Haynes O'Hara

To W. H. Haynes Esquire, Warwick ,
from William O’Hara, Dublin, 1836.

by

Eunice Shanahan

There are only two postal markings, the diamond date stamp in red ink applied in Dublin, and the manuscript charge mark of 1/2 (that is one shilling and two pence). This would have been made up by the inland postage from Dublin to the port 3d, then the ferry charge to England 2d, plus the inland charge to Warwick 9d, making a total of 14pence = 1 shilling and 2d. The Dublin date stamp has a number 4 at the top, then the day and month in the centre, 29AP29 and then the year 1836 at the bottom. I could find no illustration like this in our reference books, only the comment that there were different types in use over the years, and with either single or double frames.

There is no watermark on the paper and no fancy seal only blob of red wax with what looks like the thimble dots.

This is a letter between two lawyers, and is quite a challenge to decipher the handwriting. There are many abbreviations, which would be obvious like Deft for Defendant, wd for would, etc., but some are more difficult to work out, and where there is a doubt, I have put the suggestion or guess in brackets after the word in question.

The first problem is the names involved, the first name begins with St, and ends with ton, so it could be STINTON, whereas the second name is easily read. The name and address of the sender is written at the end of the letter, rather than the beginning, so the letter goes straight to the business in hand


Stinton (?) v Edgworth

Sir,

After having forwarded a letter by this post to Mr B. Townes Banker of yr town, I find upon looking into an (afft ? affidavit? ) made in this Cause by Mr Espinasse (?) the defts (defendants) former Solr (Solicitor), that you wrote him a letter dated 1st May 1830 stating the circumstances of Mr Townes claim & that I believe had taken the benefit of the Insolvent act & had with his wife gone to America from which she had alone returned.

I beg to refer you to my letter to Mr Townes which states what has recently been done and how this affair now stands. I have only to mention in addition that not having received any communication from Mr Townes since the Service of the order upon him, in case he shall be advised, or prefer not to interfere or cooperate on the present situation, I shall not under the circumstances further prosecute the proceeds (proceedings) for the benefit of whoever may prove intitled, but must endeavour to obtain payment of the Costs due to me, which I think I can expect, by proving under the order in my own name the account of the (taxed?) Costs, as also those between Solr and Client when taxed, under a decree obtained at the Suit of another sister of the Deft (Defendant) Edgworth, which will thus dispense with the necessity of my further prosecuting this cause for recovery of the Costs incurred.

I would however of course prefer any measure which wd realize for yr Client at the same time any just demand but as I am aware how natural it is for a person like Mr Townes to avoid if possible any contact with the Ct. (Court) of Chancery if his object could be equally attained without it, I think it right to explain that it is not necessary in order that I shd (should) obtain payment for myself to proceed with this cause for his possible ultimate benefit

I am Sir, Yr very obt Servt
Wm. O’Hara
19 Upper Merriam Street Dublin 28th April 1836


So, this seems as if another distressed gentleman (either Mr Stinton or Mr Edgworth) had taken advantage of the invitation from the United States to welcome all—comers to their country, but I wonder why his wife returned without him.

References: “British County Catalogue of Postal History Vol 3. London” by R.M. Willcocks & B. Jay
‘ Great Britain Post Roads Post Towns and Postal Rates 1635-1839 Alan W. Robertson ’

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