John Hyde Ayrton

John Hyde Ayrton

b: 4 JAN 1818
d: 1845
Sawent Warree,
India
Letters

[Letter written in copperplate handwriting, black border]
Ealing, December 5th 1829

My dear Mama

The usual joyous character of my Holy day letter, is, unfortunately, this Season clouded by the much lamented death of Doctor Nicholas: you will allow me therefore briefly to state that our vocation commences on the 21st instant when I hope to find all friends well at home. Messrs Nicolas desire me to present their respectful compliments

I am
My dear Mama
Your dutiful son John H. Ayrton
[see more about J H Ayrton at school in the letters 'To Mamma' from his brother Acton Ayrton]


1831 - To Acton
[The following letter was written to Acton by John, postmarked 13 Sept 1831 and addressed to him as A S Ayrton Esq, Manchester Street, Manchester Sq. No house number is given against the name of the street but ‘48’ is written on the same side of the folded sheet- it could mean something else. He was 15 then so perhaps this was his parents’ house at that time]

Ealing Monday Sept 12th 1831

Dear Smee,

There is no vile secretion about the Hatton for I have not seen it, I asked smelly about it but he said he had not seen it. As I was kept in this prison last Thursday I had good fun, we had a very fine illumination after prayers, it was “Reform” done in very large Red letters stuck up at the Hall window with sixteen lights behind it and we all went out into the Hall with coffee pots and all sorts of things and made such a cow I did not go to bed till eleven. Our illumination was the best in the village, I saw the fire works in Hyde Park from No 9 window. I cannot think what is the matter with you all, you seem “all in the dumps.”

The Goods say they saw you on Thursday at the Horse guards, write and tell me if you had any fun on that day. Frank is so sub now for I told the Dames I was (?) of him and of course (?) have told him. We have all got our leave stopped for making a row on Saturday and Frank said today that he would not give us the Holiday that he had promised us till the House was given and when he got the House then he said he would not give a holiday today.
Give my love to all friends,
Believe me to be
Your affectionate Brother,

J H Ayrton

PS (at 90deg): I do not think it proper to tell you about the row because Mr Frank will hear of it and I do not want to get the fellow in to a row. I have no doubt you understand a good deal of Law and have copied Mr (?)ker very much (for I think(?) you heard him a little while (?)) but I wish you would send your (?) to somebody else except (?) [there are holes in the paper which make it impossible to guess at the meaning.]



1835 Arrival in Bombay
Letter written 25 August 1835 yet postmarked India 1836, sent to Mrs J.C. Chaplin, care (?) Norton & Chaplin, Grays Inn, London, England from John Hyde Ayrton, about his voyage and arrival in India.]


Bombay, August 25th, 1835

My dear Matilda

I daresay that you are very much surprised that you have not received a letter from me long before this. I intended to have sent you a letter while on the voyage, and in fact had one almost finished when the vessel by which I wrote to my grandmother came up with us, but I could not get it finished in time to send by her, and after that I had no chance as we fell in with no other ship.

I suppose that you have long since assumed the matronly title of Mrs J. C. C. and are quietly situated in the vicinity of Brum, and John just as quietly goes to Paradise that every morning after breakfast to do business with Tom? and the old gentleman.

Now for a little talk about what I am and have been doing -- of course you saw my letter to Frederick and I daresay had a squint at the Colonel’s which was dated sometime in May I think, and was written just as we were crossing the line, - the ceremony is a most absurd one. Neptune his wife and a nymph are drawn in a very smart car from the foremost part of one side of the deck right around by the Cuddy to the other side to be accompanied by a lot of men dressed most absurdly, who are his attendants -- and there is all his Barker, Doctor and his tame Bear. On passing the Cuddy Door they stop and talk to the captain and the conversation ends in their each having a glass of wine, after which they proceed to business, which they do in this manner: a large sail is filled full of water (so as to make a complete pond) with a bar laid across one end. Neptune and Bear get into this and the men to shave are brought up blind-folded and placed on the bar when (the Dr having given them a dose of his medicine) the Barker commences shaving and daubing them all over with tar, after which they are tumbled backwards into the water and of course clawed by the Bear who keeps them in to be half drowned.

The only place that we touched at was Joanna, an island near Madagascar situated in Lat. 12 - as soon as we had got near the place the natives came off in abundance in their canoes bringing with them fruit eggs etc. which they bartered away for shirts, knives etc.. They most of them speak tolerably good English and some French. They seem a very harmless race of people, are governed by the King and have princes and nobleman to whom they give English titles such as Lord Rodney, Lord Chatham etc. and the men generally call themselves by some English name. It is a most bountiful country, the most (?) -- apples and oranges grow wild on the hills, but I should not think it healthy as it is most intensely hot; - we stayed here a day and a half, took on some Bullocks, and a great deal of fruit and left on a Sunday (I think) - and arrived at Bombay just that day fortnight, where I have now been nearly five weeks: for the first fortnight I was staying with Mr. Henderson, one of Rimington's partners, he has a large house that looks on the esplanade and commands a full view of the sea where I enjoyed myself very much.

Mr H. is at his office all day and the only one at home but however when I began to do duty I was obliged to leave, as it would have been very inconvenient as you do not hear what is going on in the military world, so I left that and am now living in barracks. I am living with a Doctor of the name of Stewart. We have our own Sitting-Room, two Bedrooms, Bathing room, a cooking house and stabling for which the Company charges 25 rupees (£2.10) per month, the Sitting-Room is about 25 feet long by 20 broad. My Establishment consists of 1 head servant at 12 rupees per month, and one under at 4 rupees, one groom at 7 rupees, one watchman at (?) rupees, one waterman at three Rs and a horse costs about 20 rupees per month altogether, and then the mess costs 50 rupees a month.

I suppose that John will hear long before you received this that I have been posted to the 2nd Grenadier Regiment which Captain Rollings, rather a lucky thing, it is now at Scholapoor, but I shall not join till the beginning of September if possible, and in that case I shall most likely be here when Frederick arrives as I hear that he has taken his passage in the Malaba -- which will come here in November.

Is Louisa Chaplin married yet? Tell Ann Chaplin that I have not forgotten that wedding cake she promised to send when the nuptials took place; really Camden Town will be quite deserted - and how is Sarah and how is Mr Mottram? Does little Edward still call him uncom Don? Is he really 40(?) yet? If Sarah sees this letter she will rent it into ten thousand pieces and say: “No, how foolish!” To the no small amusement of Ann.

Since writing the above I have seen your nuptials in the Newspaper, so that I shall be able to write to Mrs J. C. C.. Mind and write me a long description of the wedding and whether it went off with a éclat and in a certain style. Do you occupy the house in Reservoir Lane? I have been writing a little of this every day. I was on guard for the last fortnight and have at last almost come to a conclusion

[over the page] which I am not long for as frequently when it has been lying on the table the wind has caught it and I have had to run in all directions to recover the victim. You must show this Edward and Acton and all the J. C.s and John and you must go halves in claiming the contents. I hope that Mrs Edward Chaplin is quite well, remember me to her and also give my love to Edward and Acton and your John and all the rest of Relations and friends not forgetting Mrs Bowerbank. I intend to write to John soon if possible - I will send you over a box of things or I think that you ought to write and say what you would like as it is then sure to meet with your approbation, Adieu

Believe me
Your affectionate brother
J. H. Ayrton

You can either address to me 2nd Regt., or to the care of Remington Esq(?)


1836 - To Acton
[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton Esquire, no address given. Lines crossing at 90 deg.]

Vingorla, Jan 24th, 1836

My dear Acton

I received yours of Dec(?) in Bedford Place early this month (?) to give you a (?), so you are still with old R(?) his (?) but by this time you must have discontinued being an apprenticed leather-seller and have set out on your own account or become the whisker’s right-hand man and commenced making love to (?) if they still continue to inhabit the unknown world. Let me see you with (?)by next August a fine young man for your age.

There is a caste of men in this country called Banyans which somewhat corresponds to your kind because they are such (?) big rogues – no offence - who as the unhappy victim on whose account you went to Ireland. I suppose Matilda has by this time added to the family list - I received a letter from her dated 30th January but there are no hints at such an event however long ere this (as the (?) say) she must have been made happy by the birth of a fine Babe. I have been writing the Colonel and my grandmother such long long letters that I scarcely know what to say to you as you will of course have secured perusal of theirs. I heard of your being seen at the Xmas(?) quite an exquisite one from Sunday(?) when the shop(?) was shut. It was rather unlucky that Sir Percy was out when you visited him as you might have (?) him with an account of G(?) and perhaps have got something out of him with a little perseverance.

The theatre in Bombay has been sold, the Govt. (?) they kindly undertook to pay the debts if the place was given up to them and when they got it it was immediately sold for P4000 Rs which as the debts only amounted to 32000 they have (?) the rest of the money - there have been lots of meetings in Bombay to ask them what they intend doing with the (?) and suggest (?) plans for expending it but nothing has yet been done -- nothing I dare say will be done with it, possession (you know) is nine points etc.

It was certainly rather a good joke - old Huxley Rolling thought that Ealing had long since been abolished from the face of the earth. I really wonder how they can manage to gain a subsistence as it must at all events be at a very low ebb now. I have fallen with a good many old Ealing fellows, - (?)ster who you must remember very well belongs to the 11th Regiment. My G.F. seems to be rather disgusted at my exchange into the 10th, however I think it is the best piece of business of that I have done for a long time as I not only got the com(?) but also have better chance of promotion and there is not the slightest difference as between [back to first page] a Grenadier Regiment and any other. The reason that I was posted to it was that the vacancy was the third on the list and as I was the third senior candidate of course I filled it, they could not have posted anybody else to it nor if it had not have been the third vacancy could they have posted me to it. I also have the advantage in being at a better station as Belg(?) is the best climate our side of India whereas (?)pore is a horrid place.

With regard to the sandalwood smelling curiosities you must wait till I again visit Bombay as they are not to be picked up in this part of the world. I always go and have a splendid bathe in the sea every morning, I have a man waiting with a glass of fresh toddy when I come out which I have no doubt you would not object to. I see by today's General orders that the Court have made great alterations in the Retiring Regulations. It used to be that an officer could retire on his full pay after having been in the service 25 years, but now it is that after having served 23 years (three for furlough included) an officer can retire on the full pay of a Captain whether he has attained that rank or not, as a Major after serving 28 years, as a Lieutenant Colonel after 33 years and as a Colonel after 38 years service, a furlough of (?) years included in all the above periods. I do not think that this will do much good except facilitate purchasing.

George Leckie who has lately arrived is attached to his brother’s Regiment (22nd) for the present. I shall therefore see him at Belg(?) as the 22nd is stationed there. John Leckie is rather a nice fellow -- he holds the adjutancy, he bought it from the (?) one for 2,000 Rupees which was not a bad bargain as he can hold it till he is a Captain which will perhaps be 10 or 17 years. I think that I have now told you all the news I can muster and conclude..

Yours affecty
J. H. Ayrton

PS: I understand that Fred has given you lots of commissions. I have ordered (?) to send me some books -- a list of which I sent him. Any time you are passing that way I wish that you would enquire if the (?) are sent off right.



1839 From a friend in India
[Letter addressed to J Ayrton Esq, 10th reg N I(?), Bombay]

September 29, 1839


My dear Ayrton

I think the morning I left you, sleeping as you were, there being no parade, it was to very little purpose my asking any favours, therefore I forgot a thing which makes me far from attentive in return for those who were so ready to be kind to me. I mean the bed Captain Morton was good enough to lend me and send me in much haste. I (?) never sent it back nor did I even think of telling any one (?) to have it sent back the same morning I left.

You never saw such a buggy as they got me. I went at the rate of three miles an hour, however I reached Tanma safely and to their astonishment (?) did not get a drop of rain the whole journey. As for my room I cannot describe the state it was in, but I attribute it all on account of Vincent’s having been in it. It was as usual when I did get here. Capt Browne had been asking for me every day and even twice a day latterly and I dare say rather expressed his astonishment but when I went to show myself he became after a little chatting as gracious as ever - perhaps might allow another week but I will not come to Bombay again for some time.

The pump today is at work, work with (?) and its power is awful. I describe it to you because most likely you will be kind enough to report it to the doctor. I do not think I shall be able to eat that stuff for breakfast but as it does for going the wrong way it will not be wasted. I have not seen Boyd yet, but when I do it is most likely he will be alarmed lest I should hurt myself with that barbarous instrument and will give me a helping hand.

Enough of the machine, I hope you will not forget that Hindoostanu Book your (?) is sending(?) for me for I find it would be a very great help to me here. Many thanks to your brother for the lone of it and sorry (?) I could not return it in person. I brought some of your books away with me for I let a (?) pass me that I should be there again another time before I join and read them there. Jackson writes therefore he sends his note by some fellow and this goes with it. I send you your book. Mar(?) and English dialogues with many other books which I beg you will read up to (?) wich I trust is recovering fast, I am going to write Captain Morton. I left a green silk (?) a favourite of mine in short a gift – keep it for me will you. I daresay it will not be long before I ask leave for another trip but not before I have my drills. Salaam to All

Yours very truly,

(?)



1842 - 1845 - To Acton
[Letter from John Hyde Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Court House, Bombay. Paid 2 annas. Sent from Aden. Date might be 2 April, no year given, but from the next letter, might be 1842]

My dear Acton

I received the Books all right but very wet from (?). The Cloth in the box was nearly all spoilt from the same cause. I enclose two notes from Hobson to me from one of which you will see that you have to pay into the Bombay Pay Office Rs 172.6 on account of Fred and from the other that you can claim some sum due to Frederick as a remittance.

The monotony of this place [Aden] has been slightly relieved by an expedition into the interior - we marched out on the night of the 5th about 600 strong with our Gun and after a march of seven hours arrived at five the next morning before a large fortified house which the (?) had built for the purpose of collecting a tax on all supplies brought into Aden. We immediately took up a position around the place, but after a few minutes discovered that its inmates had been prudent enough to abscond and consequently nothing remained but to blow up the place and burn the surrounding villages.

This being accomplished we set out on our return but had not proceeded above a mile when lots of Arabs were seen hovering about our Flanks and more on Sands, they opened a remarkably brisk fire and skirmishers were sent out to oppose them. This work continued until we arrived at Shaik othmaw(?) which is you know about eight miles from Aden, when a few men were sent to ascertain what might be the intentions of the inhabitants. They did not offer any resistance and a polite message was forwarded to the Priest of the Musjeed requesting the pleasure of his company on our march back to Aden and informing that it had already been determined to blow up his house but if he offered the slightest objection the Musjeed would have the same fate.

The Gent thus circumstanced, thought proper to comply but before we quitted the place he was unutterably disgusted on looking up when he heard a great explosion to see that his house had vanished into the air. This man is famous for harbouring people who assemble at Shaik othmaw(?) for the purpose of making attacks on our Wale(?). Among our party there were about five wounds including Bailey of the Artillery who was struck by a (?) on the head. In answer to my note about Mocha I was told that it was not at present intended to keep up any relations with that place, however I wish that you would be on the lookout as I hear the Endymion(?) returns there when doubtless something will be done.

Have you heard from Frederick? I hear that he is wandering about the desert like a Bedouin. The Horse is cheap at 400 rupees. If still in your stable send him to Evans of the (?) at Poona with my Compliments and he will keep him. I will send the books by the first opportunity

Yours (?)
J. H. Ayrton



[Letter from Aden from J H Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Govt (or Fort?), Bombay, and postmarked Aden 2 May 1842, paid 2 As]

30th April

My dear Acton

Enclosed I give you a draft on Edward for £250 which I hope you will be able to cash, as I am anxious to lend this money to Browne of (?) who appears to me to be in difficulty about a sum which he has to pay down for Hallums Step(?). Draw up a penalty bond if you please (charge to Browne) for the Rs 2,500 to run four years, when doubled if not discharged, interest (?) per cent, first payment of interest twelve months after receipt of money, remainder half-yearly. No security life insurance or anything of that sort.

I do not want my name to be mentioned in the affair as Browne might not like to take the coin from me so please make the money payable to yourself, in fact if you wish it, it would be preferable for you to lend the coin, not a bad investment. I have written to Browne that if he is still in want of the money and does not hear from you within five days after receiving my letter he can write to you to ask to have the money paid. If you lend the money yourself you had better send the bond to the (?) sharp for his signature, but if you pay it on my account it is of no consequence and you can send the bond to him after paying them. But on the other hand should you be unable to obtain or pay the money you had better write to Browne at once and tell him so. I hope however you will be able to manage it as we have given Hallum a draft upon him and should not like to see it come back dishonoured. Besides he is a very correct sort of man.

I have heard nothing from Edward or Frederick but they are still at Cairo, how truly absurd. They appear never to have written to England and Dardis has I hear written to the Consul to ask him if two gents answering their description have been lately murdered in Egypt. What a splendid (?). I suspect they will commence to wear mourning in England.

I am glad you have found my horse useful and thank you for having attached your signature to such a (?) - you are I presume aware of the law about expenses in such a case. I should think you had better send him up to Evans at Poonah of you do not require him. Have you sold my Lathe to Smee?

You have never sent me the (?) for whose expenses I remitted to you 50Rs. Pray do so. I forget how (?) account stands in my favour (?)

Yours ever
J. H. Ayrton


[Letter from Aden from J H Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Bombay, date in lieu postmark handwritten 4 May, year could be 1842]

My dear Acton

At last the parcels have arrived and I send on yours by this opportunity. I also send the Nugent papers -- what do you think that, should we abandon the suit or go on? My grand Father's foolish letter is unfortunate but I do not think of much consequence because he thought of abandoning the suit it is no reason we should do so.

I thought you had sent my horse to Poona long since - will you please make Cursitjee(?) if a Buggalow(?) will sail for Aden this season and if so make him ship the horse, if there is no Buggalow(?) coming then send it to Lieut. Evans (?) with a note that is my property. Had you sent the horse to Poona when I asked you I should have sold it for 500 rupees by this time. Have you sold the Lathe?

Fancy allowing the man who set fire to the ship to escape -- shocking -- shocking -- there is no doubt he did the deed, neither do you appear to have located yourself in the upper rooms right wing Supreme Court. Wretched. If MacKinnon is the Editor of the New Paper please send over my name as a subscriber, I'll send the tin for 24(?) months by this month remittance.

Yours ever
J. H. Ayrton
Don't forget about the horse as I am in want of one.
(?) on board the steamer to Vincent for the Parcel


[Letter without postmark date or address from John H Ayrton to Acton at Count House, Bombay]

My dear Acton

As I have received no letters I write this as a reminder in case you may have forgotten to forward them. I have for some time since been thinking that I might make a more profitable trip than to China by volunteering to Gov’t to go to Abyssinia, they have I know been anxious to have an officer there but not directly in Government Pay and as I should of course state that I required no renumeration for my trouble think that there would not be any great difficulty in the matter. I wish that you would consider this matter and let me know what is your opinion and if you consider the plan good what you imagine will be the best way to insinuate it. You must remember that this was the way in which Burnet, Pottinger etc brought themselves into notice and is consequently worthy of some consideration, for whatever advantage I might gain for myself by a trip to China I could not possibly turn it to any professional account. Harris of the Engineers who proceeds to Aden by the next steamer has some idea of ultimately going to Abassynia or (?) and I have even heard that he had Government permission so to do, he on a former occasion (when an order or suggestion came out from home to send an officer) made an application but also wanted some allowance and was consequently refused.

Weigh all this well and please let me have an answer soon for it is necessary to write before the Governor goes to the (?). You must also consider that in case of a war a man might be eminently useful in (?)thern Abyssinia or (?) and it is only be these sudden chances that a man can expect to push up the ladder: the main stay of my application would of course be understanding Arabic.

I have heard of a certain exposé d’amour in Bombay - who are the parties? Did you hear of Lord Elphinstone having been caught (?) in re with a Mrs Case, wife of a subaltern in the Madras Army? I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the Intelligence and merely give it as an ‘on dit’. I paid a long visit this morning to the Carnac party they say the Governor gave the beginning of next and intends returning to England in the early part of next year. Have you seen Browne or his wife, they are in Bombay.

Yours ever,

J H Ayrton
Saturday

If possible send an answer by return post as it takes two days coming and will consequently be six days before I could get a letter to the Governor (?).

[To Acton at Malgason, Bombay from John H Ayrton at Mahallish, B(?), undated]

My dear Acton,

I received yours yesterday and write again so soon to inform you of the altered course of things regarding Abassynia and of which I suppose you are not aware. Harris now goes up as an approved agent on a salary of 1500 Rupees a month Graham commanding the Bheil(?) corps also goes with a certain salary as also Dr Kirk: now out of all this do you not think that I might do something, it however must be now or never for if the opportunity passes there is no chance of again moving the matter the grand object is to be the first in every field. I wish you would see what can be done. I cannot write myself as Sir James might hand on my note to Anderson and (?) I know nothing and it would consequently be worse than useless. I have now fortunately by some chance quite recovered and intend returning to Aden if nothing can be done in the present move, by the May steamer.

I think that I must have (?) an absess: one morning I was taken very sick and brought up a whole lot of white stuff since which I have been perfectly well. Pray make some shi(?) for me as you are on the spot and can see everything which is passing – there can be no difficulty you might ask Browne if Carnac is still in the coach and I hear that he has deferred his departure. Mention to them that I can speak Arabic and do not inquire (?) to a salary and there can be not difficulty

Yours in haste,

J H Ayrton
Friday



[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton]

Camp Arounda,
Teracol River
16 February 45

My dear Acton,

What is the news - I have not heard from you for an age? Anything of the Camp case I wrote for?

The following is an extract from a letter I received this morning being from Mr Willoughby to Mr Courtney of Warree:

“Para 2: in reply I am desired to inform you that Lieutenant Ayrton appears to have acted with great judgement and decision and is entitled to the approbation of the Government.”

This rather correct considering Mr Elphinstone thought proper to report that he entirely disapproved of my proceedings.

I hope to get at the Bundwallas again in a day or two, having come here yesterday for the very purpose on my own responsibility, which is I find the only way to act. I see MacKenna has some hint of my having seized the valuables - might you not improve upon this by inserting " (?) understand the position in the J M County in which we stated in our paper of -- a sum of money has been found was captured by the HQ of the 10th Regiment under Lieutenant Ayrton."

Yours ever

J. H. Ayrton


[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton]

Camp Arounda, 21 February 45

My dear Acton

I write this line to ask you to direct my English letters if there are any to Vingorla, which is the nearest Post and to which I run a daily (?).

No news of (?) Sawent or his Sons. I have opened a splendid communication with the Goa authorities and am astonished Outram cannot (?) with them, I suspect Outram has been altogether over-rated and is not the man he is supposed, at any rate he has done nothing here to which the most ordinary man would not have accomplished as well or better.

I have such lots of work on hand that I cannot add more. The whole of the country around this is under my immediate control and protection, which entails an immense quantity of writing. I hope Jackson will not come here as the natives would immediately think I had been superseded in my command for some improper acts.

If you send the Camp case direct it to the care of Lieut Moyle 21 Regt, Vingorla. I see Thomson has some but they appear too dear. I have had approvals all round Government, the Chief, the General (?) a great thing (?) Mr Courtney in fact people appear to think we have choice about the best of any to (?) though it does not make (?) [rest of letter difficult to read and sense not clear]


[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton

Sawent Warree, 4 March 45

My dear Acton,

Will you kindly send on this to McKenna. That snob Mr Roassac I imagine wrote the article to annoy me, in which he has failed to the last degree. I am here to prosecute the Rebels I caught four of whom are to be hanged this Evening.
No news. (?) Sawent (?) out.

Yours E,

J H Ayrton



From 'The Chaplin and Skinner Families' page 26:

John Hyde Ayrton died unmarried, at the early age of 27, at Sawent Warree, India; he was then a lieutenant in the sevice of the East India company.
From the memoir of Mrs. Matilda Adriana Chaplin. 1899:

"My next happy memory is being taken into my mother's room to see "the baby" brother, John; I was just four and a half. After a while I remember feeling very proud of having baby on my lap, I sitting on the floor alone in the room, while the nurse helped mother down stairs."

"This last baby was rather delicate and demanded much care. Soon after my father left a servant was taken ill with small-pox; we had all been vaccinated so there was no fear of infection. I was sent up to her one day with a cup of tea. Expecting to see her as usual. I was so horrified at her hideous bloated face, that I put down the tea on the floor, and ran shrieking downstairs, frightening my mother, who told me afterwards she thought the poor girl was dead. To this day I can see her face, and remember my sensation. One day we were all hastily moved out of the house into some very small lodgings at a shoemaker's. They said that typhus fever had come on, which was infectious. A person was hired to nurse the girl: and she was to have plenty of port wine. All this was a trying expense, when economy was so necessary. She and nurse emptied the cellar. We children enjoyed the little lodging and the shop, and watching the making and mending of shoes. I don't think we had a sitting-room; my mother was always with the baby. We had no nursery after my father left us."

"My two brothers went to a day school, kept by Mr. Ray, a gentlemanly man. Edward was under five years. The master took pains with them, and they were going on well when they got ringworm. Of course we all had it. To add to my mother's trouble, it was discovered that the nurse, who was good to us, and whom we liked, as she took us in the Regent's Park, then beginning to be built, and let us get and bring home clay, with which we amused ourselves trying to make things on our own little table, drank; and one day she brought baby in, as his mother thought, very ill, having fainted dead away. The doctor said he was dead drunk. It was then surmised that he had had many a sip of gin, which accounted for his puny appearance.

"Now my brother Frederick went to school at Dr. Nicholas's at Ealing, close to the parish church. Before my father went to India he visited all the well-known schools around London, to select one for his boys. He thought Nicholas's was the most liberally conducted, and the plan of teaching thorough, and the 300 or 400 boys independent and well-mannered. At eight years old they each went to school there except John, who was too delicate to go till ten. My father, with Lord (then Mr.) Brougham and some other gentlemen, gave the first idea of proprietary schools, whence sprung University (1826) and King's Colleges (1829); schools simply at first, colleges were formed there when the University of London was founded."

"In these days children were generally kept in the background, and often heard their elders say "they should be seen and not heard." My grandmother Ayrton and our cousin, the orphan child of her only daughter, Matilda, married to a Mr. Cater, who held a good legal office but left no provision for his three children, came, I think, to live with us. We rebelled against her wish to make us quiet and we could not help laughing when she exclaimed, "Julia! those children will tear your eyes out when they're older" Victoire, our cousin, stammered, and Johnny began to stammer. This determined my mother to put an end to this arrangement, but I suppose she bore with it till she heard from my father. Johnny stammered till he was ten years old, when an elocution master quite cured him of the failing."

There is an old castle on one side of Dieppe used as a barrack. There were then no houses opposite the sea, but a nice expanse of grass and a small casino with promenade attached to it. Mv mother took us to Rouen for three days in the diligence. It started towerds evening. We children were all put into the corner, the seat was wide, Johnny being small and thin, was to sleep behind us."
Biography
Sawent Warree,
India Letters

[Letter written in copperplate handwriting, black border]
Ealing, December 5th 1829

My dear Mama

The usual joyous character of my Holy day letter, is, unfortunately, this Season clouded by the much lamented death of Doctor Nicholas: you will allow me therefore briefly to state that our vocation commences on the 21st instant when I hope to find all friends well at home. Messrs Nicolas desire me to present their respectful compliments

I am
My dear Mama
Your dutiful son John H. Ayrton
[see more about J H Ayrton at school in the letters 'To Mamma' from his brother Acton Ayrton]


1831 - To Acton
[The following letter was written to Acton by John, postmarked 13 Sept 1831 and addressed to him as A S Ayrton Esq, Manchester Street, Manchester Sq. No house number is given against the name of the street but ‘48’ is written on the same side of the folded sheet- it could mean something else. He was 15 then so perhaps this was his parents’ house at that time]

Ealing Monday Sept 12th 1831

Dear Smee,

There is no vile secretion about the Hatton for I have not seen it, I asked smelly about it but he said he had not seen it. As I was kept in this prison last Thursday I had good fun, we had a very fine illumination after prayers, it was “Reform” done in very large Red letters stuck up at the Hall window with sixteen lights behind it and we all went out into the Hall with coffee pots and all sorts of things and made such a cow I did not go to bed till eleven. Our illumination was the best in the village, I saw the fire works in Hyde Park from No 9 window. I cannot think what is the matter with you all, you seem “all in the dumps.”

The Goods say they saw you on Thursday at the Horse guards, write and tell me if you had any fun on that day. Frank is so sub now for I told the Dames I was (?) of him and of course (?) have told him. We have all got our leave stopped for making a row on Saturday and Frank said today that he would not give us the Holiday that he had promised us till the House was given and when he got the House then he said he would not give a holiday today.
Give my love to all friends,
Believe me to be
Your affectionate Brother,

J H Ayrton

PS (at 90deg): I do not think it proper to tell you about the row because Mr Frank will hear of it and I do not want to get the fellow in to a row. I have no doubt you understand a good deal of Law and have copied Mr (?)ker very much (for I think(?) you heard him a little while (?)) but I wish you would send your (?) to somebody else except (?) [there are holes in the paper which make it impossible to guess at the meaning.]



1835 Arrival in Bombay
Letter written 25 August 1835 yet postmarked India 1836, sent to Mrs J.C. Chaplin, care (?) Norton & Chaplin, Grays Inn, London, England from John Hyde Ayrton, about his voyage and arrival in India.]


Bombay, August 25th, 1835

My dear Matilda

I daresay that you are very much surprised that you have not received a letter from me long before this. I intended to have sent you a letter while on the voyage, and in fact had one almost finished when the vessel by which I wrote to my grandmother came up with us, but I could not get it finished in time to send by her, and after that I had no chance as we fell in with no other ship.

I suppose that you have long since assumed the matronly title of Mrs J. C. C. and are quietly situated in the vicinity of Brum, and John just as quietly goes to Paradise that every morning after breakfast to do business with Tom? and the old gentleman.

Now for a little talk about what I am and have been doing -- of course you saw my letter to Frederick and I daresay had a squint at the Colonel’s which was dated sometime in May I think, and was written just as we were crossing the line, - the ceremony is a most absurd one. Neptune his wife and a nymph are drawn in a very smart car from the foremost part of one side of the deck right around by the Cuddy to the other side to be accompanied by a lot of men dressed most absurdly, who are his attendants -- and there is all his Barker, Doctor and his tame Bear. On passing the Cuddy Door they stop and talk to the captain and the conversation ends in their each having a glass of wine, after which they proceed to business, which they do in this manner: a large sail is filled full of water (so as to make a complete pond) with a bar laid across one end. Neptune and Bear get into this and the men to shave are brought up blind-folded and placed on the bar when (the Dr having given them a dose of his medicine) the Barker commences shaving and daubing them all over with tar, after which they are tumbled backwards into the water and of course clawed by the Bear who keeps them in to be half drowned.

The only place that we touched at was Joanna, an island near Madagascar situated in Lat. 12 - as soon as we had got near the place the natives came off in abundance in their canoes bringing with them fruit eggs etc. which they bartered away for shirts, knives etc.. They most of them speak tolerably good English and some French. They seem a very harmless race of people, are governed by the King and have princes and nobleman to whom they give English titles such as Lord Rodney, Lord Chatham etc. and the men generally call themselves by some English name. It is a most bountiful country, the most (?) -- apples and oranges grow wild on the hills, but I should not think it healthy as it is most intensely hot; - we stayed here a day and a half, took on some Bullocks, and a great deal of fruit and left on a Sunday (I think) - and arrived at Bombay just that day fortnight, where I have now been nearly five weeks: for the first fortnight I was staying with Mr. Henderson, one of Rimington's partners, he has a large house that looks on the esplanade and commands a full view of the sea where I enjoyed myself very much.

Mr H. is at his office all day and the only one at home but however when I began to do duty I was obliged to leave, as it would have been very inconvenient as you do not hear what is going on in the military world, so I left that and am now living in barracks. I am living with a Doctor of the name of Stewart. We have our own Sitting-Room, two Bedrooms, Bathing room, a cooking house and stabling for which the Company charges 25 rupees (£2.10) per month, the Sitting-Room is about 25 feet long by 20 broad. My Establishment consists of 1 head servant at 12 rupees per month, and one under at 4 rupees, one groom at 7 rupees, one watchman at (?) rupees, one waterman at three Rs and a horse costs about 20 rupees per month altogether, and then the mess costs 50 rupees a month.

I suppose that John will hear long before you received this that I have been posted to the 2nd Grenadier Regiment which Captain Rollings, rather a lucky thing, it is now at Scholapoor, but I shall not join till the beginning of September if possible, and in that case I shall most likely be here when Frederick arrives as I hear that he has taken his passage in the Malaba -- which will come here in November.

Is Louisa Chaplin married yet? Tell Ann Chaplin that I have not forgotten that wedding cake she promised to send when the nuptials took place; really Camden Town will be quite deserted - and how is Sarah and how is Mr Mottram? Does little Edward still call him uncom Don? Is he really 40(?) yet? If Sarah sees this letter she will rent it into ten thousand pieces and say: “No, how foolish!” To the no small amusement of Ann.

Since writing the above I have seen your nuptials in the Newspaper, so that I shall be able to write to Mrs J. C. C.. Mind and write me a long description of the wedding and whether it went off with a éclat and in a certain style. Do you occupy the house in Reservoir Lane? I have been writing a little of this every day. I was on guard for the last fortnight and have at last almost come to a conclusion

[over the page] which I am not long for as frequently when it has been lying on the table the wind has caught it and I have had to run in all directions to recover the victim. You must show this Edward and Acton and all the J. C.s and John and you must go halves in claiming the contents. I hope that Mrs Edward Chaplin is quite well, remember me to her and also give my love to Edward and Acton and your John and all the rest of Relations and friends not forgetting Mrs Bowerbank. I intend to write to John soon if possible - I will send you over a box of things or I think that you ought to write and say what you would like as it is then sure to meet with your approbation, Adieu

Believe me
Your affectionate brother
J. H. Ayrton

You can either address to me 2nd Regt., or to the care of Remington Esq(?)


1836 - To Acton
[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton Esquire, no address given. Lines crossing at 90 deg.]

Vingorla, Jan 24th, 1836

My dear Acton

I received yours of Dec(?) in Bedford Place early this month (?) to give you a (?), so you are still with old R(?) his (?) but by this time you must have discontinued being an apprenticed leather-seller and have set out on your own account or become the whisker’s right-hand man and commenced making love to (?) if they still continue to inhabit the unknown world. Let me see you with (?)by next August a fine young man for your age.

There is a caste of men in this country called Banyans which somewhat corresponds to your kind because they are such (?) big rogues – no offence - who as the unhappy victim on whose account you went to Ireland. I suppose Matilda has by this time added to the family list - I received a letter from her dated 30th January but there are no hints at such an event however long ere this (as the (?) say) she must have been made happy by the birth of a fine Babe. I have been writing the Colonel and my grandmother such long long letters that I scarcely know what to say to you as you will of course have secured perusal of theirs. I heard of your being seen at the Xmas(?) quite an exquisite one from Sunday(?) when the shop(?) was shut. It was rather unlucky that Sir Percy was out when you visited him as you might have (?) him with an account of G(?) and perhaps have got something out of him with a little perseverance.

The theatre in Bombay has been sold, the Govt. (?) they kindly undertook to pay the debts if the place was given up to them and when they got it it was immediately sold for P4000 Rs which as the debts only amounted to 32000 they have (?) the rest of the money - there have been lots of meetings in Bombay to ask them what they intend doing with the (?) and suggest (?) plans for expending it but nothing has yet been done -- nothing I dare say will be done with it, possession (you know) is nine points etc.

It was certainly rather a good joke - old Huxley Rolling thought that Ealing had long since been abolished from the face of the earth. I really wonder how they can manage to gain a subsistence as it must at all events be at a very low ebb now. I have fallen with a good many old Ealing fellows, - (?)ster who you must remember very well belongs to the 11th Regiment. My G.F. seems to be rather disgusted at my exchange into the 10th, however I think it is the best piece of business of that I have done for a long time as I not only got the com(?) but also have better chance of promotion and there is not the slightest difference as between [back to first page] a Grenadier Regiment and any other. The reason that I was posted to it was that the vacancy was the third on the list and as I was the third senior candidate of course I filled it, they could not have posted anybody else to it nor if it had not have been the third vacancy could they have posted me to it. I also have the advantage in being at a better station as Belg(?) is the best climate our side of India whereas (?)pore is a horrid place.

With regard to the sandalwood smelling curiosities you must wait till I again visit Bombay as they are not to be picked up in this part of the world. I always go and have a splendid bathe in the sea every morning, I have a man waiting with a glass of fresh toddy when I come out which I have no doubt you would not object to. I see by today's General orders that the Court have made great alterations in the Retiring Regulations. It used to be that an officer could retire on his full pay after having been in the service 25 years, but now it is that after having served 23 years (three for furlough included) an officer can retire on the full pay of a Captain whether he has attained that rank or not, as a Major after serving 28 years, as a Lieutenant Colonel after 33 years and as a Colonel after 38 years service, a furlough of (?) years included in all the above periods. I do not think that this will do much good except facilitate purchasing.

George Leckie who has lately arrived is attached to his brother’s Regiment (22nd) for the present. I shall therefore see him at Belg(?) as the 22nd is stationed there. John Leckie is rather a nice fellow -- he holds the adjutancy, he bought it from the (?) one for 2,000 Rupees which was not a bad bargain as he can hold it till he is a Captain which will perhaps be 10 or 17 years. I think that I have now told you all the news I can muster and conclude..

Yours affecty
J. H. Ayrton

PS: I understand that Fred has given you lots of commissions. I have ordered (?) to send me some books -- a list of which I sent him. Any time you are passing that way I wish that you would enquire if the (?) are sent off right.



1839 From a friend in India
[Letter addressed to J Ayrton Esq, 10th reg N I(?), Bombay]

September 29, 1839


My dear Ayrton

I think the morning I left you, sleeping as you were, there being no parade, it was to very little purpose my asking any favours, therefore I forgot a thing which makes me far from attentive in return for those who were so ready to be kind to me. I mean the bed Captain Morton was good enough to lend me and send me in much haste. I (?) never sent it back nor did I even think of telling any one (?) to have it sent back the same morning I left.

You never saw such a buggy as they got me. I went at the rate of three miles an hour, however I reached Tanma safely and to their astonishment (?) did not get a drop of rain the whole journey. As for my room I cannot describe the state it was in, but I attribute it all on account of Vincent’s having been in it. It was as usual when I did get here. Capt Browne had been asking for me every day and even twice a day latterly and I dare say rather expressed his astonishment but when I went to show myself he became after a little chatting as gracious as ever - perhaps might allow another week but I will not come to Bombay again for some time.

The pump today is at work, work with (?) and its power is awful. I describe it to you because most likely you will be kind enough to report it to the doctor. I do not think I shall be able to eat that stuff for breakfast but as it does for going the wrong way it will not be wasted. I have not seen Boyd yet, but when I do it is most likely he will be alarmed lest I should hurt myself with that barbarous instrument and will give me a helping hand.

Enough of the machine, I hope you will not forget that Hindoostanu Book your (?) is sending(?) for me for I find it would be a very great help to me here. Many thanks to your brother for the lone of it and sorry (?) I could not return it in person. I brought some of your books away with me for I let a (?) pass me that I should be there again another time before I join and read them there. Jackson writes therefore he sends his note by some fellow and this goes with it. I send you your book. Mar(?) and English dialogues with many other books which I beg you will read up to (?) wich I trust is recovering fast, I am going to write Captain Morton. I left a green silk (?) a favourite of mine in short a gift – keep it for me will you. I daresay it will not be long before I ask leave for another trip but not before I have my drills. Salaam to All

Yours very truly,

(?)



1842 - 1845 - To Acton
[Letter from John Hyde Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Court House, Bombay. Paid 2 annas. Sent from Aden. Date might be 2 April, no year given, but from the next letter, might be 1842]

My dear Acton

I received the Books all right but very wet from (?). The Cloth in the box was nearly all spoilt from the same cause. I enclose two notes from Hobson to me from one of which you will see that you have to pay into the Bombay Pay Office Rs 172.6 on account of Fred and from the other that you can claim some sum due to Frederick as a remittance.

The monotony of this place [Aden] has been slightly relieved by an expedition into the interior - we marched out on the night of the 5th about 600 strong with our Gun and after a march of seven hours arrived at five the next morning before a large fortified house which the (?) had built for the purpose of collecting a tax on all supplies brought into Aden. We immediately took up a position around the place, but after a few minutes discovered that its inmates had been prudent enough to abscond and consequently nothing remained but to blow up the place and burn the surrounding villages.

This being accomplished we set out on our return but had not proceeded above a mile when lots of Arabs were seen hovering about our Flanks and more on Sands, they opened a remarkably brisk fire and skirmishers were sent out to oppose them. This work continued until we arrived at Shaik othmaw(?) which is you know about eight miles from Aden, when a few men were sent to ascertain what might be the intentions of the inhabitants. They did not offer any resistance and a polite message was forwarded to the Priest of the Musjeed requesting the pleasure of his company on our march back to Aden and informing that it had already been determined to blow up his house but if he offered the slightest objection the Musjeed would have the same fate.

The Gent thus circumstanced, thought proper to comply but before we quitted the place he was unutterably disgusted on looking up when he heard a great explosion to see that his house had vanished into the air. This man is famous for harbouring people who assemble at Shaik othmaw(?) for the purpose of making attacks on our Wale(?). Among our party there were about five wounds including Bailey of the Artillery who was struck by a (?) on the head. In answer to my note about Mocha I was told that it was not at present intended to keep up any relations with that place, however I wish that you would be on the lookout as I hear the Endymion(?) returns there when doubtless something will be done.

Have you heard from Frederick? I hear that he is wandering about the desert like a Bedouin. The Horse is cheap at 400 rupees. If still in your stable send him to Evans of the (?) at Poona with my Compliments and he will keep him. I will send the books by the first opportunity

Yours (?)
J. H. Ayrton



[Letter from Aden from J H Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Govt (or Fort?), Bombay, and postmarked Aden 2 May 1842, paid 2 As]

30th April

My dear Acton

Enclosed I give you a draft on Edward for £250 which I hope you will be able to cash, as I am anxious to lend this money to Browne of (?) who appears to me to be in difficulty about a sum which he has to pay down for Hallums Step(?). Draw up a penalty bond if you please (charge to Browne) for the Rs 2,500 to run four years, when doubled if not discharged, interest (?) per cent, first payment of interest twelve months after receipt of money, remainder half-yearly. No security life insurance or anything of that sort.

I do not want my name to be mentioned in the affair as Browne might not like to take the coin from me so please make the money payable to yourself, in fact if you wish it, it would be preferable for you to lend the coin, not a bad investment. I have written to Browne that if he is still in want of the money and does not hear from you within five days after receiving my letter he can write to you to ask to have the money paid. If you lend the money yourself you had better send the bond to the (?) sharp for his signature, but if you pay it on my account it is of no consequence and you can send the bond to him after paying them. But on the other hand should you be unable to obtain or pay the money you had better write to Browne at once and tell him so. I hope however you will be able to manage it as we have given Hallum a draft upon him and should not like to see it come back dishonoured. Besides he is a very correct sort of man.

I have heard nothing from Edward or Frederick but they are still at Cairo, how truly absurd. They appear never to have written to England and Dardis has I hear written to the Consul to ask him if two gents answering their description have been lately murdered in Egypt. What a splendid (?). I suspect they will commence to wear mourning in England.

I am glad you have found my horse useful and thank you for having attached your signature to such a (?) - you are I presume aware of the law about expenses in such a case. I should think you had better send him up to Evans at Poonah of you do not require him. Have you sold my Lathe to Smee?

You have never sent me the (?) for whose expenses I remitted to you 50Rs. Pray do so. I forget how (?) account stands in my favour (?)

Yours ever
J. H. Ayrton


[Letter from Aden from J H Ayrton addressed to A S Ayrton Esquire, Bombay, date in lieu postmark handwritten 4 May, year could be 1842]

My dear Acton

At last the parcels have arrived and I send on yours by this opportunity. I also send the Nugent papers -- what do you think that, should we abandon the suit or go on? My grand Father's foolish letter is unfortunate but I do not think of much consequence because he thought of abandoning the suit it is no reason we should do so.

I thought you had sent my horse to Poona long since - will you please make Cursitjee(?) if a Buggalow(?) will sail for Aden this season and if so make him ship the horse, if there is no Buggalow(?) coming then send it to Lieut. Evans (?) with a note that is my property. Had you sent the horse to Poona when I asked you I should have sold it for 500 rupees by this time. Have you sold the Lathe?

Fancy allowing the man who set fire to the ship to escape -- shocking -- shocking -- there is no doubt he did the deed, neither do you appear to have located yourself in the upper rooms right wing Supreme Court. Wretched. If MacKinnon is the Editor of the New Paper please send over my name as a subscriber, I'll send the tin for 24(?) months by this month remittance.

Yours ever
J. H. Ayrton
Don't forget about the horse as I am in want of one.
(?) on board the steamer to Vincent for the Parcel


[Letter without postmark date or address from John H Ayrton to Acton at Count House, Bombay]

My dear Acton

As I have received no letters I write this as a reminder in case you may have forgotten to forward them. I have for some time since been thinking that I might make a more profitable trip than to China by volunteering to Gov’t to go to Abyssinia, they have I know been anxious to have an officer there but not directly in Government Pay and as I should of course state that I required no renumeration for my trouble think that there would not be any great difficulty in the matter. I wish that you would consider this matter and let me know what is your opinion and if you consider the plan good what you imagine will be the best way to insinuate it. You must remember that this was the way in which Burnet, Pottinger etc brought themselves into notice and is consequently worthy of some consideration, for whatever advantage I might gain for myself by a trip to China I could not possibly turn it to any professional account. Harris of the Engineers who proceeds to Aden by the next steamer has some idea of ultimately going to Abassynia or (?) and I have even heard that he had Government permission so to do, he on a former occasion (when an order or suggestion came out from home to send an officer) made an application but also wanted some allowance and was consequently refused.

Weigh all this well and please let me have an answer soon for it is necessary to write before the Governor goes to the (?). You must also consider that in case of a war a man might be eminently useful in (?)thern Abyssinia or (?) and it is only be these sudden chances that a man can expect to push up the ladder: the main stay of my application would of course be understanding Arabic.

I have heard of a certain exposé d’amour in Bombay - who are the parties? Did you hear of Lord Elphinstone having been caught (?) in re with a Mrs Case, wife of a subaltern in the Madras Army? I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the Intelligence and merely give it as an ‘on dit’. I paid a long visit this morning to the Carnac party they say the Governor gave the beginning of next and intends returning to England in the early part of next year. Have you seen Browne or his wife, they are in Bombay.

Yours ever,

J H Ayrton
Saturday

If possible send an answer by return post as it takes two days coming and will consequently be six days before I could get a letter to the Governor (?).

[To Acton at Malgason, Bombay from John H Ayrton at Mahallish, B(?), undated]

My dear Acton,

I received yours yesterday and write again so soon to inform you of the altered course of things regarding Abassynia and of which I suppose you are not aware. Harris now goes up as an approved agent on a salary of 1500 Rupees a month Graham commanding the Bheil(?) corps also goes with a certain salary as also Dr Kirk: now out of all this do you not think that I might do something, it however must be now or never for if the opportunity passes there is no chance of again moving the matter the grand object is to be the first in every field. I wish you would see what can be done. I cannot write myself as Sir James might hand on my note to Anderson and (?) I know nothing and it would consequently be worse than useless. I have now fortunately by some chance quite recovered and intend returning to Aden if nothing can be done in the present move, by the May steamer.

I think that I must have (?) an absess: one morning I was taken very sick and brought up a whole lot of white stuff since which I have been perfectly well. Pray make some shi(?) for me as you are on the spot and can see everything which is passing – there can be no difficulty you might ask Browne if Carnac is still in the coach and I hear that he has deferred his departure. Mention to them that I can speak Arabic and do not inquire (?) to a salary and there can be not difficulty

Yours in haste,

J H Ayrton
Friday



[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton]

Camp Arounda,
Teracol River
16 February 45

My dear Acton,

What is the news - I have not heard from you for an age? Anything of the Camp case I wrote for?

The following is an extract from a letter I received this morning being from Mr Willoughby to Mr Courtney of Warree:

“Para 2: in reply I am desired to inform you that Lieutenant Ayrton appears to have acted with great judgement and decision and is entitled to the approbation of the Government.”

This rather correct considering Mr Elphinstone thought proper to report that he entirely disapproved of my proceedings.

I hope to get at the Bundwallas again in a day or two, having come here yesterday for the very purpose on my own responsibility, which is I find the only way to act. I see MacKenna has some hint of my having seized the valuables - might you not improve upon this by inserting " (?) understand the position in the J M County in which we stated in our paper of -- a sum of money has been found was captured by the HQ of the 10th Regiment under Lieutenant Ayrton."

Yours ever

J. H. Ayrton


[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton]

Camp Arounda, 21 February 45

My dear Acton

I write this line to ask you to direct my English letters if there are any to Vingorla, which is the nearest Post and to which I run a daily (?).

No news of (?) Sawent or his Sons. I have opened a splendid communication with the Goa authorities and am astonished Outram cannot (?) with them, I suspect Outram has been altogether over-rated and is not the man he is supposed, at any rate he has done nothing here to which the most ordinary man would not have accomplished as well or better.

I have such lots of work on hand that I cannot add more. The whole of the country around this is under my immediate control and protection, which entails an immense quantity of writing. I hope Jackson will not come here as the natives would immediately think I had been superseded in my command for some improper acts.

If you send the Camp case direct it to the care of Lieut Moyle 21 Regt, Vingorla. I see Thomson has some but they appear too dear. I have had approvals all round Government, the Chief, the General (?) a great thing (?) Mr Courtney in fact people appear to think we have choice about the best of any to (?) though it does not make (?) [rest of letter difficult to read and sense not clear]


[Letter from J H Ayrton to A S Ayrton

Sawent Warree, 4 March 45

My dear Acton,

Will you kindly send on this to McKenna. That snob Mr Roassac I imagine wrote the article to annoy me, in which he has failed to the last degree. I am here to prosecute the Rebels I caught four of whom are to be hanged this Evening.
No news. (?) Sawent (?) out.

Yours E,

J H Ayrton


From 'The Chaplin and Skinner Families' page 26:

John Hyde Ayrton died unmarried, at the early age of 27, at Sawent Warree, India; he was then a lieutenant in the sevice of the East India company. From the memoir of Mrs. Matilda Adriana Chaplin. 1899:

"My next happy memory is being taken into my mother's room to see "the baby" brother, John; I was just four and a half. After a while I remember feeling very proud of having baby on my lap, I sitting on the floor alone in the room, while the nurse helped mother down stairs."

"This last baby was rather delicate and demanded much care. Soon after my father left a servant was taken ill with small-pox; we had all been vaccinated so there was no fear of infection. I was sent up to her one day with a cup of tea. Expecting to see her as usual. I was so horrified at her hideous bloated face, that I put down the tea on the floor, and ran shrieking downstairs, frightening my mother, who told me afterwards she thought the poor girl was dead. To this day I can see her face, and remember my sensation. One day we were all hastily moved out of the house into some very small lodgings at a shoemaker's. They said that typhus fever had come on, which was infectious. A person was hired to nurse the girl: and she was to have plenty of port wine. All this was a trying expense, when economy was so necessary. She and nurse emptied the cellar. We children enjoyed the little lodging and the shop, and watching the making and mending of shoes. I don't think we had a sitting-room; my mother was always with the baby. We had no nursery after my father left us."

"My two brothers went to a day school, kept by Mr. Ray, a gentlemanly man. Edward was under five years. The master took pains with them, and they were going on well when they got ringworm. Of course we all had it. To add to my mother's trouble, it was discovered that the nurse, who was good to us, and whom we liked, as she took us in the Regent's Park, then beginning to be built, and let us get and bring home clay, with which we amused ourselves trying to make things on our own little table, drank; and one day she brought baby in, as his mother thought, very ill, having fainted dead away. The doctor said he was dead drunk. It was then surmised that he had had many a sip of gin, which accounted for his puny appearance.

"Now my brother Frederick went to school at Dr. Nicholas's at Ealing, close to the parish church. Before my father went to India he visited all the well-known schools around London, to select one for his boys. He thought Nicholas's was the most liberally conducted, and the plan of teaching thorough, and the 300 or 400 boys independent and well-mannered. At eight years old they each went to school there except John, who was too delicate to go till ten. My father, with Lord (then Mr.) Brougham and some other gentlemen, gave the first idea of proprietary schools, whence sprung University (1826) and King's Colleges (1829); schools simply at first, colleges were formed there when the University of London was founded."

"In these days children were generally kept in the background, and often heard their elders say "they should be seen and not heard." My grandmother Ayrton and our cousin, the orphan child of her only daughter, Matilda, married to a Mr. Cater, who held a good legal office but left no provision for his three children, came, I think, to live with us. We rebelled against her wish to make us quiet and we could not help laughing when she exclaimed, "Julia! those children will tear your eyes out when they're older" Victoire, our cousin, stammered, and Johnny began to stammer. This determined my mother to put an end to this arrangement, but I suppose she bore with it till she heard from my father. Johnny stammered till he was ten years old, when an elocution master quite cured him of the failing."

There is an old castle on one side of Dieppe used as a barrack. There were then no houses opposite the sea, but a nice expanse of grass and a small casino with promenade attached to it. Mv mother took us to Rouen for three days in the diligence. It started towerds evening. We children were all put into the corner, the seat was wide, Johnny being small and thin, was to sleep behind us."
Facts
  • 4 JAN 1818 - Birth - ; Kew, London
  • 1845 - Death - ; Sawent Warree, India
  • 1845 - Fact -
Ancestors
   
Thomas Ayrton
1744 - 1811
 
 
Frederick Ayrton
1780 - 24 NOV 1824
  
  
  
Ann Hodges
30 OCT 1754 -
 
John Hyde Ayrton
4 JAN 1818 - 1845
  
 
  
Edward Nugent , Col.
24 JUL 1755 - 23 MAR 1836
 
   
  
  
Adriana Spencer
- 6 AUG 1839
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Frederick Ayrton
Birth1780London. Christened 6 April 1780 at Saint Andrew, Holborn.
Death24 NOV 1824 Bombay, India
Marriage1 JUN 1811to Juliana Caroline Rebecca Adriana Nugent at St. Lukes Church, Chelsea, London
FatherThomas Ayrton
MotherAnn Hodges
PARENT (F) Juliana Caroline Rebecca Adriana Nugent
BirthAFT 1787
Death10 MAR 1833
Marriage1 JUN 1811to Frederick Ayrton at St. Lukes Church, Chelsea, London
FatherEdward Nugent , Col.
MotherAdriana Spencer
CHILDREN
FMatilda Adriana Ayrton
Birth1 JUN 1813Chelsea, London (baptised Richmond according to Andi Smith)
Death26 JAN 189998 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London.
Marriage6 APR 1835to John Clarke Chaplin at Marylebone, London (New Church)
MEdward Nugent Ayrton
Birth13 MAR 1815Richmond, Surrey, christened Saint Mary Magdalen, Richmond 23 April 1815
Death28 NOV 1873Buried at Bexhill, Sussex, west of St Leonard's, NOT Box Hill.
Marriage28 AUG 1866to Emma Sophie Althof at Parish Church, Freshwater, Isle of Wight
MFrederick Ayrton
Birth20 MAR 1812Chelsea, London
Death20 JUN 1873Arundel Gardens, London
Marriage13 AUG 1833to Margaret Hicks at St Paul's, Walden, Hertfordshire. Witnesses were J C Chaplin and his two sisters, M A Ayrton and her brother Edward Nuge
MActon Smee Ayrton
Birth5 AUG 1816Richmond, London
Death30 NOV 1886Mont Doré Hotel, Bournemouth
MJohn Hyde Ayrton
Birth4 JAN 1818Kew, London
Death1845Sawent Warree, India