‘Is there any post?’ -FitzHerbert project catch up

The FitzHerbert project has been quiet for some time so I wanted to write a catch up blog to update you on progress and share with you one of the highlights of the collection.

Firstly, I want to mention the title of the post: this is surely a familiar phrase in every British household. Especially with the increase in email usage there is always a keen sense of anticipation when you are expecting something to arrive in the post, especially a letter. When something arrives unexpectedly it is always exciting (except if it’s from the bank!). Continue reading


James Watt Jr. writes to William Strutt about successfully lobbying parliament, 1809

D5303/45: London, 13 June 1809

Dear Sir

We have just terminated a successful opposition in the House of Commons to an attempt of a set of speculators in this city, styling themselves first the National Light and Heat Company Continue reading

James Ledekin’s description of the Bahamas

D37 M/H 20/14: Beaumont, Long Island, Bahamas

Mr Holland,

Sir I make no doubt yow was surprised at the steps I have taken, in leaving England for the Bahamas.  Indeed it was a thing unthought of untill I arrived in London; Continue reading

Smedley, Duesbury and the football

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D6808/3/1: St Andrew’s Middle Class School, Derby, April 14th, 1882

[Pupils who fell foul of this school’s laws had to submit written apologies to the headmaster – here are two, about the same incident]

 Dear Sir,

Somebody told me that Sharp had a ball, so I asked him to put it down.  Smedley then said if he did, he (Smedley) would throw it over the wall.  Continue reading

Byron embraces Gally Knight, rejects fame

D239 M/F 16302: April 4th 1815

Dear Knight

I have read “Alashtar” with attention and great pleasure. It appears to me preferable to the Yaniote but that may be owing to the measure which is a favourite of mine. Continue reading

A transported convict writes home

D4716/1: Sydney, New South Wales, 20th June 1841

My dear father and Mother, I have taken the opportunity of writing you these lines trusting the same will find you both in good health, Brothers and sisters, and all relations and enquiring friends, as it leaves me by the blessing of God in good health at present. Continue reading

Letitia Gresley writes to her sister

D77/4/4/1 : c1720

Dearest sister, This is to give you a great many thanks for all your kindness to me, both when you was here and at all other times. I do sadly want your good company Continue reading

Leonard and Elizabeth (2)

Elizabeth Hawley's reply to Leonard Wheatcroft

Aprill 24 1657 

Dear love, I will not omit aney opertunity that I can yet to commend my dearest love unto you, and as a token of my love I have sent you aband desiring you to let it Imbrace your, neck as willingly as you would Imbrace my wast, so expecting to heare from you I remaine yours ever : Elizabeth Hawley