SOLLEY Co-ordinator's Report December 2002
By Bob Solly
Over the summer, activity has slowed down. I have, however, continued to work on the GRO, births and marriages being completed to 1966 and deaths to 1922.
There is still work to be done in checking the records with those in the GRO – please let me know if you can help with this task.
Following on from our April journal, I have reproduced more letters from Linda Stewards transcriptions.
This is from 1831, relating to the same family but with no note of the addressee:
My Dear Aunt,
It was very delightful indeed to find your long interesting letter on our return from Hadham where we had been hearing of you from Edward Anthony who we found very pleasant & much improved by the good company he has been keeping. As much as we wished however we could not hear for he was full of his employments & besides one never gets satisfaction about people unless when they write one a charming long letter. We did however hear about your delightful Mrs.Warnage & about the seals which I am very glad have procured you a new acquaintance in Mr. & Mrs. Neville who I hope are really acquisitions. Tattershall Tower sounds like that of Layer Marney, to which we made an excursion in a pouring rain from Crix three years ago & near which in the church are three of the finest statues of knights recumbent one can see. This part of the world like yours contains many small remains of antiquity bits of castles & ends of abbeys which form points to which to direct our drives through this most lovely woodland & hill scenery.
Friday we went to Mayfield where is the remains of the episcopal palace & what they call the hall with its arches & their elegantly foliaged corbeils remaining entire though the roof they supported is quite gone & the very handsome stonework of the large windows looks very beautiful & very worthy of your pencil. There are also many large rooms inhabited by work people & the situation is very fine on the top of a high hill & almost commanding a panorama. Mayfield has also an old church, a large old house which looks as if it had been the Palace gateway & another old stone house just asking you to come & repair & inhabit it. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the day or the richness of the scenery whilst from one hill we had as extensive a view nearly as one ever sees. It is quite a pity you are not here that we might enjoy these scenes with you. We get very good riding horses too, in short every thing is charming except that as we are not quite so expeditious in running up a house as my Uncle is his clay cottages we are obliged to be content with a brick one of very small dimensions this place being brim full.
I am very glad you have taken up my dear flower painting which I am obliged to give up because in the spring I hurt my eyes by riding in the east winds, instead I net purses & when I use my eyes tis to read Dante of which we have a tiresome little Paris edition full of blunders. The inferno I have been enchanted with excepting a few of the horrours at the end but tis so ingenious & the images from Natural objects so very beautiful. Now for an extreme I have the paradise which I like also very much. We have brought german books with us too & Sarah spanish & we get some idle books from the library of an antiquated sort chiefly, one which is very entertaining & extravagant is Miss Hawkins[?] first production “Constance”, we also read Spin[?] & Martins travels in Brasil leaving out the botany – but our chief employments are walking & riding.
You are a charming person to hear of because even in comparative solitude you dont lose your energy but are always improving and exercising your talents. I wish very much I could see your trees & flowers. Sarah has made two outlines from the cast of the Apollo at Hadham which I think very good, they are a reduced size. Our admiration of Pasta is certainly not lessened by what we have seen of her this year, the last time in Donizetti’s opera of Anna Bolena in which her acting is magnificent, it is also very fine music & there are in it two charming romances one of which Sarah has & sings. We have been trying to get Mrs. Edward Solly to come to us in the hope that it will do her good but I fear she is not to be persuaded, it seems a great pity as in London she is always poorly. I am very sorry to hear of Miss Emily Blunts illness & hope it is not as bad as people fear. It must be very pleasant to you to know that Mr. & Mrs. Rackett have such good company with them & to hear of your dear little Thomasine such good accounts, but I think you will be very happy to see her & them again altho’ it always seems to me that for so retired a place you have very good neighbours at Morton.
Sarah hopes that thinks that you want some books recommended to you for the Lincoln Library. She therefore mentions The Life of Mozart by his widow from which there were such interesting extracts in the quarterly it will be very a propos to the little music parties you speak of. I have only room for her & my love & believe me
Your affect. Niece
Direct to us at Curzon Street unless you happen to have heard at the moment you write where we are. We have been trying to get Mr. Solly to come to us but were in vain.
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