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Drake Letters Index 6 Drake to Louisa 4 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 8. Drake to Louisa 13 July 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Piræus) - Louisa Drake (London), 11 - 12 July 1854
Piræus 11 July 1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last was dated the 7th I sent at same time The Bill for £165 endorsed – Since which nothing has occurred as regards myself
 
I am all right again, except a pain in my leg which is I hope gradually departing – Weir has had a touch of collywabbles. Archer 2 is today quite laid up with it – Cholera broke out in the last French Packet from Marseilles to Turkey   It commenced before the [sic] got to Malta two men died of it, Soldiers of French Army going to Turkey & 5 more died between Malta & Syra   Mavrocordati 3 the Greek Premier was on board & not liking it he stopped at Malta in quarantine, I believe a French Steamer has been sent for him – as until he comes, things cannot be arranged here, The Arethusa 50, 4 came in on Saturday   She was in Action at Odessa comes here to relieve “Leander” 5 – On Sunday the 9th Weir & I attended Service at the Barracks at ½ past 7 A.M., it was performed in one of the rooms occupied by the men, as however Weir had ordered by request of Col: Lockyer 6 that in future we go in full uniform instead of Frock coat – I don’t go again
 
Yesterday Mr. Hill 7 (Chaplain to the Embassy at Athens who performs the Service here) gave a party at Athens but as Dress Coats were ordered only Legh 8 & an Ensign went   I do not intend to go through the humbug of Dress Coats anywhere with the thermometer at from 96 to 100 in the Shade, & Weir I think has entirely begged the question himself – On Sunday night, a party of some 12 French & Seven English Officers (97th) were at a Café drinking punch & singing very loudly & noisily till past 11. The Cafe is out of the town, between it & the French Camp – it consists of a mere Shanty   the custom is to sit around tables in the open air  – this Cafe is just where the Bands play & is usually much frequented until ½ past 9. On Sunday Evening Archer & I were there with Major Colvill 9 Brigade Major Legh & several of the Arethusa’s   we left about 9 & about 10 this party I speak of commenced – The French General hearing the noise sent his A.D.C. to order the French Officers to their Camp & placed them under arrest, the Seniors for 3 weeks & Juniors 3 days   Yesterday he issued a very strong Order & sent for Col: Lockyer to speak to him about it, today at 12 Col: L has called the 97 together to read it to them – he did not include us – I have not seen the Order Weir told me of it & I fear it will lead to bad feeling towards mon General, Mon Colonel already stands badly with his Corps & always did – There is no doubt the young Gentlemen were foolish but taking such serious notice of it instead of quietly reproving it will tend to no good. The General himself was at the Café until 9 with Count Kalergi 10 the Greek Minister & several others – At said Café you get ices, lemonade, coffee, Brandy, Wine &c. Ices about 2½ each, Lemonade do.
 
2. Our life is a very monotonous one   The Weather is most insufferably hot & it will continue thus they say until the middle or end of August – Sometimes we also have hot nights with mosquitoes & I need not say Sleep is out of the question   Fruit here is very inferior but cheap
 
On the 9th, I received from my Father the “Times” of 23 June with the Brevet, Lots of our Friends or acquaintances promoted Gardiner, 11 Smart, 12 Dennis of 76th 13 – Bowen 72 14 Dalton, 15 Dick, 16 Ingleby 17 Bedingfeld 18 Artillery Sir W. Denison, 19 Ford, R.E. 20 Despard, 21 Jackson of 99, 22 Cumberland of 96 23 & many others but I do not hear that Sir C. T. 24 gives any promotion to us consequent on the Brevet – The Thermometer today was at 88° in one of the coolest houses, and 96° in a Verandah on the shady side of the same house – Poor Mr. Black 25 (Mrs. B the Maid of Athens) 26 lost his eldest son 27 this morning of typhus fever   He had been for some time past in H.M. Steamer Triton 28 as Interpreter at Volo & was brought in by her, ill, very ill on Sunday night – He is to be buried tomorrow morning at 8   We shall go   the Rev. Dr. Hill 29 who is to perform the service will breakfast with us. The Blacks have been very civil to us   He is our great Contractor for Bread Meat Wood & Forage
 
July 12. I went this morning to the Funeral, I cannot now send you a description of it, as I do not feel equal to it – It has brought associations 30 too painfully before me – So as I wrote lately I shall close this by say [sic] God bless you all & believe me ever,
 
Yours affectionately,
W. H. Drake.

 
I am all right again in my hands & almost in my leg    Archer 31 & Weir also nearly well
 

 
WH Drake Journal
 
July 12. Both steamers in last night, French in quarantine. Up before 6. Mr. Hill 32 breakfasted with us at 7, & we went to the funeral of Mr. Black’s son. 33 A very numerous assemblage of people, of Mr. B.’s family, the sons are Protestants, & the ladies of the Greek Church. Mr. Sydney Locock, Atte. [Attache of Embassy?], went with us. Went up to sitting room, the Body was laid out on a stretcher covered with White Cloth, & covered with real & artificial Flowers. The Mother, 34 Sister, 35 Aunts, relations, & Friends sitting around, mourning, the Mother & Sister incessantly calling aloud the name of the deceased, coupled with endearing epithets & sentences. As I went in (& I observed the same with several well known friends), the Mother addressed me personally in Italian, “Signor Commissario”. I crossed the room to her, & after shaking hands with her, left. Poor thing, she was no doubt in deep distress at thus losing her first born in his earliest manhood. He seems to have been good looking & good tempered, characteristics of his Family, to have been master of English, French, Greek, Italian, Russian, & Turkish. Soon after I left the room, the body was placed in a handsome Coffin. Before this, it looked to me as if he had died painfully, & left in the position in which he died – decomposition is so rapid in this country, that although he had died not 24 hours since, the effusium 36 was already unpleasant as the body was conveyed down the stairs & out of the house. The Mother & Sister, with their friends, rushed into the balcony overhanging the street, and commenced anew their plaintive cries. Poor Mr. Black 37 contained himself well. The Band of the 97th accompanied the funeral, at the special request of the family, & it appears that a band forms part of every respectable Greek funeral. Mr. Hill read the service. It is the first funeral I have been at, since poor little Emily. I thought of her, & of my poor dear wife all the time & could hardly hold up, & since I have been home, I have cried like a child. Why should my sorrow for the dear child be renewed this day in particular. It must have been the most impressive of our services, that of Burial. For often, as I think of her departure, & of the gloomy hour of her burial, it perhaps has not been in connexion with the words of the Service. Today I felt them, as if I were burying her again. The Lord gave, & the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Thou knowest, O Lord, the secrets of our heart. O Holy & merciful Savior, Suffer us not at our last hour for any pain of death to fall from Thee. Dust to Dust. Amen. Mr. Merlin, 38 Vice Consul, Mr. Locock, & Mr. Green, 39 attached to the Embassy, the Rev. Mr. Arnold, 40 & Rev. Mr. Bush 41 came to our house. Wrote the end, & sent letter to Lou. Rather disappointed at there being no letters for me. Mr. Weir received orders from the Treasury for me to proceed to Turkey. Took a walk in the evening.
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. ACG William Spearman Archer.
 
3. Alexandros Mavrokordatos.
 
4. Arethusa, 50, Captain T. M. C. Symonds, 1841, Mediterranean. [“Stations of the Royal Navy in commission”, in Colburn’s united service magazine, Pt. 1, (London, 1855), p. 148.]
 
5. Leander, 50, Capt. G. St. Vincent King, 1841, Mediterranean.[“Stations of the Royal Navy in commission”, in Colburn’s united service magazine, Pt. 1, (London, 1855), p. 149.]
 
6. Colonel Henry Frederick Lockyer, 97th Regiment.
 
7. Rev. Dr. John H. Hill.
 
8. Captain Edmund Cornwall Legh, 97th Regiment, who was promoted to Major on 9 September 1855.
 
9. Major Robert William Colvill, 97th Regiment.
 
10. General Count Demetrios Kalergis was the Greek Minister of War.
 
11. Brevet Lt.-Col. Richard Gardiner, 76th Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:2.]
 
12. Brevet Major Henry Dalton Smart, 76th Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
13. Brevet Major Morley Stratford Tynte Dennis, 76th Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
14. Brevet Major Hugh Thomas Bowen, 72nd Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
15. Brevet Major Charles James Dalton, Royal Artillery. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
16. Brevet Major Francis Dick. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
17. I could not find Charles Henry Ingleby in the list of Brevet promotions in The Times of 23 June 1854, but he is listed as being promoted from First Lieutenant to Second Captain in the London Gazette of 27 June 1854, p. 1992.
 
18. I could not find Philip Bedingfeld in the list of Brevet promotions in The Times of 23 June 1854, but he is listed as being promoted from First Lieutenant to Second Captain in the London Gazette of 27 June 1854, p. 1992.
 
19. Brevet Major Sir William Thomas Denison, Royal Engineers. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
20. Brevet Major Edmund Twiss Ford, Royal Engineers. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:3.]
 
21. Brevet Major General Henry Despard, CB, 99th Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:1.]
 
22. I could not find John Napper Jackson in the list of Brevet promotions in The Times of 23 June 1854, but he is listed as being promoted from Brevet-Colonel to Lieutenant-Colonel, without purchase, in the London Gazette of 27 June 1854, p. 1992.
 
23. Brevet Colonel Charles Brownlow Cumberland, 96th Foot. [The Times (London, England), 23 June 1854, p. 10:1.]
 
24. Sir Charles Trevelyan was the senior Treasury official in charge of the Commissariat Department in London. He was assistant secretary at the Treasury (1840-1859).
 
25. James Black, Commissariat contractor at Piræus.
 
26. Mrs. Theresa Black (née Macri).
 
27. Frederick Procopius Black.
 
28. Triton, 3, st.-ves., Lieut.-Com. A. D. W. Fletcher, 1845, Mediterranean. [“Royal Navy in commission”, Colburn’s united service magazine, Pt. 1, (London, 1855), p. 150.]
 
29. Rev. Dr. John H. Hill.
 
30. Henry’s youngest daughter, Emily Caroline Drake (born 28 February 1845), had died of scarlet fever less than a year previously, on 28 October 1853, aged 8, while they were stationed at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. He gave voice to his grief in his Journal entry.
 
31. ACG William Spearman Archer.
 
32. Rev. Dr. John H. Hill.
 
33. Frederick Procopius Black.
 
34. Mrs. Theresa Black (née Macri).
 
35. Caroline Black.
 
36. Effusion: Act of pouring out, as a liquid; act of shedding, as blood; the escape of a fluid out of its natural vessel into another part; the secretion of fluids from the vessels, as of lymph or serum, on different surfaces. [The household dictionary of the English language, p. 214.]
 
37. James Black, Commissariat contractor at Piræus.
 
38. Charles Louis William Merlin, British Vice-Consul for Athens. Transcribed as Meilan.
 
39. John Green – see http://levantineheritage.com/pdf/List_of_British_Consular_Officials_Turkey(1581-1860)-D_Wilson.pdf, accessed 4 May 2015.
 
40. Rev. Mr. Albert Nicholas Arnold.
 
41. On 10 June 1854, Henry noted in his Journal that Rev. Mr. Bush was a German from New York.
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 6 Drake to Louisa 4 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 8. Drake to Louisa 13 July 1854