Elswick West Terrace
Janry 10th 1853
My dear John
You must not think me unkind in not writing to your before; though I must own it seems so; but you know what a bad letter writer I am; however if you will excuse all mistakes and want of news, I will write oftener; if it is only to say how we all are; I trust dear John since you went to Cairo you find yourself some thing better, I often think of you, and William and I often, very often of an evening talk about you; you will see my little pet boy so much grown, but as he is crying I must go to him and finish this after I have got him quieted.
Baby having gone to sleep, I will make another attempt to finish this scribble; your old schoolmaster Mr Barber is in Newcastle now, I have not seen him yet, but fancy he will be calling before he returns to Catterick. He sent William a paper (The Record) last week; Margaret says we will get one every year until baby is old enough to go to school, and then he will want him off to Yorkshire with him; but that is looking forward too long a time, there may be many changes before then, for we are only brought into this world to prepare us for another and a better, therefore we ought to "watch and pray", for we know not who may be the next that is called to give an account of his stewardship. You will be sorry to hear that Jessie has had a nervous fever, she is recovering, but does not get strong. I met Mr Hewett in the Battle Bank yesterday and I asked him to let her come and stay a week or so with me for change of air; he heartily consented. Do you remember the last time she stayed with me? And you had to bring her a crocodile home, mind do not forget; The Gateshead (Well ) Ball is on Thursday, Margaret is going with Miss Castons (Mrs Henzells sister) and they are under Annies protection and intend staying all night there. Daggett and his wife also Mrs Umpelby are going, Eliza probably will be the youngest bride there and if so will have to lead off. What fun we had at the last, had we not? But neither you, Jessie or I will be there this time. William and I dined at Lovaine Place with Father on Sunday. Mrs Scurr was there in the afternoon and had a Smook with James; Mr Thackier is or rather was staying here, but he left yesterday for Cambridge again; he is trying for a fellowship.
We have such stormy weather here just now; it makes me wish I was with you; I suppose it is twenty years since we have had such severe frosts as we have at present, the river is frozen over, and there have been a great many ship wrecks on the Hurch sands, however it is very seasonable and I hope remove every trace if there be any left of the cholera. There is a commission of gentleman from London sitting now to enquire into the cause of it. You will remember Miss Jane Watson who lodged opposite to me, in fact she was my godmother poor lady she died the other week, but I should think it was a happy thing for she has been so helpless for such a long time. I had a letter from Hannah the other day, she desired her love to you when I wrote; John! Dont you think it very improper for a young lady to send her love to a young gentleman; I fancy I hear you calling me a stupid thing, that there is no harm in Hannah sending her love to you; have you received Margarets cape, and the pistol William sent you yet? I was so sorry I did not see you John dear before you went away, but it was no fault of yours, however to make up for my disappointment, I must be one of the first that you come to see upon your return, and now that I have opened a correspondence with you I only wish you may not be tired of my stupid letters, but it is the only way we have of conversing with each other at present, therefore I trust you will bear with me and exercise a little patience in reading them. With kind, kind love in which William joins me. I remain dear John
Your affectionate sister
Elizabeth Jane Wellford