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Dear John,

You will I am sure be glad of a letter from some of us to tell you all the news and how we are all getting on. Where this will find you however I have not the least idea. Mrs. Henzell was so kind as to send me an address which I was only too glad to receive. We began moving this morning and have got Father’s bedroom and the breakfast room furniture taken. Father will sleep in the new house tonight but no one else. I had a very busy morning moving the books which I have piled into one of the closets in the breakfast room to await James’ leisure. You will be sorry to hear that poor old Miss Pybus of Fleetham is dead and I suppose was buried yesterday. Robert Pybus told William and I believe he only heard by accident. It appears Mrs. Oats conducted the funeral and managed all, however we are all much surprised at no information having been sent to any of us. Robert Pybus’ little boy died on Saturday and was buried yesterday. William was at the funeral, poor child it is a happy release that God has been pleased to take it to Himself. The Dunns are going to have a small party tomorrow evening and are going to act "Charades" in full costume. Miss Phillips is dressed like a young officer, whiskers and moustaches complete, and is in love with Anna Dunn. Miss Dunn dresses like an old gentleman and personifies Anna’s Papa. I saw them rehearse last night and really it was excellent. The word chosen is "Falsehood". I scarcely know whether I will be able to get or not, it will depend upon our moving operations. Father’s cold is much better but still hangs about him. His temper too I am glad to be able to tell you is also a little improved. I got to Durham for two days and two nights when Father was on his circuit and enjoyed myself so much. Mrs. Hewett got a little girl the Monday before you left and when I heard was doing very well. Poor Jessie seemed to be out of spirits when she wrote. She said she tried always to think according to the saying, "Tis always the darkest the hour before morn." Poor girl, I would be pleased to see a morning to her night, and now dear John having about told you all the home news, I must ask how you liked your voyage and if you have been well all the time. We drank your health on Sunday before the "All Friends" toast, and I said you would be drinking ours. I often think of you and morning and night when I say my prayers remember to ask His protection for you, for the thought cannot but force itself upon our minds, how He alone can save us in time of danger and when I have heard the wind and rain I have been comforted to think that you were under His Almighty care, and I have felt that if we both earnestly trusted to Him that you would be safe. Mrs. Henzell called upon me on Saturday, I like her exceedingly and you appear to be a very great favourite of hers. As soon as we get settled I am going to ask her to tea as I should like to cultivate her acquaintance. I saw Lizzie for a short time yesterday, she was here to tea on Friday night and is as quiet as ever. William has ordered his drawing room furniture at Mr. Robson’s. It is mahogany and green and I like exceedingly: couch and chairs, oval centre table and round card table. James I think is very comfortable here. He is fond of an easy life. I think just now he has got a slight cold. He was at Dr. Albert’s ball yesterday week. Mr. Hamond I have noticed has never been in our house since that night when Annie was so plain spoken with him. Father has not said anything about it so I do not know whether or not it has attracted his attention; I wonder if he is offended.

How are you coming on with your novels and your Gingerbread loaf? I generally think of you whenever I eat a bit. I suppose Mr. William Burnup the builder is going to be married again shortly, to a Miss Pickett, niece to Mr. Brown of the Turf. It is not two years since his former wife a Miss Scarlet died. Old Horsley Mary has been here last week, she stayed two nights with Annie and two nights with us. She is looking so well, in fact I do not see any difference in her. I fear you will have some difficulty in making my letter out; I do not at any time write the plainest of hands and here it is so closely written. However it may serve to amuse you for ten minutes before bed time. As it is getting late I must conclude now with my very best love and hopes that this may find you well. We will eagerly expect a letter from you and believe me to remain

Yr. Affectionate sister,


20th. April 1853

Wednesday night