Letter #67

Demerara Jany 2nd 1837

The Mail Boat is about to sail my dear Kate sooner than expected & I have been so overwhelmed with work in the way of writing that I could not give even half an hour to the pleasure of private correspondence. All came together as is often the case. End to the year, quarter & month, long disputes between Molesworth & his Clerk of Works at Berbice which I had to settle, reporting thereon ...     Read more

Letter #68

English made a mistake in dating this letter: it is clear from the context, Mrs English’s note on the cover and the postmark that it was written on 13 January 1837. It demonstrates that he was right in preferring to use merchant ships in preference to packets while he was in Demerara; this letter arrived in Wickham after 38 days and overtook the previous one sent by the packet.

 Demerara 13th Oct 1837

A signal is now ...     Read more

Letter #69

Yet another rumour of a brevet, but this time it proved to be true, though it was some weeks before English knew his fate. The date of the brevet was 10 January.

Demerara 23rd Jany 1837

It has just been reported to me my dear Kate that the Nautilus sugar Ship sails at ½ past 4 this evening, by which I will at all event acknowledge the receipt of your letters up to the 30th Novr or as we term it the 1st ...     Read more

Letter #70

This letter has the date 27th January 1837 in English’s handwriting on the cover. It is clear that the date Jan 7 is an error.

Demerara Jan 7 1837

The letters will come so numerous by the Wickham post that I think my dear Kate you will ‘cry hold hard’. However, here I am at it again. The last forwarded by Nautilus sugar ship did not quit the River as promised but fully two days afterwards. This shall go by the ...     Read more

Letter #71

Buckeen is an Irish word – see letter 117 – meaning a social climber. English probably meant to write ‘buckra’ – see letter 83 – a word used by black people to indicate a white. 

King Olomule, a dubious reading anyway, has not been traced. 

English’s sisters Georgiana and Isabella were in financial difficulties. Georgiana was summoned before the Insolvent Debtors’ Court on 1 ...     Read more

Letter #72

The United Service Journal was published from 1829. It was not an official publication. 

Georgiana’s affairs were now coming to a crisis. Her case was before the insolvent debtors’ court on 1 April. Jane, who was evidently living with Georgiana and Isabella, may have been unrelated, as no record has been found of a sister of that name. Her presence explains ‘three women’ in letter 80.

19th Feby 37 the next packet due 22

Agreeable ...     Read more

Letter #73

Demerara 10th March 1837

What days of anxiety were those of the 10, 11, 12 March this time 3 years, my dear Kate, to me. It is matter of wonder how those years have passed so quickly. On your side of the Atlantic the seasons mark the time and call to remembrance what may have passed, Xmas two years or midsummer twelve months. Here all the months appear the same, one continued sunshine even during the periods termed wet ...     Read more

Letter #74

Not dated at head, but started at Demerara on 27 March 1837

By Tom Naghten’s report, who was here last evening, a fast vessel sails tomorrow for London, and, altho my dear Kate I write rather under the disappointment of not having heard from Wickham since the 13th or 14th Jany, still I will not lose the chance or wait for the packet’s arrival – she was due on the 26th...     Read more

Letter #75

 4th April 1837

My dear Kate: the note from Col Wells now lays before me. The information he gave you in so misterious a stile is just what I have anticipated. When Sir Charles was here he told me he should accept Gibraltar, in fact it is generally understood he is to go there. Capt Elton of the 67 who has joined here within this last week tells me that Sir C Smith did not land on the return from Trinidad, all ...     Read more

Letter #76

Begun at Demerara on 13 April 1837

It is vexatious to forward a few lines only my dear Kate or probably I might frequently start off a letter. In the present case I trust I am in time to send this by a fine vessel I observe just going out of the river to lay at the other side of the Bar until ready for sea, I suppose, as she has her boat in tow. Yesterday evening I read your letters of the 27th ...     Read more