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This is one of the 77 letters and documents found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: TJ's father ill, but recovering; affectionate coments about Minnie; TJ's brother David JACKSON to stay in Far East; finances of Creggan Parish; rant about the folly of TJ belonging to the Jockey Club; Minnie & involvment in a Bazaar.
Sharon Oddie Brown October 6, 2006

 

Urker Dec 24 1884

 

My dear Tom,

 

            We got a great fright lately, your Father [1] was dangerously ill last week with some disease of the kidneys. Dr Palmer [2] was very much alarmed about him; and so were we all; but thanks be to God, the danger is over, and he is able to be up again. All the rest are well and no changes among us since I wrote last.

 

            Your letter of November 17th arrived safely; and one from Minnie [3] previously; in which she returns me thanks for making her welcome here; as if I would not be glad to welcome her to a palace if I had one. It would be low days with one when I would not make her welcome to anything I had in the world; the dear good little woman, the “[van?] bug” who has always been kind and affectionate to me; and has written me more letters than anyone else ever did. May God send her and her little flock, safe to my arms; and have them in his keeping evermore.

 

            I wrote to David [4] surely to be with her even if you did not come; but since then I have heard from him that it is better for him to remain where he is right now for the present; and I would not wish him to injure his own prospects. He sent an Xmas box of a pound, to each of his nephews and nieces this Xmas, and ₤5 to the Church funds; and a present to Jemmie [5] ₤35 in all.

 

            Mr Rogers [6] the Manager of the Bank in Crossmaglen, has written him a full statement of the Parochial affairs; which I am enclosing to him today. Mr Rogers tells me that he wrote a similar statement to you last January; and he asked me if you had received it; I could not tell him that you had; if I ever heard it; I do not remember it.  I do not know how the affairs of the Parish would be managed, but for Mr Rogers. Dr Mills [7] , who managed them previously, is now quite unfit to do so. His memory is too much failed for him to transact any business; though he still preaches, once every Sabbath.

 

            Dear Tom, I was horrified to see by a newspaper which Minnie sent me that you are a prominent member of a Jockey club!!! Did ever luck or grace ever follow anything of this kind? Did it not ruin greater & wealthier men than ever you were? Think of the Marquis of Hastings [8] and the Duke of Newcastle [9] and hundreds of others. Think of your own great Uncle [10] and namesake, after whom you were called. For God’s sake, and my sake, have done with all things of the kind; & never do anything upon which you could not implore God’s blessing. Even if you followed sport in moderation, and that it never did you any harm; look at the example it sets before your own son, & many other young men. Can you answer for it, that a taste for sport may not lead them to ruin? Now do not be like the young cock, that was wiser than the old hen. I would not forbid any innocent amusement; but an amusement which involves cruelty to any of God’s creatures, never was nor never can be innocent.

 

            I am glad that the Bazaar in which Minnie was interested, turned out to be a success. Though I never thought that the Lord was to be worshipped by means of machinery; yet I think an instrument is useful to lead the singing; & the organ surely exceeds all other instruments.

 

            I have no more to say, but to wish you and yours many and happy returns of the season; to send you all my love and my blessing, and to subscribe myself your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson

 



[1] David JACKSON (1814-1889)

[2] Dr. PALMER?

[3] “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE – wife to Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] David JACKSON (1885-1903) who also worked for HSBC in the Far East – youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[5] “Jemmie” James JACKSON (1850-?) younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] Mr.William E ROGERS, Manager of the Crossmaglen branch of the Belfast Bank.

[7] Rev. Dr. Lewis George MILLS (1823-May 28, 1885) Rector of Creggan Church

[8] In 1867, a horse named Hermit--previously represented as being in an unfit condition even to run, won the race and the Marquis of Hastings lost about ₤100,000, which (in spite of rumours and hopes of his ruin) was honourably paid. His premature death then lead to theselling off of all his lands and belongings.

[9] I do not know the specifics of the Duke of Newcastle’s horse racing follies.

[10] I do not know who this Thomas may be, but George JACKSON (1718-1782) may have had a brother called Thomas JACKSON. If so, this may tie into some of the deeds I have been finding. Another possibility is Thomas BRADFORD who was not only a great grand-unclue but also a great grand-father.

 

 

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