Letters from the Past
“To George Barlow of Ribston, Wetherby
from Eliza Harvey, London 1819.”
This letter is the kind which makes postal history into social history and has such an appeal because of the contents of the letter, in addition to the postal markings. It is a chatty letter written on heavy cream paper with a clear watermark of BASHTED MILL 1817. It is sealed with black sealing wax but it was opened by breaking the seal, so the partial impression is not identifiable.|
Because it is a FREE letter there is only the circular date stamp in red ink. This is the type of evening duty stamp applied in London with the three lines within a double circle in use from 1812 to 1839. The date is London March thirtyone 1819 and signed free and what looks to be the name Keene. It is addressed to Geo J Barlow Esq, Ribston, Wetherby, which is in Yorkshire. The letter begins referring to an enclosed letter, but there was nothing enclosed now, and as it was a FREE letter it would not have been charged anyway.
I have put an asterisk in the transcription where there will be a note of further information.
49 Charing Cross *
I had never heard of Kennel, and was surprised to know that it is known and the entry on Wikipedia is
Kennel (Cannel) coal or candle coal is a type of bituminous coal, also classified as terrestrial type oil shale. Due to its physical morphology and low mineral content cannel coal is considered to be coal but by its texture and composition of the organic matter it is considered to be oil shale.
It is a corruption of the word Candle, and it is a coal that can be ignited with a match to burn with a bright flame.
Eliza Harvey mentions her member of parliament for Wigan, John Hodson.He held that constituency from 1802 to 1820, when he resigned and his nephew took his place as the member for Wigan. He became a very wealthy man and later retired from business. He died in 1828, so he would have been the manager of her coal mining business for about 10 years. There is a lot of information available about him on the internet.
The Scandal to which the writer refers is another tantalising detail, as there is no further mention of it, and I wonder if Mr Barlow when he received the letter, was just as intrigued as I am about that bit of gossip.
I could find no information about George Barlow of Ribston Wetherby, nor of anyone with the name Keene in relation to this letter. If anyone reading this letter knows anything more, I would be most pleased to hear from you.
Reference :"Herewith my Frank by J.L. Lovegrove"
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