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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/3
Former ReferenceD3311/8/1/16
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Porden to John Franklin, just after he has returned to Britain after his first Arctic land expedition, reporting the death of her father
Date19 Oct 1822
DescriptionNews of his arrival in Egland preceded his letters by only a half-hour; she would be happy to see him, but it will only be her, as her father was buried a month ago, having died 3 days after returning from Paris in a helpless state, before her sister had the chance to see him; they had been frightened by the accounts in the papers of the last two days, the last information being from a letter to Mr Moore, so they had been unaware of his fate for 2 years apart from some vague reports; thanks for fixing their names "upon the globe", making her proud less for her own sake than for those who were no more; had her father lived another few weeks he would have been pleased to see him; she blames Mr Moore for failing to send their first letters.
Paper black-edged.
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Porden
Sender LocationBerners Street
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationNo address
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or IndexBerners Street Oct 19 1822
Dear Sir
The news of your arrival in England has preceded your letters which arrived only half an hour ago- and I write instantly, lest you should perchance come to the door in ignorance of the changes which have taken place here. I shall be happy to see you at your earliest leisure but alas! I am the only one that remains to welcome you. My poor father was laid in his grave just one month ago. We have been on the Continent, and I had to bring him back from Paris in a state of utter helplessness both of mind and body- not able to feed himself, scarcely to speak. My most earnest prayer had been that he might reach home alive, & it was granted, but he died just three days after, and before my sister, who was at Cheltenham, could come up to see him.
I am sorry to send you no gayer news- but I beg you to believe that I was sincerely glad to receive your letters- the accounts in the last two days’ papers were enough to frighten all your friends. The last information we had had till then, was that conveyed in the letter to Mr Moore which I mentioned in mine- so that we had been in ignorance of your fate, except from some vague reports, for more than two years. Had we entertained the most remote idea of Mr Moore’s remissness you should have had much larger packets from us. If you had been merely cruizing within reach of the daily papers I should scarcely have volunteered any correspondence, for I have always had so much necessary writing as seldom to court an increase of it, but at such a distance, and under such circumstances I hold any neglect of your friends to be unpardonable.
Thank you for fixing our names upon the globe- I shall feel proud to see them figure in the map which will be prefixed to your work – proud less perhaps for my own sake than that of those who are no more. I have much to be grateful for, and firmly do I believe that all which is, is for the best, but among other things for which I could have wished my father’s life prolonged for a few weeks, there are none which would have given him more pleasure than seeing you again.
I could almost quarrel with you for being so punctilious as to wait for answers to your letters when you had an opportunity of writing and knew that all your friends must be anxious. If truth must be told, I accuse Mr Moore for the failure of our first dispatches.
My sister and Mr Kay are at this moment out of town, or I am certain they would desire their remembrances to you.
In the hope that you will find your brother and all your friends well I remain, Dear Sir, ever yours sincerely, Eleanor Anne Porden
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