Urker Dec 24 1884
My dear Tom,
We got a great fright lately, your Father  was dangerously ill last week with some disease of the kidneys. Dr Palmer  was very much alarmed about him; and so were we all; but thanks be to God, the danger is over, and he is able to be up again. All the rest are well and no changes among us since I wrote last.
Your letter of November 17th arrived safely; and one from Minnie  previously; in which she returns me thanks for making her welcome here; as if I would not be glad to welcome her to a palace if I had one. It would be low days with one when I would not make her welcome to anything I had in the world; the dear good little woman, the “[van?] bug” who has always been kind and affectionate to me; and has written me more letters than anyone else ever did. May God send her and her little flock, safe to my arms; and have them in his keeping evermore.
I wrote to David  surely to be with her even if you did not come; but since then I have heard from him that it is better for him to remain where he is right now for the present; and I would not wish him to injure his own prospects. He sent an Xmas box of a pound, to each of his nephews and nieces this Xmas, and ₤5 to the Church funds; and a present to Jemmie  ₤35 in all.
Mr Rogers  the Manager of the Bank in Crossmaglen, has written him a full statement of the Parochial affairs; which I am enclosing to him today. Mr Rogers tells me that he wrote a similar statement to you last January; and he asked me if you had received it; I could not tell him that you had; if I ever heard it; I do not remember it. I do not know how the affairs of the Parish would be managed, but for Mr Rogers. Dr Mills  , who managed them previously, is now quite unfit to do so. His memory is too much failed for him to transact any business; though he still preaches, once every Sabbath.
Dear Tom, I was horrified to see by a newspaper which Minnie sent me that you are a prominent member of a Jockey club!!! Did ever luck or grace ever follow anything of this kind? Did it not ruin greater & wealthier men than ever you were? Think of the Marquis of Hastings  and the Duke of Newcastle  and hundreds of others. Think of your own great Uncle  and namesake, after whom you were called. For God’s sake, and my sake, have done with all things of the kind; & never do anything upon which you could not implore God’s blessing. Even if you followed sport in moderation, and that it never did you any harm; look at the example it sets before your own son, & many other young men. Can you answer for it, that a taste for sport may not lead them to ruin? Now do not be like the young cock, that was wiser than the old hen. I would not forbid any innocent amusement; but an amusement which involves cruelty to any of God’s creatures, never was nor never can be innocent.
I am glad that the Bazaar in which Minnie was interested, turned out to be a success. Though I never thought that the Lord was to be worshipped by means of machinery; yet I think an instrument is useful to lead the singing; & the organ surely exceeds all other instruments.
I have no more to say, but to wish you and yours many and happy returns of the season; to send you all my love and my blessing, and to subscribe myself your ever affectionate Mother,
 David JACKSON (1814-1889)
 Dr. PALMER?
 “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE – wife to Sir Thomas JACKSON
 David JACKSON (1885-1903) who also worked for HSBC in the Far East – youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.
 “Jemmie” James JACKSON (1850-?) younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON
 Mr.William E ROGERS, Manager of the Crossmaglen branch of the Belfast Bank.
 Rev. Dr. Lewis George MILLS (1823-May 28, 1885) Rector of Creggan Church
 In 1867, a horse named Hermit--previously represented as being in an unfit condition even to run, won the race and the Marquis of Hastings lost about ₤100,000, which (in spite of rumours and hopes of his ruin) was honourably paid. His premature death then lead to theselling off of all his lands and belongings.
 I do not know the specifics of the Duke of Newcastle’s horse racing follies.
 I do not know who this Thomas may be, but George JACKSON (1718-1782) may have had a brother called Thomas JACKSON. If so, this may tie into some of the deeds I have been finding. Another possibility is Thomas BRADFORD who was not only a great grand-unclue but also a great grand-father.
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