy!—and … Never Shall be happy!—'.3 We are meant to read this scene as evidence of his family's disapproval of a marriage to the woman he truly loves, Frances Burney. If we as readers are in doubt, Burney provides us with her conclusions about her friendship with Colonel Digby and the implausibility of a romance: 'I cannot but think he found himself rather dangerously eager in the pursuit of a friendship somewhat too assiduous for the fashions of the World, & that, whatever his own noble Mind might inspire of disinterested generosity in his regard & its consequences, he could not in the very Heart of his high Family, & of his Lady Lucy's still higher connections, sustain the idea of braving a torrent of censure from them, & all Mankind.—I fancy, therefore, he came back with a resolution to forego all that was romantic in his regard.'4 This calm circumspection and controlled sympathy for Colonel Digby's situation evaporated when Burney learned of his marriage to Gunning.

Colonel Digby and Charlotte Gunning married on 6 January 1790, and Burney's account is marked by anger and outrage. As she told her sister Susanna and friend Frederica about the wedding, she represented Digby as duplicitous. She ridiculed the ceremony, reported that the altar was 'a Pembroke work table', and recounted that Dr Fisher's response pg xviiiwas 'Call it what else you please, but [it] is no marriage!' (12). Despite her biting condescension, Burney's account of the marriage is poignant because it appears to be an honest depiction of a response to romantic disappointment and betrayal. Her representation is far less controlled than her previous accounts of Digby's situation, and she is less insistent on managing the narrative of their relationship. Given the emotion with which she wrote about the wedding, one might imagine she had been surprised by it, but Burney had heard news of a pending marriage in 1789. It may have been the finality of the ceremony that produced such vehement disapproval and a lasting disappointment in a man she certainly loved.

political turmoil

1790–1 was a comparatively quiet time at court. King George III had temporarily recovered from his illness (he would be plagued with recurrences and, from 1811, permanent illness until his death), thereby settling the Regency Crisis of 1788–9. However, there was turmoil abroad—the French Revolution was in full force—and England was in fear of a French invasion and a revolution on home territory. Burney wrote very little about the momentous events occurring in France. She was no doubt cautious about engaging in political discourse of such magnitude while in royal service. But Burney did read and comment favourably on Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, which was published on the first of November 1790. She wrote that 'it warms, charms, instructs in almost every paragraph. Wit, information, & sentiment seem to struggle which shall shew chief claim to pre-eminence in the whole of this wonderful performance' (255). She also read, but abandoned and wrote unfavourably about, John Courtenay's Philosophical Reflections on the Late Revolution in France, and the Conduct of the Dissenters in England; in a Letter to the Rev. Dr. Priestly (1790), which expressed sympathy with the revolution and with British Dissenters. Burney found the pamphlet 'all of one Colour!—and such a Colour!—Church, State—politics & Religion—I know not which is treated worst!—' and finally cast it aside: 'I had soon done with it alltogether,—when I came to the passage so scoffingly put, of a Prince of the House of Brunswick suffering for our Sins—away went the Book! in hearty indignation—& I have looked at it no more' (132). Burney did not mention news of the revolution, as she did of a potential war with Spain, but her sister Susanna reported on conversations about France in pg xixsome of her letters,5 and toward the end of Burney's time at court, in June 1791, her father wrote to her of the 'Catastrophe'; that is, the capture of the French royal family at Varennes and the fear that any successes might inspire 'our own mad people who wish to imitate the transactions of France here' in Great Britain.6 After she left court, Burney would write openly about France. As early as August 1791, while on her post-resignation journey to the Western counties with her travelling companion Anna Ord, she recorded an exchange with a small group of French aristocrats, from whom she heard of the 'calamitous state' of France and their 'pauvre Roi' [poor king].7 Burney responded with compassion for the king and the displaced émigrés. Moreover, in 1793 Burney would publish a pamphlet on behalf of the émigré community: Brief Reflections Relative to the Emigrant French Clergy: Earnestly Submitted to the Humane Consideration of the Ladies of Britain.

The turmoil about which Burney did write was the corruption trial of Warren Hastings, governor-general of Bengal. The trial had opened on 13 February 1788, had been delayed through much of 1789 because of the king's illness, and had resumed on 16 February 1790. As was the case in 1788, Burney wrote more about her conversations on the sidelines of Westminster Hall than she did about the trial itself. As was also evident in 1788, the person with whom she most appreciated conversing was William Windham, one of the managers for the prosecution. She enjoyed the flirtation; she also took pleasure from jousting with an intelligent, well-educated, and well-read man, who supported her resignation enthusiastically. Burke remained her nemesis during this trial, and she continued to upbraid him for his prosecution of Hastings, whom Burney liked and trusted. When she first met Hastings in September 1785, Burney praised him for his 'obliging openness' and the 'intelligence of his communication'.8 Further, she was cognizant of the family connection; her brother-in-law Clement Francis had at one time served as Hastings's secretary in India. Perhaps most importantly, Hastings enjoyed the support of the king and queen, and Burney was firmly devoted to the royal family. She faithfully attended the trial and reported back to the king and queen at their request.

A third political event that is a backdrop to Burney's journals and letters was the threat of war with Spain, rumours of which were circulating pg xxin earnest in May 1790. At issue was the settlement of northwest America, in particular Nootka Sound, and the rights of trade and navigation. Tensions between Britain and Spain had been escalating since May 1789, but a sense of public urgency was sparked by the king's message to Parliament on 5 May 1790 in which he summarized the crisis and suggested the possibility of war. The king claimed that Spain had seized at least two British ships at Nootka Sound, and while it released one of the ships and its crew, Spain's response included a 'direct claim … to the exclusive rights of sovereignty, navigation, and commerce, in the territories, coasts, and seas, in that part of the world'.9 This claim, it would turn out, was at the core of Britain's conflict with Spain.10 The king cited the amassing of 'considerable armaments … carrying on in the ports of Spain', and therefore, he 'judged it necessary to give orders for making such preparations as may put it in his majesty's power to act with vigour and effect in support of the honour of his Crown, and the interests of his people'.11 In other words, Britain was to prepare for war. Burney's interest in the tensions with Spain was provoked by her brother James, who saw an opportunity in this talk of war to obtain a ship. Burney made an effort on her brother's behalf and approached the queen with his request, but to no avail. There was no ship, and there was no war. The dispute with Spain was settled by the Nootka Conventions, a series of three agreements made between 1790 and 1795. The first of the agreements was negotiated in October of 1790.

literary accomplishments: the tragedies

Despite personal and political turmoil, Burney found some time to draft what have come to be known as her 'Windsor and Kew tragedies': Edwy and Elgiva, Hubert De Vere, The Siege of Pevensey and Elberta.12 The plays are all historical tragedies, of a sentimental style, written in blank verse.13 pg xxiNone was a theatrical success, and only one, Edwy and Elgiva, was performed. But they do constitute a significant part of Burney's oeuvre and are important to the history of drama in the late eighteenth century. They are also important to a history of women and drama. Barbara Darby notes Burney's frequent representation of the alignment of political and domestic concerns that are steeped in gendered conflict.14

Burney began Edwy and Elgiva in October of 1788, while at Kew, and completed a draft in August 1790, while in Windsor. Burney made an initial reference to the play in her diary entry for Thursday, 23 October 1788, when she was with the royal family in Kew, where they had been detained because of the king's illness.15 Burney wrote that '[t]he King continues to mend, thank God. Saturday we hope to return to Windsor. Had not this Composition fit seized me, societyless & Bookless, & viewless as I am, I know not how I could have wiled away my being. But—my Tragedy goes on, & fills up all vacancies.'16 She did not mention the play again until 4 April 1790, when she wrote that as she left Susanna at St James's, she 'left with her all spirit for any voluntary employment' (51). However, she resolved to return to her 'long forgotten Tragedy' and reported that she had begun 'planning & methodizing', and had 'written 3 or 4 regular scenes' (52). By August 1790, Burney announced that she had 'finished the first Draft & Copy of her first Tragedy' (156). The play, which is a tale of political and romantic intrigue set in the tenth century, was performed, but it was not a success. It opened at Drury Lane theatre on 21 March 1795 and closed on the same day.

Hubert De Vere, the second of Burney's tragedies, was never performed, although she revised it for production and corresponded about the play with John Philip Kemble at Drury Lane.17 Burney first mentioned the play, at its inception, in August 1790, just after she announced the completion of Edwy and Elgiva. She wrote to Susanna and Frederica that her 'imagination seized upon another subject for another tragedy' (157). This tragedy is a domestic drama embedded in conflicts between King John, Baron De Mowbray, and Hubert De Vere; it is set on the Isle of Wight, in the early thirteenth century. The Siege of Pevensey, which Burney began writing in April 1791, is set in the eleventh century, in the midst of a civil war. King William II and his brother Robert, Duke of Normandy, are vying for the English throne. During the war, the young Adela, daughter of the Earl of Chester who commanded William's troops, is held hostage in Pevensey Castle. Her story becomes embedded in the pg xxiilarger historical tale, and the political struggles between King William and his brother are played out on the terrain of her character.18 Like Hubert de Vere, this play was never performed. Burney began the fourth of her tragedies, 'Elberta', in June of 1791, and although she would work on it until at least 1814, she would never complete the play.19 Set in the eleventh century, the plot focuses on the political and domestic trials of Elberta, a young wife and mother who is imprisoned in a castle, and becomes the object of sexual and political desires.

While these plays are not the best of Burney's literary oeuvre, the record of composition that she included in these journal letters is of much interest. Moreover, we see that for Burney, the ability to write, even modestly, while at court was a significant consolation to the oppression of court life. In May 1791, Burney noted that 'a spirit of composition … amuses my solitude, & beguiles my weariness', and in June, observed that 'the power of Composition has to me, indeed, proved a solace, a blessing! (270, 302). Burney even hinted in June 1791 of another work 'of another sort—in a style my dear friends all around will most wish me to cultivate'. But, Burney explained, 'that was not dismal enough,—& away it went, from Pen, Hand, & Head, to give place to a plan of the deepest Tragedy, which first had occurred to me in the worst part of my illness in January, but which I had not thought of since my quitting my room' (302). This work 'of another sort' was probably Camilla (1796), which Burney would later tell the king and queen, when she presented them with a copy at Windsor in July 1796, was conceived at Windsor. 'The skeleton was formed here,' Burney explained to the royal couple, 'but nothing was completed. I worked it up in my little Cottage'.20

fragmentation and lacunae

Burney's monthly journal letters become progressively more fragmented in 1790. Sometimes this fragmentation is the result of pages missing or destroyed, and sometimes it is the consequence of Burney's illness and fatigue. In mid-January 1791, Burney became quite ill, and for the months of February and March, she neither wrote journal letters nor kept memoranda. However, these months were eventful for the Burney family pg xxiiiand included Joseph Haydn's visit to London in 1791–2. At the invitation of the violinist Johann Peter Salomon, Haydn travelled to England at the start of January for a series of concerts including those held in the Hanover Square Rooms in London.21 Dr Burney had long been Haydn's champion and, according to Frances Burney's Memoirs, he had been in correspondence with Haydn for many years before his visit to London.22 In his General History of Music, Dr Burney writes enthusiastically of Haydn: 'I am now happily arrived at that part of my narrative where it is necessary to speak of HAYDN! the admirable and matchless HAYDN! from whose productions I have received more pleasure late in my life, when tired of most other Music, than I ever received in the most ignorant and rapturous part of my youth, when everything was new, and the disposition to be pleased undiminished by criticism or saiety.'23

Although Dr Burney had been in correspondence with Haydn, they had not met, and thus when they did in January 1791, it was a momentous event.24 Burney presented Haydn with a copy of his four-volume History of Music, and he wrote a poem welcoming Haydn to England, which Burney asked Christian Latrobe to translate into German.25 In Verses on the Arrival in England of the Great Musician Haydn, published in a pamphlet in May 1791,26 Burney extolls Haydn's virtues with all the excess of a loyal admirer:

  •                          Haydn! Great Sovereign of the tuneful art!
  •                          Thy works alone supply an ample chart
  •                          of all the mountains, seas, and fertile plains,
  •                          Within the compass of its wide domains.—27

pg xxivBurney and Haydn became close friends.28 Haydn helped Burney with his Memoirs of Metastasio,29 and Burney translated an Italian oratorio chorus for Haydn. Burney may also have facilitated the decision of the University of Oxford to award Haydn an honorary Doctor of Music degree.30

Another event that is noticeably absent from Burney's letters and journals is the trial of her former servant John Belville, who was charged with the theft of two silver candlestick nozzles, a silver snuffer-stand, and a pair of silver snuffers from Buckingham House on 25 January.31 During the trial at the Old Bailey, Burney's maid Elizabeth (Eliza) Goter testified that on the night of January 24th, she left the silver in the ante-chamber before going to bed. Burney's footman William Moss testified that when he entered the ante-chamber at 7:30 the next morning, the silver was missing. The most damning evidence was that provided by the pawnbroker John Beak Heather who reported that Belville had tried to pawn some pieces of silver in his shop on Friday 4 February. He had that very day received a hand-bill from the office of the magistrate Sir Sampson Wright about property stolen from the royal family. When he saw Belville attempting to sell a plate to his servant, Heather grew suspicious, seized him, sent for a constable, and saw him taken away to the magistrate. Belville confessed to the crime and gave directions to his lodgings, where an officer found the rest of the royal silver.

In his defence, Belville depicted himself as a 'poor unfortunate foreigner' driven to steal by 'necessity'. Referring to his time in Burney's service, he complained: 'I was not there a fortnight, before I found some enemy against me; I was not there above three months; it brought an illness upon me which put me quite in confusion.' He also claimed to have written Burney 'several letters' asking her to verify that he is 'not quite right in [his] head at times, from illness and distress'.32 (No such letters are extant.) Pleading for mercy, he promised to gather some money from his countrymen and leave England, never to return. He was found guilty pg xxvof the theft of 39 shillings and transported for seven years to the eastern coast of New South Wales. Had Burney been well, presumably she would have written about such a dramatic event, particularly because her name appeared in the newspapers.33 On Monday 7 February, The World reported that 'Miss Burney, when going to bed some time ago, was robbed of a pair of snuffers by a man in her apartment. It is hoped he took nothing else; but the robber was discovered at a pawn-broker's on Friday, with the nozzle upon him.'34


Throughout 1790, Burney worked toward resignation from her position as Keeper of the Robes in Queen Charlotte's court. In May 1790, she received her father's blessing for her resignation. In a three-hour conference, she confessed to him that she was 'lost to all private comfort, dead to all domestic endearment … worn with want of rest, & fatigued with laborious watchfulness & attendance'. Her friends existed 'only by recollection', and she lived 'like an orphan!—like one who had no natural ties' (118). According to Burney's account, her father responded with warmth and compassion: 'how was I struck, to see his honoured Head bowed down, almost into his bosom, with dejection & discomfort!—We were both perfectly still a few moments,—but when he raised his Head,—I could hardly keep my seat, to see his Eyes filled with Tears!—"I have long, he cried, been dissatisfied,—& thought you far too good for your office—though I have not spoken, … but … if you wish to resign—my House—my Purse—my Arms—shall be open to receive you back!—" ' (118).

Although the plan was a confidential one, Susanna Burney Phillips corresponded with her sister about drafts of the resignation letter, disguising it in their letters as Burney's 'vision'.35 In October 1790, the draft of the memorial was complete, yet Burney was reluctant to submit the letter for fear of the queen's resentment. Still, by December, Burney admitted that her ill health was 'so notorious, that no part of the House could wholly avoid acknowledging it', and her situation precipitated pg xxvi'a universal commotion' that in turn caused multiple figures at court to encourage a departure of some kind, either temporary or permanent (224). Thus, with the help of Mrs Schwellenberg as an emissary, the letter was delivered to the queen just before Christmas. The queen's response, which was partially prompted by Mrs Schwellenberg, was to avert an outright resignation and propose instead a six-week leave of absence, during which Burney could recover her health, and eventually return to her duties. Burney was disappointed by this response, but she feared that her rejection of this proposal would give 'the deepest offence' (254). In a letter to Arthur Young in February 1791, Dr Burney writes of his daughter's predicament: 'Poor Fanny has been very ill indeed; & we have been in expectation of her coming home to Nurse—but she'll risk the dying at her Majesty's feet, to shew her zeal, before she'll be spared, I suppose.'36 As late as April 1791, Burney's resignation was still uncertain and remained a source of tension and worry. By May, a plan began to fall into place, and Burney declared 5 June, a day after the king's birthday celebration, as the date on which she would leave court. Despite this plan, Burney would not leave court until a month later; on 7 July 1791, she returned home to Chelsea College with an annual pension of £100.

In this most arduous time at court, Burney emerges as a woman who is struggling with the effects of nervous exhaustion but is garnering strength and fostering resilience when and where she is able. She is determined to act correctly and appropriately in the face of romantic challenges. She works diligently on behalf of her brothers and their efforts for professional advancement, even when these efforts seem to her inappropriate and unreasonable. She stands faithfully by Warren Hastings during his on-going trial for corruption and continues to take pleasure in her sparring with William Windham in Westminster Hall. She works on her tragedies, when she can extract some time, and while she takes solace from her writing, she also prepares herself for a return to the life of an author. This is a period of transition for Burney, and we know from her journals and letters after she leaves court that she quickly regains her strength, as well as her social and artistic footing. Even in her summation of her final weeks in court, in June and July, we see the return of Burney's strong voice and her delight in human foibles. Her portrayal of the tipsy Duke of Clarence who returns from the king's table to prepare for the king's birthday ball on 4 June 1791 is reminiscent of some of pg xxviithe most humorous scenes of Evelina. Before long, after her retirement from court, Burney would meet Alexandre d'Arblay, the man who would become her husband on 28 July 1793, and she would write her third novel, Camilla, which was published on 12 July 1796.

This final volume of Burney's court years is comprised of her concluding eighteen months of journals and letters from Queen Charlotte's court. Appendix I contains a transcription of the newly discovered letter to Mary Gwyn [1789] and transcriptions of fragments that have been identified as belonging to Burney's court years, but could not be placed in a particular volume. Appendixes II–IV include copies of letters from Horace Walpole to Frances Burney, largely to do with Burney's execution of her servant Colomb's will. Appendix V is a transcription of an amusing account by Burney's sister Susanna of the latter's conversation with Mrs Schwellenberg in February of 1791. Appendix VI is a list of corrigenda for volumes one to five of Frances Burney's Court Journals and Letters.

pg xxviii


1 CJL i. 5.

2 CJL i. 8.

3 CJL v. 44.

5 See, for example, SBP to FB, 4–6 January 1790 (Berg), and SBP to FB, 14 July–7 August 1790 (Berg).

6 See CB to FB, c.25 June 1791 (Osborn) and CB to FB, 28 June 1791 (Osborn).

7 JL i. 8.

9 The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, vol. 28 (London: T. C. Hansard, 1816), 765.

10 John M. Norris, 'The Policy of the British Cabinet in the Nootka Crisis', The English Historical Review 70 (October 1955): 572–3.

11 The Parliamentary History of England, 766.

12 Joyce Hemlow writes about the composition of FB's tragedies in a chapter titled 'Windsor and Kew', as does Margaret Anne Doody in a chapter titled 'Love, Loss, and Imprisonment: The Windsor and Kew Tragedies'. See HFB, 206–21 and Doody, Frances Burney: The Life in the Works (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 150–98.

13 HFB, 206.

14 Darby, 10.

15 HFB, 206.

16 CJL iv. 491.

17 See Darby, 82.

18 See Darby, 95–6.

19 Peter Sabor, Complete Plays of Frances Burney, Vol. 2: Tragedies (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995), 233.

21 James Webster and Georg Feder, The New Grove Haydn (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 30. Webster and Feder report that Hadyn was contracted for an opera at £300, six symphonies for £300, publication of the symphonies for £200, an additional twenty compositions for £200, and a benefit concert for £200.

22 Memoirs ii. 327.

23 History of Music iv. 599.

24 In his extant correspondence, CB first mentions seeing Haydn in an unpublished letter to Arthur Young, 16 February 1791: 'I have had the great Haydn here, & think him as good a creature, as great Musician' (BL, MS 35127, fos. 84–5). However, their first meeting probably took place in mid-January of 1791. In an unpublished letter to CB, 22 January [1791] (Osborn), Haydn accepts an invitation from CB to attend a musical gathering at the home of Esther and Charles Rousseau Burney. CB's letter of invitation is not known to be extant.

25 Lonsdale, 353.

26 Lonsdale, 353–4.

27 For a reprint of the entire poem, see H. C. Robbins Landon, Haydn in England, vol. 3 of Haydn: Chronicle and Works (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), 32–5.

28 Calvern Staper, Playing before the Lord: The Life and Work of Joseph Haydn (Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2014), 189.

29 Elaine Sisman, 'Fantasy Island: Haydn's Metastasian "reform" opera', Engaging Haydn: Culture, Context, and Criticism, ed. Mary Hunter and Richard Will (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 18.

30 Lonsdale, 355.

31 The information included in this summary of the trial is based on the court records accessed through Old Bailey Proceedings Online (<http://www.oldbaileyonline.org>, version 7.2, 6 December 2015), February 1791, trial of JOHN BELVILLE (t17910216–13).

32 Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 193.

33 Scholes, 107.

34 The World, 7 February 1791. On the 17th of February 1791, The World published a summary of the trial and reported that FB's servants Elizabeth Goter and William Moss both testified. See The World, 17 February 1791.

35 See for example SBP to FB, 26 May–18 July 1790 (Berg); SBP to FB, 17 August 1790 (Berg).

36 CB to Arthur Young, 16 February 1791 (BL Add. Mss. 35127, fos. 84–5).

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