Drake Letters Index 52. Drake to Louisa 24 January 1855 ◄ ● ► 54. Drake to Louisa 1 February 1855
The Drake Letters
William Henry Drake (Balaklava) № 43 - Louisa Drake (London), 29 January 1855
№ 43 Crimea 29 Jany. ‘55 1
My dear Lu,
        Yours of the 11 Jany. I recd. on the 27th. I was very glad to hear better accounts of the C.G. 2 & his gout & of my dear Mother
Our weather has continued mild & fine with slight frosts at night tending to dry up the roads a little – Balaklava is yet a regular mud hole ancle [sic] & knee deep – I think what with the fine weather, better rations warm clothes & less work our Troops have taken a Slight turn for the better, Yet things are very bad, more than 3000 deaths per month I hear   this is very dreadful and all think now & thought from the first hint of our wintering here we should not have lost so many men by any assault of Sevastopol all which loss has to be encountered yet if the City is to be taken at all, Mr. Weir is ordered here and Mr. Strickland 3 to Piræus to relieve him – This place won’t suit Weir at all, he is far too particular & nice for roughing it – We have constant rumors of intentions to assault but I fear the progress of our Engineers is very Slow. Ford 4 is getting up the list & will be a Lt. Colonel yet, 5 will not Mrs. F. be a grand body then?   Northey 6 married & with a family, I hear, sold out lately – he is living with his Father in law 4 Notting Hill Square – perhaps some day you may meet the old man – Webb 7 is much disgusted at being past over in the promotion, He has asked the C.G. 8 for Acting rank but I think the Secy. for War 9 may think he has enough of that rank. – However I hope all may get on I don’t begrudge any man his luck, having had my turn
The more I think of it the more I consider it very fortunate & if peace should be proclaimed I shall have much cause to rejoice   Plant 10 I expect will be ordered out if the War goes on which will not please little Mrs. P. at all – How like Mrs. G. Leake 11 is her Letter – No – She will not take a house just now, rent & taxes are high Provisions dear & the R Browns 12 coming home   Yes she will go to a Boarding House & they, dear things may take a place near her & pay for themselves, besides as they are coming She wants to go to Paris! What a stingy little humbug it is – Poor Mrs. R. B. was regularly done by her Pa 13 – and his Biddy lives on the Spoil – Mrs. L Leake 14 does not seem to be very flourishing or Mrs. G wd. be more complaisant in mentioning her – The Count 15 will be delighted at her honoring his Friends so much!! 16
Lord Ellesmere’s 17 Yatch [sic] arrived yesterday filled with good things sent by Crimean Fund, 18 Game Pies Pates de fois gras & other necessaries for Soldiers Working in the Trenches
Lundy has quite recovered & is at work under me, Colquhoun 19 is quite “Spry” as a D.A.C.G. – Railroad here does not progress much
Dr. Marshall 20 is very unwell on board the Bucephalus one of our Store Ships lying just off my house – Very little firing on either side the last two days – Russell 21 says he is hard at Work writing for your information at Home
Give my love to all and
Believe me
Your Affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. Henry’s father, retired CG John Drake
3. ACG Edward Strickland.
4. Brevet Major Edmund Twiss Ford, Royal Engineers. He had been stationed at St. John when the Drakes were there. He married Sarah Racey.
5. Ford’s promotion to Lieutenant-Colonlel was announced in The Times (London, England) of 24 January 1855.
6. Major Augustus James William Northey married Louisa-Sophia St. Price on 14 August 1853.
7. DACG George Joseph Webb.
8. CG William Filder.
9. Henry Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle, was Secretary of State for War from June 1854 to February 1855.
10. ACG Henry William Woodforde Plant. He married Isabella Hailes Wetmore on 12 January 1850.
11. Georgiana Mary Leake (née Kingsford), 2nd wife of George Leake.
12. George Leake had a daughter, Ann Elizabeth, by his first marriage to Anne Growse, who died in 1815. Ann Elizabeth married Richard McBride Broun in 1837.
13. George Leake had died in Perth, Western Australia, on 29 May 1849. Ian Berryman, in an email dated 16 August 2012, says the following: I had always suspected that Georgiana Kingsford was more interested in George’s money than in him. She married him three months after the death of her father, she was then 28 and George 54. She went back to England, and left most of her money to her own relatives. It is interesting that Drake confirms my suspicions, I also note his comment about Ann Eliza being “regularly done by her Pa”.
14. Mary Ann Leake, widow of George Leake’s brother, Luke.
15. I do not know who this Count would be.
16. Henry here seems to be commenting on what Louisa may have told him about all these people in her letter, or Louisa may have sent on Mrs. G. Leake’s letter to Henry. According to his Journal Henry had received a letter from Louisa to 11 January 1855 on 27 January 1855.
17. Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere.
18. The Crimean Army Fund was situated at 18 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London, and accepted contributions in provisions, clothing, etc. Queen Victoria donated £1,000 and Prince Albert £500. At this date the amounts already advertised came to £279,825 2s. 2d. [The Times (London, England), 25 December 1854, p. 4:1.]
19. DACG Frederick Crossley Colquhoun.
20. Dr. John Marshall died on 10 February 1855.
21. William Howard Russell, correspondent for The Times.

Drake Letters Index 52. Drake to Louisa 24 January 1855 ◄ ● ► 54. Drake to Louisa 1 February 1855