Letter #48

Here is a day for a man to write to his wife the 5th January 36 my dear Kate – blowing a gale, rain, sultry at intervals, gloomy, and at this moment the sand flies are so numerous that I am forced to write with my gloves on, the bad weather having driven them into the houses. They are such a pest, added to their companions the Mosquitos that our suffering from them is the subject of ...     Read more

Letter #49

Not dated, begun 14 January 1836 at Demerara 

The Return Mail Boat to Barbados shd be here and depart tomorrow my dear Kate – 15th Jany 1836 – and as I have recd such dreadful goose for not writing by this roundabout channel, it is my determination to give you a few extracts from my journal, notwithstanding the last letter home was dated on the 6th or 7th Inst, ...     Read more

Letter #50

Was Augustus destined to follow in father’s footsteps? The day of reckoning has arrived. 

Thomas Aiskew Larcom, at this time a lieutenant, was appointed by Colonel Colby (see letter 42) to be in charge of the Survey in Ireland, which must have been where English and he became acquainted. A meticulous surveyor, he produced six-inch maps of the whole of Ireland. The ‘Memoir of the Parish of ...     Read more

Letter #51

English still favours pulling strings to try to rescue Augustus’s army career. Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, whom English may have known in the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns, was now commander-in-chief of the Army. Lord Fitzroy Somerset had lost an arm at Waterloo, then served as secretary to Wellington in his capacity as Master General of the Ordnance. At this time, he was ...     Read more

Letter #52

Not dated at head, but begun on 14 March 1836 at Demerara. 

Powis is the local name for the black curassow, crax alector, see letter 58. 

Cuba, a Spanish colony, had abolished trading in slaves in 1818, but slavery had not been abolished, and newly captured slaves were still being delivered there illegally. The proposed deal was to transfer some of these newly captured slaves to British colonies, ...     Read more

Letter #53

Demerara 2d April 1836

My Dear Kate

Whenever I seat myself to write, some unforeseen interruptions occur. My desk has been open the whole morning and it’s now past 12 oclock before I could get rid of my troubles. Even now I fear a visitor or two will walk in just to perplex and take up the time I wish to occupy in writing home, for T Naghten informs me one of the vessels of their house sails this afternoon, the Underwood, ...     Read more

Letter #54

There is a hint here of the unpopularity of the Governor of the Windward and Leeward Islands, Sir Lionel Smith. Sturge and Harvey (see Further Reading) compare him unfavourably with his successor Sir Evan MacGregor.

Demerara 2d May 1836

It appears an age my dear Kate since I received accounts from Wickham. By the last Packet no letter arrived, occasioned doubtlessly thro the delay at Pall Mall office. Probably Sir F ...     Read more

Letter #55

Not dated at head, but begun at Demerara on 15 May 1836 

‘Mr Steward MP’ is John Stewart, illegitimate son and heir of John Stewart, owner of several West Indian sugar estates. His mother was Mary Duncan of Demerara, either black or of mixed race. He represented Lymington in parliament from 1832 to 1847, and is believed to have been the first person of mixed race to sit in the House ...     Read more

Letter #56

Not dated at head, begun at Demerara 29 May 1836 

It always so happens my dear Kate that some interruption occurs whenever I wish to get my letter prepared for you. Fortunately the Mail Boat is becalmed outside or I should have lost the opportunity. I am just returning home after closing a Court Martial that has detained its members and myself as president for two days. The heat is immensely oppressive ...     Read more

Letter #57

 2d July 36

You will think my dear Kate that I was lost – but no, only that the spring leg has been in motion again. Would you credit it? Since I commenced, in fact hardly had I seated myself, and it is now nearly four oclock, when in came behind me and without shoes they are at your elbow before you know a person is in the room.  First Capt Walter, ‘Massa, here em a Powis nest you to take Barbade’. ...     Read more