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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/40
Former ReferenceD3311/8/4/2
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Franklin to her husband John Franklin, including on her health and the days following the death of his father
Date10 Apr 1824
DescriptionTalks about John Franklin’s visit to his sisters; Betsey’s health not good, hoping for improvement, should Dr Thomson attend?; Eleanor’s cough is troubling her, does not like to talk about it, but she is ill again; enclosing a letter for him ‘ from the North’, also enclosing Lieutenant Marshall’s prospectus which she hopes will make him laugh; has declined invitation for him from Sir Richard Keats; the Chalons have sent an invitation to an ‘Evening Party’; is Eleanor to send out thank you cards?; only a few friends have enquired so far about the event, as John’s father did not live in London; if he does nor want the ceremony, it may be sufficient to return visiting cards; she would like to avoid receiving people at present as it is tiring, John must decide; correspondence with Mr Clowes; Captain Parry’s Ball postponed but he is still sailing on 5th; Eleanor’s cousin’s letter written ‘in a tone of sarcasm and even menace’, she has sent it to Mr Bedford and hopes he can bring matters to a conclusion; has also sent information about tenants to Mr Bedford, hoping that he and Mr Kay can sort matters out for her; her sister and Mr Kay dined with her yesterday, Mary Anne now staying with her, expecting Mrs Woodfall on Monday; glad that John was able to see his father, as Eleanor’s parents’ (coffins) were closed up much sooner, both parents looked “lovely in death”, release of Christian spirit into happier life after death; thanks to John’s brothers and sisters for their concerns about her, planning to start work on baby linen next week; playing the invalid is a new occupation to her, but everybody promises that she will be well again; John should send his cough “into the fen ditches”, does not like to think of him being ill; John should read the sermon by Sidney Smith to the judges at York, as it should have a “salutory influence on judges, juries and the minds of the people at large”, and she is not surprised that it has caused a “great sensation”; love to John from Mary Anne and from her sister and Mr Kay as well.
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Franklin
Sender LocationNo address
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationNo address
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or IndexSaturday – April 10th
[in pencil] 1824

Many thanks my dearest love, for your kind letter. I am glad you both bore your journey so well, and found your sisters so composed, though I do not like your account of Betsey’s health, but she perhaps will improve when things around her are quiet again. Do you wish me to make any application to Dr Thomson about her? – I was almost ashamed to write you a letter of mere business on the day I did, but fear this will be like it, for my cough is so troublesome I scarcely know what I say, and I have taken up my old trade of sickness again in full vigour. It is very provoking, and I am sure you must be tired of hearing of my complaints, yet if I tell truth, I can tell no other tale.
I send you another of the letters you expected from the North, and shall also enclose Lieut. Marshall’s Prospectus and Queries, in the hope they may excite a laugh. Sir Richard Keats has sent an invitation to you for the 20th which I have declined on the plea of your absence from Town. I have also one from the Chalons for an Evening Party on the 30th which I cannot answer till I know whether you intend visiting at present. You must also inform me whether you wish me to send out Cards of thanks, and when? If you do, I fear I shall get into sad scrapes, as I am likely to forget one half of your friends. Not more than half a dozen have made enquiries at present, so I presume that the event is not generally known here, your father not having lived in London, and that if you wish to avoid the ceremony, the return of visiting Cards to those who have sent may be sufficient. I own that at this moment I could wish to avoid the fatigue of receiving our whole acquaintance over again, but it is a matter which must be entirely regulated by your own feelings and wishes.
I yesterday sent back three sheets to Mr Clowes, and received two more last night, which I will if possible despatch today. I thought from the postponement of Captain Parry’s Ball, that his voyage was also deferred, but understand he is to sail on the 5th. I had read my Cousin’s letter but carelessly when I wrote to you, but on looking at it again I found it was written in a tone of sarcasm and even menace which I shall answer very briefly. I have sent it to Mr Bedford, and begged him if possible to bring the business to a termination. I have also given him all the particulars he desired about the tenants, and as Mr Kay was to meet him today upon a trial, I hope they will get a little conversation together, and put something in train. My sister and Mr Kay dined here yesterday and Mary Anne is now with me. Mrs Woodfall I expect on Monday so you need not distress yourself about me.
I am glad that you were able to see your Father, but I should not have expected it, as it was necessary to close up both my parents much sooner, though I believe that necessity was hastened by the circumstances under which they died, and the countenances of both were lovely in death that we were anxious to take our last look before dissolution should have wrought any change which might make the impression less pleasing. My Mother’s face in particular had relaxed from the distortions of paralysis into something of that beauty which it had lost for at least fourteen years, and the last gleams of which I could but faintly remember. It is a superstitious feeling, since it must frequently be fallacious, yet it is difficult not to consider the serenity of the lifeless countenance as an assurance of the happiness of the Spirit which has left it; and notwithstanding the exceptions which convulsion and pain may occasion, I still think that that composure of mind which none but the good can feel at all, and none but the good Christian can entirely enjoy, may have some influence in tranquillizing the body in the last great struggle.
Many thanks to your sisters and brothers for their kind solicitude about me. I wish I were less interesting. Tell the former that I hope to set to work in earnest about my Baby Linen next <week> and that such an important business is yet to do, will fully explain what sort of animal I have been throughout the winter. Playing the Invalid is quite a new occupation to me, but as every body promises that I shall be myself again, I live in hopes.
Pray take care of yourself, and send your cough into the fen ditches. It is my natural inheritance to suffer but I cannot bear to think of your being ill, and so mind you do not make a close companion of it.
If Sidney Smith’s Sermon to the Judges at York appears in your paper, pray read it. You know I <am> not in general one of his admirers, but I like it very much, and though perhaps carried a little too far in some parts, think it likely to have a salutary influence on Judges, Juries, and the minds of the people at large, in those towns where our Courts are held. Considering the character of the City in which it was preached, I reckon him a bold man, & do not wonder it should have produced a great sensation. High as he upholds the character of a Judge I have pleasure in believing we have many who fully sustain it, and trust his view of the subject may operate on many more, but I must have done, and so farewell,
ever your affectionate wife
Eleanor Anne Franklin.

I had forgotten Mary Anne’s love – and some <like> messages which Sister & Mr Kay left last Night.

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Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Thomson; Thomas (1775-1853); physician
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