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This is one of the letters found in a bog prior to 1960.
News includes: TJ being urged to have life insurance; Minnie seems to have a post-partum illness; one of the twins has a "pug nose"; Elizabeth BROWN is still in Dublin as Kiltybane is being built; advice about baptising the twins in Ireland.

Sharon Oddie Brown, October 4, 2006
Errors in footnotes addressed: September 22, 2014.

Thomas Jackson Esq.

Urker June 1st 1874

 

My Dear Tom,

 

            It was not till yesterday evening that Johnny returned with the certificate which defeated my intentions of forwarding it by yesterday’s post. The reason of the delay was, that the congregation of 1st Newton Hamilton is now vacant and is supplied by a young Minister from Ballybay [1] , who comes up on Sabbath mornings. Johnny had to wait for his coming and got but a lesser[?] document after all; for he omitted to state that he extrapolated it from the Baptismal Registry of 1st N.T. Hamilton. I hope it is for the purpose of insuring upon your life, that you want it. I take shame to myself that I did not urge you do so long since. Every man whose income depends on his own life, should have it done.

 

            How do Minnie [2] and the babes [3] come on? I was disappointed that there was not a line from you this morning. I shall be anxious to hear often, till it is assured that they will all do well. Let her beware of making too free; so severe an illness must needs have a more gradual recovery than common. May God bless, and spare them all; and make them blessings. And this little pug nose is God’s handy work; and the owner of it, or even of far worse defect [4] , might happen to turn out the best girl of the lot. I used to fear a large family, before I had one (a great want of Father’s) but when it came, I never fretted about the matters and God mercifully provided for them all. As the old song says –

 

“With joy I viewed the selfsame here

That scraped for one, could scrape for ten”

 

It is the [crak?] that must scrape in the present instance; but he is well able to do it, thanks be to God. Only let him take good care to keep the scrapings well together; for life and health will not last always.

 

“Not to hide it in a hedge

Nor for a train attendant

But for the glorious privilege

Of being independent.”

 

Oh, B[?]! let thy noble lines live for ever! and be ever encumbered by all whom I love.

 

            I do not know what Aunt Bess [5] intends as to staying in Dublin. I hope her own house will be ready at November [6] . We are hurrying off the turnip sowing; and the old hands will be at work at the building. I am writing to her today and will give her a warm invitation to come here.

 

            Will you have the children baptized before you leave London? and what names will you give them? If you bring them to us first, we will be glad to give them a cast of the Scotch Kirk, the same as you got yourself. That would save the sin of telling lies over there, that they “renounce the devil & all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world & all the lusts of the flesh” is a thing that no one can altogether do in this life. Also of declaring that “He descended into hell” when we well know that He finished the work of redemption on the Cross. This very thing has caused bitter controversies, as also the doctrines of Baptismal regeneration among the members of the Episcopal Church in Ireland. The laity are nearly all for reforms; the clergy  have succeeded in obstructing its  [?th?yts] though many of the best among them share the views of the laity; and I may add of the Scriptures.

 

            I shall write again (D & [7] ) the day your Father goes to Dundalk.

 

            With best love to Minnie, I remain

            Your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson



[1] Rev. McCLELLAND of Newtownhamilton (the church where Sir Thomas JACKSON was baptised by his uncle Daniel Gunn BROWNE). (See the following letter, June 8, 1874)

[2] Amelia Lydia DARE, wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[3] Emily Bradford JACKSON & Amy OLIVER JACKSON, twins born May 27, 1874.

[4] The wording of this plus the subsequent death unattended by mourning (at least as expressed in letters at the time) makes me wonder if there was a genetic anomaly at work here – possibly even CDLS.

[5] “Bess” At first I thought this was Elizabeth (Jackson) BROWNE (1843-1923), wife of Thompson BROWNE and sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON, but the context of other documents makes it almost certain that this was Elizabeth Johanna DONALDSON née JACKSON, a sister-in-law of Eliza née OLIVER.. She died at Kiltybane. She had been widowed for a couple of decades, but the family was helping her have a house built at Kiltybane.

[6] The house that stands currently at Kiltybane was being constructed. (Initially I thought the reference was to Killynure where Thompson BROWN was building a new house.

[7] This shorthand occurs frequently and usually looks more like D&V or DV. It likely means Deo Volente or God Willing (Thanks to Wendy JACK for this suggestion).

 

 

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