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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/44
Former ReferenceD3311/8/4/6
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Franklin to her husband John Franklin, including references to her health and that of her daughter
Date22 Jul 1824
DescriptionWritten Thursday. Happy to hear he is cheerier and takes pains to explain why she had not written again earlier, which includes references to her ill health. Tells of her visit to town and the upcoming marriage of Mrs. Sarah. Friday morning: the couple to be married are lacking in plans and unlikely to be accepted for marriage at the church as neither is of that parish; if she is not married legally, she may as well not be married at all, but Sarah is in love and incapable of hearing reason; he is at present working at Kew. She has sorted out business concerning rents involving Mrs Lambert and Mrs Ward, and she seems to have benefitted more from the charge back to London; her sister leaves her tomorrow, so she will be quiet after that; Dr Thomas called yesterday to say he had seen several things at Tonbridge which would suit but had not engaged, waiting for Franklin's return. The baby is well and growing, being "fat, fair and funny"; Mrs Levesque says the baby is his child and not Eleanor's; Mrs Babbage called yesterday, an insurance company scheme to which Mrs B. belonged has fallen through. Discussion on fruit which Capt. Franklin is enjoying and the sender talks of it 'bringing down your fat a trifle' and also speaks of plums 'liable to bring on so many serious disorders ... when they do not get half ripe'. Notes that she feels stronger, albeit only slowly.
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Franklin
Sender LocationDevonshire Street
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationHarrington Hall, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or IndexDevonshire Street. Thursday, July 22d 1824.

I owe you many thanks, my dearest Love, for your last kind letter, which was doubly welcome to me from the assurance conveyed still more in its style thank its words, that every thing is now becoming more cheerful about you. I hope your accounts of Isabella and of all will continue to improve progressively; and that when you leave them it will no longer be with feelings of anxiety. Pray give my love to them, and say that I would write, but that I find one letter as much as I can yet manage in a day, and, besides that it appears exceedingly natural to me to address that to you, I have generally had business which has determined the question. I am sorry that you would not hear from me on the day you expected. Saturday was the first morning that I felt equal to an attempt at visiting, so we drove to Lady Keats, whose staircase almost did for me, and thence to Miss Browell, who kindly came down to me, and Miss Larkan, who had no stairs to climb. All this I bore very well, but unluckily driving afterwards through Greenwich to Mrs Philip King (who was not at home) the stones quite overpowered me, and if I had got back in time for the post, which is very inconveniently early there, I fear I should not have been able to write. Besides I scarce knew what to say till I heard from you, and so should have been quiet till Monday, but for Mr Garry. I suspect I send you a third epistle from him, and have written to tell him where we are, and allay his troubled spirit. <N.B. I have just had an answer in which he confesses he knew you were in Lincolnshire! He is surely in love!!>
I found I could not get my letter finished in time for this days post as besides my sister, who came to town with me, we had Mr Kay & five of the children to an early dinner, and now they are all off in the phäeton to Astleys, the two Mama’s waiting till you return to beau us, as sister did not like going with so large a company, and I thought a little more time would make me stronger. You see I am beginning to be saucy however. As you have put me upon my obedience I must of course let the Books alone, though one of my motives for coming to town was to rid you <of> a job which I thought you had no taste for, but I shall have enough to do without it, and well it is that I did come, for Mrs Sarah has settled to be married on Saturday, and I have time little enough to look things over with her. She offers to return again for a few days when all is over, but I think it will be cruel to part turtles, and do not suppose she would be able to bring either head or heart with her.

Friday morning.
It is well if the lovers be not in a scrape after all, for they have been asked in a parish to which neither of them belong, and I doubt whether they can be married or not. I have in vain tried to persuade Sarah to have the enquiry made, or to convince her that if she be not married legally she may as well not be married at all. She is in love, so of course incapable of hearing reason, and I must try to ascertain the matter myself, lest she should have to come back from Church like a baffled dog with her tail between her legs. They have not looked out for a lodging or made any arrangements and he is at present engaged in work which keeps <him> at Kew from Monday morning till Saturday night, so I think they would have done as well to wait a little. I say again that it is well I did come to town. I have had Mrs Lambert to pay her rent, Mrs Ward to receive hers, the heater works for their rates, and in short I seem to be doing business by wholesales. It is well for me <too> that I seem to have benefitted quite as much by the charge back to London as I did by that to Greenwich or I should have been overpowered. Nevertheless I will send for Miss Appleton’s books as soon as I have leisure to think about them. My sister leaves me tomorrow, and I shall be quieter after that and have more leisure for business. Dr Thomson called yesterday to tell us that he had seen several things at Tonbridge which he thought would suit, but should not engage any: however he would keep a look out for us, & tell you of all he knew whenever you were going down.
Baby is very well and grows as fast as ever fat, fair and funny. Miss Levesque’s called yesterday, and say that she is your child and not mine as I have always told you. Mrs Babbage called also, and said she was so much improved that she should not have known her. You will be sorry to [le]arn that the whole scheme of the Insurance Co[mpany] <Mr B> was to [have] belonged to is given up. It fell to pieces the day be[fore it] was to hav[e] opened. It is very provoking with their family to lose a provision which appeared so certain, especially after the waste of so much time, and I should fear from what she said, of considerable expense.
I am glad to hear you are enjoying yourself so much among the fruit, and though I suspect your ideas of moderation to be somewhat liberal I have no fears for you. Those now ripe can do little harm beyond causing a few wry faces, and bringing down your fat a trifle but you did make me uneasy with the plums last year. They are liable to bring on so many serious disorders, and especially in such a season, when they do not get half ripe. An invitation came yesterday from Colonel & Mrs Pakenham to dine there tomorrow. The servant waited so I told John to say his master was in Lincolnshire. You will I suppose write a note when you return.
I am sure if you apologize for your letter I know not what I ought to say for this. I have been so often interrupted that my head is quite confused, and I am conscious that I have omitted many things I wanted to say. Give my best love however to Isabella, Mrs Booth & Mary (by the bye I hope you have thanked Mrs B. for her kindness about Baby. I never had time to talk to you about it.) and kiss all the children for me. My sister also sends her love to you - & remems. to Miss B.
ever yours most affectionately
Eleanor Anne Franklin

I have been both riding and walking today, and seem none the worse. For the first time I do really think I am getting stronger, though it be slowly.

[Addressed to]
Captain Franklin R. N.
Harrington Hall
near Spilsby
JY 23 1824

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