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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/23
Former ReferenceD3311/8/3/17
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Porden to John Franklin, while he is visiting his relations in Nottingham
Date2 Jun 1823
DescriptionEleanor is filthy from the dust and dirt of the old house. The ink had dried in the sun so had to liquify it with port. This letter is written under the influence. Cannot conduct business without the distraction of frequent company. Mr. Moore has had a second bust made and an engraving of his Bay. Have had five applications for the sale of the old house since Saturday. Mr. Moore suggests that he and Eleanor should take a summer excursion together to look at his Bay. Eleanor laments that her head is full of dust and she knows not where her brains have gone, but she will have no time tomorrow to write. Intends to stay with Mrs. Oviatt. Happy to hear his health was better, which worried her at one time. Eleanor envies John's excursion to Matlock as she and her father had planned to be there this summer.
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Porden
Sender LocationBerners Street
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationMrs Burnside, Castle Gate, Nottingham [Horncastle, Lincolnshire crossed out]
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or IndexDo you know “this sweet hand”!? Berners Street. June 2d 1823

My Dear Sir,
I am writing to you once again from the old House though were your eye sufficiently telescopic to catch a glimpse of what is going on here, I doubt whether you would be able to recognize either it or me. Both are at this moment alike dusty and untidy, and though I have washed my hands as often today, as under ordinary circumstances would suffice for a week, I hope that the hue of my fingers will not communicate itself to my paper. I chance to be without a penknife en poche, a marvel by the bye, and so am forced to make the best of what has been everybody’s hack for these three days, and as to the ink, the heat of the sun had dried it up, and I was compelled to liquefy it with Port wine, so that I know not what colour it may assume ere it reaches you. My letter is certainly therefore written under the influence of the grape, and my head, inside and out, in as great confusion as it is said frequently to cause – or as the room around me. I hope therefore you will not expect a very clear and connected account of what I have been doing since Thursday. I have indeed worked hard, and know not any period of my life at which I could have done so much, with less fatigue – I have found time not withstanding, to go to a party at the Griffins <on Friday [Thursday crossed out]>, to drink tea with Mrs Thomson on Saturday and to dine in Gower Street yesterday. I believe the truth is, that I never can get through much business unless I have plenty of society at the same time to put it all out of my head. Your friend Mr Moore is as blooming as ever and I find he has had a second bust made from his sweet countenance; besides an engraving of his Bay. Did you know all this? I believe as you said the little man is not without his share of vanity, any more than you or I, or our neighbours.
Mr Oviatt’s house hunting has hitherto been as successless [sic] as mine, but I hope this week will produce something. I shall at least be more at leisure in a day or two & will then do my best. I have had five applications for this today, the Bill having only been put up on Saturday, so that I am in hopes it will not hang on hand as you were pleased to forebode. You have no idea of the number of holes and corners I have had to poke into, or from how many odd things I have had to dislodge the venerable dust of many a year. Many articles of kitchen furniture had certainly been untouched since they came from our Country residence 13 winters since. You would laugh at the Room where all my heterogeneous wealth is stowed. An inventory of the contents would be amusing to read, but no slight task to make.
I know not that I have anything to tell you worth writing of. Mr Moore asked when he and I should take a summer excursion to look at his Bay, and I answered whenever I went to visit my father’s islands. What would you say to find him and I set out on such a pilgrimage?
I do believe my head is empty, or else like a fuss ball, it has but dust in it. Where my brains are I know not, but certainly not at my fingers ends just now, and if I could be sure of more time tomorrow I would not send you such a stupid scrawl as this; but I expect Mr Squibb will then be making the Catalogue, & I must dance after him. Then I shall have my Cousin to help me in some jobs of my own, and must attend to her. My future movements, about which you seem to be solicitous, are yet very dimly shad[ed] out. The Sale is fixed for tomorrow week, when I mus[t] certainly be in town, and I propose employing what ti[me] I can be spared from this place in the interim, in enquiring after houses, and in other matters not less necessary, though of less apparent importance. The Sale will probably not occupy more than one day or two at most. By the time it is over you will most likely be able to say when you are likely to return, previous to which I mean if I can to get a day or two with Mrs Oviatt; but my business here once completed, I have no longer anything to bind <me> and can alter my plans as I find convenient.
I rejoice that you give such good accounts of yourself. You were evidently much out of health during the winter, but I only wondered you were not worse. I watched you with much anxiety at one period, and I certainly did think, that could I have been with you, I might in some degree have lightened much that was so irksome to you, but there were some circumstances which tyed [sic] my hands even more than you can imagine. I trust that now we are both renovated, and may look forward to much both of health and comfort together. I think at least that I hardly can have repetition of much that <injured> mine, and that since they have survived them, I think they are almost proof for the future. The Bellman is going his last round; which is well for you for I am sure more of such stuff as this is not worth your having – Adieu therefore, but remember me kindly to Dr & Mrs R. I almost envy your excursion to Matlock – my father & I planned being there this summer. Gower Street desires to be remembered.
ever your affectionate EA Porden.

[Addressed to]
Capt’n Franklin R. N.
Mrs Burnside
Castle Gate [Horncastle – crossed out]
Nottingham [Lincolnshire – crossed out]

A 2 JU 1823
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