John William Hurst

John William Hurst

b: 1829
1881 Census:

A search of the South West Region CD using Advanced Query did not find John H?rst, John William Hurst or John W Hurst. A search of the national surnames index for John Hurst or Hirst born 1827 - 1831 returned 63 matches, but none born in Bristol. Hurst seems to be a North Country name. Perhaps his last paragraph spelt real trouble for him! His sister Harriet gave his first two names to her eldest son, my grandfather, John William Ernest Pearce. Alan Ray-Jones

Letter written by J W Hurst from Lima in Peru and dated 12 August 1863, to his sister in England. In possession of J A C Pearce, 1999:

My dear Hattie,

I duly received your welcome note (or I suppose I must dignify it by the title of letter as it is rather longer than usual) but hasten to answer it as in duty bound and as my love for the writer prompts.

I was rather surprised at hearing of your marriage. By and bye did I or not congratulate you on it in my last? If not accept now my warmest and in answer to your impertinent question as you call it (but which I think mighty pertinent to the case) count upon my sending you to assist in arranging your marriage the munificent sum of five pounds. My dear Hattie I cannot send you more as I am as poor as a church mouse. But take the will for the deed and fancy I send you fifty. I will send it on a steamer or two!

The likenesses are all charming although I should not recognise the little girls I left behind me in the handsome and well-grown young ladies now present to my view. I am so glad to hear you are very happy and trust you may be so to the end. And so Miss Emily has gone and done it also, has she? How sly you are all of you. I had no suspicion of anything of the kind and was only the other day scolding her for letting you get first to the Matrimonial Goal. I am expecting a letter from her next mail letting me know all about it.

Now as you want a long letter from me this time I suppose I must eke it out by letting you know some of my doings here lately. To begin then Lima has been very gay during the last two months and there have been so many diversions that my paper I think will not contain a full description of them. A Spanish squadron anchored in these waters about two months ago for the first time since these Republics gained their independence and the officers were feasted and made much of to their hearts content. There were four Balls given to the Admiral, very pretty affairs at three of which I assisted. After their departure the Civic festivals began in honour of the anniversary of the Peruvian Independence and were continued for several days during which time all business was at a standstill and rejoicings the order of the day, an immense amount of money is spent on these occasions and the benign climate of Lima is particularly adapted for these outdoor demonstrations. These outre [sorry, acute accent not poss] manifestations only date from last year when the French invaded Mexico and the ill success of these latter intheir defence only appears to have stimulated the Peruvians to glorify their own independence. For four or five nights the public square of Plaza de Armas was brilliantly illuminated all round and the handsome old bronze fountain in the centre was enclosed in a light and airy Temple gracefully adorned with garlands of real flowers and completely covered with gas illuminations. For three nights there were fireworks pro bono publico and the plaza full of people till the break of day. In addition to this imagine all the public offices and a great many private houses (amongst others our own) illuminated with generally very pretty gas devices, during the day processions in which the red capped Goddess representing Liberty figures conspicuously, cannon and rocket firing, bells ringing and eating and drinking, singing the National Anthem and shouting till hoarse by Peruvians and you may form some idea of the state of phrenzy the people worked themselves into. Yankees say their 4th July anniversary pales before it. On the 31st these manifestations were wound up by a Ball given by the Limenan Youth which certainly for good taste and magnificence surpassed anything I have yet seen here. They say it cost 10,000 and I have no doubt it did. I calculate there were about 500 of the elite of Lima present and without wishing to disparage my countrywomen I do not believe a better dressed more graceful or prettier lot of women could be got together anywhere. That is of the same class of Ball. I suppose you would like a description of the Ballroom for which Lima again affords in its climate an opportunity for light and airy tastefulness. The locale chosen was the square courtyard of Congress Hall which is surrounded by corridors leading to the different chambers which were for the nonce turned into refreshment rooms, Ladies retiring and dressing rooms and Card rooms. The court itself was formed into a pavilion from the centre of which sprang a supporting column twined with garlands the flowers enclosing gas jets. The base was covered with evergreens and flowers. The enormous space around this was floored and covered with chalked canvas and allowed ample space for the dancing of 150 couples at once without inconvenience. From the roof hung garlands of artificial flowers in festoons, it was all brilliantly illuminated and the whole affair joyous in the extreme. The other details such as supper etc I must leave to your imagination as I find myself running on and with difficulty pulling up. You may imagine if I enjoyed it when I tell you I got home at half past 7 in the morning slightly inebriated as much by the bright eyes of the Limenas as by the gererous wines which abounded. A little more and I have done. Tomorrow night I assist at a hop at Mr Humphries, it will be a mixed affair of English and Peruvian society, sometimes pleasant, sometimes not. On the 24th there is to be another Ball given by the new President who has just arrived from Europe to be held in the same place as the one I have described and another on the 31st to the late President, both of which as they are managed by different Commissions are to be outvie the former one in magnificence (As a matter of course. I am to assist at both these!) So you see my dear Hattie we do not want for gaiety just now but these are occasional spurts and do not take place frequently so we enjoy it so much the more. I have been talking so much of self I find that I have unwittingly filled a great deal more paper than I originally intended for your share; and such as it is you cannot this time upbraid me for sending you a short letter. When you write me again let me know if I have tired you out with so much talk which for a man of my time of life comes with a bad grace; indeed I was forgetting that I am 34!! years old.

Bye the bye old Leon desires congratulations and regards and all that sort of thing you know; - the old begger is very lazy and never writes to anybody scarcely. You look fine in that Carte, quite coquettish with the little hat in hand and the long curls and the whole pose [another accent!] is quite the thing. Henry ought to be proud of his wife. He is a goodlooking chap and from what I can judge likely to remain a good boy if you don't spoil him. Take care you don't love each other too much ['too much' is underlined].

What more have I to say to you? Oh if you have a little live doll to play with in about a years time and if its a boy call him by my name and he shall be my pet. God knows if ever I shall go to England ever again, matters don't look very promising for it just now and to go home as poor as one came out here would be senseless work.

Forgive this rambling screed my dear Hattie. It takes me a long time to get my ideas together. I don't know what's the matter with me. I suppose it must be the fit of indigestion which prevents my getting any refreshing sleep night after night. In fact I am used up and fatigued just now. Next time I write you I trust I shall be brighter.

With kind love to all your sisters and friends and am immense share for yourself.

I remain dear Hattie your ever affectionate brother.

  • 1829 - Birth -
James Hurst
- BEF 1881
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) James Hurst
DeathBEF 1881
Marriageto Georgina Susan Buckland
PARENT (F) Georgina Susan Buckland
DeathAFT 1881
Marriageto James Hurst
FAnnie Hurst
FHarriet Georgina (Hattie) Hurst
Birth25 AUG 1842Bedford View, Registration sub-district Saint James, Registration District Bristol, England
Death11 MAY 1920Toronto, Canada
Marriage10 MAR 1863to Henry Edward Pearce at Parish Church of St Paul's, Bristol. Henry was living in the parish and Hattie was living in St James's, Bristol
FEmily Hurst
Marriageto ? Badger
MJohn William Hurst