Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bogg, 31 October 1872

The last letter surviving from 1872, a fall report delayed until news of the next year's rent was known. Aunt's cheese production has suffered from sick cows, and the landlord says he won't raise their rent this year in light of that--but the threat of future rent increases remains.

The weather is wet and an uncle's hay isn't up. And a neighbor has died suddenly. "Mr. Hyslop Cleneries" probably means "Mr. Hyslop who lives at Clenries," a nearby house. There was a John Hyslop living at Clenries who won an award from the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1872, for a "cheviot tup" (a kind of breeding ram)--maybe it was him? "Ten hours illness" seems to be a phrase that often refers to cholera, and there were cholera epidemics about this time (1873 in the US, 1872 in India).

This letter includes a rare reference to Marion's own siblings (her sister Sarah is marrying in London soon). And a not-so-rare reference to Marion's dreams of seeing James Bryden back in Sanquhar, offering to take Marion away to America.

The Bogg
October 31st 1872

My Dear Cousin

You will be thinking I am not a woman to my word at all when I am so long in writing after sending you word that I would write last week. I would have written but Aunt would not let me till once we got our first lot of cheese away and then I could send you word whither Mr. Kennedy was going to make the rent more this year or not so he was here yesterday and he said seeing as the cows had the disease last spring he would not ask any more rent for another year. we got 115 cheese away last week but they were not near so heavy as they were last year. There is a want of thirty stone and that is a good deal. Aunt thinks she will can make up a few stones yet but we had no turnips and the cows are greatly failed. Uncle William has had a very bad time the weather has been so wet that he could not get his hay up and I don't know if it is all up yet and it is past the time of the year for hay wining[?]

I am going on and writting and never asking how you are. I hope you and all friends beside you are well how is your Jeamie getting on I was dreaming about him the other night I thought he was come to take me away to America but when I wakened it was but a dream but I must say I was quite disapointed when I wakened and did not see him many a time we talk over the fun we had when he was here and you can tell him that I could dance a polka with him now I have to tell you from Cousin John Glencross that he is wearing very much for the card you said you would send him he is not getting very strong yet but is better as he has been.

We had a very sudden death beside us last week you can tell uncle Joseph he knows who it is. his name is Mr. Hyslop Cleneries he died in the ten hours illness this is his funeral day. I have some thing more to tell you my sister Sarah is going to be married in about a fortnight after this but she will be married in London so I will not be at her marriage her intended husband is a Jewler I have never seen him so I dont know what he will be like.

Aunt sends her kind love to you and you are to be sure and write and let us know how you are all getting on there was a spree at Brandleys last night and I suppose it was a very merry night there was above forty at it and Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy danced till the last I had a busy day getting them all dressed for it but I was not there I waited at home and was housekeeper. now I must come to a close and give uncle Joseph and aunt Marion my kind love remember me kindly to John Johnstone and Sarah and also your father and Jeamie Bryden not forgetting your own dear self from your affectionate friend Marion Brown

PS be sure and write soon M. B


Ruth@VS said...

Hi! Interesting stuff - the word you transcribe as "wining" is probably "waining", an old word used to describe the process of making and gathering hay.

Penny L. Richards said...

Thank you, Ruth! That's exactly the kind of feedback I'm hoping for with this project, gathering in such bits of knowledge that make the letters more understandable and interesting.