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This is one of the 77 letters & documents found in a bog. NEWS: great news in bank reports; Tommy LARKIN has died; birth of Thomas Claire WHITESIDE announced (date given is 3 months after the actual date for the usual reasons); BROWNEs to leave Sandymount to live with Margaret BROWNE at Bird Hill; Urker, Liscalgot & Cavananore flourishing; 3 of TJ's children to visit Urker next week; RAINSFORD & Samuel GILMORE recommended for HSBC.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 13, 2006


Urker March 28th 1894

[Recd 1 May]


My dear Tom


            Though not well able to write I must endeavour to scribble a line of congratulation on the Bank reports which I received last Monday. First of all, thanks be to God for all his mercies. It was he who gave you wisdom & courage to do what you have done, the same as he taught King David’s “hands to war and fingers to fight” [1] ; and blessed your endeavours with good success. You have not lived in vain for you are, and have been, a blessing to thousands. Your position is one of great care and responsibility, but your success is a rich reward for it all. I never despaired of “the old cow” [2] ; I always felt that my petitions for her were heard, and answered. And I have the same answers for those which I offered up for my children and grandchildren. They will all do well for the blessings which I have implored for them will be lighting upon them both now and when I shall be mingled with the clouds of the valley. But you had the blessing of a holier woman than ever I was. Do you remember old Rose’s [3] dying words, “My blessing go with you Tommy Jackson”? So it did by land and by sea.


            Terry Larkin [4] is dead; I am glad that you called to see him. Did anyone write to you that your favourite Sarah McCullagh [5] had a fine young son [6] born some time in January [7] . Her letters are cheerful, she seems to be comfortable and happy. There is nothing new among us, except that your Aunt Brown [8] and her family are to leave Sandymount [9] at May, and are going to live with her daughter Margaret [10] at Bird Hill [11] . Mrs [Maynagh?] the owner of Sandymount is coming to live there herself. I think it will be good for all parties to be living together.


            So poor old Mr Gladstone [12] has thrown up the sponge at last. Oh that he had died before he took that awful caper about Home Rule. His name had been a household word while memory would last. I must tell you a joke about his resignation. A labourer of Willy Corr’s lamented about him, “So we have lost Mr Gladstone, but we have got a fine man in his place, one Mr Gooseberry”! The Irish are great politicians.


            “The royal family” are getting on as well as heart could wish. Urker [13] , Liscalgot [14] and Cavananore [15] are flourishing apace. You would rub your eyes if you saw the latter place; it is coming around to be like what it used to be. If cousin Sam [16] had had it a couple of years longer, it would have been little worth.


            I hope the children who had colds when you wrote are quite well again & that you have succeeded in getting a summer residence in the Peak; that will be for the good of all your healths. We expect Beatrice [17] , Tom [18] & Julius [19] next week. All are well here, but I had a cough all winter which has left me very weak. Besides I am very infirm though in good health. The cough is gone since the good weather came in and we are very busy getting in the crop. I am truly glad to hear that David [20] & Louisa [21] are doing well. I hope they will be happy and useful.


            When did I write as much as I have done today, or when will I write as much again? We shall hear before long if you can do anything for young Rainsford [22] . Unless you can help, I fear both he and Sam Gilmore [23] will have a bad change. If I did not think that they would serve the Bank as well as any others, I would never say a word for either of them.


            Now with love to Minnie [24] , Kathleen [25] , Dorothy [26] and the little ones, and with fervent prayers and blessings for yourself, I remain,


            Your affectionate & happy Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] Psalm 144

[2] The family’s pet name for HSBC.

[3] I still do not know who “Rose” was, but it sounds as if she died sometime around the 1850s and would likely have been in the Creggan area.

[4] Terry LARKIN?

[5] Sarah MCCULLAGH (1852-1939), sister of  Andrew Bradford MCCULLAGH & wife of Rev. William Sherlock WHITESIDE.

[6] Thomas Claire WHITESIDE (1893-1959). He was actually born October 1st, but since this would mean his mother was pregnant at the wedding, there is a bit of a dodge in the dates.

[7] His actual birth date was October 1, 1893, but since he was born six months after his parent’s marriage, it seems that this was a necessary fiction for his mother to put forward. The family had emigrated to America immediately after the wedding, which made the fiction easier to sustain.

[8] Margaret (JACKSON) BROWNE d. 1895 – widow of Daniel Gunn BROWNE.

[9] This is the Sandymount that was just outside Dundalk, Co. Louth

[10] Margaret Jackson BROWNE, daughter of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON

[11] Bird Hill – I think it was in Co. Armagh near Keady – but not sure.

[12] Prime Minister of England

[13] Urker, Co. Armagh near Crossmaglen. Home of Eliza JACKSON

[14] Liscalgot – townland beside Urker, home of Eliezer GILMORE & his wife Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[15] Cavananore, Co. Louth. Now leased by (I believe) Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] Samuel BRADFORD had the lease on Cavananore, but lost it.

[17] Beatrice Minnnie Shrieve JACKSON – daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON, aged 5.

[18] Thomas Dare JACKSON, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON, age 18

[19] George Julius JACKSON, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON, age 11

[20] David JACKSON, younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON & serving with HSBC in the Far East.

[21] Margaret Louisa WRIGHT, wife of David JACKSON & sister of Robert Thomas WRIGHT, James Francis WRIGHT & John Stephenson Reed WRIGHT – all of whom served with HSBC in the Far East.

[22] A. L. RAINSFORD joined the London office of HSBC in 1897. I can’t yet place him, but there is mention of Rev Marcus RAINSFORD (Rector of Dundalk)  & Rev. Jos G. RAINSFORD in Tempest's Annual, DUNDALK (1898 - 1976). As well, a Miss Edwina Rainsford, Dundalk (formerly of), died 08 Oct 1937. There are likely links.

[23] Samuel GILMORE (1874-1942), a son of Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON – a sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON. He started with HSBC in 1898, and died in Hong Kong in October 1946 - after being a prisoner during WWII. Before this, he had been a successful stock broker in Tien-tsin.

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

[25] Kathleen McCullagh JACKSON, age 22 – eldest daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[26] Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON, age 7, daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON



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