Letter #66

‘Fred’s departure’ seems to refer to the fact that his regiment, the 35th of Foot, was about to be sent to Mauritius. It is, however, clear from later letters that he did not accompany them.

Berbice 12th Decr 1836

You observe my dear Kate that I have been again on the move and am now seated at Mr Molesworth’s desk to dispatch only five lines that you may be assured I am well. On thursday last the Stormond Brig, chartered by a Mr McDonald, sailed from Demerara. I was very anxious to get here in order to settle a dispute between Molesworth & the Clerk of Works and this opportunity was too good not to avail myself of it. Dining at a Mr Glouster’s, I found myself seated by the side of a pleasing woman in an interesting way who proved to be Mrs McDonald. We had scarcely refreshed ourselves with soup & a glass of wine when Madame questioned me whether I was the same Capt English at Fort George in the year so & so or not. I replied in the affirmative. ‘Then you know my dear Friend Mary Frazer, now Mrs McFerson & a widow’. From this we started away thro the whole Highland society & talked incessantly. Mrs McDonald was a Miss Grant, is a very pleasing person, ladylike & well Educated. Capt Pardeilhan was of the party, and to my surprise my Highland friend chattered away in his french fluently. However, having introduced the lady, we may add that the husband is really a kind hearted good fellow. He invited the French Capt & myself to take our passage on the Stormont, which was arranged, but I could not persuade him to keep his promise & here I am alone. We had a famous passage down, left the river Demerara at 7 in the evening & landed here about 5 oclock friday evening. A friend of Mr McD, a Mr Brace, joined our party just as we sailed. On landing, Mr McDonald would not hear of my going to the Barracks, consequently his house, about 3 miles from this on the coast, is my head Quarters. I rode here yesterday evening to dine with the officer of the 69th Regt & return to the country this afternoon. Tomorrow I shall go to Fort Wellington about 9 miles on the coast on some duty & if possible shall return to Demerara about the end of the week. The Return Mail boat, I am just told, leaves this about ten this morning, which is the cause of my writing in this hasty way just to save time that the period may not be so long between my reports to you. I can only consider this as a note comparatively, but you will excuse its being so short when you learn that I am in excellent health and spirits looking forward to the May-be Brevet and joining you all again. Fred’s departure I regret insofar as the chance of meeting him, but it is quite as well that he shd go for a time with his Regiment. I learn from all parties that it is an excellent station. Caution him against drinking spirits – I attribute my good health much to that, never indulging in any strong waters. Immediately on my return I shall write you a long detail of all I can collect. From hence I cannot for I am hurried beyond measure. Molesworth is looking well again but has suffered much. He received intelligence of his mother’s death yesterday on her way from Wales to Bath. He begs to be kindly remembered. Fancy my finding in the Scotch Clergyman here, highly looked up to, well behaved lad at Mr Tulloch’s post office, Ft George. He exclaimed, ‘Why, you are Capt English, how is Master Fred, Mrs E & so on?’ Quite a delight. I could write for hours my dear Kate but must not lose the Mail. Your letter of the 13th or 15th of Oct have come to hand. Sir F Mulcaster [word missing] was dated Canterbury or thereabout. The [word missing] all thus yours are a fortnight in arrears. I must bear it & hope to have the double dispatch on the 22nd inst. My sisters’ affairs make me very unhappy, in fact they are always in my thoughts. It would be a harsh measure to force them to Fareham, the country is enough. Why not Isle of White or some spot that would meet their wishes & southe their troubles. They must not be run down to much, it is ungenerous to do so. All are in turn & amounts only to error in judgement, in this case a very unfortunate error. Regards to all at Catisfield, particularly my excellent Uncle & Aunt OB & MOB. Kiss my dear girls for me & thump Augustus. How is Miss Parker? God bless her & my dear nieces. Adieu dear Kate

Your afft Fred E

Drew 25£ about a month since.