These letters graciously have been shared with the Victorian Web by Eunice and Ron Shanahan; they have been taken from their website. The letters give an insight into the daily lives and concerns of 'ordinary' people without whom history would not exist. The letters are a wonderful example of how much history may be gleaned from such sources.

Front of letter showing address and charge marks

Click on the image for a larger view

This letter is also to James Crowdy - and bears out the Wiltshire Archivist's information that Crowdy's would have acted as parliamentary agents.

The letter is dated Salisbury 23rd June, 1818, and addressed to:-

Messrs. Crowdy & Son.

There are three postal markings : a poorly struck MARLBOROUGH mileage mark, on which the mileage is illegible, but it should have been '74' (the distance from London); and, in manuscript on the front, in black a charge mark of the figue '8' which has been crossed out and replaced with the figure '9'.

A letter costing 9d would have been within the distance of 80 and 120 miles, and possibly going through Marlborough, it may well have been that distance. The postmaster would have checked it and corrected the amount to be collected from the addressee.

The letter begins:

"Messrs Crowdy & Son,

My Dear Sir,

We should have been most happy to avail ourselves of your legal assistance in the taking the poll - and are very sorry that your unavoidable absence will render it necessary to complete the arrangements of the Booths for polling without reference to you."

Note : This refers to the National elections held in 1818. Lord Liverpool's ministry continued in power after the general election

"Nevertheless I trust you will give us all the assistance in your power, according to your better discretion - not forgetting that for Mr Benett and myself, the nearer you are to us the more agreeable - yet we know that usefulness is at this juncture what is most to be regarded.

Believe me to be, Dear Sir,
ever yours faithfully
I.P. Tinney

Last modified 16 December 2002