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This is one of the 77 letters and documents found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: TJ's advice sought re: proposal of marriage by Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH to Margaret REED (nee JACKSON) sister of TJ; various family news; David JACKSON staying with his brother Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 6, 2006


Urker April 6th 1887


My dear Tom – I received your letter from Bombay [1] yesterday, I must say I was glad and thankful. May God keep you and prosper you wherever you go. By the same mail, which will bring you this; you will probably receive a letter which will surprise you; as much as the business which it will be on surprised me yesterday; namely a proposal of marriage from Andy McCullagh [2] for Peggy [3] ; I was astonished and did not know what to say; I told him (he came here) that I thought it a foolish thing for both parties [4] . Your Father [5] is rather favourable to it. I would prefer that she would remain as she is; if she could be content; but I did not altogether object to it. He is a very different person from Fred Griffin [6] in character, property, education, connexions, manners, and appearance. Also he makes his proposal honourably & aboveboard. Finally it was resolved to leave the matter altogether to you; and may God direct you to make whatever decision will be for the best  If you approve of it, I think it probable that the affair will go on; for I suspect she is fond of him; but if you do not consent; neither will I.


            I only wrote once to Bombay; I had nothing to add to that letter. I wrote since to Hong Kong. Mr Johnstons [7] business is still in status quo; but it is no great matter. Minnie wrote me when your telegram came; I heard from her since; the only news was about the children but of course you have heard that from herself; I fear that the change of climate will tell on the children for some time; but they will outgrow it.


            Father [8] keeps well; I think he is well as before his illness. I have still a little cough, but nothing to speak of; but we have had a terrible fright about Kate [9] . She has been dangerously ill with inflammation of the lungs; but is now thanks be to God, in the way of recovering. Sally [10] & Lizzie [11] are both with her, and sit up night about. I had a letter from Sally today saying that Kate was getting on nicely; and she thought that she herself could now do all that was to be done; which is fortunate; for Lizzie must get to her Father [12] . The Browns have taken a house at Blackrock [13] ; one of the large houses above the village; and are about removing their furniture to it. Beatrice [14] and Hugh [15] and their servant boy are to go to New Holland [16] today, for the purpose of packing up. If they had done long ago, what they are doing now; it would have been wiser than to be paying out for two houses. I know nothing about Aunt Barkley [17] , except that she went to Belfast before Xmas; and has not returned since. Nothing new in either Kiltebane [18] , Derryvalley [19] or Drummuck [20] . I hope to hear often from you, and trust that you will have good news to send; and that your long and self denying journey will not have been in vain.


            David [21] is at Andy’s [22] ; and has been for some time past. He must have enjoyed his visit; when he stays so long.


            That God may bless and prosper you and yours and bring you home again in peace and safety; prays your ever affectionate and deeply obliged Mother

                        Eliza Jackson


PS I am ashamed of my writing; it is so far from what it used to be; but it is still legible, and better than my last to you. I am not so old.


[1] Bombay, India where Sir Thomas was doing work for HSBC although he was mostly based in Hong Kong.

[2] Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH (?-1897), son of Thomas McCULLAGH & Sarah McCULLAGH of Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan.

[3] Margaret (JACKSON) REID (1853-1944) – widowed sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] They would be married 25 days later – a marriage that would last 10 years until his death. They would have six children together.

[5] David JACKSON

[6] Frederick Richard GRIFFIN (1858-1890) was 14 years younger than Mary (JACKSON) MENARY – widowed sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON. They married October 28, 1886 .


[8] David JACKSON (1814-1899)

[9] Kate Maria Jane WHITING, widow of John JACKSON older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[10] Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON, resident at Liscalgot a townland beside Urker, Co Armagh.

[11] Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE (1847-?), daughter of Hugh Kirkpatrick Browne and wife of “Jemmie” James JACKSON (brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON)

[12] Daniel Gunn BROWNE (1808-1892) famed preacher and supporter of tenant rights.

[13] Blackrock, Co. Louth, near Dundalk

[14] Beatrice Matilda BROWNE daughter of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON. I believe she never married.

[15] Hugh Kirkpatrick BROWNE (?-1904), son of Hugh Kirkpatrick Browne. He had a daughter Lily BROWNE  who died as an infant in 1893. The name of his wife is not yet known to me.

[16] New Holland, Co. Armagh where the BROWN family had lived – near Keady.

[17] Sarah (JACKSON) BARKLEY (1811-1892), widow of Rev. Joseph BARKLEY & sister of Margaret (JACKSON) BROWNE – she later died at the BROWNE residence at Sandymount near Dundalk at age 81 a few months before Daniel Gunn BROWNE died. Her sister Margaret survived them both.

[18] Kiltebane, Co. Armagh. This would seem to be the home of Elizabeth Johanna DONALDSON née JACKSON, an aunt of Sir Thomas. I need to explore this further. PRONI Freeholder records show this to be held by Samuel BROWN in 1824. Since the father of Thompson BROWN is also a Samuel, this hooks my interest. See also letter of October 15, 1874.

[19] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan, home of McCULLAGH family

[20] Drummuck, Co. Monaghan, home of McCULLAGH family.

[21] David JACKSON, youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON – on leave for HSBC where he had been working in the Far East.

[22] Near Trim, CO. Meath, home of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON, younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON



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