Index

Letters sent to Frederick Dibblee when he married


See Wedding of of Frederick Lewis Dibblee and Emily Binney

These letters were sent to Frederick Dibblee at the time of his marriage to Emily Binney. This was a very romantic story told here. To summarise, Frederick Dibblee had left Canada where he was born to find work abroad, first in Brazil, then in Prussia. He had left Emily Binney, his beloved, behind. Finally, he got a good job in Madras, India, and wrote to Emily asking her to come to England (where he was before sailing for India) and marry him. This she did, and the letters below show vividly what a rush it all was.

The letters are from Frederick Dibblee's father, mother and sister, also still in Canada, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It seems that Emily Binney had been staying with the Dibblees in the summer, and that they all became very fond of her. While the father just talks of Frederick's new job, the mother is charming, and tells Frederick how wonderful his new wife is. The sister describes the children of the family liking Emily as well.

I have given the transcription of the letter first, and the original after, in case you want to check it. The originals were all on one sheet of paper. I think that the sister started writing the letter on one side of the paper (and crossed!), then the mother and father wrote on the other afterwards. I have written some notes after each letter.

Transcriptions: Letter from Frederick Dibblee's father
Letter from Frederick Dibblee's mother
Letter from Frederick Dibblee's sister
 
Originals: Letter from Frederick Dibblee's father
Letter from Frederick Dibblee's mother
Letter from Frederick Dibblee's sister

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's father

Dec. 5/64

My Dear Fred,

I have only time before the mail closes to say that I rejoice at the good news of your appointment in the East Indies and approve of your proposed arrangement. May God prosper your house & endeavours to get on in your profession - and grant you health and strength to do so.

We are all very well I never was better than I have been since I recovered from my illness in May last - Tom is getting on well in his profession. I dare say you will get all particulars.

God bless and preserve you very dear boy
Your affn. Father
Geo J. Dibblee

Do write as often as possible


Notes: Tom was Frederick Dibblee's brother. He became a lawyer like his father.

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's mother

December 5th

Dear Fred

This we hope will be handed to you by Emily, you will then naturally be too happy to appreciate letters from your dear old home and other dear ones. When you can be a little more reasonable you will be glad to know how happy the good news of your success has made us and the satisfaction we feel that Emily will go to share with you the good and bad of this changeable life. We are all so fond of her, have had such a good opportunity in her long stay with us this summer (so much better chance than when you were monopolising her society) of finding out all her valuable qualities Your Father was charmed with her. She would be his able assistant on all occasions and he thinks will be able to take the best of care of you. It quite reconciles us to the great distance we are to be separated. I hope her family thinks as well of it as we do, it will be hard to part from her at any time her services to them are so valuable. If she had not got away in this hurry in hopes to reach you in England, I doubt if they would have consented to her going as far as India. The time is very short, but if you get word she is coming you will have the Blacksmith ready at the nearest point if not her friends in England will take good care of her and send her to you. Poor thing, she has borne the delay and your many absences with the greatest fortitude and resignation and in this hour of tribulation is ready to endure all and follow you. I hope it will be in your power to make her as happy as she deserves. I wrote her a long letter but as usual with me, in too much hurry to make it as correct as I could have wished. Tell her I hope she overlooked all the deficiencies. We had scarcely time for anything but I hope we managed so what we did forward reached her safely. I could only send what I had in the house. There was no time or choice or I would have done something better. It will be some time before we can hear from you in your new home. God grant with his help it may be a happy one. Follow his laws and trust in him, and you will be satisfied with the Lot he has chosen for you. With every good wish for the health and happiness of you both.

Your affectionate Mother
Jane Dibblee


Notes: Emily Binney lived in Moncton, New Brunswick. She must have visited the Dibblees in Fredericton, also New Brunswick, that summer. Emily's family were hostile to the marriage, and her father's letter shows how she used to nurse him. The Blacksmith must be a joking reference to the Blackmith in Gretna Green who married eloping couples. I could only send what I had in the house must refer to wedding presents.


Letter from Frederick Dibblee's sister

Dear Fred

I am trying to compose myself enough to write to congratulate you upon your happy prospects. I don't know what to say. My heart is so full I can't do more than pray God bless you both, grant Emily a quick safe passage to you, & you both a happy prosperous journey to your destination. We all are so pleased at her brave spirit in starting off without any warning to go after you. Her travels began today & a beautiful bright beginning she has. There is just snow enough to make good sleighing here & we hope they are as fortunate there. Our hearts & prayers will follow you through all your journey we have had such a mild open autumn the river is not closed yet twice we have been threatened but a rain came & carried off all the ice, the boats took fright & put themselves away for the winter so we are as much shut up as if (more so) the bridge was up there is a quantity of ice this morning, but we almost despair of keeping it.

I can scarcely collect any commonplace home news it seems so irrelevant as the first of this will show Mama is back from St John's, so much better for the trip(?). Willie is ? ? going to the Madras. He says to give his "Love to Uncle Fred & he is very glad he is going to get married to Aunt Emily." She has endeared herself to every little child in the connexion. Master Boyce says "Well I am glad Miss Emily is going to Mr Dibblee, but I am sorry I shall not see her again."

As usual there is nothing going on in F'ton. We were all grumbling at the Governor for not giving us any parties since his return. We have only just now remembered he has not done mourning for his Brother. Mr Wilson heard of the death of his mother by the last mail. Mr Thomas is just as low "only more so". Poor Mr W. has looked very solemnly at Marguerite ever since his return. If he only has patience that will all come right yet.

We are sorry now we did not write by the last mail, then you would have received it when you were in a mood to appreciate the commonplace and affairs as a letter from home. But we thought once a month was enough for Prussia & now I daresay this will receive very little attention & I really cannot think of any single word to say.

The Bishop is working us very hard just now in preparation for Xmas (yours will be spent on the Seas but we think it will be a very happy one for you) & to get us in a proper condition to leave for six months to the Pearsons tender mercies. He & Mrs M are going home for six months in March. - We have the Choral Service at the Cathedral on Saturdays now much to some people's disgust I of course on principle like anything the Bishop does. & as no one need go who do not choose they need not make a fuss. Papa is going to write a little peice to this, so I had to leave one sheet & won't trouble you with any more crossing so Good bye dear Brother & God bless you both is the prayer of your affect Sister K H Dibblee.


Notes: This letter seems to have been started first. Frederick Dibblee had just finished a railway job in Prussia. F'ton is Fredericton, where the Dibblees lived. The Bishop must be Bishop Medley (see History of the Church in Eastern Canada and Newfoundland). The Madras is nothing to do with the city is India that Frederick and Eily are travelling to. It is a type of school (see Note on Madras System of Education). I cannot identify the rest of the people. There are a few words that I can't read as well (shown by ?).


Letter from Frederick Dibblee's father

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's father

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's mother

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's mother

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's sister

Letter from Frederick Dibblee's sister