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This is one of the 77 letters and documents discovered in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Birth of Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON; sale of BALL estate and comments on rents and politics; Mary GRIFFIN nee JACKSON sister of TJ has been blacklisted by Eliza; TJ's brother Andrew at Forstertown; crops are good; death of Dr. WOODS; Sam BRADFORD can't pay rent on Cavananore; David JACKSON's leave extended to October.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 6, 2006
Updated March 22, 2010


Urker August 10th 1887


My dear Tom – In the first place I must congratulate you on the birth of your daughter [1] . May God bless her, and all your children and make them as great comforts to you, as you have been to your Parents. By the last account, Mother [2] and child [3] were doing well. I never feared for your family; you went to the East on a purely unselfish errand; and I knew that God would watch over the dear ones that you left behind.


            Yours of June 24th reached me yesterday; you have had a roving time since you left England. May God bring you safely back. You did not mention if you have succeeded in putting things to rights; but I hope you have. You were always the luck of the Bank since you joined it.


            There is no word at present of the sale of the Ball [4] estate, but it will be the end of it, sooner or later. The tenants have all joined the plan of Campaign [5] ; with the exception of a few loyalists, like your Father [6] ; and they will not pay a penny of rent; though they were offered a reduction of four shillings in the pound, and the forgiveness of all law costs. The devil has got into most of them, and those who would wish to be honest; dare not be so; except some old Ironsides like myself.. As you know this by former letters, the settlement I got was a settlement of the rent; and as tough enough job it was to get a fair settlement but I made my point good; and we have a clear receipt to Novr 1886 both from Mr Johnston [7] and Mr Allen’s [8] agents.


            There is no time fixed yet for Peggy’s [9] marriage; but probably it will take place soon. I would much rather that she had remained as she was; and I hoped that you would have objected. However there is nothing to prevent them from doing well; and it is not such a ridiculous & disgraceful affair as Mary’s [10] was. We had young Mary [11] home for a week during her holidays. She has grown a fine big girl; and we will not forsake her for her Mother’s fault; but the Mother I never intend to speak to. She was both undutiful and ungrateful.


            Andy [12] is busy getting some repairs made at Forstertown [13] . Though it is a fine place, it was a good deal out of repair; having been neglected for many years; especially the yard and office houses. He has Johnny Murtagh [14] and Sam Jeffers [15] up, working; as the tradesmen there charge very high.


            We are in the throng of harvest, and our crops are good; which few people can say; owing to the dryness of summer.


            Kate [16] and her boys are with us at present; she is much better, but still has a cough, though not a harsh one. We are all much as usual; Sally [17] is complaining a little, but her condition accounts for that; as she is not far from her confinement. Both she and Bessy [18] are very ill pleased about Peggy’s marriage. Did you hear of the death of Dr Woods [19] ? It took place on the 26th ult. It will make a sad change to his family. Eleanor [20] has gone to live in Liverpool. Cousin Sam [21] was not able to pay the May rent this time; he has got to the 20th inst. to do it. Probably he will take advantage of this new land act, to break his lease and have the land revalued. We have not seen the last of the rascality of Uncle Bradford’s [22] trustees yet.


            You know ere this that David [23] got an extension of his leave of absence. We took a sorrowful farewell of him, not expecting to see him again in this life; and he went to London expecting to sail on the 4th inst, but a day or two after, he telegraphed that he had got leave of absence till October. He has not come back yet; but probably soon will.


            You speak of me writing or getting Lizzie [24] to write every week. One week is so like another in this place, that it would be of no use to do that; but we shall always inform you of every thing worth knowing; & ever hope that most of our future letters will be directed to you in England.


            No more at present from your ever affectionate Mother,

                        E. Jackson


[1] Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON (July 26-1887- 1964) Dorothy was born at Oakbank, Chiselhurst. Chiselhurst is part of the Greater London borough of Bromley, England. Her three younger brothers were also born here - so the family lived here for at least five years.

[2] Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[3] Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON b. July 26, 1887.

[4] BALL estate sale – NOTE: Thomas P. BALL held the lease on the land at Urcher aka Urker.

[5] I assume that this refers to the various land reforms going on at the time - I will add more detail anon.

[6] David JACKSON (1814-1889)


[8] Mr. ALLEN

[9] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) REID widow – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON who married Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH on August 31, 1887.

[10] Mary (JACKSON) MENARY married Frederick Richard GRIFFIN in 1886 -  a marriage that the family did not support.

[11] Mary MENARY (1872-1946)

[12] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON  - younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] Fostertown near Trim, Co. Louth.

[14] John MURTAGH? – interestingly, I stayed at the B&B of Aiden MURTAGH when in Crossmaglen in 2006.I do not know their connection to him.

[15] Samuel JEFFERS?

[16] Kate Maria Jane WHITING – widow of John JACKSON older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[17] “Sally” Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON. Her son, Thomas Jackson GILMORE was born November 11,1887.

[18] Elizabeth (JACKSON) BROWN – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[19] Dr. WOODS?

[20] Eleanor – presumably the widow of Dr. WOODS.

[21] Samuel BRADFORD of Cavananore.

[22] Presumably the brother of Eliza (OLIVER) JACKSON – Andrew Coulter BRADFORD who died unmarried. His will (See : http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/documents/1847_will_AC_Bradford.htm ) makes sense of much of this dispute. I still need to sort it all out.

[23] David JACKSON, youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[24] “Lizzie” Elizabeth Sarah (BROWNE) JACKSON(1847-?), wife of “Jemmie” James JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON



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