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A pleasant letter from Eliza (Elizabeth) Caldwell (nee Stamford), to Houghton from Linley Wood in Staffordshire. The letter is dated February 18th and is sent to him at his London address.
I have other letters that indicate the Caldwells were either governesses or teachers to the young Mary Houghton. She would have been about 9 or 10 when this one was written. Linley Wood was a large estate at this time owned by James Caldwell her brother. This estate and family are well documented and details about the Caldwells and Linley Wood can be found here Linley Wood.
The spelling is as per the letter. Note the arcane use of the f style s where there is a double ss as in addrefs. I cannot replicate this on the computer.
It had been my intention to write to you every day for the last fortnight, but Mifs Caldwells, & a party of other friends having been with us that time, I really found myself fully engaged, & kept delaying it from day to day. Mifs Caldwells desired I would particully remember her to you, & our dear Mary, whom they think of with great pleasure, Mifs C is still extremely delicate: if she can comfortably get over this winter I hope another summer will make her stenten (strengthen), & prepare her for the next. It seems so very long since we had any intelligence of you, that I do inform you we fell very anxious for it, & I therefore hope you will write very soon, & send us every pofsible information about Mary. We wish to hear how she is employed, & of all her various improvements; & whether you continue to your present situation, in that nothing can be indifferent to us that concerns yourself, & our sweet girl. We also wish sooner to have received a letter from herself. This I suppose she has delayed in the hope of sending one finely written, she must not wait for this; but give us an opportunity of observing progrefsive improvement. We have been feasting upon the raisins and almonds you were kind to send us, & which are indeed most excellent. Accept our best thanks for them. We bear this cold weather with more composure in the hope that the vegetation will be retarded, & that we may enjoy in consequence a greater abundance of fruit next year. Mr Caldwell also feels it has been wetter than usual tho’ he has not yet experienced the trying east wind of March. He begs to write with my sister, my girls & myself with kindest regards to yourself & our dear Mary, & I am Dr Sir
Your very sincere friend