I will try to post it right here, others might find it very interesting!
London April 5th 1837
Dear Uncle and Aunt,
I take this opportunity of addressing a few lines to you by favour of Mrs. Beattie a friend of my Father who is here on business from New York hoping they will find you all well as through mercy it leaves us at this time except my Father’s afflictions with his hands which is a very serious matter to him so much so that he is not able to write or use any mechanical tool whatever and scarcely able to dress himself though he’s happy to say he continues to hold a good situation as a general superintendent for a builder and myself and my brother write for him.
Dear Uncle we wrote a letter to you four years ago this month and sent it by a person my Father knew going to New York and not receiving any letter from you we are not aware whether you received it or not. Mother and Father would be very happy indeed if we could receive a letter direct from you. Indeed Mother is particularly anxious and says that if Father’s health were as good now as it used to be and equal to hers, we should soon prepare ourselves and come to America.
We heard from Grandfather and Grandmother about three weeks back. They were then better than they had been as we have had a very serious epidemic generally called the influensa which has carried off a great many all through the country and Grandfather and Grandmother were very seriously ill with it and three or four of the old standards at Gidding were carried off by it. We understand that Uncle Austin is doing but very middling at Gidding with a family of 5 of 6 children. Uncle Crawley with 8 children is doing very well though Aunt does not enjoy a good state of health.
Me Uncle and Aunt Richards with 8 children is doing very well. One of my cousin Richards the third son is living within London learning to be a carpenter.
Uncle Joseph is still at Sawtry and got a very good business, but I am very sorry to say he meets with a good deal of trouble with my Aunt.
Aunt Harrie’s or rather Aunt McPherson, as she is married a second husband, carries on the same business and is doing very well except a most unruly family.
Me Aunt John Heighton we have not seen for this seven or eight years. We now and then see some of my cousins. The family is considerably divided, my Uncle leaving my Aunt his principle executrix, had mismanaged the property that the younger branches of the family are not brought up to any particular business.
Me Uncle William and family of Kettring we are not able to say anything about more than they were all very well the last time we heard from them.
The family left by my Aunt Gibbons consisting of one son and three daughters are all pretty well.
Mother feels very anxious about my Aunt Tag and family as we have never heard whether they arrived safe or not in America. They left England for the Port of New York last summer. We have not seen Mrs. Ann Goods for some time but the last time we see her she was quite well.
We continue in England grovelling on in the extreme of Party Politics eat up with taxes and high rents and labouring men through the country literally starving. The Government are now trying an experiment with an act of Parliament called the Poor Law Amendment act which is to take the management of the poor of all parishes out of the hands of the ______ to be divided into Unions consisting of 5 or 6 more or less as may happen Parishes to erect a large new workhouse in a centrical situation to be managed by Guardians appointed by gentleman in London called the poor law commissioners. A rate to levied upon all inhabitants for their support and the rate payers to have no voice or management whatever in it ___________ no relief to be given out to out door paupers let their familys be ever so numerous therefore all who apply for relief have no other alternative than to dispose of all they have if poverty _________________
( A whole section of the original letter is missing here)
…difference what parish a person belongs to as all within the Union are consigned to the same workhouse or Room.
We have had a very severe winter in England this year and a great many poor creatures must have been starved to death had not the benevolent and humane portion of the country have liberally subscribed them relief as there is no parish fund to apply to and the poor law commissioners would not allow any out door relief to be given.
Dear Uncle and Aunt Mother requested me to say that Grandmother was in town last Autumn and was about better by far than we expected and stopped a fortnight she says that she should like to go to America if she were left by herself and had an opportunity of going over with anybody and would think nothing of the journey. I am learning the trade of a stone mason and have been at it this three years and should like very much to go to America as I hear masonry is a very good trade there and masons are very much wanted.
My Brother Thomas is now 13 years of age and is not put to any trade yet. His principal hobby is drawing which he is very clever at for a youth self taught.
I must conclude with our love to you all
Your affectionate Nephew
Enjoy! (Lines indicate unreadable parts of the letter.)
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