Letter #96

Barbados 6th Feby 1838

My good dear Wife

The long expected William Miles came to anchor yesterday morning early and the 70 & 64 detachments landed in the afternoon. Capt O’Brien is of the party, I hear, but have not yet seen him. No doubt ere this is put into the letter bag, he or the articles, valued they will be as coming from dear home, may be forthcoming. What a pleasure it is, first the anticipation, the breaking the seals, even the very string is carefully laid aside. When all over, ah me! I am forced to think of the next packet. By the by, the last two sail from hence today & together, both to St Thomas’s in consequence of their arriving here within 24 hours of each other. We all concluded the former of the two had suffered by some accident, however, she reached this, The Pigeon, all eight, ten or 12 day after being due. The Dolphin came to anchor some 4 or 5 days before her time, thus your letters will be rather late this time. I have been rather so so for the last ten days – a slight return of Ague, but today I feel light and convalescent thanks to some of Augustus’s friends the [diagram of six circles] but they have left me weak and disconsolate, home sick and my family about me. The Genl has so frequently put off his departure for the Island tour from one cause or another that I was not at all surprised when his Milty Secty called yesterday morning to state that he had for the present deferred his trip consequent on the expected arrival of the 70 Regt and various detacht changes in the command. I do not regret this – it would be inconvenient for me to be absent from H Quarters until all my people settle. For instance, Capt Rutherford has not yet made his appearance, notwithstanding he has been turned out of Grenada by Lt Mould & family. The Quarantine upsets all arrangements. He will turn out of some little trading craft, it is to be hoped soon. L Smith I am heartily sick of & shll be happy to ship him, which he is under orders for. He can do his work well enough, but it is either overdone & there is such a total want of frankness he is disliked by all, but he ought not to be so for in truth he is a merry fellow when disposed. Lt Chapman is in orders for St Lucia – he is a fine young man, and if knocked about a little from Island to Island to learn his business, might become a confidential. At present I am at a loss. Our good people in Pall Mall have sent me three boys who know so little what will be required of them that they are near useless at present. I have kept them here for a few weeks until the first alarm of climate is evaporated & they have made themselves masters somewhat respecting the various stations. You have no conception, whilst snoring over your desk with feet on the Rug, the whirl of pesters and pothers that reach me by every return of mail boat, and from every department. The Genl refers here on almost all subjects. He called here last evening. A nervous man in this Comd would soon make a vacancy. Thanks to a good spirit I carry on and care not – even the flaps of your last letter, a Decr one, cannot subdue me, notwithstanding the evident effort. Do my dear Kate keep your lectures on your side of the Atlantic, I entreat of you. The twaddle you crowded on the folds of the 30th Dcr letter, in other respects a charming and acceptable one, must have annoyed your eye sight, given cramps in the fingers & a fit of bile to wit. What can I have to do with Lt Ford’s marriage? Or how can you conceive that I have become so completely in my dotage of 50 to connive in any of the private plans of those under my command. You have been at Wickham my dear Kate too long. Capt Strong I think dined with me once and his 1st Lt probably twice at Mess during the chance visits I have pd to Barbados – strange hospitality with a vengeance, well worth a remark. As to dinner parties, I detest them, but as there is no other society here & I scrape all together to write you an account, these parties as you term them, generally consisting of 4 or 6 steady persons, are introduced. Drinking is out of the question in this country, now not tolerated. As to the dinners I attend as Hd of my Dept, do you suppose I enjoy them? Pray don’t abuse poor Tyler – what has done to offend? He is all old school fellow. We been in action together, in fact he is the only person with whom I chat upon olden time with. Now you have a proof that I read your letters, Mrs Kit. There is much more that I will about but you certainly are not so charitably minded when you allow your pen to run away with your thoughts as formerly. Mr Rosleigh’s sermons have no good effect I fear, notwithstanding you hear two each sunday. The Craigs Court letter of the 4 Novr is all rubbish. The div had not been pd, the Comd pay not pd, nor the sub or Extra pd up to the end of Octr. The C Court of the 8 Novr is as it shd and points out the high and due respect they hold you in. That of the 2 Decr if possible more forcibly proves their entire confidence in you, my best of wives, I will give you your due. Altho you do hint at wishing for a younger husband, don’t go further for you may fare worse. On the 2 Decr On Dit: Sub to 31 Oct, Extra to 30th Sept, comd Pay 30th Jun Due, thus to end of 1837: Sub at 16.2d pr diem = 49. 6. 2. Extra = 74. 7. 4. Com to 30 Sept 92, total 215. 6 & adding the last quarter, Comd pay would make up to 31st Decr 37: 307. 13. 6. I sincerely regret my dear Kate that you shd be put to the slightest inconvenience but it will all come right enough. My expenditure for the start here is over & most of my outlay is in solid worth that will return & keep me nearly. However I must conclude this subject for the office keeper calls for letters. No Capt O’Brien yet, but a black sert has arrived with a huge carpet bag and a letter from Capt Tait enclosing one for Miss Crichlow – no Crichlow Esqr. Regards to Capt Tait. I wish I could lay my hands on some of the seed the young fellows of my family have packed for the sinner. All you sent have turned out well & are up long since. I shall be so happy when you begin the spring letters. Is there to be a brevet? The Seringapatam starts for Jamaica tomorrow, I learn, but have not seen Capt Leith for a day or two. Had I been at home it is very likely shd have gone to Canada. We hear that the 65 did not stop at Hallifax but went on to the nearest point of insurection. I am much pleased that Gusto & Mr Dixon hit it off so well. He may yet bless the day he left Woolwich. Dear Fred seems spooney, poor old donkey – that will soon wear off. Fancy Fred playing at sensibility – what fun! Love to the dear Girls, Gusto. Regards to Miss Parker. Remember me kindly to my Uncles H. I am truly sorry at Mr H H’s sad loss. Love to MOB. God bless you all. As usual I have had loads of interruptions.

Yours ever aff

 Fred E