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Drake Letters Index 8. Drake to Louisa 13 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 10. Drake to Louisa 28 July 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Piræus) - Louisa Drake (London), 17 - 22 July 1854
Piræus 17 July 1854 1
 
My dear Lu,
 
        My last was dated the 14th so that I may almost say I keep you up to my doings daily. I have been very busy packing & getting ready for my further peregrinations to the East   I have bought a horse of the Assist. Surgeon 97th Mr. Porter 2 a Gibraltar horse inured to Climate, aged, tolerably sound cheap quiet easy paced & standing fire very well – I get his passage paid by Govt. I have also hired a Servant 3 well recommended, at high Wages Speaking English & French a little do. Turkish & Italian well, he is a Greek he has been to Constantinople & I think will be useful. I have bought a pair of Goatskin Saddlebags of this place & sundry things likely to be useful in Varna or elsewhere how I am to get my Cedar Chest about I don’t know my two Portmanteaux & Bed will be a good load for One Horse – however I must trust to chance for it   I want you to send me out some Flannel Shirts they are made of fine flannel (Colored) & worn by all Officers instead of a common Shirt & if away from civilization would be especially useful – they must be of large Size to allow for Shrinking, with Collars of the same   don’t send flaming red – only but light pink salmon blue or other color – they cost some 12/- each & you may send me any false collars you can find among my things to wear with them   Send four or SixI think 4 would be enough of the Shirts – You will have to enquire of Mr. Petrie 4 at the Treasury or of Mr. Wilson 5 or Julyan 6 at 17 Great Queen St. if any Commissary is coming out   if not they must be sent to Constantinople as well as you can – Remember not undershirts (I have plenty) but regular Shirts to wear without a white one over – I have been at a Greek ceremony the betrothal of a Young Lady, asked by herself Miss Stamattina Zèrvõs, 7 Greek Bishop, Priests, &c. a queer ceremony the principal part of which would have suited Loll. 8 – it was eating Sugarplums & drinking Conserve of Cherries in cold water. –
 
Weir & Archer 9 gone to dine on board of the Arethusa, 10 all the English & French Officers invited, I staid at home to write this & when cooler to pay Visits, I am sorry to say Cholera has broken out among the French Troops up to last night 25 died out of 30 attacked, Troops in the Fh. Steamers had it as I wrote you before so I made up my mind to go by the Austrian Lloyd Steamer, it costs more but Govt. pay for me & besides I shall see Smyrna & Tenedos or else Mytelene – The French Boats are fitted up more grandly & feed better but I do not care for either; Cholera never visited Greece yet & they hope it will pass over & not spread – in the mean time The Sale of Milk butter (which is only a thick cream here) Fruit Fish & all Vegetables except potatoes, is prohibited & the police seized all they could today & threw them into the Sea –    6 A.M. – July 18. This is Louisa’s 11 birthday I wish I was with you to give her a kiss as I am not you must do it for me – I yesterday paid my P.P.C. 12 visits & in the Evening after taking a long walk Welsford & I had a cup of Tea at my Quarters & we went to finish the Evening with Mr. & Mrs. Neale 13 – he is our Consul & has promised me a letter to his brother Col: Neale, Consul at Varna. 14
 
The party on board last night was they say very quiet no French were there – Arethusa goes out today after Pirates   The heat in our house varies during the day from 80 to 86 degrees, but now that I am tolerably well I do not feel it much. The Steamer people have not yet made up their minds whether they will take any passengers or not   if not of course I cannot go & here I am for another week at least if not more – The Cholera is lessened today not one of our men has had it –    19th. Finding the Austrian Steamer would not take any passengers I wrote no more yesterday   I am sorry to say the 97 lost one man by Cholera today, he was ill only 6 hours 15 – This is the only man they have lost since they left England, fortunately the disease is lessening   the French have lost fewer men yesterday & today by 1/3 & the Cordon established between this & Athens to keep Piræus in quarantine is lessened to parties getting a pass from the Medical men & Police – I saw the French Ambassador & Admiral last night at Col: Lockyer’s 16 they said it was much lessened, I do not think The French Men of War have had any cases of it at all.   20th July. Megdea Medina Steamer 17 arrived from Constantinople – more men of 97 ill another died today but it has not spread among the inhabitants –    21 July.    I have been to the French Steamboat Office & probably shall leave tomorrow by the Boat to Constantinople direct   I do not expect to hear from you again for some time as if you write my Letters will oscillate between this & Constantinople – I drank tea last night at Mrs. Buel & Mr. Buel 18 an American Missionary read prayers – Col. Lockyer 19 has given me a letter of Introduction to Brig. Genl. Airey 20   he volunteered it –    22 July 6 A.M.   French Steamer in I go at 11 today, The Cholera is worse here being a small place of course we hear of every case – it is mainly Confined to the English & French Soldiers of the former Several are dead of the latter fr. 12 to 26 per day die under these circumstances my dear Lu you will be glad to hear that I leave the place even for Turkey   I have of course for the last few days felt much for the unfortunates   The Colonel feels it deeply & the worst feature is that Downes 21 the Surgeon of the 97 a very amiable character is not equal to the emergency either in nerve or apparently in knowledge & he has three Asst. Surgeons who are very young having been just commissioned   Adieu dear Girl remember letters are to be [written across the page] sent to me to Turkey with all despatch – Give my best love to all I shall only be too happy to rejoin you all soon as a D.C.G. believe me
 
Your affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

 
Webb 22 in a note communicates the death of poor Vigors 23 no particulars or date
 
None of 97th died last night
 
 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Assistant Surgeon Joshua Henry Porter, 97th Regiment.
 
3. Constantine Christo. [see Journal footnote for 17 July 1854.]
 
4. DACG Samuel Petrie.
 
5. DCG James Wilson.
 
6. DACG Penrose Goodchild Julyan.
 
7. Maybe her surname is spelt “Zervas”, like that of Col. Napoleon Zervas, who helped overthrow Gen. Pangalos> in 1926. [R. Clogg, A short history of modern Greece, (Cambridge, 1979), p. 124.]
 
8. Henry’s daughter, Laura Mary Drake, obviously had a sweet tooth.
 
9. ACG William Spearman Archer.
 
10. 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.]
 
11. It was the 18th birthday of Henry’s eldest daughter, Louisa Maria Drake.
 
12. P.P.C. visits: a snappish good-bye. From pour prendre congé: to take leave. [E. Partridge, A dictionary of historical slang, (Harmondsworth, 1972), p. 658.]
 
13. William Beaver Neale, British Consul at Piræus.
 
14. Colonel Edward St. John Neale, British Consul at Varna.
 
15. Possibly William Stoddart, who, in his obituary, is said to have died on the 2nd July at Piræus.
 
16. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Frederick Lockyer, 97th Regiment.
 
17. Medina, st.-vessel, 4, Lieut.-Com. H. B. Beresford, 1842, Mediterranean. [“Stations of the Royal Navy in commission”, in Colburn’s united service magazine, Pt. 1, (London, 1855), p. 149.]
 
18. Rev. Mr. Rufus F. Buel, and his wife, Mary Jane (née Raymond).
 
19. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Frederick Lockyer, 97th Regiment.
 
20. Brig. Gen. Sir Richard Airey.
 
21. Surgeon Henry Downes, 97th Regiment.
 
22. DACG George Joseph Webb had been stationed at Western Australia at the same time as the Drakes.
 
23. Bartholomew Urban Vigors died at Perth on 15 March 1854, aged 35.
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Drake Letters Index 8. Drake to Louisa 13 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 10. Drake to Louisa 28 July 1854