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    Letter folded & addressed to: Mr. John P. Ingledew

    of Newcastle on Tyne

    care of Messrs. Pethonier & Coy.



    Postmarked: Newcastle on Tyne No 14 1853

    Paid 15 No 15 1853

    Alexandria De 7 1853

    Marked by hand: Paid Via Southampton 1/6



    Claremont Place

    Saturday evening

    The poet Burns my dear John used to dedicate the last evening of the week to wives and sweethearts, but I flatter myself you will have no objection if I devote this evening to a postal chitchat with you. I must apologise to you for my long silence but procrastination as the copy heads state – or used to state some 15 years ago – is the thief of time, and that I fear I have already fully proven to you. Many thanks are due to you for your kind letter – of course you would be well aware it was like Noah’s dove: some time before it found a resting place, as it had to take divers short excursions for the gratification of the family in general and my Father in particular.

    Our respected parent is no longer Sheriff and like his 452 predecessors has retired with honour, though there has been no posse cometatus to call out, and no individual enjoying the laws to be hung. He is not Mayor either, that personage being Mr. Ralph Dodds, and Mr. John Gibson is Sheriff. James Henry is still James Henry, meek, mild, and complacent; Margaret is still the lady every inch of her, though no longer in the enjoyment of female municipal honours; William is happy in the maze of early wedded love; and Eliza (entre nous) is in the way that ladies who love their lords wish to be, so on your return you will likely see a veritable little Daggett. Elizabeth is not I hear so funereal and melancholy as she was; her husband still maintains his character of an orator, his eloquence is at times of a most overpowering nature. William Henry thrives amain and shews decided talents in the hardware line.

    Now for ourselves. Septimus dined yesterday with the Welfords. Dinner was served in style at ½6 for 5. The company consisted of Tom and Fred Welford, William Proctor and two gentlemen in the employ of Ravenhill and Millar. It was past 1 when my husband illuminated his home with his presence, and though he might have exercised his vocal talents in singing " We’ll not go home till morning", yet I assure you he was not in his cups in the least. I – when my tribe of juveniles were ensconced in the depths of the blankets and in the arms of Morpheus – went to visit the Claytons and met there Mr. And Mrs. Harris the Unitarians. I am well, and turned 29 just in my prime. My sons each left me a letter to send to you; I have copies before me so will send them:

    Dear Uncle Pye,

    Harry has got new shoes, Harry has grown a good boy! I remain your affectionate nephew,

    Henry Cail

    Dear Uncle Pye,

    I have got a pair of new shoes and a new cap; I would like to see foreign countries: will you bring me home a mummy. One of the workhouse chimneys was on fire one evening, but it went out; Miss Moore in our row has to be married soon; I have got a thimble, but I will give it to sister Annie; I wish I could get to see you; do you ever take cod liver oil now? Now I am going to bed so goodnight. I remain dear Uncle Pye your affectionate nephew


    Little Annie is 11 months old today; she is quite well and toothless; now you have a little family knowledge. Mr. David Haggie is the newly elected Mayor of Gateshead. My boys visited Margaret this afternoon, she returned with them; she will call upon the Mayoress of Newcastle on Monday, and I really think I will also go. I think that as this is the third time you have been foreign countries for to see, you really might give the reading world the benefit of your experience and write an entertaining work. Mr. Lowry is about to be shipwrecked as far as regards this world of woe and a prize will be found on the seashore of his will, for some fortunate picker up of shells in the shape of Shield Field House. The cholera has departed the banks of coaly Tyne and days of thanksgiving have been appointed and kept both in Gateshead and Tynemouth. Newcastle has had to wait for a convenient season which will appear to be next Thursday. Mr. Welford leaves home for a fortnight on Monday and his wife purposed to have spent the weary time with or between Miss Winston and Margaret. However her fair cook has made up her mind to be frightened if left, so to calm the fears of the demoiselle, Elizabeth and her infant son will stay to protect the property. There has been a robbery at the house of the Dawsons’ uncle, Mr. Mason, several articles of value having exchanged their possessor.

    The weather (you see I am true to the topic of my nation) is most lovely at present, the sky cloudless, the air healthy and a little frosty and the sun bright and warm by day, and the moon so beautiful at night that were you with us, you would I know long for some Juliet to play the Romeo to. Miss Glyn has been performing on the Newcastle boards with èclat to herself, but I suppose the rest of the company have been most wretched specimens of spouting humanity. I think I will forego the pleasure of scribbling to you any longer tonight – only hoping the epistle may prove readable to you. However, one blessing is you are amongst figures and characters of equal peculiarity, so it will not be so much an enigma to you to decipher. Goodnight and I will finish in the morning, all well.


    Quayside, Monday, Nov. 14th.1853

    My Dear John

    As I was coming away this morning Anne gave me this letter & desired me to finish it for her & not knowing what you have been told must write at random. I need not say how glad we all were to hear from you & I was thankful to hear that although you had been seasick you had not strained your chest anymore. Jas. Scott called a few days since, he said that he had had a letter from Messrs. Pethonier & Cy. & they wished to know to what amount they might advance you cash, as there was no limit mentioned to them, so I told him to tell them to limit you to £100 at a time, which I hope will be satisfactory to you. I told your father of it the next day. Stephen Lowrey is very ill, they say he cannot live more than a few days. Billy Berkley has got into the Town Council for Nest All Saints, & for St. Nicholas Mr. Young retired & Lockey Harle has been thrown out much to his chagrin. The new councillors are John Anderson, Grocer & John B. Alexander Partner with Boldemann Barries & Coy. My lawsuit is just where you left it , Mr. Crighton has been at the office twice or thrice about 2, but he is so anxious about the dignity of the Mayor & Corporation being upheld that we can come to no settlement. Wm. & Henry often talk of you yet; Wm. has learned to find Alexandria in the atlas. Goodbye my dear John & believe me , Yours Truly,

    Septimus Cail

    N.B. All friends well here