You will think me very unkind I am sure in not having written to you either of the last two mails but I am quite sure when I tell you ill health has been the reason that you will no longer imagine so. I got cold at the Mayors Ball which took place on the 16th February and have suffered from cough, sore throat, deafness, and such severe pains in my back and limbs I could not sit up. When nearly well again, I got my old headaches and the tic? which . used to the toothache and I have had one out and (it?) stopped. Yesterday I was in bed with an attack of spasm. Today I am much better but feel very weak and tired and heartily sick of being an invalid.
We have been much disappointed in not getting a letter from you by this mail, we had made so many calculations that really we felt quite sorry at none of us hearing however it is to be hoped you are well and happy and enjoying your foreign trip. We often talk about you and wonder what you are doing. It is just about a year since you went to America. I have the Wiessbasters from Catterick staying with me just now, and they desire to be very kindly remembered to you. They are awfully stiff and very difficult to entertain and I think the exertion of doing so has made me much worse than I would otherwise have been, the week I scarcely saw them, being in bed. James and I are rejoicing to think that they leave on Tuesday. I had Miss Hewett to go with me to the Mayors Ball and she stayed a week. She was here also last week for three or four days and is looking so well having got quite strong again. She desired me to be sure and give her kind love to you, a suspicious sort of message from such a very bashful young lady, I have no doubt that a private correspondence is going on behind the scenes and I fear we may wait long enough for the Nubian wife you promised to bring home and which promise as you were travelling towards Nubia, we thought you fully intended to redeem.
Father is in London just now his business I think is to give evidence before the House of Commons upon some matter connected with the Whittle Dean Water Company. He went on Wednesday and we expect him either on Saturday or Sunday night. On Tuesday he goes North on the Circuit. William is very poorly I understand with an attack of Influenza and which I fear I must have given him as that was my complaint. Last week we had a small soirée consisting of Miss Scurr and Miss Loalark, 2 Miss Watsons, 2 Miss Cails, and Mr John, 2 Miss Dawsons Mr(s?) Wright of Filla .., Dr Burscup, the two younger Mr Scotts of . Street, Mr W Swanston, and the three married couples connected with our family. I sat quite stupefied all night having had my tooth out that very afternoon and consequently scarcely knew whether I was over my head over my heels. The next night we were at the Dees and the only part of the proceedings I enjoyed was a long chat with James Dees about you, I wish you could see him now, you would be highly entertained with his appearance he had got bushy whiskers a beard and a moustache and looks fearfully killing. James was wondering the other day whether the moustache movement had spread to Egypt and was prognosticating your return with a jet black beard should be the case you will only be in the height of the Grey street fashion. People are everywhere disfiguring themselves by beards, moustaches etc.
Miss Bobirn of Claremont Place was married yesterday to Mr Swan, and last week Miss Wisham was married to a Mr Cargill a cousin I believe of her mothers and a wealthy coffee grower in Ceylon. It was a five weeks courtship and they sail from Southampton on Monday. You will be highly delighted to hear that Mr. Cail has won his case against the Mayor and Corporation of Gateshead. It was a most exciting trial and made us all feel very anxious about it. I will however send you the Gateshead Describer with an account of the proceedings. Last Tuesday there was a Boat race on the Tyne for 200£ between Laudliok and Messenger, the Londoner, won very easily much to the mortification of Laudliok and his friends. I had a letter from cousin James yesterday enclosing a quantity of ..and asking after you. I suppose Christopher has not been at Low Fields since October and is courting with his Lady loves, the absurd boy. I saw Mr Henzell the other day who desired to be kindly remembered to you. Captain Henzell is going to London very soon I believe to make arrangements for the purchase of a vessel jointly with Mr Lowrely. It is a good thing for him I am sure to have such friends. I have not seen out neighbour Mrs Herring for nearly a month, her charming daughter came out at the Dispensary Ball but nobody seems to have seen her. They have not had any news of their son since he left America. I do wonder what has become of him. Mr & Mrs Wm. Herring have not been over yet and I do not hear they are likely to come Mrs Hammond had got another little girl and is going about again. I intend tomorrow if I am well enough to make a business call upon her relative to the papering and painting of our house for I want if possible to begin on Monday week. I am going to make your little room so smart against your return I with it were sooner. We are all anticipating such long chats about the various places you have been.
We are going to old Mrs Cails to tea on Monday and Mr. John is very kindly going to fix a powerful telescope for us to see the moon. I wish we could get a glimpse of you also in your stylish white hide and . . to James your long black beard, Mr & Mrs Richard Cail are going to leave the . in a few weeks time. Mr Faulkner has bought their house and Mr Jack having got the contract for something in Durham which will employ him for three or four years has taken a cottage there intending to build himself another house where nobody knows. I dont think I ever told you that the Marsdens had left Old Street and gone to reside in the South Bailey , Mr Marsden having bought a house there. Edward Fryer has left his old lodgings and he and Frank Seymour are lodging together at another house in the same street. I heard of them coming out of a public house one Sunday morning. I wonder what his sister would say did they know. Lizzies little baby is such a nice little thing and so like her, they were here this morning both looking charming. I think I never knew her in better spirits, I am sure it is a good thing. Wm. Dunn of Victoria Terrace is going to London into a Merchants Office. Mr Mason of Hedgfield having got him the situation, Miss Susan and Mr Erickson wonderful to say still continue engaged and it is reported are to be married next spring. I fear 20£ a year will scarcely support the six oclock dinners however. We were at .es last Wednesday to a small party, Mr MacAllerson was there and set me home, he was telling me that the Brig Richard Reynolds ..I sent you a Gingerbread loaf, Mr Welford, a pistol and Father some cods liver oil, only sailed from England 2 days ago it left the Tyne in the beginning of December and in consequence of bad weather was obliged to put into Leith Roads for 5 or 6 weeks, then again into the Thames for the same length of time. I was so provoked when I heard of it for I had quite hoped my gingerbread loaf would have been all eaten up by this time. Last week a cousin of Fathers called Bessy Harrison came to stay for a few days with us. She desired her love to you when I wrote. Harry Scott the Pope of Gateshead is married to Miss Shadforth and they are lodging at the Dial House Tynemouth. The connubial knot was tied three weeks since. Thomas Linley is also married and his mother has got admittance into the Sailors Home at the Trinity House. Mr Scurr is leading his usual life at the bank and pretending to be very studious sometimes. He goes regularly to our pew on the Sundays. As for Edward Fryer he has only been once there since I came from London. I very much fear lodging with Frank Seymour does him no good. About a month since old Mary Cairns alias Hossley Mary was over staying with Annie. She is just the same old k .. as ever but with a strange delelofied taste for old clothes.
It is such a miserably wet morning and being Saturday I fear I must go down street having no one to do my marketing for me though I well know the consequences will be a fresh attack of cold. The Sanitary Commission sent down by Government has closed in Newcastle and opened in Gateshead. The cholera has broken out in Leeds and people are fearing its return here this spring. You will be glad to hear that Wm. still continues to go regularly to church. He has not yet taken the Sacrament with us but we must hope that he will do so shortly. James continues the same as ever but never keeps a fast day at all though this is Lent. We are going to change our Housemaid at the term. Some very unpleasant circumstances occurred one day when we had company to dinner and our old hun? was here to assist in waiting and I had reason to suspect the honesty of both and consequently I want to be rid of them entirely. The story is too long for paper so I will reserve it until I see you. Spring is coming on rapidly here although it is only March. The hedge and trees are very green and the crocuses and snowdrops almost over, but really the weather has been quite windy. Until today we had not had one wet day for nearly a month, isnt that something in the Egyptian Style. I hope dear John you feel better in fact I trust that you are able to feel yourself well and strong. You must not think yourself, however, capable of doing so much as a man in perfect health and consequently ought to be careful in proportion. Be very careful of cold and exposure to night air, damp and over fatigue for these things may all do you irreparable injury. I must now I think close my long letter hoping my dear brother that the reasons I have given you will have proved to you that it was neither from unkindness or forgetfulness that I have not written either of the last two mails and with our united love.
Believe me your affectionate sister
Margaret D Ingledew
PS Father is well and in good spirits and we think reads your last letter every other day until the arrival of the next then takes it out of his Pocket Book and puts it away. Sep and Annie are just the same, Lizzie very lively, Mr Welford very talkative especially about the Russian War, Wm & Eliza are hipped if their little finger aches they run for the Doctor. James is lazy and I am thin. Do you fancy you see us all