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Josiah Seymour

JOSIAH6 SEYMOUR (William5, John4, John3, John2, Richard1) b. 28 May 1766, d. 30 Jan. 1815; m. at Poole, Eng., 30 Jan. 1798, –. Administration upon the estate of Josiah Seymour late of Norwalk deceased granted to James Seymour of Norwalk, 29 Jan. 1822. Inventory presented 1 Feb. 1822, consisting of one half the homestead lately occupied by William Seymour deceased. and one fourth of nine) undivided acres of land. He was a sea captain, and with a son aged twelve was drowned at Mogadon, Africa. He seems to have made his home in England.


The following letters have been provided by Deborah Hugill. They date from 1808-1838 and her father transcribed them in the late 1980s from the originals which were in the posession of a Jim PALMER, whose wife, Doreen, had previously been married to Ernest SEYMOUR.

The letters are from and to his great grandfather Josiah SEYMOUR and his wife Mary. Josiah was a sea captain and was drowned in 1815 along with his son. The letters have a lot of info about other members of the family too.

1) 19 October 1808

No address.

In another hand “Rec'd 31st May”

Norwalck(?) October 19th 1808

My Dear & Long absent Son I now take pen in hand trembling with age & infermeties(sic) to Let you no(sic) that we are in the Land of the Living Dlessed be god for the same we Rec'd ye(?)(yours?) 16th(?) instant 3 Letters one from your Dear Companion dated Sept 5th one from your hand date July 20th & yours from brest(sic)(?) we received that of July 20th came Inclosed in your wifes by your Request on the Last I made request for your certificate & and obtained it with the Notery(?) Publick(sic) Seal & Convaid(sic) the same this day to congres (sic) membr(sic) to send forward where I make no dout(sic) but will be caried(sic) safe to Paris we have Late News from all(?) our dear Children & absjent(sic) frinds(sic) they are all well I Now Come to treat with you concerning your Long Stay from hime(sic) I ones(sic) more Pray you to Return to your own Native Land where you may Let down in peafe(peace?) you take my Little Place and Dwell there. I Shall Soon begone my age is 75 I Cannot Stay Long your dear mother greaves(sic) & morns(sic) allmoft(sic) her life away for your sake. Pray hear our cryes (sic) and Prayers for you & the advice of the Deft (Dest?) men among us with all your frinds(sic) wijh(with?) you to come home as soon as you can Reach your famely(family?) & make Ready Let there Droke …. impres(sic) your mind & fetch you to a Land of Peace and Plenty where you may find sweat(sic)(sweet?) Injoyments(sic) with Drothers & Sifters(Sisters) & all other frinds(sic)

I rec'd yours of (June 9th?) with the others We rec'd yours from Drest for your wife & sent on to Pool your family ware(sic) wel(sic) ye 5th of Sept excepten(sic) Little Denjaman(sic) We Shall take every oppertunity(sic) to give information in our power No more but I remain your affectinate(sic) farther(sic)

William Seymour

(Then in the hand of mother:-)

Our incesant(sic) prayers are that the blefsing of heaven may attend you.

Lydia Seymour

2) 11 April 1811

LETTER TO :- Captain Josiah Seymour, Verdun, in France

In red ink is written:- Na…alk 16 paid 17

Also:- (in another hand) Rec'd at verdun 16th Novbr de Paris1811


to be left at the Gen r P Office Washington for Jack Darlow Esqr

Norwalk Feb(Deleted) April 11th 1811.

My Dear Uncle

Your welcome letter of the 16th Oct. came to hand on the 14th of Feb at the same time Granpa received one for himself of the 5th Oct. I can assure you my Dear Uncle we were rejoiced to hear from you once more. Although it was a mournfull(sic) kind of satisfaction that your letter afforded, happy to hear that you were enjoying health and the comforts of life, yet deeply pained that you yet remained a prisoner, your dear Mother counted the tedious months of silence that have elapsed since your letter of March 1810. daily hoping and expecting to hear some favourable news from her dear unfortunate Son – … My Uncle I am incompetent to the duty assigned me yet with … will I endeavour to fulfill it in answering the kind letter with … you have honoured me, and giving you the desired information respecting your family and friends, and shall trust to your goodness for my excuse, we fear you will almost be discouraged before you receive any intelligence from us, but the time has been unavoidably protracted. Immediately on the reception of your letter your parents applyed(sic) for a certificate there was no great difficulty in procuring one, Mr W. Malba(?) Detts ( who married the daughter of Uncle Gregory) undertook the business, and has acted the part of a friend indeed, he has taken every step in his power to have it sufficiently authenticated after having been signed by some of the principle Characters in Norwalk(?) it was sent to Washington to be signed by the Secretary of State but he declined doing it unless the District Judge of the U. States would first put his signature, it was accordingly returned and forwarded to the Judge who immediately signed it.As speedily as possible it was sent to New - york to obtain the French Consular's Signature but he being absent from town detained it much longer than we expected, it has at length returned signed, and is now ready to be again sent forward to the Secretary at Washington, from which place we now expect it will go with the Minister Mr Darlow - we have to lament the death of your former friend Mr II Rogers which took place in Oct. last he was as you suppose the Uncle of my Father, his death was universally lamented by all who knew him, in him My Dear Uncle your parents feel they have lost a friend through whose instrumentality more than any other person they might have hoped for assistance for you, he was home on a visit but a month before his decease, he assured your parents that he knew of nothing more he could do which would be of any service to you let me assure my Uncle that had your parents had the least Idea that procuring another certificate, or by any other means possible they could have

benefitted(sic} you, not a moment would have been delayed although in some measure enfembled by age it does not prevent their exertions for their Son, time instead of diminishing has I think increased their affections and anxiety. still they would bless God that in the moment (?) of judgement he has been pleased to remember mercy, yes my Uncle we would rejoice that though you are deprived of the greatest Earthly blessing, yet we trust you have the richer blessings of the Grace of God; and though affliction for the present is not Joyous but grievious yet of it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of Righteousness to those who are rewarded thereby, surely is it blessed - I think it must give you great satisfaction My Dear Uncle that you have serious persons among you, with whom you may meet for religious Worship. I think it must make the time pass much more agreeably than it otherways would, the information you give us respecting your manner of living and spending your time though brief was very satisfactory as we have always been anxious to know - My dear Grandmother once more entreats that should it please God to restore you to liberty you would return to your native land; this is her greatest Earthly Desire which if one accomplished she would be ready to say with good Old Simeon now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace - - you wish my dear Uncle for a more detailed account of our Family, I would with pleasure comply with your request, but our family is so numerous that it would require much more room than the limits of my paper will allow to relate particulars, at some future period should it please God to spare our lives, ( and you my uncle should not have the greater satisfaction for seeing for yourself ) I will endeavour to give you the desired information - We ( had or have )? not received letters from Vermont since the middle of the winter past, at the time they wrote they were all enjoying tollerable(sic} heath, we think Uncle Dildin? could never have received the letter you have written him as he would have undoubtedly have informed us of it Aunt Gildersleeve and Aunt Fiona made us a visit the winter past, we have heard from them since their return home they with their family's were will except my Uncles who have neither of them enjoyed health for several years but are at times comfortable - - Aunt Gildersleeve's Eldest Son and two daughters(?} are married and removed from home, Aunt Fiona has also a daughter …… Granma has seen her children of the third generation, I can readily … my Uncle that that everything would be strange and quite novel to you here, I cannot but hope and believe we shall one day be blest by the sight of a dear and long absent relative - your Drothers and Sisters remember you with the tenderest affection and Sympathy, and desire their love whenever we write, you pray my dear Mother's afflictions may have been sanctifyed to her, I trust the(y}? have, it appears evident that the hand of providence has wisely ordered these afflictions, which are but for a moment, for her everlasting good, surely then we cannot … at his dispensations ­your parents enjoy as good health as can be expected they thank you for your prayers for their Eternal Happiness their love and most ardent prayers attend their dear Son, I am indeed the only one of the family who remains with them, I wish to be enabled to comfort them in their Old Age - - your friends here in general are well they are too numerous to particularize - - I was happy in receiving a few lines from Aunt written on on the back of yours bearing dt 29 Nov. in which she informed us that herself and your Dear Children were tollerably well, I long to see that dear Aunt & Cousins and trust the happy

period will yet arrive. I would express my gratitude to you my Uncle for your kind wishes for my welfare and in return beg you to accept the prayer and best wishes of your affectionate Niece

Theodoria Rogers.

Note as in most this series of letters words with two adjacent ss's are written as such and not as spelt ie;- fs

3) 21 June 1811

LETTER SENT TO :- Mrs Josiah Seymour, Poole, Dorsetshire

Note Watermark and three stamps one of the impressed stamps being circular reading PORT OFFICE PRISONER OF WAR.

Verdun 21st June 1811

my dear wife. I embrace the present moment by a dover Pilot who has been liberated at one of the Dopots (?), and is on his route for Morlaix(?), this few lines is a favour, and I shall only say that I am, thank god,in good health, as I have enjoyed during the summer. I begin to expect something from you, I rec'd your letter of 30th Jany(?) memorable day it was indeed, that day bestowed on me a value that has been more to me, than anything that I ever possessed, and will be a treasure, by me held sacred as long as this mortal body shall remain, nothing ever gives me so much pleasure as hearing from you and the dear infants when shall I see you, long'd for day, when will it arrive, cruel fate when will it end, I must remember I have only half a sheet to write on, my kind love to my dear Children I wish them all that is needful and convenient for them,I cannot do more at kind love to your father, Uncle and Aunt Coward Uncle Mark segar may it please god to restore him to health, if not to take him into his glorious mansions above prepared for the souls of the Just, remember me to all friends …. if …, Capt. Thomas Baistow arrived here yesterday on his way to Longney(?) he has his son with him, they are very well and have layed on the road several months, all our poole(sic) folks here are well, and I believe all at Longney(?), except … Summers who has been poorly some time, in my last two letters, I desired you to send me 15 through the house of Messr Cootes London, and so the time is now nearly up. I shall begin to look out for news from you, for I am quite ready as you must suppose, wishing you health and every needful blessing I remain yours affectionately

Jo Seymour

4) 30 Sep 1813

Unaddressed sheet of paper.

Josiah Seymour Son of William & Lydia

Seymour was Born May 28th 1766-

State of Conn t County of T(or H?)an field Norwalk Septe 30th 1813

I do Certify the above to be a true Copy of Record

Jacob Osborn Town Clerk

I Elihalir Lockwood Esqr Public Notary do

Certify to all upon whom it may concern that Jacob

Osborn Esqr is Town Clerk and Recorder in and

for the Town of Norwalk and as such is entitled

to full faith and ( credits?) Given under my Hand

and seal of Office at Norwalk State of Conn t this

30th day of September AD 1813

Eliphalir Lockwood Notary publiq

Complete with seal.

5) 7 July 1814

LETTER SENT TO:- Capn Josiah Seymour, Poole, Dorset


ALSO IN INK ACROSS ADDRESS 2/2 (may be postal charge?)

St Thomas,s 5th July 1814, 7th I S(?)

Dear Mother

Father has told you of our safe arrival at this place since which I am happy to say we have been very well the Magnet is now unloaded and taking in we have now got in 134 Pieces of Mahogany and we expect some Coffe(sic) on board tomorrow morning we had very fine weather all the passage excepting two or three days there was a very heavy sea I was a little sick James Martin was very sick he is now well and in the best of health we expect to sail on the 1st August I desire my kind love to Priscilla Mary Benjamin Grandfather Aunt Coward, Aunt Betsy and all other Friends and relations as if named Father and self have been on some of the uninhabited islands and gathered a great quantity of very pretty shells. St Thomas is pretty warm I intend to bring home Benjamin a parrot and I hope that this will meet you all in the best of health.

I am dear Mother

your dutiful Son

Josiah Seymour

6) February 1815


Mogadore, Febry 1815

My dear Mary -

I once more embrace an opportunity of writing by the Brothers for London, perhaps the last opportunity I may have while here, as the Magnet is the only English Vessel left in the bay, on our first arrival we had very fine weather, but latterly have experienced nothing but Gales, we seldom land, Josiah has had two days on shore at myoId friends Messrs Courts, we are both very well, Josiah is getting very stout about the cheeks, I wrote you the 23rd January by the Clio for London, and as she is a fast sailer, I hope you will soon get your letter, you will see what I have said respecting Insurance, advise with Mr Seager accordingly,(that is / if Peace be agreed on with the U.S. and hostilities have actually ceased before the 20th of March, I should suppose there would be very little occasion to insure, in this, Mr Seager will be a better judge, as I shall get no news here before I sail, I think shall leave this the 16th to 25th of March our cargo is more than half ready, and the remainder will soon be ready to ship, tho, I calculate to be detained here all my lay days, my prayer is that this may reach you and the dear children enjoying health, embrace them for me, may God bless you and them, and may we meet to rejoice together in due time, make my kind love to your Father, Aunt Coward, Messrs Seagers, and all your friends as if nam'd may the Blessing of God rest on all, remember me to Mr Durant and Mr Miller, most likely I shall have it in my power to come to Poole after my return this Voyage, and if I have such good success in getting home, as I had in getting out, the Voyage will be sooner ended than we calculated on, tho' I am to go to Lisbon for Convoy on my return, however I flatter myself there will be no occasion for Convoy when I get to Lisbon, God grant it may indeed be so, I shall then rejoice in verity, and reason I shall have for it, what joy when I can cross the seas without fear of enemies, I think none will feel it more than myself, and I believe none will be more thankful,

NOTE. At this point the letter ends.

7) 4 July 1815

LETTER SENT TO:- Mrs Mary Seymour, To the care of the Rev. Mr. Durant(?), Poole, Dorset.



Norwalk July 4th, 1815

My Dear beloved Aunt,

With painful emotion I take up my pen, hardly knowing how, or in what manner to advise you, I am incompetent to the task assigned me, I feel that I can say nothing that will meet the feelings your distressed heart - My dear beloved Uncle is no more - I need not assure you that a fond Mother's heart is pieced with grief, nor will My dear Aunt doubt that Theodoria is deeply wounded for Oh! he was dear unspeakably dear to us - not only his Parents Brothers and Sisters will deeply feel on this occasion, but numerous family and friends will mourn the death of a beloved relative, but what is all our sorrow when compared with that of my dear afflicted Aunt, it must not be named. Oh! we do most sincerely sympathise with you, and feel your loss more than our own. He was just returned to his dear family after a long and tedious absence, spared to them a short season, and then,taken forever - but is it all dark, is there no consolation to be found? yes, there surely is in the goodness and mercy of God we must rejoice. Does not the sweet hope that, that beloved friend rests from all his toil, and suffering here below, afford a ray of comfort? does it not cheer your desponding heart my Dear Aunt that you may not be separated for ever, that after a few more trials this short life will be ended, and you may meet never more to be separated? this blessed hope does support the heart of your aged mother, surely it will give consolation which the world knows nothing of - such consolation we trust is yours.

We received a letter from your friend the Rev. Mr Durant, four days ago, it was a confirmation we were daily expecting. Not a week previous to the reception of this letter, we saw an extract of a letter in the public prints from Magadone(?) to a gentleman in this State giving an account of a Captain Josiah Seymour and his Eldest son being drowned in that Harbour, from the circumstances mentioned we could have no reason to doubt but it was my dear Uncle and Cousin - the Shock was severe to your poor Mother and to us all, but shall we murmur at the dispensations of an all wise providence? no, let us rather bow in humble submission to his holy will. To the Rev. Mr. Durant we return our sincere thanks for the kind sympathising letter with which he has honoured us, it does indeed afford consolation to your dear Mother, and to us all, that my Dear Uncle has left such friends who can bear testimony to his christian character, tho from our own personal knowledge we confidently believed he was a humble follower of the blessed Jesus - from him I have received the best of caution and instruction, to me they were dear as from a beloved parent and I trust will never be erased from my memory. Oh! may the Christian example he set, live before our eyes, and influence our practice. How conspicious is the hand of God in the events which have taken place with regard to my dear departed Uncle­in his long absence from his dear family he suffered much, but it was under this privation that he experienced as he hoped a work of grace, what is there that can be layed(sic)in the balance with this unspeakable mercy? surely nothing. He was afterwards permitted to visit his native land - to rejoice the hearts of his Dear Parents & their numerous family - they saw him such as thay could wish - he was

permitted to return to his dear family - they have also seen his christian walk - It then seemed good to our Heavenly Father to take him to himself - why then mourn - he is happy.Oh! may we be prepared to follow, and all will be well But a beloved Son is also snatched away in an unexpected moment, we are ready to say Oh! could this son have spared to comfort his mourning Mother - but God sees not as we see, He saw best to take him- what we know not now we shall know hereafter - “Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene, Presumes them to prepare us for the next” We rejoice Dear Aunt that you have such kind sympathising friends - our hearts are filled with gratitude to them although unknown, but above all we have cause for Gratitude to Him who hath put it in their hearts to show kindness, and from whom proceedth every good and perfect gift. Have you not already experienced the fulfillment of the promise made to the widow and the fatherless yes, God does provide, He will provide.

I have just written to our dear Vermont friends. How great the contrast between this time and two years ago this day My Dear Uncle and self had just arriv'd among them, and joy beamed from every eye the scenes of that summer are often present to my mind and will long hold a place in my vision … you have learned much about our dear friends, Oh! you will have many sympathising hearts among them, my Dear Mother especially can feel for her afflicted sister, she has drunk deep of that bitter cup, and she feels it is a father's chastising hand to bring her home to him.

I expect one of my Uncles will write to Pool after viewing the melancholly tidings - I hope my dear Aunt you will be able to write after viewing this - we have been a long time expecting to hear from you previous to this sad news, as we have had no letter ……… 1813 soon after Uncle arrived home - I have written twice since my last I think in March last - I have one request to make dear Aunt, which is that you will send us your profile - My dear Uncle promised to send it that we might put it in a frame with his, I feel now more anxious than ever to obtain it, Alas! I fondly hoped one day to see the original, and my heart sinks within me, when I reflect there is now no probability of such an event - my dear Cousins too they are beloved for their Fathers sake - should our lives be spared we may meet - they may visit their Dear Father's native land, but if we never know each other on earth may we know, and be known in the kingdom of blessings above - your Dear Mother feels all that a tender parent can feel for you and her dear Grandchildren - her most earnest prayers are offer'd on your behalf she feels there is nowhere else to look for support you and for herself, to a merciful God therefore she would commend you, my Grandfather feels the loss of his Dear Son & assure you of his tenderest sympathy & kindest love ­Granma knows not how to express her love and gratitude to your good pastor - we unitedly join in our best respects to him.

May a gracious God support you and sanctify this afflictive dispensation to you, and to us all prays your ever affectionate niece, Theodosia Rogers.

8) 30 September 1815


My much loved though unknown Sister Norwalk Sept 30th 1815. It has pleased the Almighty at a time least expected to bereave you of a tender husband and lovely son in the same moment and me of a Brother than …. none was ever more highly esteem 'd or more tenderly loved but our esteem, our love nor our prayers have been able to change the immutable decrees of the Supreme ruler of the Universe, and we have only to bend in silent submission & christian resignation to the afflictive dispensation and humbly adore the wisdom and goodness of the power that supported and protected this highly esteem'd friend Brother husband son, and gave him sufficient strength of mind to surmount every obstacle, and rise superior thr(sic) every misfortune, till at last he was brought to place his hope on the rock of ages, the foundation of all real and substantial enjoyment in this life, and of everlasting happiness in the next, my dear sister your departed husband chose the better part which cannot be taken from him and we confidently hope he has been welcomed to the realms of bliss, and is now in the full enjoyment of that happiness prepared for the faithful followers of our blessed redeemer, then let us not my beloved sister praise and adore his goodness and mercy in continuing him him to his admiring friends so long and giving them an opportunity of being acquainted with his worth his visit to America was to us like the sun emerging from thick clouds to shed his cheering rays all around, oh could my sister have been an eye witness to the sincere and unaffected friendship this beloved son brother and friend, was every where receiv'd and welcom'd your sympathetic heart I am certain would have shared the highest possible happiness with your Seymour, with what delight did we form schemes of future enjoyment in the society of this belov'd brother his dear wife and family, every arrangement was made and every thing which depended sagacity was provided for my brothers return to America as soon as circumstances would permit, and was fondly hoped the time was not very far distant when we should have the pleasure of sharing our joys and our sorrows with him and his dear family, but our hopes have been proved …… and it has pleased the Almighty God to blast these fond anticipations and punish us for our presumptions in this applicative allotment of gods(sic) providential dealings with his creatures we may if viewed with a christian temper read a most salutary and instructive lesson, not to place our affections supremely on earthy objects but that our whole souls should be raised to higher and nobler far nobler an exalted and heavenly objects my dear sister had we been near you, we should have flown on the wings of friendship, and endeavour'd to have administered all the consolation in our power to you and the dear children but the space is so great that separates us and our circumstances in life such as precludes the probability of either of your deceased husbands brothers ever visiting England, but could you or we advise any means to get here to us and you my sister was willing to part with him I should esteem a very great happiness to provide for my little nephew Benjamin, there will be a trifling patrimony for the dear fatherless children at the death of my revered and aged parents which it will be my charge to see faithfully (provided my life is spared) transmitted to them let it be ever so small _ You will see from the place I write from that I am now with my parents accompanied by the wife of my youth the sharer of all my joys and sorrows seven fine children have bless'd our Union my brother took their names, what my beloved sister shall I say more, that our aged parents their Grand daughter Theodosia, my wife and myself most fervently pray that the father of Mercies may raise you up friends and continue them to you, have the goodness to make my respects to your worthy friend Mr Durant shall write to him

and acknowledge our sence of his friendship to youand the dear ~JI children, teach them my dear sister to love their Uncle Bildin his wife and children let them never forget us for you are most assuredly much lov'd by us and it may so ordered in the providence of God that we may meet even in this life, that this may be the case and that your everlasting father may guide you by his wisdom protect you by his power and enrich you with his grace and that the time may arrive when I may have an opportunity of convincing you that I am in sincerity what I profess to be your friend and Brother Bildin Seymour have the goodness to remember us all my late Brothers and your(?) connections and friends.

My beloved Aunt My Uncle has left a small space for me to fill and I assure you I shall ever cheerfully improve every opportunity of expressing our sympathy (and) love towards my dear afflicted Aunt, I wrote immediately when receiving the intelligence which filled our hearts with grief, I expect you have read that communication, a Nephew of my dear Uncle has also written, indeed my dear Aunt if the Assurance that our numerous family do most sincerely sympathise with you can be any mitigation to your sorrow this consolation however small must be yours but Dh how little alleviation can earthly dreams afford to a heart wounded like yours, we trust, we believe you apply to the fountain and thence derive strength in the day of tribulation & that an unspeakable mercy that there is (is) a source of consolation of which all may be possess'd under the most trying dispensations and of which none can deprive us, we are happy in just hearing from most of our dear scattered family Uncle Belden with his wife has made us a short visit as you learn by his letter they have just left as his health is poor tho better than for sometime previous. Your parents are infirm but in comfortable health. Your dear mother again assures you of her warmest affection and most ardent prayers for your self and dear children accept the same from

Your affectionate Theodosia Rogers,

we shall feel anxious to receive a letter from my dear Aunt

Copy'd from the original letter this 31st day of August 1828

Mary Seymour

having sent the original to New York by Mr W George Himp (?) (or J Limp) with a Copy of my dearest husbands will

9) 12 August 1815

LETTER TO:- Mrs Seymour, Poole, Dorset, Eng, (Care of Rev Mr Durant)

Sealed but no impressed stamp.

Hancock Geo U.S.A. August 12th 1815

My Dear Aunt

A few days since I received from my good cousin Theodosia Rogers a copy of Mr Durants letter, announcing the death of your Beloved Seymour, and of the dear pledges of your joint affection. “I was still because the Lord did it,” yet a thousand tender reflections rushed at once upon my mind. Pain{?) was the story of his life so fresh in my memory - Never did imagination paint to me in so glowing colours the scenes of disappointment, danger and distress through which he has been conducted - and never did the hand of providence appear more conspicious than in the events of his history. The promise that all things shall work together for good to them that love God has been fully verified in the life of my dear departed Uncle How the candle of prosperity shone bright about him & now the shades of adversity - it was not adversity, but the tender mercies of a compassionate God teaching him the unsatisfying nature of illusionary enjoyments, and proffering to his weary soul the rest of the people of God. In his last tedious confinement while your prayers & his & a thousand others were ascending daily to heaven for his deliverance from captivity – O what a deliverance was wrought!! His soul was emanicipated from the thraldom of Satan, & became as the chariot of Amanadab{?). There was then joy in heaven, for the recording angel was commissioned to blot out his sins forever,and insert his name in the book of life with the ransomed of the Lord. Thus while our tears were flowing & the tender sympathies of our hearts called into exercise on his account, the Lord was accomplishing his everlasting designs of mercy.Hence we learn our own fraility, the duty of submission, & the justice and goodness of God's dealings towards children of men.

Happy for us could we all feel resigned to the will of our heavenly Father, confident that all his ways, however inscrutible are perfectly consistent with the character of an infinitely holy God.

Your afflictions, my dear Aunt are great. Gladly would I administer the cup of consulation to your grief beaten soul - But I can only commend you to God & the power of his grace.Perhaps to tell you that you have friends this side the Atlantick who are deeply concerned for your welfare may have a tendency to diminish your sorrow. What they intend doing in a temperal point of view, I have not yet learnt for I have not a relation within a thousand miles of me,and communication must consequently be slow. The education of your family in England must be attended with much expense.I presume proposals will be made to you to cast in your lot with the brothers and relations of your departed husband, and share with them. We trust under Providence there is enough for us all. But I fear there is a tie that binds you to your native soil which cannot be easily sundered. Tis hard to part with friends, tis trying to the soul.But when duty calls such trials can be borne.But whether you spend your days in Europe or America, the promise of God stands sure, that he will never leave you or forsake you. This is an enduring promise to those whose afflictions have been deep and lasting it is a consoling promise to those only who have fled

to Jesus for refuge. How necessary it is to think of such assurances ~ while receiving the merciful chastisements of our heavenly Father. The great purposes of Providence and redemption are doubtless very .. connected, & perhaps those afflictions which we esteem the worst are absolutely necessary for the promotion of our spiritual & eternal welfare. God can santify and often does santify these events of his providence which appear to be his several …. to the good of his dear children. And who knows this may prove a savor of life unto life to numbers of his friends and aquaintances both on this and the other side of the Atlantick. Would you not Dear Aunt have reasons to dry up the tears of grief were you assured that it was made the instrument of saving only one soul?In urging this consideration perhaps you may think me a miserable comforter. But I too, dear Aunt have been called to mourn the loss of friends, and I knew the tender communion of a friend (that?.word missing?) was precious to my soul. I pray God that I may say nothing to aggravate this wound you have received; but that this may serve as a healing balm to your bleeding heart. I had thought of writing a separate letter to your Daughter, Pris perhaps a word or two to her will not be improper or unacceptable.

B.G -

My dear Priscilla, I am truly sympathize with you in the loss of your affectionate Father and tender brother. I too once had a Father - I could once embrace a brother and a sister who are now sleeping in their Jesus - Such afflictions, my dear, are not your lot alone, nor do they rise out of the dust. They are sent to humble us for our sins and to teach us that we are mortal. They are the Language of Providence thundering in our ears this awful warning “Prepare to meet thy God.” O could you, could I, & could all the friends of those whose death we now mourn improve it properly; happy would it be for us. Doubtless you frequently enquire why your Father and brother found a watery grave, & why they are taken and you left. Did you(?) love(?) your father. I know you loved him - O then follow his advice(?), his precepts, his example, and his prayers he has … you …. to Jesus. Often on the bended knees of his soul has he commended you to God ­and have you reason to believe on scriptual ground that you have .. grace, and more grace - if not - Oh remember God is a just as well as merciful & that his will by no means clear the guilty - Mr Durant speaks in your praise I am rejoiced to hear that your deportment is consistent with the principles of sociability and soberity. May it be consistent with the principles of true religion & may you feel the efficacy of the gospel on your heart is the prayer of your affectionate cousin

Benjamin Gildersleeves (?).

D.A. I know not how to conclude. The ties which bind you to the earth I am persuaded are but feeble. The furnace of affliction through which you have passed has been sufficient to wean you measurably from the world. But God will not lay upon you more than you are enabled to bear. In your remaining children you doubtless find consolation - O keep them all for ever and tell them to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. We must all soon pass the dark valley of the shadow of death - O may we on its verge be enabled to exclaim. “Oh death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory?” Accompanied with Jesus we have nothing to fear - Let us run with patience the race etc.

I am, dear aunt, your most affectionate & sympathizing friend & nephew

Benjamin Gildersleeve.

10) 9 November 1816

LETTER TO:- On reverse to address

Mrs Mary Seymour a circular stamp impressed with maybe B 17 JAN 17 and the year 1817.

Wilmington Rowe, Poole, England.


New York, Nov 9th, 1816.

My Dear Aunt

I fear you are ere this accusing me of neglect, and feeling that your American friends have ceas'd to feel an interest in your situation, and take a part in your sorrows, but let me assure you Dear Aunt notwithstanding our silence we still sympathise most feelingly with you and would rejoice to have it in our power to mitigate your sorrows, and pour consolation into your wounded heart, but my Dear Aunt although we have not the satisfaction of administering to your comfort we rejoice in the belief that you have consolation far beyond what earthly friends can give we rejoice that we may commend you, and yours to that friend who sticketh closer than a Brother, whose promises are sure, and everlasting - your letter of December last has been duly viewed, it pained our hearts, and suffused our eyes with tears, yet was most welcome, as we had been long and anxious by expecting to hear from you - I write to our friends in Ver (?). soon after its reception to give them the information, and have deferr'd answering yours from one friend to another expecting to hear particularly from them untill(sic) the summer has expired, and I concluded to defer no longer - I have unexpectedly met with Uncle Benj. Seymour in this place he is on business and does not visit Norwalk - by him I have had the satisfaction of hearing from all our friends in Ver(?)., and also learnt his feelings with regard to affording my dear Aunt some pecuniary assistance this he, as well as the rest of our Family would most joyfully render if in their power ­my Uncle knows that although he has property which his is so situated that he has it not at command to render that assistance which he would cheerfully do were it in his power - he would be willing to take either of your children as his own, could you consent to part with it - -your Aged Mother has been much exercised upon this subject, she grieves that she can do nothing for the dear family of her beloved Son - herself as well as my Grandfather are very infirm, and in a great measure dependant on their children, they have some little property, but it cannot be dispos'd of during their life, at their decease there will be undoubtedly something for the Family of my Dear departed Uncle, which I feel confident will be faithfully transmitted to theirs - - Uncle Benj. has experienced severe affliction in his family in the last year, little better than a year ago he lost an infant two weeks old after its death Aunt was taken deranged and continued so untill(sic) sometime in the present summer, at intervals she was calm, but at times wild and unmanageable, through the blessing of God she has had her reason restored, and last month became the Mother of another Child, since my Uncle's arrival here he has been informed of the death of this also which was apparently well when he left home. ­Uncle Belden's(?) heath is still very feeble the rest of our friends in Vermont(?) were enjoying comfortable health - my Sister Cornelia is the mother of a daughter born in August - she is settled in Platsburgh(?) N.Y. has married a very worthy man, and is agreeably

situated - My Mother lives alone with her little boy about five year of age, her other children are with her friends - she is a great measure dependant upon her Brother, they are kind, and I trust will never see her want the necessaries of life - Aunt Gildersleeve is with them this Winter on a visit - she accompanied her youngest son who has just enter'd Middlebury College - - I received a letter from her Son Benj. a short time ago, he still remains in Georgia, is now a licenced preacher of the Gospel, and I trust may be an instrument of good among those disolute people. - No material change has taken place in Aunt Fiona's family, Uncle's health is as usual, but a small part of the time comfortable - I have been this particular my dear Aunt because I knew it would not be uninteresting to you to be informed respecting those who were beloved by that dear departed friend(?) whose memory is precious yes his memory is precious, … dead yet he speaketh, his form, his words, his actions, are often, very often before my eyes, and with them the sweet consoling thought is ever present, he now rests from his toils - in a little time My Dear Aunt if we are followers of the same Blessed Redeemer we shall meet to part no more -

I am happy that you draw consolation from this blessed source and trust it may support you in every hour of trjal(sic) although we meet with changes and affliction, yet let us rejoice that the kingdom of Jesus is triumphing, great and glorious are the displays of his grace throughout the earth, we are a highly favoured people, the Lord is pouring out his spirit in plentiful effusions, and watering almost every part of our land - my native place has shared largely in the blessing - rising one hundred have been added to our Church in the last year all with very few exceptions in the morn of life - we can only say with grateful hearts it is the Lords doing, and marvellous in our eyes - we long to hear from you & dear children - will not my dear Priscilla write to me Oh! how we should rejoice to see you all - your Aged Mother thinks much of you and ardently prays the divine blessing & support may ever be yours and your dear children to enjoy richly Please to make our affectionate regards acceptable to your friend Mr Durrant his sympathic friendship will ever be gratefully remembered by us, with assonances of my earnest prayers for your welfare, and that of my dear

Cousins permit me dear Aunt to subscribe myself your affectionate

…. (?). J. Rogers.

11) 25 May 1817

Mrs Mary Seymour, Poole., Dorsetshire England


also stamped:- SHIP LETTER

Norwalk May 25th 1817

My ever dear Aunt

We were happy to receiving a letter from you of the 12th March the more so as it contained the desirable information of your enjoying with your beloved Children a comfortable share of health for which we have abundant cause for gratitude to the great giver of all our Blessings. I should have written immediately but have been waiting to get the profile of My Dear Uncle from N. York where we had previously sent it with yours in order to have one taken if possible & send the original profile to you it is finally done my Dear Aunt, and we have now enclosed in one frame all that remains to us of my dear departed Uncle and all I fear we shall now have the pleasure of seeing of those who were so dear to him. The profile we send you I think a very striking likeness. Ah! How often (?) have the tears involuntarily flowed from the eyes of an affectionate .. other and your Theodora while contemplating those loved features indeed it would have been a sacrifice to have parted with this little treasure could we not have had one done by it - the painting is done to our satisfaction I think the likeness is exact - We feel very grateful to my dear Aunt for sending us what we esteem a most valuable treasure the likeness of herself and the dear Children nothing would induce your Mother to part with it be assured my dear Aunt you are most tenderly and affectionately regarded by your American friends and although many months pass without your hearing from them they ever feel anxious for your welfare and ardently pray for your happiness - Grandma laments much that she has it not in her power to afford pecuniary aid to those for whom she would willingly sacrifice her own ease and comfort - I would have written immediately to Vermont on the reception of yours, but thought it very improbable an answer could be returned before the Garland(?) sailed indeed I fear my own letter will be too late for the opportunity. Had Capt Seager come to N York I certainly think I should have seen him - it would indeed have been a very great satisfaction to have seen such a particular friend of yours and my dear Uncle – There has no material change taken place in the outward circumstances of our family since I last wrote - I receiv'd a letter from Uncle Benj. Seymour a short time since, they were then most(?) of them enjoying comfortable health, Aunt Gildersleeve we expect is now on her journey from Middlebury to Norwalk(?) so that Grandma has a prospect of once more seeing one of her Dear Children - I received a letter from my dear Cornelia sometime this Spring - she is happily situated has a little daughter which she calls Ann which she thinks a lovely Child - my Sister Hannah still lives with her - My Dear Mother is situated as formerly - I think she does not suffer for the necessities of life although she has nothing but the friends of industry or the benevolence of of (sic) friends to look to for support - but he that numbereth the hairs of our head will supply the fatherless and the Widow when they cry unto him - may you dear Aunt be enabled to put your trust in Him whose promises can cheer the the(sic) reponding heart and, light up a smile in the bosom of woe and when we shall have done with all the chequered scenes of this transitory life Oh may we all meet to adore the way the Lord hath led us and say … far more exceeding and Eternal weight of Glory - Uncle William Seymour has a very good reason for gratitude as indeed we all have for God's

goodness manifested to his Children - in the late revivals in vermont“~ almost all his children have become hopefully firm(?) - The Lord is doing great things in our Land for which our praise is due - you will excuse me dear Aunt if I do not write quite as lengthy as usual as I have felt quite III(sic) today, but knew not how to defer writing please to make my kind love to my Cousin and believe me to be your affectionate

…… J Rogers(?)

Mrs Mary Seymour your Parents enjoy as comfortable a state of health as can be expected they assure you of their kindest love and many prayers for your spiritual & Eternal welfare.

12) 10 October 1818

LETTER TO:- Mrs Mary Seymour, Pool (sic), England

via New York

In the top left Norwalk Cl, Oct 10

Over written 2/2 ( may be the charge)

In the top right Paid 10 both words deleted.

Also stamped in circular form NO 27, 1818, F and maybe around the circle AMERICA

My dear Mary Norwalk(?) October th 10 1818.

I am a littel (sic) supprised (sic) that you have not yet heard the mournful intelligence of the death of my dear theodosia yes my dear daughter its a year & four Months the 10(?) of this the lord took her to himself when i(sic) was looking to go it was the lords will to take her and leave us She was to (sic) good to stay here i (sic) trust she is now singin (sic) praises above i (sic) am left to mourn her looss (sic) it is great she was a beloved child and greatly lamented by all that knew her she was in three classes to help and instruct the poor and what can i (sic) say the lord has done it for wise ends we know not now but we shall know here after my desire is to be still he takes and who can hinder I expect Mr Gildersleves(sic) had wrote you he was here not long after her death he preaches in gorga (sic) (Georgia?) said he would write he is a granson(sic) of ours O my dear child i (sic) know you will pitty (sic) Me for my greaf (sic) is great my dear your dear husband and son was taken away at an unexpected moment the dissapointment (sic) was great to me and much greater to you and the dear children had it pleased god to spared him i (sic) should expected to seen you long before this the lord knows what is best for us and i (sic) desire to be thankful that the lord has been a husband to you and a father to your dear children I rejoice to hear you speak so hie (sic) of your dear daughters God grant your children may gro(sic) up in the likeness of there (sic) father he was a beloved son from his childhood O how theodosia loved him had she been here to answered (sic) your kind letter August 3 but i (sic) am a poor old creture (sic) not able to write or spell its love and duty constraind(sic} me to take up my pen have waited sum (sic) daiys (sic) since your kind letter came to hand looking for Belden here i (sic) give up its late in the season for him he is much out of health and has been for a long time i (sic) fear Benjamon (sic) will never see his uncle i (sic) hope to hear in the cours(sic} of this month i(sic} look for theodosia Mother she has not been here since her death i (sic) do hope Benjamon (sic) may not be dissapointed (sic) i (sic) trust he will come when he finds his Mother willing - i (sic) should rejoice to see you and the dear children My beloved son left i (sic) look on the profiles and say the lord was able to stild (sic) the great tempest and brought my dear children to see me - my desire is to be resind (sic) to the will of God we are brought to old age cannot expect to be continued much longer your father is very infirm can hardly cary (sic) his feet about stil {sic} we have great reason to bless & prais (sic) God for his goodness to us and our dear children for he has taken a fatherly care of them and i (sic) belive (sic) they are all well and doing well except Beldens health we have no family but our selves i (sic) am blest(sic} with health to a wonder that i (sic) inabled (sic) to take care of hous (sic) and tend my dary (sic) we have the comforts of life and the enjoyment of many friends - trust your goodness my dear daughter will excuse bad writing & speling (sic)

your dear father joins me in love to you and the dear children and may the best of heavens blessings rest on you and yours is the prayer of your aged and affectionate Mother Lydia Seymour farewell do write.

i (sic) was eighty one last month all (sic) most as old as your ant(sic)

i (sic) shal (sic) let Belden no (sic) about Benjamon (sic)

Note: The spelling fs is in all cases replaced with ss for ease of understanding.

13) 26 March 1824

LETTER SENT TO Mrs Seymour, 7 Wellington Row, Poole., Dorset.

London March 26th 1824.

My dear Mother

I fear before this time you are either thinking I have quite forgotten home or that I care nothing at all about those that are there but believe me you are quite mistaken never never did I love home so dearly as at the present time you will I am sure believe this when I tell you how I am situated only fancy me sitting in a nasty filthy garret on a chair which I am obliged to cover with my clothes bag to prevent my frock from looking like a tinkers apron writing on a box which I was obliged to rub much after that to wrap my knees around with my old shawl before I could venture to lean them against (it .. deleted) never before was I in such a filthy place we have four beds in a room with two persons in each only two of them are filled in my own room yet but they will be before this week is past they are miserable things swarming with bugs and fleas. some of the poor Girls complain sadly but fortunately I escape untouched I assure you my dear mother I begin to see a little of London life but I hope when I get a little more used to it I shall not feel it so much there are at present only eighteen in the house we are obliged to dress for the day and appear in the workroom by a quarter after six in the morning we breakfast at seven _ dine at half past one get tea about five sup at eleven and then return to work till twelve excepting saturday nights when we leave at a quarter before Miss Sampson and to me appears very amiable but I am very much surprised to hear the young Ladies say that their cannot be a worse temper in existence wether this is the case or not I cannot tell this I can say I have had no proof of it and I sincerely hope I shall not I bore my journey uncommonly well considering all things indeed I think I should scarcely have felt it at all if the weather had not been so bad in the night for the female outside passengers crowded in and made it so intensely hot that had it not been for the oranges Mr G kindly gave me at Wimbourne I think I should have fainted several times _ I waited at the Inn about an hour for Mr Conway from there we went to Mrs Maggs Mr Conway then left me and I remained there to breakfast_ early in the morning Mr Hayward called (Mrs Maggs is his aunt) and kindly offered to go with me and see me safely settled I gladly accepted his offer for I should not like to have gone alone_ Mrs Sampson received me very graciously and after he left insisted on my taking a glass of wine and going to bed_ now my dear mother I have told you all that you wished me to and I know you will forgive for not doing so before for you see I have not one moment to spare during the day and at night we are allowed nothing but a little oil to burn so that we have scarcely light enough to undress ourselves_ that whenever I write it must be be on the sabbath_ I did not at all like to do it but I thought it was my duty knowing as I did how much uneasiness my not writing would cause_ this morning I went with Miss Sampsons niece to hear Mr J Euton (?) I should have written longer but have not one minute to spare please give my love to Priscilla James and Benjamin when you write also to Grandfather Mr Bennetts and Mrs Goodchild and now my dear mother I must conclude with beging you to excuse this horrid scroll and not to think me unkind for not writing before but believe me to remain your ever affectionate and dutiful daughter Mary PS please give my love to Miss Davies and tell her Mrs Maggs has removed to Greek Street Soho square Please remember

to Miss Christina and all the workroom E Thomas and all my other old friends I had forgotten to say Mrs Maggs desired her love to Miss Davies

Comments on the text.

This examination of the text was carried out by B.T.Worsfold, 20 Cavendish Street, Chichester in June 1989.

Some difficulty in reading the letter is experienced since Mary the writer used only one full stop in it and preferred just to pen slashes at intervals these are produced as ”.“

All words containing two ss are spelt in the old way of using fs. The following words fall in that group. Namely assure, dress, Miss, passengers, glass, undress, uneasiness. I believe postage stamps did not start being issued until the 1840's this letter is stamped RAP (These letters could be read in any order being printed in circular form) the date is included as 1824 with the number 27 which may indicate the site of stamping. The address just being written on the sheet of paper itself.

Mistakes in spelling are as shown, namely:

Where … the young Ladies say that their cannot be a ….

Where … in existence wether this is the case .

Where … I must conclude with beging you to excuse ….

Also … Girls … and .. Ladies spelt with capital letters but saturday and square are not. This may have been acceptable at the time.

My interpretation of certain words where doubt occurs is shown by the (?) symbol.

Sealing wax was used to seal the letter, which consisted of just the folded and sealed single sheet of paper with the address written on the outside.

B.T. Worsfold., 20 Cavendish Street, Chichester.

14) 4 September 1828

LETTER TO:- Miss Conway.

(This letter unaddressed and no postmarks)

My dear Ann Brislington Sept.4th.1828

You have I fear been expecting your things before - but I have been home but a few days - and now I greatly fear that the box will not be ready to pack the bedstead in time for the Carrier ­however.I wish to be ready with my letter, and expecting daily the box, got Mrs Light (?) to … (?) she (?) -so busy today a larger cost(?) to take the whole packages at once - but no box is yet arrived and it is post to(?). Your letter I cannot put my hand on - but I do not recall anything particular in it to be answered. The little expenses attending the packing and carriage I will endeavour to get and to add them at the end. As to the other money matters, I think I desired my brother to pay it to my banker Mr Philps. The particulars of which I gave him. The amount 25.17.9. Should it not be as convenient to pay it to Mr Philps it may be paid in any other way. I saw your brother at Ringwood but there was no opportunity of speaking to him on the subject. My travels have been in great measure frustrated this year owing to the unexpected stay at highgate(sic) of Mr W(?) & my daughter. Your cousin Eliza has been waiting to hear of some gentm. travelling to Bath that Mrs. W(?) knows that she might accompany him and at length through Mr Uphorn(?), she learned that a very respectable married gent is coming down - and the ….. arrangements are made by my daughter for the purpose & the gig is to be sent to Bath to meet her. The time when, I have not learned. Whilst they take Fanny(?) to school at Sherborne at Michaelmas, Eliza will be with me. and I desired that she might be informed that that a little plan had be(sic) consented with Mr & Mrs Griffith & Miss Nollett(?) to go to Tintern, and that I desired she would accompany us, but like many other air(?) built plans - this is frustrated - but the advice of their medical attendant they are going to Weston Super Mare, for the use of the warm sea bath I have not made not made it known here that I am in want of a servant wishing to take one at a distance & I have employed friends to look out for me - I have Charles & a little girl from school _ but it is not very comfortable and I intend going to Bur …. to stay a little - Mrs Wilson Jolly is going to leave - and she will look out for me while she is providing one for herself. She spend her journey in Devon. We have many changes taking place here the match I hinted at was Miss Simpson and Mr F Fox everything is settled but it is not to take place yet - today Mrs R Conway and her daughter are to dine there to to be introduced to the gent. There have been many introductions before - Miss Ballan has been married some months and so has Mrs Elizebeth Nallet her neighbour ­and she has been confined with a boy or a girl sometime - so she must have been in the way for it when I had that talk with her, the husband is ostler at the White hart. I am in the habit of visiting poor ann(sic) Lovey, who is fast drawing to the close of life Her views are not so clear as I could wish - yet I hope they will brighten. Mr Rankin visits her often. Mrs & the Miss Phillips gone(?) this day to set out for Weymouth. Mrs C Langham & her family went yesterday to Sidmouth there to reside untill(sic) her husband returns, of which nothing is said. Oh Ann this is a changeable world and most of the changes at present here seeing of the gloomy cost. The Spanish Wool a very pretty house Mr Brown built, well, for … and advantaged con … run on the unfavourable side as to the reason for it. The Dunns are pretty well, a circumstance favourable to him is that one of the

large aloes is in bloom & he is permitted to shew if as a perquisite(sic), people pay one shilling (?) to see it, it is already 24 feet in height & they are have been obliged to build a glass house for it near the high wall with a floor(?) and stairs to see the top of it. This is all the Brislington(?) news I can recollect. Giles (?) is attending the fair daily, and I have his company night and morning. I was pleased to learn at Ring (this may be Ringwood?) the very respectable characters of Mr & Mrs Bishop - and I do hope that their settling at B(sic) will be a blessing to the place. Mrs B as well as her husband is very clever, sensible and judicious as well as pious. How I am grieved to learn the state of poor J. Russell! What a stroke for the Father & the Mother! I am grieved much for them. and poor Miss Cox my school fellow has had a stroke I hear! And Mrs I Canada(?) and her son both gone! It holds out a striking lesson to me seeing my early friends of my own standing taken away and others receiving notice to quit. Still I am favoured with health, and abounding with comforts. When I was at Ring - I went three times to Mudeford and I got into the warm sea both, which has tended very much to remove the stiffness of my joints. The bathing Woman was an aquaintance of Mrs Conway's, she spoke highly of her her name is Coward. When you see your brother and sister, desire my kind regards to them. I am very glad to find little Morg(?) is better. I had a letter from Miss Cloy ­lately she has had a pleasant visit to Mrs Wood(?), and now is with her aunt & uncle in Wales - James is returned from his visit to Germany - and is staying at Broughton (?), what will come of that, is a very difficult knot to fathom. Edw & his wife at the Orkneys. I must say adieu though no box is arrived my time & paper bids me stop. I shall be glad to hear from you sometimes - but not when you are in a hurry, and of some future time, shall be glad to see you here and am

with much sincerity

your affectionate Friend

M. Hodge(?)

15) 7 July 1838

LETTER TO :- Mrs Seymour, Beaminster.

Note. This letter sealed with impressed “P”.

July 7th 1838

My dear Friends,

It is sometime since I received your truly kind and welcome letter, and be assured that I should have replied to it before this, had an opportunity for forwarding it presented itself - but I knew of no kind friend who could take it, till the present period.It is now too late for me to return your congratulatory wishes on the commencements of the year but I trust that whatever could have been offered you have fully and amply realized both personally and relatively. I should be quite gratified were I just to take a peep at you all in your various happy homes - some of our interviews have been sweet and doubtless live among the records of the Lord's mercies to us - and why were they so? Because they were santified by the word of God and prayer - because it was the fellowship of love - divine heavenly love - that which not only binds together the hearts of the redeemed on earth, but tunes the harps of saints in glory. I often, very often, think of, and in my feebleness pray for you all I rejoice to hear of your prosperity - I would weep with you in your sorrows and adversities - and you have had some mourning days among you ….. breavements, and the blights of earthly hopes - May everyone be santified and tend to the real good of the sufferer. I was very much shocked at some of the affliction relative to poor Mrs Maider(?) - but it was the hand of the Lord, and shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? You are a happy little flock with your faithful shepherd now the sheep near the great city are too often scattered about - and seek their pastorage in their own little two's and threes - Your very union constitutes your strength and bliss - and makes you all so efficient in the path of duty and labour. I was glad to hear of your Infant schools prosperity - and in the success of the Village Itinerancy(sic) - and your Bible Society - and Tract distribution ­but of no prossicity(?) so much as that your dear minister and the people of his charge were cooperating so harmoniously in every good work and word - So shall your peace abound - so shall your usefulness extend - so shall the praise and honour and glory of our Redeemer be promoted in individual experience. Please tell my dear little friend Henry that I sent his kind donation to the little black children - and that from a letter recently received from Mr Iuauh(?), the good missionary who followed my beloved husband in his labours, there are manY,many little black boys and girls gathered together in an Infant account of what they do, or how they get on - though I am inclined to think that they learn what my little friend learns, to tend the Word of God - sweet little hymns and other good things - I hope dear Henry will always think of those poor children who though so afar off would love him very much, if they knew he loved them and who would be very glad to possess such a home and as many kind and good friends as he does - Please give my missionary spirited boy a affectionate kiss for me.

I thank you for all your kind wishes respecting dear Mary,S Mounts I ought to feel much more deeply than I do the Lord's goodness in the circumstances attending this part of my history - Dear Mary was baptized at B,.. the 19th of April and is become a member of that church, Perhaps, some of my friends may think that I biassed her mind respecting my views of baptism by immersion - but indeed I did not ­She acted according to the desires of her own mind - Her walk and conversation are consistent with the profession she has made - I shall

ever love Mr Bishop because I believe that in conjunction with dear Miss Nichols's kind instruction, he was the means of opening her eyes to her state as a sinner before God.

Surely, I should say, that in the midst of judgement God has remarkably remembered mercy - He has lead the blind by a way she has not known .

My dear Mrs Seymour I doubt not that you can enter into the acknowledgement that every period of life's pilgrimage snares and temptations abound to draw the heart away from the true centre of happiness - such warfare must the Christian unceasingly maintain ­foes without, and fears within - what need to” put on the whole armour“ that we might fight manfully the battles of the Lord - that we might withstand in this our tempted hour - and experience what Wesley says” Who in the strength of Jesus trusts, is more than conqueror.“ Please give my kind regards to your valuable husband - I think you must be thankful for so good a partner Oh may you live together as fellow heirs of the grace life - blessed in yourselves and made blessings unto many, many others. May you abound in love and possessing as though you possessed not- may you be prepared for that hour which one day must arrive when one must resign the other into the arms of Jesus your Best, your everloving Friend - Farewell my dear Friend - in life - in death - every covenants blessing be yours!

Yours very affectionately

Mary Pearson.

COMMENT. Unusually difficult letter to read since the sheets are overwritten in two directions at 90 degrees.

16) 7 July 1838

On seeing two Scarlet runners
unite and suspend themselves
on a beautiful young apple tree
In a letter to his wife
by Revd W Jay.
A recent sight my dearest Ann
Engaged my eye and heart,
And I the scene and moral too,
Would now to thee impart
A truth was never deemed the worse
Expressed in figure or in verse.
Twas in my lovely garden where,
I late and early rove,
The lonely walk, or happier still
Indulged with her I love,
And where to thought and talk asigned
A part of Eden still I find.
Twas there two plants of tender form
Up growing I surveyed,
Both conscious of their weakness seemed
And seemed to ask for aid.
I marked with anxious watch their bent,
And judged an union their intent.
And so it proved for soon they clasped,
And curling round and round,
Looked fearful lest they each should lose,
The helper each had found
But, coupled, soon they firmness gained
And reached a height, not else attained.
But bending now, as weightier grown,
They feel their junction weak;
And something both may rest upon,
They now together seek;
A tree at hand their wishes drew,
And on this prop they hung and grew.
But as I stood and while I gazed,
A voice within my ear addressed,
“All nature is a book, and he who reads,
Is wise and blessed,
No humble monitor disdain,
Nor let a trifle preach in vain”
If 'twas not good for man to hoe,
In paradise alone,
Two in deserts dreary wild,
Are better far than one,
Mutual their wants and wishes too,
They help conjoined each other through
Thus thou and thy dear partner both,
In pleasant bands entwined,
Not bound by others, but attached,
By sympathy enclined
Aspiring upward to the skies,
Should help each other as you rise.
Nor think each other help enough,
Though you the gift esteem,
But mindful of the Tree of Life,
And both embracing Him
On Him your sure Almighty Friend
Your blended hopes and cares suspend.
Although my Ann, a lot like ours,
Has been indulged to few,
'Een we have had wherewith to try,
And prove the council true
But as to Him we turned & prayed
Our griefs and fears have been allayed.
And should the scene in future change
And heavier cloudlings lower.
The closer we'll embrace His aid,
And meet the trying hour,
And on His grace & strength rely,
Engaged to help us till we die.
New Year's day 1846

Notes :- Ann and Anne in text, also second set of inverted commas added to achieve sense.

B.T. Worsfold,

20 Cavendish Street.


5th July 1989.

17) (unknown date)

Unaddressed sheet of paper.

I did not intend dear Henry to have written to you when I began a letter to your dear Mamma and I shall not now take much of your time as I have only a little more leisure You are now down seeing the wonders of the great and wide sea and I hope by this time enjoying all kinds of seaside pleasures I am sorry you have been so little able to do so before. I am much obliged to you for sending me M Rolbin(?) I read it every day sometime while dear Priscilla is sleeping I keep it before me till after a short nap she is again disturbed You will find I think much pleasure and if you reflect as you read much profit from the perusal this work as the author interperses his history with very many remarks on the vanity of the love of earthly conquests. You know dear how perishable all ones earthly hopes are, of this you have an evidence in my dear sister.But I must not I suppose write what you call a preaching letter though I want to put you one question. What would you think of that man, woman, or child who was in the midst of a fire, and did not know how soon his own house would be caught, and yet made no efforts to secure either himself or his goods? Particularly if his own house had been once or twice on fire though extinquished for a time. Would you not think him strangely infatuated? But I know no much greater folly I hope a dear little cousin of mine will never be so foolish or if he has been so will be it(?) no longer. There's no time to spare and even if quite safe for a very long period there is no harm to get out of the way as soon as possible.

Every blessing that dear Henry can enjoy will I trust be enjoyed by him and if with his earthly comforts he has also a good hope of a better inheritance it will gladden the heart of

This affectionate cousin

( Actually unnamed )



Sealed no water mark on the sheet size of paper 22.5* 22.5 cms, with a margin of 4 cms on the left.End of first page reads to the words … and all other friends. The rest of the letter is written on the second sheet in the top 7 cms. When folded the letter is 12*6.5cms.

Written from Norwalk on October 19th 1809, Norwalk is a port on the coast of Connecticut on the northern shore of Long Island Sound and is some 40 miles or so North East of New York. This letter was written by William and Lydia Seymour and begs their son to return home to the USA, he has written to them from Brest, his family live at Poole in the UK and he has a young son called Benjamin who is mentioned in this letter.


Sheet size 39.5*25cms, folded to 12.75*8cms. .Holed in the centre with seal and is written on sides 1,2, and 3.

First page ends at … from which place we now

Second page ends at .. to say with good old Simeon

Third page runs to end of letter.

The fourth side has the address.

Written from the USA from the port of Norwalk by Theodoria Rogers ( I have some doubt as to the correct spelling of her name) to her Uncle on April 11th 1811, he, Josiah Seymour has apparently been captured by the French and is held in Verdun. She tells him that efforts are being made to obtain written proof that he is an American by birth. A Mr H Rogers has died, he was the Uncle of her father, the local Minister is a Mr Barlow. Also mentioned is an Aunt Gildersleeve(s?) who has two daughters and a son all now married, she is the niece of Josiah Seymour.


Dimension of sheet is 23* 8 cms, the sheet is watermarked with a circular disc within which is a head facing right wearing laurel leaves and around the circle is written in letters 0.5 cms high NAPOLEON EMPEREUR DES FRANCAIS. It was sealed with sealing wax 1.5 cms in diameter. The letter folded to 10.25* 6.75cms.

Written by Josiah Seymour to Mary his wife, the letter indicates they have more than one child, best wishes are passed to Uncle and Aunt Coward, and Uncle Mark. He also knows a Captain Thomas Baistow and his son. Messrs Cootes of London may well be his shipping agent since he asks for 15 pounds cash to be forwarded by the gentleman. Two French towns are mentioned Morlaix and Longney, the spelling may not be quite correct. The letter is written from Verdun on the river Meuse which is some 140 miles East of Paris in the Argonne region. Longwy, which I think is the place mentioned, lies close to the Luxembourg/Belguim border and is some 30 miles from Verdun. Morlaix is about 30 miles from Brest on the Cotes du Nord and is probably a port.


Size of sheet 23.5 *19.5 cms watermark vertical lines about 2.5cms apart There is a seal on the left hand side containing in the centre the initials E L that of the notary around the seal is the words This letter is the proof of birth in the USA required by the French.


Size of sheet 18.25 * 22.5 ems with a water mark of part of a castle on the lefthand sheet lying in a horizontal plane there is the remains of a black seal on the righthand side 2 ems in diameter, it is torn 11 ems down and 7 ems in on the lefthand side. The letter is folded down to 12.25 * 7 ems.

Written 5th July 1814 by the son named Josiah being the eldest son. Addressed to his father who he was actually with but maybe done as most letters would be addressed to the head of the house … mother would have been expected to open it. The handwriting of the address would appear to be his fathers.

Letter records the names of the children namely, and probably in age Priscilla, Mary (from whom we have one letter written in 1824 on March 26th.


Written Feb 1815 by Capt J. Seymour to his wife.

This letter is unfinished and may well have been being written just before he and his son drowned.

The following ships are mentioned.

The Magnet his own vessel and a fast sailer the Clio.

Friends at Mogadore are … Merrs Courts.

Friends and relatives in the U.K. are:

Letter sheet size 37 * 22 ems folded in half sides, 1 and 2 written. There are horizontal water marks 2.5 ems apart and also on the sheet the watermark name W Turner & Son 1814. The capitals being 2 ems high, the lower case being 1.3 ems high.


There is the original letter in poor condition no watermark folded to 13.5 * 8 ems. Also there is a copy with water mark shield with crown over water mark lines are 2.5 ems apart.The paper is water marked 1810. The folded size is 11 * 7.5 ems. The sheet size is 36.5 * 30 ems and is written on sides 1,2 and half of 3.

Written by Theodosia in the USA to Mrs Mary Seymour, Josiah's parents are still alive as they are mentioned. A Rev Durrant at Poole is also and he is a close friend of the bereived family. Father and son where drowned at a place called Magadone or Magadore which must be somewhere on the eastern sea board of the USA. Her letter was written on July 4th 1815.


Folded to 7 * 12 ems, the sheet size being 36.5 * 22.5 ems it is watermarked 1827 …… (?)owan(?) & Son. The letter is written on sides 1,2 and 3.

This letter is a copy and the major part of it was written by Theodosia's Uncle Bildin or Belden, it is difficult to be sure which is correct. There is a small addition written by her at the end of the letter.


There is no water mark the letter is written on sides 1,2 and 3 and the top of side 4 with the address below. The sheet size is 40 * 25 cms and folded it is 12.5 cms * 8.25 cms.

This letter from Hancock in Georgia by a Benjamin Gildersleeves or sleeve to his Aunt Mrs Seymour in the U.K. There is a small section written to Priscilla, her daughter.


The letter is folded to 8 * 12 cms there is no water mark and the sheet size is 37.5 * 23.25 cms it is written on sides 1,2 and 3 with the address on the 4th side.

This letter was written from New York on 9th Nov 1816 to Mrs Seymour his or her, I favour the former, Aunt. The letter was written by J Rogers the same surname as Theodosia.


The sheet size open is 41 25.5 cms and when folded 12.5 * 8.5 cms there is no water mark and the letter is written on sides 1 and 2, with 3 blank and the address on 4.


Folded size 13 * 8.5 cms address on side 1, side 2 blank, letter written on sides 3 and 4. There is no water mark signs of a red seal 2 cms diameter.


From London where she had been sent in Service.), Benjamin. Grandfather, Aunt Coward, Aunt Betsy are those of the immediate family who are alive in 1814.

Written on March 26th 1824.

At this time Mary write to mother who is also called Mary.

The daughter records in the letter the family as:-

Priscilla, James and Benjamin. Note the arrival of James was Mrs Seymour pregnant when her husband drowned or did she marry again?

Also Grandfather is still alive.

Also known to Mary.

Miss Sampson, the lady of the house in London. Miss Sampson's niece unnamed.

Mrs Maggs, Mr Howard … nephew of Mrs Maggs. Mr Conway.

Mr G.

Mr Bennetts.

Mrs Goodhill.

Miss Davies.

Miss Christina.

E. Thomas.


When folded 13 * 6.5 cms written on sides 1,2 and 3 with sheet 4 showing the name only.

Written to a Miss Conway by M Hodge (?) from Brislington on Sept 4th 1828. Miss Conway is called Ann, is it the same Ann as the letter No:16(?). Numerous places are mentioned Bath, Tintern, Ringwood, Weymouth, Sidmouth, Mudeford, Broughton(?)and the Orkneys. Many people are mentioned, the writer has an unnamed brother, Mr Philps is her

banker and a visit to Tintern is planned with a Mr and Mrs Griffiths and Miss Nollett. Also mentioned are the following “your cousin” Elizebeth, Mr Uphorn, Fanny .. to school at Sherbourne, Charles and a little girl. Mrs Wilson Jolly, a Miss Simpson and Mr F Fox who are to marry, Mrs Conway and daughter, Miss BalIan, Mrs Elizebeth Nallet ( is this the Nollett mentioned earlier?) Mrs and Miss Phillips, Mrs C Langham and Family, a Mr Brown, the Dunn Family, Mr and Mrs Bishop, J Russell, Miss Cox, Mrs I Canada, the bathing woman called Conway, Morg(?), Miss Cloy” Mrs Wood, James returned from Germany, Edward and wife at the Orkneys.


The letter has no watermark a black seal impressed with a letter P, sheet size 37 * 7 cms when folded and 37 * 22.5 cms open.

This letter is written “crossed” at 90 degrees to save paper making it difficult to read. This was common practice and is mentioned in the book Emma by Jane Austin …. Chapter 19 reads“ but, first of all, I really must, in justice to Jane, apologise for her writing so short a letter - only two pages you see - hardly two - and in general she fills the whole paper and crosses half. My mother often wonders that I can make it out so well. She often says, when the letter is first opened, “Well, Hetty, now I think you will be put to it to make out all that chequer-work ….”


Sheet has no address and is written on sides 1,2,3and 4, the sheet is 37 * 22 cms and is folded to 11.5 * 7 cms. This is a copy of a poem written by a Revd W Jay to his wife Anne or Ann and is dated New Years Day 1846.


Small impressed water mark showing a fleur de lis 0.8 cms diameter, this is a cross written letter folded to 8 * 6.5 cms and with one to Henry's mother, which is missing. The young boy Henry is the ladies cousin, I assume the letter to be written by a female. She mentions her young baby Priscilla but I do not believe this is the same girl as mentioned in other letters.The letter is unaddressed and unsigned.

book/josiah6.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/01 15:04 (external edit)