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This is one of the 77 letters and documents found in the bog in Ireland. NEWS: 3 grandsons have been ill; mention of plague in the colony; BROWNs of Sandymount are to move to Birdhill & their ill treatment of Lizzie is condemned.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 23, 2006


Urker June 4th 1895

My dearest Son,


            On this day fifty four years ago, God sent me my greatest earthly blessing; and I cannot let the day pass without acknowledging His goodness and mercy. Besides sending the blessing. He has spared and preserved it, for ever blessed be His name. Your letter of May 1st reached me this day. When you wrote it you had not heard of Julius’ [1] illness or recovery. Ere this you have heard of both for Robt Cameron [2] was to telegraph to you. We had an anxious time. Three of my Grandsons, David Gilmore [3] , Andy’s Tom [4] and Julius all ill nearly at the same time. Julius got the best of care. Dr. McBride [5] visited him every day for a month, and Dr. Wilson [6] of Castleblayney came three times. Nothing could equal the attention of Sarah Gilmore [7] , Mary Griffin [8] and Mary Menary [9] ; and a more patient or obedient creature than Julius could not be.


            Tom [10] and Beatrice [11] left us on the 24th ult. They did not like to go until Julius would be decidedly better. Tom is a great tall fellow and I have been telling him that he ought to be doing something for himself, and that his Father was earning his own living long before he was his age.


            All here are much as usual. I cannot complain though I am not growing younger; and the others have not quite got over their fatigue; but they will be improving every day.


            I am sorry to learn that the colony is threatened with plague [12] ; but you are in the hands of a merciful God who will not let any evil befall thee, nor any plague come neigh thy dwelling. Psalm 91.


            I never pray for myself that I do not wrestle in prayer for you and yours, and the dear old cow [13] , and I always have good hope that I am heard and answered; and I had that hope even when things looked darkest.


            I went to Sandymount [14] to see the Brownes [15] and bid them farewell on the 23rd ult. Beatrice [16] was lying ill with jaundice and not fit to be moved, and Hugh [17] is nearly blind and a cripple. Anyone but themselves would think that the Lord’s hand was laid heavily enough on them, but their sufferings have made no improvement for so far. They have every stick of their furniture drawn off to Birdhill [18] and never gave Lizzie [19] one shilling or the worth of it; except some old books; nor never showed her her Father’s or Mother’s will, nor told her what dispositions of the property they had made. Anything more wicked or unnatural than their treatment of Lizzie, I never saw. And if ever I know you to do any thing for them, or pay them any attention, I will work wonders on you. I never intend to go near them again. I would as soon visit Redmond O’Hanlon [20] if he was to be had, for he was more honest than they are.


            Now though my letter writing is a thing of the past, I have struggled to write this to you, in honour of the day that was in it, as the Irish say; and I have no more to add but that I am with ten thousand times ten thousand blessings to you and Minnie and your children

            Your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson

This will not be posted till tomorrow


[1] George Julius JACKSON, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE. He was 12 years old

[2] Robert CAMERON?

[3] David GILMORE son of Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON age 17

[4] Thomas Dare JACKSON son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON & Eliza Emily GILMORE. He was age 16.

[5] Possibly Dr. William Scott McBRIDE (1862-1939) who would marry Ethel Sarah GILMORE, a daughter of Sarah JACKSON & Eliezer GILMORE – but he seems a little young (age 23). It is more likely his father, Dr. John McBRIDE who married Mary STITT of Freeduff.

[6] Dr. WILSON?

[7] Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[9] Mary MENARY (1872-1946) daughter of Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN & William MENARY. She would have been 23 years old at this time.

[10] Thomas Dare JACKSON son of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE. He is age 19.

[11] Beatrice Minnie Shrieve JACKSON, daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE.

[12] For good reason the disease caused conditions of near panic and hysteria for once contracted the outcome in the great majority of cases was a relatively quick but agonising death. A graphic description of the symptoms of bubonic plague is given by Wilm in his Report of Plague in Hong Kong compiled in 1896. Wilm observed that:

"At the outset of the disease the tongue usually became swollen, bright red at the tip and edges and was covered with a greyish white fur. Usually, on the second or third day of the disease, the fur became brownish or black, and dried in a crust. The tongue becomes cracked and fissured so that it soon ressembles that seen in typhus or in enteric fever about a third week of the disease. The lips soon became dry and often fissured, the mucous membrane of the mouth and the pharynx was usually bright red. The appetite disappeared. There was frequently uncontrollable vomiting and great thirst, with a lower part of the abdomen. The vomit was sometimes watery, sometimes bilious, sometimes like coffee grounds. Diarrhoea was frequent at the outset and again in the later stages of the disease , blood, mucous and epithelium frequently appeared in the stools." On the 10th May 1894 Hong Kong was declared an infected port and within the space of a few weeks the administration was faced with an epidemic of great magnitude. By July, for example, there had been 2442 deaths. Hospitals were quickly established on board the "Hygeia", at Kennedy Town Police Station and at the Kennedy Town glass works. SOURCE: THE GREAT PLAGUE OF HONG KONG E. G. PRYOR

  [13] The family pet name for the HSBC.

[14] Sandymount, Blackrock, Co. Louth

[15] These BROWNEs are the adult children of Margaret JACKSON & Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[16] Beatrice Matilda BROWNE (b. mid-1840s), daughter of Margaret JACKSON & Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[17] Hugh Kirkpatrick BROWNE (-1904), son of Margaret JACKSON & Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[18] Birdhill – I think it is near Keady, Co. Armagh

[19] Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE wife of James JACKSON & daughter of Margaret JACKSON & Re. Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[20] For an excellent biography see: www.sagp.org Count Redmond O’HANLON – a noted thief and “tory” in the late 1600s was renowned in the territory of Crossmaglen. He gave the area its name “Bandit Country”. He was regarded as a hero to many in the Catholic community and a villain to many of those who were propertied and/or associated with the Established Church.



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