A mother-in-law sent her son’s fiancée a vicious email, berating her “bad manners” and suggesting she attend a finishing school. Unfortunately for the mother-in-law to be, the email has gone viral and been read by thousands.

Carolyn Bourne was shocked when her son’s fiancée, Heidi Withers, came to stay at the family home and apparently did not display the “ladylike” behaviour expected.

Taking matters into her own pinks and dianthus flower-growing hands, Mrs Bourne sent Withers an email outlining what was expected of her son Freddie’s bride-to-be.

“It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you,” begins the virulent email.

Withers, a PA for a London recruitment firm, was understandably shocked by the rude email and forwarded it to some friends. The friends then circulated it onwards and by yesterday, the email had gone viral.

Mrs Bourne, the stepmother of Heidi Withers’ fiancé Freddie Bourne, sent the email after the couple had spent a weekend at her £500,000 five-bedroom house in Dawlish, Devon.

The email contains a litany of complaints about Withers’ behaviour, including the fact that she helped herself to more food and lay in bed until mid-morning.

“Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you and Freddie being Freddie, I gather it is not easy to reason with him or yet encourage him to consider how he might be able to help you. It may just be possible to get through to you though. I do hope so,” Mrs Bourne writes.

Mrs Bourne also criticised Miss Withers’ parents for failing to save enough money for their daughter’s wedding, saying that “convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters’ marriages.”

Today, neighbours of Heidi Withers’ parents – who live in a five-bedroom £450,000 house in Herefordshire – told the Daily Mail:

“They are such a lovely family and Heidi is a brilliant girl. They really are the salt of the earth.

“I don’t know why the lad’s stepmother is getting involved.”

The Bourne family, however, has stayed quiet. Freddie, who runs online bicycle shop Capital Cycles and lives in Putney, declined to comment as did his step-mother Carolyn.

Mr Bourne said: “We are aware of what is being said. I know it is very boring, very repetitive and very dull but we will not be making any comment and neither will my wife.”

Heidi Withers and Freddie Bourne have been together for several years and travelled across the United States together in 2009.

Good luck to them we say!

Carolyn Bourne's email to Heidi Withers

From: Carolyn Bourne

To: Heidi Withers

Subject: Your lack of manners

Here are a few examples of your lack of manners:

When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat, unless you are positively allergic to something

You do not remark that you do not have enough food

You do not start before everyone else

You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host

When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early; you fall in line with house norms

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why

No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity-style behaviour

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages.) If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie