The Letters & Notes of Frank Turner Gent,1891-1941

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In Loving Memory


Joseph Williams

of Dorking

Who fell asleep, 9th month, 25th, 1891,

aged 55 years.

'Thy will be done.'

The interment is intended to take place at the Friends' BurialGround, at 3 o' clock on 3rd day, 29th inst.


On Thursday, September 26th, 1893 Florrie and I removed to 58,Rumford Street, Chorlton on Medlock, I having bought two housesthere. Mother still stayed at Heywood Street with Priscilla Warburtonfrom Cambridge, her brother's daughter, and Lily McCoughlin, thechild she had partly adopted. She was then sixty-seven years old. Weonly stayed at Rumford Street ten months, where Franky was born atChristmas 1893. I then sold them. On Thursday, June 19th, 1894 Iremoved Mother from Heywood Street to 70, Sloane Street and sent mostof her furniture into storage, and on Wednesday, July 11th we leftRumford Street to rejoin her there, as I had wished to do ever sincewe separated.

In 1897 we all went to Dorking to see Mother's sister Aunt MaryWilliams. Mother and Lily stayed there three months. On Tuesday,September 21st, 1897 Florrie and I removed to 15, Greenhill Street,Greenheys to one of my houses there, a large, gloomy old place, andon Friday, October 15th, 1897 Mother and Lily came home and neverslept away from us again while she lived. In July, 1899 we sent Lilyaway to a convent at Preston, her mother being a Catholic, and Motherbeing too ill to keep her any longer. After this Mother seemed tobreak down and lose health and on December 11th, 1899 when Lily cameto visit us she came downstairs for the last time, and I hired agramophone for her to hear. On February 13th, 1900 at 9.30 at nightmy dear Mother died in my brother's and my presence without a groanand very suddenly in a fit of coughing, after living with me nineteenyears in Manchester. My dear, beloved Mother.



319, Fairfield Road

19th December, 1891


My dear Florrie,

We thank you very much for your very kind invitation, and shall bevery pleased to come and spend Christmas day with you. We have spentChristmas day together now for some years either at your house orours, and I shall be very pleased to come this year as you are nowmistress and the family is now complete, and I trust that we may allenjoy many years of each other's company. We are comparativestrangers to each other so far but I trust we shall not remain so,for I do indeed wish you and Frank every success and happiness, and Itrust that time will make my lot brighter. I am only afraid of givingyou too much trouble, there are so many of us. I think it would bebetter if we came in the morning of Christmas day as then we shouldnot hinder you so much, but I should like Fred to come and see youbefore the time then you can tell him what you think. I should notlike to give you any more trouble than I can help. I hope Aunt iswell, please give our love to her. Hoping to see you soon, with ourdear love to you and Frank

I remain

Yours very affectionately

S. Gent


[also two birthday cards]


[also Mark Twain's speech 'On babies.']


[I completed copying my great grandparents' love letters on25th December, 1996, by co-incidence my great grandfather's birthday,born one hundred and thirty-eight years ago. FJG]


413, West Derby Road,

Tuebrook, Liverpool





My Dear Frank and Florrie,

I received your post card. I thought you would be lonely but amonly come for a short time and you have had no time for reading so itwill be a change, and it is nice to go to a place of worship. I hopeyou will not neglect that but remember the golden rule. Well it hasbeen a dreadful day, raining in torrents, but fine the last halfhour. Now tea time. Henry is going to Liverpool to-morrow if fine soit will be a treat for him. I took Arthur out yesterday, then did abit of shopping, but Henry is very good at that. Arthur got a cough Ithink. Sarah is the same. All else are well, I am glad to say. Isuppose Florrie's brother came yesterday or she would be lonely tillshe gets used to it. I felt sorry the little difference came, I don'tlike to see anyone upset. The tram I got in was the Albert Squareone, so it came down in torrents, I waited in Market Street a longtime then went to Picadilly and waited some time and Mrs Rament cameand got in the same tram so it was late when I got here, hope it willbe fine weather. I have slept and eat well since I came. Do notforget the cat's tile we dispose of them. I am thinking Prissy willbe coming to-day, do not get her a jacket if you have not, for acloak will be more useful for winter and keep her petticoats dry. Icould meet you when I come home if you do not buy it before. Now indear love to both,

I am your loving Mother

E. Gent

All join in kind love to both.


This must be after their wedding, before birth of my grandfather,i.e. about 1892. Arthur died aged about two, but I have no details ofhis birth or death. He must have been a late child, as John Henry wasborn 1878, Edith in 1885, and Arthur about 1891 - was this why Sarahmissed the wedding?



Postmark: Knutsford, 4th February, 1892


To: Mr Gent, 79, Heywood Street, Brooks Bar, Manchester


Dear Frank,

I shall come early to-morrow, Friday, unless it is very wet. MrsBirch wants me to come back same day. I am glad to say she is better,gets up for a cup of tea. If I do not come put a bottle of water inmy bed, it is over the kitchen in bed.

Kind love to both.




John Gent died September 22nd, 1840, age 78

Sarah died November 15th, 1843, age 92

Thomas Warburton died April 8th, 1861, age 74

Mary Warburton died November 8th, 1869, aged 69


Astbury Church, July, 1892, with Cousin Joe from Dorking


Holidays in Devonshire 1892

September 1st

Flo 1/-


Bottle 2/-

Cafe etc 2/7


Rail 42/6

Car 2/2

Wire and Cugs


Trek [?] Teignmouth 2/-

Lunch etc 10

Ripe [?] 1-0

View 1-0

Tea etc 1-2

Cream 1-2

Pcds 6

Br 11

Book 1/-


Boat 6

Gloves etc 2/3

Exmouth 2/-


Cathedral 6

Tea etc 3/-


Chudleigh 7/-

Bus, Brake, Tea, Drinks, Boy etc 1/6



Rail 7/-

Tobac and Ref 7

Sandwiches 8

Newton 2/-

Views 2/3



Rail and Boat 8/-

Dinner and Tea 3/-

View, and Sarah 2/4

Cider 8


Exeter View etc 1/4

Cider etc 1/3


Cab 1/3

Tea 1/9

Cab 2/7



Whit Week 1893 Scarborough

Walked to Exchange Good ride arrived eleven. Hotel to eat lunchWent to lodgings. Walked all round Castle Hill North and South Bay,oysters pics in hotel Drive sixteen miles tea at six Evening in SpaSickening snobbery home at ten. Br[ead] ham and bed

Friday Breakfast nine Stroll on North Bay to Scalby Mills Gooddinner and Yorkshire Pudding at two Oliver Mount in afternoon, tea,stroll nt dks supper Flo ill all night.

Saturday morning letter from Mother Drive round South Cliff injockey phaeton Portrait taken on sands in phaeton Dinner, home atthree got off at Leeds for half hour to look at town Manchester atseven



Wednesday, 16th August, 1893

Fred down at night before we went away.

Thursday 17th Met Mr Barrington and Emily at Central. Liverpoolboat Prince of Wales in at three, looked round, tea at 70, CircularRoad, tram etc at night.

Friday on the Head. Palace at night.

Saturday Flo and I drive to Laxey and Dhoon, tea at Glur drivehome, set in cold.

Sunday Kirk Bread. Wet afternoon head in all night.

Monday Rail St Johns. Walk Glen May down to beach trap to PeelTea, train home.

Tuesday Head again afternoon. Wet, had photo Flo and I at therocks. Bought Flo boots, row about Emily.


[This fragment inside remaining cover of diary/account book.The rest appear to have been lost]

Went to digs to see if any letters, StG nn wtd till 9.15. Bus toPiccdly mt g. who hd b n stg in Mc Scotts Hotel and the Monico. Fchabt twn, wlkd hme, nr Hyde Park, still mr Fch etc. Thurs Let fm Flo,quite cheering and joyful, read over bkfst in public coffee room.Grand morng walked to Albert Memorial, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, OxfordStreet, Edware Rd, Harrow Rd, Trinity Chchtn, Dinner Avechurch[?] ham venison wrote to Flo in pub in Fleet Street, home totea. Drury Lane Theatre at night Cheer Boys Cheer, walk home attwelve, last night. Bed right away, no supper, botle of stout.

Friday St G. last time nrly [?] fetched bag away, walkedabout town all night bt o'coat. Dinner Neal's Newgate Street walkedback to Oxford Street again Bus to St Pancras train home 4 PM.


Nº 14 from October 9th 93 to September 16/94


October 9th, 1893


Monday Bought Oil cloth and stair carpet fitted up back sittingroom oil cloth border 11 PM

Tuesday Fitted carpet on stairs. Mothers at night fitting picturesetc lobby oil cloth etc. Fred there.

Wednesday cleaning and fitting Venetian back sitting room.

Thursday 12th October Mother up first time, Prissy and Lilly, Mrand Mrs Barrington also. tea and supper. grand evening, saw them homeby Chorlton Road car at ten.

Friday Fitted dresser back, Cistern door. Mother's to tea inafternoon. Back at six to have letterbox and cupboard done.

Saturday drew £70 Mrs Bk. Lawyers at eleven with MrBarrington, paid £100 on property


October 16th

Monday Beautiful day. Went to Paulden's at night for lobby brass.Washed the cat in disinfectant to kill fleas made it very ill.

Tuesday Mother's to tea at six, stayed till 8.30.

Wednesday Went to Finlay's sale corner Moss Lane East one tillfour. Bought vases, two flower pot stands, gipsy table, cornice andsix pictures.

Friday Bricklayer at work.

Saturday very poorly. Went on new round. Mother's at night, homeat eleven. Blackguard tracked us.

Sunday Sent letter, while we were out at Unitarian church, went upto show it Mr Barrington at once.


October 23rd

Monday Mr Barrington and I went to police about letter. Emily andWilly with Flo all day. Detective came at night and followed toHeywood Street and back. No one followed. Saw scampish fellow atcorner.

Tuesday Willy with Flo all afternoon. Mr and Mrs Barrington downat night. M[?] and I followed Flo. No go.

Wednesday Willy all day. Mr B. down at night

Thursday Willy down for an hour while at office. Home all dayalone, very miserable.

Friday Went to Mother's at noon till seven. Bitter cold andwet.

Saturday Mother came up to stay with Flo from one till seven.

Sunday At home all day, Front room two hours at nightwatching.


October 30th

Monday Emily and Willy all day, saw Emily to Oxford Road corner atnight.

Tuesday Emily down all day. Called at Mother's. Prissy been verybad.

Wednesday Saw Mrs Parkinson about her girl.

Thursday Fitted back room blind. Fire in back room first time.

Friday In town, bought mangle, fender, chair and stair rods.Mother's at four. Drew 20/- from bank. Up to town, got men and cartto bring things. Got mangle in cellar, went back to Mother for tea.Home at ten.

Saturday Met Harry Newhall, came in for an hour.

Sunday Salford at three till ten. Had goose to supper. Bittercold.


November 6th

Monday Nelly would go home, stayed all night. I called atMother's.

Tuesday Called at Mother's. Mother's lodger came, Mrs Carson.

Wednesday Willy down.

Thursday Nelly left. No coal to be bought. Went to spend day atMother's. Walk up to Wilbraham Road. Home at nine.

Friday Town, home all evening.

Saturday Mother's at noon.

Sunday Mother, Prissy and Lilly came to dinner lest we could nothave a Christmas feed. Mr and Mrs Barrington round to tea. Saw themall of at All Saints' at ten.

November 13th

Monday Tic all day and night.

Tuesday Ill all night. Took black draught and sweet nitre.

Wednesday In all day.

Thursday Flo and I to Moss Side Bank to draw 30/- for housekeepingetc. Town bought mantle, Salford tea and super. Walk home at eleven.Rat on bell wires.

Friday In till four. Down to Mother's. Super, home at ten.

Saturday Fearful storm. Went Salford to engage girl, she came atfour.

Sunday Wilkes's chron. In all day


November 20th

Monday Bitter cold. Keen came to tea.

Tuesday Girl cried to go home.

Wednesday Sent her home afternoon. Brought all bed linen down andput in cellar. Intensely cold.

Thursday Walk at night Pauldens etc bought a lot of things.

Friday Mother's to tea and supper, home at 10.30.

Saturday Horribly wet and cold. In all night. Tic all night.

Sunday Walked to Mother's in morning. Mother bad cold. Flo and Ito Newhalls to tea, home twelve. Black stock [?] andhare.


November 27th

Monday Called at Mother's.

Tuesday do

Wednesday Town Hall, Mr Whittingham.

Thursday Salford at night. Bought wool vests and four pairs ofsocks.

Friday Dreadfully cold. Went to Mother's. Prissy ill, called onMiss Griffiths, home at four to tea. Pipes all frozen, lit fire andgas in bath room.

Saturday Great cold again.

Sunday Thaw, very mild, all the pipes in 60 and 62 Rumford Streetburst.


December 4th

Monday Flo and I went to see nurse at night in February[?] Street, engaged.

Tuesday Went home to dinner first time and book on round. Mr andMrs Barrington to tea.

Wednesday Bought rocker chair, coal scuttle etc called on Motherand on Nurse in Crawley Street. Nurse came from Weaste at night. MrsHolmyard came for three hours.

Thursday Mother and Lilly came tea and supper, saw her in car atnine.

Friday Barringtons to get carpet for bath pipes. Walked to Hulme,engaged nurse, home to tea. Padding both room and pipes till elevenat night.

Saturday Prissy came for the day. I saw her past Oxford Road at9.30.

Sunday Fire in parlour, sat in alone all day.


December 11th

Monday Damp clammy day. Called on Mother.

Felt ill at Mother's. Chills. Gruel etc.

Tuesday Drenching. Out two hours.

Wednesday Busy morning. Felt very unsettled all week, lonelinessand worry, felt it was not properly enjoying life and yet there seemsno escape from toil and Mother we hardly ever have here, and still wemight not aprel[?] if she was with us. What blind, helpless,miserable creatures we are.

Thursday Went to Mother's at five, home at ten.

Friday Walked to farm at Chorlton alone. Flo and I met Mother andLilly to look at Pauldens in afternoon. Xmas decorations Had teathere, bought stair cloth, cake dish etc. Saw Mother to corner ofJackson Street. Flo and I to Salford, home at eleven.

Saturday Frances down.

Sunday In all day. Maud Newhall down.


December 18th

All Sunday night neuralgia.

Monday Big day, no dinner, went to Salford to re-enter Tilley's togive to FitzPatrick. Mother's to tea, collecting late ready forXmas.

Tuesday Dreadful day, out till seven from noon. Prissy came downboth days to help Flo. Emily down.

Wednesday Wretched, cold and sleet. Been ill all week, cold,aches, tic and worry.

Thursday Office. Talk to Fred. Load of coal. Flo locked out, brokecellar window to get in.

Friday December 22nd. To town alone to buy cards etc., alone toMother's at night to ask if she was coming, home 9.30.

Saturday Collected twelve till six. Mother's to dinner. Shedecided to go to Fairfield to spend Xmas day. Ill all week colds andtic. Awfully ill after stout on Saturday.

Sunday Very mild, Starkie's to tea. Went home at ten. Flo and Isat up till one. Giblet pie to supper. Drenching night. Xmas Eve.


25th December

Monday Xmas Day. Up at nine. Mild as spring. Dinner by ourselves.Fairly settled down to married life and housekeeping in our ownhouse. First Xmas for about nine years my family not been alltogether. Went to Salford at four. Tremendous thunderstorm. Greatnight, up till three, slept all night there. v. for first time.

Tuesday Up at ten. Breakfast and dinner. Weaste to tea with MrsBarrington to Frances's, home at eight.

Wednesday Collected. called at Mother's. Said she walked toCentral Station on Xmas morning and from Alexandra Park Station atten coming home. Bed at twelve.

Thursday December 28th. Flo began to be ill at three. Got piece ofmackintosh to put under. Looked outside to see someone to fetchwoman, no one about. Mild as summer, warmed some milk. Fetchedmidwife at five, told me not to go out, it was near, sent cab for MrsBarrington at ten to eight. Boy born about half past, only themidwife here. Mrs Barrington came fifteen minutes after, stayed allday. Mr Barrington came at noon, told Fred at office. Nurse came atsix. Wrote Mother. Slept in back room.

Friday Mother and Lilly came, Emily and Maud.

Saturday Did the shopping.

Sunday Last day of '93. Nurse went to bed at eleven. I let Newyear in at twelve. very quiet day.


January 1st, 1894

New Year's Day Went to Mother's at eleven. No one else been so Ilet her the New Year in. Dinner at home with the nurse. Writing newbook all day. Mr and Mrs Barrington down at night. Mother's.

Tuesday Tic all day, working till six. Mother's.

Wednesday Tic all day, working till six. Bitter cold sinceMonday.

Thursday In all day. Saw dark young man dangling about at night,followed him to Nelson Street then lost sight.

Friday Knutsford at 1.30. Intensely cold. To [?] andWagstaffe's, walked Old Trafford to Mother's. Fred there. Mother verybad cough.

Saturday Called and got Mother cough mixture and coal.

Sunday In all day.


January 8th.

Monday In Nobles at twelve looking at pipes. Fetched plumberthere, gave him 1/- for calling. Bitter cold, with Wildman tillsix.

Tuesday Warm. Dinner at Mother's. Nobles had a burst at night.

Wednesday very warm, like summer. Flo came down in middleroom.

Thursday Quite close, Emily down. Brought hood, christening shawl,socks and other things.

Friday Like summer. Went to have tea with Mother, her cough verybad, stayed till eight, bought her a bottle of wine.

Saturday Mother's to dinner.

Sunday Two lads to dinner from Barringtons. Quarrel with Flo aboutit. Wilkes down to supper. Very wet and extremely mild.


January 15th

Monday called on Mother.

Tuesday Frummity at Mother's. Very bad with cough, felt miserableabout her. Bought her cough bottle and ale.

Wednesday Called on Mother in morning. Went again at night inrain.

Thursday Mrs Shaw came to wash. Mrs Sellars left.

Friday I got up to light fire, Mrs Shaw got lost, got here at 11AM, thought she would not come. Went to Mother's, stayed till six.Took her half shoulder of mutton.

Saturday Mother's to dinner. Found her very weak. Sent her bottleof wine.

Sunday Took baby out first time, half an hour in morning. Aloneall day.


January 22nd

Monday Mother's in morning. Mrs Shaw washing. Mr and MrsBarrington down at night. Writing twenty replies to letters in replyto house advertisement, twelve to one o' clock.

Tuesday Mother 's for dinner, rather better.

Wednesday Mother's in morning, took box iron to Percy. Miss Noblein at night.

Thursday In all day showing house to customers.

Friday do

Saturday Mother's to dinner. Mary Ikin came there fromsituation.

Sunday Took Mother a bit of partridge.


January 29th

Tuesday Called at Tax Office about income tax. Bought mellinsfood.

Wednesday Went to Mother's, took Baby first time, home at seven.Cross all night.

Thursday Wet, went to see tax surveyor, out, bought oil cloth.

Stayed in Friday

Saturday Roberts doing part of round. Mother's to dinner, MrsLeach called, Mary Ikin there.

Sunday February 3rd. Took Baby to Christ Church, Salford. Emilythere only. Nobody else. Fergus Hill christened him. Oldfield Road totea and supper, home at ten.


February 5th

Monday Roberts doing most of round. Went and saw tax surveyor, didnot get it returned. Mother's at five. Seemed better.

Tuesday Called Mother's.

Wednesday Mother's at two. Dinner, stayed for a long chat aboutwhat she would do at the quarter end. Home and books till ten. Foundout the taxes and insurance etc on two Rumford Street houses come toabout £12 a year.

Thursday very cold and raw, at home all day.

Friday do. Miserably low-spirited and dull at night. Sitting athome with Florrie. Baby very cross; grumbling that we had not morecompany society. Same complaint we had in Heywood Street, yet if wehad company now Flo could not attend, baby wanting all attention soshall have to get a servant somehow and then have worry with herbeside the expense, in this expensive house which costs in rates andtaxes 7/- or 8/- a week equal to a rent although I have bought it.Yet why did I come into so big a place. Because small houses cannotbe got in clean good localities and if we live in town and get bigtown wage or salary we have to stand big rents and taxes inproportion. Where is comfort happiness and peace? Mother cannot cometo see us (too poorly) will not come and live with us. I am atcoolness with my brother and family and so we are left in a handsomeand large house alone.

Saturday Mother's to dinner.

Sunday Mother's to tea. Found her very poorly, home at seven.Enormous hurricane.


February 12th.

Monday Fred's birthday. Wrote him night before. CalledMother's.

Tuesday big day. called Mother's.

Wednesday Salford to tea, bought baby short clothes.

Thursday Went to Agents' Dinner at Oldham. Vulgar affair. MissIkin stayed with Florrie and till noon next day.

Friday Miss Ikin talked about Mother's affairs all morning, beforeshe went away. Went up to see officer about property tax after seeingsurveyor. he had charged me for the half year. I had had them[?] Dyer[?] would have let me pay the bill told himsurveyor said it was for him to pay, so he'd paid it. Went toMother's for the hour.

Saturday Wretched day, wet and cold. with Wildman

Sunday Short walk in afternoon with Flo


February 19th

Monday Bitterly cold. Mother's for an hour at tea time.

Tuesday Mother's for half hour. Mr and Mrs Barrington down forevening.

Wednesday Home all afternoon

Thursday Pauldens in afternoon, bought cradle and otherthings.

Friday Town in morning, advertized for servant, Mother's inafternoon. Poured in torrents, had tea Dr Ikin had been to sound her.I called to see him, he said she was in a weak state. I am passiveand helpless not knowing what to do but leave her there though I longto spend the rest of the time with her. Rained so much had to fetch acab when I went to the Prince with Prissy for the beer. Rode home ateight.

Saturday Lunch at Mother's.

Sunday Sat in front room all day. Very low spirited, was ill thenext week. Perhaps that caused it.


February 26th

Monday Bleak day.

Tuesday Went to dentist to have tooth stopped, put arsenic pastein to kill nerve, bleak day, ached all day, ill at night. Whiskey atAlexandra Brotherly Knot

Wednesday Too ill to go out, got up at noon, felt as weak aspossible all day. Gruel at night.

Thursday Only went to office, felt very sickly.

Friday Went to Mother's, found she had been very ill the nightbefore. I went to Barretts to take book and to tell servant girl whomwe had sent for not to come, then packed bags and all of us took tramto Mother's to sleep there. Slept at old bedroom in Heywood Street inthe old bed that had been rigged up again after we left.

Saturday Walk in park morning. Beautiful day. Bought Mother bottleof emulsion. Flo went to bazaar at Iron Room to please Mother. I wentto give notice to Mrs Carson's daughter. Bitter cold night.

Sunday Flo cooked the dinner. Mother very poorly in the morning,had to lie down. Henry and Edith came at noon to bring her a pigeon.She had it to supper. She got vexed at Prissy at night for not sayingthe coal was done. She will not part with her and yet grumblesalways.


March 5th

Monday Prissy had no coal in for morning. Row about it, I had togo to coal yard. Mother made herself so vexed she was ill. Prissywept all morning. We came home with luggage in tram at four. Rainedall night.

Tuesday Called dinner at Mother's. She was gone to lie on bed.

Wednesday Called at Heywood. Prissy ill again.

Thursday Called on Mother in morning. Went to Weaste at night tosee Mrs Wilkes. Walked from Cross Lane to Weaste, fine night. Emilythere, home at 8.30. Lizzie Bullock came as servant.

Friday Went to Mother's for an hour in afternoon.

Saturday Mother's to dinner, Theatre Royal alone at night, lastnight of pantomime. Not had a night out for six months. It was likebedlam let loose. I never yet heard anything so horrible, the row wasall night, not a word from the stage could be heard. Maud Hill theactress there. Saw Mother for an hour all of us.


March 12th

Monday Mother's at night for an hour, undecided as to whether toleave Heywood Street this quarter or not, Mr Cox wanted to know.

Tuesday Cistern broken in bath room stayed with plumber till one,at noon at Mother's to tea.

Wednesday Mother's in morning.

Thursday Went to Mother's at eight at night. Pleasant night.

Friday Flo and I to town to see about bassinette, arranged forPercy to get it. Back home to dinner at Mother's, Flo and I andchildren to Park in afternoon. Beautiful day. Walk home at four.Pleasant visit.

Saturday St Patrick's Day, walked to Salford at night to collectand round town.

Sunday Walk in afternoon. Saw Mrs Wilkinson. I went to Mother's atnight.


March 19th

No snow all winter. Beautiful spring.

Monday Beautiful weather

Tuesday Mother's to dinner.

Wednesday Mother's in morning. Mr and Mrs Barrington down atnight.

Thursday All went to town in afternoon to Warehouse to buy baby acoat.

Good Friday March 23rd. Went to Mother's for dinner. Flo andchildren went in Park, I stayed in. Mother very weak. Home at nine.Pleasure to have the day there.

Saturday Mother's to dinner. I went at night to see Dr Faircloughto call on her.

Sunday Mother's in morning, Dr Fairclough had been. Flo and I toSalford in afternoon. Frances etc there, came away at eight. I wentto Dr Fairclough to see what he said about Mother. Said I could bringher here in a cab if wished, and that she must do no work.


March 26th

Monday Easter Monday. Maud here for day, Mother had Teddie andHenry for the day, came here at night, I saw off at Central Station.Both in at night. Tic.

Tuesday Went to Mother's, very poorly.

Wednesday Fell ill at night cold, Flo slept with girl so that Icould sweat.

Thursday Still felt very ill, aches and weak.

Friday Met Mr Gee. Went to Knutsford. Mother's to tea, home atnine.

Saturday With Wildman, Baby very bad cough

Sunday Mr and Mrs Barrington down, home all day. Mother wrotesaying Lily got hooping cough, better not go down.


April 2nd

Monday Newhall's at night. Mother's in morning with Wildman.

Tuesday Mother's in morning.


Thursday Lizzie left. Fred came to tea, first time to the house,repaired the ball tap and water closet. Emily down.

Friday Paid Percy for perambulator. Went to Mother's.

Sunday Went to hear Celestine Edwards Farewell lecture. Took babyout in my arms in morning. Prissy came at night.


April 9th


Tuesday Called on Mother. Called on Dr Fairclough at night.

Wednesday Dr Fairclough called. Very hot day. Horrible toothacheat night. Could not do books.

Thursday Felt horribly weak and ill. Baby ill and Florrie with thetic. Mr Crofts came at night to say he would have the house 56Rumford Street. Felt very ill, went to have drink with him.

Friday Miss Crofts came and looked at Nobles and said they did notcare to have it. I insulted her for them wasting my time. Tearingrage all day about it. Went to Mother's to ask for Prissy.

Saturday Prissy here all day.

Sunday Mrs Barrington down at night.


April 16th

Monday Mother's in morning. Saw doctor there. Emily down allday.

Tuesday Mother's in afternoon for few minutes.

Wednesday Felt sick of worry of houses and work, wish I could selland get back to Moss Side and arrange something about Mother, butBaby ill, Florrie not able to go out no servant. Mother and Lillyboth ill and not fit to come here. all is standing still.

Thursday Nothing

Friday Ill all day

Saturday and Sunday Home all day


April 23rd

Monday Mother's at night

Tuesday Mother's at noon

Wednesday Mothers at noon. Prissy up, helping.

Thursday Wet

Friday Took baby to Mother's, dinner there. Mother had been veryill at Batemans. Took baby to Dr Fairclough, went to Salford rne[?], raining. Got cab, asked George McCall to let me leavebassinette till morning, would not, had to walk home with it. SentFlo and Baby in cab.

Saturday Went to Knutsford to meet man about repairing passage. MrWhitelegge very disagreeable, home at eight.

Sunday Wet, home all day, very quiet.


April 30th.

Monday [crossed out] of May. May Day

Tuesday Mr and Mrs Barrington to tea. Prissy down

Wednesday Very wet

Thursday Mrs Ballard's sale at Rumford Street. Bought jug and bowlfor bath room, four vegetable dishes and iron bedstead for recess insmall bedroom. Tom Jackson helped me in with them. Gave him hisdinner and 1/-.

Friday Very cold day.

Saturday Quiet day.

Sunday Took Baby through Victoria Park in morning. Henry and Edithcame in afternoon, walked to Mother's for an hour, back to tea, theywent home at eight.


7th May

Monday Went to Mother's to Dinner and tea, Had Beast Pudding. Allwent out a few yards walk in afternoon. Home by Stretford Road at 6PM. Mrs McLoughlin wrote saying coming in a month for Lily.

Tuesday Called on Mrs Leisley Boston Street. Called at Mother's,in town at night.

Wednesday Very wet. Mother could not come as arranged.

Thursday Did not go for Mother still too wet. Town in afternoonafter office to advertize house. Mother's at night. Fred there. Got afit of dumps, miserable about Mother and the worry. Called on Leas inHarper Street, tram home. Wrote post card to Mother saying we wouldgo to Chorlton instead of coming.

Friday Mother's at one. All went Chorlton at 2.30, walk. tea atcottage, sat on Green, home at six.

Saturday Went at twelve to fetch Mother and Lily to spend WhitWeek. Lost macintosh in car. Went to Dr Fairclough's at night tofetch Mother bottle of physic so as to have at hand.

Sunday Whit. Mother and Lily. I and baby walk round PlymouthGrove. Bright morning. Good dinner at one. Sat in all rest ofday.


Whit Monday May 14th

Whit Monday Round in morning, home all afternoon.

Tuesday Flo's birthday. Big day's work went to Town Hall thirdtime to see of my macintosh turned up. No.

Wednesday Made up books in morning. Wet all rest of day.

Thursday Very cold east wind. Took Mother and Lily and Babythrough Ardwick Green and back by London Road, Grosvenor Square andOxford Road. gave her port wine at George on Booth Street. Boiled hamto dinner, Mother and Lily stayed in. Flo and I went to Salford tosee decorations, back at 7.30. I went to Heywood Street to feed thecat.

Friday Took Mother and Lily walk to Whitworth Park. Back by car todinner. They went home in afternoon, Flo and I went with them and totea walk to Park, Bitter cold, came home at seven.

Saturday Whit Saturday



May 21st

Monday With Wildman all morning. No use going round. Came home at11.30, took Flo and Baby in car to town to see decorations rode thereand back in same car. Went to Mother's at two. Uncle Joseph there,Mother's birthday. Flo and Uncle and I went to Stretford Road to seethe Queen pass, back to Mother's for tea. I went with Uncle tostation and back to Mother's to take Flo home.

Tuesday Collecting. Town at night illuminations.

Wednesday Collecting. Town at night illuminations.

Thursday First warm day for two weeks.

Friday Flo, I and baby through Victoria Park and Birch Fieldsround Rusholme and back by Oxford Road. Mother's at night.

Saturday Quiet.

Sunday Walk to Whitworth very wet.


May 28th

Monday Emily here. Prissy came for day to help Flo washing.

Tuesday Called at Mother's. Went to lawyers to ask him to senddeed to Mrs Peel's Building Society and to take man up to ask aboutproperty. Lawyer objects to Mrs Peel.

Wednesday Flo and I to Mother's to dinner and tea wet.

Thursday Mr Holt said Fred would have to leave if no morebusiness, went to lawyers to talk again about Mrs Peel. Then went toSalford by car, back by cars at eight.

Friday Went to see Mrs Peel in morning, said she would see ifProvident Society would let her buy the two. On to Mother's and toSavill's to take dress. Home at eight. Beautiful day.

Saturday Wretched day. Went to Mother's after the round.

Sunday Were to have gone on Ship Canal with Pa and Ma and Wilkes,but no car in [?], Percy and Frances came to tea, they hadnot gone.


June 14th

Monday Pouring wet. Building Society agent to see me, said MrsPeel must have house, and he would get her to give £257/10/0. Ipromised. Mother's at night.

Tuesday Pouring, went to lawyer's, long talk, said he would sendabstract to London lawyers and lend me balance of £100 himselfto pay off my mortgage. Advertized last one again.

Wednesday Went with Flo to dressmaker and to Mother's dinner andtea. Spoke about taking a house and putting Mother in it till wecould go after selling this.

Thursday Mrs Cheetham came from Weaste, in reply to my answer toher advertisement in News. Got answer to my last advertisement fromNews office.

Friday Showing folks through, Moss Side at two, looking for house,saw Sloane Street, tea at Mother's.

Saturday Went to see agent about Sloane Street, too late, feltdisappointed.

Sunday Went to Mother's after tea for two hours. Very cold.


June 11th

Monday Went to see lawyer, gave me letter from Provident and toask Mrs Peel why not going on. Flo to Mother's. Went about anotherhouse in Sloane Street and looked at Portman. Went to Mrs Peel's,said she would write. People sent from Sloane. I went to see her.Said agent was going to let me have house. Took Mother's pictures andown. Home ten.

Wednesday Went to town to lawyers, to say Mrs Peel would write toLondon Provident, and to agent to take house in Sloane Street. Wentdown to see it. Mother sent Miss Ikin's furniture to Frances's.

Thursday Agent of Provident came to have a second paper filled up.Mr and Mrs Barrington down.

Friday All down to Mother's and house cleaned at SloaneStreet.

Saturday At Heywood and Sloane, took Mother to see house. Man indoing scullery and floor. Flo and I down again at night. Verytired.

Sunday Tram to Salford and back.


June 18th

Monday Finished round early, went to help Mother to pack. Flo cameat night.

Tuesday Went to Mother's at noon. Men came at three. Fred down toput clock ready. Took stuff to Sloane Street and sent rest to store.Put bed right for Mother, tram home at ten.

Wednesday Went to Sloane Street and got cat from Helfrod[?] door catch etc. Fred at Rumford Street at night.

Friday Fred called in morning to take [talk?] aboutleaving refuge. Mother's in afternoon.

Saturday Quiet day.

Sunday Quiet day, in all day.


June 25th

Monday Very heavy and oppressive, not like summer this year at allyet. Broughton at night to re-enter Sutton, 26 Camp Street.

Tuesday At Mother's afternoon.

Wednesday Mother came to spend two days. Tram ride to Withingtonand back on top. Beautiful day. Fred left Refuge and went to Leedsand General the week before.

Thursday All took car to Docks. Steamer 'America' to Irlam, Tea onboard. Ferry boat from Docks to Albert Bridge. Tram town house. Teaat home at eight.

Friday Took Mother home at four. Had tea, awful headache withintense heat.

Saturday-Sunday Intense heat, home all time.


July 2nd

Monday Went cold and wet.

Tuesday Emily down. Mother's at noon. Went to Salford to tea tomeet Flo, home at ten. Mrs Peel had been to Nobles.

Wednesday Mrs Peel came at night. Felt very much worried andill.

Thursday Went to lawyers, said Mrs Cheetham wanted me to go out ofhouse, went up to Weaste to see her in afternoon, she came to Wilkesto see me, said no to a week, promised her to go after [?]week, home at nine.

Friday Went to lawyer's, he said don't hurry as she was not in ahurry, and promised to have it settled on Thursday. Went home andtook Thrush to Mother's, went to Chorlton on bus, turned it out,found it could not fly, so drowned it, home by train, Mother came forthe day. Went home at ten.

Saturday Not well, pills very bad.

Sunday Went to Mother's for evening and tea at Sloane Street.


July 9th

Monday Mrs Cheetham down at eight to pay £2. Said she hadgiven notice to leave so I arranged to leave on Wednesday, wrote toEmily and Barratt and remover. Began to strip the house at once.

Tuesday At home nearly all day and till twelve at night packing.Last night at Rumford Street, couldn't sleep.

Wednesday Emily came again. Van came at nine, got away at 1.30.Got to Sloane Street at last.

Thursday Lawyer's at twelve to sell my house in Rumford Street,called at Rumford Street 56 and 58.

Friday Fixing up all day. Mother very poorly.

Saturday Mother showed me how she had fallen off in flesh. Alltook car to Whitehouse's to have Mother and baby photographed. Couldnot get back for the crowd till two.

Sunday Chapel in the morning first time for nine months, walk toMiss Ikin at night. St Swithun rained in morning.


July 16th

Began to give Flo 5/- of Mother's money and pay her 2/- extramyself for Lily.

Monday Poured in torrents. Piles very bad.

Tuesday Brotherly Knot, lot of ale.

Wednesday Quiet day. Mother and I took baby to Park.

Thursday Fitting cornices and curtains, quarrelling about Prissy.Mother stayed out all day. Went to the Whalley at night and found outtrain times. Told Prissy to pack up, wired to her aunt to meet her atfive next night at Bartlow [?]. Packing up for her tilltwelve at night. Seemed very sorry to go.

Barringtons wrote to say Maud coming to stay few days, UncleWarburton wrote to say like to come for week end. I wrote had noaccommodation.

Friday All rush, took her by car to Central [Station] at10.20 ticket to Cambridge. felt very sorry for her. Been here fiveyears, often wondered for what purpose she was destined to come hereduring the constant rows with Mother and now gone back at lastwithout yet knowing the reason. Eliza Wagstaffe down. Mrs Noble cameto pay rent, gave her 10/- as a present.

Saturday With Wildman.

Sunday Mr and Mrs Barrington and children down to tea and supperat new house.


July 23rd

Monday Dull, heavy day.

Tuesday Very cold all day. Wildman getting no biz.

Wednesday Fred brought Edith. Stayed three hours with Wildman andI making up till one.

Thursday Office, no dinner till four, at Smallman's. Fred down atnight. Felt very ill, piles and sickness.

Friday Quiet day, in all day. Dr Fairclough at night to ask aboutpiles. Called on Mrs Peel. Maud and Edith went home.

Saturday Albert Wilson and his wife called, from Belfast.

Sunday Beautiful day. Quiet. Flo and I walk round SeymourGrove.


July 30th


Tuesday Beautiful day.

Wednesday Very wet. Mr and Mrs Wilson to tea and supper.

Thursday Met Wilson and stayed about town with him till six o'clock. Got pretty well with booze. cold fronting [?] wet andwindy like winter. Seems to have set in autumn already.

Friday Cold and wet.

Saturday Very wet.

Sunday Fine, all went in park at night. Wedding anniversary(third) forgot it.


August 6th

Monday Bank Holiday. All went at two o' clock to Bowdon, Miss Ikinalso. Drove in open carriage to Rostherne and back. Tea at Bowdonopposite Unicorn, home at eight. Awfully bad bilious. Brandy, sodaetc ill all day and night.

Tuesday nice day

Wednesday do

Thursday Piles very bad. Town collecting. Felt bad at night, illand worried. Repairs at Knutsford and Rumford Street.

Friday In all day. Mother very weak and ill.

Saturday-Sunday Wet wet always.


August 13th


Tuesday Brotherly Knot at night a little stout and others

Wednesday very bad could not do my books. Piles all day. Went tofetch Flo from Salford at seven, walked home. Gruel, bed at eleven.gregory powder.

Friday Ill all day

Saturday very sick and ill. Thought I could clear myself with bigpurge, took it at night.

Sunday felt very little better. Poured all day.


August 20th

Monday Still ill with piles and sickness.

Tuesday do very

Wednesday do Dr Fairclough at night for bottle. Slept in back roomalone. But did not sleep any better. Rheumatic etc on muscles of legsfor some days.

Thursday Still felt ill. Mr and Mrs Barrington down at night. Freddown. I went back with Mr and Mrs Barrington to get the stick fromSalford that I won in raffle

Friday Home all day. In park with Mother and baby in morning.

Saturday Went to lawyers.


August 27th

Monday Very bad with piles and sickness. Had taken Siegel's Syrup.Dr Ikin came in at night to tell about his trip to London; examinedme.

Tuesday Much better through warm fomentations. Called on MrBoothroyd for two hours.

Wednesday Quiet day.

Thursday Went to lawyers to settle and sell 56 Rumford Street toMrs Peel. Got £18-18-0 and had to wait for rest till lawyer gotcheque cashed. Mrs Atkinson and Mrs Buxton came on bicycles. Boughtsuit of clothes and new top hat.

Saturday With Wildman

Sunday Weak at night. Frightful fog.


September 3rd

Monday Round at night, walk town and back.

Tuesday Went to lawyers to get money for last house in RumfordStreet.

Wednesday Making up till eleven.

Thursday Aunt and Mary S. came. I met them at Central at six; cabto Miss Griffiths.

Friday Mother and I went with Aunt and M. S. to town and Chetham'sHospital. Flo went to Salford alone. Aunt and M. S. came up at night.Stayed with them till nine. Went to fetch Flo back. Roast duck tosupper.

Saturday Went with Mother to Pauldens to see Baby's chair. Backwith Aunt and M. S.

Sunday All went walk in park.


September 10th

Monday day's work Barrett's round, good.

Tuesday Easy day.

Wednesday All went to Knutsford by 1.30 trip. Sat on Heath. Tea atCoffee Tavern. To Old Trafford Station home.

Thursday Mary [Ikin?] came to help me to make up inmorning.

Wednesday Got load of coal.

Friday Aunt and M. S. came for dinner, tea and super. Went toWhitworth Park in morning and all went walk in afternoon. Verypleasant day.

Saturday Harry Ikin did my round.

Sunday Aunt and M. S. to tea, Flo and I went to St James Hall tohear Lecture on Celestine Edwards. Left Baby with Mother and Maggie.Aunt and M. S. went to Free Trade Hall.

Not much sleep on Sunday night.

Monday Up at six. All went to town, met Henry and Edith, all wentto Blackpool at 8.45, got in at 10.30. Went to end of shore. Milk andsandwiches. Tram ride back to North Shore. Flo fell in car with Baby.Tea, Talbot Road, went on beach, Mother fell off steps. Six o' clock,port wine etc Clifton Bar; went to wrong station, had to hurry backto Talbot Road, home at 10.30.

Tuesday Mother took them to Mrs Atkinson's at two, got home ateleven.

Wednesday I went with them to Town Hall, went to top of tower. M.S. helped to do books at night.

Thursday Aunt and M. S. in cooking in afternoon and to tea.



Stretford Road

June 26th, 1894


Dear Mr Gent,

Enclosed you will find account for Mrs Gent Senior if I shouldhave sent it to her and not you will you please let me know?

With very kind regards

I am

Faihfully yours

J. J. Kent Fairclough


[on back]

Men are advised to lift themselves out of the station they areborn in if it is a low station, and necessarily leave all others oftheir class to still sweat in it; nice teaching, so unselfish, whenwill people learn that the only real lasting benefit they can acquireis by lifting mankind not by lifting oneself to increase the weightupon the rest.


Tories advise contentment with things as they are and callradicals and Socialists a stomach ache lot and yet they call, when itserves them, [to] tell people to fight and bleed and groanand pay for their country's honour and prestige to preserve andincrease what their forefathers fought and struggled for.


Every new movement and effort to benefit humanity is at firstscorned and persecuted and calls out the noblest qualities in itsmembers: courage, devotion, enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. But whenit becomes more successful and consequently more respectable (asrespectability only allies itself with what is safe and secure) thenobler qualities it was built upon languish and hypocrisy and creedand emptiness bring the contempt on it which has attended the formerreforms.



Letter from Esther Gent while at Fred's in Droylsden about 1894while Frank and Florrie at Barmouth

I was sorry to hear you had not written about a place as Mrs Crewewanted you if I had gone with you I do not know what I should havedone and it would be wearing for you all after such a long journey Iam glad dear Frankie is good it is cold and showery here I do hopeyou have it fine and hope you will meet with a comfortable place Isaw…

…brothers it is a beautiful place she says and she wants youand Florrie to come to see them later on I am better than when I washere before JH saw Mrs Crewe and Else in Town to-day just moved Edithbeen to Mrs Harrison's for some flowers and lettuce thisafternoon.

Give baby kisses from




413, West Derby Road,

Tue Brook,


July 31st, 1894


Dear Nephew,

Please excuse my neglect in not replying sooner; which I quiteintended to do, but let the time slip.

We should like to have seen you all, but thought it would onlymean a very few hours, so decided not to run over to Manchester. Wewere surprised to hear that you and my sister were living togetheragain.

I don't know whether you have heard that Mr James is sufferingfrom what I should call an incurable disease (namely, tumour on theliver) so the doctors say, they have advised him to dispose of hisbusiness while he had the energy to do so. So consequently thisbusiness is in the market, so that I am in total ignorance as towhere or what I shall do.

Teddie is intending to go by excursion train on Saturday next toBrighton and from there to Dorking. It will be a long journey but heseems very anxious to go. I think they are thinking of coming overagain.

Have you been for your holiday yet, if you come our way, pay us avisit.

We enjoyed our visit to the Isle of Man, and I am glad to say thatI feel much better.

With love to sister, your wife and self in which Louie joins.

I am

Your affectionate Uncle

Joseph L. Warburton

In haste.


[The last letter]


In Loving Memory of

Joseph Lea Warburton

(Husband of Louisa Warburton)

Who departed this life, Oct. 7, 1894

Aged 53 years

And was interred at Flaybrick Hill Cemetery, Birkenhead



After Uncle J. Warburton's death


Butter Hill,



Dear Frank,

As I have a little time I thought I would write you a few lineswhich I think are very true and which we should all do well to profitby. They are as follows:


What silences we keep, year after year,

With those who are most near to us and dear!

We live beside each other day by day,

And speak of myriad things, but seldom say

The full, sweet word that lies just in our reach,

Beneath the commonplace of common speech.


Then out of sight and out of each they go,

These close familiar friends who loved us so;

And sitting in the shadow they have left,

Alone, with loneliness, and sore bereft,

We think with vain regret of some kind word,

That once we might have said, and they have heard.


When you right again say what you think of these lines. Did youhave it fine yesterday, we hope so. It was very wet here. Was it alarge funeral? We have not heard yet whether the wreath arrived intime, received a Memorial Card this morning. We think you did quiteright to go, you live so near. J. H. would have liked to go verymuch, but it was such short notice and a very expensive journey, Itwill be very nice if you can help Teddie with the affairs for he isso young and as you say ignorant of life. Now I must conclude withdearest love to you and Florrie trusting you all are well.

Your loving cousin,

Mary Sarah.



Letter from Esther Gent (fragment)


My Dear Frank and Florrie,

I am still improving I hope you are out of Greenhill Street withno more loss will you send a bottle of medicine from Dr Fairclough Ido not like to be without on account of my cough I have not had any[…]the last fortnight…

…I was just saying to-day I would like to see baby andFrankie just for a short time but it is nice to be quiet I have beenserving[?] but it tires me so much can only do a little themarrows and beans are so nice fresh got it is […]'sbirthday to-morrow


Droylsden, July 1895

Dear Frank and Florrie,

I have not been well at all but yesterday am beginning to feelbetter give baby a kiss for me I do not forget him little darling Iam coming back to take him in the garden Three of us went to dinnerand tea to Mrs Harrison's and enjoyed it very much. J. H. called atnight and had tea it is a very pretty place they could not have beenkinder gave me a pretty bunch of flowers but they will not help

nice I fear to bring home I may come on Friday night the same wayI come but you need not meet me they say it is only just beginning todo me good do not be disappointed if I do not come I shall not if wetit has been wet and cold not been able to go out only yesterday itwas so fine we sat in the garden all afternoon it was a pleasantvisit you would like a talk with all of them the youngest has justwon a very large silver cup he is just leaving school I got your postcard I am surprised to get a bill while yet having medicine J. H. andfred have been poorly J. H. not right got a bad cough he has notstayed at home sore throat sick pain in bowels he is thin I wassurprised Teddie was at Dorking I wish poor J. H. could have gone butthere are things to be considered we none of us went out on Sunday Iwas not well and Henry quite out of sorts 3 day was not fit forbusiness We had a nice chance to go to Belle Vue on Wednesday Edith'sschool took five wagonettes and I think we should have gone but itwas a very wet morning and the conveyances were covered at night soit would have been right and I would have liked him to enjoy himselfnow I hope you all well Tom's boy the youngest is gone to sea Alljoin in kind love to both

Your loving mother

E. Gent

Thursday if I do not come please send postal



70, Sloane Street, September, 1895

Dear Mrs McLaughlin,

I was surprised to have a letter this morning from Mrs W. she saysshe and George seen Lilly many times the last three week have theyasked your permission they would not allow me without letter from youdoes she know where you are. now it is not me that a word as got outyou asked me to keep it a secret I asked you to write me to say ifyou were having Lilly out a few days or only going just to see her Ithink Mrs W. is staying at Ormskirk coming to Manchester on Monday. Ido not know where she lives if at the same place Lilly would bedelighted to see her. Especially George. Are you having any holidaysI put off going to Dorking thinking you would be having them we havethe workmen in and are in a sad state having the scullery wallknocked down put to the kitchen and new scullery built you can'timagine what a state we are in. I shall and have been expecting tohear from you I wondered you did not let me know what I asked youabout Lilly if she was going to be with you a few days I am anxiousto know if Mrs W. knows where you are. I was struck to hear from herand the contents



October 21st 1895 when I went to London alone

I Clivedon Place

Eaton Square

London S. W.

Monday night 6 PM


My Dear Florrie,

I got in at three, had ham and eggs and have walked till now. Ihave taken a bed for to-night at this Coffee House (2/-) I don't knowif I shall stay here. You will not believe me, but I'm sorry I came.I have got nowhere to go, no one to speak to, nothing to do. I'm arestless creature so I must abide it.

I hope you are not fussing yourself a bit, and that you have gotsafe home and both you and baby well.

I shall ramble about to-night, it is not bed time till 12.30.

With love to you and Baby and all the family

I am

Yours affectionately



I shall remove to an Hotel in the City if not comfortable but ifanything urgent you can send here.

I do hope you will be easy and happy till I come home. I'll takecare of myself. I cannot come back any earlier except by ordinaryfair, no matter how monotonous it is. I may be all rightto-morrow.


Where I dined on the visit to London, year of Mabel's birth

15 0 Swiss cafe

10 High Holborn



2 Fleming

4 Tob Vaudeville

1 5 Strand


1 4 Gladstone Hotel


Brompton next Oratory

Tea at home

Spread Eagle, Leadenhall

White Hart


Abchurch Lane

Cannon St

King William St



Tuesday 11 PM

My Dear Florrie,

I have been out all day till seven, then I came home to tea,bought a pair of sox and changed them, had to sit without boots theywere soaked. It is miserable here, no one to speak to, a big privateroom and no fire and so cold to-day. They put my boots near theHotel's fire, and I put them on again and went out in desperation at9.30 to have a drop of warm whisky. The Hotels here have no barparlours, no nice warm rooms. You stand up at the bar, so you don'tstay long. How to get over the rest of the time I don't know. Oh itis wretched, it serves me right I shall be satisfied at home afterthis wretched experience. I am giving myself away by saying what awretched time I am having but I can't help it. I must write or burst.Barmouth was grand to this, alone here and no release for three daysunless I pay ordinary fare. Why you will be in happiness compared tome in this. After I sent you the post card I walked till nearly wetthrough, and then came here to tea in a cold big room with no bootson and my wet sox in my overcoat pocket now. Thank Goodness there areno bugs, that is the only thing good in this place. If I don't comehome I must go somewhere else to live this is awful. You daren'tspeak to anyone in a town like this but a constable or a bus driver.I shall have some things to tell you. I wish I was back now from thebottom of my boots. Good old Manchester, it's quiet, but sound; dull,but genuine: this is rotten to the core. As you walk among the vaststreets of teeming mansions five to ten stories high and see themagnificence, of this bloated wealth, you feel as insignificant as agnat on a wall and begin to learn things. I went to a theatre lastnight, Monday, and spoke to no one and came out at 9.30 or ten. Icould not stand it and was so tired I came home to bed and now to-dayit is too wet. The theatres don't come out till 11.30, the pubs don'tclose till 12.30 and folks don't go to bed till two or three. Oh whata place to spend life in, I wonder they live half as long as others.If fine to-morrow shall go to the Exhibition, if wet again I don'tknow what on earth I shall do with myself, and then there is Thursdayand Friday to get through. Well I hope I shall have learnt a lessonand then I shall have at least that satisfaction and that is all formy pains and expense. I pay 3/- bed and breakfast dinner outside,plate of meat and bread and vegetables and pint of ale 1/6 andanother good meal as tea and supper 1/6, but it's the weariness, youmust turn in a pub for shelter or a few minutes rest and keepspending more. I hope you and dear baby are well. With love andlonging for home.

Yours affectionately




131, Oldfield Road

Wednesday afternoon 23rd October, 1895


My Dear,

I feel very disappointed with your letters. I so much wanted youto enjoy this little holiday. get away from that cheerless place,where there is a fire, I am afraid you will have a bad cold. I amsorry you feel lonely, but surely there is some nice fellow to speakto. I had a good account of [London?] from Frances I went tosee her yesterday afternoon She looked very ill and has had thedoctor, so I wanted to see her, but she is improving.

Try and see all you can the remainder of the time, and get morecomfortable apartments. I wish you had taken your slippers Theweather here is very fine and pleasant since I have come. They makeme very welcome and baby is quite at home. he missed you after youwent on Monday, he had a look round and said, 'Dada gone.' He talks adeal here and makes them laugh. I took the book to Mrs Kelly and sawthem both, they were very nice. I said what you told me and he saidcertainly and he seemed to think we were lucky to get two holidays.It was wet when we all started from home. We went on the tramtogether, it would be the 8 PM tram your Mother would catch, fatherlate, but we had to wait for Henry. We are going to be home forFriday afternoon and I will have something warm for your supper whenyou get back. I think you said about ten o' clock. Frances said wedid well not to have taken baby. Ma and Pa have gone to town thisafternoon. I felt rather strange here for a time as I told you. So nomore until I see you on Friday. I hope you will enjoy yourself. Withdear love from me and baby

Your affectionate



October 24th, 1895

Thursday 4.30


My Dear,

Your letter made me happy. I am so glad to hear that both of youare well. This time to-morrow I shall be on the way, so it's notworth while removing now. I have been on foot since ten this morning,and this is the third time I have turned in for a drink and a rest.But it's hard to find a pub where you can sit, there's no rest forthe sole of the foot or the seat of the trousers. I was going to theTower to-day, but will save that to see when I bring you, it is aboutthe only thing in London I have not seen, you shall come but Francesis right, it is no place for a child. But she looks only on thesurface of London, the glorious magnificence which strikes everyoneat first, has given her a good impression. But the more you come themore you learn. I have seen the poor on the seats here at night. Lastnight, one old woman, one middle aged and one young leaning her headon a man's shoulder, all asleep or dozing in the cold at midnightthat on one seat and thousands of cabs and splendid carriagescarrying the swells to and from everywhere and no one took anynotice. I have lived this time in the West End, and have seen endlessmiles of mansions, packed together as the middle classes are with us,and the rents are a fortune. Can such wealth exist without vice?Thousands with nothing to do but waste money on selfishness and vicefrom birth to death. Oh, yes it's a glorious place; but the fouleststinkpot in England. Every morning and every night the placards bearthe account of some tragedy but no one minds, what is one or twohuman lives among so many. First it is an officer's son, in a row ata rum house and a serious affray, then a stockbroker takes train atnight to Southampton and shoots himself in it, then anotherstockbroker is shot at by a man. Then a young man is found shot inthe train here, with a girl's photo clasped in his hand. Then a younggirl is found cut into on the railway last night. Then a London bankclerk is chloroformed in the train and robbed and wakes up milesaway. All this has been on my short visit, and is always going on. Aglorious place. I could tell you things for an hour or two. It's thehellish money that does it all. Human life is cheap here.

I shall be glad to see you to-morrow night at 9.30. Oh it's agrand thing to make us think of home and those we love. But I shallbreak down at this rate.

So Baby makes them laugh, poor little man. I have not found him atoy yet.

I have shifted some food stuff since I came. Thank God I was ableto buy it and to eat it. But look at this for instance. I went to atavern to-day where it was marked cheap 10d, had hashed venison, mybill was 1/10, so we must keep smiling, that referred to lunch, andthis was dinner, but it was a good feed and a pint of ale. I need nomore till 8 PM. Well I've sat long enough over this glass so I mustgo on tramp again.

With best love dear to you and Baby and kind wishes round



The Marquis of Waterford committed suicide, I don't wonder at anyof the aristocracy doing that who live here, wealth and London arethe things to cause that.




From a Notebook c. 1896


Socialism is the legal power of society to protect the weakagainst the uncurbed will of the strong.

We cannot save ourselves by removing ourselves heartlessly out ofthe social wreck and leaving others to sink but we must try to saveourselves in saving others.

Sunday, May 12th, 1895

Wt sh mst hv sffd to cause the kn to brk undr the strn, Oh must itbe our wthy b done. Mrcfl Hvn to come to th at lst

ht me at lst hr the pm all rmg satsfctn of seeing, the rest of thetme.

M rfts seems to set prudery above humanity but nthr stre noranyone alse need lceture me I besch tho as a slght favor

I never forget my duty, but it shll not drive friendsh love andpity out of my hrt.

my flgs fr yr dghtr are too deep too pure for Miss Y tocomprehend, it is that worshp wh comes to some of us once in lfe andnctr nor is forgotn


We are grown up children crying for the loss of a toy or somethingwe are not permitted to have.


With women in courtship coarseness and indifference is moresuccessful than tenderness and adoration, they want masculinity evento brutality.

The first time I was p[…] to her money pld[?]

The second time I was […]ght pr and even.

A woman seldom likes the one who m[…] truly loves herbecause he treats her too much as an angel and so being a woman andtyrannical she uses the power she has over him to his pain and throwsaway the most sublime gift a woman can receive in this life, a true,pure, consuming love, a heart and soul in the first gloriousfreshness of youth, and takes instead the evil, calculating, carelesssuitor, who can speak the love he does not feel just as the first onecould only feel the heart throbs [?] he could not speak.


The hopes of life are quenched like lights before sleeping. Colgrows the heart, joy or sorrow becomes indifferent.


May 1895


I hv not sd anytg to you - wh I ought nt to hv dn. I wsh to - - Ihd not sn any of the fmy. You knw I hve nd to say so. Whtvr I hv saidhs bn prmptd by pity for the sfrg wh everyone can s[ - ] whchin sme mn wld hv creatd a feelg of rvngfl satsfctn but in me is onlycreatd feelgs of pty and grf, poor Miss C [?] once told mewhen I was railg bttrly at the cruelty of - - tauntg me for the waysh hd pnsh[?] by showing my lttrs to the wrld, that if I knwall I shd be s[ - ] for wht I sd, and wept at the time and soI natly thght sh wld nt dcve me and [if?] I did not knw wh shmnt [?] by…


March 1895

In reading the book that C. Starkie has sent me 'The AgnosticIsland' I do not feel the same interest or critical spirit I used todo. Is it the beginning of dull carelessness which we reach in middlelife which stops us from being so delighted with new ideas andspeculations, what folks call fossilization. If so, how should we tryto remodel anything we have intended to do before we get any olderand more fixed or careless.

Fossilization may well come through having to yield to fate ineverything in life, till we become inert and helpless, hopeless, weare like caged eagles, suppressed, misunderstood, imprisoned.


No date - 1896, after Mabel's birth?

Fairfield Road


Dear Frank and Florrie,

I should have come back on Friday but it was very wet till dinnertime and great showers all day. I am feeling a little better, can eatbetter. I wish you would get away as soon as the weather takes up. J.H. says it did not rain in Manchester, he has gone by tram. It was sowet here. Fred came home poorly last night, had to lay two hours onone of the members' house on sofa, sick and bowel complaint. I toldthem you and Florrie might come this afternoon if fine but am gladyou are resting, if it is fit I shall come back to-morrow, don't knowwhat time. I feel very sorry for poor Fred Tom's boy only fourteen togo amongst strangers and such hardship, I wonder why he has beenspared to live, Prissy came to friends that could and bare and carefor her more than strangers. I have not coughed so much here. PoorFrankie, I hope he will soon learn to keep out of hot water. It waswet all day yesterday only a short time at once. There was such apassion for the Irish [?] party traps flying in alldirections it will be known in the morning who got in. We none of uswere out last Sunday. It is fine but I don't know if we shall go out.I have been a walk with Sarah one day after tea, could not walk far.Give baby kisses for me dear Frank and Florrie

I am Your loving

Mother E. Gent

I got your postal safe.



My Dear Mother also passed from us on February 13th, 1900 at 9.30PM in the presence of Fred and I her two sons at 15, GreenhillStreet, without a word or a groan, and was buried at the parishchurch, Knutsford with my Father and sister on February 17th at 3 PM.Born May 21st 1826 Age 73 years when she was called. I had theblessing permitted me by the Almighty of being with both my parentsat their death.



Monday, July 26th, 1897

Pouring wet. Mother and Lily, Flo and I and two children cabLondon Road 10 AM to London, Fred saw us off. Kings Cross twenty tofour, cab to Cannon Street, train to Dorking, raining. Mary Sarah metus. Tea etc etc. Walk at night in dark Flo, M. S. and I. Franky sleptin nice little chair bed in front room with us.

Tuesday With M. S. to Rickman's house to see greenhouse, pigeons,chickens. Put Franky on rocking horse. Beautiful tea house on thelawn. Flo and I went down town, hired mail cart took round Mill Roadand through church. Dinner. Flo, I and children to Westcott inafternoon, very hot, grand.

Wednesday 9 am Flo and I to London Waterloo, over Waterloo Bridge,on Embankment, Somerset House, school and offices, gardens up toTemple, Temple Gardens, Old Courts church Fountain Court andGoldsmith's grave, Strand, Law Courts, Clements Inn, record Office,Bartholomew's Hospital and church, grave yard, Smithfield meatmarket, ST Bride's church, Old Bailey, Newgate Street, St Martins legrand, Post Office, Dinner, St Paul's churchyard, cathedral, crypt,Nelson's tomb, Wellington's tomb and car, Bank of England, MansionHouse, bus Holborn, Oxford Street, Baker Street, Tussauds, bus AudleyStreet, Park Lane, Hyde Park corner Inside, Rotten Row etc busPicadilly saw Chesterfield House Devonshire House Apsley HouseBurlington House Green Park, ST James Park Regent Street TrafalgarSquare through National Gallery, down Whitehall Foreign OfficeMontagu House through Whitehall to St James Park back to Houses ofParliament Westminster Abbey Underground Cannon Street to CharingCross Strand and Charing Cross home 9 PM.

Thursday Box Hill, Burford Bridge and Denbies in afternoon.

Friday 9 AM bus, London Charing Cross cab Kings Cross waited twohours, I took Franky down Pentonville Road, train at 1.15, Manchester6.30 Tram home.



With Flo one day in London July 28th, 1897


[details of intinerary and expenses]



From Dorking about September, 1897


Dear Frank and Florrie,

I received your letter and postal. I am so sorry about Frankie hehad got wind on his stomach. I do hope he is all right poor boy. Ishall soon see him if all be well. Mrs McLaughlin owes me a good dealmore but I must write and tell her I am so sorry about the remove andI like the look out so much but it seems it is to be. I have hopedeven up to now if you have the front room to live in do not put thepinhole [pianola?] in it will be knocked and be too dusty andthe old glass from Spen Green I would like put in my bedroom but youmay not have time so that could be done after. I hope you keep well.We went a little walk yesterday to the farm. Miss Mitchell is sokind, would do anything. Do not put yourself about it. May be for thebest A wisdom far beyond our ken is planning all for us I feel it.The wedding is on the sixth of October but I can stay as long as Ilike they say they shall be sorry when I go but it must make adifference. I could not have got back only for Lilly, they are notused to children. I do not think they will leave before spring, thenext letter may decide, but if we come now it would not make anydifference to me. They say tell Frankie Lilly has got such lots totell him. If any letters come redirect them, it will not costanything, I do not think, anyone can tell you, any more or different.You have taken every step you were advised and it had no effect. Aswe have to go I wish we had gone sooner. It's just nice now thegarden. I only wish late as it is some one could help us now.

In dear love to all

I am yours


I sent Mrs a stamped envelope to write here not bother you. I havenot written to Mrs Darlington.



Dorking, Autumn 1897. Send for key.


Dear Frank and Florrie,

I am wondering if anyone has turned up for Greenhill Street or ifFred has been down. Tell Annie to put my things of the bed and thethings hanging in my closet altogether. Lilly's shoes the boxes on mydrawers and the tin box with china the handle is broken you must seethat carried down. M. S. gone to Southampton this morning, went outat half past six coming back on Saturday. It is a lovely day. Sisterand I going a walk to the poultry farm. I tried once before but couldnot manage it. I had better if it goes cold have my respirator put itin the bulrow [?] you would not forget it if you saw Lillyeat I refuse her sometimes my cough is troublesome sometimes sistermakes lintseek [linseed?] and black currant for me to drinkit is very nice. She gets tomatoes from the greenhouse opposite lether have them at 7 pence per pound the person favours me in eggs andgives me buttermilk at the farm Lilly goes every Wednesday to band ofhope let Anne put the brick in my bed but see that she does it Ishould to double the bed round it the frosty nights have killed a lotof the marrows someone been stealing the apples so M. S. got the restyesterday. Sister gave a quantity of those yellow plums last year Ihave not seen any this not heard from Lilly Mother I have written toher I am wonderful but very feeble it is the harvest thanksgiving atevery place on Sunday except the Friends it will soon be time now tocome back. Give my kind regards to Mrs Crewe and Mrs Lovel if you seethem. Lilly's shoes nearly done. Sister and Lilly's love and xxxxxfor baby and Frankie. The iron came yesterday, they want thebill.

Your loving Mother




October, 1897


My Dear Frank and Florrie,

I got your letter this morning, have attended to Fred's. I amstill hoping for the best about Greenhill Street. Is baby weaned orcan she walk. Will write soon. It is strange Fred has not been down,perhaps he may by this. I had a letter from Fred and Sarah about aweek ago. M. S. went with me to the clergy this afternoon. She isgone to Mrs Maishes to tea. I thought you would be waiting for aletter so Lilly will write; tell Frankie she will send him a littleletter for I am tired. Give my and all our kind love to Florrie, Mrand Mrs B[arrington], and kisses for the children. I cannotsay about the time I am coming. There is a grand wedding from Londonand they are wishful for me to see a Quaker wedding. I am takingcare.

Kindest love.

I am

Your loving Ma



I hope Annie is doing well. Kind regards to her.


We have been having blackberry and apple, tell Florrie it isnice.



About November to December, 1897


My Dear Cousin,

I sincerely wish you all a very happy year. You will see we havemoved. I have been at my sister's in the south over three months.Came home if I may call it. We have no servant and two littlechildren, and me not being able to do anything makes ituncomfortable. I hope you and all keep well which is a very greatblessing. I am very poorly, do not get up till twelve or so. rememberme very kindly to Mr Harrison and all. Lost your address but Fredsaid this would find you.

Dear love.

Your affectionate cousin


15, Greenhill Street

Near Embden Street




Copy of Mother's last letter to Aunt at Dorking, written from herbed Sunday February 11th, 1900, two days before she died.


My Ever Dear Sister,

How long I have been longing to write you but too ill to writewhat I would say. SO many thanks for all the nice things[…] thanked for as I ought. I cannot express my feelingsbut I hope we shall all meet in that happy home where there is peaceand rest.

Your loving sister,

E. Gent



7th May, 1900


Oh, for some mature sympathy. There is no one to condole, no oneto reason feelingly and enter into one's loneliness. Flo is notinterested and not wounded by the grief. Barringtons are strangers.Fred seems to be unaffected or our natures are so dissimilar that wedo not even understand each other. Teddy is quite indifferent andself engrossed. Joe and Dorking are far away. Sarah and the othersare bitter and cold. Uncle Warburton dead, and me left in lonely,deserted grief without a shadow of human sympathy at hand.



Southampton, August, 1900


Wed 1/-

Muslin 1/3

Wshg 1/-

Tram 4

Salford 4

Rl 46/-

Trn 5

But to Wh… 8

Stout 4

Flo 1/-

Beer 4

Sole 1/6

Picture 7

Cup 1/10

Bargate 1/4

Tram 2/6

Trap 5

Bridge 6

Tram 6

Cart 6

Plate 1/9

Photos 3/6


Rail 6/6

Photo 1/3

Spoons 1/-

Old Lady 2/-

Bus 9

Br 3

Tea 1/-

Tob 6

Cab 1/8

Flo 5/6


4/2/0 and £4 In bag rest of Mother's Insurance 22/6



Friday, August 3rd, 1900

Up at seven, Flo, I, Franky and Mabel to London by 10.30 Central,left Dora Salford. Very wet, St Pancras 3.40. Bus to Waterloo, stoutetc. 5.20 to Dorking, arrived seven, bus home. Met Aunt top ofgarden. Tea, William [?] in at night Supper bed at 11.30.

Saturday Breakfast at eight, gave presents. With Florrie andchildren to poultry farm through the Glory Wood Churt Lane homedinner. Walk with Flo and children through town by mill pondback.

Sunday 5th August First Sunday in Dorking for fourteen years.Meeting all but Aunt. Saw Alfred and Mrs Marsh Mother's old friends.In all afternoon. Walk at night all. Supper Bed eleven. Nine years today since wedding.

Monday, August 6th Aunt and M. S. saw us off at nine toSouthampton. J. H. met us 2.20. Pouring, dinner, tea great walk withJoe by western shore, supper.

Tuesday 7th All over Docks, dinner, tram to Shirley to seeScotchman.

Wednesday Up at seven, walk to common, breakfast afternooncarriage from Woolston to Netley Hospital saw the wounded men, legsoff, arms off, many other wounds. Home by train 4.30 walk fromWoolston to tea.

Thursday Pouring. Joe took us to Docks to see troops go out onBritannia. Home dinner. All out in afternoon, walk all over town.Redgy's niece down at night. Joe and I long walk. Bed at eleven.

Friday Up at seven. packed bought presents. Ridgy photographed.Lunch all saw us off 1.30 London five. Bus to St Pancras. tea etc6.45 train. Home 11.20 cab bed twelve.


In July I went to see Mother's sister Mary Ann Williams at Dorkingand her son my cousin Joe at Southampton to relieve my feelings ofloss, leaving Dora at Salford with Mr Barrington, and on October24th, 1900 removed again to 117, Claremont Road where Randle was bornin 1901, so all my children were born in different houses. I resoldthe houses 117 119 Claremont Road in April, 1905, and also the houseCraven Cottage, Craven Terrace, Sale. I bought the Portman Streethouses in December, 1905, and removed into number 27 on Wednesday,11th April, 1906. Mr Barrington was taken ill in July with colic butseemed to improve. We came from holidays at Llandudno on August 18thand he died suddenly at Percy Wilkes' at Weaste on August 20th. Anoble, honest man. Life has been more dreary without him.

In April, 1909 my brother asked me to see his employer aboutbidding for him at some property of his at auction. The man Taylorwas a deceiver and almost might have ruined me, by getting me to buyin and then refusing to give me the contract to resell as he hadpromised. I was distressed for some months till he became bankrupt.My brother did not help me but refused to state what his employer hadpromised and added to my distress, so it caused an estrangementbetween us.





January 31st, 1908

F. Gent by Professor Roscoe


Memory to be cultivated. Ambition and self-reliance somewhatwanting. Capability is there, but held in check by this want ofself-reliance which may be increased as power is there to do thethings which you think you cannot.

Must avoid doing a little of anything and then tiring of it. Mustlearn one thing thoroughly. Fond of pet animals and children. Sharptemper, which is only checked from going too far by sympathy.

Would make good progress in learning music. Suited best forcommercial life. Very fond of making money If having been paid fordoing something will not do it again without payment. Would be nogood as an engineer or anything connected with mechanics.

Have to be more tidy, and keep things in their places.

Not very religious. Looks upon religion as just keeping straight,not praying.

Good appetite. Not strong in arm or chest. Breathing not deepenough. Should exercise with 2lbs dun-bells every morning, shouldhave a warm bath once a week in winter, and after bath be spongedwith cold water and then rubbed dry hard.

Not a good judge in character. Does not wish to make friends, butputs too much trust in other people and not in self, laying himselfopen to be cheated or robbed.


Another by Professor Roscoe of my grandfather, it looks like aparaphrase by his father


Too superficial, gets tired of things to soon, if many things aretaken up and then dropped, so make a deep study and success of one.Wanting in ambition and self-reliance yet has the ability to do muchthat he is thought incapable of, if he will set to and carry theresponsibility. Too prone to rely on others and underestimate his ownpowers, when his own powers are quite equal to the task. Avoid apathyand indifference but have confidence in your own ability and withindustry success would come.

Has fair amount of firmness and will not easily be shaken from hispurpose. But must avoid rash judgment and impulse. Second thoughtsare best. Is not a very good judge of character and along withimpulsiveness will be exposed perhaps to others' treachery, so mustcultivate much caution and keen deliberation. Is fond of artistictaste but not sufficiently orderly, must encourage order and methodand tidiness.

Is fond of home but must keep in curb feelings of sex. Is not muchinclined to friendship and sociality, will prefer females to malesbut will not exert himself much to obtain friendship and is toodirect and unsparing in opinions and decisions so must cultivate morereticence of opinions and more suavity in their expression.

Avoid wounding others' feelings and consequent dislike by thisoutspoken plainness. Is inclined to be hot-tempered and severe whileangered, but has this counteracted somewhat by sympathy of nature. Somust not encourage feelings of revengefulness but those offorgiveness.

Is below the necessary standard of bodily strength but mustincrease it by chest exercise six months etc.

Has sufficient commercial business capacity to attain success andmanage a business and carry all the weight if he will undertake itbut must learn to be self reliant of his own ability and importance,yet cautious in his dealings and actions and friendships and trust,on account of being too rash and impulsive in his decisions andjudgment of character, lest he is open to deception. He is fond ofgood living and has good appetite, must bring up his digestion andphysical nature to as good a standard.

Is fond of earning money and will want reasonable pay for hisservices and will endeavour to save some.

Has a good capacity for music. Is honourable and reliable in hisactions. Is not very strong in hope, more inclined to live in thehere and now than trust to the future.



Account January 1908 to January 1909, when I was then injured


Clothing 7 16 6

House 5 11 6

Property 4 10 0

Travelling etc 10 19 0


28 18 0


School 35 10 0

etc 5 0 0


In February, 1908 my brother and family removed to Liverpool. OnFebruary 14th, 1908 at 6.40 PM Henry Barrington Gent was born. OnFebruary 23rd, 1909 I had an accident in Upper Moss Lane, Hulme.Knocked down by tram and thrown under a lurry; left thigh broken,compound fracture, right thumb nearly cut off. Taken in tram toInfirmary, in till March 26th, came home in ambulance, in bed inplaster five weeks more. Lost my large insurance book andcrippled.



Sunday at one o' clock (February, 1909)


Dear Father,

We could read your letters all right. Henry came here at six o'clock on Saturday night. He is going to try and see you in a fewminutes, and if she will you will have seen him by the time thisletter gets to you. I was glad to hear you were a little better and Ihope they are giving you more food. I heard from Parson Smith thatthey were giving you some toast and tea while he was there.

I am going to try and get off from work again on Thursday, but Idon't know whether Kellett will let me this time. Henry is going backhome to-night so I hope they will let him se you. I slept with himlast night in the washroom. Walter did his round and I did mine, andSmith did al the rest. He says he thinks that everything is in ordernow. It is awful to think of you lying there but whoever you ask theyall say that you are better there than you would be at home, and itbeing the best place of its kind in the world, we are hoping that youwill get the best treatment, but still I can't see what good it willdo to keep you without food, but I suppose they know best. It will bevery painful when your leg begins to knit together again, but afterthat you will have your well earned rest.

Will write again soon.




My Dear Frank,

I want you to be sure to eat the jelly plenty of lemon in it andgood flavour. I have helped to make it only we have not got the knackof making it quite clear it's not shop jelly, eat the top portion butit is all good eat plenty. Mother bought two 1/- cakes late lastnight so have sent you a piece of each. Do hope you will enjoy it. Iknow you are weak, everyone is while in bed so long, I felt weakafter the fortnight in bed. Use the clean spoon, don't give it allaway. Just read your letters, Mabel is bringing. I hope in time toeat a bit for dinner, if you can get at. So glad your hand isbetter.

Love from all.

Your loving Florrie.



27, Portman Street


Dear Dada,

You will have four letters to read this morning, Monday. Won't itbe nice if you can come home on Wednesday week. You will have a bedin the middle sitting room. You won't be lonely at home. I think babywill be able to walk when you come home. We will be glad to see you.I hope you are feeling better. We all went to Sunday school to-day. Ihope you will be much better when they come to see you on Thursday. Ican't come on Thursday, it is Dora's turn.

Now I will tell you what everyone is doing at home while I amwriting this letter. Franky is reading Robinson Crusoe, Randle istalking with Dora, Lily is sitting down. Mama is writing you a letterand baby is asleep. Hoping you are feeling better.

Your loving Mabel


God bless you and help you to bear your pains.


From Mabel with love.



Postmark: Southampton, 27th February, 1909


68, Waterloo Road,



My dear Cousin,

I am so very sorry to get your card and to hear of your accident,you are in great pain I am sure, I can sympathize with you, I brokemy arm and that could not be half as bad as your leg and other partsof your body in pain as well. I do hope to hear you are getting on.henry has not home from work yet, so he knows nothing about it yet,he will be in a wax I am sure. I thought I must write to you at once.I do just wish I could drop in to se you. I am sorry for poor Flo andthe children. One never knows when we get up in the morning what isgoing to happen before night.

I am very well but Henry has been ill with a bad boil on his neck,I had to poultice it for three weeks night and day. It's better nowand he is at work again.

I will write to Florrie. I shall think about you and shall beanxious just to get a line how you are; don't bother to do ityourself, I am sure the Nurse would kindly do, so accept our dearlove, try and cheer up, I hope you will son recover although it willbe some time if you get on ever so well before you can walk about.Henry would, I am sure, join with me in dear love.

From your loving cousin S. Williams.



1, Spa Villas



1st March, 1909


Dear Florrie,

We have been expecting to hear from you every day, but no one haslet us know yet how frank is progressing. I do so hope you will dropme a line. Fred will be in Manchester on Thursday, do you think youcould [get] him a permit to see Frank in the Infirmary, andif so will you let us know in time.

I do so hope to hear favourable news of Frank from you.

Your loving and sincere sister,




16, Carter Street,




1st March, 1909


Dear Mr Gent,

I cannot say how very sorry indeed we all are to hear of your mostunfortunate accident.

When Henry called in on Sunday and told us all about it we werequite taken aback, although through the week I had asked if you hadbeen and of course on Henry relating to us I can only say again howsorry we were, however, I am very pleased to know you are'progressing favourably' as the bulletin board tells us. I saw itto-night at Nelson Street and I sincerely trust that each day willfind you making a speedy and effective headway towards recovery. Ihope to be able to have a look at you on Thursday. Henry tried hardon Sunday to have a few words with you - no use - against the rulesand so of course he had to return to Liverpool without speaking toyou, he was disappointed. I have sent them a line to-night just tolet them know how you are and will continue to do so.

You must not bother yourself about replying and if you possiblycan: Don't worry! - though not for me to advise. I can wellunderstand how very much you will feel it having to lie up inidleness and then the good people at Portman Street; anyway I am onlytoo glad to hear of your going on well and I can assure you that I amquite looking forward to seeing you on Thursday, hoping by then tohear the best possible news. I will conclude my few lines withkindest regards from all at home, dad has gone to Portman Streetto-night.

Believe me,

Yours very sincerely,

William Newhall.

It's a bit of a consolation to us knowing you're less than fiveminutes away.



[?] March, 1909


Good news. What Florrie told you yesterday is permanent and cannotbe discontinued. Letter will explain full particulars. Cheer up; allquite well at home.

Your loving Florrie and Fred

Got your letter this morning and attended to it.

Mr Smith is going to write you a cheerful letter and will confirmstatement on other side, but we have it from real authority (Taylorand 7)



Bootle, 2nd March, 1909


dear Florrie,

I intend coming over on Thursday morning on the very sorrowfulerrand of seeing Frank in his misfortune, I do wish it had been underhappier circumstances. I was very much distressed and shocked when Iheard of the accident and I offer you my heartfelt sympathy. I wroteto Frank last night. Henry will be coming over later. We heard thismorning from Willie Newhall that the report on the bulletin boardlast night at five o' clock was 'progressing favourably.' I hope hewill continue so and that he will have a safe recovery.

I cannot say whether I shall call at your house between twelve andone or whether I shall meet you at the Infirmary. If I do not hearfrom you in the meantime expect me on Thursday.

Henry is working late to-night, not come in yet. Sarah and Edithjoin me in love to you and will write later.

Give my love to the children and tell them I shall se them onThursday.

With love

from your affectionate Brother in law


(Geo. F. Gent)



169, Worcester Road,



3rd March, 1909


Very pleased to receive your post card this morning. I am comingto see you to-morrow and I trust I will find you still improving.

With love from, Fred

Very best wishes from me and all of us. Till to-morrow I will sayno more. Hope all will be well with you and all. Calling at 27.



Thursday, 4th March


My dear Flo and Children,

Since you went I hear both the men taken out last night are dead.Mr Hughes, joiner (G. S) B[…])and that fine old man wholost his leg. Well it's fateful. Ask Fred to tell Dr Smith if helikes that I told you a week ago I did not think I could face thelabour again. I have 300 a year or perhaps more ordinary Debit whichis £15 a year and think in my 291/2 years I have found a way asmuch as would have made my book approaching £30 a year This is[…] Tell Fred or Franky to tell Mr Smith a letter hascome from a gentleman I know in London and ask him to send him aprospectus and proposal for 50 ordinary age 39 to draw in 11 years.Mr Wm Thatcher, 44, Audrey Road, Ilford Essex. Singers have just beenin room who come each Thursday sang Abide with me, Go away thysorrow. Last week that old hymn of Mother's I've found a friend, Ohsuch a fellow, he loved me ere I knew him. Love to Flo, Fred, Ma andall children and dear friends. How the whole family have ralliedround us in the storm I'll never forget. May God bless you all andbring me through.





'Corner Shop'

4th March, 1909, 10.30 PM


How are you by now? Much better I hope!

Dear Mr Gent,

I had not forgotten my promise to try and have a brief look at youthis afternoon and can honestly say how disappointed I was; fact isat the moment I happen to be particularly busy, having a job on atOlympia New Rink - my stars! they do hustle you - anyway I sincerelytrust and hope to se you ere many days, so once again with wishes ofthe very best,

Believe me

Yours very sincerely,


I heard Fred is over to-day - have not yet seen him

I know you're making good progress towards recovery - see Bulletineach day.



27, Portman Street

Manchester S. W.

5th March, 1909


My Dear Brother,

Love to you. I am here yet. Stayed at Mr Newhall's last night andam going there to-night. Am returning to Bootle to-morrow. We went(Florrie and I) to 122, Great Western Street last night. Mr Smith wasout, and we went to Cavendish Street police station to find out whowent with you in the car, that young gentleman you mentioned. Theywould not give us any information, said we must apply at TownHall.

We went to 122, Great Western Street this morning and Mr Smith,who showed very friendly, said the payment was under Employers'Liability Act, and would be continued as long as you breathed, oruntil you chose to resume work for them, and that if you had beenkilled or if this accident should even now cause such a lamentableresult a lump sum would have to be paid. But such a thing will notnow happen as you are really I am assured going on very nicely, andyou will soon be about again. So cheer up. Florrie says she wantsyou, not money.

Well after seeing Smith, Florrie took me up to Taylor andTaylor's, who took all particulars, but said he did not understandnew Liability Act. He saw another solicitor, a friend of his, whosaid you were safe the amount they want to allow you and you couldget more if you wanted but that they could not reduce or lower theamount or discontinue it, except by permission of the Court onevidence of you being fit for employment, so it is in your hands, andthat you did not seem to have a very good case for damages againstthe tramways, but that could be decided by yourself what to do, as noaction need be taken until end of six months.

Smith (Refuge) said he was going to write you a cheery letter andto put in black and white that you would get your payments as long asyou lived or until you resumed work for them, same as Seeley and theothers. So I have done what I could do to make your mind easy. I hopeI have done right.

Smith says Saunders payment £1-18-1 was made on Thursday,February 18th (the Thursday before your accident) and those othermatters could be gone into when you are able to see him.

I shall keep writing you a letter when I get home and if I can doanything else for you let me know. Now with love, hoping and prayingfor your speedy and perfect recovery as far as can be so soon

I am

Your loving Brother




8th March, 1909


My Dear Brother,

I received your very welcome post card first post this morning andas soon as I saw it I noticed the difference in the writing and knewyou had been using your right hand. You seem to be getting on verynicely considering the injuries. I should think it is not advisableto try to use those right fingers too much until the hand has healed,yet I was very glad to see you had been able to use them, for itseems like a big step in the right direction.

Now about that letter from Smith. He said in Friday morning thatyou were evidently despondent and that he should write you a lettersaying he hoped you would soon be able to be home again, and to tryto cheer you up, as well as mentioning that your compensation (orpension) was quite safe and would be paid to you until such time asyou were quite able to go about your business as usual and asformerly. This he said he hoped for your sake might be so, or itmight on the other hand turn out that you would never be able toresume to the full your old duties and in that case the payment wouldbe a permanent one. So you can take it that from all sides it restswith yourself when you cease to receive it. I will be only if youdesire to take an active position. So you need have no fear of itsdiscontinuance but I hope for your own sake and for all, that theresult will not be as bad as you and we feared and that you will havea good recovery and be able to enjoy a good holiday and leisure whenyou come away from the Infirmary. I have no need to say, 'Be brave,'you have proved so, and your pluck is helping you through. But 'Don'tworry' all will yet turn out as right as it can be.

Henry will come over to see you on a Saturday or Sunday if you canmanage a permit, and if not then on a Thursday. You can let us knowwhich you would rather. But I suppose you will be away from theInfirmary and at home again before long. Sarah wrote a letter toFlorrie which I gave her last Thursday, and she will write a letterto you which she will enclose in my next, as it is now nearly posttime and I want you to get this by first post in the morning or elseit might not be sent up to you till afternoon. I expect Henry wouldhave enclosed a line but he has not come in yet, so that too willcome with my next.

How kind Mr Smith is, the Reverend, I mean; he is one of the rightsort visiting the sick and those who are in trouble and we do notknow what other good he does in a quiet way. The world could do withplenty more like him. I am very glad you got to know him. I am surehe must have been a very great comforter to you, and he has been ableto let Florrie know how you are going on.

Now we hope to hear of a steady and rapid progress towardsrecovery and although you say 'whatever the pain' I hope you may bespared much pain. Some you are sure to have, the aches in the arms Iam told always come to anyone who has, in good health, to take totheir bed, so do not fear anything from that and I hope your legs maycome right again without the suffering which sometimes accompaniesthe healing.

And now with my love to you and praying that God may be good toyou in your affliction.

I am,

Your loving Brother




9, Westfield Road,



10th March, 1909


Dear Mrs Gent

I have only heard to-day of the sad accident to your husband, anddeeply feel for you in this severe trouble, Mr R. was quite upset onhearing the news and would like to hear how your husband is going on,if Frankie would write us a few lines and say if his Father is ableto receive letters yet.

Do pray the injuries are not so serious as they have been told usand in God's good time all may be well again. Try and bear up, underthis great trial, and hope for the best. Trusting your children areall well, and hoping to hear better accounts very soon. With kindlove and deepest sympathy

Believe me

Yours very sincerely

Ada M. E. Robinson



My Dear Wife and Children,

I have just had dinner. I have lain here reading the books andpapers since breakfast till now have not been asleep since breakfastthis day, am very tired now, go to sleep in a while, feel very weakand tired. They brought me a big thick chop and potatoes, but it wastoo tough to cut. I tried a long while but couldn't cut it, so whennurse came in I asked her to do it. She had to fetch a sharper knifebefore she could. I don't get propped up and a lame hand and toughmeat. tell nobody, as I told you before, but you see I want nospecial cookery. If I can stand this I can stand anything you have athome.

It was very kind of Ralph, Albert and Arthur to come down to helpus, thank them for me. I don't see much use in going to see DrF[airclough?] Perhaps he will call on you. Doctor told menothing to-day. If I don't hear soon it doesn't look like coming onWednesday, Dora's birthday. I hope I shall have someone to help mewhen I get up so weak and one leg to use.

Mabel is a good girl, she sent a very nice letter. Does Franky goto night school? He has no time to write. But they say he is beinggood and doing everything right. tell Mabel if I' not out onThursday, I surely may be on Friday, so don't miss the cooking classunless she is anxious.

I have got half a pot of marmalade, that will do.

You cannot mean it that the children are not good, when I am lyinghere and they don't know how I shall be.

Both Charles Starkie and fred behaved like that. C. Starkie hadknown a week or more yet not come or written, and Fred has notwritten for a good while now. But yet they can't help it, somestrange things in their natures, perhaps fickleness, causes theirconcern not to appear at one time and yet show itself at another. Idid not mind, if a man lets feeling overcome him, it is not oftenhypocrisy, it may be from mixed feelings as you said, part self andpart friend but most are selfish. Yet let's believe some genuinefeeling moved them. I know no one has felt or could feel like you,not even the children yet, who have I to feel care for me but you. IfI can get well and back to you I may have calm and peace. If we arepermitted to have such times as we have had of long[………] and we did not value it.

I am thankful my hand is easier to-day, and hope it will be moreso. Give my kind wishes to Mr and Mrs S. and with love to you andchildren and Mother

Your loving husband



10th March, 1909



Dear Frank,

I write a few lines to say how sorry I was to hear of your seriousaccident, but do hope and trust you will pull through all right, andno one breathing will be more pleased at seeing you on the old sofaonce more, and not only myself but all around me, and I also wouldhave liked to have come and seen you, only for thinking others willbe wanting to come so I will wait as patiently as a Roman Catholicpriest until such time as it is convenient which I hope won't be forlong, so cheer up and look on the bright side and no doubt you willcome through. I was pleased to see Fred, and hope when he comesaround this way again, he will not fail to call as he is welcome Iassure you, it was like old times once again, and will be more soespecially if we can see yourself, Mrs Gent and family all as well asever.

Well now my old friend, I must not forget to remind you that theinsurance etc will be attended to this week and next, so set yourselfat rest over anything concerning the same.

I don't know of any other particular news to send and really Imust not weary you in writing too much, but can't resist telling youonce again

That in every sky there is a cloud [etc…]

I know you will excuse me not writing before this but I want youto be able to read my scrawl and not to cast it aside and now withthe very best wish for your speedy recovery

Believe me your old friend


and Joe Rosenburgh too inquires after you and also wishes youwell.



169, Worcester Road, Bootle

11th March, 1909


My Dear Brother,

I received your letter first post this morning and was very gladto hear from you as it showed me you were still, as they say,'progressing favourably' really. When I wrote about your arms I wasnot belittling your sufferings which I know must be severe, and Ifeel for you very much and appreciate your bravery, but I wanted toconvey to you not to look upon those sufferings which I know must besevere, and I feel for you very much and appreciate your bravery, butI wanted to convey to you not to look upon those sufferings asunfavourable symptoms. Perhaps I did it in a clumsy way, but I wantto keep you in good cheer, and the pain cannot help but be thereconsidering the injuries. I should think it quite possible that yourwrist or arm and hand were run over as well as being knocked by thetram car and I don't know how you write at all except by a strongeffort. It shows courage. And I am almost afraid lest you do yourthumb any harm by writing. We want to hear from you and yet you donot want you to hurt or injure yourself by writing. I do hope youwill go on improving rapidly and soon be at home again when I shallbe able to see you for a longer time. I am sure they will all be gladto do anything for you when you get home; and you can make your mindeasy about the compensation, that is certain.

I wish I could have seen you to-day but I expect you will have hada lot of visitors and be quite tired out, just for the one day in theweek when you can again get in touch with the outside.

I received the permit for Henry which you got, and any furthermessages he will bring you, so as not to tire you with too long aletter. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you, or ifthere is any book or paper or reading matter that would help you passthe weary hours. Letters from the others will come later or by Henryand with my best love to you, in which Sarah and Edith join

I am

Your loving Brother


I wrote to Florrie, day after my letter to you.




11th March, 1909


My Dear Uncle,

Your letter to hand this morning, I am very glad indeed to hearyou are still progressing so favourably - at the same time I knowwhat pain you must be suffering, and how you manage to write at allis amazing - there's no other word for it - it's sheer pluck and Iadmire your resolution to attain so much under such painfulconditions.

You enclose a 'permit'. I am taking the opportunity it affords andam coming to see you myself - this time at any rate I shall not beturned away at the threshold.

So look out for Henry appearing about three o' clock Saturdayafternoon next, and I trust to find you still improving, and morecomfortable. If a word of cheer will help, well it will not be forthe want of it on my part.

Afterwards I shall go on to Portman Street to deliver any messageyou may have and to give them a report of my visit to you, and howyou are going on.

I will not say more now except to thank you for obtaining the'permit' for me which I thoroughly appreciate.

With our dear love to you from us all. All further news when I seyou. Au revoir,

I remain always,

Your affectionate nephew,




Friday afternoon


My Dear [?],

I send 1d for little Dora, I forgot yesterday in the hurly burly.You see we can't have any quiet or privacy on the visiting day.Myers, Feddon, Stone and all the family and other friends, time goesat once. Give children Saturday money. I hope Lily will help you towash up and house work etc to help you. Henry writes he is comingdirect here at three to-morrow afternoon and then to Portman Streetso it will do.

Yes always have eggs to breakfast and tea am eating Maud Newhall'sfirst. I need no more yet. dear Mabel's three little cakes very good,eat all last night. I have got the big one cut up ready with a dinnerknife to-day from one of the others. I asked for beef tea to-day butnurse said wouldn't get me very strong so sent nice bit of boiledfowl and potato and rice pud and I had last bit of your jam sponge toit so good dinner. Letter from Albert to-day. Very sorry about Emilyhope she will soon be well. I did not mean to put Ma and Emily toexpense of chocolate but if they won't take money I give them manythanks and hope to return it some way. I am getting very thin but didnot show you my leg, is my face thinner, you didn't say.

I asked one of doctors this morning when he came to write historyof the accident, what was broken and he said my thigh. He said it wasa wonder I was not unconscious with the knockabout, and seemed tothink I did not really remember. But you know I was aware ofeverything that day. I have rambled and groaned dozens of hours inthe night's first part, but that was in some sleep. You have to standit when you're disabled, it isn't bravery it's necessity. Glad youput cash in safe.

Tell Franky to tell me what cases the 13/3 was on that south[?]left and then I'll know what it means. Tell me again ifyou remember (not unless) if I gave Saunders money to office or not,that 1/18/1 I can't think. I gave nurses a lot of chocolate somerefused to take many so I'll hand 'em round again. I gave night nursea big handful in paper bag, plenty left yet. You see we could nothave a quiet hour. Try to let Franky let me know clearly what that13/3 is. Dr Furrow been to-day and seen the doctor hopes I may comeout Wednesday next week (Dora's birthday 10) that would betwenty-nine days here. He says would come out in splints by ambulanceand then be in bed at home. I don't know how weak I shall be. My handtires, so conclude. Best love to you and children and friends,

Your loving husband,


I think I should like to be out in garden so bright and nice.



Dear Franky, Mabel, Dora and Randle,

I hope you are all very well and being good and obedient to yourMama and kind to each other. No one ever knows the last time theywill ever see each other, even without accidents. Did Uncle Albertbring Miss Wagstaffe's photos. Franky, write to Miss Wagstaffe, PearTree House, Knutsford, and tell her I had terrible accident on ShroveTuesday and have been in Infirmary since. After thirty-five yearsconstant travelling the streets of Manchester, but that you expect meto be brought home as soon as can be moved and that is reason I havenot been over Tell Mama garden will be empty so send for 2d dwarfstertions for your Mama's bed and middle bed. I can tell you aboutgladiolus and other seeds on shelf after all being well. Tell M. D.and R. I am sure they are good and have sent me such niceletters.

With love to you all from



Note on back: What a quiet Saturday. I wonder what you all doing.Hope


List on back by Florrie:

Front or back room

which bed

Accident policy

Note from Southampton P. C.

if coal bill must wait

if you would like to come out as soon as possible, to ask doctorhow soon

About office

Whether got shirt

about income tax

on sitting piece

Saunders policy

where is money for same

which bank should we put money

About Dr Farrow



Eat eggs; all going on well here.

Sunday night.


My Dear Frank,

I have been wondering what kind of a day you have had. We have hada quiet one. You know Mother is at Salford, went on Friday. She willcome to-morrow. Mrs Allen was asking Mabel how you were. Franky willgo again to-morrow night, for money. Did I tell you Mr Lotton of OldTrafford brought the 12/6 and asked how you were. I told him allabout it. I hope Mr Smith won't bother you much on Tuesday about thebusiness, there is plenty of time for that when you get home. You hadbetter send that mirror in envelope by Mr Smith. You can say one ofchildren gave it you. Rev. Mr Smith must think you are improvingbecause Mrs Smith said to me when you were better he would not needto go so often. She says he is hardly ever at home especially onSundays. I am going to see Mrs Thorp to get full particulars thisweek. Do you think you would like to come next Wednesday week. Henryand I were talking as to the bed in middle room. I think the singlebed are like those in the room you are in. H[enry] suggests acamp bed or another small single bed. Mrs Heyworth says they are only6/11 with spring mattress. Mother said it would do for her after forWillie that could stand under James Turner. We must not have your legdisturbed until it has properly set, other peoples set and get rightwith time. We must be very thankful it is not the knee. Me and babycould sleep on smallest one, it would hold two single beds verynicely and no fear of disturbing you at all. You being upstairs wouldbe out of question, because Ann next door said she had to slide downfor some time, another week may work wonders. I asked Franky about13/31/2 he remembers some of names, Mr Smith will tell you, but thecalmer you are kept the sooner your leg sets, they say. I hope youare feeling contented, have you much pain? I have not been to see DrF[airclough] as you did not want me to, of course I shouldhave liked to have asked him a few things. Henry is getting to knowthe time of notice as regards tram, they will have to pay something.I hope I have not wearied you with my letter. I will have somethingmore to say to-morrow; hoping you have a better day.

Best love




Monday, 15th March, 1909


My Dear Flo,

Very glad to have letters, very nice letters from dear children.It was very good of children to send me mirror and like to look in itbut dread it breaking. Have put it away. What good seeing Thorpagain. I see no good. Would I like to come Wednesday week you say.Well that is nine days more to lie here But judge better on Thursday.Does Dr F[airclough] want me there as a patient. Let thingsdrift, he will come and tell you if he wants that. Will middle roomhold two small beds, are all pictures safe? No more accidents. getman to see. Don't you touch piano. One great rupture case herethrough piano moving. Get men. You never weary me, never. I have nopain since doctor put leg right Sunday morning. Hand is healing I amglad to say. The only thing is monotony. Meal to meal, day to night,night to day, on my back. Would front room be better where couch is.Please yourself, but don't you lift. Ask Randle not to pull sticksand twigs, some are rose cuttings. Glad to see all the place againand be home with you.

Love to you all,


If you need help for a while and Lily willing why not haveher.



My Dear Frank,

I hope you have been a little better to-day. Mother has just come.I will send Mrs Robinson's letter next time I write, I have justmislaid it. She wanted Franky to write all about it and Mr Robinsonwants to write to you if he may. I will write to them. Frank justcollected rents Bishop [Street] all paid, so will bank itto-morrow. I have been washing curtains to-day. I am getting thehouse ready. I am so glad you had fish and custard. Lily is going toChorley to-morrow to look after another place, she seems to likeChorley and I am glad. Mrs Ford will suit me better, Lily can't washand can't clean windows she says. Wishing dear Frank you are feelingbetter.

Your loving




27, Portman Street, Moss Side


Dear Dada,

I hope you are getting better. baby has got nearly all his teeth.I went to Sunday School. I am coming to see you on Thursday. Lily ishere yet, she is going to Chorley again to look after a place. She isa member of the unemployed isn't she. She seems to like Chorley. Ihope to see you much better when I come to see you on Thursday. Themice and the cat are alive. I must thank you for the penny you sentme. Griffiths are leaving their house in about a fortnight, andGladys told me they were going to live at number 5 Middleton Street.Our day school teacher says this is the second time Niagra Falls hasbeen frozed over as far as the white people can remember. It has beena very cold winter. I think it is time winter was over don't you. Idon't forget to ask God to help you.

I must now close.

Your loving daughter Dora.



Tuesday, 5 PM, 16th March, 1909


Dear Flo,

Had a fair day. Smith been, no further information, seems to knowno more than told you. He brought me two papers. Says I look betterthan for two years past. I have not got my bowels working and that orlying causing indigestion and pains in chest. My hand does not healyet. They still keep on that disinfectant lotion, it seems numbed andthumb and fingers seem to be too tight together. Smith has been tosee Thorp. Don't do any curtains climbing and risk. That's how Anndid hers, getting ready. Don't do it. Have no more. Hadn't I used tolaugh at warning of danger and have only got my life by a miracle ofthe Almighty. When I think of the horror if the wheel had gone overmy head, chest or belly I feel what a tragedy it would have been forme and for all of you. God help me to give thanks as long as Ilive.

Sister told me this morning I'd soon have my leg in plaster and becoming home. But Dr F[airclough] did not say it, I don't knowwhat it means. Smith begs me to stay here as long as they'll letme.

Don't bring any more jelly or things till I know.



I always look for your letters to see how you are.

Your loving Florrie.


Dear Frank,

I am sorry your hand is painful. Mother had a bad cut on herfinger when a girl and even now she can feel the bone a bit sore, soyours is sure to be sore for a while and it will be stiff through notmoving. It will be tedious and slow your leg, let us be trulythankful it is not both you will stand a better chance one leg free.We must be careful when you come home. I am sending a little parcel.Mother and I had a hand at making the jelly. It has to be sieved sixor seven times, nothing but calves' feet, whites of eggs and lemons,it is strengthening and good, don't give it all away. The jam is goodand will perhaps help your bowels; use the fresh spoon, the other isnot nice. Are you having any rice pudding:? Beef tea would be nice,if they would let me make some very good and send it, or send somefish cooked. I will let you have it when you come home, of course; wemust have patience. I think they are clever there. I would like tosee you oftener. I am sending a small piece of cake, simnel. I amgetting the bed ready for you next week, then it will be ready whenyou do come. Don't let them think you are anxious because they maythink you are not satisfied. It has been a very nice day. Lewis's hasa sale for boys' clothes. Franky wanted one for Sunday so I met him aquarter to two at Lewis's, and got a beautiful suit; he wanted longtrousers and he looks well, it was 12/6. I tried to get one at 10/6.I got Randle a pair of trousers 1/-. Mother is mending a fewstockings, shall we bring you a pair when you come home for one footat any rate.

Now dear Frank, cheer up, a good time coming.



Wednesday afternoon


Dear Wife and Children,

I'm still feeling better. Looking forward to your visit, wonderwho you'll bring with Dora. Bring eggs and a round rice cake likeMabel brought that I got cut up in slices, same as last Thursday,nothing else at all, am just finishing Miss B.'s jam, marmalade hereyet. Thank Ma for doing trousers and pants, I shall want some to comehome in next week. I fancy I shall buy crutches here. It is good ofdear Mabel, but if I have to have separate bed I need no one to stayin same room. I can do in the night then it would not crowd room. YesI know what the C [?] doctor would do. But Dr F has visitedme and you him, and the doctors here are sure to give himinstructions about me. Mrs Ford will do fine. But not much for me. Ineed nothing in cooking. What you have ordinary will be grand for meand you'll see me enjoy it: toast, tea, brown [?] bread and acake. I've all papers from my pockets middle room.

Love to you all,


Please bring book off piano called 'Colonizing London'.



Bootle, 19th March, 1909


My Dear Uncle,

We were very glad indeed to hear from you - and I am sure you willbe thankful when you are once again at home. I should think that youare improving greatly otherwise the doctor would not allow you to go.If I may suggest I would advise you to get the absolutely fullestinformation and directions from him as to the treatment you have tofollow out when you are at home - everything depends upon it.

I would have written before but this is my first evening at homethis week - have had a very hard week's work - thoroughly weary afterthe office late work.

I cannot ascertain whether any limit to time required for noticebeing given of accident to Manchester Corporation - nor can I statewith accuracy whether you come under Employers' Liability Act - Ithink you do not as it was not a fixed wage - but my opinion is this:That you cannot do better than instruct a good solicitor - also Iwould say notify through solicitor or otherwise - notify ManchesterCorporation of accident and probable claim, and my opinion is thatsooner than fight the claim they would attempt to settle it for someamount to be arranged, and that would of course be better thanletting things go on without any action being taken in the matter.Could not Percy Wilkes do this for you? I will, or Father will, ifyou wish, but we are handicapped through being so far away. I shalllook forward to seeing you again before long under more cheerfulconditions, and that you may be completely restored is the sincereand earnest wish of each one of us.

I found all well when I arrived at Portman Street, except thatBaby was teething and consequently not A1. Aunt has had a very hardtime of it indeed, all the trouble and grief, and still all the workto attend to and nobody really to talk to for advice and comfort, shedoes long for you home I can tell you. But let me say this: don't beover anxious to get home until you feel reasonably confident that youare safe in doing so, as I feel sure that you will get bettersurgical attention at the Infirmary than you would otherwise.

You will be sorry to hear that Willy Oldham (Mrs Atkinson'snephew) has fallen down and broken his hip bone; he goes in theInfirmary for operation to-day Friday - is it possible he is in yourward!

Fred Eltoft's Mother I saw last Saturday, she has got a cancer anddoctors refuse to operate saying it is a hopeless case merely aquestion of time, so everybody seems to have trouble, don't they?

I enclose you cutting re Germany which may interest you and whileaway a bit of time for you.

All is well here, except that Edith does not seem to make anyimprovement, we are hoping that the warmer weather will do hercomplaint a lot of good, this cold weather has not suited her atall.

Now I really must stop or you will be quite weary of reading.Father is also enclosing a letter.

We are always very glad to hear from you, if only a few briefwords saying how you are.

With my earnest wishes for a complete restoration for you, inwhich we all join.

I remain always,

Your affectionate nephew,




…and then I can do anything for you that you would like me todo. So do not think that I keep talking about these matters when Iought to be on other subjects. I am mentioning what I think you aremost anxious about.

I shall be very glad to hear how you are going on, and to hearwhen you are likely to be removed. Henry has spoken on this subjectin his letter and when I heard his letter read I thought there willbe very little left for me to say, yet here I am running into a longletter; if it tires you tell me and I will be shorter next time. Youdo not say how your leg is going on or whether you have any troublewith it. Until the bone has commenced to reunite I should think itwould not be safe to be disturbed by removing to home but I supposeyou will be able to let us know more about this in a little while. Ifyou cannot write without hurting your hand perhaps Florrie might letus know or let Mabel or Frankie drop us a line. I wish you could havecome over to see us this summer but I am afraid it will be some timebefore you are fit to take a journey.

I hardly think you will take much interest in the two newspapercuttings enclosed but as soon as you get better in your health andcan take interest in other matters we will exchange news. At any rateif you do not care for them they may pass a lonely interval.

This day last week Henry was with you, and at Portman Street. Nowthere is his letter. Only a poor substitute for a talk. Sarah andEdith are sitting opposite me and they both send their love and bestwishes to you. And now with my love and prayer for your ease and forquick and complete recovery and with love to all at home from

Your loving brother


Hope shall hear soon that you are going on grand.



Friday 19th March, 1909, 6 PM


My Dearest Flo,

Dr F[airclough?] been to-day. I was asleep, did not wakeme, sister says she told him, she did not know what day I would gotill Dr Raynor came back.

Oh, Stark sent me five magazines and Mr Stone brought me a book,so send me nothing more to read now.

If Mr Smith wants to know anything particular, Mr Stone would seeme if Mr S. will ask him, and if you want to send me any parcel MrStone would bring it me if sent to 12, Hulton Street, but I don'tthink there's anything needed.

I asked the Head Nurse to-day if my hand was doing right, she saidit had a bit of proud flesh in yesterday so they had put some otherstuff on to clear it and make it heal, but I told her it ached and soI asked her to tell Dr Morley when he came this afternoon. He lookedat it and told her to simply wrap it up dry (just dry lint) but Ihave shooting pains in the thumb as I told you for days. I hope it isreally mending, but I should hope these pangs in the bone to stop. Idon't seem to be able to open my hand much between the thumb andfingers. I hope it will get well and leave no injured bone, the thumbis so dangerous. I would not mind if only weak if no danger. I wonderwhat injured my hands. I think I must have held them up and got theshock of the tram on them, they have been so bad aching and so on,and my hands are both so sprained. I told you I can hardly lift anylittle weight, cups or dinner plates. I have not got my leg put inplaster yet so will tell when.

Life is made of joys and sorrows, calms and storms. All this timegone and no time to enjoy the years of calm as we ought to have done.I hope God will grant us peace and happiness again and wisdom tothankfully and gratefully appreciate it and the blessed gift it is tous, and not be troubling about things as I have done, and killing joywhen it was given me. For calm and joy last not for ever, the cloudscome.

With best love to you and dear children and Mother. Hoping soon tobe granted recovery.

Your loving husband




Sunday morning


My Dear Frank,

You will be surprised to see Henry. I do hope he can see you, Iwas very pleased to see him last night. I took him to Mr Smith andMrs Smith said she could see another Gent. They had a nice talk. MrS. thinks you are very wonderful considering. Henry was very anxiousto see you. I am delighted to read your letter. I know it must havebeen a trouble. We have all the rents for Cecil [St]. I tookthat cheque back, he changed it for gold. I got last week also andMother's. Mother said it was quite right. To-morrow I will take it toWhalley Range Post Office. Franky's bank book is on the mantle piece,I can put it in that all the rents I get, as you ask me to do. I canmake a lot of your letter this morning, we have all had a try. I amsure you will have the use of your hands soon. My dear Frank, I am soglad you are improving better, slow and sure. DrF[airclough?] knows the doctor, also the sister well of yourward. I was anxious about your chest and back. He called to se me, hewas attending someone on the row. I told him, he was sorry and saidhe would have a look at you, he got to know you could come home inthree weeks. You will not be better, but safe. He and his wife werevery kind when I called to see what he thought, they told me youcould not be in a better place. I will tell you more on Thursday. Iwon't call. Mother is calling me for dinner, we are having a littlepork. I am having no company and want none, except Mother. Henry isvery welcome, I can tell you. If he asks for his Father to come tosee you I would do so. I am in a hurry for H[enry] to get hisdinner so he can meet Mr S. as arranged. I want to know how you areso much. We must both have patience dear Frank, and I know all willbe well, al the papers quarterly are given to Mr Smith, all his goingon well will write again soon.

Your loving


If I can send you anything tell Henry. Mr Smith is comingto-morrow. I will be there at the dot on Thursday. Franky iswriting.



169, Worcester Road, Bootle

April 23rd, 1909


You can read the letter part first if you like, marked with ablack lead line. Don't know what made me write about other lives.


My Dear Frank

I hope you are still improving and are having an easier time andresting better. I know how dreadfully wearisome it is to suffer fromenforced idleness, and it is a blessing you have not much pain to adto the affliction. The more I think of it and the more I marvel howit came about that you were not worse injured. It seems certain thatthere is a destiny or providence in all our affairs. Is it possiblethat our friends and parents or ancestors, and even our own formerselves, are watching and guarding, or inflicting trials. Our ownformer selves, working out their reward or punishment; in us, theirsecond (or one thousand and second) selves; working upward ordownward on our appointed path to our ultimate winning post; putthrough our training again and again. On what other ground can thedifferences in the positions, environments and opportunities of eachfresh birth be justified. Besides all things in nature work on adefinite plan. Nothing in the greater universe is by chance, so maywe not fairly assume that nothing in our small individual universe isby chance either. Our present is part of our eternity, says OliverLodge, so we are now in eternity, and as all things (great thingsthat we can see and know) are worked on one uniform plan, so too maybe our lives; and this life an index and plain explanation to us ofour former and future existence for in nature nothing is new; nothingceases, nothing is destroyed. So we wake up or are born, live our dayor life; and go to sleep or die; waking again next day to suffer forour errors of the previous day and days, or to benefit by our effortsor advantages gained in those previous days or day. We do notremember even at our age all of yesterday or a week ago; the infantprobably, like we infants, remembers nothing of its yesterday; yetthat yesterday influences its to-day. And if we are in eternity thenthat theory coincides with the new testament teaching of reward orpunishment. When we are older we may remember previous days, andprogress accordingly.

Our researches into pedigree helped to give rise in me to some ofthese ideas, and to me no other theory can account for what wouldotherwise be a horrible irony; or an injustice committed by a justCreator. Unless this is so then are we all like mites in a cheese,coming by chance, living by chance, the best of the strongest, as itseems to us here to be; and both evil and good unrewarded, in presentexistence as a rule at any rate. But the result may be felt the nextday, and if so what we look upon as misfortunes may be blessings. Itis written 'For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keepthee in all thy ways.' Ps 91, 17. 'Are they not all ministeringspirits sent forth to minister to hem who shall be heirs ofsalvation.' Heb. 1, 14 'Though he fall he shall not be utterly castdown for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.' Ps 37, 24. We know ofsome things that we do, what the result will be to-day (in thislife); why not then some of the events of this life be influenced orcaused by yesterday (our last life).'God has placed a sign in thehand of all men, that each one may know his works.'

Who are these ministering angels, can it be possible they arethose now with a greater knowledge, who have lived in us before, andare living in us again, guiding ourselves and themselves into thepath we must ultimately tread, no matter how often we turn away fromour training. Now al this may sound very foolish to you, but at anyrate it may interest you, and you say you have no hobby now; and somesuch ideas which are in accordance with, or not contrary to, theteachings of the Scriptures, may ten to while a weary hour.

And yet I had no intention of writing on such a subject when I satdown. Who is it that has written this part of the letter, perhapsJames Turner, who is looking at you now from the wall aside of you,or perhaps some more remote ancestor, who thought of such things andfrom whom we have inherited them. Who were struggling after truth andhave now a greater knowledge. Well to leave such subjects I have justlately come across an entry of marriage of John Grindy and AnneGould: Feb 7-1737. John Gould of Middlehulme married Mary Sherwin ofIpstones Oct 19-1736. And now what about this Rebecca: Rebekahdaughter of William and Dorothy Gould baptized Dec 10-1735, perhapscalled after Rebecca wife of William Gent - and was she perhapsRebecca daughter of Humphrey Adam, junior, baptized Oct 20-1651.

I wanted to send you a cutting from the Dispatch (but I can't findit) about General Booth. It says, 'why does he not publish a balancesheet of what is really a charitable institution why does heaccumulate a vast sum himself and keep telling us the frightful needof funds to alleviate vast misery and to promote spiritual work whichwould relieve that misery. He looks like a Jew and probably is aJew.' That is the newspaper opinion, but he was born inNottinghamshire of English parents, yet he does look a very Jew. Whois living again in him? is it the Both, Archbishop of York and a yetmore remote ancestor who probably was a Jew. At any rate he is pastwant, although still a hard worker and perhaps he thinks he cannot beblamed for what those do who come after him. Yet he may be much wiserthan his critics and may perhaps, by will, leave his wealth to beadministered by his descendants for the purpose of religious teachingand the upheaval of the lowest, at the same time providing for hisheirs both work and wages. What was the history of the Booth,Archbishop of York. DO you know? And what Jew of old may be livingagain, how do we know what chances may be vouchsafed.

General Booth is a great man and is doing and has done very greatgood. No matter what he does with his money, it does not cost as muchpercentage for him to distribute it as it does our vaunted poor lawand municipal institutions. Verily the labourer is worthy of hishire. No man now living has done so much as he.

I remember you telling me some time ago the coat of arms of theGents of Venice. In the Sunday Chronicle of April 18th entitles 'SomeVenetian Vignettes" it says, 'These refugees… did everythingartistically, because they did not know how to do it otherwise.''What was it in their blood which gave them for several hundred yearsthe unfailing artistic instinct.' 'Tis was before America was known.'Then why did their glory fade. Here's a nice bit of family historylike Mr Read says in his book on the Read pedigree how some are goneto the lowest and some to comfortable positions in life. Are any ofthe Gents in Venice yet? Descendants indeed The descendant of a Doge,a vendor of curiosities. Men with names of Venetian nobility,merchants in maccaroni. Sellers of picture postcards. Purveyors oftinsel decorations to be purchased by ignorant trippers. There issomething sad about it.'

Then again the Gents were in Holland. There came a religiouspersecution and a lot of the Hollanders fled to England. But theremust have been an Exodus before that, either religious or a tradeExodus, for some Hollanders, hundreds of years before that religiouswar, settled down in trade in Norfolk. Some went into Staffordshireand set up in trade there and founded a town which they called aftertheir own old town of Leek in Flanders. But these had not fled fromCatholic oppression for they attached themselves to the CatholicAbbey and held higher appointments therein. Some went to Dieu laCresse, some went to the Abbey near Chorley in Lancashire. And partof these afterwards returned to the Leek district and were thencalled the Chorleys, to distinguish them from the Gents who hadremained in Leek, although those who were left in Chorley stillretained the name Gent and handed it down to their posterity. TheChorleys who returned to Leek built themselves a house there which isstill standing and can be recognized by its Dutch architecture, whichthey had built out of love for their old home.

I do not know what you will think of this. There is a lot of it. Ishould like to know if it interests you or bores you. Let me know.And let me know too what subject (now you have no hobby) has the mostattraction for you then I can hold forth on that in my next lettersand we shall have a subject of mutual interest. I believe if we hadstuck at it we should have had the pedigree reliable and establishedback to about 1300. It is as the Bible says, 'How can one be warmalone.'

Now I have gossiped for a long time so to the real letter. You saythe doctor is going to examine he leg to see if it is ready to comeout of the plaster of Paris. When is that to be? I think you would dowell to have the plaster softened on the macintosh as you say itwould be safer. The lifting into and especially out of the bath mightundo weeks of work as regards the setting and might throw you backmonths in your recovery. I am very anxious to have full particularshow you are progressing and what the doctor says. When a join hastaken place in a broken bone it must be much weaker for some time andrequires thorough hardening before it is subjected to any strain.When you begin to sit up again and begin to use your hands thecontraction and weakness will go off to some extent. Let me know whenyou are going to have the leg taken out of plaster, and then how yougo on.

I was telling you about my walk on Good Friday because, as youcould not go with us, I described it so as to be your deputy. Wepassed the shop where Joseph L. Warburton used to be in Conway StreetBirkenhead and had a look in at the shop. The one where he used to bein Strand Road is only ten minutes walk from here. What a manychanges have taken place since then.

Edith says she should have called to see you again before she cameback but she had so many places to go to that she had not time to seethem all, and she seems to have given more time at Portman Streetthan any of her other calling places. She would have called again ifshe could. Monday next at two ' clock she has to go in to theoperation on her nose which we sincerely hope and trust may do goodand perhaps to some extent undo the harm that was done in the lastoperation and may perhaps take away some of the disfigurement whichhas so spoiled her appearance.

Have you got to know yet whether any formal notice was sent on byTaylor and Taylor to the Manchester Corporation. When you saw me youseemed to think it would be very hard to prove negligence on the partof the car driver.

The lurryman might as you say be able to give some information.His address was 15 or 17 Ludlow Street, off Oxford Road. I think thatis the house where Mr Silkstone used to lodge, when Aunt M. A. livedin Mackworth Street and I used to visit him. Can you get any one tocall on the lurryman?

Let me know any particulars you gather, and what course you decideupon; and whether I can do anything for you. It is as you say a greatreduction in your income, and increased expense, but let us hope youwill soon be in a position to mend matters. I feel sure with youractive brain you will devise some means of increasing your incomeeven if it is some sit at home work or something which can be broughtto the house by advertising or following up miscellaneous wants andsales columns. Perhaps property or business transfers, you will besure to fix on something and make a little out of it. I hope so,because it will be a good bit yet before you will be able to takeadvantage of the offer of the Refuge. Cheer up.

Well it is nearly dark now, I must stop. I usually read yourletters over twice, and again after a day or so. One seems to getmore of the meaning then. It takes so much more trouble to write thanto read a letter, that I think it deserves at least twice reading. Doyou ever read mine twice? I hope so, and I hope that my letters seemto convey my meaning; they may seem light and careless but I amactuated by a very kindly feeling and I hope they convey thatimpression There are some enquiries I would like you to answer. One:what subject would you like me to dwell upon; and what second. Andkeep me well informed how you, and all of you are going on.

Henry is working late every night yet and will be for another weektill balancing and arrears of work are cleared up. He said he wouldget back about ten to-night and would put a line in. So I shall keepthis until then so you will get it about eleven o' clock in themorning instead of by first post.

April 24: Henry was late and I got interrupted so am finishingto-day. Henry has been late all this month, and says he will writesoon. He has to have the work done by Monday night as Mr Webster isgoing to America on Tuesday. So Henry will write or see you soon. Ithas been very wet here to-day so Manchester does not get all therain. I hope I shall hear from you soon. And will write better nexttime.

Now with love to you, and to the children and to Florrie, in whichSarah, Henry and Edith join.

Your loving brother




169, Worcester Road, Bootle, Liverpool

May 1st, 1910


My Dear Frank,

I was very leased to receive your letter of 22nd April and to hearthat you were all well. And glad to see you had at last got somethingin writing from your Superintendent. It is better but I should havebeen glad if it had been granting you improved terms. They evidentlythink you are too young for a pension yet. Let us hope the time willcome when that long wished for grant will soon be made. You see MrHarrap was not long in recognising your scheme for changing over fromIndustrial to Ordinary business and I don't see why the agents shouldfind fault with you, for they got the business given to them. Ienclose his letter in this envelope as you will of course want tokeep it. I am glad you are keeping me up to date in what is goingon.

You repeat what I said about your active brain finding some goodoutlet for your energies and you seem to think I did not mean exactlywhat I said. However, I did mean it, yours is more active than mine.As an instance see the genealogy and what a mass of information yousucceeded in getting. I had never thought of it until you started it,and it has been a very interesting study. I think too that some ofthe puzzles are unravelling. I am not enclosing the Booth etc in thisas I have not yet completed the copy but I will do so within the nextfew days.

Have you had the following, I think so but am not sure. I got itat Manchester Library (I think it was 'History of Middlewich'): MissLucy Gobert of Adlington, Cheshire 1635/6 leaves to her son SirThomas Barrington Kt and Bart a gold ring 40/- to John his eldestson, £10 Oliver second son, £10 to Gobert Barringtonyoungest son and my godson, £20 to my grandchild Lucy Barringtona chest of viols and a border of gold and pearls. To Lucy Leighdaughter of Thomas Leigh of Adlington £100 and a silver cup withcover, Dorothy Leigh, Marie Leigh, Penelope Leigh etc etc

Margaret Beswick of Stayley 1616/17 appoints Brother in lawLaurence Henshall Executor.

William Stonehewer of Baileyford Cheshire gives to his son GeorgeStonehewer and to his son in law Anthonie Booth 20/- in fullsatisfaction of their part to Sarah Bagnall and Ellen Bourne mydaughters each £5 Ditto Joseph Stonehewer my son. £100 tobe put at interest for Jane Stonehewer daughter of my son John -Anthony Booth owes him £20. Catherine Booth bequeathed variousto wife (née Wrench) of Revd Thomas Aubrey before 1759.

Perhaps you have these, perhaps you even gave them me. SoBarringtons were mixed up with the Leighs if not the Leas and camefrom Adlington as well as Essex. What about Beswick sister in law ofThomas Henshall. I will give some more Booth names in my next if youhave not previously had the above…



June 24th to 28th, 1910

Rhyl, 25, Queen Street

all of us went


Fare etc 1 9 9

3 whole 3 halogs [?]

Grocery 1 3

Meat 3 0

Stamps 6

Bread 6

Eggs 1 0

Toys cloth 10

Sausage 7

Brd Kiprs 1 3

Bacon and Eggs 1/- 1 4

Chldn Br 5 Bd 6 11

Drive [?] 6 4 7

Dogs and But Bd Tea 7 1 1

Brd 7 pic 8 1 3

Present 8 8

Bill 1 3 0

But 7 Brd 7 chldn 3 1 5

3 14 2



March 14th, 1912


My Dear Frank,

I was very much pleased to receive your remembrance of my birthdayanniversary, it is cheering to find there is still anyone who caresto give a word of good cheer as one passes another lap and Iappreciate the kindly word and greeting and the motive, to make onefeel there is still friendship and companionship and a recollectionof old times. And Sarah appreciated the old book you sent, on accountof its previous owner. How kindly we all look back on those oldtimes, as we think of those we loved and who loved us, now alasbeyond our reach.

I was very sorry to hear you had all more or less been ill but youspeak of it as 'we were' - so now I suppose you are all about rightagain. You say you have written to me twice and no reply - I thinkyou are wrong there. I wrote you the first two or three days inFebruary and heard from you once since (on the 12th) if any other hasbeen sent it has not reached here, but that is quite possible as theydo not seem very careful about deliveries here, in this village.

You ask how we are for coal - well I said there would be nostoppage or only a short one to create a scare and raise prices butSarah thought best to be on the safe side so laid in a graduallyaccumulating supply and we have still enough to last about anothermonth or more, so by that time the miners will most likely be at workagain.

You did not say whether you had heard from Mr Hulme of Leek. If weknew what that deed was it would show whether the descent was as wesuppose through the William and Rebecca and all the long was thattakes us or not.

I saw a book - Jewitt's English Coins and Tokens - and in it therewas an engraving of Gervase Gent's token at Tideswell

Obv. Gervase Gent of Tideswell his halfepenny

rev. Two eagles ermine crest demi eagle displayed out of acoronet

This is one out of only about half a dozen tokens which weremarked with the family's arms. [and see Reliquary vol. 7, p.159]

John Gent of Leek Grocer had the Grocer's arms, a chevron betweennine cloves.

Boyne's 17th century tokens published 1858 also describes amongmany others these two tokens, all of which date between 1648 and1672. SO that was the arms of the Leek lot and if Randle of Liverpoolwas right one hundred and twenty five years later in taking theNorthampton coat he was not descended from the 1543 lot at Leek. I donot think he was reliable however and even the bookplate he hadengraved was wrong for he has a fesse chequy instead of countercompany and there is nothing to show how many squares there shouldbe. But what about our two eagles and the Moyns threeeagles…



January 25th, 1912


My Dear Frank,

I have been so upset and despondent lately that I have neglectedreplying to you sooner but everything else is being equally neglectedby me. I think my head is going, when all comes to be consideredthere comes a time to all of us if we live long enough when we are nouse or pleasure to others or ourselves and I suppose that is nature'sweakening of the ties.

Well shall we ever get to the connecting links of our family oflong ago in Staffordshire, Essex and Norfolk. Fancy Miss Wagstaffesgoing to live at Leek and near Mr Hulme. Now is your time if ever toget at the one missing link continuing your research far and very farback. The particulars of that deed (probably a marriage settlement)which Mr Beresford has, referring to William son and heir and JohnGent of the Booths: this will connect you on to the right line atonce - get the particulars while you can, even only the names andrelationships of the different parties to the deed. It is the onething needed, and as Mr Hulme has sufficient interest to send you theextract from Salt's volume he would probably send you theseparticulars if you tell him fully why it is wanted. Do not send himtoo long a rambling letter just what you want and no more exceptthanks for his interest.

I have looked for the parchment you speak of, Elizabeth ? Johnson,but cannot find it. It is not a will but only the certificate of aprobate granted as far as I can recollect which has become detachedfrom some will and may refer to something not nearly connected withus. However I will try to find it and even if I do not I feel sureyou could have a copy of it when it is found.

Is all going well with you all, for the present is really moreimportant than the past and Henry says the future is more importantstill.

I should like to hear how you all are and all your current news aswell as any researches you have made. I suppose Mabel and Dora arequite grown up now, and Frankie will be quite a man [5ft8in]. Let me know any news and how you and Florrie are keeping inhealth and affairs. Edith's face is much better [very good]and Sarah seems to be having better health than ever before.[very good] Henry and I are keeping well but you will beseeing him soon. I do not know when if ever I shall see Manchesteragain, [Mr B's great motto: If there's a will etc. You told me inInfirmary you'd think little of walking.]

I felt sure I had returned you Thomas Gent's letter (the father ofNorman Gent) but find I had not done so and enclose it now togetherwith extracts which I have written at intervals (and cuttings) readyto enclose in my first letter, [yes best way to reply, fresh fromthe mind] if there are any other extracts you have sent me whichI have not returned and any questions I have not answered let me knowand I will reply at once. If I have not done so it has beenunintentionally so let me put it right.

We have been having dreadfully cold miserable weather here latelyand I suppose it is the same in Manchester plus the fog.

I hope when Frankie grows up he will be like Henry is, for he is agood son and does all he can to make us happy and contented. I shouldsay that he is like the Aunt that Carsons told you of, a comfortinginterested adviser and friend, he is a peacemaker and deserves hisreward, and a great and present helper in time of trouble. I couldnot say more in anyone's favour. I wish I had been like he is.

Things are bad with me in business but while there's life there'shope and better times may come yet.

Sarah sends her love to you and Florrie, and the children, inwhich Henry and Edith join, and I as you know send my love to you andall of you. Write soon.

Your loving brother,


I will send on anything I may come across and any deductions Imake from what we have, if I can.



The coat of arms referred to in Shaw's History of Staffordshiremust have gone back to a very early date, and the difference incolour may have been owing to difficulty of rendering same in astained glass window, or perhaps to make a better display of colour.Shaw treats it and the rest as being of too far back to enable anyremarks to be made. The window was there, old and out of memory, in1597. [Why not write the Salt Society on it]

Your information from Mr Hulme re William Gent (not W M Gent asyou write it) is a startler, just fancy 1361 the time when Edward the2nd was king and the Black Prince took King John of France andbrought him a prisoner to England an MP too in those days. Newcastleis close to Stoke and only seven miles from Congleton so perhaps thatwas the line of march. Then Richard granted property at Derby wouldaccount for members of our name Ashbourne and Uttoxeter way. I thinkwe are now safe in saying the coat of arms is the eagle and not theone Randle had got hold of, the Northampton coat, even in the book wesaw it there seems to be a doubt of 'Gent' or 'Guy'. [Can we findout if this coat of arms is like the Guy family]

I had no idea that Liverpool Library had Salt's recentpublications on Staffordshire, but since your letter came I asked thelibrarian and he found it and brought it to me, the 1911 issue. Thereis a lot in about Ipstones etc and the descent of James Turner - ourJames Turner - from the Padwick and Ipstones family. [I knowinformation re Turner is plentiful, wish it were ours] Perhapsfuture issues may tell you more and bring information of later dates.If I can I will see the earlier issues of the publication. Tell me inyour next - have you got it in the Manchester FreeLibrary?[Yes]

If you hope to bottom the true descent don't fail to ask for theparticulars of that deed referred to and in the possession of MrBeresford, William Gent and John Gent of the Booths. I think Mr Hulmewould give you the particulars if you ask him. If so let me know.

The sign of Guy Earl of Warwick was a rough ragged staff, couldthe name Wagstaffe have been assumed by some descendant of hisfamily.

We have never yet been able to solve the puzzle of Thomas Gent,who had a sister Ann Wardle, and who died a bachelor in 1791 beforehis father. But that is long past the time of our John Gent whomarried Jane Grindy. [So does not concern the directdescent]

It is quite probable that the Essex lot went from Staffordshire orwere the same people with two locations [if so the oil paintingsmight be of Essex family] for then and earlier were stirringtimes, but certain as you say in one of your letters they were allrelated.

There was a vicar or rector of Walton church Richard Gwent in thesame year that Richard Gent was vicar or rector of Leek, both underLichfield. Were they the same. Walton was the mother church ofLiverpool and Liverpool parish church was its chapel of ease in 1560.[what a change] In 1356 Staffordshire was probably about therichest county in England. [why]

All the Salt's volumes are in Liverpool Free Library from thefirst till now, weeks of reading for anyone who can.



May 27th, 1912


My Dear Frank,

Herewith I return you the four letters which you received from MrT. H. Hulme, and which you sent me for perusal.

The one dated December 8th, '92. Is not this a mistake should itnot be December 8th, '02.

The transcript or rather extract of the Chirograph Indenture ofTrinity Term (7th Ann 1709) which Mr Hulme sent you does take adecided step towards identifying the John who married Jane Grindywith the John son of William and Rebecca. Chirograph particularswould make it nearly certain. Could you get the details?

Very strange these coming from Miss E. Wagstaffe's deeds, and Ihad written you just before saying I was afraid we should hear somenews about the Miss Wagstaffes. I did not know what it would be. Iknew a communication was coming from that quarter and I feared it wasill news. When you were writing to me with the enquiry about John andEllen 1667&endash;1714 on Sunday May 19 I was answering that veryquery and enclose my draft. You see the custom was and is in thatdistrict that when a son got married, his parents set him up on somefarm nearby. When they died or gave up, the son came to take theirplace in their old home and where he was born. In time he set up hisson or sons and the process was repeated generation after generation.Now John and Ellen were living at Overhulme in 1668 when their eldestwas born and in 1710 when Joan was married up to his death in 1714.William and Rebecca were also of Overhulme when their eldest was bornin 1695 (William who left farming and went as a grocer to Leek andsettled in Spout Street). Now according to usual rule did John set upin Ipstones and if so why there? Was it because his mother Rebeccahad a pecuniary interest there, or owned the place (was this theplace described in the chirograph) And why did John and Ellen andtheir son and son in law William and Rebecca exchange lands withRobert Brough and John Clayton…



November 1912

Florrie Hat 2/-

Randle's clothes 13/6

Randle's boots and repair 6/6

Pears Jelly Rum 4/-

Dr Wall 2/2/0

Stanyer 4/6

Farrow 1/10

Nesfield 2/5/0

Craven Moore 1/10

Ryan 10/6

Ryan 10/6

Clay 10/-

Hosp 1/10/0

Ambulance 12/0

Emily 10/-

Dressing Gown 10/-

air pad 10/0

mattress 15/0

Grave 4/0/0

Funeral 9/0/0

Stone 16/0/0

Will 20/0/0



At Portman Street October 1913 (6 months after Flo died)


Pillow slips 11

Bolster 3

Shirts 14

Roll Towel 2

Baby colls 10

Girls petticoat 5

Gloves 22 prs

Baby fronts 4

Napkin 1

Girls drawers 2

Tablecloths 5

2 seal muff bags

Flan sheets 4

Sheets 2

Blankets 7

Quilts 4

Girls Frocks and pinnies 9

Hand towel 1

Vests womens 3

Vests baby 2

Vests men 3

Pants 3

Children night gowns 6

Combinations 1

Jersey 3

Toil cov 9

Children sheets 3

Baby blouse 6

Bodices 2

Aprons 3

Silk blouses 4

delaine [?] 2

Print [?] 3

Drawers 2

Lace Collars 2

Fl[annel] chemises 2

do night gown 2

do petticoat 3

do drawers 1


Red Rep curtains 6 large and small

Flo's macrame work

Jackets and Mantle Brds


B[aby] D[ora] R[andle] Silk Hatbands 3

Dora's bible

Silver bracelets

Mother's white drawers 4

Mother's white petticoat 1

Muslin do 1

Stair Holland 2

Green Silk plaid

Mother's Flannel drawers 1

do Flannel night shirt 1

Father's white night gown 2

I dress shirt 1

5 white vests, waistcoats

1 Holland quilt


Flo 2 old blouses

1 combinations

Flos Holland skt

Bk do


January, 1913 my dear Florrie began to be ill with internalswelling. On 23rd took her to Bolton to Dr Ryan; said tumour orcancer. 25th seized with great pain in town at Albert Hall, Saturdaynight, her last entertainment. Monday 27th much worse; Dr Farrowcalled in. 29th Dr Walls, specialist from St Mary's Hospital, gave mean hour to decide to send her in to be operated on and give themcarte blanche. I refused. Later I called in Dr Nesfield and twoherbalists. Went worse. February 12th, an awful night, Dr Nesfieldfetched by Frank at 1 AM through most awful fog for years. Next daycalled in Dr Helme, specialist from Northern Hospital. Mrs Barringtoncame down and we took Florrie by ambulance at 9 PM to NorthernHospital. Operated on Friday morning, 14th. Mabel and I went up inmorning and Dr Hulme said hope lost, could not be removed from thebody as it was permeated throughout. My dear lay there being starvedto death and bedsore nineteen days. Brought home in ambulance to thefront parlour at 27, Portman Street and lingered in misery till 2ndApril and died of exhaustion, age 43.



Friday night

Dear Mother,

I was very glad to hear you are beginning to get a little betterand we are all hoping for the time when you will be coming homeagain. I am looking after baby, and he calls me up every morning.Mabel makes a good housekeeper and has just been at me for my moneyand always wants a bit extra.

I am coming to see you to-morrow. I have been two or three nightsto ask how you were but have not seen you yet. They are telling me tobe sharp or they will be too late for the post, so cheer up and wewill son see you here back again and well.

With best love




16th February, 1913


My Dearest Florrie,

I hope and trust that you are better and that you enjoyed thejelly. I was so glad the sister was kind enough to let me see you,and to see you looked a little better, and were not being sick now. Iexpect Mother will be bringing the jelly from Frances when she comesto-morrow, if it comes I will bring it. Arthur Wilkes is sailing forAmerica on Thursday.

I do so hope you will get your appetite and be able to eat some ofthe new laid eggs we sent you. I think it was the eggs you sent thatkept me alive in the Infirmary.

We are all keeping pretty well and send our dearest love to youbut must not tire you with too long a letter, till you are strongenough to write back. Praying God to bless you, we are with you inour thoughts continually.

Your loving husband and children.



18th February, 1913


My Dear Mother,

I have made you a few biscuits and some junket, I hope you willlike them. Is there anything you would like us to bring you? We werevery pleased to have your letter, you mentioned a vest, but I thinkyou have one in your locker, and handkerchiefs as well in the locker.Did you like the calves' foot jelly that Auntie Frances made? It willdo you good. Frankie has bought baby a horse and cart. We are goingon all right at home, but we all want you back again as soon as youare well enough. try to keep your spirits up, and perhaps if thejunket agrees with you and stays on your stomach you can have more.You have been in the hospital five days now. We are all lookingforward to when you come home.

Your loving daughter




Tuesday night

18th February, 1913


My Dearest Florrie,

We were delighted to receive your first letter to-night, and hopeyou will keep improving and the doctors and sister and nurses willsoon make you better. Sister told me some very good cures happen andI hope and pray they will soon make you stronger.

I suppose Emily would bring you the jelly to-day, after I hadbeen. I was glad I was able to see you even from the door thismorning. Good Mabel has made you some junket and some cakes, betterthan any from a shop. I have tasted them and they are beautiful. Youought to be set up with all this, and the chicken and the three lotsof jelly. I hope you will soon have better nights.

With all our love and praying God's blessing upon you. We are yourloving husband and children.



Wednesday night

February 19th


My Dearest Florrie,

I have just telephoned up to the hospital to ask how you are andyou seem to be going on the same as when I was there this afternoonand saw you eating some gruel or broth. Sister told me you had hadsome jelly and some chicken and enjoyed it. I am so delighted. Whichdid you like best, lemon jelly from Miss Holding or sago jelly fromMiss Bateman, or the jelly from Frances? Mabel wants to know if youliked the biscuits or the junket. I asked sister if you had eaten anyeggs yet but she said no. They will do you such a lot of good whenyou are able to have them. I do hope you will soon be able to havethem. I do so long to hear you are eating better and gettingstronger. I hope I may be allowed to come in to you for a minute ortwo when I call to enquire. try to let us know anything you want sothat we can bring it.

That God may bless you is our constant prayer.

Your loving husband and children.

All our fondest love.



Thursday night

February 26th


My Dearest Florrie,

Just a line to-night to tell you how delighted I was to see youto-day and how I hoe you will soon be better of your sickness and getmore appetite and then you will soon get stronger by the help ofGod.

I telephoned up to-night to enquire how you were before Emily wenthome so as to tell her; I asked her to tell Frances to let you haveplenty of jelly and I would pay for it as you liked it so much. Emilyhas been here all day and been a good kind friend. Franky will try towrite you from the warehouse to-morrow as he was late home to-night.Keep your spirits up and we will remember the oranges and flowers youwant us to bring.

With our dearest love and constant prayers for you, we are yourloving husband and children.



Friday night

February 21st


My Dearest Florrie,

I got your letter this afternoon just after I got home bringingyou the raspberry jam which I was very sorry was not there before youhad tea, but you will enjoy it to-morrow to breakfast and tea and itwill enable you to eat some bread and butter and I hope you can sooneat some eggs.

I am so delighted you had fish and rice pudding. Do eat and enjoythe rice pudding. I saw huge dishes of it one day I came and it looksbeautiful. May God bless you and help you back to strength dear. Wedo so hope to hear you are improving more and more and trust the bedsoreness may be relieved. Have patience, trust and faith.

With al our dear love

Your loving husband and children.



Saturday night

February 22nd


My Dearest Florrie,

I hope you were not disturbed by so many coming to see you to-day.I don't think either Frances or Newhalls needed to come. You onlyneed to see your own nearest ones. I do so trust you will soon bestronger and less sore and weary. I cannot tell why you do not haveeggs, as you had them both beaten up and boiled before you went inhospital, and they are such grand things to renew your strength. Itelephoned to-night to ask sister how you were and to say I wouldbring chicken to-morrow, I asked sister if you could have theraspberry jam and she said she would see so I hope you had it to teato-day.

The jelly Miss Holding sent you to-day is stronger of the lemonand calves' foot, and less brandy in it. I hope you will like itbetter. Mr Evans went specially to the club to get you the bestbrandy to flavour it.

Do try to eat all the good things you can dear, as keeping yourstrength up is what you want now.

May God bless you and keep you and give you comfort is the prayerof your loving husband and children.



Sunday night

February 23rd


My Dearest Florrie,

I 'phoned up to-night to ask how you were and they said you werepretty comfortable, so I hope and pray you may have a more easynight's rest and that you will enjoy the chicken broth to-morrow. Ido so hope you may feel cooler and less feverish, perhaps they maylet you sit up a bit before long now they have attended to thestitches and then I trust you will be less bed sore. I went to seethat fat scotch woman Mrs Hutchison as I came from the hospitalto-day an she says hr stoutness came on at the change, but she didnot feel very ill although you know she became a tremendous size. Sheseems well yet.

If the food makes you more feverish I hope you will be able to eatbroth and gruel until you are able to bear some more solid food but Ido so long to see you eating a little more of something that doesagree with you so as to get more strength. I shall be so overjoyedwhen you begin to pick up nicely. The jelly ought to do you a lot ofgood. It was very kind of sister to let me come in to see you to-dayand I feel so grateful to her for the kindness.

May God bless you and preserve you and soon restore your strength.With all our dearest love,

Your affectionate husband and children.

I will bring the two boxes of chocolate you mentioned.



Wednesday night


My Dear Mother,

I do hope you feel better and are eating more. We found your vestand aired it and dada brought it this afternoon to the hospital. Isuppose you have got it on now. Grandma comes to see that we go onall right and we do. We are eagerly waiting for your return home andI am longing for Saturday to come when I hope to be able to see youagain. Baby is constantly amused with a toy Franky has bought him andis quite satisfied with it. Mrs Robinson, the washerwoman, cameto-day and helped us very much for she did some washing and cleaningall in one day. Baby sleeps with Franky and he often gets up earlyfor work. I hope you liked the jelly and if you fancy anything let usknow and we will bring it. Hoping for a reply.

I am

Your loving daughter





Dear Mother,

Grandma has been to-night. Do you feel any better? I hope you do.Did you see the plant that we brought. We will be so glad to have youhome again. We shall be bringing you a clean nightgown and vest thisweek. Whenever you feel well enough will you write to us, and tell usif you want anything, but if it is any trouble don't bother. I amgetting good dinners ready because it is cold. We will bring thechocolate boxes for you. We are all waiting for the time when youwill come home.

Your loving daughter,




February 24th


My Dear Husband and Children,

I feel a little better this morning and cooler, but last night theday nurse, the one I don't like, pushed me on my side and I was thatuncomfortable. I begged later on in the night from night nurse tomake me more comfortable. She grumbles but manages to make me easy. Itold her I thanked God there was one that looked after me.

Is this the tenth day? They did not take all the stitches out, itseems they take more out to-day. I am tired of being in bed.



Monday night

25th February


My Dearest Florrie,

I was so glad to hear you were a little better when I telephonedthis morning. It made me feel far more cheerful to-day. I hope youwill keep on improving.

Did you see me at the ward door this afternoon when I brought theplant? I think you saw me but am not sure as they shut the ward doorat once Sister seemed pleased with the plant and pot.

Mabel will tell you some more jelly is coming from Frances, so youneed not spare it as you like it so much and it will do you good. Ihope we shall keep hearing you are getting a little better, it givesus such delight, and to hear you are not so sore but feel morecomfortable.

With our best love from your loving husband and children.

May God bless you and keep you is my prayer.



Tuesday night

26th February


My Dearest Florrie,

I was not allowed to come in to se you to-day because sister wasnot there. I brought you two boxes of chocolate and some cleanclothes: night gown, vest and chemise. I was surprised when nursebrought word your message to me. As you said on Sunday, you feltbetter there where it was quiet. Do you feel better or worse than youwere on Sunday? In your letter to-night which got here after tea, yousay you were flushed and giddy and had wet cloth on your head, andyet they say you are a little better.

I am coming to see you all being well in the morning and I wantyou to tell me all about it. Don't say anything till I come. Ihaven't been to see Dr Helm to-night and he says I can come and seeyou about it. And he will try to see you, how you are. If you haveany great wish to come away soon he would try to make it safe as hedoes not want to stand in the way of your wishes but he thinks itwould be a great deal better and safer to allow your stomach to healfor another week, as you would have to be bandaged and strapped verytight to bear removal, as you know the ambulance jogs a bit. Havethey at the hospital suggested you coming away or is it entirely yourown wish? Tell me all this to-morrow when I come privately. But besure, if it is safe, it can be just as you wish, though much as wewish you safe home again with us I should dread trying the journeytoo son if Dr Helm said it as dangerous.

And now dear may God bless you and watch over you and soon restoreyou to us and give you strength to get up again. Hoping to see youearly to-morrow dearest.

I am your loving husband




Friday night

February 28th


My Dearest,

I was so sorry not to be allowed to come in to see you either atnon or to-night. I was up at one o' clock at noon and brought yousome more papers, but they would not let me see you, and to-night ateight when I brought the grapes. I dare not come in when you beckonme, they will not allow it. They asked me to wait till sister came tome, then I gave her the grapes for you but she only gave you a few.Sister then told me you were coming on fairly so I had to come away.She said you had better have less visitors to-morrow than lastweek.

Sister told me the doctor had drawn something off to reduce theswelling to-day. When we come you will tell us what Dr Helme saidabout you coming home. Oh, I shall be rejoiced to have you back. MayGod grant you an early return home and give you strength again. Youshall have any luxury you wish for, and not be refused what will giveyou comfort and pleasure. I do trust it will do you good what thedoctor has done to-day and that you can soon come home.

Looking forward with joy to seeing you dear and praying God'sblessing upon you.

We are your loving husband and children.



Saturday night

March 1st


My Dearest,

I was so delighted to see you looking better and brighter to-day.We all thought you improved since the last time we saw you, and ifyou can only enjoy the jelly and chicken, warm milk, gruel, ricepudding and so on you will soon have more strength, and we hope tosoon have you home again. I bought a chicken in Victoria Market as wewent back from the hospital and got ma to choose it. Hope to bring itto-morrow. We went to Alan Newhall's to fetch the children and theyhad a nice tea ready for us all, which was very kind. I have justtelephoned up and they say you are doing very nicely. I thought ofwriting to Dr Taylor to ask if anything more can be done for your bedsoreness, I do so wish that could be got easier for you and you couldsit up and get changes of position from being always on yourback.

May you have the blessing of God dear and be healed and restoredby his almighty power.

With our dearest love

Your loving husband and children.



Sunday night

March 2nd


My Dearest,

I came up this afternoon and brought you the chicken and a pieceof simnel cake that Mabel made, sister asked the doctor if you couldhave it and I think he consented, so I hope you liked it and that youwill also like the chicken.

They would not let me in to-day, and the ward door was shut, so Icould not even get a glance.

I spoke to Dr Taylor about your soreness and asked him if youcould not have some more relief; he said they were doing all theycould and that you were sore before you went in. Mabel and Dora sayyou were not sore before you went in, and I don't see how you couldbe, as you had only been in bed then a little over a fortnight. I layten weeks in splints and plaster and I was not that sore either inthe Infirmary or when I got home, though I was on such a hard bed.Your Mother says some are in bed many months yet not that bad and youhave got such good healing flesh. I wish and sincerely trust somebetter remedies may be tried to give you relief. They only used zincointment and spirits upon me, but they will of course know what isbest to use for you. Do not fail to tell Dr Helme how bad thesoreness is when he comes. I wish I knew what day you are cominghome; they have not said anything exact to me yet, and I should liketo know as you are wishful to come back home, and we do so want you.Keep your spirits up Dear and lie off your back as much as you can.Ma says bolsters are best to lie on, but I will get everything thatcan be got if we can get any nurse who can do the best for you Dokeep on looking forward to being with us soon now and I hope it maybe a nice mild day when you come and it will be better in the daytime than cold night as you are so warm there.

So now God bless you dearest , and restore you to strengthagain.

With all our dear love.

Your loving husband and children.



Tuesday night

March 4th


My Dearest,

I was glad to see you this morning but I think you are looking asif you want more nourishment and Mabel says you shall have it. I hopeyou liked the grapes, I had to go to Shudehill to get them. I saw DrHelme and got permission to bring you home to-morrow. I was so glad.Sister says Mabel must come to-morrow to be told how to attend toyou. I have written to Ma to come and have been to the Nurses Homeand seen the matron to arrange and have been about the ambulanceto-night. We have fitted the bed up, and I telephone at nine o' clockand was told you were better. I guess that you are cheered up thatyou are coming home to us. May God grant you a return to strength andgetting up son and bless our efforts to help you up again.

We shall be delighted and give thanks to have you with us and Ihope you will not take any harm if you are wrapped up arm.

Praying God to protect you we send best love from your lovinghusband and children.



Frank Turner did not continue his chronicle after the death of hiswife in 1913. The bereavement was, of course, a blow, and this wascompounded by the death of his son Randle in 1915. This is hisaccount of his son's death.

Randle was killed by a motor car in Cross Street, opposite the endof Tib Lane, at 11.50 PM on Saturday, October 30th, 1915. The streetswere in darkness owing to the war. The taxi was going at twelve milesan hour with two officers to Victoria Station for Southport, and awooden boarding was built on the footpath just at this spot owing tosome rebuilding, leaving only two feet of footpath for pedestrians.He must have stepped off the path owing to its narrowness, and thetaxi swerved into the footpath to escape a tramcar going to AlbertSquare on the single line just at that spot. Randle was taken to theInfirmary in the taxi with a fractured skull and other injuries - thepolice report says left arm and right leg - and died at 12.00 AM onSaturday night [31st October, 1915]. He had nothing on him toshow his identity, so we could not be sent for to see him alive. Wethought he had stayed all night at Seedley and they thought he hadgot safe home. When Dora went the next day, Sunday, to Seedley andsaid he had not got home they made enquiries and found a boy waslying at the Infirmary. I was telephoned for to go and identify atthe Infirmary and face the grief and cruel loss.


Dear Frank,

You would get me in advance of this. I went to the funeral andwhen I got home I read your humpsome (but none the less welcome)letter to my wife and we condoned with you.

Yours ever truly,

C[harles W. Starkie, Librarian, Athenaeum]




Tuesday, 14th September, 1920


My Dear Frank and Mabel, Dora and Harry,

I am here to-day writing this in fields under trees, it's almostimpossible to sit in sun, the heat is so great. Have just sent postcard to Eva of Box Hill which Mary [?] and I went to top ofyesterday. They think of asking Joe over from Crowborough to meet methis weekend if he can come. It is a change from London you canbelieve. They want me to stay well into next week. I hope you willenjoy yourselves this weekend. But oh dear, Blackpool after this,like Knutsford after Scarborough. Mary very pleased with dress.William says he's writing to thank you for the tobacco so accept thethanks all if all right. I did not open the parcel any further thanyour slip of letter and thought your question re Gurley's tobaccomeant would I like you to get some more, so when M opened the parcelshe gave William the tobacco thinking for him and I was flummoxed Itell you but put the only face possible on it and appeared to thinkyou had sent it to him, but as he doesn't smoke a pipe I'm going tobuy him cigarettes and tell him I'll have the tobacco instead as itis grand stuff.

I do hope all is well and you are all keeping well. Is that matterright at Town Hall till I come? Are rents all right? Is Henry's coldbetter? I sweated like a bull in London till mine was cured. Expectto go to Guilford and Horsham. I wish M[abel?] could be hereand see Mary's superb cooking and enjoy all that and the joys andbeauties, but she would find it very short of life. She must seeLondon some day and Leatherhead too. I wonder if it will be in mytime? Who knows? If Henry gets in his house it's very likely.

Well, Frank, I've gone to a good bit of labour to try and pleaseyou. I have spent half a day standing up at a sale in a beautifulgarden behind a large house BUT I assure you prices are pretty highand the difficulties of packing and carriage are so great as to stopanything large coming. I will certainly spend my time for you athouse sales when I get home as soon as any chance occurs.

No, I have met no friend yet male or female. I'm not one of thedesirables evidently now. Henry says his day is passing so I ofcourse must not grieve. William is getting two days off to go aboutwith us.

Time for post, so best love to all from




In August, 1922, I went a trip one day to see my Father's oldneighbourhood as I had long wished to do, and do not remember seeingany other than Astbury before. I took trams to Stockport and HazelGrove, and motor bus to Macclesfield, then motor bus to Congleton.Went to the Lion and Swan Hotel, still same landlord, Massey Harper,whom I remember there nearly fifty years ago. After spending sometime in the town, and looking at the streets (Wagg Street) myMother's Mother, Mary Warburton, used to live in which I visited as achild, and West Street where my Father's sister Mary Gent lived, andthen walked to Astbury, called at Hocknels Egerton Arms, then at thetomb of my Father's parents and his brothers; two of my Father'sinfant children were also buried in it about 1850 say, it is a squareblock tomb close to the church wall on south side. The stone over thegrave of my Mother's parents, Thomas and Mary Warburton, on the northside, near the great yew tree, is crumbled and all the inscriptionobliterated.

I then went on towards Moreton till I got to the gates (on theleft) leading to Moreton Hall; opposite to them on the right of theroad, is a by road leading to Alcumlow Hall, my Father's birthplacein 1794. I went and explained the reason of my interest and my visitto the tenant, a Mr Laithwood and family, a very well bred, dignifiedgentleman farmer; they asked me in and I found the house a veryhandsome place, with large rooms, double fronted, and extending veryfar back for working quarters. I was very impressed and wished thatsome of my family were there still.

I explained to Mr Laithwood that my grandparents left it in 1805when they bought Spen Green farm at Smallwood, a mile or two away, soas I wished to visit that, he directed me a short cut to it throughhis fields at the back of his house, which I greatly enjoyed andwhich brought me there in less than an hour, and I explored thebeautiful country and the very fields where my Father spent his youth(he sailed out alone in a sailing ship at age fifteen to his eldestbrother, John Gent MD, at Tortola, West Indies).

I found Spen Green a smaller and less handsome place thanAlcumlow, but a good, square built, double fronted cozy house withgood outbuildings, and air of prosperity. The old Father, MrBracegirdle, had lived there some forty years, his son and daughterin law, who have a grown son and daughter living there too; they mademe very welcome and invited me to stay tea, which my time did notallow. They were interested in my statement and showed me over theground floor completely, every portion delightfully clean andinviting. Some pretty almost white cats and a swarm of white fantailpigeons sparkling in the sunlight. I left them after a pleasant visitand talk to tramp back (as I thought) to Congleton and the bus fourmiles away, but I had not gone far on the road, when a ladygenerously gave me a lift in her motor car, which put me in Congletonagain in a few minutes, and was a great relief from a hot andstrenuous walk.

I looked through the park and had a grand tea. Bus to Macclesfield7.30, train to Stockport 9.20, trams home: arrived 10.30. Weary, butwith the memory of a grand day and the satisfaction of having seenplaces I was so much interested in and which had been a longcherished desire.

I should have liked my children to be with me and hear all thehistory, but that desire does not come till later life when theprevious generation is no longer there to tell; so it was withme.



MDF 2/6/24 [but not clear. Mentions his birthday, 25thDecember]


Phps you wll thk it rather strnge for me to wrt you whl I am inthe hse but I am sure you can't blve how anx [?] I am to asrey tht I am rlly [deleted] for allwg y to see me not as I rllyam but a bs com w. of crse you may thk dif now of me aft the awflevent. I cnnt say I am sor for wht I did, as I stll belv I was not inthe wrng in the circs, but I am very gld to hear y say th wht you didwas not intntnl but ws lk of tht. I rlly thk in the face of all whhas hpnd betw us it was a very crul [?] for y to do, esplywhn y knw the crcs of the indffnces wh had unadly crppd up.

Y say y were rthr surp at my behvr, well I am also, now my mindhas had time to concente on wh has hpnd, but I certly blve I was notrespnble for my actns, yr opinn may be difnt but I sincrly hope I hvenot lost all the resp wh you had for me, I dare not spk//of for Ifeel sure th has bn gone bef this hpnd, howvr I shll have to go on asI was bef, ben s admrd by pple who only care for my bed and not mysou, as I hd alws unstd.

I am afrd F I hav tkn y 2 sersly I tht yr love [?] was asdp as my ow, but evdtly not for now y sm qte eag for us to be apt. IfI did not love [?] you I shd not heste for the life at psntis only klg me and cnt go on much lgr, it is only woryg evryne andcnt last. Hwvr I can only sugst 1 thg and th is if y hve rlly csd tocre for me we sh be btr septed, as I cnt forgt as soon as othrs can,nor can I cse [lov]ing in so shrt a time, and to remain inthe same h as a mcr sv is far more th I can br

So I want you if y care to, to consdr whthr y hve csd to[love] or whthr y only wnt the sepn bacse y thk y cre forsomene else and hve decdd to try them to see if y cn be any hppr, ofcrse Iknw y cd be hpr if things were a litl smoothr but wh is the useof me tryg if y no lgr cre wh hpns 2 m. I had tht wh I came hr tht Ihad fnd somene who cd [love] me sicly, but somehw thgs//seemto hve alted. It has unsttld evrthg but I sppse we [love]dtoo dply at 1st. I warned y abt it but y ddnt seem to thk it wd butit has and ths sms to be the trng pnt. Now Td [?] if y canonly blve me as a true hrtd wm I will spk to you hnstly and mean itand wh I say I am rept that is. If y hve csd to care for m I wll goand fre well, but it wl nvr cse me to frgt the hpy times I hve hd wthy nr th sympthy wh y hv shwn twrds m fm tim to tim. It may sm strgebut I cn assre y tht I shl nev try and [love] anyone els, butsmply play th fool whovr it may be, y may say tht is all rot, phps this fm a good many wm, but fm me to-d my hrt has gne out to the 1 w I[love] and no one on earth will alt it now. Whth y[love] me or not it will not alt, only time may do tht

I dnt thk anyone who [loves] truly can trly say they wlfrgt that is only bluff and this is not the tim for blffg for I amtoo sore at hrt and sers. Y say I once thrw m as… rnd y and sd Iwas srry yes I may hve done but I cd not br yr indfrce any lngr, butI cd not do the same in this case for I do not tk I am to blm, but Ionly wish I cd//

I cld wrt pgs to y and thn I shd not hve tld y all I wd like to,but all I can say now wd only be uselss unless y cd [love] meas y did befr.

Befr you ansr me Td just tk a lit a see if y cd be hpr wthout mand if y wd gain much by it. I cnt gve mslf to y onl, but I wd and Icd be hpy with y, I am qte sure, but y kno it is impsle just now. TdI cnt spk more plnly to y so wth yr ansrwc most lkly wll come to somedef decsn for if I once go nthg on erth wll indce me to retn hwvr mchI sd lk 2, but if I do go aw fm here I shl nt go wth[deletion] I shl get the most out of life as lg as I lv wh Ikno wd not last vry lng. Ah well I must close now as I cnt spk moreplnly but if thr are any obstcls or any qstns y wd lk me to ansrdon't be afrd to ask m and I wd wllgly ansr if thr is any possblty ofmkg life easr and hppr. So trusting y will give this a crefulconsidth. I never tht on my b d I sd hve wttn to y lke this I tht itwd hve bn full of blss and hpness but anyhow it is not and that isthe end.

Yours devotdly if I cd be



February, 1926

42 [St Chad's Road]


Dear Frank,

I was at the lawyer's yesterday (Whitworth's, 2, St James'sSquare) getting the apportionment account and full details of thesale of 137, which was important, and have now written Mr Billingtonfor the first monthly repayment of £5 off the £86 Iadvanced him. I was very unwell at their office, as I have been eversince the beginning of this month. I have strange fits of sicklygiddiness, called vertigo, and they as lawyers on my affairs fortwenty years asked me some intimate questions; had I made my will,who had I made my executors, if my family were fully acquainted withall the affairs, if they were interested and able to manage it, andso on. I told them I had made will, but did not offer to hand it totheir keeping, that you and Henry in London were executors, that youwere not well acquainted with all my property details, though theonly one of the executors up here. They did not ask for anyappointment for themselves, but said it would be a great pity if myfamily did not husband the assets when they had to manage themselves,but so as to get more time to their own business and making a living,were to allow the stuff to go at slaughtering price. They also askedme where my deeds were, and Knutsford specially, and advised me thatthey would certainly make it in shops rather than sell, and had nodoubt that I could get tenants and so double the present income atvery least. They had done so at Wilmslow and so advised same atKnutsford. There it remains. So this reminded me of my talk to Henryre the garage, which has cost £800. What a job I'd have to getthat sum. Yet, if I did, where can you invest it again safely for anincome? And if I did, £800 would only bring in 16/- a week, andwith management the garage would bring in £2 or nearly, soinvestments are worth keeping even if a lot of trouble. £2 aweek is the interest on £2,000, not £1,800. So it would befolly to neglect wealth already provided, because of trouble ofmanagement, so as to spend the time in working for more and losingthat already there. All these arguments are clear to lawyers andbusiness men, and wise men gladly listen to the advice of thosecompetent and willing to teach them.

Of course I was advised repeatedly by Wilkinson, friends (?),tenants etc to sell nearly all out and live in luxury and peace formy time, but I preferred to still incur the toils, and shoulder theworries, so as to ease the burdens of my children in their lives, bykeeping the investments and sources of income there, ready providedand in active working for them. I need not labour the question, whichwould have been the easier and more indulgent course for myself, hadI cared to have a purely selfish aim.

My Father and I have had Knutsford seventy years. Suppose he hadsold it, as he inclined to when I was a lad, or suppose I had sold itany time since I inherited. The money might have been spent, or lostin bad investment, and instead, it may possibly be a bigger incomebearing asset still and for another lifetime. [It is, for someoneelse]

But since the lawyers talk I have thought much

Henry never writes to me, so would he be inclined to waste timeand labour in fixing my affairs so far away? And yet you have notlearnt to preserve all the interests which will then be yours, andwarrant all time and attention bestowing on them as the income willcover the time spent until in shape and somewhat settled.

The lawyers asked me if my affairs would be as well managed asyour grandfathers had been by us for twenty years. I should be happyto think so for all my children's sakes. I wish them all greathappiness, how ardently I will leave them to find out for themselvesby the sounder wisdom of later life, though not now appreciated toprove much reward I am content in the knowledge that everything Icould do I have done, and can only leave their future welfare andpunctual attention to their own interest, to their own sensibledesire for their happiness.

Now in addition to all this 149 Bishop Street is coming vacant.Will it be better to sell one more or keep……



Butter Hill, Dorking, Surrey

May 9th, 1938


Dear Frank,

We were so very pleased to hear from you again, but I cannotexpress how exceeding sorry we are to hear of your illness. How Iwish we were nearer so that we could pop in and have a chat. You knowwhat a very warm place you have and always have had in ouraffections. Now my dear try not to let it worry you too much aboutyour boys and girls not coming to see you, I know it hurts, but somany of the young folk nowadays act the same way; they don'tunderstand what the older folks feel. You know what our Mothers usedto say: 'You can't put old heads on young shoulders.' I do believeyou are happier in your own home, if they would only come to see you.Yes there is an intense longing for the loved and lost, as we get faralong the journey, but I believe they are nearer than we have anyidea, if we could only realize that it is so. I can just enter intoyour feelings about needing the reassurance that we are readywhenever the call comes, it seems so difficult just to step out infaith, and take Him at His word, for He has said whoever cometh toHim, He will in no wise cast out. He came not to call the righteous,but sinners. 'All the fitness He requireth, is to feel our need ofHim.' Take comfort in this dear rank, that some of God's greatestsaints have had such distress of mind and have had a hard battle tofight to gain the victory. We cannot understand why perhaps it is tomake them more perfect. The finer the gold the more it is tried, thebase metal isn't worth it. My own dear Mother was very troubledtoward the last, and I'm very sure she was a follower of the 'Friendof Sinners' and a shining example of patience and goodness in muchsuffering, as your dear Mother was also. The great David Livingstoneprayed 'I accept Thy word as the word of a gentleman, who has neverbroken his word.' Did He not say to his little band of disciples,'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' 'BecauseI live, ye shall live also, and I go to prepare a place for you.'

'Should He lead us through the shadows

Of earth's twilight cold and dim,

'Tis to reach our habitation

In the Glory Land with Him.'

We do very lovingly commend you to a loving Father's care, andshall ever pray for you, and 'As one whom his mother comforteth somay He comfort you.'

We shall be so glad to hear when you feel able to write a fewlines.

I don't call it selfish to want to be with one's children or tosee them, it is only natural.

With much love and many hopes that you will soon fel stronger. Amvery glad you have someone who looks after you well.

Very lovingly



Am writing to tell Ridgy to send you a few lines.



Butter Hill,


May 9th


Dear Frank,

We received your letter today and were very pleased to hear fromyou again, but certainly not pleased to hear of your indisposition.Things are very worrying for us all in these days. Days of transitionand change; while some are making murder profits out of this mad raceto re-arm, others are losing. It is a misfortune we live so far fromyou as we should like to call on you now you are laid up.

My view of life in relation to Christianity is that the Gospels(the really important part of the New Testament) and containing moreof the words of Jesus - is that He laid great stress on Grace andMercy and threw out the old Jewish idea of Justice and Law. Note thespirit of his attitude to men in his first declaration of his lifework as he stood up in the synagogue, and nearly got stoned to deathfor his new teaching. See also his greatest of all Parables - of theProdigal Son and the two previous ones, and He ran out after the son!Have you ever read Francis Thompson's 'Hound of Heaven' the sameidea.

It is only the Pharisee class, the official mind, self-righteoushumbuhs that HE condemned, and you can quite imagine when a man likeNicodemus came and consulted him, with an official, judicious mind,and one coated over with forms and ceremonius crustations, that Jesusshould say, We can't remould your mind and outlook, it must beremade, old chap!

The mystery of the future to me is rather deep, but I alwayscomfort myself with the thought, that however we may fall short ofthe mark,

'The Love of God is broader

than the measure of man's mind

And the heart of the Eternal

Is most wonderfully kind.'

And if our desire is to have the spirit of the Christ and live Hislife, but have failed, we shall be surprised in the next world at thewelcome, and shall be only too glad to have the opportunity of makinggood, which I am much inclined to think from my reading of the N. T.,we shall.

These remarks at some length are suggested by your reference tothe book you said you found. Perhaps the Professional purveyor of theGospel will think me a bit unorthodox, but I'm thinking the Churchdon't half understand its own gospel, or preach it truly.

I trust you will soon be stronger and that the attentions of yourattendants will get you soon on your feet again. Mary S. is writingyou a few lines.

I'm doing a few hours at the old trade, for one of the Brookerswho does a bit on his own now, otherwise just keep afloat.

With every good wish, and love and strong hopes

Yours affectionately

Will[iam H. Dinnage]


…and are prepared. It's a worrying business all the same, notknowing what is going to happen. Hope you are keeping well I expectyou have seen Joyce and Grace often. Barry is quite happy inBlackburn, in fact they all seem content. I feel very lonely and withRex being out of work all those weeks I denied myself all sorts ofthings, so I couldn't take advantage of the extra freedom I had withall the children away. I am looking forward to seeing the picture'Wuthering Heights' this week. We were so impressed with the book,that I doubt if the picture will satisfy us. Rex is going, which isvery unusual. I hope you are keeping your spirits up.

Fondest love,


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