My dear Henry
This is the earliest intelligence I could manage to give you of our safe arrival at Markeaton. – and I hope you will receive it tomorrow by sending over to Chippenham for the day-mail. – The post leaves Derby about ten in the evening – but it was not possible to get a letter put in so late last night, because no messenger goes down to Derby after 5 or
6 4 o’clock – and we arrived at ½ past six – We met with no difficulty whatever on the journey. but we varied a little from the hour you had put down for our arrival at Birmingham. By some chance we found ourselves picked up at Didcot by the down Express – which anticipated by about ten minutes the train 11•5 which you had put down for us – This brought us to Birmingm more than an hour earlier than we expected. – in which circumstance we rejoiced, until we learned that we were obliged to wait there for the Derby train 3ּ•25. As there was none between. –
We established ourselves in the comfortable waiting rooms – and lunched – and read, passing the time as well as we could – Still the interval was tedious; being long enough to have carried us on to Derby had there been a train to suit. My Brother’s <2> carriage was waiting for us at Derby – & brought us on here at once. – The latter part of the day was much colder than the first – and the frequent showers made every place damp & unpleasant – and unfortunately we could not obtain carriage foot warmers at any of the Stations, although we asked repeatedly. This was a great loss – particularly to dear Matilda <3>, who was not well all day, although she got through the journey altogether better than I expected. This is a wet day – but we don’t much mind, as it gives time to settle. –
1. Markeaton Hall, Derbyshire, NW of Derby: home of the Mundy family.
2. William Mundy (1801-1877), politician, WHFT’s brother-in-law.
3. Matilda Caroline Gilchrist-Clark, ‘Tilly’, née Talbot (1839–1927), WHFT’s 3rd daughter.