The Stott family letters, England, 1897-1919
We are collectors of British Postal history, mainly prior to 1840 and the introduction of the Penny Post. We bought these 48 letters,just for interest as it is well outside out area of philatelic collections, and as they are more than 100 years old.
Unfortunately there were no envelopes with them at all, but they are dated from August 23rd 1897 to the final one dated January 10th 1919 with gaps of a few years in between - one is a 10 year gap. So although there is no postal history associated with them, we felt that the social content of life more than 100 years ago, warranted our taking the trouble to transcribe them, and write them up with appropriate information. These letters were written by Sapper J. B. Stott, in his various postings, and his older brother, Alfred Gainsford Stott, from Manchester, London, and finally India, plus one from the youngest brother, Leslie who emigrated to America.The period covers 22 years 1897-1919 and surprisingly during this period there were three reigning monarchs. Queen Victoria, until 1901, King Edward VII from 1901-1911 and finally King George V, from 1911 to the end of this correspondence.
The first one is written from Elphinstone Barracks in Plymouth and we have found information on the internet, showing imagesof the barracks and the situation in Plymouth.
761 Sapper B StottThis second illustration shows the rest of the letter.
We also found information about the other two places where he was stationed : Fort Albert and Fort Victoria on the Isle of Wight.
We have scanned all the letters, and transcribed them,and have tried to find any information about places, incidents and events which are mentioned. We have also managed to find some family history information of the family, and an image of the Buildings in which they lived at one time. We have information and images concerning the reference to the London Watkins Tugs in the first letter, and Brennan’s Torpedo in a later one.
We could not trace the information of J B Stott being promoted from Sapper to Lance Corporal and then 2nd Corporal, but the dates on the letters give details of when they came into effect. They are all written on a good quality, heavy paper and each is folded and the writer has either turned the page sideways to continue the letter, or written on the back. This first example shows only up to the words …”the same as my Photos….”We noted the use of @ for ‘at’ more than 100 yrs ago. It also seems odd that he would call his mother ‘Mater’ - we would have expected ‘Mum’
Although it has proved to be a very interesting addition to our background knowledge of England at that time, these letters do not have any relevance to our postal history collections. However, if by putting this introduction onto our website of old letters it leads to someone who is related to or descended from this Stott family, we would be delighted to hear from you.
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