Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Frampton, Mary

FRAMPTON, MARY (1773–1846), writer of a journal, was the daughter of James Frampton of Moreton, Dorsetshire, by his second wife Phillis, who had been previously married to Dr. Charlton Wollaston. Frampton died in 1784, but his widow survived until 1829, when she had reached her ninety-second year. She was evidently an accomplished person, with a wide circle of well-connected relations and friends. Mary Frampton during the earlier part of her life went with her parents to London once every two years, and was present at the Gordon riots, the Warren Hastings trial, and the thanksgiving service for the recovery of George III in 1789. About two years after her father's death she and her mother settled at Dorchester, and formed a centre for the society of the county. Miss Frampton is said by all who have any recollection of her to have been a most agreeable person. Her views were evidently those of a strong tory. She died, unmarried, on 12 Nov. 1846.

Miss Frampton's ‘Journal from the year 1779 until the year 1846, edited with notes by her niece, Harriot Georgina Mundy,’ was published in 1885. It begins in 1803, prefaced by reminiscences from 1779, and incorporating a large correspondence from friends and acquaintances, together with much additional information supplied by the editor, Mrs. Mundy, who died in January 1886. The whole forms an interesting picture of the times, and gives, in particular, a good deal of information about the court. The Framptons became acquainted with the family of George III during his frequent visits to Weymouth, and their correspondents supplied them with many stories about the prince regent and his relations with Mrs. Fitzherbert, Lady Jersey, and Caroline of Brunswick; also about the Princess Charlotte, whose governess, Mrs. Campbell, was a great friend of the Framptons. The book deals with public affairs and society talk, giving anecdotes about Mrs. Montagu, ‘Mary of Buttermere,’ Archbishop Sumner, Miss Edgeworth, Napoleon and his widow, the Empress Maria Louisa, Charles X of France, and Baron Stockmar, and touching upon events like the outbreak of the French revolution, the French invasion of Wales in 1797, the visit of the allied sovereigns to London in 1814, and the riots and Swing fires of 1830.

[Mary Frampton's Journal mentioned above; information from the Mundy family. For reviews of the Journal see the Athenæum, Academy, and Saturday Review, 7 Nov. 1885, and the Spectator, 10 April 1886.]

L. C. S.