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Transcriptions of Thomas Williams 1794 letters
Letters 4 to 6 of 6

4)       This letter has parts damaged  -  it is written Thursday morning 17th July 1794.

My dearest Mary

    As I have risen this morning before 6 for a wonder & not being disposed for work just at this moment, I hope You will not condemn me for employing my time thus that I may have a letter to send off to You by Friday mornings post & which I hope You will receive on Sunday noon. We go on here mighty well saving & excepting I do not like the hours of eating & drinking, for in consequence of it Mrs Green serves every day a breakfast by me as I cannot eat anything at 8 o'Clock. I am however better than I was when I last wrote & so is, I think, John. I have given him some Rhubarb & Magnesia. I have had a Crib made for him in which he is now reposing in my Room. I had my new Bedstead put up last night & also the Tent one. I think You will like them both.

    I have a(lso) bought a Deal Wardrobe; it is equal in size & goodness in the workmanship with the Mahogany one; it is to be painted Mahogany colour & when so done I am to pay 3 Guineas for it. I think if light blue paper is pasted in the inside, it will be a very complete affair & will do just as well for some part of the house as if it cost 3 Guineas more. I have always been unluckily out of the way when my former wardrobes were brought home & by that means(?) I was never able to get more than the ......

    ...... I cannot say much in objection, only don't stay longer than is agreeable. I think you might so arrange Your matters as to say (barring illness & accidents) when You mean to leave Chichester, when Gosport & when London, for I like to look forward to something like certainty of the time of Your approach.

    If Your cousin comes with You, which scheme I like very well, my opinion is You had better take the Mail to yourselves   -   the fare is two Guineas & a half each person; there are 3 Coachmen & 2 Guards   -   each person gives the Coachman a shilling each & the same to the Guards  -  the last Coachman indeed only comes a small distance  -  6 pence each therefore will satisfy him.

As some sections of this letter have sequences of words missing, I have omitted small sections which are denoted by dots .......... .

THIS letter was written at Nottingham.

THOMAS has been in Nottingham for two and a half weeks establishing the families new dwelling, and writing to his wife who will be arriving he hopes, within a few days.

To become familiar with the people, story and sequence of the 1794 letters begin with the FIRST THREE HERE

I state Your expences thus:
  3 places in the Mail               7 . 17 . 6
  2 Coachmen 1/ each of 3 people     0 . 6 " 0
  1 D "     6d each       d[itt]o     0 " 1 " 6
  2 Guards  -  1/ each  -  d[itt]o     0 " 6 " 0
  Breakfasts for yourself & Kitty
& the Children will not exceed
    0 " 4 " 0
  You will want some refreshment
at Leicester, a bit of Cold Meat
likely           2 for
    0 " 3 " 0
    £ 8 " 17 " 0
Post Chaise 126 miles but probably
charged 130 miles at 1/ a mile
  6 " 10 " 0
Divers not less than (but thereabouts)   0 "12 " 2
Turnpikes (quite a random guess   (?)   )   0 " ? " 0
Two days expences on the road
sleeping & Co(?)   (?) random guess(?) also (?)
  1 " ? " 0
£ ? " 3 " 0  

part of this letter - click here for more(155kb).
Maybe you can work out what figures should go in the gaps!  Click for larger image and let me know

    .......... at one third of the expence You can but judge & I do not feel the propriety of letting her do otherwise  -  our expences are so necessarily very enormous that my opinion is we should not compliment away any of our money  -  -  In case You should determine on the Post Chaise plan & Your cousin come with You, You will sleep the first night at Northampton. Kitty will set off the same morning by & in the Northampton Coach & meet You in the evening. The next morning she will again proceed by a Coach which travels through this town, the particulars of which I will make enquiry about. When I know Your plan is fixed, by coming in a Post Chaise You will have an opportunity of seeing the diffrerent Towns You pass through & the Road is so very fine. I think it a pity You should come at night, even admitting that Travelling so great a length of way without resting may not be too fatiguing for You all.  You will turn it about in Your mind & let me know what You intend doing.

    I have been considering the estimate I have made of the expences of travelling in a post Chaise & I think I have rated it too low, I fear by half a Guinea, but even then the comfort of Your travelling this way will be in my opinion so much greater that You should not regard it  -  I am now writing Thursday noon & am going at 3 o'Clock to a Dinner the Mayor gives this first day of the Sessions  -  there are three Bucks & a half preparing for our entertainment!  I am not quite the thing for a Venison dinner  -  I eat a little breakfast yesterday at (?) o'C and a small(?) bit of Cold Roast Beef .......... soon knock me up with the help of the hot weather  -  I went to Bed last night without any Supper & have eaten no breakfast yet  -  John is also very languid from the same causes  -  I shall be very glad indeed when I can get into a little regular time of meals, for all our sakes.

sketch of a chaise.
Post Chaise: A small well-sprung, enclosed and upholstered carriage drawn by four horses, and with a wide and unobstruted view. Usually used by noble or well-to-do people.


    I hope to have an answer to my last today. I shall write a line to my Sister to enclose in the frank & shall leave it open for You to see it. You will then put a Wafer in & send it by the post to Gosport. Our head Man at the Warehouse was taken ill two days ago with a complaint in his bowels. He has had some relief this morning & will, I hope, be able to return here soon(?). In the meantime we are rather at a stand. Mr Green's Father has promis'd to assist us tomorrow, which will set us going again.

    Thank Your Brother for the measurements of his garden  -  Our part at the new house will be less  -  I will endeavour to send You a plan of the whole, one of these days when I have time & disposition for the work, but just now I am fit for nothing. Farewell my dear Mary & believe me ever Your faithful & affectionate

Th Williams

    I hope You will approve of what I have said to my sister about Your staying at Chichester &c but take notice I can be ready for You in a Week. Put a Wafer in Capt Mouats letter also & send it by Post.


Gary is proud of this line he made


Thursday Evening the 17 July (1794)

    I had written the other sheet my dear sweet creature before I receiv'd yours of the 15th; both I mean to send off tomorrow morning & You will, I hope, get them on Sunday. I am very much obliged to You for the anxiety You express about me, as it is one amongst a thousand other proofs of Your kind affection for me; mine is I trust not less as dear & sincere  -  "comparisons are odious" says the old proverb; I will therefore make none just now  -  but this I may be allowed to say, I do not love, value & esteem You less for the specimen I have had of the fair wives of Nottingham, but more on this subject when we meet.


    I returned early from the Venison Feast & took my two Boys to the new house. I left them to run about the Garden while I went up Stairs for almost two hours. I am now return'd to Mrs Greens. I have put dear John to bed in his new Crib in my room & he is fast asleep & much better, I think, than he was. I hope to(o) I am better  -  I have this moment receiv'd a summons to attend Mrs Green to supper; I must go down although I shall eat nothing  -  it is just Eleven & I am this moment return'd from below  -  my friend Mrs G has been so long in the habit of lecturing her dear Husband, that she has been much at a loss since his departure but this evening she has indulged her most easily besetting Sin by giving me a very complete handsome dressing  -  I have been a little remiss in my attendance at home once or twice & yesterday I had appointed to walk with her in the evening & was very undesignedly forty minutes beyond my time. I should have had my trimming then but seeing the storm coming I thought I wisely acted in getting out of the way & went to the Mayors for the rest of the evening as she positively refus'd going with me out of the house  -  we have had a fair set to, all quiet & mild but as sharp & keen as our Wits could prompt our tongues  -  She told me she put the best construction she possibly could on my behaviour but which she had before stated as being most excessively rude & boorish  -  I reply'd I did not doubt but she thought the judgement she pass'd was most mild & gentle & not equal to the offence & such, I added, was the opinion the Scotch Judges had of their merciful visitation on Mr Muir when they sentenc'd him the other day to fourteen years Transportation to Botany Bay  -  we wound up, however, better than might have been expected & parted very good friends but I must for the future to be more Attentive.


    I would have You, my dear Mary, stay till next Thursday at Chichester by all means not, however,on the supposition of You never going there again, for I think it not at all improbable but I may some time hence have occasion to travel that way in business & take You with me. We shall better judge of the propriety of this plan when Your Brother and Sister have been to stay with us, they can plead no just excuse  -  I must go to bed, so good night.

    I got up this morning a little before 7; I have put dear John's shirt on & he is now finishing. He seems very well this morning & in good spirits.


    I am sorry You have had so much anxiety about the China & Chairs; 6 of the Chairs & the arm'd ones are arriv'd, the others I have no doubt will be here next Waggon  -  One Box of China is also come; it is No 1, Mr Sharpe writes me and the other 2 came off from his house the 10th of this month, they will I do not much doubt come some time next week  -  I have receiv'd no other Box but this of China & the 10 I mentioned before. I hope the one containing the plate is safe, do let me know  -  remember to pack up securely in some Box my Powder Horns & Gun Powder which are in the large China Vase on the Top of my dear Mothers drawers in the back parlour  -  I find our new house not so very much out of size as I first thought it; I think we shall make it a comfortable family one  -  the cellar is uncommonly good, it goes about 50 feet in the Rock(?) before the surface & if times of persecution were to come there is a Room at the bottom face of all not less than 25 feet long & 20 broad & of a good height, 7 feet at least. I rather think more whence a parson might preach to a good congregation out of the reach of Tyrants, but I believe that Game is all up  - 

    Tell my dear Sydney I hope he will forgive my not writing to him & that I will make him amends when he comes to Nottingham. Once more, farewell my Love to all where You are but particularly to all my dear little Boys & Girl.
            I am, my dearest Mary

Your ever faithful & affectionate          

Th. Williams                        

Friday morning

    We did not breakfast today till 9 o'Clock & a certain Lady is in a special good humour


Gary is proud of this line he made


Nottingham 28 July Monday

    In the earnest hope of this meeting You my dear & best of friends at Mrs Greens on Wednesday night, I send it off by tomorrows post  -  I hope it will meet You & my dear Children safe & well after Yours & their journey to Town, as the time approaches for our meeting. I grow very impatient, my imagination takes exquisite pleasure in meeting You all in perfect health & leading You into our new dwelling where it is my sincere wish & shall I hope be my attentive study to render every hour of Your life as free from pain & as perfect in happiness as the chequer'd walk of life will admit.

    It is wonderful the advantage I have derived from being a few weeks in this house, Oh, my dear sweet Girl, never were characters more opposite than yours & my good & aimiable friend Sam's Wife.


    She is surely "a cruel thorn in the flesh"  -  She is verily "Satan sent to buffet him"  -  I had no conception there could be such a difference betwixt women  -  poor fellow, I pity him most truly! With a grateful & overflowing heart I render thanks to the gracious disposer of these events that my situation is so completely opposite to his. My remaining in this house is, I do assure You, most unpleasant indeed  -  I am very cautious & circumspect but I would defy the Archangel Gabriel, or if there is a milder Being of the whole Angelic Host to live peacably with this strange wayward woman  -  she is miserable, I am persuaded, & she is unpityed(?), for she is the Victim of her absurd Pride & suspicious evil temper.


    I wrote thus far yesterday afternoon & soon afterwards set out with the 2 Mr Greens & our two Boys up the Trent to fish; we had a delightful afternoon & return'd home in good spirits, although much tired.


    The Boys go to school to a very good one & also to a Dissenter  -  Johns Neck is I think better; I have done it with the Lotion several times; they are both of them very good Children but wish for You all very much.


    You will endeavour to dine at the Webbers; at all events You will call at an early day  -  You will also dine one at our dear Brother Fenns for the sake of the Children  -  You will also dine at the Jn Halls & call at his Brothers  -  Send Your new Piano forte off as early as possible & order it by Nelsons Waggon  -  I think if You were to buy a couple of pair of Plated Candle sticks it would not be amiss. Mr Jn Hall will recommend You to a good place. I should like them totally plain but I leave that entirely to Your taste  -  I wish I could tell where to find the Sheets & table Cloths that I might have the Beds ready for Your reception when You arrive. The Mail comes comes in at 2 or within 10 minutes after regularly; it passes within a few yards of our house & I mean it should put You down there  -  I shall have dinner ready for You & in the Eastern stile of hospitality a good quantity of water to wash all Your feet, for I know nothing so refreshing after such a journey as yours will be.


    I did not write to my dear Mother on Monday because it would be of no use. I shall be sadly disappointed indeed if I have not a letter today to tell me of Your intention of setting off for London tomorrow morning. I hope our dear little Henry is better.

    You             (?)   however(?) take good care to bespeak places in   (?)   for the Nottingham Mail, it puts (down(?)) at the Bull & Mouth Inn in Bull & Mouth Street, which is in Aldergate Street, a few yards down turning out of Newgate Street. You may send about 20 lb of luggage for each passenger (mind, it carries only 4) to the Inn  -  if You should wish to bring more it may be easily managed by taking it to Mr Davidsons by whose door the Mail passes & where You must direct the Bookeeper to order the Coachman to take You up, he will grumble & be perhaps saucy  -  but if You take a Gentleman with You; if Mr Webber would go, they will not be uncivil to You then & would I doubt not do everything to oblige  -  but mind about the luggage & say nothing to the Bookkeeper that You have more to put in at Mr Davidsons, for if You do You will be charged 2d a pound for the Carriage of it; remember me kindly to Mr   (?)  . My love to all the Dear Children & believe me,my dearest Mary

Your ever affectionate

Th Williams

    You had better burn this letter when You have read it.

    You will take the whole Coach & say nothing about the Children.

Address: Mrs Williams
Mrs Green

Henry Williams is 2 years old. He later served in the Royal Navy and was a pioneer missionary to New Zealand.

Gary is proud of this line he made

7 )

The following 1794 letter is addressed to 'Master Tho Sydney Williams'
and is written by Thomas and also young Edward Marsh.

Nottingham 18 July 1794

My Dear Sydney,

    I am very much obliged to You for your pretty letter & so was Edward for the one You sent him but I am very sorry he is too idle to write You an answer.


    I hope, my dear little Boy, You will like this place very much. We have a Garden not so big as Your Uncles, but large enough to play at Bowls, at Trap, & with Bows and arrows in, & when the weather is rainy there is the nicest Hall to play in at Marbles or whip Top You ever saw, & it is so lofty Battledoor & Shuttlecock will be something like a game in it. There is also a lofty long Gallery up Stairs in which I mean to put a swing. You may therefore, if You please, get Your swing from Mr Knapps & bring them in Your Pocket when You come here  -  tell Lydia I have fix'd on the prettyest room She ever saw adjoining to our Bed Chamber for her Piano Forte to be put in that she may play me some lessons in a morning before I get up.

    I cannot write any more just now as I must go to breakfast  -  I am, my dear little Boy

Your Affectionate Papa

Th Williams

Gary is proud of this line he made

On this same letter is another to 'Syd' from Edward in a very careful hand,
in ink between pencil ruled lines.

My dear Syd

    I hope you are Well Lydia also

'This place' is Plum(p)tre House, (discussed previous page).

Trap: likely trap-ball, a game with bat and ball, more similar tro baseball than cricket.

Battledoor and shuttlecock were both racket games.

    as I was Going to London I saw(?) that the Mail Coach was Over turned

    Mrs Green Sends her love to you and Lydia and hopes to see you at Nottinham John sends you and Lydia A picture

I am your affectionate


T  E  Marsh


Gary is proud of this line he made

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