“William Weld to his Godfather,
Lord Clifford, Palazzo Odescalchi Rome 1839,”
This letter is interesting for the postal markings, and also for the background of the writer William Weld, and his family connections. The Palazzo Odescalchi has a website with amazing pictures, and kindly gave me permission to reproduce a couple of the photos. The postal information is really interesting and the postmarks shown on the image above show the route taken to deliver the letter.
It is addressed to The Right Honourable Lord Clifford Palazzo Odescalchi in Rome and received the red paid circular date stamp of London,where it was handed in, and a black LONDON circular datestamp, which would have been applied at the Foreign branch of the General Post. The next stamp is the border post at Port de Beauvoisin in France (VIA DI/Pt BEAUOISIN). The two other postmarks are one from Genoa, this is the faint and poorly applied black circle to the left of the word Palazzo,it is atransit stamp and looks like the stamp which identified foreign correspondence arriving by road from Genoa. If so, the full wording around the circumference should read CORRESPZA ESTERA DA GENOVA, with a Florentine fleur-de-lys in the centre of the stamp, but it is too poorly applied to be identified. Finally the ROMA arrival datestamp looks like 2 August 1839 which is about 55 days, so maybe that is right, because of the sentence in the letter advising the journey time being 55 days.
The 1/7 was the correct rate to go to Italy from London via France from 20 July 1836 and all letters to Italy at this time had to be prepaid.
This is a transcript of the letter, which is written over two pages and is perfectly legible and as clear as the day it was written.
NOTE: “raising the wind” was a phrase which meant fund raising, collecting money for a specific purpose.
So that was the letter, and now the information about the people involved. I have received a lot of information from people internationally, through my internet contacts who do not wish to be acknowledged, but different people gave me different details, about the family, and shipping records.
This information was from the 1865 version of Debrett’s. The Arundells, Cliffords, and Stourtons were all related Roman Catholic families who also held baronies by the same name. The Welds were also a related Roman Catholic family; Lord Clifford’s wife was a Weld and also Lord Stourton’s; and they both were Counts of the Holy Roman Empire (hence “Countess Clifford,” at least amongst her Roman Catholic friends).Charlotte, is listed merely as a daughter “b. 1814,” indicating that she had not married and was still alive at the time.
The writer of the letter, William Weld was born at Bridport, (near Chideock, Chideock being the family home), on July 9th 1814 and entered the Society on June 20th 1833. He did part of his studies at the Seminary and then petitioned to be sent to the Calcutta College. He taught Maths at the College and he died of small pox (through visiting the sick in the hospital) on Wednesday March 27th 1844 at 10.00pm at the age of 30.
I was advised that
Regarding the ships, there were no records in the Lloyds Register for a ship named “India”that year or of any ship of 1200 tons, so perhaps there was a delay in the building of that vessel. This particular contact took a lot of trouble for me to find the information about all the ships registered in 1839 of 1000 tons or more and there were only 4 and none of them was of 1200 tons burden.
However, another contact, this time through a third party was a member of the Society of Jesus, who advised the following details.
William Weld went to London on April 21st 1839 and sailed from Portsmouth on June 21st 1839.So that explains which month he sailed, but not the name of the vessel. It also confirms that he was in London in May that year when he wrote and posted this letter.
Sources : The Port & Carriage of letters 1570-1840 by David Robinson|
The Palazzo Odescalachi website, see details above.
Dr. Marjie Bloy visit The Peel Web
Copyright By EARS Leisurewrite
back to Old Letters
Return To our Home Page