H. Stanhope to Kathleen, August 11, [1899]

BCARS
Add MSS 412, Box 6 File 4-10

H.M.S. “Beagle”
At Sea
11 August

Dear Miss O’Reilly

I have to thank you for the two letters dated 17th June, which I received about 3 weeks ago within a week of each other. How they come I dont know, there is not a postmark on either except the Victoria one. Coming from such a distance & through different countries I never saw such absolute clean looking envelopes. I was so glad to hear by the last one that your mother was a bit better and stronger and if you can manage the journey to England no doubt the change would do her good. If you get there this year you would find my mother in place house, as she has not let for the season as usual. My South American millionaire brother would’nt allow her to let, & gave her a box at the opera for the season. He passed through Monte Video the other day (having given up South Africa) on the way to Chili where he is doing a big job with tramways for London people. I could’nt manage to see him as I was away up the rivers. We managed to get a good amount of shooting from the 6th of June to the 4th of August, 3000 head or just over. Mostly partridges but duck, snipe and & hare besides. Now the shooting season is over for us, and having got all four ships together, we are on the way up to Rio and other Brazilian ports, avoiding those where the yellow fever is worst. The cruise lasts till Nov 11th; it is’nt much joy being with Senior ships. I like much better being alone & independent, with no-one making signals at you all the day & night. We may possibly be detached in October & sent down to the Falkland Islands, I believe one ship has to go there but the weather down there is still vile at that time. This ships time is up in November, & another ship is supposed to leave England that month to take our place. It seems rather too much to send us all the way to the Falklands just to come back again. But if we dont we shall remain with the Commodore, & I have’nt made mup my mind yet which is worst. I am writing to a few Admiralty friends to know for certain when the new ship leaves England, & then I shall decide what to ask the Commodore. Now the shooting is over I’ve no wish to remain out here a day longer than is necessary. You asked me about books, I’m afraid I dont get any out here. we take in about 25 papers & periodicals which carry us on from mail to mail. I read a book whilst I was in England, but you have probably got it called “Concerning Isobel Carnaby”, by Miss Fowler daughter of Sir Henry Fowler, the Member for Wolverhampton. I thought it so good & clever. She has written another called “a double thread”, but I dont like it much, such an impossible plot.

I remember calling on the Wards in London, & met Mrs. Oliver there, but I dont remember if they asked me to dinner or not. anyhow I never dined there. It is rather dreadful writing at sea in the “Beagle thing” – she is never quiet and such a wet thing, even going along in calm the water comes in somehow and now one is getting in to hot water weather, sea boots & oilskins are apt to be heavy. Many thanks for the lilies of the valley. I put them in to “Thoughts and Words”, where there are others you have sent me from time to time. perhaps you have forgotten, but there they are. Please give kind regards to all the best wishes from

Yours ever sincerely

Harry Stanhope

 

Back to 1899 Correspondence

This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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