Title Page
 Author's preface
 Principal characters appearing...

Group Title: Letters to Jane from Jamaica, 1788-1796,
Title: Letters to Jane from Jamaica, 1788-1796
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078407/00001
 Material Information
Title: Letters to Jane from Jamaica, 1788-1796
Series Title: Letters to Jane from Jamaica, 1788-1796,
Physical Description: 157 p. : fold. geneal. table, ports. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mozley, Geraldine Nutt
Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Published for the Institute of Jamaica by the West India Committee
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1938
Genre: collective biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Statement of Responsibility: edited by Geraldine Mozley.
General Note: Family letters to Jane Brodbelt in England, followed by short biographies of the Brodbelt family.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078407
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ADJ2502
oclc - 00611351
alephbibnum - 000652492

Table of Contents
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    Title Page
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    Author's preface
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    Principal characters appearing in the letters
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Full Text

1788 1796

Sibella Norman-Butler,
Jane's first friend and mine

By permission of Major E. H. B. Raynmnd, ).S.O.





1788 1796

3c -.;L7 9 ?

Published for
14 Trinity Square, London, E.C. 3

Made and printed in Great Britain
By The Camelot Press Limited
London and Southampton


ON VISITING some old house, or lingering, it may be, in
its spacious garden, how often do we not long to take a
look into the hearts and minds of those who once dwelt
there to know what manner of men and women they
were, to discover what they thought about life, in what
spirit they met the joys and anxieties, the merriment,
mischances, deep sorrows, of our common humanity.
And now, through the medium of these unpretentious
family letters to Jane Brodbelt, written between 1788 and
1796, lying for years, half-forgotten, in a drawer, certain
inhabitants of Jamaica, living at an eventful period of
world-history, send across the ocean of time to us, of a
later generation, various communications couched in that
delightful English idiom of the late eighteenth century
that only a genius could counterfeit. All the letters have
been used, although in some cases only a few words have
been quoted; they draw to their own natural conclusion.
Here is no pretence, no affectation or striving after effect,
but the simple outpouring of English hearts in an English
colony -Jamaica, rising proudly with her glistening Blue
Mountains out of the deep blue waters of the Caribbean
My best thanks are due to Sir Algernon Aspinall,
C.M.G., C.B.E., Secretary of the West India Committee,
for permission to make use of the Committee's excellent
library of books relating to the West Indies.
I am greatly indebted to my cousin in Jamaica, the
Hon. Noel B. Livingstone, Custos Rotulorum of the
Parish of Kingston in that island, for various pieces of
information concerning certain people who appear in


the Letters. Mr. Livingstone is himself descended from
the John Brodbelt mentioned in Letter XLVI.
And it would be impossible for me to forget the kind
encouragement that I received from the late Mr. Frank
Cundall, O.B.E., F.S.A., Secretary and Librarian of the
Institute of Jamaica, as to publishing Letters to Jane. In
a letter to me, written just before his death, he expressed
his intention of adding some notes, together with a short
preface: had he lived to do so, these additions could not
but have enriched the book very considerably. Mr.
Cundall's own writings on the ancient story of Jamaica,
which include a unique and valuable series of historical
portraits, have familiarised thousands of British readers
with the romantic and varied history of the island. An
able and accurate historian and antiquary, he treasured
every fragment that would make that past more real and
living for us to-day. The glimpses of social life in Spanish
Town and Kingston, the indications given in the Letters
as to how events occurring in Europe from 1788 to 1796
appeared to people living in Jamaica these were the
points of especial interest to him.
I wish to express my gratitude to Major E. H. B.
Raymond, D.S.O., for allowing his picture of the three
Brodbelt children, by Cosway, to appear as a frontis-
piece to this volume. Finally, I cannot bring this preface
to an end without a word of warm thanks to my friend,
Mr. Leonard Cutts, but for whose counsel and help this
little book might never have seen the light.

3 Amen Court,
London, E.C. 4.


Of Spanish Town, Jamaica
His wife
His son
His daughters
Of Mount Pleasant, Jamaica. Their young relatives

The Letters are principally concerned with life in
Spanish Town; they are followed by short biographies
of the Brodbelt family, when the scene is transferred to
ENGLAND in Somersetshire, to Bath: in Herefordshire,
to the village of Clifford and to the Moor, the old
dwelling-house since 1561 of Mrs. Brodbelt's ancestors, the
Penoyres, and still in the possession of their descendants.
A Genealogical Tree will be found at the end of the book.


T IS OCTOBER 12TH, 1788, and my great-great-
grandmother, Ann Gardner Brodbelt, is sitting at her
Sdesk in Spanish Town, Jamaica, writing a letter to
Jane, her little schoolgirl daughter in England. Jane was
now nine, having been born on August 28th, 1779, and
baptised at St. Catherine's, once "that fair Spanish
church ruined by the old soldiers in 1655" (so wrote the
Governor of Jamaica, Sir Thomas Modyford, in 1664),
when eight thousand Commonwealth troops under Penn
and Venables captured the island from the Spanish. In
the early days of Charles II's reign a new church had
been built on the ruins of the old for the use of English
It had been sad work parting with little Jane for the
sake of the educational advantages of Mrs. Fenwick's
admirable school at Greenwich, but (joyful thought!)
Nancy would soon be returning to Jamaica to blossom
into a young lady of fashion under "the constant Eye of
a careful Mother." There was that much satisfaction to
be gained from the fact that Nancy was five years older
than Jane! And when would her beloved Rigby be home
again? Mrs. Brodbelt sighed as the lively image of her
1 This first Anglican church of St. Catherine was itself "thrown down
by ye dreadfull Hurricane of August ye i8th Anno Domini 1712"-so
runs the tablet on the outside of the tower. In the present building, now
Spanish Town Cathedral, is an exquisitely worded memorial to Sir Thomas
Modyford, beginning: "Mistake not reader, for here lyes not only the
deceased body of the Honoble Sir Thomas Modyford Barronett, but even
the soule and life of all Jamaica."


firstborn rose before her. A cruel pity that the honourable
profession of medicine exacted so lengthy a preparation,
and that both London and Edinburgh and after that
it might even be Paris would keep the young medical
student, now seventeen, in the rigid clutches of the
schools, far removed from his fond mother's embrace.
Almost could she wish that Rigby had not chosen to
follow in his father's footsteps!
Here we may picture my great-great-grandmother
laying down her pen and taking into her hand the oval
brooch, set in pearls, and now in my possession, on which
are depicted in grisaille her three children. Nancy seated,
with the youthful Jane leaning against her knee and look-
ing up into her face, while the tall and boyish Rigby, in
a Van Dyck suit, leans his arm on a stone pedestal
whereon is carved in bas-relief the bust of a grave and
reverend signor in a flat cap. In Rigby's hand is a scroll
inscribed Galen;1 an open book lies at his feet; and a
recumbent spaniel, touched in with colour, completes
the family group- so charming a conception that the
great Mr. Cosway himself had seized upon and adapted
it in the oil painting of the young folk. that he had just
completed in England. Ah! when will the three children
be safely reunited with their parents in Spanish Town?
thinks Mrs. Brodbelt with a sudden pang of apprehension.
... But the packet will soon be sailing, and the letter to
her precious Jane not even begun! My great-great-
grandmother picks up her pen once more, and in a small
and exquisite handwriting, that reveals considerable
character, inscribes the following letter.
1 Galen (A.D. I30-c. 200) was a native of Pergamos who went to Rome in
z63 or 164. He was physician to Marcus Aurelius, and for many centuries
his writings formed the chief text-book of the medical profession.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796


Doll and baby House
"Octr ye 12th, 1788.
"My dear little Girl,
"I greatly rejoice at your recovery from the Influenza,
and I am sure you must as well as myself be very thankful
to your Dear Cousins for their tender care of you in your
illness. ... I am glad you passed your time so pleasantly
at Brighton, and I find Mrs Penoyre was so kind as to
stay for the Races that you might see them; this was being
very indulgent indeed, and I dare say reminded you of
what I often told you, which was, that your Mama in
England would make you as happy as I did, provided
you behaved well and loved Her. Of all the different
amusements you have been to, which do you like the
best? I guess it to be a Pantomime entertainment when
Harlequin turns himself into such a number of droll
things; you must let me know if I am right.... I suppose
you have a very handsome Doll and baby House; pray
what is my Granddaughter's name? I hope you make
yourself all the clothes she wears, for that will teach you
to make your own by and by; which is a very commend-
able thing in a young Lady and saves Her many dis-
appointments from her Milliner or Mantua Maker.
How does Mrs Fenwick do? She must have been much
delighted at your return to School after such an absence
from her; and you met her, I am sure, with equal plea-
sure as I know you wish for improvement . Your
young friends the Harrisons desire their best love to you,
and Dorothy hopes you have received her letter by her
Brother, Captain Harrison; if you have, answer it soon
and prettily. Give my warmest love to your good Cousins
and my Dear Nancy. Mr and Mrs Gardner Millward,
John and Frances, beg me to send you their best wishes.
Tabby presents her respects and is pleased you liked the
Guava marmalade. Your very dear Papa unites with


me in affectionate love to My Dearest Jane, and I am
her most tender Mother, ANN G. BRODBELT."

This, the first letter to Jane that has been preserved,
touches on several interesting circumstances in the back-
ground of her life. The phrase, "your Mama in England,"
refers to Mrs. Brodbelt's cousin, Mrs. Thomas Stallard-
Penoyre, at whose house in Streatham both Nancy and
Jane spent many school holidays. Ann Gardner Brod-
belt's own maiden name had been Penoyre :1 she and her
sisters were daughters and co-heiresses of Thomas Penoyre
(1722-66) of Spanish Town, "practitioner in physick and
surgery," who had married Sarah Gardner, daughter of
Thomas Gardner (1696-1747) of Jamaica. Thomas
Penoyre belonged to the family of Penoyre of the Moor,
Clifford, Herefordshire, and was seventh in direct descent
from Thomas ap Jenkyn Penoyre, living at Clifford 28
Henry VIII (1537). In the fifth generation below Thomas
ap Jenkyn Penoyre, another Thomas Penoyre of the
Moor, who died in 1727, had married Elizabeth, eldest
daughter and co-heiress of John Dannett of Bosbury,
Herefordshire:2 she was great-grandmother to the
Penoyre girls in Jamaica. Elizabeth's second son,
Thomas, dying unmarried in 1783 (his brothers being
dead), had left the Moor to his sister Mary's son, Thomas
Stallard, who "assumed the name of Penoyre by Sign
Manual, 7 July, 1783, pursuant to the will of his uncle."
It was he and his wife who gave the Brodbelt children
a home in England, and many of Jane's letters are
addressed to 57 Leadenhall Street, where Thomas
Stallard-Penoyre had a "counting-house" and carried
1 See Genealogical Tree at the end of the book.
2 Her younger sister, Ann Bodenham, joint heiress with herself, died in
1737, and is buried beneath a low stone slab on the south side of Clifford
church, near the tall sundial that marks a Penoyre grave.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

on business as a merchant even after inheriting the family
estate. This excellent and kindly man, to whom, together
with his wife, Mrs. Brodbelt makes many affectionate
references in the letters, died in 1821, and was buried in
St. Katherine Cree, at the east end of Leadenhall Street
-a church that had been entirely rebuilt under the
supervision of Laud, when Bishop of London, and
consecrated by him in 1631.
The little Brodbelts were accustomed to spend part of
their holidays at the Moor, in the company of two other
Stallard brothers, John and Edmund: these elderly
cousins were to die, leaving no descendants, and it will
be seen eventually that Edmund, dying in 1824, left the
Moor to Jane's brother, Rigby. Those who know that
typically English country house, set in the richly wooded,
enchanting valley of the Wye at Hay, will easily imagine
what a Paradise it must have appeared to the young
visitors from Jamaica, although the old house, adapted
about 1822, has grown appreciably since their schooldays.
When Ann Gardner Penoyre married Dr. Francis Rigby
Brodbelt at Spanish Town in 1770, she being then nine-
teen, her father, Thomas Penoyre, had been dead nearly
four years, and she had probably entered upon her
inheritance. To the autumn of 1790 we owe her charm-
ing miniature by Nathaniel Plimer (1757-1822), brother
of Andrew Plimer, Cosway's favourite pupil. Here she is
seen on the verge of forty, with hair elaborately curled
and powdered; she wears a ruffled white muslin dress and
a little green scarf that has slipped down to her elbows.
Both hair and dress are a trifle out of date, as was natural,
perhaps, in the case of a lady only just arrived (as we
shall see) in England from Jamaica. The nose is aquiline,
and a delightful smile plays round the mouth and is
reflected in the eyes of hazel green. Kindness of heart


and a most sincere affection for her friends, coupled with
poignant sympathy in any troubles that might come their
way, shine out of these letters to Jane; as one reads, one
cannot but feel a responsive glow of affection for the writer.
She was especially attached to the young Millwards and
their children, John and Frances, mentioned in the first
letter. John Gardner Millward (1761-1822) was Lieut.-
General of Militia in Jamaica, and first cousin to Mrs.
Brodbelt. His mother's maiden name had been Ann
Gardner. A pretty little tortoiseshell itui has come down
to me, containing minute scissors, pencil, penknife,
writing-tablet: on the last is inscribed "23 May 1776 this
case was given to me by John Gardner Millward. A.
Gardner Brodbelt." Mrs. Millward was own niece to
Dr. Brodbelt, and was called Anna Maria after her
mother, Anna Maria Aldred.
This young couple lived at Mount Pleasant, in the hills,
and owned a plantation; Mrs. Brodbelt was very glad to
pay them long visits when the heat, down in Spanish
Town, grew oppressive. Not for nothing had the Spanish
settlers called the town S. Jago de la Vega St. James
of the Plain. But, as will be seen, whatever the tempera-
ture, good Dr. Brodbelt continued to carry on his work
in the town, "equally respected and beloved as a physician
and as a man."
It is time to introduce this great-great-grandfather of
mine, who was born in Jamaica on October 9th, 1746.
His mother, Mrs. Anna Maria Inglis, who married
Daniel Brodbelt as a second husband, was the daughter
1 In Spanish Town Cathedral there is a monument to the memory of
Anna Maria Aldred, "daughter of Daniel Broadbelt Esqr and Anna Maria
his Spouse, and Wife of Mr. Edward Aldred Surgeon." She died "in
childbed" on December 2ast, 1761, "aged nineteen years and six days,"
and was Dr. Brodbelt's elder sister. The motherless infant grew up o marry
John Gardner Millward. Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies,
by Capt. J. H. Laurence Archer. (Chatto & Windus, 1875.)

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-r796

of a James Rigby who died in Jamaica in 1741, and
grand-daughter of a certain Edward Rigby who pur-
chased Mistley Hall, in the county of Essex (England),
and died in I711. Her cousin, the Rt. Hon. Richard
Rigby, was Commissioner of Trade and Plantations in
Jamaica; he died in 1758. Daniel Brodbelt's name occurs
in an advertisement in the Royal Gazette, June 24th, 1780.
"To be sold in the Parish of Saint Catherine, a run
of land upon the sea coast, about 8 or 9 miles to
leeward of Port Royal, and I miles from Spanish
Town, well known by the name of WRECK BAY.
"It is conveniently situated for the making of
White-Lime, catching offish, and supplying Kingston
and Port Royal with wood. There is on the premises
a very excellent large dwelling house, with a most
complete set of out-offices, all built of stone, together
with upwards of thirty negroes.
"Good security will be required as the payment will
be made easy:-For particulars apply to Dr. Brod-
belt in Spanish Town or on the premises to:-
Dr. Brodbelt was passionately desirous that his daugh-
ters, Nancy and Jane, should be well educated and
thoroughly accomplished. By the end of the seventeenth
century the need of a good local education for the sons
and daughters of colonists in Jamaica had become an
urgent matter. Those who could afford it sent their
children to England, and so it continued in the main till
the end of the eighteenth century, and, indeed, later still.,
1 Leslie, in his New Histor of Jamaica (1740), writes: "Learning is here
at the lowest Ebb: there is no public School in the whole Island, neither
do they seem fond of the thing: several large Donations have been made for
such Uses, but have never taken Effect. The Office of a Teacher is looked
upon as contemptible and no Gentleman keeps company with one of that
character; to read, write, and cast Accounts is all the Education they
desire, and even these are but scurvily taught. A man of any Parts or
Learning that would employ himself in that Business, would be despised
and starve. The Gentlemen whose Fortunes can allow it, send their children
to Great Britain, where they have the advantage of a polite and generous

Dr. Brodbelt had the highest opinion of Mrs. Fenwick's
school, Flint House, Greenwich, and in a letter to Jane
of December i4th, 1788, says that he has exerted his
utmost endeavours to have her young friends, Dorothy
and Margaret Harrison (who appeared in the first letter),
placed at Mrs. Fenwick's, "but could not succeed as their
Parents had a high opinion of Este and Carlisle's." Their
brother, Captain Harrison, was in command of a sailing-
vessel, and it will presently be seen that Mrs. Brodbelt,
who made a return voyage from England with him, had
but a poor opinion both of his luck and his ability.
On "Feby I7th, I739," Jane received from Edinburgh
a letter from her brother. It must be confessed that Rigby
is but a dull letter-writer, and on this occasion the com-
position has an added sententiousness due to the fact that
all Jane's correspondence addressed to Flint House, even
including letters from her parents, had to pass under the
vigilant eye of her schoolmistress.


An accomplished lady
"I had a letter from your sister a few days ago; she was
very well, and so were all those most kind friends of ours
at the Moor. ... I flatter myself that by this time you are
quite fond of school, especially as you are 'under so good
a mistress as Mrs Fenwick. Does Nancy frequently write
to you? I have taken great care of all the letters you have
written me, and shall always do so with those that you
will write, that I might have the pleasure of perceiving
your improvement which I hope is very great, as well in
writing and reading and all other accomplishments which
Mrs Fenwick thinks proper for you to learn; and I hope

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
that you often recollect that the faster you learn so much
the sooner you will return an accomplished lady to your
dear father and mother in Jamaica. ... I remain My
dear Jane's most affectionate Brother FRAzN. RIGBY

To me Rigby always appears as a figure drenched in
romance a floating atom, visible for an instant against
the sombre and towering storm-cloud as its torrents burst
their bonds and sweep away a throne. Too much did
I expect from him as a letter-writer!
Next comes a packet of letters fastened together by the
little schoolgirl with a silk thread, now broken, lest they
should be mislaid; these range from 1789 to 1791, and
the ink is still fresh on the fine hand-made paper. Here
and there gleams out a gold edge, and the many creases
and tatters show how often the child read and re-read
them. The first, dated April 12th, 1789, is a delightful
example of her mother's warm-hearted style.


Cosway a Slow Hand
"... I thank your good Cousins Mr and Mrs Penoyre
for giving you such pleasant holidays in Herefordshire
among your other Relations. Mr Edmund Stallard has
written to me, and He has said many very pretty things
of you in His letter; I hope your God-Papa Mr John
Stallard was as much pleased with you as He was, and
that your Cousin William was no less so. . Bessy
[Brammer] gives me a most delightful account of your
improvement at School, and of your being beloved by
Mrs Fenwick and all your Schoolfellows; what a charm-
ing thing it is to be good-temper'd and to love to learn,


for then you are not made unhappy by going to School,
as those children are who are of an obstinate disposition
and must be drove to their learning. .. What a very
great pity it is that Miss Brammer is so dreadfully crooked:
I am quite uneasy to see it. ... Let me beg you my dear
Jane to hold yourself very upright both in sitting, walk-
ing, and standing, for was you to grow awry you would
make me miserable. You must give your Papa's and my
warmest remembrances to your dear Papa and Mama
Penoyre, and tell them that we have no objection to your
riding the Old Horse, or any other they think proper.
... I sent your Picture over to Mrs Harrison's, and they
all thought it very like you; Dorothy and Kit did not
want it to be carried away again, but that could not be
granted by me, for I should by that means lose the plea-
sure of looking at you twenty times in the day; do you
know that I can scarcely keep myself below stairs to
attend to what I used to do before I received your dear
Pictures; Rigby's face is certainly much altered but am
sure it's very like Him from what I can recollect of it
when He left Jamaica, and the striking resemblance there
is to your Papa in his forehead and eyes. Nancy's face
has altered very little, I should have known it among
many for hers, she is drawn with a fine skin and com-
plexion, the first she has always had and the latter I dare-
say she now has. Bessy Brammer tells me that nothing
can be more like her than it is, and that her Hair was
exactly in those curls the day she went from Mrs Fenwick's
to sit for it. She also informs me that you are grown fat,
that your skin is greatly cleared and your lips red but no
colour as yet in your cheeks. I long for Mr and Mrs
Penoyre's Pictures, pray tell them so, that they may
hasten Mr Cosway, for I know He is a slow hand ....
God bless you, my very very dear Jane, and may you
continue to love me as you have always done is the sincere
prayer of your most affectionate MOTHER."
This letter dates the arrival in Spanish Town of Cosway's
picture of the three children, reproduced as a frontispiece
to this volume. The composition is on the lines made

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

famous by Titian's Pesaro Madonna. A diagonal line
cuts through the composition, leading from little Jane
through the seated figure of Nancy, who faces the spec-
tator, and sweeping upwards from her head to Rigby's
upright figure. From thence the line soars up to the
majestic bust of Galen, finely seen in profile. The perpen-
dicular line of the pedestal again leads the eye up to
Galen, who becomes the central point of the picture
although he occupies a place entirely to the right side of it.
Jane, a charming little figure in white muslin, has a
thoughtful, intelligent face under fair, curling hair. Nancy,
in white muslin varied by a yellow bow, holds a delightful
bunch of flowers in the left hand; a pale blue ribbon
threads her fair curls. Rigby's black velvet sleeves are
slashed with yellow; in his hand is the student's familiar
volume. On the pedestal, below the club and serpent of
JEsculapius, is inscribed:
Rdu Cosway R.A.
Primarius Pictor
Serenissimi Wallice
Richard Cosway (1742-1821) was the son of a school-
master who, at the time of his son's birth, was headmaster
of Blundell's School, Tiverton. He was elected R.A. in
1771, and was best known for his miniatures, the demand
for which nearly overwhelmed the artist. He also executed
numerous oil-paintings. At one period the Prince of
Wales was his patron, and he celebrated this exalted friend-
ship in Latin inscriptions as on the picture of the Brodbelt
children. A vain, spoilt, highly gifted little man, Cosway
was a brilliant miniaturist; his pictures have a certain fluent
facility that in some cases barely escapes superficiality.
The distressing spectacle of crooked Miss Bessy Brammer


(Letter III), and the fear lest Jane, too, might "grow
awry," were a source of anxiety to my great-great-
grandmother, who, with her prettily rounded figure and
little waist, held herself as straight as a dart. Dr. Brodbelt
was equally concerned about Jane's "shape ": it was the
subject of one of his most characteristic utterances (No-
vember I6th, 1794): "Always hold yourself perfectly
erect, that your Shape may not be prejudiced."


Cousin Millward's Mountain
"Mount Pleasant, July 12th, 1789.
"I am highly entertained with the account you have
given me in your last letter of the Procession to St Paul's.
Pray give my warmest love to your kind cousins Mr and
Mrs Penoyre and tell them that I am greatly obliged to
them for indulging you with so good and beautiful a sight.
... I am happy you have enjoyed your health since you
have been in England; Captain Boyd writes us, that you
have now got the complexion of an English girl. ... By
the date of this letter you will know that I am at your
Cousin Millward's Mountain; the family are all up here
and intend making a long stay, and I should like to do so
too, for it is a delightful cool place, but your Papa's busi-
ness confines Him so much to the Town that He cannot
leave it for a day, and as I can receive but little satisfac-
tion when He does not partake of it with me I shall soon
return to him. John and Frances are lovely children and
look all the better for the different air they enjoy here:
they both beg that I will tell Cousin Jane many how dee's
for them, and that they mean to go and see her as soon as
they are old enough.
"I am My dearest Jane's most tender MOTHER.
"Your good dry nurse Tabby sends her warmest wishes
to you and your sister."

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
Tabby, who also appeared in Letter I, was a Mrs.
Marshall, a negress. No doubt her heart yearned at times
for her little charge, faintly discerned across the estranging
Life ran smoothly on Cousin Millward's plantation, but
two days after this letter was written, far away in the fair
land of France, the Bastille fell, and further dread rever-
berations, reaching Jamaica in due season, were to strike
chill terror into Ann Brodbelt's motherly heart. The time
for that, however, was not yet come.


Nancy and Jane visit Margate
"Oct: 18th, 1789.
"I received great pleasure from the letter you wrote me
at Margate, as you tell me that you are in good health and
spirits. I am glad you went to see the Cathedral at Can-
terbury as it is a noble building. I find that your Dear
Cousins were likewise so kind as to take you to three
Plays. How much you must love them for their care and
indulgence to you, and I hope you do everything to please
them, which you know is the only means you have to shew
them your gratitude for it.... Mrs Ricketts begs me to
say that she is delighted with your remembering of her, for
that you was always a very great favorite of hers, and she
hopes to see you return to Jamaica everything she can
wish. I have been comparing the lock of Hair you sent me
from Margate with the pretty curl I cut from off your
head a short time before you left me, and I find that your
hair is at least six shades darker than it was then. Your
dear Brother and Sister's are so exactly alike in colour that
I can scarcely tell which is which. I beg you will request
of Nancy to take your height without your Shoes or Cap,
and to be very exact in doing it. When she has taken


yours you must do the same kind office for her, and send
them both out to me by Captain Fowler or any other safe
hand.... I wish I could take a peep at you all, when
seated round the fire at Streatham, for I am sure I should
see great happiness .... Your most tender MOTHER.
"P.S. Your Dog and Cat desire me to tell you that
they are taken good care of for they are as fat as they can
lie in their skin. They are my constant attendants at
home, and Fop would be so abroad if I would let him."

The junketings to Margate and elsewhere startled
Dr. Brodbelt, always alarmed lest Jane's education should
suffer from too much frivolity. On November I5th he
took a hand himself, and in his fine large writing, full of
personality, urged that
"you must now, My dear child, stick close to School and
apply most diligently to make up your lost time, and don't
coax for any holidays from this time to your going home
at Midsummer. Your dear Mama joins me in best love to
yourself, and kindest respects to Mrs Fenwick, from which
Lady I have lately been favored with a very kind letter,
therefore thank her for me in the genteelest manner. I am
ever My dear Jane's most truly affectionate Father,

Ten weeks later he is still apprehensive, and fires off
another letter in the same style (January 25th, 1790):
"When you next write, do not forget to let me know
what you are learning at School, and I hope for your own
sake as well as mine that you will pay the greatest atten-
tion to everything you are desired to learn, and never be
absent from Flint House when there is any school there,
because you are now old enough to know that holidays
are prejudicial. Your Mother as well as myself wish (as
much as you do) to be in England, but that is impossible,
as I am obliged to remain here to work for you your Sister
and Brother."

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
On March 21st, 1790, he writes with some acerbity:
"I dare say you spent your time very agreeably in
Herefordshire, and now that you are returned to Flint
House after having made so many holidays I hope you
will make your lost time up by uncommon assiduity to
everything that I wish you to learn, and Mrs Fenwick
appoints teachers for, as I shall leave everything of that
kind to Her, being perfectly satisfied She will act by you
as She would by a child of her own."

Jane, who was by now ten and a half years old, seems to
have been a good, industrious child, for in later letters
both parents express great pleasure at the favourable re-
ports that they receive from her school. The constant
repetition of "No more holidays!" does not seem to have
had any damaging effect upon the love that both she and
Nancy felt for their father, and I suspect that these
parental blandishments, cajoleries, objurgations, went
careering high over Jane's head like clouds in a March
sky. In this I am reminded of my own little brother, who
was constantly rebuked at meals by my dear father for
"beating the devil's tattoo" on the stretchers of the
Chippendale chairs round the dinner-table. One day a
visitor found us playing with the dolls' house in the
nursery and commented good-naturedly on the various
scenes going on within its walls the nurse putting the
midget children to bed, the minute cook in the kitchen,
the fashionable mamma seated on the drawing-room sofa.
"And here's the father," said she, regarding a masculine
figure, solitary and majestic, in the dining-room. "Now
what's he doing, I wonder?" My brother looked up from
the floor with a flashing smile, guiltless of all resentment.
"Oh! he's taking care of the furniture: 'cos fathers do!"
The severity of Dr. Brodbelt's tone was tempered by a
letter fromJane's mother, brought by the same "Pacquet."



Brodbelt Millward born
"... You are by this time improving fast in drawing,
and I dare say will be able to send me by your Sister (who
will leave England in a few months) a small piece of your
performance.... Your cousin Mrs Gardner Millward has
got another little Boy and He is very like John; Frances
grows a very fine Girl, and often puts me in mind of you
when she is coaxing to get anything she wants, for she has
exactly your method of doing it. She begs I will tell her
Cousin Jane, that she is almost old enough to go to Eng-
land, and when she is, that she will come to you to take
care of Her, and teach her how to work Baskets, and to
read her Books. Your dear Papa intends writing to you
by this Pacquet, therefore I will only add his love with
mine to you as he will mention what ever besides that He
thinks proper. May God bless you, my dearest Jane, and
make you a comfort to us, is the fervent prayer of your
truly affectionate MOTHER.
"March 2Ist, 179o."

On the following August 8th, Dr. Brodbelt tells Jane
that her mother, Mrs. Harrison, and the five young Har-
risons have all sailed for England, the faithful Tabby and
Eliza (another negress) accompanying their mistress on
the expedition to bring Nancy home. "Before you receive
this letter, you will have been made happy by seeing your
dear good Mother. I hope you will not coax her to give
you any holidays, as they will be of prejudice to you."
The lonely man, left behind in Spanish Town for over
a year and a half; finds some consolation in the household
pets. In November he writes:
"I am glad to hear you have seen your old friends,
Miss Harrisons, but you don't say a sylable of your favorite

FROM JAMAICA, x788-1796
Kit (Christopher), who I can assure you never forgot
you. I observe you mention Fop but forgot your poor
Cat Boyd, they are both well and fat, and are my constant
faithful companions when I am at home: they have
become as fond of Me now as they were of your dear
Mother. Your Cousins Gardner, John, Frances and
Brodbelt desire their love to you. Accept my best love
yourself and remember me in the kindest manner to Mr.
and Mrs. Penoyre, and to Messrs Edmund, John and
William Stallard."
The hope that Jane's little nose might be kept steadily
to the grindstone was scarcely fulfilled, for on December
igth her father trusts "that you will apply doubly close
to your studies to make up for all those very many holidays
you have lately had, but I do not doubt of your attention
to what I wish you to learn, for I have lately been
favored with a very polite letter from your worthy
Governess, Mrs Fenwick, in which she mentions you
in a very handsome manner." Then comes a sigh
of disappointment: "I am glad you have seen your
Brother, but you don't say a sylable how you liked
On this note of yearning and regret i790 closes.
This must have been a singularly happy visit for Mrs.
Brodbelt, once more united with her children and rejoiced
to be in the company of the elderly cousins whose over-
flowing kindness provided them with a home in England.
That entertaining young woman, Mrs. Gardner Millward,
was also of the party, having left her youthful family, we
must suppose, to the care of trustworthy negro servants.
Later on, in the summer of 1791, a long visit to the Moor
would no doubt have taken place. Meanwhile (I will
hazard the guess), in the early autumn of 1790, my
great-great-grandmother approached Mr. Cosway with
a request for a miniature, and was handed on by the great


man to his pupil, Nathaniel Plimer. As I said, there is
something very simple, natural, and pleasing in this like-
ness of her in her slightly old-fashioned hair and dress.
But by the spring of 1791 she and Nancy had provided
themselves with all that was most fashionable at the
milliner's and mantua-maker's, and had sought out
Mrs. Beetham, who worked at 27 Fleet Street and
described herself as a "profiler," painting likenesses "on
polished glass in a style entirely new: 3s. to 3 guineas."'
In these silhouettes the face is a dead black, but hair,
dress, ribbons, and ornaments are painted in with the
most exquisite delicacy, as in all Mrs. Beetham's work.
The "shade" is executed on concave glass, and casts
its own soft shadow on the white card behind it. In this
amusing example Mrs. Brodbelt's waist is pinched in and
her muslin fichu is puffed out until Nature is lost in
artifice. Under the tall hat, like a ship in full sail, the
hair falls in a long curl down the back. Nancy's girlish
silhouette displays two pink roses in the hat; the em-
broidered sleeve and the little hand extended like a paw
are replicas of her mother's. Another silhouette by Mrs.
Beetham, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, of a
younger woman dressed in the same fashion, a little more
exaggerated and with the same long curl at the back, is
precisely in the same formula. I should like to think it
the likeness of Anna Maria Millward!
Jane, much taken up with her mother and sister, only
preserved two letters written in i791: both from her
father and very brief. On December 12th he reiterates
the old lament: "As you have lost a vast deal of precious
time owing to your dear Mother's being in England, I
flatter myselfyou will redouble your application to study."
1 Advertisement in The Times newspaper, March 6th; 1792; discovered
by Mr. Francis Buckley.

FROM JAMAICA, r788-r796
In a later letter he urges that "at your time of life every
hour's absence from School is a misfortune too dreadful
to mention."
But when the hour of parting had come, he wrote
Jane a kind little note (January 15th, 1792): "I do not
wonder at your uneasiness on the thoughts of the depar-
ture of your dear Mother and Sister, however there is this
to comfort you that a few years will bring you again
together with the blessing of God."
The party sailed just after the New Year in a ship
commanded by Captain Harrison, and on "March ye
9th, 1792" Jane's mother scribbles her a hurried letter
"off Dominica," complaining that "we have had a very
tedious passage, for we are now seven or eight days good
sailing from Home . Dorothy has written you a very
long letter."
This letter, written in an ill-formed hand that does no
credit to the writing-master at Este and Carlisle's-if
indeed he were ever responsible for it is dated by the
careless child, "Dominica, March 9th, 1791," and bears
the stamp, "Liverpool ship."


Mad Raymond
"As I have just found out from Mrs Millward that
neither she your Mama nor Nancy are going to write to
you, I think I cannot apply an hour to a better purpose,
nothing my dear Jane will make me so happy as in writing
and hearing from you. We have had a boring long
Voyage, indeed I as well as the rest am quite tired, and
was it not for laughing and work of a morning, and


Swinging of an Evening, I do not know how the time
would pass away. Our party are all very pleasant, I
believe you are acquainted with some of them; Miss
Hylton is a very good natured girl, Mr. Lear is rather of
the stupid, Sneaking kind, and his stories are rather
poking. We have been obliged to put in here for Water
as before we get to Jamaica, it will be near eleven weeks;
that is as far as we can guess, for God knows, perhaps we
may again have a long calm. Indeed my dear Jane, I
often wish you was one of our party, but I hope you will
remember your promise, in writing very often to your
old friend as I assure you nothing will give me greater
pleasure. I am afraid this letter will not be very enter-
taining but on board a Ship what can one have to say;
I must therefore beg you to excuse this being very short
and stupid but I will promise to write a longer as soon
as I arrive in Jamaica, my Brother does not stop long
enough here for us to go on Shore, therefore we only
please ourselves with looking on it at a distance, which is
very tantalizing. I assure you my Mama, Sister Moggy
and Sam all desire their love to you, Marshall and Eliza
their best respects. Give all our Compliments to Mr and
Mrs Penoyre, and remember us very kindly to your
Brother. I can assure you while the blowing Weather
lasted we were sadly frightened, could you have seen us
you would have laugh'd, such a group of figures all
drawn up in different parts of the Cabbin eating off the
ground fed by my Brother and the Mate, as for the Mean
sneaking Doctor he was such a coward that he kept in
his bed. If you see anything of Mad Raymond tell him
his friends are all well and desire to be remembered to
him. We often wish for a little of his chat and fun. I
remain my dear Jane Your ever affectionate friend

"Mad Raymond": in this phrase, tossed out by a
lively schoolgirl, we are introduced to the most fascinating
personality of the letters-William Raymond (1759-
1845), afterwards Captain Raymond of the 13th Hussars.
"Now, Master Raymond, don't be so audacious!" was

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

a common saying of our own old nursery days. I fancy
that the same high spirits and audacity characterized
the "Mr. Raymond" of three generations earlier.

The Royal Gazette of March 24th, 1792, duly announced:
"Passengers arrived In the Louisa, the family of the
late Counsellor Harrison, Mrs. and Miss Brodbelt,
Mrs. J. Gardner Millward, Miss Hylton, Mr. Tilbert
and Mr. Williams."

The next letter makes known to us that pleasing
correspondent, Mrs. Gardner Millward. The flowing
handwriting, with its rounded curves, reveals the genial,
easy-going character of the writer.


As happy as a Lord
"Spanish Town, Jamaica.
"April the 6th, 1792.
"It is with much pleasure I inform My Dear Jane that
we arrived safe in Jamaica the i8th of March after a
tedious disagreeable passage of ten Weeks and three
days, however we were amply repaid on our arrival by
finding your dear Father, Mr Millward and the children
well. You cannot think how pleased your little Cousins
were with the Play things you sent them, John rode up to
the Mountain with me last Saturday and had on his
boots and spurs which fit him quite well; and he was as
happy as a Lord; he says I must tell you as soon as he
can join his Letters well, he will write to you but begs me
in uhe mean time to give his love to you and thank you
kindly for them, also Frances and Brodbelt for their
things. I suppose you have heard of the death of poor
Mr Harrison, Mrs Harrison and the children are to


return to England in June or July with Captain Harrison.
. . Have you seen Mrs Lee since I left England? I hope
they as well as the rest of our friends will be very kind to
you: pray has Roche been to see you at School yet?
If he has not I think it is very mean of him. . We
have had several Balls since we arrived; we had a little
hop at my house last night we only wanted the company
of dear Jane and her Brother to make us truly happy ...
the rest of your friends desire their love, accept of mine
my Dear Jane and believe me to be your sincere and
affectionate Friend and Cousin, ANNA MARIA MILLWARD.
"P.S. Patty Jones sails with Capt. Fowler and is to go
to school at Mrs Fenwick."

Pray has Roche been to see you at School yet? In these words
Mrs. Millward introduces a conundrum of some interest,
to which I shall presently return.
There follows the first of Nancy's rare letters, written
in a spidery, illegible hand that must surely have called
forth severe comments from her father. With what
eagerness would Jane have read her sister's first impres-
sions on returning home!


Jamaica very hot
"Dear Jane We had a most tedious passage of ten
weeks and two or three days from Portsmouth, at first
began with Gales, then Contrary winds and Calms, I
thought we should never have reached Jamaica. . I
find Jamaica very hot, it is really a very different place
in every respect to poor England, for you can hardly
put your nose out of the Door here but all the town knows
it. I have had four dances given me since I have been

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
here, the officers of the sixty-second regiment generally
make some of the party; without them there would be
very little dancing for there are not many young Gentle-
men here. I will tell you who enquired very kindly after
you-Maria Gardner: she is grown very much but is
not now at all pretty. I suppose you will spend your
Midsummer Hollidays in Herefordshire, by that time I
suppose you will be fond of riding, and it will pass the
time very agreeably. . All Mrs Harrison's family
return with the Captain owing to the death of poor Mr
Harrison, poor man he died a few weeks before our
arrival. .. Be sure and write to me very often and let
me know all the news. Have you seen Mr Raymond
often? When you see him again remember me to him.
. . Don't be writing any of your formal letters to me
but let me know every thing and how every body in dear
England does for be assured my dear Jane they will
always be the most acceptable letters to your ever
affectionate Sister, ANN MARIA BRODBELT
"April 6th I792."

To the same date belongs one of my great-great-
grandmother's most delightful letters.


Family Pets
"April 8th I792.
"You will no doubt My dearest Girl be happy to hear
that I am safely arrived after the many unpleasant days
I had at Sea: indeed they were very tiresome even as
cheerfull as we tried to be. I had the happiness to find
your very dear Father in good health, which made me
forget in a moment the fatigues of my long Voyage. Miss
Hylton who came out with us is a charming Girl; she


endeavour'd by an amiableness of disposition to please
all of Us, and succeeded accordingly: I am sorry she does
not live in Spanish Town. She has likewise a Sister as
engaging as herself: these young Ladies, with Miss
Brammer and a few others, are most agreeable Com-
panions for your Sister; and my friends are all so rejoiced
at my return among them that We have been dining out
and Dancing ever since our arrival; indeed they make so
much of me that what with their kind attentions and the
hurry of unpacking my things &c.&c. I am still in a state
of the utmost confusion. ... I have requested the negroes
to get me some shells, horse Eyes and Coccoons for you,
to send either by Capt. Fowler, or Harrison, and I will
desire your Papa to have his profile taken, so that all your
wishes may be gratified. . You will be at home when
this reaches you, therefore let me have a very long letter
in return, and let it be a very cheerful one, such as I know
you can write. You have had many enquiries made about
you, and your friends desire their love to you. Fop and
Boyd are alive and well, so is Jackco, but as he is a little
mangy from playing with the dogs when they were so,
I have deferred putting on his new chain till he has left
off scratching which will be shortly for he is much better.
I brought my Canary Birds safe, though they suffered
greatly during the heavy gales, for they had very many
falls. I likewise bought some other kind of Birds of the
Man that was on board, so that I have got several now,
and shall have more soon for one of the Canaries is sit-
ting. As your Cousin Millward writes to you, I shall only
say, that her young ones are well, and Brodbelt as fine
a child as I ever beheld. He desires every person to look
at the fine Buckles his Cousin Jane sent him, and says you
are a fine Girl. I need not remind you my Child of your
good friends Mr and Mrs Penoyre's friendship to you,
you have been long enough with them to be sensible of
it, and therefore will I am convinced do everything in
your power to merit it, by a grateful return. And let me
beg of you to pay Mr Edmund and John Stallard great
respect for they are both very kind to you and love you.
Patty Jones who you may recollect is going to England



FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
with Capta. Fowler, she is to be at Flint House and Mrs
Jones (her Mother) requests you will take her under your
protection. Before I conclude let me remind you that
four years will soon pass away, therefore exert yourself,
so that you may be fully qualified to come to Jamaica
with your Brother. You have abilities to acquire every
accomplishment, and your dear Papa will spare no cost,
so that you have nothing to do but apply with all your
heart. God bless you my dearest Jane and be assured
that I can never love you better than I do. Your truly
affectionate MOTHER."

The same packet brings Jane the agreeable news from
her father that she is to have a holiday allowance over
and above her weekly school allowance.

"I have wrote to Mr Penoyre to allow you each Whit-
suntide and Christmas holidays what he judges proper,
but on this subject you and He I suppose will have a
consultation and perhaps you may think that four or six
guineas a year will be sufficient. As by this time you
ought to be a good Arithmetician, I would advise you to
keep a regular Dr and Cr, which you will find of great
use to you."

On April 27th, 1792, Rigby, now in London, encloses
to Jane "a few lines that your mother were kind enough
to write you off Dominica, and would have delivered
them to you myself were I not much engaged." Certainly
he was a poor hand at letter-writing. Time was flying
apace, and Rigby was to come of age this year.
Mrs. Brodbelt, writing to Jane on July 2nd, tells her
that her
"Sister has enjoyed very good health since her return to
Jamaica, and is much stouter than when she left you
although she has danced a great deal, and which is
enough to reduce any person for the weather is distress-
ingly hot. Mrs G. Millward and family have been for

some weeks past at Mount Pleasant, for the town was
much too warm for the children. Your Dog and Cat are
now lying close to my chair for they are my constant
companions whenever I am at Home; the latter has got
a nice play-mate in the Cat I brought out with me, which
from being remarkably wild is now become so very tame
that I can scarcely ever keep him out of my lap. He is
a beautiful animal, and greatly admired . Your dear
Brother's time is so fully employed that you cannot see
Him so often as you or himself would wish, therefore you
must write frequently to each other."


The Miers Silhouettes
"In compliance with your request My dearest Jane,
I have sent enclosed in the Box with the Shells your dear
Father's Profile, and considering the disadvantages
attending the taking of it here, where we are in want
both of a machine to steady the Head, and a proper shade
of light for it, it's thought very like Him. When you apply
to Mr Myers to reduce it to the size you wish it to be of,
I beg you will desire him to do one also for me, and when
finished request the favor of Mr Penoyre to pay for it,
and to send it to me by an early conveyance. Your
Father's hair is generally dressed as the Gentlemen now
wear it in England nearly straight at the sides and as
he has but a small quantity of hair on the top of his Head,
he combs it smooth on the forehead. I have mentioned
these things, as it is right to have it done as he usually
dresses. Let the profile that Myers is to do for me, be of
the same size as the one he did of your Brother, and have
it put into the same kind of frame, which is, a black with
a gilt circle within the black. I daresay you recollect
it perfectly. God bless you my dearest little Girl

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

and with affectionate love to yourself and your dear
Brother be assured of my tenderest regard. A. G. B. July
i6th 1792."

These silhouettes by Miers are now in my possession;
it is very interesting to read of their inception. Dr. Brod-
belt has a good profile: the nose is aquiline; the forehead,
sloping a little backwards, is lofty. The hair is tied in
a long queue, and a ruffled shirt sits very prettily under
the chin. Rigby's silhouette, very like his father's as to
the forehead, but showing a jutting and irregular nose,
has the same queue and a shirt with a more exuberant
ruffle. In both silhouettes the face and bust are dead
black, shading to transparent grey in the edges of the hair
and in the ruffle. The father's picture gives the impression
of great benevolence and solid worth; at this date he was
just going to strike forty-six.
The Misses Baker-Penoyre have an interesting silhouette,
also by Miers, of Ann Gardner Brodbelt as a middle-aged
woman. "Profile Painter and Jeweller. 1. Strand.
London." is written at the back in an old-fashioned
handwriting. A silhouette of Jane, no longer very
young, similarly inscribed, is also in their possession. It
-matches Rigby's silhouette.
That fine craftsman, John Miers, began to make his
shadow portraits in a little shop in Lowerhead Row,
Leeds. It is this early work that is most in demand
among collectors, especially if it bears the label "J. Miers,
Leeds." He then came to London, and his name
first appears in the London Directory for 1792: "Pro-
filist and Jeweller. i i. Strand." He and Field were
in partnership for thirty-five years, Field's address
being I Strand, close to the old Northumberland


I think there can be no doubt that every woman swayed
a little on her orbit towards Mr. Raymond as he passed
by: not least "the grave, sedate Mrs Gardner Millward."
The following delightful letter is addressed to Miss Jane
Brodbelt "favor'd by Miss D. Harrison."


Our friends salute thee
"Mount Pleasant.
"July i6th 1792.
"I perfectly agree with you in not liking letters written
before a governess; as I ever wish to hear my dear girl's
own sentiments and not those of Mrs Fenwick, I hope
she will always write to me in the Holiday time. Your
friend Dorothy Harrison has been staying with me in the
Mountain, and has promised to deliver this letter to you
a day or two after her arrival in London, she is much
afraid the Packet will not arrive in which you promised
to answer her letter, before she sails, which will be about
the 20th of this Month. ... I am glad to hear my friend
Dickson has been to see you, she is a most excellent
woman, and her acquaintance worthy of cultivating.
You are a very great favorite both of her and my friend
Miss Lee.
"When did you see mad Raymond? the Paragraph of
your letter was just like him. If you should chance to see
him soon tell him the grave, sedate Mrs Gardner Millward,
who he often used to abuse, desires to be remembered to
him; but she imagines by this time he has nearly forgot-
ten that their is such a person, the time being almost
expired that she allied alotted him for his remembrance
of her.
"I am fearful I shall not be able to get the shells I

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

promised you, to send by this opportunity, but if any
other good one offers I will send them, and should you
wish for any other thing that I can get, you need only
let me know and you shall have it, if it is in my power to
procure it. John, Frances, and Brodbelt desire their love
S.. when you see our good friends Mr and Mrs Penoyre
make my very best respects to them. Mr Millward desires
his kind love to you; the rest of your friends tell you how
dee. Marshall begs me to make,her kind respects and
best duty to her dear Mistress, Miss Jane, you see I have
given you it in her own words.
"God Bless you my Dear Girl, and believe me to be
your Sincere affectionate Friend and Cousin, ANNA
"P.S. Dorothy Harrison promises to deliver this out of
Mrs Fenwick's sight."

On August 6th, Dr. Brodbelt told Jane that he was
happy to see her handwriting improved. "I wish you
would break yourself of the fear you have on horseback,"
he added, "because horse exercise is good for every con-
stitution, and more particularly yours." On the back of
this letter Jane wrote a reply in pencil, no doubt intending
to make a fair copy of it later. It is the only fragment of
her handwriting that has survived among the letters, and
a poor, niggling little hand it is!

"My dear Papa,
"Your truly kind letter of the 6th of August I received
a few weeks since, it contained very welcome intelligence
as it informed me of all my friends health and that Mrs
H[arrison] was on her passage for England she is not yet
arrived. Mrs Gordon called to see me yesterday Mr
Gordon intends soon to sail for Jamaica and will be so
kind to deliver this. You desired to know what I am
now learning, I learn Musick, Drawing, French, English,
Dancing, Writing, Geography, Singing . My Brother
when he called upon me I was very sorry to hear that


he was to go so soon to Edinborough. Mr and Mrs P.
are at present in Herefordshire but I hope they will soon
return as I wish very much to see them."


My Lady Jane
"Mount Pleasant
"Sepbr 12th 1792
"... I am glad to hear you have finished the Pieces of
Print Work for me as I wish much to have some of your
performance to adorn my drawing room. Your Profile
which now hangs there I often look at with much pleasure
and hope that one day or other I may see the original
skipping about there, and being admired by all who see
her for her mental accomplishments: I asked your Cousin
Gardner as you desired me, what piece of work you should
do for him: he says he leaves it to you, as you must be a
much better judge of those things than him, and let it be
what it will he shall ever set a great Value on it for the
sake of the Donor. You will find by the date of this, that
I am still at Mount Pleasant: your Mother and Sister
have been with me these six weeks past, which has made it
very comfortable; I assure you we did not forget to drink
your health on the 28th of August and all the Negroes
made a dance in the Evening, and gave us a great deal of
Singing and most of their Songs ended with success and
happiness to My Lady Jane: the evening they concluded
with three Huzzas and your health in a bowl of Grog.
"You made John and Frances quite happy by writing to
them, you will find an answer from John enclosed in this
but I do not know if you will be able to read it, they all
desire their love to you even little Brodbelt who is now
become a great Chatter-Box, says, Mama tell Cousin Jane
how dee for me. Your Sister and myself were much con-
cern'd to hear of the death of Lady Winterton, and the

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

more so as she had children and in all probability his
Lordship may Marry again which would be very uncom-
fortable for them.
"Mr G. M- joins me in kind love, and wishing you
health and every other blessing and that you may long
enjoy them, is the Sincere Wish, My Dear Jane, of Your
affectionate Cousin ANNA MARIA MILLWARD."
There is something very attractive about this celebration
by the negroes on Mr. Millward's plantation of the birth-
day of their master's young cousin, far away in England.
Jane had now arrived at the dignity of "teens." Contrary
to his mother's disparaging comment, little John was able
to give a very good account of himself in a fine, towering
hand and almost faultless spelling.


A famous rider
"My dear Cousin Jane
"I am much obliged to you for your kind letter which
made me very happy as it informed me of your being well.
I am become a famous rider, and Mama says I cut a
capital figure when I am mounted with my Boots and
Spurs on. My Sister Frances desires her love to you and
thanks you for the letter you wrote her, and says as soon
as she learns to write she will certainly answer it, but in the
mean time begs me to tell you she likes her doll and the
cloaths much. My Aunt and Cousin are staying in the
mountain with us which makes us all quite happy. I hope
as this is my first letter to you you will excuse all faults and
believe me to be My Dear Cousin, Yours affectionately,
"Mount Pleasant, Sep" iith 1792"
The letter is endorsed on the back "Rec. 17 Dec."



Maternal Admonitions
"Mount Pleasant Sept 16 1792
"Your letters, My dearest Jane, have ever given me
pleasure, but the last has even exceeded those I have
hitherto received from you. Be assured that you cannot
love me more than I love you, and that while your be-
haviour merits a return you will have no cause of com-
"Our good Friend Mr Penoyre writes me, that you
have paid great attention to your Music since I left Eng-
land, which has pleased me much, for I recollect that was
one of your promises to me. How does French go on?
I hope you speak nothing else at School, and that you
take pains to pronounce it properly, for without you do
that, you had better not to speak it at all .... I have been
up at the Mountain six weeks, and among the pleasant
days I have passed in that time, I must not omit telling
you that the 28th of August was not only particularly
noticed as one by Us, but likewise by the negroes, who
celebrated the day with much cheerfulness, 'and were all
united in their good wishes to you. Marshall and Eliza
present their respectful remembrances to you, and are
obliged by your kind enquiries about them.
"I thank you for working me a Fan, and I dare say I
shall approve of the performance.. Your dear Papa desires
me to tell you that He is really at a loss to name what work
you shall do for him, therefore he requests the favour of
Mrs Fenwick to determine what it shall be. By this time
your little friend Patty Jones must be with you, She is a
pleasing Child, and will soon make you fond of Her;
whenever you write to me be sure to mention her, and
Ellen Millward,1 for it will be a satisfaction to their
Mothers, to find you are attentive to them. Give each a
Kiss for me, and say that you did so by my desire.
1 The daughter of Mrs. Tom Millward.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-r796
"You have I trust ere this received the Box I sent by
Captain Harrison, without his usual ill-fortune has
attended him, in having a tedious passage; for he has
been sailed upwards of nine weeks. Captain Fowler and
many others were arrived in England in six weeks after
they left Jamaica. .... Your Sister bears the hot weather
better than I expected, for she will dance from eight at
night till three in the morning without being fatigued by
it. ... Most tenderly yours A. G. BRODBELT."
Before passing on from these friendly negroes it will be of
interest to consider what they cultivated for their master
on the plantation at Mount Pleasant coffee, no doubt,
among other commodities, since coffee had been intro-
duced into Jamaica in 1718. The mango was brought by
Captain Marshall of Rodney's Squadron in 1782, and the
sugar-cane had been cultivated in the time of the Span-
iards, but "the Otaheite and Bourbon sugar-canes, the
most valuable varieties, were introduced in His Majesty's
ships, as late as 1796, by Captain Bligh."l All over the
island little bands of negroes might be met, carrying the
ripe canes on their heads to the mill; and water for turning
the mills for the grinding of the canes was conveyed in the
picturesque aqueducts that were such familiar objects in
the landscape. Other negroes would busy themselves in
carrying away the "trash" after the juice had been ex-
tracted. Perhaps Mr. Millward's negroes cultivated
ginger and cinnamon as well. "The orange, the lime, the
lemon and the citron had been brought to the Island by
the Spaniards" names as delicious to the eye and ear as
the fruits to the taste!
Not always was the relation between master and slave
equally happy: Dr. Brodbelt himself had had trouble with
one of his negroes, as the following advertisement will
1 Hioric Jamaica, by Frank Cundall, O.B.E., F.S.A.


"Royal Gazette a July 1781
"Spanish Town i9th July 1781
"RUN AWAY from the Subscriber, a negroman
named Leghorn formerly the property of Miss
Cheer; he was born in America, speaks very good
English, is thirty years of age, and about 5 feet
i inches high. As he is a very sensible artful fellow
he will probably endeavour to get off the Island.
A reward of FIVE POUNDS will be given for
apprehending and putting him in any gaol, or
delivering him to me; or TWENTY POUNDS on
conviction of any white person who harbours or
conceals him.

In October Dr. Brodbelt grew a little restive again. "As
I know you are fond of reading I would advise you to read
History and not Novels," he admonished Jane, "for you
will receive infinite benefit by the first and none by the
last. Whenever you are with your good Friends and have
an opportunity I hope you will ride by yourself on a Horse
and get the better of your fear. ... I daresay your God
Father Mr John Stallard will give you some instructions in
riding when you are at the Moor, for He was very kind to
your Sister in that way whenever They were together."
Elsewhere he describes riding as "a most graceful and
noble exercise." Next comes a letter from Nancy.


A little commission
"November ist. 1792.
"With pleasure I received your letter my dear Jane
when I was at Mount Pleasant, but defer'd answering it
till you came home for the Christmas holidays, as I know
it is as disagreeable your receiving a letter at School as

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
it would be to me to write you at that place. I suppose
our kind Friends Mr and Mrs Penoyre will take you into
Herefordshire these Holidays as you spent the last at
Streatham, if they do I beg you will remember me most
kindly ... to every Body that enquires after me. Now
my dear Jane I have a little commission to request that
you will get for me, they may be had for next to nothing
in London and cannot be got in this paltry place for money
nor anything else, it is Bath Garters of which I will thank
you to buy me half a dozen pair, I think I used to give
about 8d a pair for them, and also six papers of middling
pins, and six ditto of short whites, and also about 12 stay
laces; when you have got them all have them all put up
together and give them to Mr Hinde to send to me with
Papa's Medicines; Mr Penoyre will be kind enough to
pay you for the above things and charge it to Papa. . .
Mama heard from Mr Raymond by this Packet, he says
that Mr Penoyre was kind enough to carry you to see
him. I daresay the Gentleman treated you very politely;
when you see him again I beg you will remember me very
kindly to him, he mentioned that he was going to quit
England in about a month after he wrote but he has very
likely alter'd his resolution. My Brother has I find given
over all thoughts of Paris this Year which I assure you
has given me great pleasure for if he had gone over in
these troublesome times I should never have had a
moment's peace. He has left London I find for Edin-
burgh I hope he will not again lose his good Looks' for
I hear he is grown quite florid and fat. ... I do not see
anything in the Papers of Captain Harrison's arrival. I
suppose he has got his usual ill luck. Now that you are
at home I shall expect a very long letter from you to tell
me all the news, fashions etc. etc. for in this dull place we
do not know much of either. You will say everything to
Mr and Mrs P. for me that your own grateful heart can
dictate: too much it is impossible to say, for their kind-
ness to me while in England is always the first and upper-
most thought in the heart of your sincere and affectionate
Sister, A. M. B."
1 Owing to the fare to be met with in Scotland.


Indeed, Nancy had yet to learn the full horror of the
news from France. On August ioth, 1792, the Tuileries
had been sacked, the Swiss Guard murdered, and King
Louis XVI "suspended," by order of the people; on
August 13th the royal family had been imprisoned at the
Temple, all Paris crowding to stare at their carriage as
it passed. On Sunday afternoon, September 2nd, the
"September Massacres" broke out to the accompaniment
of bells wildly pealing, and lasted intermittently during
a hundred hours; the Abbaye and other crowded prisons
disgorged the hated aristocrats, "Enemies of Liberty" -
dragged out into a "howling sea," instantly to be hewn
down by hundreds of axes and sabres. The body of the
Princesse de Lamballe, who had been hurried out of her
cell, was cut to fragments in the street; her head, on a
pike, being paraded under the windows of the Temple
so that Marie Antoinette might behold it and quail.
Then the death-carts went their dismal round, not with-
out the necessary assistance of quicklime; the streets
were wiped clean, and Paris, looking on in stupor or
dull acquiescence, awaited the next turn of events.
On September 22nd the Republic was proclaimed,
to be followed by the opening of the King's trial on
December I Ith.'
In the meantime, far away on the peaceful shores of
Jamaica, the House of Assembly was entering upon its
session, the early autumn being that time of the year when
the planters could most easily be absent from their estates.
Major-GeneralAdamWilliamson (1791-5) was Lieutenant-
Governor at the moment. The planters' representatives
descended upon Spanish Town, bringing with them their
wives and daughters to share in the gaieties of the season;
the ladies exchanging visits while their menfolk were
1 Carlyle, French Revolution.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
occupied in the House. "Company is at the door!"
exclaims Mrs. Brodbelt in a letter to Jane that has to be
hurriedly broken off. There was dining and dancing;
and the banquets at the Governor's residence, the King's
House, which had been finely completed in 1762, were
justly famous.
On November i2th her mother finds a few moments
in which to describe to Jane all that is going on both
within and without the house.


In the chit-chat way
".. I shall expect a letter altogether in your enter-
taining stile, quite in the chit-chat way, without any form
or stiffness . Mrs Fenwick still continues to give you
the character of an industrious Girl in your different
pursuits; these Encomiums my dear Jane have been truly
pleasing to your Father and myself, and we entertain the
most flattering expectations from them. ... Our gay time
has just begun, and we are led to expect a pleasant
Session. Several young Ladies who reside in the distant
Parishes, are to visit the Metropolis, therefore we shall
have an opportunity of seeing some of the Belles, which
have never graced Spanish Town before: should they be
preferred by the Beaux to the present residents I am fearful
the loss of fine Caps and scratched faces may be the result.
Your dear Brother has left you I should imagine from
the purport of his last, I am happy He did not think of
going to Paris, it would have been madness to have done
so to read of the horrid murders committed in that place
almost freezes the Blood in my veins: indeed, I never
heard of more savage acts in my life. I thank God that
nothing I hold dear is among them.


"Mrs Harrison (who I suppose is in England long ere
this) will, through politeness to Us, come to see you, and
may request to take you to her House, should this take
place I beg you will make it a point never to receive
presents either from herself, or any part of the family,
but particularly money; therefore to avoid doing so, when-
ever you do go to see Her, request the favor of Mr Penoyre
to let you have pocket money rather above what you
usually have, which will be the means of your refusing
their offers.
"If you meet with Mr Raymond present my thanks to
him for his letter with my best wishes to Him. I hope
you will write often to your Brother, I am told He was
grown very fat, and had a good complexion before he
left England. I should be sorry was he to lose his good
looks again in Scotland. Your Dog, Cat, and Jackco offer
their duty to you: Boyd, who is rather of a jealous dis-
position, is often disposed to quarrel with the cat Mr Ray-
mond gave me, for the latter is so very tame and fond of
me, that He is always jumping into my lap this indul-
gence Master Boyd thinks he is only entitled to, therefore
cannot submit to its being shared by Will,1 who, rather
presuming on his Beauty (for he certainly is a very hand-
some fellow) will not resign his berth quietly, so that I
frequently have a battle. Will cat is at least twice the
size He was when I first had him, and he is so greatly
admired, that I am in daily fear of his being stolen
from me. Tell his former possessor what I have said of
him that he may know, that I have done justice to his
"The Canary Birds I brought with me are alive, and
with some others of different sorts which I have got since
my arrival I have a concert every day. Jackco and the
Parrot sometimes intrude to interrupt the little feathered
choristers, but as they neither of them excel in vocal
harmony they are not permitted to continue long with
them that do, therefore the Gentlemen are reconducted
to their proper stations, with some displeasure.
"Mrs Millward and the children are all well at present,
1 Mr. Raymond's name was William.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

poor little Brodbelt has been ill, however He is now
perfectly recovered, and is as saucy as ever. He desires
me to tell Cousin Jane that he would kiss her all day long
if she was in Jamaica.
"You will (no doubt) notice that this letter is written
in haste, the cause of which is, that at this time of the
year most of our acquaintances are in Town attending
the House of Assembly, and by their frequently dropping
in to pay Us morning visits, prevents Us from having so
much leisure as at another time, therefore I am obliged
to be as expeditious as I can.... Your Sister intends
writing to you by this Packett, she is fat and well and
in high expectation of several dances this Session. There
has been one already given at the King's House by
Mrs Williamson.
"In the spring of the next year, I will thank you (with
the assistance of the old Lady, Mrs Betty at Streatham)
to try and rear me a Blackbird;1 I know their nests are
often found in the yew hedge in the Garden: tell Betty
that I enquired after her and the other Servants. How
does Poll do? No doubt much improved by the lessons
he has received from his Mistress. I suppose he has
entirely forgot the Negro dialect, but should he be yet
partial to it, tell him that All his Massa Nega beg me for
tell him how dye Grandee, and dem glad for hear him
have one good Missee.... Be sure to let me know, when
you answer this letter, what you thought of your Brother's
looks when he returned to Edinburgh, and if there was
that alteration for the better, I am told there was. You
know I love Him, therefore must be pleased to hear of
his being, or doing, well. I will now, my dearest Jane, bid
you farewell, but before I take my leave altogether let
me first offer my Prayers for your health and well-doing,
and that a few years may restore you a fond and dutiful
Daughter to the Arms of your tenderly affectionate
Mother A. G. BRODBELT.
1 To Tom Cringle's Log we owe the description of the chattering paroquets
in the branches of the trees in Jamaica: no doubt Mrs. Brodbelt hoped that
a blackbird would recall to her mind visions of dewy, bird-haunted lawns
in far-off England.


"P.S. My two lap-companions, Boyd and Will, are con-
tending for seats there, which will as usual end in a battle
- so much for favourites!
"I consider Roche's visit to you as exceedingly atten-
tive; I beg you will express my thanks to him for it, and
inquire in my name after his Wife and Children.
"Tell Mr Raymond that I never have his favorite dish
(a pepper Pot) without wishing Him to be a partaker of
it, but that I much doubt whether He would thank me
for wishing him in a Country so greatly inferior in point
of pleasures to those he enjoys in England."

On Christmas Eve Mrs. Brodbelt wrote to Jane her last
letter of 1792. On November i9th she had said how
eagerly she was awaiting the October packet, bringing
letters "from yourself, your Brother, and others that I love
on the other side of the Ocean."


The little Stranger
"Decr. 24th 1792.
".. Mrs Jones begs me to say how much she is
obliged by your attention to Patty, who she hopes will
be very tractable under the care of so good a Mother.
"I am happy to tell you that Mrs G. Millward's family
is increased by another Girl, and that herself and the
Child are well. She desires her love and many thanks to
you for the Print Work, which have been so greatly
admired, that they are to assist in decorating the Drawing-
Room to receive her visits of congratulation on the birth
of the little Stranger. I must not omit saying that I am
greatly pleased with my fan. ..
"I have enclosed a paragraph from one of the papers,
which though but an indifferent description of the
ceremony that passed on the 13th of this month, yet you

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-r796

will find by it that we are not unmindful of what we owe
to the memory of the valiant Rodney, who saved
Jamaica. The whole was concluded with an elegant Ball
to the Ladies in the Evening, given by the newly-elected
Members of the Council and Assembly; under the
denomination of the Colts BaL . Be assured that the
Health and welfare of My dearest Jane will ever afford
the utmost happiness to her very affectionate MOTHE."
With these alternating hopes and anxieties, these tender
longings and half-formed apprehensions, did the Christ-
mas Eve of 1792 come to the Brodbelt household in
Spanish Town.
And on that same Christmas Eve, "on the other side of
the Ocean," no less a person than Rigby sat writing a
letter to Jane from Paris! Unfortunately, she kept it at
the bottom of the packet, held together by the silken
thread, so that the lower edges have partly perished: yet
here it is penned precisely four weeks before the execu-
tion of the King. Did Rigby fear the censorship of letters
despatched by foreigners, or did he consider Jane too
young to be rudely initiated into the events that were
taking place in the French capital?


I am in France
"Paris December 24h' 1792
"My dear Jane
"You must not suppose that I have forgotten you by
my not writing to you before, for I have waited until I
should be certain that you would receive this letter at
the house of your kind friends Mr and Mrs Penoyre.
1 Lord Rodney had died May 24th, 1792; to him and his exploits we
shall return on a later occasion.

You have often told me that you receive more pleasure
in reading a letter at home, than at Flint House; and
I shall expect to hear from you before you return to
School. You will be surprised to hear that I am in France,
after I took leave of you to go to Scotland. As you would
not bear me company (that I may put you in a con . .)
I don't think that I ought to tell . the news of this
gay city however as you have always been a good little
GirL I shall treat you in the manner that you deserve.
There are about three times as many Play houses here
as what there are in London, and they are always well
attended, for the French people are always fond of every
kind of amusement. As the French dine early, are very
sober, and drink no tea in the afternoon they are obliged
to go to some theatre, that their time may not hang heavy
upon their hands. They sometimes walk in the Palais
Royal (which is a great building adorned with extensive
Piazzas,) where you see different kinds of people, who are
drest in various manners; and here you see little girls not
so big as you with their Hair powdered, and adorned
with a large cap; likewise the little masters strut up and
down with a long cue and curls, and are, I am assured,
very [well] bred gentlemen. I suppose the rooms . .
(which you have seen) resemble a little to this place that
I have described. There is no exhibition here like Astley's
at London, however we have the Chinese shades, you
remember how they cut the poor Man to pieces; I went
the other night to see one of these exhibitions, where I
was introduced into the first seat for 6 pence, and I was
highly amused; I very much wished that you had been
with me. I should not forget to tell you that Paris re-
sembles very much to Edinburgh, for the streets here are
very dirty. You must improve yourself very much in y"
French language . the time I return. . Say every-
thing that is the most kind for me to that second Father
and Mother, Mr and Mrs Penoyre, and be always very
attentive in following any ."
Thus 1793 dawned upon the world: in France a blood-
red dawn, signifying further horror and confusion, On

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
January i5th no less a decision than the vote as to the
death of "Louis Capet" was to be taken in the Hall of
the Convention. And in Spanish Town it was a weeping
dawn, since that same dark shadow of death brooded
over the happy little family from Mount Pleasant; and few
will read Mrs. Brodbelt's letter, dated January i4th,
without a pang. The writing shows a haste and an
agitation quite foreign to my great-great-grandmother's
delicate calligraphy.


Tour lovely little cousin Brodbelt
"This is the first time My dearest Jane that I have ever
felt a reluctance in writing to you, but it arises from the
melancholy tidings this letter conveys to you of the death
of your lovely little cousin Brodbelt Millward, and which
I fear will be equally distressing to you to receive. He
died on the 3rd of this month of a putrid sore throat, a
complaint that has been fatal to very many children in
the Town, the Country part of the Island having been
altogether free of it.
"His poor Mother is at our House, and although she
submits to the Hand of her Maker with a becoming
resignation, yet, she is sometimes almost in a distracted
state, which you may be sure is a scene that I feel most
sensibly, for I regard her as my own Child. You shall
hear from me by the next Packet, when 1 flatter myself
with the hope of giving you a more satisfactory account
of the health of Mrs G. Millward. I beg you will offer
our united good wishes to Mrs Fenwick, and be assured
that I am with fervent prayers for your health My very
dear Jane's Most affectionate MOTuHR.
"Your Dear Father and Sister desire their love to you.


You must plainly see that this letter has been written in
a hurry, which I have been obliged to do for your Cousin
will scarcely let me move from Her."

A week from the date of this letter on January 2 st,
1793 -Louis XVI, sentenced to Death within four-and-
twenty hours, died under the guillotine in the Place de la
Revolution. On February ist, war was declared by
France against England.
In nothing was Mrs. Brodbelt's warm heart better
displayed than in her tender solicitude for her friends in
any sorrows and misfortunes that might befall them.
This now was bestowed in fullest measure upon the poor
invalid, Mrs. Thomas Millward, who was about to seek
"the perfect reestablishment of her health" by returning
with her family to England in that "remarkable fast
sailing ship," the Augustus Cesar.


Sun and Shadow
"Febr. 3rd 1793
"I have not forgotten the promise I made you My
dearest Jane of writing by this Packet, and to tell you that
your Cousin Mrs G. Millward has to some degree regained
Her wonted good Spirits adds much to the pleasure I feel
in complying with it.
"Mr Gordon has arrived, and He has given your
Father and myself the most pleasing intelligence of you:
indeed, he said everything of you that could be welcome
to Us. I hope he will be most of the time in this Town,
for it's our wish to pay him every attention in our power,

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

and that we cannot do without He is here, for you
know your dear Father is altogether confined to this
"My friend Mrs Thomas Millward has taken her passage
in the Augustus Cesar, Capt". Fowler, therefore you may
expect to see Her and her three Children sometime in
June next. I am sorry to say that she is obliged to leave
Jamaica for the recovery of her health, for altho' I should
have suffered greatly in parting with one I so highly
value (let the cause have been ever so pleasant) yet, the
fear that her weak state awakes in my breast, certainly
increases that uneasiness . .
"Your Sister is so delighted with the Ball that has been
given to the inhabitants of the Town by the officers of
the 62nd Regiment who are quartered here, that I do
not imagine she will be able to collect her thoughts for
writing by this Packet, however, I do not wonder at the
pleasure a dance occasions where there are so few amuse-
ments besides.
"You have no doubt heard from your Brother since He
has been at Paris. We had a letter by this mail which
was very satisfactory in every respect. . .A. G.

Since tragedy and comedy rub shoulders perpetually
on life's highway, it will be no matter for surprise that the
next letter should be concerned with a storm in a teacup
that seems ludicrous enough after the tragedies that had
gone before. Jane had felt it her duty to inform her
parents that Mr. Raymond had paid her a call at Flint
House, and (like his namesake Will cat, "rather pre-
suming on his Beauty, for he certainly is a very handsome
fellow") had actually kissed her! Jane was now thirteen
and a half, and the culprit not quite twenty years
older. Dr. Brodbelt's indignation knew no bounds:
he himself seized a pen and despatched the following



"Her friends said, 'What next?' "
"February 28th, I793.
"... I rejoice exceedingly that you considered how
very right your good Governess acted in speaking to you
about Mr Raymond's kissing you when he called at
Flint House, for it certainly was very wrong and indelicate,
as such a liberty should only be taken by a Parent or a
very near Relation, therefore never suffer Him or any
Person to make use of such unbecoming familiarity. ...
I hope to get Mrs Fenwick two or three scholars more
very shortly, and I flatter myself I shall be able to add
three or four more to her School next year. . It was
very kind in Capt". and Mrs Stehelin calling on you and
taking you to dine with Them. He is a very sensible
discreet man. .. I have placed great dependence in
your returning to Me a thorough accomplished Girl,
and which you may if you please, as I spare no expence,
therefore you can easily judge what a Mortification it
must be to a Parent for a Child to return not what he
ought to expect, when an immense sum of money has
been expended.... Be assured of my being, Dear Jane,
Your most affectionate Father, FRW. RIGBY BRODBELT."

After this explosion, the pellucid atmosphere of John
Millward's second letter comes in pleasant contrast.


Quite a plaything
"My dear Cousin Jane,
"I received your kind letter and am happy to hear you
are well. I thank you for your kind offer to get me

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

anything in England that I wish. I will be obliged to you
to send me a little Pocket Book, my Sister Frances desires
her love to you, I hope she will soon be able to send you
a letter, as she has began to learn to write; she says she
will thank you for a Pair of Sissors and a thimble. My
Mama has got another little girl, she is quite a play thing
for my sister and I. Marshall is her Nurse, she tells you
how dee. Papa and Mama desire their love to you, accept
of mine. My dear Cousin Jane, Yours affectionately,
"Spanish Town, Jamaica. March ist. 1793."

His mother found heart to write by the same packet,
in a letter sealed with black: a watery gleam of sun
struggles through the clouds.


Poor Roche
"March 3rd, 1793.
"I have to thank my dear Jane for two very kind letters,
which both pleased me much, the writing was well, the
stile good; they merited answers before this time: but
I think she will readily excuse me when she hears I had
the misfortune of losing my poor little Boy Brodbelt about
six weeks ago; since which my spirits have been so low
that I have not been able to take up my pen to thank her
earlier; and am fearful My dear girl will find this a dull
scrawl. . .
"I suppose you know Mrs Millward will shortly be in
England. . She is in a very poor state of health but
I hope change of climate will be of service to her. . .
"I understand poor Roche has been to see you, and


carried you some fruit, did you pass him off as your
Cousin to your Schoolfellows? When you see him again
tell him how dee for me. . I delivered your letter to
John and he has inclosed an answer. I believe we shall
send him to England next year: he asked me after he had
read the letter you wrote him, whether I thought he
should ever be able to write as well as you. Did you
spend a few days with Mrs Harrison? was you very
merry I am afraid not as I heard Dorothy was staying at
"You will have heard ere this that I have got another
little girl and that Marshall attends her, I told her what
you said about your mistake in calling her Tabby, she
replied you was as full of your fun as ever. . Mr
Millward joins me in kind love to you and believe me
Ever to be My dear Jane's Sincere and affectionate

On March 29th her father tells Jane that the Prince
William Henry packet, by which he had sent a letter to
her, had been captured. Nancy's next letter strikes the
same note.


War being declared
"April i4th. 1793.
"By the Duke of Cumberland Packet I received your
letter my dearest Jane written from Streatham, and was
very glad to hear that you and Mr and Mrs Penoyre were
in such perfect health, long very long may you all enjoy
that first of Blessings is my sincere wish.
"I ride out every Morning on Horseback indeed it is
the only exercise Ladies can take here, for they never
walk, our party often amounts of thirteen or fourteen

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

chiefly composed as you may suppose of Red and Blue
Coats as the few Gentlemen that are here that do not
belong either to the Army or Dragoons are always busy
in writing, there is generally three other Young Ladies
who ride out with me, by the name of Shaw, they
came here soon after we did and are very pleasant
"Marshall is nursing Mrs Gardner Millward's little
Girl, they are both of them at this Minute seated down
quite close to my Chair; it is really a lovely Baby and
growing very much like poor little Brodbelt. ...
"War being declared will detain Mrs Millward here six
or eight weeks longer, I hope she has not already put off
going too long she is really in a dreadful state of health it
would be a shocking thing on her Young Family if any
accident was to happen to her.
"I intend writing to Mrs Penoyre by this Packet, I really
long to see her, Mr Penoyre etc. etc. and in short all my
kind friends I left in England however I sincerely hope the
Day may come when we shall all meet again in that blessed
Country. I beg you will remember me ... to every body
who does me the favor of enquiring after me, not forget-
ting the Harrison Family, Mr Raymond etc ... and to all
the Servants that ask after me. Accept my sincerest Love
my dearest Jane and believe me to be Your truly affec-
tionate Sister, ANN MARIA BRODBELT."

On April 15th Jane's mother settles down to a long, all-
embracing screed to her little daughter. After referring in
her usual warm-hearted manner to "those best of friends,"
Mr. and Mrs. Stallard-Penoyre, she pens a sentence that
comes straight from her heart: "Tell Mrs Penoyre that
I have often since my return to Jamaica wished for a
cool walk with Her in the garden at Streatham .. Tell
them that if I was only certain of passing the evening
of my life near to them in old England, I should be
The letter then continues:



Monsters to Humanity
"I find Captain Davies is recruiting in Surry: have you
seen anything of him? whenever you do, tell him that I
send him many How d'yes, and that I heard he was very
near getting the Majority in the 62nd Regt., but I dare
say He had rather continue in Dr England. There being
a War now with France Mrs Thomas Millward will not
be able to sail from hence till a convoy is appointed,
which I imagine will not be before the first of June. . .
I suppose Mr Raymond will regain his former Station in
the Marines, if He has, say which Ship he is on board, but
should that not be his pursuit, what has he done with
himself? That Captain Harrison is not yet arrived does
not in the least surprise me, who know him so well ....
We were to have lost several families this Month, by their
going to England, however, I believe the War has altered
their intentions, and they mean to put it off. We heard
from Dear Rigby by this Packet, He writes in high spirits
and with every assurance of safety, but such are my
thoughts respecting his Situation that I cannot avoid
wishing his return to England. This may be an Idle wish
arising from a Woman's fears, when very probably there
may be no cause for them in a breast less weak, but yet,
it's truly hurtful to me, and I shall greatly rejoice when I
hear He is out of the reach of those Monsters to Humanity.
My blood is thrilled in my veins, whenever I hear of their
Savage Cruelties. We are in daily expectation of some
Protection from England, and glad should I be to hear of
the arrival of a few ships of the line, for at present we have
no force by sea to make any defence, however, were those
Wretches to attempt an Invasion I flatter myself they
would meet with a reception not altogether satisfactory.
"I have the pleasure to tell you that your Cousin Mrs
G. M.'s little Girl is growing a lovely Child, and so like
poor Brodbelt that it's observed by every person this will

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

endear the pretty Creature (if possible) more to me.
"As I know your Sister writes by this conveyance to you
I dare say she will give you the particulars of her method
of passing her time. She enjoys both good health and
good spirits, and I may add every other comfort of this
World; She may say she is as happy as any earthly being
can possibly be. ... I find Ellen Millward has been taken
from Mrs F's and put to Mrs Stephenson's, I don't know
how Mrs Millward means to act when she gets to England,
but I really think Mrs Fenwick has been treated very un-
genteelly. ... Your truly affectionate MOTmER.
"Tell the Servants at Streatham, in London, and at the
Moor that I often enquire how they do."

A letter from her father of the same date expresses the
wish that Rigby was again returned from France, "as I
am very uneasy at his being There in these troublesome
times, and more particularly so as the French have proved
themselves to be such blood thirsty Devils. Your Mother
wrote you a long letter (which I inclosed in mine) . .
there was several Things which she expected you would
have answered pointedly, but found herself mistaken." In
his next letter, May 28th, he ordered: "Whenever you are
in company with your dear Brother, don't let him speak
to you, but in French, and let me know if he speaks French
as well as you do." Obviously news of Rigby's safe return
from Paris was expected in Spanish Town with the
arrival of each packet.
Early June sees a long, gossipy letter from Mrs. Brod-
belt, containing some passages of considerable interest.
I am convinced that she had not taken Dr. Brodbelt's
severe view of Mr. Raymond's escapade at Flint House:
probably she was pleased to see in it a tribute to Jane's
youthful charms. One may guess with some amusement
at the impalpable cobwebs of thought floating through
her mind as she penned the following letter.



News of many friends
"... I am fearful you will say this is a dull letter, but
in truth my spirits are none of the best, nor will they be
better till I hear from your Dear Brother. The last Packet
brought me no letter from Him, and altho' our kind
friends Mr Penoyre and Mr Read both wrote your
Father that they heard he was well a short time before the
Packet sailed, yet, I cannot avoid being very anxious
about him; indeed! I had always an objection to his
going to Paris during these troublesome times, and have
never been perfectly at peace since he has been amongst
those Wretches of Cruelty; therefore the only relief to my
mind was that of knowing from under his own hand that
he was safe. My friends all persuade me that he can be in
no danger, my fervent prayers are that he may not be in
any, but thankful shall I be when I hear he is once again
in England with those that love him.
"We have had the wettest May that has been for many
years past, the rains have been so violent and lasting that
it occasioned quite a flood in many parts of the Island,
and the Spanish Town River was so full and came down
with that height and force that it has carried away the
centre arch of the Bridge on the Kingston road.... It's
said that the Fleet in which my friend Mrs T. Millward is
going will sail the same day that this Packet does, it may
be true, however I do not give that credit to the report
which many do, for I do not think there is a sufficient
strength of Convoy for the number of valuable ships which
go under their protection. . Captain Fowler according
to his usual success has got his Ship so filled with pas-
sengers that he has not a berth left vacant. Should it be
my good luck ever to leave Jamaica again, and Fowler is
still in the trade, He shall be my conductor through the
wide oceans. .. Mr and Mrs G. Millward and children
are all well, and the little Girl who goes by the name of

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
Missey, for she has no other yet, thrives very much and is
a pretty creature. Those of the family that can speak
desire their best love to you.
"Mrs Harrison's last letter to me mentioned your being
at her House during the Easter holidays. I am much
obliged by her attentions to you tho' I am at the same time
fearful of your becoming troublesome by going there so
frequently, as her family is in itself a very large one, and
she may have some additions beside yourself in which
case she may have many difficulties to encounter, and
I should be greatly hurt was you to be the cause of the
most trifling part of them. When your friend Dorothy left
Jamaica it was rumoured abroad that she was to return
with her aunt Parke and to be married in some short time
after her arrival here to her cousin, Mr Samuel White-
home, but no sooner was she sailed, than the young
Gentleman took unto himself another Lady, who he fixed
his affections upon at the very time that He was spoken of
as the intended of Dorothy. I think she was well off, to
get quit of one so changeable in his love. In one of my
former letters I requested you would never show my cor-
respondence with you to any person but our friends at
Hill House, or your Brother, but lest you should have
forgot it, I now mention it again, because I may write you
many things that I do not wish to be seen by any Eye be-
sides. One of the young Ladies (a Miss Harris) who
came out a passenger of Capt" Fowler's in his last voyage
here, was married to a Gentleman of good family and an
extraordinary good Fortune, in three weeks after her
arrival, and went home in the last Packet. She had not a
sixpence in the World: therefore you see what mental and
personal attractions will accomplish, and which she pos-
sessed in a high degree.
"I find both from Mrs and Miss Harrison's letters that
Captain Davies and Mr Raymond are their constant
visitors, I thought the former would have joined his
Regiment at Grenada on the commencement of the War,
but I have since heard that He has been recruiting at
Kingston in Surry. The latter I should have imagined,
as a Lieutenant in the Marines, would have been called


upon in that line which surely would have been of more
advantage to him in every sense of the Word than an Idle
life, but I suppose He is very low down in the list of 2"d
Lieutenants, therefore his turn has not come about ....
I suppose you are as great a favorite as ever with Mr
Raymond? but as you usually did (when I was in England)
quarrel before you were half an hour together ... Don't
neglect your music and singing for they will enable you
to pass many hours cheerfully to yourself and to your
friends. Miss Harrison is most pleased with your voice,
which requires only a little practice to strengthen. Let
me entreat you to be particularly careful in holding your-
self in Walking, sitting and standing, for otherwise you
will get crooked, and was that to be the result I should be
miserable, as I think with the Generality of the World,
that a well-formed shape is far preferable to the beauties of
the face....
"I am now going to tell you of the Death of Mr Thomas
Raymond (the Brother of the Mr Raymond that you
know), he had been for some time in a complaining state
but about seven days ago his complaints increased very
fast and occasioned his death. He was a Man much
esteemed for his upright character, for every body who
knew him said He was truly Honest. I should imagine
his Brother will gain something by his death, which I shall
be glad of as I believe it will be very acceptable to him.
Pray does Mr Raymond still lodge in Charles Street,
Westminster? or where has He removed to? ...
"I beg you will tell Roche that I have not forgot him,
and that I shall always recommend him to all my friends
that may be in his reach for it will not be worth his
while to go any great distance after them. ... If you
recollect a Black Woman by the name of Jenny Richard-
son who made gowns for me, I have her best remembrance
to offer to you ... assuring my dearest Jane of my being
her most affectionate MOTHER... u. ne 8th, 1793"

This would seem a suitable place in which to insert
the following entry of William Raymond's baptism

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
"Sarum St Thomas" is now known as St. Thomas's,
1759 BAPTISMS December 6
"William of Edward and Elizabeth Raymond
Sarum St Thomas"

"My uncle Tom Raymond died in Jamaica. He was
the eldest of the family": this note was left among the
papers of William Raymond's third son, General Henry
Phipps Raymond, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots.

About a fortnight later Mrs. Brodbelt announces that
the fleet of ships is positively to sail on June 24th, although
under the protection of but two frigates.


The "Augustus Cesar" sails at last
"The approaching departure of my amiable Friend,
Mrs Millward, attended with the reduced state she is in
from her severe and repeated illnesses, have so depressed
my spirits that I am very unfit for my present employ-
ment, but as it is Her wish to take a letter from me to
you I will exert myself to comply with it. .. Mrs Mill-
ward takes all her children with her, and I am sure you
will say that they do much credit to this Island, for they
are not only remarkably stout and healthy, but the two
Boys are very handsome. Joseph is my Godson, and I
beg you to be very attentive to him. When you write to
me inform me whether I have been too partial in the
description of my little friends, I don't think I have!
"Many of the Ladies who are going in this Fleet have
done me the favor to say they will call on you .... There


is no tidings as yet of the London or Corke Fleet, which
are really much wanted for there is a scarcity of most
things in the provision way, and if they do not arrive
soon we shall be greatly distressed. I shall now bid you
adieu, as I really find writing very irksome to me, and
I wish, as it's the last day Mrs M. is to be here, to pass
some part of it with her, tho' it will be a trying scene.
God bless you, my very dear Jane. ANN G. BRODBELT.
"June 2oth, 1793."

The kind Anna Maria Millward seizes the opportunity
of sending by Mrs. Tom Millward a few shells and horse
eyes for Jane's collection. "Is your Dear Brother returned
to London?" she asks. "How is he? I have been very
anxious about him, hearing continually of the dreadful
Massacre at Paris; I sincerely hope we shall have letters
from him by the Packet which we are daily looking out
for: if we have not, it will give us all great uneasiness
... I am told that you begin to sing like a Nightingale;
the first of the Brodbelts that was ever a songstress."
Finally, on July 7th, Dr. Brodbelt thanks Jane much
"for your pretty little present of work for my Watch,
which I shall wear with great pleasure as it is very neatly
made and convinces me of your grateful recollection of
a long absent Parent. The motto with the embellishments
gave me infinite satisfaction as it shows you venerate our
most inestimable Constitution and our very excellent
King. I am sorry to find you accuse me of not writing,
as I can assure you I make a point of answering your
letters as soon as I receive Them."
With which appalling piece of sententiousness we may
break the chain of letters for a moment, and say some-
thing of the naval history of Jamaica and its neighbours.
The island was discovered on May 4th, 1494, by
Christopher Columbus, who landed in Dry Harbour




FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
Bay; and in 1655 it was captured from the Spanish Sir
William Penn being Admiral and General-at-Sea, in the
flagship Swiftsure. After the Restoration, in r676, the
King's brother, James Duke of York, became Admiral of
Jamaica and all other His Majesty's Plantations and
The outbreak, in 1755, of the Seven Years' War between
England and France found the French securely established
in the Lesser Antilles, with their headquarters at Marti-
nique, in the fine harbour of Fort Royal. In 1761 Rodney
was appointed to the Leeward Islands Station, and by
the remarkable capture of Martinique scotched the French
enemy for a time in that part of the globe, although the
island itself was rashly restored to France when peace
was concluded at Paris in February 1763. At the same
time Keppel's fine capture of Havana in 1762 was nulli-
fied by a similar restoration of that island to Spain.
The next dark cloud that blew up was the struggle for
the Independence of America, and in February 1778
France, crouching for another spring, saw her oppor-
tunity, and concluded an alliance with the American
colonists. After a year, Spain was drawn into the league
by the promise of rich spoils: Gibraltar and Minorca
were to be reclaimed for her, with a further promise of
the restoration of Jamaica to the Spanish crown. There-
upon, Dominica, St. Vincent, and Grenada, in the Lesser
Antilles, fell one by one to the French fleet: on the other
hand, Gibraltar, under the gallant Eliott (afterwards Lord
Heathfield), although invested both by land and sea,
sustained a magnificent resistance from 1779 to 1782.
But the fortunes of war went completely against England
in America, where Lord Cornwallis, hopelessly out-
numbered and threatened with famine, surrendered with
the entire British army at Yorktown in October 1781.


Moreover, by November, Admiral the Comte de Grasse,
who had been lending a helping hand to General Wash-
ington, had returned to the West Indies, resolved to seize
all the remaining British possessions, ending with Jamaica.
By April 1782 he was entirely ready to join forces with
the Spanish contingent at Cap Francois: between them
they would muster fifty ships and twenty thousand men.
Jamaica had but four ships and five hundred soldiers with
which to defend itself. An easy prey indeed! But on
February Igth Rodney had arrived at Barbados, and,
joining hands with Admiral Hood, settled into the great
harbour of the Carenage at St. Lucia, and waited for
news. On April 8th word came that De Grasse had
started, and Rodney, swooping after him at tremendous
speed, caught the French Admiral in The Saints passage,
the water-way to the north of Dominica, where Chris-
topher Columbus had thus christened a little group of
islets one All Saints' Day. By a splendid, but unpre-
meditated, manoeuvre, aided by a sudden change in the
wind, Rodney shattered the French fleet, even capturing
the flagship, that great three-decker, the Ville de Paris,
De Grasse "lowering the flag of France with his own
brave hands .... The Battle of the Saints [April 12th,
1782] was one of the most complete and glorious victories
that ever graced the annals of the fleet. It saved Jamaica.
It saved the Indies. It saved the tottering Empire."1 The
final repulse of the Allied armament before Gibraltar in
September ended the war, and England, while recognizing
to the full the Independence of America, resumed once
more the command of the seas.
The Jamaica islanders had called up the militia for the
defence of the capital, and had made the roads impassable
1Sea Kings of Britain, 1760-1805, by Professor Sir Geoffrey Callender,
F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S. (Longmans, 1930), to which I am greatly indebted.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

by felling trees, resolved to defend their liberties to the
last. Suddenly, on April 29th, Rodney's victorious fleet
appeared on the horizon, with the captured flagship and
seven other prizes. He received an overwhelming recep-
tion, and the memory of the Battle of the Saints was long
treasured. A classic temple, flanked by a colonnade, was
erected in his honour at Spanish Town; within it was
Rodney's statue, executed byJohn Bacon, R.A. (I740-99).
An early work, showing the great seaman in a toga, it
reached Jamaica in 1790. There is a fine statue of him
in St. Paul's Cathedral by Rossi, with an inscription that
fitly sums up his special contribution to the nation's
history. Erected to:
"Lord Rodney, Vice-Admiral of England
as a testimony of the gallant and important services
which he rendered to his Country
in many memorable engagements
and specially in that of I2 April 1782
When a brilliant and decisive victory was obtained
over the French fleet,
and an effectual protection was afforded
To the West Indian islands,
And to the commercial interests of this Kingdom,
In the very crisis of the American War.
Lord Rodney was born in 1718, died 24 May, 1792."

To the West Indies came also no less a person than
Horatio Nelson, soon to be promoted by Sir Peter Parker,
Commander-in-Chief of the Jamaica Station, as third
lieutenant in his flagship, the Bristol. Distinguishing him-
self at once, he was promoted to the command of the
Hinchinbrook, a small frigate of twenty-four guns, in June
1779, thus becoming a post-captain three months before
his twenty-first birthday. Early in 1780 he went on the
ill-fated expedition to Nicaragua, from whence he
returned to Jamaica, suffering from fever and dysentery.


He was devotedly nursed by Lady Parker and a coloured
housekeeper, both at Admiral's Pen, near Kingston,
and at Admiral's Mountain, the hill-residence of the
Commander-in-Chief; but when he reached England in
the autumn of 1780 he was still little more than a wreck.
On his recovery he was sent to the St. Lawrence, where
he fell in with Lord Hood, and begged to accompany
him to the West Indies. It was suggested to him that the
North American station was the likeliest station for prize-
money. "But the West Indies is the station for honour!"
retorted Nelson, in a phrase that became famous; and,
although peace was soon declared (1783), his appoint-
ment on the Leeward station brought him both oppor-
tunity and further distinction.
Now to return to August 1793 and Jane just going to
be fourteen. Long was it since she and her father had set
eyes on each other, so relentless was the separation in-
volved in a good education in England. On the i ith of
the month her mother writes to her from Mount Pleasant.


Ann Gardner Millward
"You will find by the date of this letter, My dearest
Jane, that I have quitted the sultry heat of the Town for
the refreshing breezes of the Mountains, a change which
has had a most salutary effect on my health, and will I
trust better enable me to encounter the warm weather on
my return to the lowlands .... Your Dear Father was up
here a few days since, he is (thanks to God) in good
health, tho' so constantly confined to the Town. Your
Cousin Millward and family are likewise well, and all

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

unite in sincere love to you, except little Ann Gardner,
and that's owing only to her not being able to say
so as yet. I was greatly disappointed at not hearing
from your Brother by this Packet, for I had flattered
myself with the pleasing expectation, therefore I felt it the
"Being in the Country I am at a loss for some-
thing new to communicate to you, but indeed! I should
find as great a deficiency in Town, for 'tis at this time
deserted by almost every family on account of the
intense heat.
"I hope my friend Mrs Millward is, ere this, at or near
the end of her voyage, and that she may have received
every benefit I wish her from it. If she has found any
amendment in her health, I doubt not of your seeing her
before she goes to Cheltenham. . Most tenderly yours,
"I have not received your Father's profile among the
things sent from our friend Mr Penoyre; 'tis very probable
Mr Myers forgot to send it there."

However, the next letter (from her father) brought
Jane the news that her parents' anxieties were now at an


Those unprincipled Wretches, the French
"8th Septr 1793.
"I have had much satisfaction in the perusal of your
letter of the 28th of June last dated at Streatham. Your
Mother received a letter from Rigby by the Westmorland
Packet, which he wrote at Geneva; It gave Us extreme
pleasure to find he had left the Kingdom of those unprin-
cipled Wretches, the French, who appear to me to be lost

ato mforlitw- and religion. .. When Mrs Fenwick
thiTns yvo sufficentdy qualified in drawing, I will be
ohfged to you to request of her to have you taught draw-
ing in the Botanical way, and I wish you had it in your
pow-er ~o eam a sufficiency ofBotany to make you a good
morist, b I do not mean by this to take you from drawing
of landscapes Faces, heads &c. .. I thank you very
mnurh kr woking the Handkerchiefs for Me, which I
-ifS crainiv wear when I get them. . Your Sister is
-svy ui- asT, as she fears Mrs Fenwick has taken something
amis, because she wrote to her as soon as she arrived in
Jamaica, and has had no answer in return: notwith-
standing. She writes to her again by this opportunity, and
ifShe fishes it in time, I will inclose it in this to save her
Postage, which is heavy by Packets. I shall ever be My
dear Jane's Most affectionate Father &c FR' RIGBY


A little chit-chat
"I have this moment finished writing a long letter to
your dear Brother, and as I think you equally deserving
of my attention fr your two last letters, which gave me
nuch pleasure, I have taken up my pen for the purpose
of thaniirs you for them, and having a little chit-chat in
a pleasant way, Now to begin! Your dear Father and
sister are both well, the latter in high expectation of a
Gay Sesion (for this is the season of gaiety here, when the
Assembly meet and most families come to Town) and no
less elated with the hopes of getting her Finery in time from
England to make her appearance at the Balls quite
I Wf Dr. f-rodM sat l writing t44 letter, Marie Antownett, "secluded
w 1Jjdt;n ksindrr4; friwd and hiope," Iy in a dre4ry Ecll in the Con-
fiKugr: wkAr ,fth s00 e, num nmuiwte thae caffow in the PI ce do
$A Pvyteiw "i- cowuraoe; ewugh," d perished ly 4the gllotine7

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
equipped by Mrs Gifford: should she be disapponted I
would not answer for the consequences, indeed, she would
be badly off, for you seldom meet with those thing here
to please you, and if you do they are dreadfully expen-
sive ....
"You forgot to tell me that my old acquaintance Captain
Davies was become a Major, should you see Him say that
I wish him a quick succession of good fortune, and that he
may soon be a General. I have received two letters from
Rigby since he left Paris, and I need not add that I was
made happy by them, you have long ere this seen Him,
and I dare say made a few remarks on his alterations of
dress, manners etc. etc., no doubt you and he have had
some very long conversations in French. I beg you will
tell me all about him, don't neglect the most trifling cir-
cumstance, for I am sure they won't be lost on you, there-
fore you must relate them to please me. Among other
things inform me of Mr and Mrs P.'s opinion of him, if
they thought him improved in his person etc., how Mr P.
likes the cut of his Parisian coat, for you recollect, he did
not approve of the white one Rigby brought from Edin-
burgh in short, mention their remarks, your own, and
those of others should you hear any made. I hope you
have seen Mrs Millward and children before this, should
opportunity offer, give the love of all under this roof to
her ....
"Ann Gardner grows a lovely Baby. Your Dog Fop is
now lying close to my chair, He is as fat as ever, and no
less attached to Us. Your Cat is no more, he died about
a month ago of the asthma, a complaint that had been
some time troublesome to him ... I am really glad for the
sake of the young folks that we are to have a few amuse-
ments soon, for the Town has been most stupidly dull for
some months: there is only one thing against the Dancing,
and that is the intense heat of the weather, but I trust as
this is one of our rainy seasons, we shall get cooler weather
from a plentiful fall of showers. You must long for a
few weeks' excursion into Herefodshire for you have not
been there for some time; we often hear from my Cousin
Edmund, who is not forgetful of very good advice to


Nancy, both in the matrimonial and single departments
of life, whether they are received by her with due attention
I will not take upon myself to say, for you know those ad-
monitions, when given by him in England to your Sister,
generally ended in a fit of laughter from her, and a dis-
approbation of her conduct from him. My Cousin John
never writes to Us, I suppose he is not so partial to his
pen. Remember me kindly to both whenever you see
them .... Captain Harrison is still here, and I see nothing
that promises him a speedy removal, it's strange that he
should not have been in readiness to sail when those Ships
went, that arrived here when he did, but he acted then in
a similar manner to what he did when we were to leave
England with him. I have nothing to add but the affec-
tionate love of your very dear Father and your Sister to
that of my dearest Jane's Tenderly sincere Mother and

"Octr 20th 1793
"The 2oth of October is arrived and our fine things not
come yet which is a dreadful disappointment to your
Sister, for they are much wanted by her."


A Cap, a Sash or some such trifle
"24th November I793.
"My very dear Jane
"I have received your very welcome Letter of the 3oth
August by the Antelope Packet, which gave both your
Mother and myself great pleasure. Mr Roche's call on you
with a fine basket of Fruit was really very kind, and I wish
we knew how to make him some return to show we are not

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
unmindful of his Civility but the duties etc. upon every
Article from Jamaica are so great as to render sending
Things almost a prohibition, however if he has a Daughter,
I think you might make her a present of a Cap, a Sash or
some such trifle, and take the money on my account from
your good Friend Mr Penoyre to pay for it. You have had
an immense loss in the death of my dear friend Mrs Tom
Millward, for she really was one of the most charming and
clever Women I ever met with, and loved you very much:
Had God been pleased to have spared her Life to have
got to England, she promised your Mother that she would
take Mrs Brown's lodgings and employ Roche during her
stay there, which was to have been about 18 months or
two years. I dare say your Brother was as glad to see you
as you was to see Him, and I hope you attacked him in
French, to convince Him you could talk it as fluently as
if you had been in France.... Had Mrs T. Millward lived,
she meant to have removed Ellen back to Flint House,
and to have also placed her other Daughter Eliza there,
for she was very angry and uneasy that Ellen was taken
from Mrs Fenwick's school. About a fortnight ago I re-
ceived a letter from your good friend Mrs Fenwick,
wherein she speaks highly of your attention to every thing
She wishes you to learn, I know My good Girl as you love
your dear Mama and myself, you will still continue to
persevere in the attaining everything we wish you to
learn, which you will reap immense benefit by when We
are no more.... You forgot to tell Me if there was a good
riding School in Greenwich, and when you give me this
information, also say if there is one near Leadenhall
Street, and where it is. I suppose by this time you can
ride alone capitally. Have you any turn for making of
Verses? It is reported here that Mr Edwd Bullock is
courting my friend Dorothy Harrison, and that it is to be
a match. Is it true? If it is, I sincerely wish her happy, as
She is a great favorite of Mine. Your dear Sister has been
very ill of a bilious remiting Fever, which has reduced her
exceedingly, but thanks to the ALMIGHTY she is now
recovering fast. She requests me to present her love
to you and would have wrote to you by this Packet,


but is really so weak that She cannot collect her thoughts
to do it. This is a bad Climate for Her Constitution
as well as for your dear Mother's, who is in as bad a
way as when She left Jamaica in 1790 . Believe me
to be My very dear Jane's Most sincerely affectionate
"Just as I was going to seal this letter the Post Man
brought the October Packet letters, among which was
one to your Mother and another to Mrs Gardner Millward;
they both send you their love and thanks, and will
answer em by the same Packet that brought em, and
which will sail this day fortnight. Adieu! My dear

This is a convenient place in which to say something of
Roche, who appeared first in Letter VIII, and then in
XVII, when Mrs. Brodbelt described his visit to Jane as
"exceedingly attentive," and enquired after his wife and
children. In XXIV Mrs. Gardner Millward added that
on the occasion of this visit "poor Roche" carried Jane
some fruit. Letter XXVII shows Mrs Brodbelt sending
a message to Roche that she has not forgot him, and will
always recommend him to all her friends that are within
his reach. In XXIII Dr. Brodbelt takes up the running,
saying that Mrs. Tom Millward would have employed
Roche had she lived.
What more natural than in all this to see various
references to the gifted miniaturist, Sampson Towgood
Roch (or Roche), who was born at Youghal, in Ireland,
in 1759, the grandson of James Roch of Glyn Castle. He
married in 1788 the only daughter of James Roch, of
Odel Lodge, Co. Waterford, and worked in Grafton
Street, Dublin, moving in 1792 to Bath, where he had a
great vogue. Retiring eventually, he returned to Ireland
and died there in 1847. How likely that he should pay
some civil attentions to a pretty young girl whose parents,

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
far away in Jamaica, might well be expected to order a
miniature of her! Especially as Mrs. Brodbelt was ready
to recommend him to her friends. And in Mrs. Gardner
Millward's speaking of him as "poor Roche" (an expres-
sion twice repeated), again how natural to see an allusion
to the well-known fact that Sampson Towgood Roch was
deaf and dumb. Thus the Higher Criticism goes merrily
forward only to be shattered by a devastating question
from Mrs. Millward in Letter XXXIV (as will shortly be
seen): "I am glad to hear poor Roche is so grateful as to
be attentive to you ... pray is his Son Garret called to the
Bar yet?" By no possibility could Roch the miniaturist
have a son ready to be called to the Bar at the end of
1793! Thus does the pretty house of cards topple to the
ground, and the conundrum finally is solved in a totally
different manner. And yet there remains the curious
coincidence that S. T. Roch did eventually paint the
miniatures of Jane and her husband in the year of their
wedding, presumably at Bath.

Next comes a letter to Jane from her mother, tattered
and worn as though it had been read a hundred times.


The Blood of Louis Seize
"Novr. 25th, 1793.
". .. The death of my amiable and much lamented
friend Mrs Millward is a subject I am not a little disposed
to dwell on, but as I shall only distress you by so doing,

I will therefore avoid it, and write of some occurrence
that may be more pleasing to you.
"You must have been truly happy to see your Dear
Brother after so long an absence, but you say nothing of
his good looks, or the alterations his Tour has made,
I hope he will take better care of himself at Edinburgh
now than he did when he was last there, and not return
to England again so like the picture of Famine. I am as
well as his Father highly entertained by the letters he
has written-us since his return to London, and I am well
convinced by these letters that he has been a very strict
observer of everything that has been worthy of his notice.
He sent enclosed in his Father's letter a piece of paper
besmeared with the Blood of the unfortunate Louis,
which so fully brought to my recollection the cruel fate of
that poor King, that it was some moments before I felt
myself comfortable again. I dare say you have been
greatly entertained by the descriptions he has given of the
places he has seen, I long very much to receive the two
Engravings which he purchased for me at Geneva, the
different views that they represent of that romantic
Country must be wonderfully beautiful; and I shall enjoy
them the more because I have a very perfect knowledge
of the places, by reading of Moore's travels through that
Country, besides which, Rigby's description will power-
fully assist me. . Mrs G. M. and family are quite
well, Ann Gardner is now a most diverting Child, we
often steal her for a whole morning from her Mother,
and the little creature plays a thousand antic tricks. She
has got six teeth, which look very pretty when she laughs,
and as she is rather too young to read Lord Chesterfield's
letters, or to understand that He says that laughing is a
great rudeness, Ann is generally very loud if anything
pleases her. . .
"Report says, but how true it may be I know not, that
Mrs Harrison and her family are going to reside at some
distance from London. I wish she had done so when she
first went to England after Mr H's death, for she must
have been fully confident that her finances were not equal
to the expenses of that place, besides, her Husband's

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

relations would have considered her going to live among
them as a compliment to them, but at present it carries
an appearance of compulsion . .
"Jamaica has been uncommonly sickly for many months
past, and we have lost very many of the Inhabitants,
indeed they have buried nine and ten of a day in
"Your Brother tells me that he thinks you improved
in your playing and singing, and that you are likewise so
in your French. You must be much grown since I parted
from you, for I find you are now 4 feet 9 inches. . I
find you have petitioned your Cousin Mrs M. to be God
mother to her next: you shall not only have my consent
to be God mother but I will also give my vote in your
favor should there be any candidates beside yourself when
the event takes place, at present there is no appearance
of it. . .
"I find by the papers that there is a very large arma-
ment coming immediately to the West Indies. I wish
them success wherever they go.
"God bless you my Dr Girl.
"Whenever you see the little Millwards Kiss them for
me. My heart bleeds for them. They are unfortunate
indeed by the loss of such a Mother."

Ann Millward's unrestrained hilarity would have
disgusted Lord Chesterfield. In the letters addressed to
his son (March gth and October igth, 1748) he had
expressed himself severely as to audible laughter. "I am
sure that since I have had the full use of my reason,
nobody has ever heard me laugh." And again: "In my
mind there is nothing so illiberal and so ill-bred as
audible laughter."

The year 1793 closes with another of Anna Maria
Millward's characteristic letters.



The wonder of the family
"Dec' ioth, 1793.
"Your letter of the I6th of Sep'. My Dear Jane gave
me much pleasure, as do all your letters that are written
at home. I am glad to find that you received the Shells
and like them, I only wish that there had been more of
"You must have been quite happy to see your dear
Brother after his having been so many months in Paris
at such a dangerous and troublesome period; I am glad
to hear he has grown fat and looks so well. I hope he will
not fall off in Edinburgh by starving himself, not being
fond of Scotch Kail and Hagus which I believe are most
Scotch Men's daily dinners.
"The death of Mrs Millward is truly Melancholly, I
feel much for her poor Children, they are not of an age
yet to be sensible of the loss they have sustained; but at
some future period they will most severely know the want
of so good a mother.
"I am glad to hear Mr and Mrs P. are well and our
friends at the Moor and Hardwicke. I am surprised that
you have not been in Herefordshire since we left England.
I often wish I could feel a little of the cold air I felt there
of a morning and Evening upon leaving the fireside.
"I am glad to hear poor Roche is so grateful as to be
attentive to you. You was always you know a great
favorite of his; pray is his Son Garret called to the Bar yet?
"Patty Jones writes Mrs Jones that you are her School
Mother and very kind to her. . The Ship Betsey in
which the Box you was so kind as to send Mr M's purse,
only arrived a few days since; the things are not yet come
up; My Cousin was a little disappointed in not getting
her fine cloaths for the sessions, they being in the same
Ship, and I believe next Friday will be the last Ball this
year. She must therefore put them up till next Sessions.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

"I long much to hear you Sing, I am told you sing
amazingly, I see you will be the wonder of the family, for I
believe you are the only one that ever had a voice or
attempted to sing. . .We have some thoughts of
sending John to England next year but we are not yet
quite determined; as to Frances I believe we shall keep
her another year. My last little one is to be called Ann
Gardner after my Aunt, I hope she will in every sense of
the word be the last I may have. I am sorry I did not
know before her God Mothers were fixed that you wished
to stand for her: should I ever have another you must
certainly be the God Mother. My paper will only allow
Me to conclude with every good wish to you My Dear
Jane, and believe me to be Your sincere and affectionate
Returning now to the consideration of Letter XXXIII,
which, in its references to the Millward family, bears wit-
ness once again to my great-great-grandmother's tender
heart, it is obvious that Rigby must have been silent about
much that he had witnessed in Paris; nor had she any
notion of how he had come to have the blood of Louis
Seize in his possession. That story is revealed in a few
lines in the handwriting of my grandmother, Mrs Charles
Nutt -Jane the younger, daughter to little Jane of the
"My Uncle Penoyrel was in Paris, and witnessed the
death of Louis Seize. He and a young friend, at the risk
of their lives, dipped their handkerchiefs in the pail
containing his blood. The Guards smeared their faces
with it, but allowed them to depart. They returned to
their Lodgings and spread paper on the blood. The
enclosed is a portion of it, given to my Mother by her
Brother. Mrs Charles Nutt.
"East Harptree Vicarage. Somerset."
1 The statement was written after 1824, in which year Francis Rigby
Brodbelt, junior, assumed the name of Stallard-Penoyre, pursuant to the
will of his cousin, Edmund Stallard.


The original of this statement was in the possession of
my late cousin, Isabel Nutt-Mackenzie, another grand-
daughter of Mrs. Charles Nutt. In 1936 she gave it,
together with "the relic," to the Vicomtesse de Pontfarcy,
a member of a family devoted to the French throne. The
tiny slip of paper, known in our family as "the relic," is
enclosed in a leather case lined with red satin: the case
opens and shows a gilt frame surrounding an oval: the
latter contains a narrow oblong slip of dark-coloured
paper. Below this is written in ink:
Louis Seize."

A glance at the chapter entitled "Place de la Revolu-
tion" in Carlyle's French Revolution will best reveal the
courage and daring of the two young Englishmen. It
describes the streets, lined with armed men and silent
except for the one carriage with its escort, slowly rumb-
ling; the square, bristling with cannon and more armed
men; spectators crowding in the rear; the guillotine, the
scaffold upon which Louis mounts and begins to address
the multitude; the outbreak of drums that drown his
voice, the executioners who bind him to their plank.
"The Axe clanks down; a King's Life is shorn away.
Executioner Samson shows the Head; fierce shout of
Vive la Rdpublique rises, and swells; caps raised on bayonets,
hats waving . there is dipping of handkerchiefs, of
pike-points in the blood. It is Monday the 2 Ist of January
1793. Louis was aged Thirty-eight years four months
and twenty-eight days."

The year 1794 opens with a letter from Rigby himself
one of his more sprightly productions, written from
Edinburgh on January 12.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

"You are well aware that as I am come so far North
merely to prosecute my studies and that I should on no
account whatever neglect them, therefore I flatter myself
that I shall meet with your excuse for this seeming
omission. I hope you find yourself much better in your
health from the fine air at Streatham, and from the very
kind attention of Mr and Mrs Penoyre. I almost envy
your situation. .. It gives me pleasure to find that
you make use of Horse exercise, as it is very good for your
health I suppose you are not now so great a coward as
formerly. ... I am informed that Mrs Harrison and
family had arrived safely at Bath, and that they had got
.a very agreeable house. Did they seem sorry at leaving
London? Mr Raymond wrote to me before he sailed for
Jamaica, I suppose that half his voyage is accomplished
by this time. . .I must now conclude by desiring that
you will make those kind remembrances to Mr and Mrs
Penoyre for me, which their attention to us so highly

Jane's mother, on January i9th, puts the matter of
-horsemanship more gracefully in one of those well-turned
sentences in which she excelled.

"I am glad to find you so good a Horsewoman, for it
is not only a pleasant, but a beneficial exercise, when used
with discretion. . I have the pleasure to tell you that
the Box containing your Work, and your dear Father's
profile is come safe . you will be pleased to hear
that I have been so fortunate in taking a likeness of your
Father, that his profile has been known by every person,
not excepting even children, for Mrs G. Millward's
knew it the moment it was showed to them. Ann Gardner
is just recovered from the Small Pox, which she has had
very thick, however, as Mrs Marshall was particularly
careful not to let her scratch her face, I trust she will not
be pitted by it. The family are all well, they intend going
soon to Salt Island for a week or two, and if I do not
alter my mind, I think to make one of the Party. I have


ieceved a very long letter from your Brother, He is most
agreeabl~i fed -ith a family at Edinburgh, and begs I
-will be mader no apprehensions for his good looks, for
that he has determined to eat plentifully of Roast beef
and phamb padding, and not partake so largely as he did
when he was there before, of Kale soup and Sheep's
A mnnth later, her father admonishes his very dear
Jane to "pay the greatest attention to your shape, address
and behav iur. Let me know if you can calculate Interest
and how far yon are advanced in Arithmetick. I hope
yon read History with great attention, and study Geo-
graphy ronsrtaai both which will improve your mind,
and render you a very pleasant companion."
To March 2nd belongs this rather alarming news con-
veyed by Mrs. Brodbelt: "To relieve My very dear
(hid's mind from any uneasiness which report may
convey to her I have taken up my pen to assure her (with
heartfelt joy) that her Dear Father is now free from all
danger from his late illness; and that He is daily recover-
ing his strength, He means to write a few lines to Mr
Penoyre by this Packet to remove all doubt of his being
better, thberefre I hope you will make yourself easy."
The dark cloud of anxety blows over, and on May 15th
we arwiv at another good-humoured and entertaining
letter from the same indefatigable pen,


Your Little Pers*n
"This etter, My very dear Jane will be made doubly
we4cme to you from the bands of your Friend Mr Raymond,

FROM JAMAICA, s788-r796
who will likewise give you every information you may
wish to obtain of al you love here- He leves Jamaica
with the hopes ofreturning soon again, and. if the recom-
mendation of the Governor, the Council, and the As-
sembly will have any weight, He mos assured will gain
his pursuit, but, such has been the many appoirnff mt r
he has met with through ife that I should not he sur-
prised was his present expectations to be placed ammng
the number. He wil I dare say tell you the whole of his
plans much better than I can do, therefore I wir drop
the subject.
"Mr R. will deliver a small parcel to you, whick I beg
may be sent to Abraham's Warehouse as soon after yov
receive it as possible, as it contains patterns- by whick
our dresses are to be made. I have the pleasure to tel
you that your little cousins, John and Frances Milward,
with your old favorite Marshall, are to sail for Engand
in the Simon Talor Cap1. Watt, in a few days, they go
under the patronage of my friend Mrs Jones (the Mother
of Patty) and who is on their arrival, to dei ver them to
the care of Mrs Ray at Streathan. I am sure you wilt
be happy to have them in the Neighbotuhood, and wil
do your best to make their absence from their parent as
little irksome as is in your power. I have written to my
truly amiable friend Mrs Pieoyre about them, and I have
that knowledge of her goodness of heart that I have no
doubt of Her attention to them. In my letter to Mrs .
I forgot to request the favor of her to order at Gifl od's
a full dress Cap or Hat of the newest fshioa for
your Sister, a Neat half dress Cap fr imyselw and
two neat Morning okunets, which are to be st with
Nancy's Stays, and the things I have ordered from
"Whatever is fashionable to wea about the Waist tether
in Ribbon Sashes or any other I must also beg MXh, r.
to have four of differot contours sent fo each of tI. I
have been puzzling ny btain for something to &sud you,
which I thought would be wQthy of your acceptane,
but I have searched in vain therefore with Mrs PI"eoyre's
permission beIg you w\\ ~lmke h'iehffa iart tahtti able


Bonnet or Hat or any thing else in the tasty way,
you wish to decorate your Little Person with and wear
it for my sake. Should there be any thing you are par-
ticularly desirous of having from this part of the Globe
let me know it. In a letter from Mr Edmund Stallard
which we have just received, He complains greatly of
your inattention to him, and says he has not heard from
you since I left England. I hope you will do this com-
plaint away, for it carries the appearance of Idleness and
what is yet worse, ingratitude. Do you write to Mr John
Stallard? I am truly concerned to hear of his ill state of
health. I am afraid you will scarcely find this letter legible,
but my Thumb is so exceedingly tender from a Felon
I have had on it, that I can scarcely guide my Pen. Your
dear Father is now on the recovery from a severe fit of
the Gout. He unites with your Sister in sincere love to
you, and to which let me add the warmest affection of
My truly dear Jane's affectionate MOTHER.

"May y" i5th, 1794.
"From Abraham's Warehouse for Mrs Brodbelt.
2 Fashionable White Morning dresses to be made of muslin
or calico, with long sleeves.
2 dresses of the above description for Miss B.
2 Fashionable half dress Handkerchiefs.
2 Powdering Gowns office Calico trimmed with Muslin.
6 Fashionable Morning Caps, 4 of which (it's requested)
may be draped with the same Ribbons as those on
the Gowns.

"Mrs Gifford Tavistock Street.
A Pi Stiff Turn stays Miss Brodbelt.
A Full dress Cap or Hat for do
A Smart half dress Cap for Mrs B-
Two Fashionable Morning Bonnets or Hats, for Mrs and
Miss B-
8 Sashes of Ribbon or Whatever is more fashionable, for
Mrs and Miss B-"

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796


Mary Ricketts looks charmingly
"May i9th 1794-
"This letter will be delivered to you by your little
Cousins, who I make no doubt you will be happy to see,
I have written to Mr and Mrs Penoyre requesting the
favor of them to let you come home for a week that you
may see them at Mrs Ray's where they are both to be
for some little time, and Frances will remain at School
there. I should have been very glad to have sent her to
Mrs Fenwick's, as I know you would have been kind to
her but the great attention I received from Mrs Ray has
attached me so much to her and the School that I could
not think of placing her any where else.
"Marshall goes with the Children, I dare say you will
not be sorry to see her, she is much pleased with the idea
of soon seeing you, but is fearful she will not be able to
take a Trip to Scotland to see your Brother.
"I hope you will be quite a Mother to my little Frances,
whenever you have an opportunity of seeing her. The
Fleet from England is expected every day, I long to see
Mary Ricketts.
"Mr M. joins me in kind love as does all your Friends
here; you must excuse this letter being short as I have so
many more to write by the Fleet which Sails the begin-
ning of the week. Accept of love My dear Jane from Your
affectionate Cousin ANNA MARIA MILLWARD.
"P.S. Frances takes two small Shells for you. The
Fleet from England arrived yesterday, I am just returned
from seeing Mary Ricketts who looks charmingly: once
more adieu."
Here is Dr. Brodbelt's hortatory mood once more:
probably the twinges of gout had not yet subsided. Yet
it was one of the letters carefully preserved in the silken



His Doctor's Degree
oth May 1794
"... I am glad you have heard from your dear Brother,
who I am informed is studying very hard for his Doctor's
degree. Present my best respects to your good friend
Mrs Fenwick and say I will be obliged to Her to make
you read with the greatest attention the best books on
Music, so as to teach you that Science systematically and
make you a Mistress of the Technical words, and to have
you taught properly to tune the Harpsicord and grand
Piano Forte, also to desire your Musick Master to make
you a Mistress of Thorough Bass, without which you can
never be a good Player. Let me request of you to pay
great attention to your arithmetick, to your diction in
letter-writing and to your handwriting, in the two last
you were very careless. When you have occasion to make
a large T or a large F do not turn them up in the very
ugly way you do, but make them as I have done the above,
only much better.... I can assure you very very much
will be expected from you when you arrive Here....
Be assured I ever shall be My very dear Jane's Most truly
affectionate FATHER."
"Gales, then Contrary winds and Calms" in these
words of Nancy's (Letter IX) we might well sum up
Mr. Raymond's complete restoration to the bosom of the
Brodbelt family, as evinced in Mrs. Brodbelt's next letter,


The Yellow Fever
"May ye 25th 1794.
"I wrote to you My dearest Girl on the i5th of this
Month by Mr Raymond who went in the Powerful Man

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
of War, one of the Convoy to the Fleet which sailed on
the 2oth for England, and by Him I also sent a small
Parcel containing the Bodies of two Gowns which I
requested you to have delivered immediately on your
receiving them to Mrs Abraham's as patterns to make
your Sister and my dresses by. Should any accident
happen so as to prevent your getting the parcel from
Mr R., I must beg the favor of my kind friend Mrs
Penoyre to get Nancy's and my Measure from Mrs
Gifford in Tavistock Street and send it to Abraham's
Warehouse. I have likewise in a letter to Mrs P., and in
that which Mr Raymond has for you, enclosed the lists
of things I wish to have from Mrs Gifford, and from
Houndsditch, but I do not think it will be amiss to
enclose them in this letter also, for we know not what
may befall them between Jamaica and England.
"I am sorry to say that for three or four weeks before
the Powerful left Port Royal the Yellow Fever had made
such dreadful ravage among the Officers and Sailors that
they had buried upwards of an hundred of the latter
besides seven or eight officers, indeed had the London
and Cork fleets not arrived as they did (four days previous
to their departure) they must have put off sailing for the
want of hands to take the Ships from the Island. I
sincerely Hope that the change of situation from the
Harbour of Port Royal to the free air which the Powerful
will now enjoy by going out to Sea, may be attended
with every favorable change in the health of the poor
people on board, and that it will likewise prevent others
from taking the infection, if it does not, they must all
fall Martyrs to the Horrid disease .... You will receive
this letter at home therefore I shall put down my thoughts
just as they flow, without that form which is requisite for
the Eye of Mrs Fenwick .... John and Frances Millward
are gone to England in the Simon Taylor Cap". Watt.
. . Your dear Father is recovering fast from his late
attack of the Gout, which was indeed a most severe one,
God grant that he may now be free from every complaint
for some time to come, for He has had two within these
twelve months that have tried both his constitution and


spirits. .Your Sister is quite well, and has gained a
valuable acquisition by having Mary Ricketts as a com-
panion: they will pass their mornings frequently together,
which I trust as Mary is fond of Music will induce Nancy
to attend more closely to hers.... I am quite charmed
with the accounts I receive from every body of the
astonishing alteration there was in your Brother for the
better, by his trip to Paris. I heartily hope that Scotland
may not deprive Him of his good looks and Tongue; I
should be much grieved to have him lose either, when
they have been considered of such amazing advantage to,
him.... Mr and Mrs G. Millward with little Ann are
well, tho' the two former are dreadfully low spirited with
parting from their children.... I shall impatiently wait
the arrival of the June Packet, for you will I know write
to me during the Midsummer vacation, which letter will
be worth twenty formal ones from school. God bless you
My dearest Jane, and may you live to be received into
the Arms of your truly affectionate A. G. BRODBELT."

By the Prince Henry William packet went also another
of Nancy's letters in the same spidery hand.


An Appointment in the Dragoons?
"May 25th 1794.
"... I hope in answer you will favor me with a very
long merry Letter.
"I suppose now in a few weeks you will see Mr Ray-
mond, he sailed from this Island on the 2oth of this
Month, but as it is in a Fleet should think the passage
would be rather tedious, when he arrives you are to come
home for two or three days, as he wishes very much to
see you, I have desired Him to take a lock of your Hair

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
to put into the Ring, as what I had in it is worn out ...
and should Mr Raymond return to Jamaica (which he
will if he succeeds in getting an appointment in the
Dragoons) you can give them to him for me, but should
he not come back again you can give them to Marshall
(who is going home with Mrs Millward's Children), but
be sure and give her very strict charge about taking care
of them for I should be very sorry if any accident was to
happen to them. Remember us all in the kindest manner
to Mr Raymond when you see him.
"Old Alexis desires to be kindly remembered to you,
My Mother has written you a long letter, and I suppose
she has told you all the news of this gay Town, there is
therefore nothing left for me to say but to beg you will
accept the most sincere Love of Your ever affectionate
Sister, ANN MARIA BRODBELT. God bless you."

To June belongs the following letter from Jane's
mother, written for once in melancholy strain:


The vile Yellow Fever
"June 15th 1794
"... We were all charmed with your letters, for you
had adopted the easy style of writing which is so pleasing
to Us . The nice Fringe you made for me has come
to hand without the least injury, and looks delicately
white. I sent the Muslin Sash you did for Frances to your
Cousin, who was both pleased and thankful to you, she
desires me to say that as Frances is gone to England, she
will give it to Saucy Ann with your love. I have written
to you twice in the last Month, the first was by Mr Ray-
mond who went in the Powerful Ship of War, one of the
Convoy to the Fleet, but whether Himself or the letter


will ever be seen by you I much doubt, for was any
accident to happen to Him (which I greatly fear will be
the case, owing to the dreadful devastation which the
Yellow Fever was making on board that Ship even after
she left the Harbour of Port Royal), I don't imagine there
is any person who would take the trouble to forward it
to you. ... This Horrid Fever had raged with uncommon
Mortality in the above Man of War some weeks previous
to her departure, but as Mr R. had engaged to go with
some of the Officers on Her, before the disease broke out,
He could not, conformable to the punctuality he wished
to observe in the promise he made, leave them. Such
were the ravages this Fever continued to make, that in
the short time they went from Port Royal to Bluefields
they lost two officers and two sailors, and when they
quitted the latter place, they then had ninety down with
it, and many past every ray of recovery. I am also sorry
to tell you that my Mind has been greatly distressed by
the accounts we received of some of the Merchant Ships
of the fleet being infected with this fatal Fever, among
others is the Simon Taylor where Dear John and Frances
are, for they buried a young Lady, when laying off Blue-
fields, who went on board in perfect health, and was a
Corpse in less than 50 hours after she was attacked by
it. Your poor Cousins, Mr and Mrs G. Millward, are
under much anxiety for their Children as you must
naturally suppose, and I give you my word that the
Shocking complaint preys so much upon my spirits that
I can scarcely sleep without dreaming of the most distress-
ing Scenes imaginable but, bad as our situations are,
what must be that of poor Mrs Jones, who must suffer
momentary apprehension for the safety of her family, and
those she has kindly taken under her protection. I never
think of her but with heartfelt grief. God grant that all
our fears may be groundless and that we may receive
happy tidings of our friends, but even this comfort (if it
should be the case) will not reach us till next September
at the earliest, and it may be even lengthened out to
October. How cruel is the State of suspense! . If you
see Mr Raymond tell Him that I enquired about him

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796

from Mr Henckel, who informed me that he did not see
him at Bluefields, but received a very melancholy letter
from him respecting the yellow Fever on board the
Powerful, and that He (at the time of writing the letter)
felt very unwell. From so unfavorable an account you
will allow that there is little chance of his reaching his
Native Shore. Captain Fowler has buried his Doctor, his
first and second Mate and three or four Sailors. There
is one comfort in this Fever that it never attacks those
who have been accustomed to a hot climate or those who
come frequently to it, but to Strangers it is ever fatal.
"Mary Ricketts is a charming companion for your
Sister, they have been to two dances together, within
this Fortnight, and expect to go to another in the course
of the week. I have been to neither of the Dances for
I am not in dancing spirits. The Governor' has just
received the agreeable news of Port-au-Prince being
captured on the 4th of June, and I hear Mrs Williamson
means to give a Ball to the Ladies, this I think she may
very well do, for the Governor as Commander in Chief
(I am told) will get at least 30 thousand pounds .... I
beg you will request the favor of Mrs Penoyre to purchase
for me four pounds of different sized pins and to have
them sent with the things I expect from Gifford's and
Abraham's. I will also trouble her to add to the white
morning dresses your Sister and self are to have from
Houndsditch, a coloured dress for each, provided there
is anything in colours which is very fashionable and
pretty. . I have a thousand loves and compliments
for you from all your friends here, and from the Negroes
their respects and duty. Fop is well, and plainly shows
by his size that He is in very indulgent hands. ... I only
wish I had been in possession of some more agreeable
subject than the vile yellow fever. I am going up to my
favourite Mountain, Mount Pleasant, for the weather is
getting intolerably warm besides, I have to be away
from the company of those I am not on the footing of
intimacy with, whenever I am not in good spirits . .
1 Major-General Adam Williamson. Alas! Mrs. Williamson died in the
course of the year.

I must now My dearest Child bid you farewell for the
mail goes off in half an hour. Your truly affectionate
MoEKa. June 15th i794"

Poor Dr. Brodbelt! In a letter sent by the same packet
he tells Jane: "I have had very bad health ever since the
i9th of February, and am still very weak, but thanks be
to God I feel myself so much better these three days past,
that I shall in a very little time be as well as ever I was
in my life."
And a month later (July i5th) Mrs. Brodbelt, "in spite
of the sameness of scene from day to day in Spanish
Town," had regained her usual cheerful spirits, since
news had come that the health of all in the Fleet had
greatly improved by the time they reached the Camanas,
"where they remained three days taking Turtle on board."
She was just about to start for Mount Pleasant, and "pro-
vided your Dear Father can indulge us with a visit now
and then, without its being inconvenient to him, I shall
be in no hurry to quit it. ... Don't forget to inform me
whether you have seen or heard from Mr Raymond and
if you have received my letter and the Parcel the latter,
I hope, will be at Abraham's before you get this, or we
shall be lated in our dresses."
Next comes a pleasant little interlude in the British
Isles, with Rigby writing to Jane on June 23rd (in a letter
addressed to Leadenhall Street but forwarded from thence
to "Moor, Herefordshire") and expressing his uneasiness
about the Jamaica packets.

"I cannot think what has become of them; I am afraid
that more than one are taken. The last letters that I
received were dated the 2nd of March, Is the Piano forte
in good tune? as it is a most excellent one of its kind. It
will give me great pleasure to learn that you daily practise

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
upon it for at least two hours.... My present room is
very pleasantly situated; I have a fine view of the Sea,
and I can see every Ship that comes in, or goes out of the
harbour. How does your collection of Shells go on?
Believe me to be, My dearest Jane, Your affectionate
Brother, FR'. RIGBY BRODBELT. at Dr Maclean's.
"No 7. Nicholson's Street.

In August he is seriously concerned about his little


Horses and Dogs
"August 12th, 1794
"... You will be able to inform me of a circumstance
of which I am very anxious to know. Is our cousin Mrs
Millward's two children John and Frances with Marshall
yet arrived in England? They sailed in the Simon Taylor
from Jamaica about two months ago. If you should see
them, remember me to them, and tell them that I will
come and see them as soon as I can. You must likewise
remember me to our old Nurse. I almost envy you the
time you spent at the Moor, as I am sure you must have
remained there with a great deal of pleasure. ... It gave
me great pleasure to learn from you that you was become
fond of riding, and that your horse was so pretty a crea-
ture. Did you see my old little Mare? How did you like
the two little Pointers that Mr Edmund Stallard has been
so kind as to procure for me? Do you remember of what
colour they are? I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing
you in about nine months; you are no doubt making all
the progress you can in every thing that you are learning,
that you may be able to go to Jamaica with me. ... I am
just returned from making a very pleasant little jaunt into


the Highlands. Should you not have time to write me
a long letter I shall be contented with a short one, as
I long much to hear of John and Frances. Adieu."

Writing to Jane on October I2th, Dr. Brodbelt has to
tell her that "your poor Cousin William Matthews died
last month at our House with the yellow Fever. He really
is a very great loss, as He was a most industrious good
Man, and would have made a fortune. Your dear Mama
nursed Him night and day, altho' his Fever was of a very
dangerous and contagious kind. His death affected her
dreadfully." William Matthews was the son of Mrs. Brod-
belt's sister, Sarah, who had married Henry Matthews of
St. Catherine's, "practitioner in physick and surgery."
However, Mrs. Brodbelt herself writes by the same packet
in better spirits.


Jane's Godson
"... I have the pleasure to tell you that your Cousin
Mrs G. M. has added another Son to Her young party.
He was born on the first of October and promises to be
a very fine Fellow. She desires her best love to you and
begs me to inform you that she has not forgot that you
are to be God-Mother to Him. Mary Ricketts also
answers as another of his sponsors. I believe He is to be
named Francis Brodbelt as both his Father and Mother
seem anxious to have one of their Children of that name.
God grant that they may be more fortunate with this, and
that he may be in every respect as charming a Boy as
their former Brodbelt was.1 I am much pleased to find
i Jane herself has left it on record that her godson died young, at Cam-
bridge, in 1815.

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
you so good an Horse-woman . for you never would
have gone over the Black Mountains if you had not done
so on Horseback....
"... As your Dear Father writes to you, I will leave
Him to acquaint you with the Melancholy event that
happened in this House a few weeks since. The death of
so promising a young Man, and the fatigue I went through
during his illness were more than either my spirits or
strength could well support. He poor youth suffered, as
many more had done before him, of that cruel yellow
Fever, which has for many months past been fatal
throughout the Island. I mean to write to his unhappy
Mother by this Packet for I was not able to get through
the shocking tidings by the last, but your Father wrote
to Mr Kemys.... You have long ere this seen your little
Cousins the Millwards, and your old favorite, Marshall;
I expect a very particular account of them from you ....
I am sorry you did not see Mr Raymond, for I don't
imagine He will be allowed to quit his quarters again
'til he is ordered on foreign service, and that he expected
would take place very soon after he got to Plymouth:
therefore He will not be able to visit London again. How
He escaped the yellow Fever on board the Powerful is
most astonishing, for there were so many with it that
they could have breathed no other air but that of Infec-
tion. His death is to be of some other kind; I Hope nothing
worse! .
"I find Mr Edmund is as good tempered as ever, and
suffers you to do what you will with him. I should feel
great satisfaction in the thought of seeing my kind friends
there, and at Hill House, once more before I bid adieu to
this world, but what cannot be cured must be endured,
and I must make myself as contented as the case will admit
of. Among the deaths we have had, I am to place that
of the Governor's Lady, she died on the Igth of September.
This will of course put a stop to all amusements at the
King's House during the Sessions, and be a very great
disappointment to those who are fond of dancing and
dress; as to my part I feel none from either, and I am so
partial to Home that I have not a wish to go out, without


it's to pay those visits which do not require the task of
much dressing. Report says, we are shortly to have a new
Governor (Lord Cathcart); he is a married man, and will
I suppose bring his Wife: if so, no doubt we shall be
wonderfully gay, and the young folks in high spirits.
"My namesake Ann Gardner is grown a most diverting
child; she is just finding her tongue, and frequently makes
us smile at her different attempts to say things. I am an
amazing favorite, therefore she is seldom a day from me.
... Marshall's second trip to England has no doubt made
her quite the Englishwoman. I hear the present Fashion
in England is for the Ladies to wear no Petticoats, and to
go as little covered as possible with a tucker, for no hand-
kerchief is allowed of. I think the next change of fashion
should be that of a Gauze dress alone, and the Petticoat
totally exploded. Surely! they have kicked all delicacy
out of doors, or are they in a state of Insanity?
"I hope I shall get my things from Abraham's soon, for
as this is the time of the year when most of the Ladies get
their dresses from England, I should like to have mine
likewise. We have lately had a smart shock of an Earth-
quake, but thanks to God! no damage has been done by
it.... We hear by every Packet from our Dear Rigby, for
he is no less good than you are in being very constant in
writing to Us. It's the only Comfort we can enjoy whilst
you are away from Us, therefore was you to neglect
affording Us that gratification we should feel the loss
severely. My dearest Girl's Most tender Mother, A. G.
"Oct 12th. 1794."

About a fortnight later the attentive Rigby was assuring
Jane that
"it is one of my greatest pleasures frequently to hear from
you that you are well. I am very glad to learn that you
found little John and Frances well, and that Mrs Marshall
is as hearty as ever. I thank you for the description you
have given me of the two Pointers at the Moor; they must
be pretty indeed. It gives me pleasure to find that my

FROM JAMAICA, 1788-1796
little Mare has been of so much service to you; I hope you
will constantly ride her while you are in Herefordshire as
there is nothing like Horse exercise for the health. Have
you heard anything of Raymond lately? I believe he is at
Plymouth. I will thank you to buy something to the
value of half a Guinea, and make it a present to Marshall
from me: perhaps a few Pocket Handkerchiefs, or any
such trifle, and tell her I am sorry that I shall not be able
to see her, being 400 miles distant."
On November i3th Mrs. Gardner Millward sat down to
give Jane news of the little new arrival "who you bespoke
as a Godson; he was Christen'd about a fortnight since,
and my Aunt was good enough to stand Proxy for you.
I sincerely hope if he lives he may take after his God-
Mother in goodness and Sensibility. I do not mean to
flatter you, as you well know I have too much sincerity
for that." (Jane, at fifteen and a half, wasjust of an age to
enjoy the compliment.) "I thank you much, my dear Girl,
for your attention and kindness to John and Frances; you
cannot imagine how kind Mr Millward and myself took
your making them write. Remember you have promised
to be quite a little Mother to them, do not forget to check
them when you see them rude as it is very disgusting to
be with unruly children. Mrs P. wrote me word that
Frances called her your Grand-Mother." Jane had taken
her little cousins and "old Marshall" to the Wax Work and
Tower. "I should like to have been in one corner and
Seen you all," sighs the poor mother. "Make the children
write a few lines when they spend the day at any time
with you, and put them in rimind to send a few Handker-
chiefs and Gowns for the Negroes."
At the same time Mrs. Brodbelt writes: "I shall I know
make you Happy by telling you that you are now become
a God-Mother to one of the finest Boys I have ever beheld.
... He was christened by the name of Francis Brodbelt.

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