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Journals 16 & 17 Mixed & Merged

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J.H. Watmuff Profile,
1 1859-1862 Bendigo, Dunolly, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Loddon , (Mt. Hope Rush), Ararat, Chinamans Flat, Moonlight Flat, Mt William (trek with guide), Pleasent Creek (Stawell), Melbourne,
2 1859 Bendigo Melbourne 1862 Otago N.Z.
3 1863 Otago
4 1863 Otago to 1865 Melbourne
5 1865-1866 Melbourne
6 1866-1869 Melbourne
7 1869-1870 Melbourne
8 1870-1876 Melbourne
9 1879-1881 Melbourne
10 1881-1882 Dribs & Drabs
11 1884 Sydney & Misc.
12 Lusitania Voyage
13 Lusitania Voyage
14 Lusitania Voyage
15 Lusitania Voyage
16 and 17 England, letters and Journal
18 Garonne return Voyage
19 Resignations
20 (Journal 19) Mildura
21 (Genealogies)
22 (Spare)]
23 (Spare)]
24 (Spare)]
25 (Spare)]
J.H. & Bessie Watmuff's Photos
Olive Watmuff's Photos

Journal #16 52 pages, 6 letters to Bessie, and Journal 17 , 132 pages, have been merged into chronological order.

July 19/87 [1887-07-19-Tuesday, posted 1887-07-20]

My Dear Wife,
In my last, I think I informed you that I intended leaving London for here the next day, [1887-07-14-Thursday] which I did, as far as St Pancras Station where I took my Portmanteau, in company with a gentleman from the hotel I was staying at. On arriving at the station we gave our luggage into a porters hand who we saw put it into the Van, we went back to settle with the cabby & get our tickets when lo! on our return the train had started on finding the porter, he cooly informed us that he had made a mistake & had put our luggage into a train for Manchester. Saw the Stationmaster who at once set the Telegraph in motion, however it ended in our remaining another day in London where I visited the Tower & other places of interest of more anon! On arriving at our hotel we saw a policeman who politely informed us that


our luggage had been returned & forwarded to the a/d [address] upon them & that if we were not particular, our tickets were available for the following day, as it was late, 6pm, we decided to remain in London, as I did not like to land here [(Leicester)] in the middle of the night. Next morning, [1887-07-15] Friday, left London at 10.30. Got here at 12.42 - after travelling through a most lovely country, where everything wore its summer dress passed the most delightful looking old fashioned country houses & farms & villages. only stopped at one station - Luton, a great place for Straw plaiting, in Bedfordshire. On arriving at Leicester, I made for Cooks Hotel, where Fred stopped, on mentioning my name, they at once made me welcome, a very nice woman remembered Fred & actually showed me his likeness in her album. After dinner I made for my Aunts which I easily found. Knocked & waited for half an hour, no response, came away & called at F. Islips, being near, out! then went to see the grand lady, Mrs Islip, out!


Dear me thought I! told the slavy I would call next day. left card at each place - spent evening knocking about – not dark till 10pm - found Leicester a very quiet place. Cut it in two, you have Belgravia & St Giles within a stonesthrow, the upper part of the town is very beautiful & well built the lower, narrow streets thickly populated by the factory hands, who are a queer lot in the evening the public houses swarm with them, hundreds of young girls from 13 – 20 coming in & out of Bars in all stages of intoxication. I never saw any- -thing so shocking in my life, talk about our Larrikinising, they are angels in comparison

[1887-07-16-Saturday] The next day - I saw Aunt. Such a sight! – tall, wretchedly thin, bent double & appeared as if she had not had a good square meal for 20 years - she apologised by being out the day before, we talked for 2 hours about things in general, enquired after our families their names & ages Etc, her sufferings & sorrows Etc I made myself as interesting as possible & did


agreeable until at length she told me the excitement of our meeting - rather upset her & would I come again on Monday. I took the hint & departed & on getting outside I breathed like one that had been in gaol for 6 months & had just regained his liberty, her house & every thing in it was disgustingly dirty & dusty – old newspapers & letters strewn about the tables & floors, no carpets on the floors, said floors looked as if they had never made the acquaintance of soap & wax since they were laid down, what a contrast when I visited Mrs. Islips directly afterwards - her house was formerly part of a large Church & the entrance Hall is part of the entrance & aisle of the Church. I found her at home & she gave me a most hearty welcome - Smiled when I told her of my visit to Aunt & gave me a great deal of information concerning Aunt & her affairs Etc, hoped I would be successful in inducing her to make a will & gave me many useful hints with reference thereto.


Mrs. Islip invited me to go to church with her the following day [1887-07-17] (Sunday) to hear Mr. Stannard from Huddersfield, which I did, at a church in Clarendon Park the neighbourhood of which is the best in Leicester, she introduced me to her daughter & son in law, whom we met – Mr. & Mrs. Stafford – rather grand people, on leaving Church we met Mr Frank Islip to whom I took to at once, I had dinner & tea at Mrs. Islips. In the afternoon I went with Mr. F[rank] I[slip] to a service at the Harrisons Poor Houses where he played the organ. The Master showed us over the building which is very large & contains 1000 paupers of both sexes. In the evening I went with Mr. F[rank] I[slip] to the chapel, where the celebrated R[ober]t Hall used to preach, it is called the pork pie chapel from its shape. Frank plays the organ at it & has a very good choir. Next day, [1887-07-18] Monday I went in the morning to see Aunt, found her more agreeable it was amusing in one sense & sad in another to see such an educated & grand mannered lady associated with such wretched


surroundings if she were poor, one could understand it. She informed me that she finds it impossible to meet with a person with whom she could have living with her, whose habits were in conformity with hers. No I thought! I should say not! She is reputed to be very rich (which I suppose is very much exaggerated) yet very miserly. She brought out a lot of old correspondence connected with my late fathers affairs Bills Etc which are of no consequence to anyone now, but as for her own affairs I had a great difficulty to get anything out of her. The rest of the day I spent visiting with Frank the old parts of the town saw some old Roman pavement beautiful mosaic work - visited the old Town Hall & Mayors Room attached, a strange antiquated place in which it is reputed Shakespeare performed in some of his own plays. An old library was next visited in which we found some very old Books & newspapers, also saw the spot where it is supposed the remains of Richard 3rd lies - close to a bridge which he crossed on his way to the Battle of Bosworth. Had tea at Mr. Islips (Mrs. Islip left for London this morning)


after which Mr. & Mr. Frank [Islip] took me to their garden (which Fred can describe to you) & spent 2 hours there pulling peas & strawberries Etc. Left about 8.30 & Frank & I spent 2 hours at Mrs. Fosters. They made me very welcome Mr. Foster had gone to London for a few days. [1887-07-19] Tuesday, today, Frank called for me & we went with young Foster to a large Boot & Shoe factory at Wigston 4 miles from here (Leicester is the centre of a few large industries – (Hosiery, Elastic Web. & Boot & Shoe manufacturers – buyers come from all parts to purchase here) It was a very interesting sight, on our return we went through a large Web factory where we saw about 60 spinning frames at work I also visited the Railway Works & Goods Sheds which are very extensive here & I was treated with the greatest politeness & courtesy by all I came in contact with. I visited Aunt again this morning & took her some strawberries & a Bottle of Sherry Wine, she was delighted & was far more pleasent & agreeable than I had found her before, I fancy she is very favourably


disposed toward us, but nothing as yet has prevailed upon her to make a will, as long as she retains her faculties I dont think any outsider will have much chance of getting anything out of her she & I are going to Stones the Lawyers tomorrow providing she is well enough. I will now Conclude this rambling epistle, as I see the Mail leaves London (or closes) tomorrow evening. You have no idea how pleased I was at the receipt of your dear letter, which I found awaiting me at Mrs. Islips - & I trust soon to have another from you. You may depend upon me writing as often as possible. Give my love & kisses to all my darling children & also all relations - which are too many to enumerate. Kindest regards to all enquiring friends & to my office chums & believe me to be Darling Bessie Your Ever Affect Husband JHWatmuff




This book belongs to John Hy Watmuff “Bournville” Rathmines Road Auburn Hawthorne Melbourne Victoria Australia

Sailed from Melbourne Vict Australia 27th May 1887 pr Lusitania




Mrs Mariott or Mrs Nuttall “Beeby” Nr [Near] Leicester

Mr& Mrs Bryant Victoria

Mr Moodie W. Watson & Sons 13 Jewin Crescent City London

Mrs. Wills 9 Portland Terrace Regents Park St Johns Wood



J. Nicholson 37 Char[?]lestown [?]Sydney
Banks & Co Mr. Bibb

Beash Sheirs & Co Fore St London
Mr. Pullen

Miss Harris 99 Guilford St Russell Square London England



Signor Antonio Verniere 47 Chiataniare Naples


“as per Bank Book”-(Pagets)
Fred £100 23 May 1883
Same date £137.19.4 same
as Bond & self query

12 Sept/87 [1887-09-12]
Leaves Lester 11.35AM Monday L & N W Rly [London & North West Railway]8/6 Leaves London 11.5 Friday “ from Euston Station



Estudiantine Key [of] D by P Lacome

The Venitian Boat Song [Key of] D 2* Blumenthal

“Surely 2b* Beloved

Mr. Moore
Meet on 12th Septr at 4pm (Wool Sales) Coleman St Prioter of “Gt Eastern Hotel” Liverpool St E.C, London



Mrs. Keily’s “Bell Hotel” Euston Road, opposite Midland Station

Miss Watmuff 28 Myrtle Road, Terrace Highfields, Leicester

F. Islip
24 Mecklenberg St [now called Severn St]

[?Mr?] Watmuff’s Cousin
Mrs. Islip
“Collegiate House
Off London Road



Mr. Johnson Messers Stone & Co Solicitors Wellford Place Leicester

Mr. C. Foster Tailors, 19 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester.

Mr. R.H. Hartley 24 George Street Halifax



Mauds Temperance Hotel Halifax.

Mr. T.H. Moore, Thornhill Villa, Marsh, Huddersfield.

Mr. C. Vickerman Stationer & Printer, Union Square Bury.

C. Coles, Henrietta House Cavendish Square

14 Arm [Anne?] St – Hull St [?or 1.04/1.40am St Hull Street/Station?]



Shares to Realize
Chapman & Hall
5 £20 shares £10 Pd up
£16 paid up

North London Trams,
10 - £5 Shares 24/19/0
All paid up.

Signor A. Vernier Mr. Westwood Austral St West Square



Mrs Withers *c/o Mrs Long High Street Portishead Nr. [(near)] Bristol

Hartley 1 Belmont Road [probably Belmont Place) Saville Park

Mr. D. Ward 9 Gopsall St Leicester

Mr. X(Campbell)X Wallace Broad St, City
[had office in central London & lived at Staines]

Mr. E. Richmond 44 West St Leicester



H. Proctor 26 East St Leicester

Lings Temperance Hotel South St Finsbury

Mrs Spicer 16 Pemberton Terrace Junction Road Upper Holloway London N.

Signor A. Vernier 39 George St Docks Cardiff



Leicester July 20/87 [1887-07-20-Wednesday] Mr & Mrs F Islip called for me this morning with a carriage & we went for a drive into the country as far as Groby where Lady Jane Grey was born from there we travelled to Bradgate Park, in which are some fine old ruins, where the above Lady J Grey lived. From there we walked to an old Tower called “Old John” a splendid view is obtained of the



surrounding country- a fine Echo was observed here. We camped near by & discussed a pork pie - from here we had a fine drive to Woodhouse a beautiful old fashioned village, we put the horse up & walked to Beacon Hill about 2 miles, (the day was intensely hot & I felt it particularly after the long walk I had in the morning at Bradgate Park) - from this hill we could see



no less than 6 counties - Derby, Nottingham Rutland Warwick, Northamptonshire & Leicestershire. On our way home, passed the house where Lord Macauly was born. Altogether, I never passed such a delightful day. the fields hedges trees farms old fashioned Churches & villages etc was quite a treat to me after Australia. Got back about 6.30pm spent the evening with Frank Posted a long letter to Bess.



July 21/87 [1887-07-21-Thursday] I dont know how to describe the glories of what I have seen this [that] day. An Excursion Train left Leicester for Matlock in Derbyshire, a journey of 45 miles (for 2/6 return) of which I availed myself On arriving there after passing through some lovely scenery I was scarcely prepared for the delightfully situated & romantic scenery of the



place. I left it shortly on arrival & in company with some nice people I went to visit Chatsworth & Haddon Hall, the former one of the most beautiful palaces in England owned by the Duke of Devonshire I cannot describe the beauty of its gardens & its surroundings nor yet its lovely choice & rare works of art, some of the finest & original pictures & sculptuary[sic] in England.



12 Stoughton St. *Train Leicester for Syston – 9.20 Am
“ -“- 1.26 Pm
“ 2.58 “
“ 5.33

Haddon Hall is a place of great interest though not inhabited for over 200 years yet some of the tapestries & pictures & furniture are in capital order & condition notably Queen Elizth. room & bed she slept in when on a visit there, & the principle



bedrooms & Ball Room all are wainscotted[sic] well & Covered with tapestries – Etc The next day [1887-07-22-Friday?]I spent at Aunts & knocking about with Islip. [1887-07-23 –Saturday?] Next day I went to Beeby & saw Mr Nuttall, he drove me back to Lester in his gig, in the afternoon I enjoyed his society very Much, his is the largest Stilton Cheese Manufy in England. Sunday with the Fosters, Islips Etc.

Leicester July 27th 1887 [1887-07-27-Wednesday] My Dear Bessie, My last was written on the 19th inst in which I informed you I intended staying in Leicester for a few more days before going on to Yorkshire which I did during which time I had managed to see a great deal. I visited my Aunt every day with one exception & that was on the occasion of my visiting Matlock in Derbyshire 45 miles distant on an excursion fare (return 2/6). I arrived there at 11am [1887-07-21-Thursday] & in company with some very nice people I went to see “Chatsworth House” & “Haddon Hall” (distance 12 miles from Matlock for 3/- (there & back) the drive was the first I ever took in my life. It is no use attempting in a letter any description of the two great show places of England. Suffice for the present that Chatsworth & the estate surrounding it is the, or one, of the residences of the Duke of Devonshire & contains some of the finest works of art to be seen in Europe in fact it is a splendid museum. Haddon Hall is a few miles from Chatsworth & belongs to the Duke of Rutland - & is most romantically situated - it is the best preserved old ruin in England


not been inhabited for over 200 years & yet is in a good state of preservation - the bed on which Queen Elizth slept, the Tapestries & wainscoting are still exhibited & the chapel dating from the 12th century. Another day, [1887-07-20-Wednesday] Mr. & Mrs. Islip & myself in their mothers carriage, spent a whole day driving about the country lanes & visiting some of the most quaint old fashioned villages you could imagine from one hill top we could see 6 different counties saw the house where Lady Jane Grey was born & all the ruins of Bradgate Castle where her family lived - & also passed Lord Macaulys estate & where he was born, not far from which is ‘Beeby’ where I went another day. I went by train to Syston & then had to walk 4 miles through a lovely country found Mrs Bryants friends. You can inform her that Mr. Marriott died suddenly in his house last February. Mr & Mrs Nuttall & their son & daughter made me very welcome & entertained me most loyally Mr N[uttall] is the most important gentleman in the place & I found him very intelligent & gave me a bit of information concerning Dairy farming etc. he has a large Brewery & one of the largest manufacturers


of Stilton Cheese in England. I promised to visit them on my return from Yorkshire, he kindly drove me into Lester in his gig. Mrs N[uttall] promised to make up a parcel of portraits which I will call for. Another day I spent with my Aunt altogether. Went to Stones, saw Mr. Johnson had a long conversation with him on different matters he told me they have tried to dispose of the shares but cannot do so, however, I set the ball rolling by giving them to a Broker to do the best he can with them - Hall & Chapmans should bring something[,] but the Trams shares I have offered them to anyone who would accept them as a gift so as to enable the Estate to be wound up, as Aunt is very anxious to be rid of it. Eddie Clarks money which now amounts to about £560, has been out on mortgage but has been paid in & the money is now in Pagets Bank - (Lester) where I have recommended it to remain until Eddie is of age. I knocked about town all morning with Aunt & after lunch we went into the country by train & on foot to visit some friends of hers where we staid to 9pm when I got her home. I would not put in such another day for £20 – however she seems to have taken a great fancy to me & most of our well wishers think it very fortunate that I have come of course it is a delicate thing to allude to her affairs but occasionally I get an opportunity which I make the most of - she alluded to the efforts made by Mrs. Islip & Fred to get her to make her will & stated she did not like it, but would take her time & yet she informed me that all the money in the family should not go out of it. I told her it was a very simple thing to do to make her will & secure it in such a way. Ill see! Ill see! is all that you can get out of her. I may tell you she is not at all soft in her upper storey - she is fond of dainties & often hints


of liking certain delicacies. I seldom visit her without taking her something to eat. I could make you laugh if I was inclined to do so, but you must wait for details when I see you. I have just received your dear letter, & papers, & you have no idea how delighted they have made me, to know that you are all so well & that you are enjoying yourselves. I do long to have you in my arms again & the dear little army of six. God bless you all & may he keep & preserve you is my prayer. Your advice to me I am doing my best to follow & I can assure you that I have only tasted spirits once since I have been in England. You can get a splendid mug of Beer for 1½[D] which I prefer to anything else. The weather has been very hot, every day since I landed - the only rain I have seen was yesterday, when it came down for about an hour. I been reading the papers which gives particulars of Railway accident I do not see how the Jury could have brought in a much different verdict.[1] I do not think T. Andersons absence from the Rly can affect me much at least I have little dread at present of such a thing as my position being altered. Having received your letters I purpose leaving here this afternoon for Halifax. Mrs. Islip has just returned from London where she has been residing for the past week in company with Dora Moore a grandchild of Revd J. Johnson – an exceedingly nice girl about Joes age She left Western Australia 2 years ago to be educated. I wish I could afford to let Jo come for a similar purpose I must now conclude with kind remembrances to all enquiring friends & love to all relatives & innumerable kisses you & the army. Hoping all is well & believe me to be Your Loving Husband JHWatmuff PS On my return to London I will call upon Mr. Wallace JHW




[1887-07-27-Wednesday] Left Lester 27th July at 12.47 for Halifax fare 7/10 Passed Creeks, Canals, Colliers Villages & Smoky Towns to Normantown, [near Leeds] where we changed for Halifax. Passed Wakefield - through a pretty country alongside of a canal fields farms & gardens cultivated very differently from such places as Australia with factories here & there & chimney stacks in all directions in the midst [of]f



of most rural scenery [H]orbury & Osset where are some enormous factories - heavy railway cuttings & the country getting more hilly than when passing through the East of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire & south of Yorkshire. *?Coming to see 1 horse towing 3 or 4 large barges on the canal & thus we got along our & under other Rly Lines. Thornhill is an important place or station &



then “Mirfield”, a farming & agricultural district & yet plenty of factories about & lots of manufactories - then “Coopers Bridge” another place similar to the last, from there more rough, rugged & hilly, the canal still in view which one crosses several times - Brighouse & Rastrick next Elland changed trains at [a space left here] & got to Halifax at 4pm - Uncle gone home discovered aunt



had been dead 2 years - took a strool round Halifax. Passed Crossleys Mill at 5.30 & saw a sight I shall never forget enormous mills - 5000 hands leaving work, the girls & women all in clogs & nothing but a shawl around their heads - they are only working four days a week as times are slack. It was like the emptying of the Royal at pantomime time only about 10 Royals -



for noise & clatter. I went to a theatre. 6d a rotten performance would not be tolerated at any up country town in Australia. Staid at Skeltons Temperance Hotel all night & [1887-07-28-Thursday] after an early breakfast I took a long walk for miles around Halifax very hilly, called at Hartleys office at 11am, I did not care for his manner so only *?visited about half an hour with him & after visiting the Old



Church, I left by the 12.30 train & reached Huddersfield by 1.30pm After dinner, I took a train to “Marsh” found Moores mother at home my friends Mr & Mrs Moore were at the ‘Isle of Man” & would not be back for a month, I visited Mrs Mellor (Mrs Moore[‘s] mother) who I found an exceedingly nice woman Staid for tea after which I took train at 7pm for Cleckheaton to see my



shipmate Mr Blackburn who had invited me to spend a few days at his fathers place at “Clackheaton” I found my friend in the midst of his family who live in a beautiful house & surrounded with every luxury & comfort I soon got on good terms with them - they possess two large Spinning Mills & do one if not the largest business in their line in Yorkshire. Passed a pleasent evening-



they have the largest & most beautifully fitted up Billiard Room I was ever in (or saw) besides the Table the walls are covered with splendid portraits & pictures & also a grand piano & orchestra every member of the family play an instrument & together they form a respectable Band. The next day [1887-07-29] (Friday), Arthur & I knocked about the neighbourhood - which is



very hilly yet beautiful magnificent views of distant villages & churches with innumerable factories In the evening my friends gave a concert at which several neighbours dropped in.

[1887-07-30] Saturday - Arthur drove me in their dog cart around the country. Mr Blackburn has a Carriage, Wagonette & Dog Cart & the finest pair of Carriage horses in the district. I never saw a pair in Australia like



them. In the afternoon we took the train & went to Bradford – a large well built busy town passing through Low Moor (Iron Works) Town Hall very fine statues of all Kings & Queens of England. Streets very steep buildings all cut stone, & remarkably well built, singular for so large a town not a place of amusement open, excepting a low Concert [or Consent] Hall where we spent an hour more with a view of resting ourselves, than



from any pleasure we derived. We got back to Clackheaton about 11pm I forgot to state that early in the morning I was shown all over the Mills by Mr Spencer Blackburn, the second son of my host. Sunday the 30th July [(wrong date) 1887-07-31-Sunday] Took a strool & drive about the country & in the evening to Church where I heard some good singing from the choir spent the rest of the night at Spencer B’ [Blackburn’s] place. [1887-07-01] Monday (1st August). I intended going to



Huddersfield, but Mr B[lackburn] thought I ought to go & see Leeds before Leaving, he made his son go with me. Leeds is about 12 miles off [?a] large important town, visited all places of interest, including the Town Hall – one of the grandest Buildings I have seen in England, both inside & out. After dinner, took train & went to see the grand old ruins of “Kirkstall Abbey” then took train to Skipley [Shipley] & Saltaire visited the famous model



town of Sir Titus Salt there was a large Exhibition in full swing on the grounds saw many interesting Exhibits & heard the grand Band of the “Royal Marines” play some fine selections - left about 5.30 by train for Bradford where we got tea being very tired & no place of amusement opened we decided to leave for Cleckheaton which we did spent the evening very pleasently did not get to bed till 2am. Next morning [1887-08-02] Tuesday



I left about 11am by train for Huddersfield to see Mr Moore, he had returned from the Isle of Man for a few days on business. I went to his house in the afternoon & with his father, visited Greathead [Greenhead] Park (a lovely place) returned to tea, when Mr M[oore] came home, spent the evening together, & remained all night. [1887-08-03-Wednesday] Next morning he having business in the country I accompanied him in his Buggy for the drive & so



saw the surroundings of Huddersfield - visited several large Mills, owners of same being connections of Mr. Moores. Arrived at “Holmfirth” about noon & from there commenced a drive up the hills, had to walk for miles, the horse having as much as it could do, to drag the trap. The roads are well made but steep reminding me much of the country in Otago N[ew]. Z[ealand]. near the Tuapeka & Wa[i]tahuna. Only in Yorkshire where you



don’t see Mills there are green fields & farms & lovely bits of scenery, Passed the place where the dam Broke & did such havoc to Holmfirth. We stayd for dinner & gaited the horse of [at] a most romantically situated place, called the (Wood Cottage Inn) after a rest for an hour we pushed on to Meltham where are situated the great Mills of Brooks, the Cotton thread makers. I must note that Mr Moore was selling Wool at these Mills we



called at – principally Australian wool - he is a partner in the firm of Williams & Co Huddersfield

At this place we were within a few miles of Cheshire, in fact we passed close to Holme, the furthest village in Yorkshire in that direction We got back just in time for me to catch the 4.37pm train to Liverpool. (I have left my umbrella) from this to Manchester the country is very hilly, one tunnel which we came



through being 3 miles long - from Manchester to Liverpool is a dead level. Put up at the Star & Garter. After a wash & a good tea I took a long strool about Liverpool it is an awfully large well-built city, Grand streets & buildings & innumerable docks. [1887-08-04-Thursday] Next day, I went to see Mr. Lees, “Journal of Commerce” only remained a few minutes with him as I had to catch the Isle of Man steamer (Prince of Wales)



a powerfully built S.S. Left with over 2000 passengers. fare 2/6 return, available 28 days. Arrived at Douglass by 2pm, 3½ hours sailing, found it the liveliest place I have seen in England - what with trains & shanks pony I saw something of the town & surroundings, by 5pm when I took train for Ramsay [Ramsey] situated in the North of the Island where Mrs Moore is living. The distance by rail is about 24 miles & it was well worth



the trouble coming to see the exquisitely romantic scenery on the road. I arrived at Ramsay [Ramsey] at 7pm & having 2 hours of daylight I had plenty of time to admire & explore the town, I had a great difficulty in finding Mrs Moore but when I did the hearty welcome she gave me fully repaid it, I found her & boy & girl well had supper after which I left her, to hunt up a bed, which I had a difficulty in doing.



Mrs. M[oore] had only that day come into her lodging & could not therefore offer me a bed however I got settled at last & slept the sleep of the tired. I certainly would prefer staying at Ramsay instead of Douglass, being more quaint, not such a rough rowdy lot of visitors as evidently there is at Douglass. [1887-08-05-Friday] I left Ramsay by the 8am train for Douglass, having taken a return ticket, the fare was 2/2d single, ¾ return being the only line I have as yet



travelled upon where any difference is made by taking a return ticket.
___________________ Manx line - 3ft gauge.

Arrived at Douglass in time to catch the “Victoria” left at 10am on nearing the Coast, or entrance of Mersey saw a number of Men-of-War Torpedo & Gun Boats etc cruising about, the fleet forming a part of the Naval manoeuvres going on with reference to the defence



of Liverpool which city is supposed to be on the point of Bombardment by a foreign power - landed about 2pm, having had a head wind all the way not bad work 76 miles in 3 & half hours. After dinner I was passing the Rly St from which the train runs under the Mersey so for 1½d I ventured & got to Birkenhead about there for an hour, saw the new Town Hall Hamilton Square - etc returned to Liverpool by the “ferry” the river is about 1 mile across & extends beyond Runcorn



I knocked about Liverpool the rest of the day & evening staid at the “Star & Garter” very comfortable but too dear. It is very hard for a stranger going to a strange place for only a day or two. I would like to have gone to see the Great Exhibition @ Manchester but on reckoning up ways & means I find I shall soon be having to beat a retreat. I left Liverpool next day [1887-08-06-Saturday] at 12. Passed through Runcorn Crewe & Stafford, changed



train at Nuneaton reached Leicester at 4.20. Passed through some fine country mostly agricultural & pastoral a change from the manufacturing that I saw so much of lately Took up my old quarters at “Cooks Hotel” & after a good wash & tea went to Islips no letters, on my way back met my aunt who had been to market & was loaded with vegetables etc, she looked very miserable & would not allow me



to accompany her home. In the evening to while away the time I went to the Floral Hall, a great barn of a place, saw some of the best gymnasts I ever met performing for 3d - Next day [1887-08-07] Sunday commenced a long letter to my dear Bessie relating my travels for the few days I have been away - after filling a few pages I went for a walk to the cemetery. After



dinner, I saw a number of people going in a large 4 horse wagonette so I joined them & for 1/6 I had a splendid drive to Bradgate Park & then walked for about 5 or 6 miles about the neighbourhood met some pleasent people amongst them a young gentleman who informed me his wife was born in Victoria, her fathers name being Morley & used to live @ Sandridge



Promised to visit them the following evening 9pm when we arrived in Leicester, daylight.

[1887-08-08] Monday 8th. I went first thing Williams Sharebrokers, found they had sold Chapman & Halls shares @ £15 each. Tram shares expect to go off during the week. In the afternoon visited my aunt - same as usual. In the evening I went to Morleys, 289 Humberstone Rd. found Mr. M[orley] used to be



in the employ of T. Norton in the Rly Shed where I am employed - he left there to go to the Dunston Rush Otago, where he resided some time, his daughter Mrs Ward was born at Sandridge but left when she was only 2 yrs old.
to be continued

Leicester August 9th 1887 [1887-08-09-Tuesday] My Dear Bessie When I concluded my last letter I was on the point of going to Yorkshire. [1887-07-27-Wednesday] I left here about 1pm & did not arrive in Halifax until 5pm (I will not attempt descriptions of scenery, people & other sights for if I do I could not afford to pay the postage for the paper I could fill during my travels but trust that it will afford us pleasure to travel over the road together, for you in imagination & for myself ditto again). It was too late for seeing my Uncle Hartley - so I took lodgings for the night at a Temperance Inn however not being dark till 9.30 I had a few hours good strolling. I had met a gentleman in the


train, connected with the Crossleys & he kindly spent an hour with me showing over the Mills which are the largest in the world of their kind, & employ 5000 hands they were leaving work at the time & I shall never forget the sight, nearly all women wearing clogs & just a handkerchief over their heads. [1887-07-28-Thursday] About 10am next day I saw my Uncle, he was not very warm & did not appear to care whether I remained or went - informed me that my Aunt had been dead 3 years. I only remained about an hour with him & after visiting the Old Church where Fred & I were Christened, I took the train for “Huddersfield” arrived at 2pm & took train to “Marsh” found that Mr & Mrs. Moore had gone to stay at the “Isle of Man” for a few weeks. Mr. Moores mother made me very welcome & pressed me to stay for a few days until Mr. M should return as he had business there that would keep him engaged


for two days - however I made up my mind to pay a promised visit to a gentleman I made acquaintance with on board the ship his name is Blackburn & eldest son of a large Woollen Spinner at ‘Clackheaton” [Cleckheaton] - 11 miles from Huddersfield. I found my friend well & delighted to see me, his father & mother made me very welcome & insisted upon me making their house my home as long as I liked. The family were so hearty & homely that we took to each other immensely, if they had been my nearest relations they could not have treated me better They keep a Carriage, Dogcart & Wagonette with Coachman etc. & the finest pair of Horses I think I ever saw – with other good saddle horses. Their house is so nice & comfortable & magnificently yet perfectly furnished, their Billiard room is far away the best I ever saw & is also used as a music room & contains piano & cabinet organ & stands for an Orchestra - all the boys play some instrument & every Friday night with the assistance of one or two friends, they have a concert, the childrens music master is engaged as conductor always for that night. Mr. B[lackburn] is a self made man – like most of those of any mark in the West Riding & it is astonishing


what good taste he has in music & painting. Of course I was shown over the mills which like most of the manufacturers residences are close by, & had the whole process from beginning to end of the woollen spinning explained to me, at present the trade is in a very depressed state - & is very hard to make things pay, but the mills must work to give work to the workpeople, which is looked upon as a sacred necessity by the manufacturer, even if worked at a loss. I remained four days[2] with my friends & we parted with mutual regret during the time I was with them I visited Leeds - Bradford, the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey (one of the noblest old ruins in the Kingdom) also Saltaire, the model town with all its pleasure grounds & institutions built & provided by the founder, Sir Titus Salt. A grand Exhibition was being held there which I visited & found a great deal to interest me. I was also driven to many other places of interest. Yorkshire is very hilly (in this part), & yet in places nearly inaccessible there are to be met such quaint old fashioned little world forgotten villages, where the dialect is so broad that, in several instances I needed an interpreter. [1887-08-02-Tuesday] I went back to Huddersfild on the 2nd inst & called at the Moores, he made me


very welcome & in the evening showed me round. I slept with him – he is afraid that he or some member of their firm will have to visit Australia this next wool season, he left Mrs Moore at the Isle. [1887-08-03-Wednesday] The day after, Mr. Moore had business to transact at several Mills outside the town so he asked me to accompany him - he has a good horse & trap & we started early - & drove through a very mountainous country to “Holmfirth” from there we began to ascend the Hills (been in a valley to this point) had to walk for over 2 miles - as much as the horse could do was to get up with the light gig- at the top the sight was something to remember. We baited ourselves & horse (at a most romantically situated Inn called the “Wood Cottage” after an hours rest we went to Meltham, a large important Cotton Thread manufacturing place – belonging to Brooks, after Mr. M.[oore] concluded his business here we returned to Huddersfield by another road with lovely bits of scenery at every turn of the road. I got to the Rly Station just in time to catch a train for Liverpool passing through the long tunnel, 3 miles, got into Lancashire passed Oldham, Staly Bridge [Stalybridge] & Manchester - from here to Liverpool the line runs through a very level co[untryside], but all under cultivation, where n[ot broken/taken] up by towns Etc - arrived at Liv[erpool]


7.30pm very dirty & tired. After a good tea I strolled about & saw all I could until 11pm. [1887-08-04-Thursday Next morning up early, strolled about visited the office of Mr. Lees found him busy & did not stay long, promised to call again as I had no time to remain. I caught the Steamer “Prince of Wales” & for 2/6 got a 2nd class return to “Isle of Man” available for 28 days - 2400 passengers on board. Passed down the Mersey through a fleet of Men of War Gun & Torpedo Boats Etc. that were awaiting the appearance of a hostile fleet, who purposed attacking Liverpool this being part of the late Naval manouvering at present being carried out along the coast of England. We reached Douglass in 3½ hours (76 miles) landed & took a strool through the town – about 90,000 people there mostly visitors this being the best attended watering place in the Kingdom it was 2pm when I arrived & I left it by train about 5.30 for Ramsay passing through most charming scenery & full of historical [page corner torn off][& su]ndery [sundry] interest. The distance is 24 [miles to] Ramsay. I had some difficulty in [finding] Mrs. Moores lodgings, where she is residing in


a lovely locality with her two children, she received me very warmly- found her looking very well, but still suffers from her old complaint. I remained to supper & left her at 11pm had some trouble in getting a bed, every place being full of lodgers. Ramsay is a lovely place & I would much prefer visiting there than at Douglass with all its gaiety. Sir HB Lock & Lady are remembered in the island with great esteem & many were the enquiries made to me in reference to them. Sir HB L[och] was the governor there prior to going to Australia.

{1887-08-05 Friday]I left Ramsay at 8am & got to Douglass in time to catch the “Queen Victoria” SS for Liverpool which I reached at about 2pm. Dined at a Restaurant near the Mersey Rly Station after which I invested 1½d & took the train for Birkenhead - going through the great tunnel underneath the river. After rambling about for an hour or so I returned by ferry for 1d back to Liverpool & visited several large Docks & public Buildings. I think I never saw, no not in London, such abject poverty or such a number of wretchedly dirty ragged children & men & women. In the best part there are grand streets & shops & signs of great trade & wealth & yet in one place alone I could have counted a thousand men hanging about who I was told were looking for employment


with all our grumbling! our Australian cities are paradises in comparison to it. I called upon Mr. Lee & he took me to see his brother who is the image of Mrs. Wheeler - they informed me their father was hale & hearty living in Lancaster. They pressed me to remain for a few days, but as they were staying at the sea- side, I could not do so as I was anxious to get back to Leicester. (I brought with me a fine crayon drawing of Miss Lees, for Mrs Wheeler) [1887-08-06 Saturday] I left at 12am & owing to a strike on the Midland, I did not arrive here until late. [4.20 pm] I went to see Aunt, not at home, but on my way back I met her struggling up the hill with a basket containing potatoes a bunch of onions & a lettuce a packet of salt & pepper & a twist of tea & sugar, all exposed & herself looking like some poor old mean beggar woman - upon my word I felt a feeling of shame to think I had such a relative & that I should be under the necessity of having to pander to such a creature. I offered with a feeling of loathing, to accompany her home & carry her things but she would not let me, stating that she had to make a call where probably she would be asked to tea & consequently be relieved of having to invite me as I had


told her I had not partaken of mine. I am told that she is too old now ever to change her habits I called at Islips thinking there might possibly be a letter from you – but there was not.

[1887-08-07-Sunday] Next day, Sunday 7th went to church & in the afternoon I took a cheap ride out in the country – also visited the cemetery [1887-08-08-Monday] Next morning I visited the Sharebrokers & while there, a letter arrived with an offer for Chapman & Halls shares. Got the scrip from Stones & agreed to the offer - £15 a share total, less commission, £74.0.0. The Tram shares I think we can find a purchaser for in a few days so I trust to get fathers affairs wound up before I leave England – (which I expect to do either in the Iberia on the 15 Sept or else if my money hangs out in the Garonne on the 29th Sept. I can see now that these shares could have been realised upon years ago if Stones had put them in the hands of a Broker instead of acting as they have done, so I have done a little[*?] by coming here. In the afternoon I went to Aunts & spent 3 hours with her – took her a new[*?] cake & she actually asked & insisted upon my having a glass of the Sherry I had sent her a fortnight ago. I spent the evening at the Morleys. Mr. M used


to be employed in the old H B Rly Co in Nortons time, he is a nephew of W. Morley & Co who formerly were large Carriers & Coal Merchants in Melbourne He remembers several of our old hands Captain Vine Mr. McDonell, & R Anderson his daughter Mrs. Ward was born at Sandridge & is very musical I have accepted an invitation to spend an evening with them before I leave Leicester. The weather has been very hot since I have been in England, in fact I never remember such a continuous run of hot days in Australia - averaging from 75 to 90º in the shade. My time has been mostly spent in the open air & I am more sunburnt than I ever was in my life before. It is the hottest summer they have had here for 17 years & then again it is difficult walking – the streets & footpaths are paved with small blocks of rough granite, about the size of half a brick - no use wearing thin shoes & boots here – such feet coverings as the ladies wear in Melbourne would be worn out in a day or two if you walked about


much in Leicester or any other of the towns I have mentioned Yorkshire. I sincerely hope everything is going on all right at home I do long to see you all again, in fact, Im home sick! – I fear a feeling, you & others will never give me credit for possessing. Give my love to Geo[rge] & Bessie Bond, brothers Fred & John & their wives (I was awfully sorry to hear of little Georges accident & trust he is getting on all right) I was glad to hear that Jo & Charly & the rest of the army were well & behaving themselves. Remember me kindly to all enquiring friends particularly to Claudine & Zelman & those in the office. I will write to you again & let you know when I leave here for London. I have promised to trot Aunt out on 11th for the day. I will engage a cab if it cost me my last bob. We are to visit the Richmonds, the people who are very kind to her. I am anxious to dissect their apparently disinterested goodness. So now good bye & God bless you all & believe me to be Darling Bessie Your Affect Husband JHWatmuff. I will go to Beeby some day this week & visit Mr Nuttall


Tell Fred young Foster has gone for a trip to Norway - he wanted me to accompany him but I could not afford it - though the trip would have cost me little more than living on shore. I may probably spend a part of next Sunday with Mr Foster & his family. I did wish you had been with me during my rambles you would so have enjoyed yourself. As for amusements there are none excepting low concert comic companies In the large inland towns they get a decent company for about 6 weeks in the year – fancy Liverpool – only one Theatre open & that with a very indifferent set Melbourne is a marvel in this respect


17/47 continued

[1887-08-09] Tuesday I knocked about visited old Mrs. Islip, evening went to the Theatre “Silver King” have seen it far better performed in Australia. Ordered some



clothes to be made, which I require, about one third less in price than in Victoria I wrote to Blackburn received a letter from Mrs Withers & wrote a long letter to my dear wife, which I posted. It is time I heard from her if she writes regularly by the mails, I am beginning to get awfully homesick & do long to see Bessie & the little ones. I feel it irksome



here for there is nothing of interest to be seen in the town, that is I have seen all there is of any consequence. I dont know what I should do if it was not for Frank Islips company. [1887-08-10] Wednesday the 10th Saw Islip called at Sharebrokers. Tram shares not sold yet. Went to Aunt who I promised to accompany (on my last visit) to visit some of her friends.



Got to her place about 12 & after a long confab about one thing & another we started about 2pm with the intention of visiting some of her friends, but no she would have a long walk & show me round to pretty places about the town or its outskirts, which I had seen & was sick of seeing. We at last arrived at the Richmonds. From [Found] Mrs. R[ichmond] & some of her children at home but



they were just on the point of going out with some friends. Mrs. R[ichmond] is a clever spokes woman & yet I should say a designing one, she was very pressing for me to call again when Mr R was at home. She has a brother named Inchley living & in business at Swan St, Richmond, nr Melbourne. I promised to visit them again. We then called at Salmons & one or two places



but all out. Aunt gave up in despair of getting a cheap tea so I insisted on her going to a Coffee House, where after about 20 minutes hesitancy she decided upon having a cup of Tea & some small slices of Bread & Butter. I had ditto to keep her company 5½d. After spending 1½ hours over it she was at length induced to resume her visiting



which wound up at a Mrs. Proctors who I found an exceedingly nice homely woman who prepared a nice tea for us, during which she abused Aunt for her parsimonious style of living, & told her she ought to be ashamed of herself at not putting her affairs in order etc Conversation got very hot & I was not to be envied being so intent[l]y on the subject. Mrs P[roctor]



told her it was through such fools as Aunts that lawyers got so fat & such, on leaving Aunt alluded to the subject & stated to me that I & Fred & Bessie were paramount in her mind in reference to the disposal of her property yet there were others who had a claim upon her, I had to exercise a deal of discretion to insinuate



my desire that she should as soon as possible & before I left make her will so that her affairs would not be in such a mess as my late fathers were on his death. I trust our talks will end in her taking steps to prevent such an event. [1887-08-11-Thursday] August 11th I went to see Aunt again this morning as I had been to the Sharebrokers & they wished the transfer



to be signed for Chapman & Halls which they instructed to me to get done. I do believe she thought it was a Will or something of the sort I was going or trying to get signed & I am sure she read it over half a dozen times before I could get her to do so. I do wish the Tram shares would go off, & that would



wind up Fathers estate, before I left England. I visited the West Bridge where Richard III crossed above on the road to Bosworth Field - & the place where his remains are supposed to lie - also several old historical places such as the Danes hill - where are to be seen the ridges raised by the Danes around their encampment when Alfred the Great fought a great battle. I spent the afternoon at Islips.



[1887-08-12-Friday] 12th Augt -After breakfast delivered to Williams & Son the transfer Aunt had signed for C[hapman] & H[all] scrip. W & Son informed me they had had an offer of £25 for the Tram shares they advised me to part as they thought we could not get much more for them if we waited ever so long, so I told them to dispose of them at that price, if accepted



I will be able to finish up Fathers affairs before I leave England. As per promise I met Mr Islip who gave me a ticket to Derby, as there was to be a Meeting of shareholders & Directors of the Midland Railway Co. visited the factorys where the Engines Carriages & wagons etc are made, the largest works & most extensive that I have seen



I was at the meeting for short time, there has been a strike of the firemen & stokers on the line & a deal of bad feeling is engendered in consequence I saw a procession of over 1000 men marching through the town, to the meeting they made no noisy demonstration, just passed the place & walked off again. Got back home in the evening After tea I spent a very pleasent evening



at Mr. & Mrs. Wards. Mrs W[ard’s] sister, Miss Morley, was there the both sing well particularly Mrs W[ard] who has a very fine contralto voice I sang a few songs, & altogether spent a very pleasent evening.

[1887-08-13-Saturday] 13th August Went to Williams & Son they sold the Tram shares in London for £25. Transfer o be ready in 10 days - visited Aunt – just the same. I am beginning to despair about her. After dinner



F. Islip & I took advantage of an Excursion trip to “Kenilworth Ruins” in Warwickshire, for 1/6 return over 50 miles there & back passed Nuneaton, Coventry arrived at the station about 4pm - came on to rain but did not mind it - walked to the ruins about 1½ miles along a delightful road. We spent about 2 hours among the ruins & it was a melancholy pleasure to view these great decaying massive &



majestic remnants of bygone glory & greatness Kenilworth is one of the grandest ruins in England & none are so rich in historic lore, much as I love Cromwell, I cant but think ill of those of his captains who took up their quarters here, & commissioned the demolition of such a noble pile of building the surrounding country is lovely, abounding in rural picturesque scenery we had tea at a very



old fashioned house & I did enjoy it! the *place surroundings and associations were so novel to anything I ever remember being amongst before. We walked back though the old fashioned village which strangely retains its ancient bygone look. The station is one of the prettiest, for its size in England. We left about 9pm & got back



to Leicester about 10.30 after spending a most delightful & enjoyable afternoon. [1887-08-14-Sunday] 14 Augst. In the morning went to a Catholic Church heard a poor rendering of Webers Mass in G by the Choir- a fine old priest preached a very good sermon. After dinner, I called for Aunt & spent the afternoon & had tea at Mr. Fosters Charly only returned from Norway the night



before where he had been spending a fortnight. After tea I went to a very handsome Wesleyan Chapel in Humberstone Road. The congregational singing was the best I have ever heard (excepting at Spurgeons Tabernacle in London). Got Aunt home about 10.30pm Next day 15 Augst. after seeing Aunt again & seeing Mr. & Mrs Islip off by the



train for “Blackpool where they purpose remaining for a fortnight I took an excursion ticket 8/6 to London & back available for 5 days. I left Leicester in company with Mr Foster arrived in London at 5 & drove to Lings Hotel, South St Finsbury where we had tea, after which I accompanied Mr. F[oster] to Holborn - where we



parted. I went to the Savoy Theatre to hear Ruddygore a very amusing opera by Sullivan. I have heard several other operas of his I like much better, it was beautifully put on the stage & some of the singers were above mediocrity have heard many better in Australia Got back at 11.30 very tired. Mr F[oster] intends going to Antwerp



in the morning, so we parted.

[1887-08-16-Tuesday] 16th After breakfast I commenced my rambles about London, called at Miss Campbells Uncles in Broad St. his family are at the sea. I was invited to spend a night or two with them on their return to London from there I went to see the Wells, found them well could give me no information of Signor Verniere - after



leaving there I went to Vernieres lodgings at West Square found that he had left about 3 weeks ago for Scotland or Wales & had not been heard of since. Mrs Westmond still retains his luggage. In the evening I went to a Promenade Concert at “Covent Garden Theatre”, magnificent. 1/- Antoinette Sterling & Mr Barrington Forbe Vocalists splendid band consisting of an orchestra assisted by



the band of the “Coldstream Guard.” [1887-08-17-Wednesday] 17th Augt
Wet day. In the morning I walked to the Westminster Abby - along the New Thames Embankment spent a couple of hours in the Abby was shown over everything of interest by one of the guides 6d. on leaving I rambled about for 2 hours had dinner after which I visited the “Aquarium”, like a big bazaar, interspersed with an ordinary Concert



Hall performance & several side shows of an interesting character left about 6pm & then experienced one of the most violent thunder storms I ever was in - the lightning & thunder was terrific & must have done a deal of injury however, I managed to get a good tea & wash & went to the “Prince of Wales” Theatre & heard the Comic Opera of



“Dorothy” by Cellier – enjoyed it very much nearly 12 when I got to South Street – very tired.

18th [1887-08-18-Thursday] Left the house early & rambled about for 2 or 3 hours up one street & down another in this maze of London. Crossed London Bridge at 12 & took train for “The Crystal Palace” Sydenham. 1s/6d – had a good look into the back yards & corridors of houses for several miles



reached the palace at 1pm & wandered about the grounds & admired the magnificent views of the surrounding country & the many things of interest about the grounds fountains, statues, Grottos Mazes, Rosaries, Pagodas Arbors, etc., etc. Entered the building, an immense Bazaar - containing fine Picture Galleries, Sculpture Rooms, avenues of lovely trees & flowers - representations



of & copies of some of the finest Buildings & works of Art in the world. The programme of amusements for the day was a very varied one Bands, Concerts, Opera, living Statuary - Working Models Organ Recitals etc I paid 2/6 to the Theatre & heard the new & popular Comic Opera “Pepita” [music] by Lecocq splendidly put on the stage & performed about 2000 present - there I should estimate the



number in the building & in the grounds at 24,000 & this was only an ordinary day. In the evening at 8pm a grand display of fireworks took place by Brock & Co (surpassing everything they produced in Australia). After a long weary day of pleasure I left there by train at 9.30 & got back to London an hour afterwards [1887-08-19-Friday] 19th Augt In the morning I went to the Orient



office & found out to my disgust that I shall have to return on the Garonne the poorest vessel of the fleet. On arriving at Lings, I found a note from Mr Wallace which had been written 2 days before, inviting me to lunch with him & accompany him to his home for the night the letter had been taken possession of by a fellow boarder, in



mistake, & had returned it. Was very annoying for having only an Excursion ticket which expired to day, I could not do or write to him. I left London at 1.10pm & got to Leicester by 4pm Got into my old room at Cooks - was terribly disappointed at not getting a letter from my wife or one from Blackburn the latter to whom I lent



some money to on board the ship. I was too tired to visit Aunt.

[1887-08-20-Saturday] 20th Knocked about went to Aunts house, not at home called in the evening at Fosters for a short time called in the morning at Williams, transfer will not be ready for another 2 or 3 days.

[1887-08-21-Sunday] 21st After breakfast I took a long walk & went to R[oman] C[atholic] Church called St Patrick a very



small place, heard Haydns I done very well with an orchestral accompanist. In the afternoon, having no where to go, I got with a dray & went for a drive to Bradgate rambled about the Park & Old John & the lovely neighbourhood until 6.30 when I got tea at a nice little country pub left for Leicester at



7.15, had a delightful drive back - just 9pm Read the papers which had come from Melb. during my absence – quite a treat to see a colonial paper but I must say I was very sore at not getting a letter.

[1887-08-22-Monday] 21st [22nd] Weather truly Lovely, in fact it has been so ever since I have been here. Spent the morning at Aunts



she was delighted to see me. In the afternoon I went for a hot bath after which I went for a very long walk visited the Abbey grounds & also saw the ruins of Leicester Abbey where Cardinal Wolsey died home early I am heartily sick of this place. I feel annoyed that I cannot spend my time more pleasently



but I must not forget my main object in remaining in this place.

to be continued


Leicester August 22. /87 [1887-08-22-Monday] My Darling Wife It is a fortnight since I wrote to you last & I must try & relate how I have passed away the time as well as I can possibly remember & in regular order. [1887-08-10-Wednesday] The day after I last wrote I spent with Aunt visiting. it would be impossible to relate all the funny little incidents that occurred during the day. Suffice for the present that I visited the Richmonds who I found very nice agreeable people, but far too much so in their gush than anything in my Aunts manner or appearance would warrant. A Mrs Proctor who we had tea with was a very different stamp of a woman from Mrs. Richmond


not so ladylike, but far more open & honest, she told Aunt now was the time to do her duty – told her she ought to be proud at having such a nice gentlemanly nephew & hoped she would make me a handsome present for coming such a distance to see her. Told me before Aunt that I must insist upon her making her Will & settle her affairs before I left England & not go & do as my poor father did – feed the Lawyers - & help them to build grand houses as they do, out of such “old fools” as Aunt is. Aunt replied that her nephews & nieces were paramount in her affections & esteem, yet at the same time there were others who had some slight claims upon her. Aunt is such a dreadful old shuffler and procrastinates so much that I sometimes despair of ever accomplishing what is really my principal object


in coming here for - however I hope to be successful if I can only stand her humbugging nonsense & peculiarities for instance [1887-08-11-Thursday]I took the transfer for Chapman & Halls up to her to sign the following day & I feel sure she thought I was getting her to sign a Will - she read it over & over again & I was fully an hour before I got her to put her name to it. Since then I have got a purchaser to buy the Tram shares for £25.0.0 less commission The transfer wont be ready for a few day[s] so here I am compelled to dawdle away my time in Leicester. I would not mind it so much only the whole of the Islips are away for a month at Blackpool- before Frank went [1887-08-12-Friday] we spent a day at Derby & attended a meeting of the shareholders of the Midland Railway. When there I took advantage of an offer I had to see the Workshops perhaps the largest in England where all the rolling stock is manufactured & made up, belonging


to the Company. I never was so astonished in my life at the extent of the works - plant & machinery Etc. I returned to Leicester the same day & spent a very enjoyable evening at Mr & Mrs Wards. Mrs W.[ard] has a lovely contralto voice & plays well. [1887-08-13-Saturday] The next day, after visiting Aunt, I went with Islip (on an excursion ticket 1/6) to Kenilworth Ruins - (as I told you in my last I reserve description of such things & scenery Etc until I see you.) Passed through Coventry & some of the loveliest scenery in England 11pm when we returned. Next day [1887-08-14] Sunday I went to the Catholic Church & heard a wretched rendering of Webers Mass in G. After dinner I called for Aunt & got her down to Fosters where we had been invited staid tea & supper there & submitted listening to another long discussion on Aunts duty toward her nearest &


dearest relatives by Mr & Mrs. Foster. It was 10 40 when I got Aunt home

[1887-08-15] The next day Monday the 15th the Islips went away - (I may state that there is not a very good feeling existing between the Islips & Aunt, the latter has never liked the way Mrs I & Fred tried, as she states, to coerce her in making her Will) - there was at the same time an Excursion Train for London return ticket, 8/6 available for 5 days,. so having nothing to do, I took advantage of it & as Mr Foster was going by it on his way to Antwerp, I had company We arrived in London at 5pm & took up our quarters at a very nice respectable & at the same time economical place; Lings Hotel, South St., Finsbury


After tea we took a strool as far as Holborn Hill where we parted I went to the Savoy Theatre in the Strand to hear “Ruddygore” it has been running for months & is likely to run for months to come. It is a very pretty nice work but nothing to compare with other of Sullivans operas the singing was very good but on the whole we are not so far behind in Melbourne. I think Vernon is quite as good if not better than Grossmith whilst Nellie Stewart is as good if not better than any of the opera Bouffe vocalists that I have heard. [1887-08-16-Tuesday] The next day I knocked about London, visited Mr Wallace only saw the son (the rest of the family away - however [1887-08-19-Friday] the morning I left London I received a very nice note from Mr. W.[allace] giving me a most kind & pressing invitation to go that day & lunch with him & go home to his house for the night. I replied to it informing him that I was on the point of going to Leicester but on my next visit to London prior to my departure I would do myself the honour etc. etc.). [1887-08-16-Tuesday, cont.] On leaving him I went to Regents Park & spent a couple of hours at the


Wells Mr. W[ells’] mother & grandmother were exceedingly kind to me & pressed me very much to remain with them during my visit. In the evening I went to a Grand Promenade Concert at Covent Garden Theatre - 5000 people there admittance 1/- - heard the finest band I ever listened to & heard as Vocalists - Antoinette Stirling – Contralto, Barrington Foote – Baritone, (I am saving all my programs, which cost never less than 2d) [1887-08-17-Wednesday] the next day I went early in the morning to the Orient Office & found to my disgust that what I stated in my last to be true. I shall either leave on the 15th Sept by the Iberia or else on the 29th by the Garrone - the next boat is the Ormutz but that will be too late - [birth of Eddie]. I find my money is getting very short I am sadly afraid I shall have to leave by the Iberia & to tell you the truth I am getting terribly home-sick & I do


long to clasp you & my dear children (God bless you all) again in my arms. After leaving the office I walked along the Thames Embankment passing Cleopatras Needle - & got to Westminster Abby I entered it with a feeling of awe & reverence that I never experienced before. I remained there over 2 hours & you may rest assured there was little of interest to be seen that I did not. I then crossed the road & rambled about, outside of the Parliament Houses owing to the late scares, it is a difficult matter to get into there. I spent the afternoon at the Aquarium on the whole I was rather disappointed – the place I dont consider finer than our Exhibition Bdg & the exhibits are very poor. It reminded me of a large bazaar with a lot of commonplace side shows, such as you meet with in 3drate Concert Halls On leaving about 6pm I was caught in one of the most fearful thunder storms I was ever in - it lasted for over 2 hours & did a lot of damage several people killed by the lightning – however I managed to get shelter in


a comfortable Restaurant & after enjoying a good tea I went to “The Prince of Wales” & saw “Dorothy” performed - I liked it infinitely better than “Ruddygore” - the tenor Coffin is a splendid actor & singer I was not much struck with any of the lady vocalists. [1887-08-18-Thursday] The next day, after a long ramble about the little village I found my way over London Bridge at about 12. Took the train to the “Crystal Palace” Sydenham (return including admittance, 1/6) had a good look into the back yards & upstairs windows of houses for miles along the road, arrived about 1pm, wandered about the lovely grounds & admired the magnificent scenery of the surrounding country & the many things of interest about the grounds fountains, Grottos, Arbours Mazes Roseries, Pagodas Etc. Afterwards entered the Palace where an unequalled sight displays itself to your astonished vision A gigantic Bazaar - containing picture Galleries, Sculpture Rooms, Avenues of lovely trees & flowers & replicas of & copies & models of the finest buildings & works of art in the world. The


program for the afternoon & night was a varied one – Organ Recitals Bands, Concerts Living Statuary, Working Models, Swimming & Diving & all wound up with the most gorgeous & best display of fireworks imaginable. I went to the opera of “Pepita” by Lecocq well put on the stage & well performed about 2500 people witnessed it (2/6). I did hear 24000 people paid for admittance the day I was there & it was not a special one, & yet the affair is a failure, the Co being at present in Liquidation. I paid 2/6 for a wretched dinner - & for tea I paid 1/6 - for which I simply had a couple of cups & a plate of thin bread & butter. It was about 11pm when I arrived home - a singular thing I have not seen a solitary face I know in all my rambles in England excepting Napoleon Dixon, the first day I landed. [1887-08-19-Friday] The next morning I rambled about & met a Mr Jordan a fellow passenger in the Lusitania he & his son are returning on the Austral on the 1st Sept. Mr. Whelan knows them. After parting with them I left London in the afternoon & arrived in Leicester by dark where to my


great disappointment I found no letters which considering it is a month since yours of the June 14th – which I have responded to. [1887-08-20] Saturday 20th I rambled about Leicester called twice at Aunts not at home I visited the ruins of Leicester Abby in the afternoon where Cardinal Wolsey ended his eventful life. [1887-08-21] Sunday morning I visited the Catholic Chapel & heard Haydns I with an orchestral accompaniment done very well - the principals were very poor, but the choruses were really well sang - I quite longed to have a go in & have a pipe opener. I called at Aunts in the afternoon but she was out. I went to the Wesleyan Chapel in the evening & heard a regular ranter one who worked himself up into a regular passion. [1887-08-22] Monday 22nd I received two Telegraphs from you with those two endless stories - they were quite a treat & also the Australasian which I think must have been sent by Miss Campbell. I thank her very much for her thoughtfulness as it contains all the Victorian Jubilee news. I called on Aunt & she was delighted to see me, she had no time to devote to me as she informed me that she had to meet painters & other


tradesmen about the repairs to some houses of hers which require doing up. She has promised to go about with me tomorrow if it is fine – pray for me – for I am anticipating a day of real joy in her sweet company. I do hope I shall get finished up with Stones & bring Aunt to do something serious before the end of the month so as to enable me to get out of this miserable place & get on board the Iberia as I cannot well see how I can hang out until the 29th Sept. I will now conclude this rambling epistle (hoping you will be able to read it) hoping this finds you & the dear ones all well - I hope the little ones have not forgotten me. Kiss them all for me & give my love to Fred & Eliza, Geo & Bessie John & Mary & all their little & big ones - (and I trust little Georgie is recovering from his accident). Kindest regards to all in the office & all enquiring friends hoping things are going on all right. I cant help having twinges of conscience occasionally concerning you. Knowing the state you are in [carrying ? ]. I am happy to state that I am very well but terribly sun burnt as the weather has been very hot since I have been in England & so much of my time spent in the open air. God bless you once more. Your loving Husband, J.H.Watmuff. (I go to Beeby on the 25 inst.)


2007 continued


[1887-08-23-Tuesday] 22nd [23rd] This morning I called twice at Williams & at length, got the transfer for the Tram shares, which I took up to Aunt in the afternoon & got her to sign it after which I returned it to Williams & he has promised to forward a cheque for the lot tomorrow



to Stones when I trust I shall be soon able to get everything squared up in regard to my late fathers estate. I received a nice note from Mrs Withers, she has secured her return passage in the Garonne the same vessel I suppose I shall return by. I also got a note from Mr Moore he desires me to come to Yorkshire again I



think I will next week if there are any cheap trips to the neighbourhood he has my umbrella which I thought I had left at the station when taking my ticket for Liverpool. I also wrote to Arthur Blackburn.

[1887-08-26-Friday] 26 Still knocking about Leicester, seen Aunt several times. Got mostly all square at last with lawyers expect to get settled up with them



middle of next week. Took Aunt out for a walk to day – great treat. In the evening I went to the Theatre & saw an excellent representation of “As you like it”. Miss Allwyn is one of the most charming actresses I ever saw - she played Rosalind, the last I saw in it was Mrs. S Siddon but I prefer Miss Allwyn

[1887-08-27] Saturday 27th Knocked [about]



in the morning After dinner I took an excursion ticket 1/6 - for Coventry & back. Got there about 4pm, rambled about the town till dark, picked up with a Mr. Anthill - he is the gaoler & caretaker of the Court etc. He a very intelligent man who has the history of all the old places at his tongues end Coventry is the most old fashioned town I have been in in England. Rows of the strangest old brick houses I ever saw.



The old churches are very Fine, St Michaels are being done up - the spire is 303ft high St Marys & St Johns are very fine specimens of old churches Fords Hospital is also an interesting relic of a by gone style of architecture I left the town about 9pm very well pleased with my visit. I of course heard the old story of Lady Godiva & had a glass of Beer at the



“Peeping Tom Hotel” where at an upstair[s] window is a figure of the victim of curiosity looking out of the window. Trade is very depressed at present it formerly was the centre of the Watchmaking Industry & then the Ribbon trade but now its chief support & principal manufacturing is the making of Bicycles & Tricycles. Arrived in Leicester about 11pm.

[1887-08-28] Sunday 28th In the



morning I went to Holy Cross Church, & heard Mozarts No.7 sang [sung] very well - I enjoyed it very much. In the afternoon heard the Revd Gratton Guiness hold forth blowing his own as well as our Saviours trumpet literally & metaphorically loafed about in the evening viewing & studying human nature - in a different place than I have seen it in the colonies - public houses all open & filled with young people guzzling beer & gin.



[1887-08-29] Monday 29th In the morning I got a note from Stones, with a/c [account] of the finish of fathers Estate & a statement of E. Clarks affairs etc. I called upon them in company with Aunt who signed the cheques - for each of our shares £25.8.3. Freds & Bessies will be sent to them - mine I get as I shall require money ere leaving England. Eddies share goes with the rest



at Pagets bank until he is of age, it is now £587.0.0. Spent the rest of the day with Aunt visited some of her friends.

[1887-08-30] Tuesday 30th After Breakfast, as per arrangement I called upon Aunt & we took Bus & Tram & then another Conveyance to a place about 7 miles from Leicester called “Rothley” where Lord Macauly was born & brought up - a



lovely situated little old fashioned village, found out an old friend of Aunts named Frear, where we had some refreshment, as Aunt desired & was invited to stay all night, I left her there & there being no conveyance back to Leicester, I had to foot it & having a corn which has given me a deal of trouble since I have had so much walking to do in these



infernally pitched, stony streets of England. I did not enjoy my walk I would have given 2/6 for to get a lift, but not a conveyance passed me except some wealthy gentlemans equipape [equipage] of whom I did not care to request the pleasure of assistance from.

[1887-09-02-Friday] Sept 2 Been knocking about Leicester the last 3 days aimlessly. Aunt returned from Rothly last evening - spent



a couple of hours with her.

[1887-09-03-Saturday] Sept 3 After lunch F. Islip & I took an Excursion ticket for Redmile (1/6). Passed through some beautiful farming country, particularly the Vale of Belvior or Beaver (as the people hereabouts pronounce it) on arriving at Redmile we walked to the seat of the Duke of Rutland Belvior Castle (3 miles)



the Castle stands upon an elevated & well wooded eminence on the south side of the Vale of Belvoir & occupies the site of an ancient fortress said to have been raised soon after the conquest [?Saxon/Danish]. It is a massive & superb erection in the Gothic style & is one of the finest in the Kingdom - the Gardens & shrubberies are extensive & attractive& profusely embellished with Statuary



on the estate on a little hill is a Mausoleum in the Norman style & contains the remains of many of the family there is an exquisite monument in it to the memory of the late Duchess. The interior of the castle in some respects is very fine, some good pictures & cheerless suites of rooms some good works of art & bric a brac etc. our chaperone was an old



woman very deaf & with a voice like the sound of a broken winded bagpipes. After a good tea at a hotel near the castle we walked back to the Rly Station for the train in good time to catch it 8.10., on arriving @ Lester the rain came down in torrents, so I was not long in getting to my room - suffering from a bad cold, which I am afraid has not been improved



by the outing of to day.

[1887] Sept 4th Sunday. Cold very bad, I had promised to sing at the Catholic Church in the morning, but was not able, I went to it & heard a very nice Mass by Hatton sang [sung]. On leaving the Church I went (as per invitation) to F Islips to dinner after which we went for a walk to his garden on the Common. Stayd there about 2 hours when we made for his



[Optical Illusion caused by scan shadow direction, top half is 17-100, covering 17-101] house – Got there just in time to avoid getting wet through by a heavy shower that fell. After tea I accompanied Frank to his chapel where he plays the organ.



[17-101 is bottom half of scan and covers part of repeat of 17-099]

[1887-09-05-Monday] Sept 5. In the morning (very wet) I took a walk to Aunts & knocked about the rest of the day Commenced to write letters one to wife & another to Blackburn



& one to Mr [Mrs?] Withers & also to the agents of the Vessel I intend returning by.

To be continued after letter to Bessie

Leicester September 5 /87 [1887-09-05-Monday] My Dear Bessie It is nearly 6 weeks since I got a line from you until about a couple of hours ago so you can imagine the state of mind I have been in the last fortnight. I did think some one might have dropped me a line at least every fortnight since I left Australia - you have no conception the lonely kind of feeling one has or feels being away from all that is near & dear to you, amongst strangers, sight seeing, even if you can afford to indulge in it, does not compensate for the want of sympathy & affection which is lost to one away from all that is dearest & nearest to your heart. Your letter filled me with joy to know that you & all the dear little ones & others you wrote of being well. I was glad to hear that poor little Georgie is getting on all right & I was awfully shocked to hear of poor Miss Collards death. You


state that it is 8 weeks since I left you when you wrote on the 21st surely you ought to have received my letter from Suez which cost me 1/6 to post & also a note I sent you from Naples on my voyage home. I also wrote to you from London 4 days after my arrival when on point of coming to Leicester & then again on my return from Yorkshire & the Isle of Man - & again a fortnight ago so do not think dearest that I have been forgetful or neglectful of you during my absence. The last letter I sent you was after a visit of a few days I paid to London, since which time I have not been away from here a night & I can tell you I feel it terribly irksome being here, such a waste of time which I could have spent so much pleasenter, but perhaps in the long run may be more to our profit. I have not been idle I have to day finally got my fathers affairs completely settled & I think Fred & Bessie must think very satisfactorily - there was over – £100 to divide - £25.8.3 each after all expenses of Lawyers Etc being paid by the time you receive this- they will have got their draft for their share.


With regard to mine I got the money this morning - for which I am very thankful as I was beginning to feel uneasy as my stock was getting very low, having expended a few pounds in clothes etc – which I find after all are not to be got much cheaper here than in Australia. Of course I have seen a great deal of my Aunt Sarah – quite enough if I am to live 100 years - as far as any pleasure there is attached to the companionship of which more when I return - suffice it for the present that only yesterday I got a promise from her that she will settle her affairs finally & make her will before I go or leave England. I did intend & longed to leave in the Iberia on the 15th inst., but owing to her dilly dallying & shuffling ways & thanks as to there being no necessity for my returning so soon I shall not be able to leave until the 29th inst by the “Garonne”. I think it very fortunate that I came here particularly if I got her to settle her affairs for I know from hints she drops & remarks she has made to others that her views toward us are considerably expanded than they otherwise would have have been, had I not come over- however


“Theres many slip twixt cup & lip”, but as far as things look at present, I think all is right - & if once she makes her will I think it would be a very difficult matter for anyone else to alter it, or get her to make another. The Islips have been away to the seaside but have just returned so that reconciles me a little to the place. I went last week to Coventry for a trip - it is the most old fashioned town I have ever been in some fine old churches in it - had a Beer in the “Peeping Tom Hotel” & saw the figure of Tom who suffered the loss of sight for indulging his curiosity - he is represented as looking out of the third storey window of the hotel - the country surrounding Coventry is some of the most beautiful in England.

Yesterday [1887-09-04-Sunday] I went with F. Islip for a trip (1/6 30 miles there) to ‘“Belvoir Castle” the seat of the Duke of Rutland. The train takes one within 3 miles of the Castle which we had to walk there & back, but we were


well repaid for our walk Etc, the Vale of Belvoir is celebrated, for its beauty & fertility & for the extensiveness of the view. I am sure from the Castle I could have counted 20 or 30 villages & as many again spires, & towers of churches peeping through the trees etc. The Castle stands upon an elevated & wooded eminence on the south side of the Vale & occupies the site of an ancient fortress said to have been raised soon after the conquest, it is a massive & superb erection in the old Gothic & Saxon style & is one of the finest in the Kingdom – the gardens & shrubberies are very extensive & attractive & profusely embellished with statuary On the estate situated a ¼ mile from the Castle, is a lovely sequestered little hill covered with trees in the midst of of which is a “Mausoleum” & contains the remains of many of the family there is a most exquisite monument in marble to the late Duchess who died in childbirth. I could spend a week looking round the Gardens & Grounds. The inside of the Castle is very fine


contains splendid suites of rooms many of which contain priceless works of art- the picture gallery has many grand works by the old & modern masters, yet on the whole as far as the interior is concerned it is nothing to Chatsworth, but the grounds & surrounding country is very much finer - altogether I dearly enjoyed my day’s outing. We have far grander & finer scenery in the Colony – even in our own neighbourhood, but I can now understand what A. Trollope meant when he alluded to the want of historical associations in our country. Since I last wrote the weather has quite changed showery & cold every day - yhe sun shows for about a couple of hours daily the last fortnight for which I am told to be thankful for, next month is expected to be fine & then prepare for Winter. I am glad to hear you go out & that you take Joe so much with you as I think by


doing so it will tend to get her out of the low larrikinsses ways she seemed to have such a tendency for. I do hope she is improving. I feel very anxious about her. I pray God may keep her & the rest of the “stern foils[*fails?] (as you term them) in the paths of righteousness. I know your lives are not cast in the pleasentest places with all of the fry & I am deprived of half the pleasure I have had here by your not being with me to enjoy it yet I am to be envied in comparison with you, with all the worry & bother, - of the house & the little ones etc. I intend going to London on the 12th for five days & will then remain in Leicester till within a few days of sailing. I intend visiting the Wallaces & Wells - & Mr Spicers sisters - if possible. I intended going to Beeby to day but it turned out so wet & there is a 5 mile walk to undertake to get there, however, I may go tomorrow if Aunt does not want to go somewhere where I must accompany her - she can be very exacting & I can assure


you I am often very glad to get out of her clutches. I went into the country a few days ago with her & it came on to rain, so I induced her to remain with her friends for a night or two so I got a couple of days free - when as I have informed you, I got away to Coventry & Belvoir Castle. I will write two more letters before I leave England to you, the last on the last on the eve of my sailing which will be received by you long before our vessel will put in an appearance I was very glad Mr. McDonell called upon you, though you said not a word as to how things at the Railway are going on. I am sorry the tenors at the church are so disappointing & also regret poor Lee is not doing well – he would be considered a good tenor here. I am told that I have a better voice than has been heard in Leicester for years. Tenors are very scarce in England. Italian tenors are only tolerated in opera, but those I have heard surpassed any voices I ever listened to - & I feel convinced that if Miss Sherwin is as good as you describe her to be there are few in England to equal her. I will now conclude with kind love to all relatives & remembrances to all friends & accept thousands of kisses for yourself & children & believe me to be Darling Bess Your Affect Husband. JH Watmuff.


2038 continued


[1887] 6, 7, 8th, 9 Sepr. Still knocking about Lester saw Aunt every day sometimes went out with her visiting Salmons, Richmonds & Proctors - & Fosters. I spent a few hours each day with Mrs Islips she is very intelligent & knows & related to me a great deal of our family history, which I was



not *altogether cognisant with. I have to work the oracle between them Aunt & other connexions for I find there are strong family & other sundries to avoid etc or overcome. [1887-09—10-Saturday] Sept 10th First thing this morning I received a note from Williams & Co (Sharebrokers) informing me that they had made a mistake in selling the London Tram shares instead of them selling for £25.0.0 it was only



£12.10.0 & they desired me to refund the diff £12.10.0. I visited them & told them how I was situated, having settled up with the lawyers & got my Bro & Sisters share sent to Australia & also my nephews share however, it ended by my filling a cheque for E. Clarks portion & promising to pay the rest out of my money I fortunately have retained of course Fred & Bessie Bond



will have to refund me their proportion of the refund viz £3.2.6 each. In the evening in company with a fellow lodger, Mr Judd, from New York went to see “Pepita” the same comic opera by Lecocq I saw at the “Crystal Palace”.

[1887-09-11-Sunday] 12th Sept In the morning I went to hear Mr. Thew after which got in time [?tune] (with F Islip) to help with Haydn 2 heard Mr. Birch sing Gounods Ave Maria very well. Spent the afternoon with Aunt. In the evening,



I intended to see Mr. Foster could not find his chapel came on to rain so returned early. Got a letter from my dear wife & also one from Fred – all well thank God - I feel quite happy, fancy they had only got my memos from Suez & Naples. I also received a *mini note from Mr. X(Wallace)X & one from Mrs Moore – the former I shall meet in London tomorrow at the London Wool sales - the latter sent me my umbrella & also 2 pieces of cloth (housing)



[1887-09-12] Monday 12th Sept Left Lester 11.35 for London (Excursion to return on Friday. 8/6) by the L & N.W Rly – very slow stopped at Nuneaton 1¼ hours Passed through Northampton Wolverton & Rugby & Harrow Got to London @ Euston 5pm, Lings full up so went [to] a place near by in Wilson St. left immediately & visited the Wool Exchange & was rather surprised at the keen competition existing & the manner



the Wool was disposed of. Met Mr Moore, who had been buying. After he had completed his business (about 7pm) we took the train for Westminster & made for the “National Liberal Club” situated on the Thames Embankment. The Club has only been just completed & is considered the finest in Gt Btn. We had a grand dinner there & was shown over the building etc



about 9pm we went to the House of Commons but after waiting till 11pm we got no further than the Lobby - owing to the galleries being full in consequence of Gladstone speaking upon the “Irish Question” - however, Mr M[oore] secured me on order from Mr. Wilson MP from Huddersfield for the following night. [1887-09-13-Tuesday] 13th Knocked about London until 3.30pm when I went to Westminster



& got into a good seat in the Speakers Gallery heard some of the principal speakers & orators - hold forth viz. Parnell, Dillon, C., Morley, Balfour Labouchere etc etc I must say that I never heard nor could I think it possible that such strong language could have been used as I heard expressed by the Irish members. I left this noble place



at the adjournment at 7.20pm & after some refreshment, I went to Her Majestys Theatre to a promenade Concert heard “Nikati” [Nikita] sing & although a very good performance, I was very tired & sorry when I got back to my lodgings by 12pm.

[1887-09-14-Wednesday] 14th Knocked about London visiting all Kinds of places & streets etc etc. - Called upon Mr Wallace at 12pm



out! So took bus to Holloway & saw Mrs & Miss Spicer Got back to Wallaces, I had expected to have gone to Staines with him where he lives, but through some family busiments I had to postpone my visit to his house till I return next week to London In the evening I went to “Covent Garden promenade Concert” heard Md Valliori [Madame Alwinia Valleria] & Englands



great Tenor Ed Lloyd sing - also heard some splendid orchestral music.

[1887-09-15-Thursday] 15th Rambled about & rode on buses up to 3pm when I found myself at Brompton & ‘Buffalo Bills’ Great American Show & Exhibition, which I attended, saw some fine riding & shooting by his company of Indians Mexicans & Yankee Cow Boys. Buffalo hunts – Indians attacking Emigrants Waggons - Attacks on Mail



Coaches etc etc. Came on very wet, returned to the City about 7pm, spent 2 hours at the Lyceum saw Mary Anderson in “[A] Winters Tale” she is a fine actress & a lovely woman with the most enchanting manner & bewitching smile I ever witnessed.

[1887-09-16-Friday] 16th I left London at 11am from Euston St St. lovely morning, & the country through which we travelled looking its best, after the late rains. The scenery was very charming. Passed



through Northampton Harrow & changed at Rugby Junction, where we remained about one hour - then took train to Nuneaton, where I had to change again for Leicester, where I arrived at 5pm – terribly long time doing a little more than 100 miles - rained so heavily on arrival that it was impossible to get about so [I] staid at the hotel reading.

[1887-09-17-Saturday] 17th September/87
I called at Aunts 1st thing found her just as usual since my absence she has not been out, to my disappointment h as she had promised that while I was away she



would arrange her affairs & probably make her Will - she again promised doing so or make an effort this coming week to do so. In the afternoon I took a long walk & had a hot bath. in the evening having nothing to do I went to hear the Vokes, very clever little company of comedians a good 1/- worth to those who care for their kind of entertainment. I wrote a letter to Mr. Blackburn & another to Mrs. Nuttall. My money is



running short & I cannot afford to go about seeing whom to me are strangers a second time, travelling over the same ground, I like variety when I am abroad.
[1887-09-18-Sunday] 18th In the morning I went to the R.[oman] C.[atholic] Chapel, heard Mr Birch sing a splendid “Ave Maria” I did promise to assist the choir, but I did not go into it as my cold & cough which I have suffered from the last 3 weeks or month appears to be no better & yet I try my best to get rid of it The weather is too damp &



moist for my constitution I don’t suppose I shall get rid [of it] or better until I get on the sea again In the afternoon I heard some good selections sung from the Creation by a at the Temperance Hall, had tea at F Islips & spent the evening with him.

[1887-09-19-Monday] 19th Knocked about with Aunt visited Mrs. Cliff. & also the Richmonds.

[1880-09-20,21-Tue, Wed] 20th & 21st Been knocking about partly with Aunt the Islips & Fosters. Had visiting one & another. I wrote a long letter to my dear wife in time



for the mail which leaves tomorrow.
[1880-09-22-Thursday] 22nd Posted letter & spent the day making my adieus with Mr Foster in the evening who introduced me to Mr Plum whose son is publisher of the Sydney Illustrated News & also has asked me to take out a panel for a Mr Anderson whose sister I visited, spent an hour or two at Mrs Proctors Called at Mr F [Frank Islip] in the evening & spent a few hours with Aunt & accompanied Frank to a very fine Rehearsal of The Golden Legend. Got a long letter from wife & one from Joe & Charley.

Cooks Hotel Leicester September 22 /87 [1887-09-22-Thursday] Darling Bessie, It is about a fortnight ago since I last wrote to you & I will endeavour to jot down my doings etc as nearly as possible in journal form. I think in my last I was complaining at not having heard from you, & you have no idea how delighted I was on receipt of yours of the 4th August & at the same time of one from Fred which came to hand on the 11th Septr & how glad I was to hear that you were all well Etc. & that the young fry with the elder ones were doing well – bless them, they are with your own dear self never out of my mind. [1887-09-10-Saturday] The day before receiving your letter I had a surprise in getting a note from the Sharebrokers informing me that they had made a mistake in selling those wretched


London Tram Shares instead of being £25.0.0 it should have been £12.10.0 so I had to refund that amount - fortunately I had my money, & paid Fred & Bessies share & my own & got Aunt to pay out of Eddie Clarks money his share. I have written to Fred & told him to pay to you out of his draft, (that is Bessie Bonds & his,) the sum of £6.5.0. I had got thoroughly disgusted with Lester & with Aunt, but on the 11th I told her I was going to London the next day for a few days by a cheap excursion train ticket, return, for 5 days 8/6 - she promised me she would settle her affairs during my absence & I thought it would be better perhaps under the circumstances to part from her for a few days as she is very peculiar & likes to do things her own way & will not be coerced into anything - so the next day [1887-09-12-Monday] I went to London, I may state that Mr. Moore had written to me to say he would be in London on that date & wished me to be present at a Wool Sale. After a delightful journey - tho long - through


Nuneaton, Rugby, Wolverton, Harrow & Northampton - I got there & met Mr. M[oore] at 6pm. I found him busy & not disengaged till 7pm in the meantime I secured lodgings near where I staid before. On rejoining Mr M[oore] I accompanied him to Charing Cross - & went to the National Liberal Club, of which he is a member, the grandest place of the kind in Gt Britain & frequented by most of the leading Liberals in England. I was shown all over the building - it is splendidly situated on the Thames Embankment near Westminster & close to the Houses of Parliament - which I visited, after a grand dinner at the Club, it was 9pm when we reached the Lobby of the House & all was in vain to get admittances - the Strangers & Speakers Gallery being crowded in consequence of the excitement over the late Irish meeting & riot at Mitcheltown in Ireland & also from the fact that Gladstone was on his legs speaking. I was terribly disappointed, but owing to Moores interest I got an order for the Speaker’s Gallery for the following day - it was 11.30. when we left but the House did not rise until 3am the


next morning & a lively time they had of it. [1887-09-13-Tuesday] The next day I knocked about the streets & managed to lose my glasses – spent an hour at a first class opticians & got properly suited with a new pair, £1.1.0 at 3pm presented my order & got into the House of Commons. I have sent you a paper containing a report of the proceedings I listened to & witnessed. I heard most of the prominent Irish members hold forth & on the whole I was not impressed with them as far as their oratorical abilities were concerned at the same [time] I did not think it possible that the disloyal blatant, brutal, scurrilous language that I heard would have been tolerated, as I heard - at such a time & place, I heard Parnell, OConnor Dillon, Labouchère Morley Balfour & others the house adjourned at 7.30 & after tea I went to “Her Majestys Theatre” where are being held Promenade Concerts, 1/- I heard a girl sing aged 17 - who is called Nikata [Nikita (Miss Nickerson)] she is an American & has a very romantic history, she is very clever & has a good voice but not better than Alice Rees had at her age. Nikata [Nikita] is supposed or spoken of as the greatest success of any vocalist since the debut of ‘Patti’. I heard some


splendid orchestral music & a quartette of male voices who sings glees & part songs far superior to anything I ever heard before. [1887-09-14-Wednesday] The next day I knocked about the streets till 1pm when I called upon Mr Wallace, out I called again at 4pm & saw him. he was exceedingly nice & kind to me, but I felt it would not be convenient for me to visit his house for the night as agreed upon in consequence of their having had a bereavement in their family that morning - his married daughter, having had a miscarriage & child died - so I left him promising to spend a day or so with them on my final return to London. In the meantime I went out to see Mr Spicers mother at Holloway. I saw Mr. & Mrs. S who made me welcome but I could not remain long with them - they were quite well – possibly I shall see them again on my return. In the evening I went to the other Promenade Concerts held at Covent Garden Theatre, where I heard Englands greatest tenor, Ed. Lloyd - he has the finest voice I ever heard, very smooth & even & has great command over it - he is an immense favourite - but he is not one whit a better singer than Beaumont. Md Valleria was


the other singer, she was very nice but not a bit better than yourself. I am saving programmes, the next day [1887-09-15-Thursday] I knocked about - so much to be seen in Regent St, Bond St etc.etc. you can spend weeks walking about the streets profitably. Came on to rain & finding myself in the neighbourhood of Brompton I went to see “Buffalo Bills” Great Show & American Exhibition” a truly marvellous spectacle – Wild Indians, Mexicans, Cowboys Buffalos, Deer etc all seen in their native State - living & acting as they do in the Wild West. I got back to London about 8pm still raining - so I spent a couple of hours at the Lyceum saw Mary Anderson in “Winters Tale”. She is a most charming actress - & a most lovely woman & possesses the most enchanting & bewitching smile & manner that I have ever met with in a woman. I was very tired so I did not sit the play out. [1887-09-16-Friday] The next morning I left London at 11.[0]5. but did not arrive here until 5pm, having to exchange trains, twice, first, at Rugby where we stayd one hour, & again at Nuneaton half an hour - when it came on to rain very heavily & continued without ceasing for 2 days. I have been in Leicester ever since &


spent a deal of my time with Aunt, who I found had done nothing towards settling her affairs during my absence in London nor do I think will - she says she has several old friends & connexions that she would like to leave a little to etc. & confesses that she cannot make up her mind at present to do it. I am right down thoroughly disgusted with her & so is every one of her friends who knows her circumstances. I have fooled away my time & devoted so much of it to her whims & fancies that I have begun to despise myself for so doing to the extent I have. I have found out the extent of her possessions or nearly so & that she has everything is[in] tolerably good order & I fancy should she die intestate it would not be a difficult task to wind up her affairs & as for her leaving or willing her property away from us I do not for one moment imagine such an event. She is too tenacious of what she has & her physical powers will give in long before her mental powers fail her. I had a long serious talk to her to day over the matter & I


told her my object was in pressing her in this matter arose from the fact that it would place us in a very difficult position should she die intestate, as it would not do nor could we afford to sacrifice & jeopardise our situations & positions by having to visit England - & then again I wanted her to appoint her Executors to act also for Eddie Clark - for in the event of her dying it would be a difficult matter to get his money from the bank in which it is lodged when his coming of age. I feel disgusted with her over this matter & in other ways that I have not the patience to write about. I leave her tomorrow morning for good, as I must have my things on board 2 days before sailing which will be on the 29 inst so this will be the last letter I shall write from England. I trust to have one from you before leaving. I must now conclude as this Mail leaves London tomorrow the 23rd. I am happy to state that I have enjoyed very good health here but at present I have nasty cough which I suppose I wont lose until I get on the water. Give my love to all relations & remembrances to all enquiring friends & kisses & love to the dear children & accept same my dear wife from Your Affect Husband
JH Watmuff




[1887-09-23-Friday] 23 Visited Aunt for the last time Promised all many [manner] of things she was very much affected at my leaving, Mrs. Isson was there, I left called & made my adieus at old Mrs. Islips & left Lester 12.24pm & arrived in London in due time Got into my old quarters at Ling’s & found Mrs. Withers awaiting me, she is residing at Bristol & thinks of going on board at Plymouth. I met some people at table who are staying at the hotel a Mr. Allan



& a Revd A Verran who are old friends of Dr. Bevans after tea I went for a long walk pulled up at the Alhambra where I witnessed a grand Ballet. Left early 11pm *time [when] I arrived here - Lydia Yeamans Sally in our Alley

[1887-09-24-Saturday] 24. Measured for suit & boots after which I visited Guild hall & Library & Museum attractions at 12 went to Mr Wallaces office glad to see me, & as per prior agreement I accompanied him to the Waterloo Station where we lunched after which we took train to Staines where



his family resides, we were one hour doing the journey of 20 miles, stopping at Richmond Vauxhall, Barnes & other well known places. The rail runs along a very level country & is to my mind very uninteresting excepting in associations connected with the *position along the Thames We arrived at “Southwall” @ Staines about 3pm & were met by Mr. W.[allace’s] trap, I was introduced to Mrs. W[allace], a fine old lady, after a stay of a few minutes Mr W[allace] & I drove to



Windsor Castle. Spent a couple of hours there& walked over to Eaton [Eton], what musings & historic events arise in my mind. It was dark on our return passing through Runnymede & Magna Charta [Carta] Island & also Dysalt [Datchet]. I found Mr. & Mrs H. Wallace very nice & made me very welcome & were exceedingly hospitable the house is a very old fashioned one & surrounded by nice grounds about 5 acres in extent. I remained all night & next *evening.



[1887-09-25] Sunday, rambled about the neighbourhood. Spent very quietly, but very Delightfully, the house is well furnished & every luxury prevails. I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon very pleasently sauntering along the bank of the Thames which at this point is very pretty & covered with pleasure boats Etc. & the bank lined with pretty villas & gentlemens residences - did not go out in the evening, but sat & yarned & read Etc Etc &



talking about Miss Campbell & their relatives Etc.
[1887-09-26-Monday] 26th I got back to London about 10 am & spent the day rambling about the wisdom of Babylon. Got some clothes & books I had ordered - also heard satisfactorily from Blackburn & also had a nice letter from C. Foster, with likenessing Came on to rain in the evening did not go anywhere - but commenced my packing up as my things must be on board tomorrow - the 27th Sept -


17/126 (rotated)

“Temple Church” Hopkins, Organist London

Mr. Byshe (NS) 145 collins St E.



Mr. Moor[e]
Kensington *?Station
30 Loch Promenade
Isle of Man

Nuttall, Beeby

J. Marriot, Lord of the Manor
Parish acreage 1020
Rateable value £2203
Population 1871: 114

Mr. Warner, Draughtsman
Supsd to be Vict Rlys
friend Mr. Ward, Lester


17/128 (rotated)

Waverly Hotel
King St

[following text upside down]

Time[train?] Lime St [Liverpool]
N.W.Rly 9.45 am 1.37
“ 12.0 3.42


17/129 (rotated)

July 13/87 [Theatre Royal or Her Majesty’s] Drury Lane Faust J.D. Riske
Meph E D Riske
Margte L. Nordica
Siebel G. Fabbri
Wagner Di Georgio
Valentine Victor Maurel
Chorus 90, orchestra 80 -
Stage band 36 -
Horses etc Soldiers etc

Mr Tinker
Poems by Alex Forbes
a/c Mr. T.H Moore



2b Hybrias the Cretan J W. Elliot 3# Ye Cupids Droop Each little head Maud[e] Valerie White

*London *Zion – Praise School
Mendelsohn *?Ewer

Childrens Songs S *and Gledhill [or *G W Hill] & Thompson Daughter of *Davis - *Mariner[/Marnier]



2 White Linen Shirts
4 Collars do 1 white tie
2 pair Cuffs do
6 white Handkercfs coloured bordashew
5 pair new Merino Socks (Coloured)
8 soft white Handkerchiefs (old ones)
2 pair Celluloid cuffs
1 nightgown
2 dozen paper Collars
2 pjama suits (colored)
4 crimean shirts
2 under flannels (old)
7 pair old socks
1 bott glass -



1 pair warm gloves
1 dress Suit Clothes (black)
1 good Walking Suit
1 Cool walking Suit
1 Rough Suit (knockabouts)
1 heavy overcoat (brown)
1 light overcoat (grey)
1 pair boots- 1 pair shoes
1 pair Carpet slippers
1 Brush & Comb 1 Tooth brush
1 Nail brush 1 Tooth Comb
Needles & cotton & shirt buttons
1 Opera Glass
1 soft Black felt Hat

[END OF JOURNALS 16 (letters) and 17 (Journal)]


  1. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/7913675
  2. 4 days, 5 nights, 1887-07-28-Thursday eve. to 1887-08-02-Tuesday morn

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