Letter enclosed in paper & addressed: John Pybus Ingledew Esq. on board the S.S. (no.245) Lord Raglan Post Office Balaklava
Postmarks: Newcastle on Tyne NO 26 1855 2s. Paid CW 27 NO 1855
Gateshead 25th November 1855
My dear John -
It will be as well to begin this letter by stating how we all are and how we are getting on - Father is quite well & has been away this week on circuit which terminated last evening - he is at present rather in a quandary at home - the dining room fire grate ( supplied by Welford ) has turned out defective & has been taken out , but has not been replaced as yet although taken out a fortnight ago - Whether it is Welfords or Hamonds fault I know not , but I strongly suspect the latter wants to throw the expense of the alteration upon Father - If so , it is a very shabby trick - Last Saturday Mr. Thewney went to dine at Lovaine Place & the consequence was they dined in the Breakfast Room - Anne & Sep are getting on just as usual in their quiet snug way - their 4 little ones are quite lively although little Harry had a narrow escape a fortnight ago - he fell through the kitchen window & when picked up had an immense piece of glass sticking in his forehead - It was at once removed & he is since better , but the flesh was so much lacerated that it was at one time thought the skin would have to be sewn ; this was however rendered unnecessary .
Eliza & I are and our pair of young ones are as usual - baby Agnes can just walk & is beginning to be very talkative & communicative - Having occasion to go up to London a month ago on an arbitration , Eliza went with me & we found Mrs. Umpelby in anything but good health - her eyesight is failing - Mr. Umpelby was in good spirits & well as were also the Dryden & Temples By the way how is it you did not call at Hamford Street before you sailed ? Considering you were in Town upwards of a week you should have done so .
Elizabeth & Welford are going on in their old style I seldom see them , and now that Margaret is away I hear little of their movements Indeed I care very little about the Welfords, for Wm. insulted me so much the other day that the less we see of each other the better I was going home to dinner & overtook him & in conversation told him Mrs. Gibbon was about to require the legatees under her Husbands will to refund a proportion of their legacies in order to pay debts, when he got into such a fury cursed & swore said he would punish me & called us all a string of names not fit for ears polite As it was in the public street, I did not choose to make a Blackguard of myself as he did, so left him.
James from all accounts is sticking well to business & reading moderately hard He likes London well & when there a month ago I saw him every day & had several long & pleasant cruises with him He is in excellent spirits & we both remarked that it would have been very pleasant to have had you with us . Margaret has been six weeks in Yorkshire & will it is to be hoped return with her health entirely restored She has been staying at Catterick & Low Fields & seems to have been very gay during her visit I believe she will be at home this week & will then relieve Ellen Watson of her duties as Housekeeper How long Ellen will stay after Margarets arrival I know not, but I should think not long .
And now as to yourself , I am glad to find by your letter to Father that you have arrived at your journeys end , and shall wait impatiently to hear your observations on men & manners at the seat of war So far you appear to have had excellent weather, but that will not continue long & there is no doubt but you will have a touch of the Crimean winter before long I only wish you may not catch cold & do yourself injury but that on the contrary you may return to the "Halls of your Ancestors" in better health & spirits . If you have an opportunity of visiting Gibraltar in returning I would do so especially as Mr. Peacock will have reached home by this time & you can then judge & enquire for yourself as to the propriety of settling in Gibraltar as "Advocate, Solicitor, & Notary" , a course which I still think would be the best for you to take.
I suppose you will have heard that Mr. Nichol has been appointed sheriff & that I am the sub.- From appearances the office will not be nearly so lucrative as it was three years ago, but I hope for the best There is to be a winter Assize Baron Martin & Justice Willes being the two judges there will be nearly 30 prisoners for trial including poor Bob Martinson for embezzlement poor fellow, I cannot help but pity him he was caught at Southampton & the 2nd. day after he arrived here, he was visited by his wife & I understand there was a most affecting interview between them- The neighbourhood of Newcastle & Gateshead is really getting quite a bad name just now there is Martinson then Octavius Bell the solr Has run away but not in much debt also Brocket the solr who has taken in all his friends & relations to the tune of £25,000 He has beggared many people to my knowledge & richly deserves the punishment awarded to in John Dean Pinil Then there were the murders of a poor old woman at Matfen near Morpeth & of Mr. Watsons assistant at Burnopfield which latter has not yet been found out ;- besides which there have been several highway robberies.-
Frank is going on very well in the office at present , & is very useful especially as Christopher is not very well just no Mr. Field the new Clerk is very steady & attentive & so far has given my father & myself every satisfaction Robinson does not seem in very good health just now but he still works away.- I went to the soirée of the Gateshead Mechanics Institute on Wednesday last & found the room very prettily decorated with the flags of the Allies That of Sardinia being represented as green white & red with a small red shield & white cross in the centre (small illustration) is that the true ensign?- Thursday next is the anniversary of the last Polish revolution & is intended to be celebrated by meetings in London & most of the provincial towns Newcastle being among the number It is a step in the right direction to allow a Polish Legion to be formed even although they are called "Cossacks of the Sultan"- It would certainly have been much better had they been called the Polish Legion & been allowed to carry the standard of the white eagle for I have a strong opinion many in the Russian army would desert in such an event.
Business in the office is going on pretty much as usual just now among other jobs an action of libel being pending against Mr. Milvain at Hamond It is for some severe strictures on his character contained in an electioneering article , but I believe they would be found to be correct if the case were tried & I have advised Hamond to discontinue & I think he will He was evidently suffering under the sting of his late defeat as a town councillor otherwise the writ would never have been issued Do you think you can ascertain anything of a ship called the Sutley (No.90- sailing ship) she was in the transport service in Novr. Last & was discharged in January last when she was ordered home Can you ascertain for me the reason why she was directed to return? Eliza joins me in kind love & believe me
Your affectionate bror.