Drake Letters Index 7. Drake to Louisa 11 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 9. Drake to Louisa 17 July 1854
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Piræus) - Louisa Drake (London), 13 - 14 July 1854
Piræus 13th July 1854 1
My dear Lu,
        I was much disappointed at not receiving Letters yesterday as our Treasury dates were to the 3rd of July – the last one Orders me on to Turkey and I shall leave this next Wednesday per Syra for Constantinople so that I shall in all probability miss any letters which you may send to me here, in future you will have to send all through the Treasury as they only will know my whereabouts. I shall go to Constantinople first & then probably to Varna or Schumla – Yesterday Col: Moncrieff 2 of the 3rd Guards passed thro’ this on route home to take the command of his Regt. in London   I did not see him but he said all the Great people including Mr. Filder 3 were at Varna – One Officer is I believe at Gallipoli, Smith 4 & one other at Constantinople but expecting to be ordered up to Varna shortly – the Army are all there   The Duke of Cambridge 5 30 miles towards Silistria encamped, Lord Cardigan 6 has patrolled with the Cavalry as far as Silistria but seen no Russian – Every one seems of opinion that nothing will be done by the Army this Summer except that they will occupy Schumla, I think they will take Odessa but that is only my private opinion they cannot keep so large a force merely to Watch the Russian movements & follow them at a distance –
Our weather continues very hot 98 in the shade but as I am now pretty well again I do not feel it much – I had rather they had left me here for another month to get over the Summer & to learn a little more Greek – Weir thinks it is much to my advantage to be ordered on as I shall be the Senior Assistant 7 in Turkey & of course ought next year to get my Step if this turns out so I suppose we must not grumble as it has always been, as you know my earnest wish – I shall try & deserve it by working hard and looong [sp?]!! My Order is “to go without delay to Constantinople report myself to C.G. Filder & there await his Orders” but I should think Smith would have General Instructions in the event of Officers arriving to send them on to Varna or elsewhere    I go by the Austrian Lloyds Steamer touching at Syra, Smyrna, and Tenedos
I dine today with Major Welsford, 8 He & Colonel Handcock 9 live together – Ingram 10 Obert 11 Harenc 12 Venables 13 & two others in another house 8 in another including Moore 14 & Cannon 15 & 8 inc. Burton 16 in the next. The Colonel, 17 Colvill, 18 & Legh 19 together & Downes 20 & one Asst. Surgeon 21 by themselves all distributed about but all tolerably comfortable. – It is blowing a Steady gale & the wind is very hot so that it is altogether a most unpleasant day. My expenses have hitherto been small but now they will commence, I must buy one if not two good horses better than the little Cats we have here Col: Lockyer wants to sell a very good mare he brought from England it cost him between £70 & 80 but I cannot afford to buy one at such a price however I might like to have such a one – I must dress for dinner.
July 13 [sic]   I dined with Welsford 22 & Handcock 23 last night
a hot wind blew all day & all night my room was warm but not intolerable so I slept pretty well in fact since I got or rather heard I was to go to Turkey I have been much better in health whether it is that I had shaken off my indisposition or that the mind being more occupied I have thought less of the body & consequently of the heat perhaps it is a little of both – I find I can get a good horse here for about £50 & I shall try & see what is to be done in getting one   I shall also take on a Servant from here if I can get a tolerable one who can speak Greek and Italian the latter being most useful all over the Levant. I do not know when I shall hear again from you but I shall write to you again once more before I leave so that, should they not have told you of my going on from the Treasury you will have early tidings of it from myself – Dearest Lu, we must live in hopes of an early & happy meeting – In the mean time, you must make the most of your stay in England as it will probably not be our fate to be there for any length of time for many years to come – We must hope for the end of the War to unite us when I am a D.C.G. 24 which I trust will be before long – You must let the Swan 25 people know where I am & that I cannot write to them, 26 God bless you all, Kiss the Children for me   I shall no doubt see them changed when next I do see them – but Johns 27 more than my own & perhaps Caroline’s 28 more than any – I have begun to pack up already so that I have plenty to do.
Weir is very disgusted at having so small a Staff especially as Archer 29 is a useless hand – very lazy lounging about Smoking all day in true Italio Greeky 30 style – With love to all I am
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

[Addressed as follows]
Via Trieste.
Mrs. W. H. Drake
No. 1 Gloucester Place
Gloucester Crescent
Regents Park

1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. Possibly George Moncrieffe, who in 1840 had served 14 years with the Scots Fusilier Guards.
3. CG William Filder, C.B.
4. ACG John William Smith.
5. George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904), British Field-Marshal.
6. The Earl of Cardigan, aged 57, was commander of the Light Brigade, and had had no active service. [R.L.V. ffrench Blake, The Crimean war, (London, 1971), p. 40.]
7. Senior Assistant Commissary-General.
8. Major Augustus Frederick Welsford, 97th Regiment.
9. Colonel the Hon. Henry Robert Handcock, 97th Regiment.
10. Captain Thomas Onslow Winnington Ingram, 97th Regiment.
11. Captain Marcus Antoine Obert, 97th Regiment.
12. Lieutenant Archibald Richard Harenc, 97th Regiment.
13. Lieutenant Thomas Venables, 97th Regiment.
14. Captain Isaac Moore, 97th Regiment.
15. Lieutenant Osborne Barwell Cannon, 97th Regiment.
16. Captain Fowler Burton, 97th Regiment.
17. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Frederick Lockyer, 97th Regiment.
18. Captain Robert William Colvill, 97th Regiment.
19. Captain Edmund Cornwall Legh, 97th Regiment.
20. Surgeon Henry Downes, 97th Regiment.
21. Assistant Surgeon Joshua Henry Porter, 97th Regiment.
22. Major Augustus Frederick Welsford, 97th Regiment.
23. Major the Hon. Henry Robert Handcock, 97th Regiment.
24. D.C.G.: Deputy Commissary-General. Henry was promoted to DCG on 1 January 1855. He had been serving as ACG since 16 December 1845.
25. Swan River Colony.
26. Henry and Louisa were stationed in Perth, Western Australia, from 1831 till 1848. Many of Louisa’s relatives still lived there.
27. His brother, John Minshull Drake had two sons and two daughters.
28. His sister Caroline married Bernard Manning Browne.
29. William Spearman Archer.
30. This was obviously no compliment to Archer, as being called a “Greek” meant to be called “a card-sharper, a cheat, a gambler, a highwayman”. [E. Partridge, A dictionary of historical slang, (Harmondsworth, 1972), p. 400.] I cannot find reference to “Italian” in a perjorative sense.

Drake Letters Index 7. Drake to Louisa 11 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 9. Drake to Louisa 17 July 1854