Drake Letters Index 88. Louisa to Maria Drake 4 January 1856 ◄ ● ► 90. Louisa to Maria Drake 1 February 1856
The Drake Letters
Louisa Drake (Balaklava) - Maria Drake (London), 18 January 1856
Jany. 18th [1856] 1
My dear Mrs. Drake,
        We have had the pleasure of receiving the letters by two mails since we last wrote, nothing talked of here just now, but the Promotions, which we heard of Officially today, it seems to me to be a very fair one, though of course some must be disappointed, Mr. Routhe’s [sic] 2 case I cannot understand, it really seems very hard for him to be appointed an acting D.C.G. some weeks ago, and now others made over his head, he still left as Acting, he must feel much annoyed; Mr. Webb too, I dare say will not be pleased, at only being made an acting Asst. C.G. he is I suppose at home by this time. We often talk and think of you these long Holidays with such a large party of little people, 3 I only wish we could take some of them off your hands, for sometimes we are quiet enough here. Louisa and I are scribbling away now, Henry is dining at Dr. Hadley’s, 4 it is the fourth invitation he has had this week 5 we generally manage a small dinner about once a week; on Tuesday, though some of our party were only Clerks, they were travelled, agreeable gentlemanly people, 6 strange to me that we have never known them till now, but I assure you I have to worry poor Henry to make him keep up the civilities of life by calling on people, for he quite forgets those who have brought letters of introduction to him. I am glad to find your weather is so much milder, our’s [sic] is pleasant enough over-head but the wind is fearful it snowed last night, and thawed today, which has made it still worse, Lou and I had a pleasant morning’s walk yesterday up to the Old Castle, but the wind I collected coming home, took me more than an hour to brush off my things this morning, however I hope we laid in a stock of health for the next week, it is very provoking to have such fine winter days, & not be able to walk or ride. I begin to feel very unsettled, there is so much talk of a move in a few weeks I expect Lou and I will be obliged to depart, if the Army makes the expected movements, though I cannot help hoping that Henry may not be obliged to take the field; all Officers are now ordered to prepare their Pack-Saddles and horses in readiness for the Spring movements, where to of course nobody knows, but it will be a fearful loss if they give up Balaklava, the property here is immense.
Poor Laura 7 seems to be making the most of her Holidays, I [written across the page] am sure she enjoyed her visit to Aunt Maria’s, 8 she would so love the dear little Baby, 9 how the little pet will be grown when I see her again. I had not many ideas when I began this scrawl, and now they are all gone.
Mr. Sale 10 our next neighbour, has just been here for a little gossip bringing a letter for Henry, he is made an Acting A.C.G. quite unexpectedly so he is a happy man tonight   he is going to finish the evening at his Mess of which young Lewis 11 is one, and as he is made a D.A.C.G. by this Promotion I dare say they will have a merry Evening, I like young Lewis and am very glad he has his promotion, from what Mr. Sale says there are some bitter disappointments, but that must always be the case, it is impossible to please every one, but I am thankful that Henry got his step, as he calls it last year, 12 he now considers himself father of the Deputies here, you see I cannot help thinking of the events of the day. It seems here that they have given up all thoughts of Peace here, I fear it was a deceitful hope, the idea is that the war will be carried on in Asia Minor, and Henry is thinking of the smallest canepress [sp?] he can put his traps into, well, if he does go, I shall pack for him I suppose, but I will not think of it, till the time comes. I wonder if you will see Mr. Russell, 13 our present correspondent Mr. Hardman 14 often calls on us, he is such a nice looking gentlemanly person, and I believe very clever, but he finds it difficult to discover a subject to write about now, I believe they are blowing up the beautiful Docks in Sebastopol by degrees, very successfully. Louisa is writing so much nonsense I am sure, that she must give you all our household proceedings; she is a dear good girl, so sweet tempered, in the midst of many annoyances, a great comfort to me I can assure you, I never thought she would rough it so well. With kind love to all, Believe me   Your Affect. Daughter
Louisa Drake
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
2. Acting DCG Leonce Routh. His promotion wasn’t in the London Gazette of 15 January 1856, but there was a separate entry noting his promotion to DCG, dated 2 January 1856, in the London Gazette of 26 February 1856, p. 697. He had been appointed an Acting DCG on 1 October 1855.
3. While Henry and Louisa were in the Crimea with their eldest daughter, Louisa, their younger daughters, Charlotte and Laura, were being minded in London by Henry’s family, as were the four children of Henry’s elder brother, John Minshull Drake, while he was in India.
4. Dr. Henry Hadley.
5. According to his Journal, on 11 January Henry “went on board the Oneida”. On 13 January he “dined with Routh on Wild Swan”. On 15 January he “dined with Rev. Mr. E. J. Parker, Rev. Mr. Egan, Capt. Wood of “Jura”, & Capt. McArthur of “Andes” ”.
6. According to Henry’s Journal, on 16 January “Sale, Wingfield & Thompson dined” with them.
7. Louisa’s daughter, Laura Mary Drake.
8. Herny’s sister, Maria Harriet White.
9. Maria’s baby, Caroline, would now have been about 18 months old. She was born on 1 July 1854.
10. Acting ACG John Henry Sale.
11. DACG Henry Clutterbuck Lewis.
12. Henry was promoted to DCG on 1 January 1855.
13. William Howard Russell, correspondent with The Times.
14. Frederick Hardman, correspondent with The Times.

Drake Letters Index 88. Louisa to Maria Drake 4 January 1856 ◄ ● ► 90. Louisa to Maria Drake 1 February 1856