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 Return Mail or ship that sails for London at 4 PM today, on dit. I recd three days since thro T Naghten a very handsome Sword Belt and most delightful letter from Louisa E dated Decr 9th. This may in some measure account for not getting the dispatches of the 15th Decr from Wickham. The account of dear Annie is by comparison favorable, still the loss is dreadful & makes me wretched when I think of it. How I regret not being with you at such moments when a companion is required to cheer you. However, this talked of Brevet, I trust no longer a humbug, may move me home and out of the sphere of great King Com, who, I make no doubt, will & does pay me off in various little spiteful attacks for the flooring he got thro my hands in his Grants of Crown Land. I have foxed him altogether with the assistance of Sir C Smith who backed me manfully. I am now running him to ground respecting the CR Engr British Guiana being unlawfully & without president kept on Garrison duty contrary to the Govr Genl’s express order. A positive order came from Hd Quarters in support of the former by the last Packet that Capt English was to be relieved instanter, but – what does Com in his wisdom do? – gives out a District order censuring me for complaining to Sir C Smith, which mind you I never did, and directing me to be continued on the roster. Thus he has been going on since Sir C Smith was ordered to take Comd of the Troops throughout these Colonies from the Horse Guard. Com won’t acknowledge him as Comdg, nor will he turn over the office of Comd in the Colony to the next officer until an answer is recd from home, but has put a stop to all the references &c &c with Hd Quarters Barbados. You will suppose we are all looking on with interest to observe how Com will get out of the stocks he has so ably placed himself in. I think Sir C Smith is too strong for him. I wrote to our Representative of Majesty yesterday stating my intention of forwarding his order wherein he has censured your loving Lord to avoid being trapped by him. I expect a thundering reply in course of today for he keeps his little Fort Adjt in constant practice at his quil. All this keeps me constantly on the alert, still it is unpleasant. We are very polite when we meet once a week but I never dine there now, only on such occasions as his late Coronation and Lord Mayor’s foolery. Yesterday I dined with Mr & Mrs Rose, my Scotch friends here & an exceedingly pleasant party we had. Today I was to have dined with a Dr Banyun, from whom I won half a dozen Champaign on the doubt whether an officer, a Dr Scott, Staff, was an Irish or Scotchman – he happened to be the latter. However the party is deferred until next wednesday. On Monday the Batchelors give a Ball here, of which I was the original mover, well and ably supported by Tom Naghten. To you all these affairs on paper appear something like gaity but they do not pass off so to me. I go, in fact go is the Parole & Counter sign with me to make the time pass whilst away from you all. The belt came in good time for the Capt requires repair in every department. I have just purchased 8 Table Cloths & 12 napkins, all my crockery is broken, Breakfast & diner – these blacks are such determined rascals – boots all gone, I took out my last 6 pr of socks yesterday & two night shirts from my store Chest where I feasted mine eyes on 4 or 5 good towels & some shirts to the fore, yet pillow cases & Mosquito net gone! gone! gone! and only the toe of those beautiful slippers Miss Parker made for me left. A Net of Blind Muslin if close enough figured &c &c and with some pink thereon would set me off, as dear Fred would say, fine. I have seen Portsmouth papers to the 15 Decr. Nothing yet come from Com – what a Skylarking he will be on. What a pity I cannot bow, when I would kick or smile when sad. But to my wardrobe – oh that you would send Jenny Ross to me for a time, it would be a glorious inspection of the Stockings & shirts without buttons, Red coat & [word missing] not the thing exactly but it must last the transportation. I trust you saw Mr Dixon again – was he friendly? If Augustus could make his way in that House it’s impossible to say what might come to pass with steady application on his part. His hand writing is much against him. He should, if the matter is decided upon, lose no time in making himself acquainted with bookkeeping as to double & single Entry & so forth. Spanish & french with drawing are of great importance. As he will have to go abroad, the latter would tell beyond what he can conceive. My sisters are very strange in their mode of proceeding & will always be a source of great anxiety to their brothers. I fear still they must not be run down or deserted; if they are in error, it is no reason we shd. I wish I were at home to see them & bring about a firm reconciliation. Eventually they will find a country life best suited to them, I do not say Fareham. My best regards to them if you have a chance of giving such a message. The Admiral is well at Barbados. Had I been there I shd have seen Capt Pring & others. Capt Bennet is in the River with a sloop of war just now – I forget her name. Adieu dear Kate FE.

Regards to Uncle H & all at Catisfield. Love to my pets.

I do not expect I shll go to Barbados now unless to relieve Sir C Smith – Love to all.