Letter – 1 June 1760
Newborough 1st June 1760
I am Extremely Sorry to hear by yours of the Death of my good Lady. This Meloncholy newse hath Struck me so, that I am Disabled from Writing. I Condole with your Honr, in the Loss of so good a Sister, and so Tender a parent none more Amiable and Affectionate than her Ladyship was to all about her, which will render her loss to the Immoderate grief of her Ladyships Family, as also all those her acquaintance
I Shall take Care to get Dark Gray Coates for the Hospital Men and Women, and do every thing that you think is Necessary on the Occasion. Mr Sterne Dines with my Bror, to Morrow and shall then let him know the Contents of yours; I Should be glad to know if your Honr. Or his Lordship think it proper that my Self or any other Should meet the Corpse at York or any part in the Road, I am
Yours Honrs Most Obdt:
Honrd. Sir: the letter is addressed to the Earl’s brother, the Hon Mr Belasyse, whose fore-name is not recorded.
my good Lady: The Countess of Fauconberg, née Catherine, daughter and heiress of John Betham, alias Fowler, of Rowington, Warwickshire. She married Thomas Belasyse, fourth Viscount Fauconberg, on 5 August 1726. He was elevated on 16 June 1756 to become the first Earl Fauconberg of Newburgh (of the second creation – the first Fauconberg earldom had lapsed with the death of Thomas Belasyse in 1700). She died at the Earl’s London house in George Street, Hanover Square on 29 May 1760. This was Sterne’s first contact with the family in his new position.
Hospital Men and Women: the inhabitants of the two alms-houses, set up for the elderly and indigent. One was endowed for ten men who each received four pounds a year; the other for ten women, who were each given two pounds. In the Visitation Return to the Archbishop of York in the summer of 1764, Sterne wrote: ‘There are two Hospitals endowed by Thomas Earl Fauconberg an Ancestor to the present Earl.—every Thing is well ordered in these Hospitals.’ The reference to ‘Thomas Earl Fauconberg’ is an reference to the Earl Fauconberg of the first creation.