Drake Letters Index 86. Royal Cornwall Gazette 7 December 1855 ◄ ● ► 88. Louisa to Maria Drake 4 January 1856
The Drake Letters
Louisa Drake (Balaklava) - Maria Drake (London), 17 December 1855
Decr. 17th [1855] 1
My dear Mrs. Drake,
        It is rather late, but I just sit down to write you a few lines, to tell you that Henry is safe home again, he arrived just at dusk, and very happy and thankful am I to see him sitting by my side again, he is and is looking very well; he is fortunately such a good sailor, never seasick, he has had a terrible trip as to weather, blowing, raining and now snow to perfection, and tolerably cold too: we have our winter at last, and they think it colder than last year, but I and Lou rather like this weather it is much cleaner & pleasanter than the mud, we have had two or three pleasant walks lately. I received a note from Henry this morning written some days since, so I expected him some time tonight (he would have come home had it been ever so late), but I was agreeably surprised at his coming in to dinner: he has brought all sorts of good things for Christmas, A splendid Bustard, a very handsome Bird, Hares, small birds; and live Ducks; Geese, & Turkeys   I thought our Farm Yard rather large before, but what will it be now; I only wish you had some of them, but as that is impossible, we must distribute a few among our friends here; we have sent Sir George, 2 the finest of the Hares: a young Artillery friend, called this afternoon, to know if I received one on Saturday that he had sent, but I had not seen or heard of it, so he said he thought from the strange answer his servant brought (he would not tell me what it was) I suppose his man sold it, the next he gets, he promises to bring himself; to make sure: he is attached to the Siege Train, and is also going away, all our old friends are leaving; John’s 3 old friend Mr. Griffin 4 came to say good bye on Saturday, he is gone on sick leave to Malta, a sufferer from Rheumatism he looked dreadfully ill and changed, but insists on returning here in the Spring, if possible: Mr. Russell 5 left on Saturday, we housed all his things for him, & I feared he would scarcely get away in time, he said he should be back to say good bye, but there was no time for that, for the stream was up, and the ship off, soon after he got on board, we watched her going out. I gave him your address, thinking you would like to see him; but I guess he will not get as far as the Regent’s Park, 6 I cannot tell, perhaps he may, he told me he thought there was a greater chance of Peace now, than he had ever imagined there would be, I only hope it may be true,
can you imagine that the Mail, due last Thursday, is not yet in, [written across the page] and this is Monday night; but the weather has been awful; and I suppose delayed the Steamers. Captain Kreuger [sic], 7 we have seen at last, he came on Saturday, bringing the Cheeses all safe, and in his old kind manner; he caught me in the Kitchen, he said he should have seen me before, but that the dreadful Bowel complaint had laid him up for 11 days, you can imagine the amusement of Louisa 8 and Mr. Campbell 9 who were in the Drawing Room and could hear all. Colonel Atherley 10 came to see us again yesterday, but he walked in to Church, a 7 miles walk I should think, but it was a lovely frosty day, he always comes to Church if it is possible; they all complain dreadfully of the coldness of the Huts. I am listening to our clocks, the Ship’s Bells, and find it is time to be off: my poor girls 11 will have no scrawl from me this time. Henry has been reading the Paper’s [sic] till he is quite tired, and I dare say, will be glad to sleep on shore again, I know the best ship’s bed is not as nice and comfortable as my Balaklava one, & we have been making the old hut look a little more like home, since he went away, by covering some of the bare boards. Louisa is writing away as usual, so I conclude she gives all particulars of our house and proceedings. With Kindest love to all, Believe me, my dear Mrs. Drake,
Your Affect. Daughter,
Louisa Drake.

We are sadly disappointed at not getting your letters tonight.
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. CG Sir George Maclean.
3. Henry’s brother, John Minshull Drake.
4. Lieutenant Frederick Cockburn Griffin, Royal Artillery.
5. William Howard Russell.
6. Regent’s Park, London (NW1), circled by Prince Albert Road, Albany Street, and Park Road. Louisa’s parents-in-law lived not far from Regent’s Park, at 27 Park Village East (NW1).
7. Probably Captain John Frederick Kruger.
8. Louisa’s eldest daughter, Louisa Maria Drake.
9. Possibly Lt. Gilbert Edward Campbell, 92nd (Gordon Highlanders) Regt. of Foot. Ensign 1 October 1855. Lt. 23 August 1859. In 1860 he had served for 5 years on full pay. [H. G. Hart, The new annual army list, and militia list, for 1860, p. 331.]
10. Colonel Mark Kerr Atherley, 92nd (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment of Foot.
11. Louisa’s other daughters, Charlotte and Laura, were living in London with Henry’s family.

Drake Letters Index 86. Royal Cornwall Gazette 7 December 1855 ◄ ● ► 88. Louisa to Maria Drake 4 January 1856