William Holt to Mary
I have heard you mention your Aunt who lives in Devonshire - I think she has a very large family & it was she whom your Aunt Newman thought your picture so like, is it not?
About Miss Aiken & her name. I cannot tell you what she thinks of me, but I think her a remarkably nice girl & I am sure you would too if you knew her - you need not be in the least bit jealous - you are perhaps not aware that they are some relations of ours - what relation exactly I can't tell though Mrs. Bowring, the 2 Miss Aikens and I were trying to make it out a few days since. I think they made out at least Mrs. B did, that we were 2nd cousins, twice removed, however we agreed we were all cousins of some kind.
Susan Aiken (the younger of the two) told me one evening (when we had both been convicted of playing at marbles, she with her brother, a little boy & I with John Bowring) that she should so like to have a game at marbles with me some day, which was I supposed to have said in fun at the idea of two such old people playing at them & I have never asked her yet to fix a day. You will have an opportunity probably of seeing her in Liverpool about August or September.
I have not many minutes to finish this in for while I was writing a notice came in to go and attend to the House of Lords at 1/4 before 4, & I had to go & attend there & after waiting a few minutes the Lord Chancellor, being I suppose rather hungry went away for an hour to get his dinner & as it was a matter which could not be attended to without him, I had to go again in an hour & after waiting again above a quarter of an hour, they found they had so much to do in the house, that it was put off to another day. I had all my walking in the rain & was kept too from finishing my letters. I could not come back here in the house & I went to the Palace to see the bulletin which says that the King continues much the same, & has passed a bad night. I heard when I was at the house that he was not likely to live till Monday.
I have to go to Mr. Kinder's tonight to a sociable tea. On Sunday morning it was so wet that I staid at home, but I read a sermon & a very good one too. I went a little after 3 to Hackney & in the evening went to Chapel there. On Monday evening I went to a concert at the King's concert room & was very much delighted indeed. It was by far the best concert I was ever at. We had all the best singers in the country & a most excellent orchestra, and the room (& which of course was quite a minor consideration) is very handsome and was full of company. On Tuesday evening I was asleep most of the evening at home. On Wednesday I was at a party at the Taggarts to meet Mr. Robbards of Manchester. We had a good deal of singing & a very pleasant evening.
On the whole I must say that I begin to be better satisfied with London than I was. There is plenty to do if one is inclined to be busy, plenty to see if one wishes for a little recreation from one's studies & a great deal of very good company which I of course am beginning to enjoy more as I get to know them better.
On Sunday, if fine, I shall go about ten to St. James' Park to see the Guards parade & hear the bands play & after that I shall go to York Street Chapel to hear Mr. Robbards, who is to preach for Mr. Taggart.
Mary to William
You are right concerning my Aunt Mary Ann she has indeed a large family - she has 11 children, the eldest the age of Agnes. I have never seen her but hope to see her soon.
I do believe I have mended my pen about 50 times since I began this letter, I cannot get a good one. I hope when you come you will make me a good stock.
I suppose Mother & some of the others are going to Woolton as soon as we have done with the doctors, I am to be housekeeper, a not very desirable place when there are such unruly boys to manage.
I am not in the least jealous of Miss Aiken & her sister. I don't think what you said about her being something of a relation of yours would have made any difference with me, for relations now take queer things into their heads, witness your sister & cousin, & my sister & cousin. However seriously I am not the least bit afraid although you think highly of her of you thinking any less of me. I believe I have seen them both, when I was at Miss Lawrence's they came & staid 4 or 5 days. I think they must be the same.
Miss Alletson is coming to take tea with us on Thursday & if fine we are going to the Botanic Garden; the Band will be there for the first time. The Gardens are open now on Sunday. William & Agnes were there after tea. I often joke her & tell her it is very well you are away, for one beau coming at a time is plenty, & we should if you were here be quarrelling for the front parlour. I don't think either father or mother have any idea of the attachment existing between them, but Aunt N has & told me when I was there with Agnes that she had long seen it on William's part, & if anything would prevent him going abroad it would be his attachment to her. If he goes it will be because he may so much the sooner be enabled to do something for himself.
Father is almost well, Agnes & Ann continue much the same. I must seal this up & take it to the post office, then go to your Aunts'. Nathan & Henry are going too.
Mary to William
My father is much better though not yet quite well. Agnes is so much better that she intends going to Chapel this morning, but I tell her I hope she will not sit with me in the higher seat, but she says she will, I am sadly afraid of her cough coming on. I don't wonder at her wishing to go for it is 14 weeks since she was there.
You will received this letter on the 27th of May, at least I intend that you should, you remember that day 4 years since we both have reason I am sure, to rejoice at the remembrance of it, for from that day I may date the beginning of my happiest days.
Sunday evening. Agnes did not go after all the Chapel this morning, for while I was even writing her cough came on very violently. Ann is much better & has been out walking, she hopes to get as far as Spring Bank next Wednesday or Thursday if it is fine. Although we have had such a beautiful morning we have had a very wet afternoon. When service began this afternoon, I could only count 3 in the gallery and 11 below, your aunts and part of our family making 7 out of the 11 - you see we are not improving.
I think when you come home we will take a walk round by Wavertree Nook & down the green lane. What a number of pleasing recollections are associated with that little spot, the fields, the stile & the lanes about it.
I suppose Mr. R. Yates & The Misses Yates will be in London by this time, we don't know where he is going to be married or not, he has since he came from London been living at his sister's. He has had his house painted, prepared, etc. many say put in order for his second wife. He is going to be two or three months away & is going to Switzerland. Woodhouse Crompton & Mr. Thom he has left housekeepers until he comes back; I hope it will do them good for they are both looking very ill, particularly Mr. Thom. W Crompton has been ill most of the winter, so it will be of service to him. Is it not odd that he should choose gentlemen to take care of his house for him while he is away?
I suppose you have heard of your father's vessel being launched on Saturday & in what fine style. Robert christened it Theodosia!!! When I heard of it going to be launched, I said, "I wonder whether they will call it William, they all laughed finely at me & asked me why should they call it William? It seemed almost natural to me that they should.
Mr. Archer told us this morning that Mr Hincks is going to be married next month. I recollect very well you telling me one day as we were going up Crabtree Lane that he was going to be married in the summer; I then thought what a long time until then, but you see it will now very soon be here.
My brother has not yet come home, we feel rather anxious concerning him for we expected him home last Thursday. He ought to have written to tell us why he has been so detained, for he knew very well how anxious we should be. He has been so very punctual before that we are more surprised now at his silence.
My Aunt Palethorpe is (you will be surprised to hear it) much better, we have again hopes of her recovery. It is astonishing what she has endured; yesterday she was actually mending stockings in bed, & a few days before she could not lift up her hand or stir herself in any way. My aunt Maryanne is not yet come, she has been detained in Nottingham on account of the illness of my grandmother, she has not been expected to live; she is recovering & we expect Aunt next Wednesday. All other friends are well. Your mother was at Renshaw St. Chapel on Sunday afternoon, she looked very well. I did not speak to her for two reasons, one I date not, and the other, I have never been introduced to her. I have that ceremony to go through sometimes or other. I shall not be sorry when it is over; who knows but that she may get to be very fond of me sometime, your father too, he may!