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Wilby Rackham - His Life and Letters
Part Eight




From Edward Rackham to Mary.




Sept 27th./ 68


My Dear Sister


I am indeed very sad at the news that I received from you respecting our Dear Brother. I fear there is something very sad has happened to him it seems so strange that the ship was never spoken of anywhere     tell me in your next when he started. I live in hopes as yet to hear that he is all right. If the ship is lost I cannot think of giving him up for Lost nor shall not for some time yet. There is not much chance of my hearing of him here but what ever you hear of him please let me know whatever it is. I should think would be something heard of him by some means. I will make it known about here and make every inquiry that I can. I was sorry to hear you were so ill and the dear Children with bad Colds. My Dear Sister you must live in hopes as yet of hearing from him as the time is not very long since he started he might have got on board of some foreign ship and Landed some Long way from home so we must not despair yet.   My wife sends her kind Love to you & Mrs. Crosbie hoping to hear you are Better.  So I must conclude with kind Love to you and a kiss for the dear Children


I Remain your Affectionate Brother &

Sister Edward & Miranda






From Miranda Rackham to Mary.



Nov 19th.  [1868]


My Dearest Sister


You cannot think how grieved we both are to think you have not heard anything else respecting your Dear husband.  I fear now the time is so long that you never will but God's will be done not thine although it is hard to bear up against.  Still we must submit to his will and that something may be provided for you and the Dear children's comfort.


My dear Mary our Aunt Ward is come to see us expecting to have seen your dear husband as he sent her word he should come over. She being old it has quite upset her. She desires to be most kindly remembered to you and the children.  Jemima is well she has been buisy moving up Kessingland to live not far from us.  I wonder she has not answered your letter.  My dear husband is quite well sends his kind love and, will write so you get a letter on Tuesday morning. My darling little boy get on so nicely. I think you would think him so like your Dear husband, rather fair very stout and short, but such good child.    I hope my Dear you will not fail to say anything to me as regards your troubles for I can assure you I feel deeply for you, and hope to see you before long.   I want to know if you and the children cannot come and stop with us for a time. The change might do you good.    edward cannot leave home now he has the Post office. He has one week in the year alowed him.  I do hope you will sends us word that you and the Dear children will come, as soon as you like, for we shall be most happy to receive you. I feal sure the change would do good, we are sorry to hear about your sister's face you did not say how it occured      please to remember us to your father Mother and all


with kindest love to yourself and dear children

ever beleive me to remain

your affectionately

M Rackham


kiss little Mary and we hope to see you, soon do little Charley grow tall      we are sorry to here you put to so much trouble and unpleasantness   Good bye with kisses for little Mary





From Miranda Rackham to Mary





My Dearest Mary


I am deeply grieved to read the Contents of your kind letter. Edward has thought so much about you and the Dear children and dissapointed at not seeing you for the present but we must try and think of something else before long.   My Dear Sister I am so much oblidge to you for the likeness we think them first rate it was indeed kind of you to send it. We must think of some little preasent in a week or two.    I am sorry dear Mary you have heard nothing further. What a fearful thing it must be to live in such suspence, but we must pray that God will in some way send something to ease your peace of mind and provide something for the Dear Children. It is indeed sad and hard to bear, but my Dear Mary you may depend upon me and edward never forgetting you and the Dear Children. I feel as much for you as if you were my sister, and God grant that there may be something provided. It never once entered our minds things being as they are makes it all the harder to bear. You must not fret so much although I know you cannot help it for it is indeed a hard trial to bear up against.  Aunt Ward sends her love and she is going home next week. She is 86 years old and has been to Lincolnshire to see her Daughter and very deaf. She is so taken with my little boy, he do get on so nice and say dady quite plain.  My Dear Mary is there any little thing I can do for you in any way. If there is pray do not hesitate. I told Jemima to rite.   Good bye with kisses for M & Ch










From Jemima Bird (nee Rackham) to Mary



Sunday 26th. 1868


My dear Sister


I heard from my brother Edward that you have not heard of your dear Husband for a long time and that there are but very faint hopes of his being alive wich I am heartily greaved about.  I wish dear sister you would if not able to write yourself get your dear mother or brother to write and tell me all particulars it would be a great releave to me as I do feel so unhappy.  I hope dear you are as well in health as may be expected under so heavy a burden also the dear children.  Give my kindest love to your mother and father and if it is the will of God that you really are to be left to mourn the loss of a dear beloved partner I trust the Lord will comfort and suport you under it.  God grant that it may be so is the heartfelt prayer of


Your Beloved Sister

Jemima Bird


P S I will write to you again dear after I hear from you wich I hope will not be many days






From Edward Rackham to Mary.


Dec 23rd.        [1868]

My Dear Mary


I have sent you a hamper to day which I hope you will get all right, and accept with both our kindest love to yourself and Dear children. The sprats were caught off Kessingland. I should so like to of sent you a few sausages but we got no pork as I know you all like sausages. The sweet cakes and jar of preserves is for the little ones with Aunt and Unckles love.  I have got one of my aunts staying with us for a few weeks.  My little boy get on very nicely has got four teeth through and we have got Hannah's little Boy from Lowestoft to spend his Xmas with us  -  sister Hannah that you saw.


Wishing you a happy Christmas and many returns with love to all from


M Rackham

I have no more time


Dear Sister


I hope you will like the sprats. We thought they would be a treat to you out there. Hoping this will meet you all quite well as It leaves us at present with kindest love & Best wishes from

your Affectionate Brother


my Love to Little ones

for little Mary







From Miranda to Mary.



Dec 30  68


My Dear Mary


We got your letter this morning and were please to here that you would soon be with us. Do you know what time the steamer gets into Yarmouth. We think some time in the morning before eight than will you come away the first train from Yarmouth.  Please send me word that I may come to Lowestoft to meet you. I am glad you got the Hamper all right you ought to of got it before. I hope the chickens were quite good. I shall have some sausages for you when you get here.   Send me word what time you think you get here so I may be there to meet you at Lowestoft -  with love to all from all.


I shall not write more as Both Edward and myself will be delighted to meet you and the Dear children. Please remember us most kindly to father Mother and all, we shall keep you here some time when you do come. We are thinking so much about the little ones, we have long hoped to see Mary.   Goodbye Dear Mary,  write and tell me what I say about the train

yours truly

M. Rackham







EPILOGUE.  The daughters of Edward write to the daughter of Wilby.

                      Kate and Ada  [Rackham]  to Mary Jordan  [Caine]




Telegrams: Kessingland

Station: Lowestoft.


Dear Cousin


I expect by now you have both arrived home safely   Phyllis and Joan had a very nice interesting letter from your daughter at Liverpool      She spoke of meeting you there and hearing all about us. I have had a letter from my sister and she has sent the little photograph also the last letter your Father wrote to my Father which I am sure you would like to see. We wish you to keep the Photo the letter also if you care to do so     Am sure you will treasure them. Uncle Wilby must have been a splendid man, one to be admired in more ways than one    We often talk of your short visit and hope we may meet again some day. Kind regards to Mr Caine     Our love to you


Yours Sincerely

                   Cousins Kate & Ada


Mrs James Caine, 8 Eastfield, Douglas, Isle of Man


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