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Drake Letters Index 5. Drake to Louisa 30 June 1854 ◄ ● ► 7. Drake to Louisa 11 July 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Piræus) - Louisa Drake (London), 4 - 7 July 1854
Piræus 4th July to 7th July 1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last letter was closed & sent on the 1st to leave on 2nd yesterday 3rd just after breakfast   I was made very happy by receiving yours of 5 May & 21 June, John’s 2 28 Feb., & my Father 1st & 21st June C. A. D.’s 3 1st June and 2 or 3 others being the first letters I have received since I left London, 4 I had become very growly about it & if it must be confessed very uneasy as I knew not where you were, your movements, health nor in fact anything about you. – By the way, I received a note of 24 May from Mr. Jenkins quondam 5 tenant of No. 1 Gloucester Place, 6 offering me some fixtures, he no doubt thinks me an uncivil brute not to have replied to him but, if he will come to Greece I will explain matters to him, if you ever see the landlord you can tell him so – The Treasury letters in which yours were enclosed were dated the 23rd June & we have the Times of that day they arrived 2nd July so that 10 days may be considered our distance apart, this I send via Trieste on the 7th Boat that way, the quickest, every Friday from hence   The 97 7 take Naval & Mily Gaz: Times: Spectator & Galignani 8 they have a reading room, tho’ no mess, & have asked us very civilly to become honorary members, so that we see the papers – The Illustrated is also ordered by them – I shall now take up memo: from my Journal from 1st Inst:
 
1st: After closing my Letters, Welsford 9 Archer 10 & I left for Athens, the very hottest day we have had Therm: above 100 – on board ship 97° hot wind – On arrival I took a Turkish Bath which did me good   In the Evg. we went to see the Temple of Jupiter & other antiquities & spent the finale of it at General Saunier’s. He a Greek, Father French Mrs. S. Greek. Two Miss S’s, some 17 & 15 who speak French as does Genl. S and one speaks a little English, they have a Piano & sing Greek songs    Genl Saunier is President of the Council of General Officers under the present Ministry    Eaten alive at night did not sleep a Wink got up at ½ past 3 & were on the Acropolis at 4 A.M. on the 2nd examining Ruins & Welsford Sketching until 8. Breakfast while dressing I saw the Queen 11 come to a Window of the Palace & bow to Officers of the Greek Regt. whose band was playing before the Palace. Two of the 97th & two French Naval Officers came up to dinner – after which we strolled to hear the Band, King Otho 12 & Queen passed Hotel just as we were coming out, gracious bows. He looks like a Spoon 13 was in full Greek costume   She looks well, jolly, fat & resolute, has a good face rather solid about the mouth & Chin – they were riding – Saw them again at the esplanade – all Athens there – during the day we saw Hadje Pietro, 14 Grievos [sic] 15 & several of the late insurgent chiefs who have come in on the Amnesty. We got home before 12 OCk. – Yesterday 3rd Welsford & I went to call on Admiral Barbier de Tinon 16 – Lord John Hay R.N. 17 Comg. the Wasp – on the Captains of American Corvette “Levant” & Austrian Corvette “Minerva” – All very civil to us.
 
4th. Busy all day & interrupted called on Col: Lockyer 18 & stayed there reading papers & chatting. –   5th. 11 P.M. The house all quiet all at roost   The Captain of Am. Corvette called on me  & I met the Austrian on his way to do the same. The “Wasp” Lord J. Hay, Comr. sailed for Constantinople. I made an arrangement with a Signor Seguro to take lessons in Modern Greek. I do not expect to be a great linguist but I should like to be able to converse a little with those around us
 
I have just been rereading all your letters   I think taking Mrs. Wood’s Lodging 19 was much better in every way than taking the house before the term commenced. The Woods I found very civil honest & quiet, & the lodging pretty clean though small – We hear nothing more from my Lords about the Station here but I think they cannot keep us all here with one Regt. You should call on the Macleans 20 if in London, I thought if anyone was moved from here I should be that one & I think so still, but where is yet dubious – Turkey – Home – Baltic are all open & the Ionian Islands an Assts. Charge is now held by D.C.G. Goldsmith 21 only as a temporary measure, then again C.G. Wild 22 is at Malta wanting to get home & perhaps the Ty. may sent [sic] Weir there & keep me here in Charge in fact, as regards the Service this ought to be the way as an A.C.G. is enough for the duty here – My pay is good as it is 19/3 per day & 3/6 Field Allce. 22/9 [total] and we live cheaply – very   I am housekeeper & so of course I know no rent – low wages – good rations, cheap wine!!!!
 
No arrangement could be made as to our own family movements, until my Station is fixed but we must keep on quietly as we are until then – so far as this place is concerned it is of little consequence as I think you are all better at home until the end of September – It is very hot indeed, & not very good for new comers – Many of the 97th Officers & men have & are still suffering, but none severely – The French bury at least one man a day – Wine heat & exposure do this –   6th. We have new Servants today   I have written a note to A.C.G. Wilson 23 today hoping to elicit some information – When I saw Mr. Colquhoun 24 at Malta he said Mrs. C 25 was going to stay in London & that she would call on you poor young woman she must be very unhappy, just married separated from her husband & with very few friends in London. You are quite right under any circumstances to furnish cheaply but do not neglect to make yourselves comfortable, the two are quite compatible with one another – Do not forget what I said about Louisa’s Italian – They should all learn French also. – I have had time to overhaul my Wardrobe & except shirts I am pretty well supplied, of those I have enough until I know where I am to go – Do not wait to send your Letters by the Treasury – Post them yourself directed to me & under cover to the Senior Commt. Officer, British Expeditionary Force, Piræus, Greece six times a month –
 
– thus –
Greece via Marseille
The Senior Commissariat Officer
British Expeditionary Force
Piræus.

I send the Bill for the C.G. 26 endorsed. Kisses & best love to all. We have an Austrian (Trieste) paper to 30 June.
 
7th July
Pretty well again –
Your affectionate hub
W. H. Drake
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Henry’s son, John Drake.
 
3. Henry’s unmarried sister, Charlotte Augusta Drake.
 
4. Henry left London, England on 20 May 1854.
 
5. Quondam: at a certain time in the past, formerly, once. [D.P. Simpson, Cassell’s new Latin-English English-Latin dictionary, (London, 1968), p. 498.]
 
6. Henry had leased this house in London for his family to live in. See Letter 2. Charlotte Augusta Drake (London) to Louisa Drake (en route to London) , 29 - 31 May 1854
 
7. 97th Earl of Ulster’s Regiment of Foot.
 
8. Galignani was a Parisian bookseller who circulated his own newsletter, The Messenger.
 
9. Augustus Frederick Welsford, 97th Regiment.
 
10. ACG William Spearman Archer.
 
11. Queen Amalie (1818-1875), the Bavarian wife of Otho I, King of Greece.
 
12. Otho I (1815-1867), King of Greece.
 
13. Spoon: A simpleton, a fool. [E. Partridge, A dictionary of historical slang, p. 892.]
 
14. Xristodoulos Hadji-Petros.
 
15. Field Marshall Theodoros Grivas, a Greek revolutionary and military officer.
 
16. Rear-Admiral Marie Charles Adelbert De Tinan.
 
17. Captain Lord John Hay.
 
18. Colonel Henry Frederick Lockyer, 97th Regiment.
 
19. The lodging was situated at 28 Park St., London (W1). Park St. runs between Oxford Rd. and Park Lane, and is situated near Hyde Park.
 
20. In 1849, when Henry Drake was stationed in Hobart, DCG George Maclean was in charge of the Commissariat Department situated in Macquarie St., Hobart. He had been promoted to CG on 29 December 1849.
 
21. DCG Oliver Goldsmith was stationed at the Ionian Islands in 1856.
 
22. In 1856 CG Henry James Wild was stationed in Malta.
 
23. In 1856 DCG James Wilson was stationed in London.
 
24. DACG Francis Crossley Colquhoun.
 
25. Harriet Elizabeth Sarah Colquhoun (née Goodman).
 
26. Henry often referred to his father, John Drake as the C.G.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 5. Drake to Louisa 30 June 1854 ◄ ● ► 7. Drake to Louisa 11 July 1854