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This is one of the letters from the bog in Ireland. NEWS: Mary MENARY is visiting Mrs. Joseph COULTER in Dundalk; death of Margaret (JACKSON) BROWNE aunt of TJ; scandal over how the BROWNE children handled the inheritance; HSBC doing well; Minnies health restored; Samuel BRADFORD & Dowdalshill; mention of Samuel BRADFORD's sisters; RAINSFORD to HSBC in London; Kate JACKSON & children moved to Belfast; good crop of corn, but prices low; cattle doing well too; Cavananore struggling; concerns about David in the east; children with whooping cough.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 13, 2006
Updated March 23, 2010.


Urker Feb 6th 1895 [1]


My dear Tom


            Mary Menary [2] is away at present at Mrs Joseph Coulter’s [3] in Dundalk, and as she may not have a good opportunity of writing to you there, I had better write a line to you myself; though I am a bad hand at writing now [4] . Probably you have heard ere this of the death of your Aunt Brown [5] . She passed away in the 2nd ult. She was buried in poor Willie’s [6] grave. She made a will some time before her death; but Lizzie [7] would neither be shown the will, nor told what it contained. To this day she never saw either her Father’s or Mother’s wills. What [?ggling] they do keep! I fear that all is not fair and square when such mysteries are required. Jemmy [8] is very angry at the way Lizzie is treated. They have fallen out with the Sharpes [9] also Hugh [10] wanted Dr Sharpe to put his name on a bill for ₤250, but the Doctor wisely refused to do so. He said he expected nothing else but to have his daughter [11] home again, and he wished to have something for her when she would come. I cannot understand them of all other people; they got ₤800 of Insurance money when your Uncle died, each all that Aunt Barkley [12] was possessed of; both money and goods, and out of it all, they could not spare one pound to Lizzie. I caution and desire you to give them nothing, if they should ask for money from you, which I would not put it past them to do. Let Tom Brown [13] do whatever he likes for them.


            A more pleasant theme is your letter of the 3rd ult. Thanks be to God for the good news it contains of your own family and of the Bank. Minnie [14] was not well when you wrote before, but it seems her health is quite returned. I do indeed rejoice in the prosperity of the Bank as much as anyone can possibly do. I have all the old reports stored up carefully and I shall be looking out for the new one. How thankful and happy and proud I am, that God has made a son of mine the instrument of so much good! I always besought God to grant prosperity to that institution since ever you were connected with it; and always [?] to hear an assurance that He would grant it; even when affairs looked darkest. I have the same assurance concerning your family, and I spend a long time every night in interesting prayer for all my children and for many others.


            Your experience is very like my own. Like you, I have had enemies, but I have been enabled heartily to forgive them all, and but few of them are now living to be forgiven. I am in perfect charity with all the world.


            Sam Bradford [15] is managing to keep on foot much as usual. He is to get ₤650 for the lowering of the office houses in Dowdalhill [16] . A decision has been given in the Law Courts in Dublin that his sister’s [17] pastures must be the first charge on his property. I am heartily glad that they will not be wronged out of what their father left them. But I have fear that the Bank of Ireland and the Widows fund of the Presbyterian Church will lose heavily, for all his property would not pay his bills. I hear that Mr Garrett [18] is afraid of getting blame for trusting him so far.


            Your Rainsford [19] has at last been summoned to London, week before last. Kate [20] has gone to Belfast, her two boys over here until she gets settled in her new house. Very nice, well brought up boys they are. And a more polite gentleman like boy than your Tom [21] , I never saw any where. Julius [22] also is a nice good child, but he did not look very well when he was here, though he did not complain. I believe Mary [23] wrote to you about him.


            I had a fine crop of corn last year, but the price is so low that can make but little money. The cattle did pretty well. Elie [24] does all the buying and selling for me and only for him, I could not do so well. He is well able to manage his own business and what he does for me & for Cavananore and is thriving upon it; but I never call him to account about Cavananore; to do so would seem as if I distrusted him. Cavananore has a difficult time since it was got out of Sam Bradford’s hands.


            The greatest grief I have at present is that Andy’s [25] children were very ill with whooping cough and in addition his own son Tom [26] had something amiss with his lungs, for which he was to undergo a surgical operation yesterday. I have not yet heard the result. Andy himself was not very well, and Emily [27] was worn out attending the patients. I must let you hear of them as soon as I know myself.


            Mary Menary is indeed a dear good girl, and a great comfort to me. I am never contented when she is from home but I cannot object to her visiting; for this is but a [hearse drawn?] place for a young person.


            I am anxious about David [28] . The East does not seem to agree with him as well as it does with you.


            May God Almighty bless you all at home and abroad, and keep you all in the hollow of his hand, and guard you as the apple of the eye.


            Your ever loving Mother

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] I am taking liberties with the dating of this letter. It is clearly dated 1892 – but the death of Margaret JACKSON widow of Daniel Gunn BROWNE only makes sense with the revised date of 1895.

[2] Mary MENARY(1872-1946)  -she would be twenty years old now. She was the daughter of William MENARY (1838-1874) & Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN – sister of Sir Thomas Jackson.

[3] Mrs. Joseph COULTER is the wife of Joseph Arthur COULTER..Mr. Joseph A. Coulter, JP, of Dowdallshill and Roden Place ..., spent the early part of his life abroad, in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company and elsewhere, and at one time acting or Deputy Governor of Vancouver Island. He was with the escort who late accompanied Lady Franklin on her last expedition in search of her husband, Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer. His family has been connected with this county for seven or eight generations. For many years at up to the time of his death in 1901, he was the able Secretary of the Dundalk Gas Company. He married the daughter of Mr. John McDowell of Mullaharlin. His eldest son, Mr. Arthur S. Coulter, B.A., Solicitor has inherited his father's practical commonsense and integrity. SOURCE: Tempest Annual Centenary 1859-1959 NOTE: I believe I have a photo of her.

[4] There is a noticeable tremor now in her script, but it diminishes as the letter progresses.

[5] Margaret (JACKSON) BROWNE (d. Feb 2, 1895), widow of Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[6] William Robert BROWNE ( 1841-1862), son of Margaret JACKSON & Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[7] Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE, daughter of Margaret JACKSON & Daniel Gunn BROWNE & wife of James JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] “Jemmie” James JACKSON – brother fo Sir Thomas JACKSON

[9] Dr. SHARPE & the SHARPE family? I do not know how they tie in.

[10] Hugh Kirkpatrick BROWNE, son of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON

[11] Miss SHARPE? Is she the unnamed wife of Hugh BROWNE?

[12] Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892), widow of Rev. Joseph BARKLEY died childless. Two sources give her death as Feb 6, 1892 - which is another reason for suspecting that the date of the letter is 1895 not 1892 as written.

[13] Thomas McCullagh BROWNE son of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON – who also worked for HSBC.

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

[15] Samuel BRADFORD – a cousin of Sir Thomas JACKSON who held the lease at Cavananore over objections by Eliza JACKSON

[16] Dowdallhill, a townland in Co. Louth.

[17] Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915) had three unmarried sisters: Elizabeth, Mary Anne & Sarah.

[18] Mr. Garrett?

[19] A. F. RAINSFORD. I can’t yet place his family connections, 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. The staff list shows that he joined the bank in London in 1895. He went east to Shanghai in February 1897and on to Tientsin in 1900.  My colleagues in Hong Kong have confirmed that he featured in the board  minutes on 18 September 1900. This stated that he had resigned and the board had voted to pay his passage and to give him $1000. (SOURCE email from Tina Staples, HSBC archivist. May 26, 2006.)

[20] Kate Maria Jane WHITING, widow of John JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[21] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1876-1954)

[22] George Julius JACKSON (1883-1956)

[23] Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN – sister of Sir Thomas Jackson

[24] Eliezer GILMORE, husband of Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON. They lived next door at Liscalgot.

[25] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[26] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1879-1961)- born three years after the first Thomas Dare JACKSON in the family, he was the son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON

[27] Eliza Emily GILMORE, wife of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON and sister of Eliezer GILMORE

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



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