Local History by Seán Beattie


The Dresden Letters – 2

The Dresden Letters – 2


1 August 1796

My dear Uncle (i.e. Lieut. Col. Hart, 43 Upper Norton St. Portland Rd., London)

I returned home from Dublin a few days ago and left my father, mother and Mary at Ballinascreen (Co.Derry) where they will remain until the visitation of Derry which is fixed for the middle of this week. My father is considerably better than I have known him for many years and I am convinced the mere exercise of the journey has been of service to him. Purcell and Richards still persist in their favourable opinion of his complaint. Richards says his disorder has not arrived at a  sufficient maturity for an operation, should an operation be necessary, but he was known so many cases where the disorder has dispersed of itself that he thinks my father will not by any means require one. He says the pain in his back certainly proceeds from his present disorder owing to the contraction of the spermatic chord and must necessarily cease when the cause is removed. There is a correspondence agreed upon between Richards and him and at the end of six months if he does not find the swelling decrease he must return to Dublin and undergo an operation which he advises him is very trifling being nothing but a very small puncture in the scrotum. In the meantime he recommends the immediate use of fomentations. Purcell tells him his constitution has a  very gouty disposition and has advised the use of the Donegal spa which prescription my father is determined to comply with.

I spent a couple of days at Ballynagard (Culmore Rd.) on my way home and my uncle made me very happy by telling me that, as sea bathing has been recommended to you, it is possible you might come over to the north of Ireland this summer. I need not tell you how convenient this place is to the cold bath and did you know how much it would delight us all I am convinced you would not hesitate one moment.

Lucius Carey has been so unfortunate to offend my Aunt Hart by neglecting to execute a commission she gave him some time ago to buy a pair of horses. She is determined never to pardon him and my uncle is resolved to give up all future connection with him. Alderman Fairley met him in Derry last week and gave him such abuse as would have disgraced Billingsgate.

My Uncle Charleton has returned to Derry and is at camp near Dublin and is very well. I hope by this time I have another little cousin . Have I any chance of knowing my Aunt Charlotte? Be as good as to remember me to her.

And believe me to be, my dear uncle, your most affectionate nephew,

Edward Chichester

PS. I have made some further enquiries about Portarlington. It is remarkable for being the best place in the kingdom to learn French. They have all kinds of masters there and it is the best place in Ireland for boys. My Uncle Charleton has just sent his son Thomas there.


  1. More of this please …..Fascinating!!!!!!

  2. More please….

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