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Letter from Lucy Binney to Emily Dibblee


See Emily Dibblee (recipient of letter)
Lucy Binney (sender of letter - sister of Emily Dibblee)
Stephen Binney (father of Emily Dibblee)
Emily Binney (mother of Emily Dibblee)
Margaret McKenzie (servant of the family)
Irwine Binney (brother of Emily Dibblee)

This letter was sent by Lucy Binney to her sister Emily Dibblee. This has the first page (or more?) missing. However, it seems to refer to her father’s funeral (Stephen Binney) which took place in 1872. This may be why Emily kept this letter.

Lucy’s hand-writing is appalling! All names are questionable, but Mamma, Pappa and Margaret are obvious. Irwine seems to be referred to as Irw, Ire, Irve or Irwine (or possibly not – hard to tell!) The Doctor is likely to be Dr Jacobs. She married him but obviously not by this point. The bit near the end of the letter about "a good fight" seems unbelievable, but nothing else fits. Perhaps she felt like a good row after the servant's nagging, her mother's depression and her brother’s worrying. It would be nice to make Doctor Javis into Dr Jacobs, but while the surname is unclear, it really won’t go. Part of the letter is torn so a bit is lost.

I have given the transcription of the letter first, and the original after, in case you want to check it (and the best of luck to you!). The last few lines are cross-written. The page is turned and the writing continues across what has already been written. This saved using an extra sheet. At the end, Lucy mentions that she hopes that the letter is not too heavy, so this is obviously how it was charged.

Transcription - Page 1 of original letter - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4


I must begin again. Mr Boyce was carried into Church to the funeral & the Church was full – it was very trying to Ire. But Mr.Chandler took him with him & Mr. Laceu drove him. I was so sorry about the Doctor, but it turned out all right. He asked me the night before. He said Mr Walker and Doctor Javis will go together I suppose then after a minute, I next? He wanted to drive Irw & go as mourner & I never thought of the women. Dr Javis had to go from the church and catch the train - & he drove Mr Walker. Irwine says - he is buried in a beautiful spot on a little rise with a tree at the head. No women bothered us at all and Mr Taylor did every thing beautifully. Dear Papa had everything he wanted all through his sickness & Mamma never left him but tended him faithfully and gave up everything to him. She was the only one that could do much for him tho he never required any nursing since the first bad attacks but got up every day at ten & went to bed at ten or eleven. But of course he was moaning all day about something & he was so helpless. And he took an hour to dress & another to get his breakfast & Momma had to keep up the fire all night & get his gruel at daylight & that was all. His poor legs although a dreadful sight never was sore until the last week after the blister came. It makes my heart ache to see poor Mr Boyce, he looks so like him sitting in his armchair unable to stir, with his foot upon a foot--stool all swollen up just the same. He is much more resigned than he was – he has resigned in favour of Mr Walker at last & the people let him keep the parsonage as long as he lives & Mrs Boyce lives - & then it goes back to the church with the Hall because they laid out so much on it. Mr Wallace & he had a conversation & Ire said they nearly came to a boo-hoo together – he told him he saw now that it had all come upon him for his past conducts so poor man it is a comfort. I think he sees it in a right light at last.

Bessie has gone to Dorchester today, she gave us Tuesday instead of Saturday. She has gone for her Easter holiday which she was disappointed in getting at that time. The Doctor has just come back from Halifax. His Mother was sick & they sent for him but she is better now. He saw Aunt Eliz but did not get out to Coburg – I was sorry. Fanny would have liked to shew him to the girls. I am rejoicing in a lovely little deck chair. Irve says when I go I will take half the farm with me & Mamma say she will not give any more house room. We have just been making a little bed for Mamma. We got her a single bed & mattress & we covered the bed, to make a change – It takes up less room. & the other was already coming apart. We had the upper part of the house cleaned excepting my room. I have to wait for the bedroom carpet – we were to have had a new one in the Autumn but were it so much expense decided to leave it until the Spring. & Irve has just heard of a nearly new one to be had for half a dollar a yard which will just suit us if it is large enough – Margaret keeps bothering me as usual to get the house done. She was taken with a sort of bilious attack the other day. She amused Bessie with telling her how Irwine gave her brandy & water, ginger tea, pills and a mustard plaster all at once – she survived all & was up again by tea time. Mother [damaged] she will not go out except to church & we have had two or three hot Sundays which of course makes her nervous and fidgety. I am in hopes she will get interested in the house & garden presently. It is so bad to have nothing to change the thoughts. I was so glad when the Doctor came home tho. I might have a good fight - once in a while - by way of change. I am almost afraid this will be too heavy – but I believe I tried four sheets once before.

With much love from us all.
Believe me dear Emily
Your affecte sister
Lucy P Binney

Letter from Lucy Binney - page 1
Letter from Lucy Binney - page 2
Letter from Lucy Binney - page 3
Letter from Lucy Binney - page 4