Letter #122

The Governor of Grenada was Colonel Carlo Joseph Doyle.

On Board Her Majesty’s Steamer Spitfire
11th April 1839 off Guadeloupe

Your charming letter my dear Kate dated 1st March reached its destination last night as all our party assembled on board preparatory to quitting Antigua having completed our business at that station, and we left the Island this morning about seven, but I have been so employed this morning and feel so fearful that a letter will not be in readiness shd we fall in with the eight day mail boat that collects the English letters. I have scarcely found time to read all the budget attentively with the exception of your very delightful one. First and foremost, I cannot express all the joyous sensation the intelligence therein conveyed has afforded me. I am always in spirit when on board ship at sea, but the prospect of being so soon released has elevated me beyond myself. June or July shd be the lattest period, God be willing, of my expatriation, and, if you can stir up Col Graydon I may be home before. In truth dear Kate, it is with difficulty I can collect my head piece to write consistently, and I feel so well satisfied with my good arrangement in having had my letters forwarded that you must pass over with a laugh all the rubbish. The Genl was exceeding undecided and perverse about the matter, and would not name an Island where his bag should meet him, thus all parties might have been without a line until our return at the end of this month to Barbados. Fortunately I arranged for my self & Rutherfurd, at the same time putting the Mily Secty name & some others of the staff on the list who would run all chances, & wrote to Lt Mould at Barbados. Most luckily it has operated, for all their private letters and papers were recd just as we embarked to leave Antigua. What a dull miserable fellow I should have been had I not recd your letters until the return to Hd Quarters. Enough of this – I’ve my letter & very happy it has made me. Now let me endeavour to give an account of the movements connected with the Genl & staff of the W India Army. At the present moment, friday 12th April 39, 12 oclock, the Spitfire is running rapidly along the coast of Dominica between Prince Rupert’s Bay & the town of Rosseau. At the former, we lay off until the officer, Capt Hector Downey 1st WI Regt, came on board to report – but I must explain that this letter was commenced last evening just as the vessel was making for the Bay of Basterre where she anchored last evening. This town is beautifully situated. The sketch which I made will I trust be very soon under your inspection, therefore it is needless to give a description more than it lays close on the shore, looks exceedingly lively, & the back ground closed in by the Souffries mounting whose crater was in full action. Since I wrote from Trinidad, the military &c &c have been inspected at Grenada, were we arrived on the 28th Ultimo, remaining Good friday, Sat & Sunday, starting at day break on the monday following. The Govr, Col Doyle, entertained us and were well recd by all parties. The scenery is beautiful, some of which I sketched. From this we went to St Vincent’s, another superb Island. Here I was much distressed to learn that Mrs Naghten’s good hearted & worthy brother was no more. Poor fellow, he was buried that morning or the day before, 31st of March. He had made an excurtion to the back of the Island to see the volcanic mountains, I understand, caught a fever, & on his return to Rosseau died in a few days. I was distressed exceedingly for his untimely fate. He was one of the most open kind hearted young men I have met. In fact all who made his acquaintance out here, from the Genl to the sub, thought highly of him. We have also to regret Lt Moody’s death by yellow fever at St Vincent’s, with a noble fellow, the Sergt Major of the Regt. In other respects we found these Islands healthy but the weather unusually hot and oppressive in the extreme. From the noise above I learn the good ship Spitfire is just making into the Bay & we shall be at anchor before I can write many more words. If the Mail boat is not here, more time will be afforded me. At anchor but no mail Boat. She is expected today & the bags are making up, so the Fort Adjt tells me, who has just come on board. Therefore dear Mrs Kit I must run the chance of some more goose from you & send this off half finished. From St Vincent’s we made Monserat, Nevis & then St Kits, all healthy and beautiful spots. I have not time to describe them – shall do so in my next. From this we go to Martinique & St Lucia, starting the day after tomorrow or monday, then on to Demerara & Berbice. God bless you all – this must go on shore. Love &c

 & believe me, dear dear Kit

Your affectionate

Fred English