Letters from Cornwall abt. 1871

 The following are  two letters written by John Richards to his son, 
Thomas Henry Richards  when Tom went away to mine in Chile. 
The letters must be representative  of what most Cornish families 
went through. They are copied exactly as written to preserve the 
dialect and flavor of the letters.        (fs=ss)          

First letter
written prior to 1871
# 1.

Dear Son It is with a akeing heart and a trembling hand 
That i have to write you this letter seeing and feeling our dear 
Beloved son torn a way from our breast whose feeling we cannot 
Describe but in all that Ever we pafsed through Thear was never 
Nothing like this my Dear and beloved i beleive a great deal of it 
is ariveing from the prospect that father nor mother will never 
Kifs your dear sweet lips no more our blefsed Saviour only knows 
But we cannot Expect it under our preasant conditions of health and age 
When i arived home from the redruth Station when i took my 
    t farewell of you your dear mother cried out that her  
      Sweet child is gone we then went up Steers threw our [selves] 
on your bed and theare the Streaming tears did run 
down our cheeks for the last of our Dear loveing and obeiyent Son 
And not only we but it allso threw the whole place of Carnbrea 
In a State of mourning with all how Ever knew you Every 
One says what a nice clever young man he was in all the 
Neibourhood and that he allways respected himself and would 
Not mix up with no bad company thearefore my Dear child 
We hope that will be allways your greatest Studey to keep your Self 
To your Self and be Sure to take care of all Foreing Lickures 
for it is only traps for men to get them drunk Stock 
Away theare money and keep them poor Dear son i need not 
Write much to you on this Subject we are fulley convinced 
That you know all about that matter you know that Seven 
care Years is better than fouteen years mispent So Dear Son this
We hope and trust in god that he will bring you Saft To your uncle Samuell Stephens how have been Such a great frend to you and Still we rest Satisfied that he will Still continue to be the Same thearefore my Dear and tender beloved Son we give you up in the hands of your uncle As you are bereaved of a tender father and a beloved Mother That he will act a parants part as near as he can as you Are young in years and i hope you will allways Keep your Your Self in obeigance to him and ask him for your Steering cource in pafsing throw this life for the bread Wich perish Dear Son when you write to father and mother Leave me beg of you to pray to god to in able you to Say That you have a good god for his Spareing merces in bringing your over that great perilous deep and Spareing your Precious life for you without his asistance you could Not love a Single moment thearfore my Dear Son take of that precious Soul of yours that mgod hath given you That must and will live for Ever and for Ever as long as Eternity Shall Last and if lost for Ever lost So Dear child Let the place be as it be as wheare you are So Sinfull as it may be it is no Excuse for you for you know that your God in England is your god in Chili and you know that he Hath Said that whosoever trusteth me Shall never be Confounded Dear Son your father can Speak this to be True for he hath taken away the fear of death and the And the Sting of the grave with a blooming hope that If inever am permitid to See you Dear face nomore
The rest of this letter has been lost, possibly by Thomas Henry Richards himself on his way home from Chile. John Richards, the writer, was born in Boscadjack, Sithney Parish, Cornwall in 1813, but was living in the village of Carnbrea, Illogan Parish near Redruth in 1871. Samuel Henry Stephens was the younger brother of Tom's mother, Martha Stephens Richards.

2nd letter
1871 May [1st] My Dear Son in the midst of overwelling    Troble and Sorrow i have to writ you this painfull And heartrending tale concerning the death of your Dear and tender loveing and affectionate mother how departed This life on the 25 of April. She died about 10 oclock at night She often cryed out oh my dear tom what Shall i do to give you up but on Sunday morning a fortnight before She died She went with me to the clafs meeting a humble true penitant is iEver Saw at the feet of the Saviour and when She came out She She Said to me that all could Speak a word for christ besides She i Said to her to hold on beleiveing on christ and you will Be Saved So we Spent the day together in Singing reading and Praying untill Eveing come and then we went to chapple but She was badly able to Set up and after the Sermon was over Thear was a lovefeast So i went over to her and i asked her wether She was able to Stop and She Said She would try to So She Sat Down untill it was over and when we came out it was raining and I wanted for her to wait a bit but She was not willing She wanted To get in to rest her dear weak Starved bodey So i got her in and She fell to Set down on a chear by the Stove and i went as quick as possable and took the bottle and i put a glafs of wine In her left hand and theare She held it out to her arms End She never tasted it but cryed out lord Save me i Said amen She Said again lord Save me I Said amen the third time Christ have mercey upon me i Said amen told her that Is what i had been wanting to hear this long time by this time All fear and Shame was gone it was a downright flood of Rain i dirrectly took the door and the first one i called upon Was charls crase John amen henery Treloar and Stephen Nicklos and the house full of men and woman this took place About nine oclock in the Evening the all Said that the was never In no Such place before in theare lives The power of the holy Gost came down and full the place wheare we was Sitting
and about midnight She cryed out my lord and my god and and her countenance alltered in a momant and her face did Shine with the glory of god and She burst out into Singing theare Will no Sorrow theare and you nor me never heard another Sing Not what we call Singing before but She Sung then with that Heavenly voice that all of us wheare astonished we all Joined in Singing at the Same time and partes come forth from the door To hark for the was hard to belive that it was She untill the come forth to See for themselves the Said it was a tine that would never Be for gotten no more with all that was theare Dear Son your Dear mother that loved you like the life in her own bodey did Often Say my dear Tom what Shall i do to give you up my Dear She would Say but after She was converted She gave you all Into the hands of God hopeing She Should meet her dear husband and children after this Short life is Ended up to heaven wheare parting Will be no more my dear Son became all as it wheare dead unto her She Shook hands with her dear old happy mother how (Martha EDWARDS STEPHENS) Who was preasant at her departure but no Sorrow She kifsed the The boy billey but no tears the tears was all wiped from her Eyes (16 y/o son William RICHARDS) So my dear Son i know that you dearly loved your mother and I know that your trovle will be very great but i hope god will Help you to bear it up as well as you can as your dear father Can a Sure you of her bright testamoney left behind that She died in peace and gone up Shrouded in a Saviours love Dear Son father do not begrudge her bright crown in heaven But you may needs think that i cannot describe to you the troble That is now crofsing my breast in lamentation of the lost of my dear and tender beloved wife how is for Ever gone from me and i now in my old age and not able to work it have allmost Cost my life for i have been forst to wait and tend upon your Dear mother day and night and the Smell was So bad that I was oblidged to leave down the windows day and night and all Proceeding from this cancer in the Stomack So at last the Pafsage all cloosed up and then She was Soon gone
So now my Dear Son we left in this world of troble and i have no one to take aney part of it from me and if you forsake me you Know wheare i must go to But i do not beleive that you will and i trust that god will Give you health and wealth and long to love and after death I hope that we as parants and children Shall all meet in heaven Wheare parting will be no more your Dear mother is buried To redruth churchtown in the new ground but Mr Renfery left me put her up to top cloose to the old ground in a very remarkable (beautiful view of Carnbrea Mount) Place by the Side of a tombstone wheare lay the remains of and old Woman aged 90 and her daughter Just down Strait against your Your uncle franks grave Dear Son your dear mother was highly respected (probably Francis Stephens) To funeral She was buried on Saturday Eveing at 6 o clock She died April 25 and buried the 29 and a large guntay of people to the funeral and batefull Singing Willian nicklos the clafs leader gave out The hymn and was Sung to the door reJoice for a Sister disceace Our loost is her infinit gain and to the churchtown the Sung again We lift our voice and Shout out Solam Joys and to the grave Side The Sung weep not for me ye Standers by wisdon beset me round Dear Son your dear mother had Every thing done for her that Ever could Be done for her in this world and She Had Every thing to make use of That She could put down docter Hichens bill for useing the Tube is 1’’13 i never had aney new clothes for my Self but a Scarf and gloves
 and them i paid for but i was obliged make advancement on the The bill for a new Suit for you dear brother william for he is
 Grown out of his clothes and be could not go to the funeral So Mr Comens   Bill was L pound 2 Shillings before you left and now it is Six pound 12 and Mr Bears the Shoue maker was before you left was to pounds and that made it To pound 13 Shillings i had 3 pounds of your grandmother (Martha EDWARDS STEPHENS) To Burey your dear mother and one pound your dear mother had before She died and ten pounds your uncle Samuell Said for us to (Samuel Henry STEPHENS) Have and you know that we had four pounds of Lifsey before you (prob. Elizabeth THOMAS RICHARDS) Went a way to buy my best cloths
But we payed down to 50 Shillings but your Dear mother Borrowed 1 13 Shillings of her Since but before you went away But i never Knowed aneything about it until a day before She Died and then She call me to her bedside and told me of it And i Said all right my Dear tom will See it all paid So my you will find that alltogether with threequarters rent 32 pounds my dear Son i know that is a great bill but your dear mother never wanted for nothing that this world could aford And thearefore we could not do no other we paid 2 10 for raw milk best branday and wines of all kinds and Everyother i mention to Try to keep her a life but it could not be done aney longer your Dear Brother billey have been very unwell his last months haven made but one months pay but he is all right again now and Still working for 30 five Shillings a month with the timber man John apie To wheal bafset mine So my Dear Son you Plainly See that your poor Old father is in great distrefs and troble but Still trusting in god With no one with me but the dear little billey and christ in home I belive will bring me very Shortly Saft home your aunt Jane (prob.wife of John STEPHENS) Would have us to come out theare to live in one of her houses and Billey would have her to wash and mend for us and Lifsey Say If we would come to lanner to live She would take a house large for the bouth fameleys So Dear Son i will do whatever you mind for me to do if you would rather for us to Stop hear untill you do Return Send me all the Particklars that you mind for me to Do on the answer of this letter Dear Son paraps you will Say Pleas my Self but i cannot do nothing untill i have the order from you for Every prospect is darkned up now with me that i do know what to do nor wheare to go but dear Son the last cost is gone about your dear mother now unlefs you wish to put a head Stone To her grave and that i Should like to have done if i could for i do believe that i Shall be put down upon her very Soon But we cannot call the ground our own without we put a grave Stone and pay Six Shillings besides to buy the ground and then it is ours for Ever and no one Ells could never be put thear but our own famely
#5. (short page)
Dear Son you Said to let you know about your life insurance I did not insure your life for your dear mother wanted the little money that was left John Thomas Carnbrea was killed yesterday To Tolgas mine naneys husband a left four children So Dear Son i cannot (Ann “Naney” CARPENTER THOMAS) write much more for i cant Send but ahalf ounce weight Lifsey told me She was going to Send you afew lines in my letter but She have not been heare your brother his highley well pleased with his presant as that yet You Sent him but he have not had it as yet we hant heard of the men
#6. (short page)
Your grandmother disirred to be remembered to her dear children and to you all and your aunts do the Same and the are all well So now Dear Son i am coming to conclude you with me will One wanting but She is far better than you or me may god help you your brother and i do Sleep in your chamber and in your bed So now my dear and Tender beloved Son i must conclude and we Still remain your loveing brother and Afectionate father until death farewell my Dear child
John Richards died 20 Aug 1873 and was buried along-side his wife in the Redruth (St.Euny) Churchyard. As per his wishes, a stone was errected by the family. “Billey” Richards joined his brother and uncle in the mines in Chile a and married a Chilean girl. Thomas Henry Richards returned to Carnbrea and married Elizabeth Carpenter. They emigrated to the U.S. and are buried in Sacramento, California. Elizabeth “Lifsey” THOMAS RICHARDS and her children also emigrated to California and the families have stayed in contact. (Elizabeth THOMAS RICHARDS was the widow of John RICHARDS II, oldest son of John RICHARDS.)



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