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This letter is incomplete  and one page only however the photocopy shows the existence of writing on the other side of the page and the full letter may be retrievable.

Letter to Julia and her son William Potter.,  no year stated but is 1883 by ref. to A/43 and A/44

‘Richard ‘is Richard Crozier a friend of William Potter in Preston who has, for the time being, emigrated toIllinois, Crozier family grave found at St Leonard Walton le Dale and in Censusetc. The ‘Ellen ‘referred to in the PS cannot be Richard and Julia’sdaughter as she died in 1874, possibly mixing up nieces names.

March 29th

Dear Sister as Willaim has writen to his uncal and Richard will write a few lines toyou hoping that you are all well as this leaves us at present. thank God forthere is a great deel of sickness hear this spring it is a new fever they callit the spoted fever and the doctors can’t do much with it and a great many diewith it we have had a very cold winter colder than it has been for 20 years andi lost all my flowrs very near, they all froze and……

This PS is written upside down at top of this page;

give my love to the children, has ellen got marrid yet or is she goin to stay at home


No date at all, omission of Richard indicates after his death in Dec1881.


Dear sister  and Childran all i will trito write a few lines hoping they will find you still improving i was glad to hear that you was better and i do hope you will be spard to your famley a good meny years well we are about through harvest and it has been the hotest mounth i ever saw of it has been fearful hot it has been all i could do to keep up and Carrie has not been well all summer so it has been all we could do but it has been raining and is colder ho(w)  the seasnes has changed so much the wheat was very poor not a third of a crop, ots and grass is very good corn will be late and if we have erley frost i dont know wether we shall have any aples well be short here has been a good deel of small frut vetchables will be good We have had a letter from Ann, she is no better Lib has been home and her baby is sick with the summer complant julia and Mary ellen famleys are well and sends there love to you all and to Aunt Julia well i must conclud for i cant think of any more this time with love to all and my very best love to my sister i which i could see her but it seems that i cant but I hope we shall meet in a better world so good by writ soon, from your sister and Aunt C Bimson.

In same letter,

Dear Cousins, I hope these few lines will find you well and that Aunt Julia is still improving. If it has been as warm with you as it has here, I fear it will keep her back, but then you do not have such warm weather I believe. It has been 102 in the shade here well I must stop for I have to go to work (milk?) I am to be alone today and so have all the work to do which is not a little,

so good by

from Carrie.


Carrie Bimson junior is now almost 22. She has been sent a picture postcard showing the houses at Ribble Bridge. Courtesy of the Harris museum inPreston I obtained copies of several picture postcards upon which the cottagesfeature, and at various years, by description the photo Carrie is referring towould have been taken from the south bank of the Ribble. My copies are from thewest and the east and show an almost Constable like bucolic charm thoughregrettably do not include the two girls Carrie refers to, a more determinedsearch at the museum may unearth this particular view. Photos taken from thehillside towards the south from the Fishwick side over a period of yearsillustrate the cottages in more detail from the rear but the scene is nowdominated by a gigantic smoke belching cotton mill on the Walton side of theriver. I obtained a detailed map from the Lancashire Records office showing thebuildings circa 1890. The variously named ‘Ribblebridge’ cottages or‘Dyers Houses’ at the riverside have now been demolished and are openparkland. The mill and gas works have gone and the Ribble Bridge was widened inthe mid 20th century towards the west i.e. into the cottage’s location. Thetwo public houses remain as do some parts of Dyers Farm, the present owner ofwhich told me that the footings of the cottages projecting above the turf hadonly recently been removed. Two sets of steps down to the river level at the oldcottage location, known locally as the ‘Fishermen’s Steps’ are the onlyremains of the family’s activities.

Ribble Bridge, originally known as Walton Bridge was the sole bridge crossing the river until it narrowed many miles upstream, and because of this was a the site of the crucial, if rarely referenced Battle of Preston in England’s Civil War in 1648. It was re-built in 1782 in the form visible from the east.

Beverly Ill. Feb 18 1884

Monday afternoon

Dear Cousins

We received your letter and the box alright and I am ever so much obliged for the presents. I think that they are all very pretty Mother says that the box was all torn into pieces so it is a wonder we got all of them. We could have written sooner but you know I have not been at home this winter (only on short visits) and Paula has been sick so mother had all she could do with the work and waiting upon her. She did not have time.  I came home friday just an hour or so after they got the box so of course when I found Paula sick I could not go back.

She is a little better now. Mother says to tell you we have had an awful winter but I think it has been splendid. It has been very cold but what is winter unless it is cold, at least I enjoy it better than I do summer. You do not need to be afraid of snakes, mad dogs and such other things too numerous to mention, and the sleighing has been splendid though I suppose it is over now. The day we picked up the box  mother got a letter from Johnnie. I suppose he married the same lady he had his pictures taken with as he said her name was  Miss Dobson.

When you see them tell them I wish them good luck and all happiness imaginable. I have been going to school this winter I like it very well now but did not at first for I was not acquainted and it is so embarrasing to go into a strange place where you do not know a soul. We had examinations in all our studies. I was a hundred in spelling and grammar though I am sure you would never suppose it if you were to hear me talk. How are your cactuses coming on, we lost nearly all our house plants when it was at its coldest we had such a nice lot of them.I am very sorry for I think flowers add so much to the appearance of a room.

Karl says he would like to see that little baby and asks me if I wont take him when I go to see you, of course I’ve promised to do so.

Which of those houses do you live in, the one nearest the bridge or the other one this way. Mother says the first one you sent looks more natural to her. It is a very pretty place I think, but does the river never get high enough to damage the house on the bank. If it was an American river it would. Those two little girls are having a very pleasant time wading in the water, are they any one you know?

How did you enjoy your Christmas, I did not enjoy myself at all. I went visiting but I did not want to go very bad, and, I did not get to go to any Christmas tree, so on the whole I think, I did not have a very good time. Well I can think of nothing more to write and it is almost time to get supper so I will let Mother finish. I wonder what you are doing now. I would like to slip in and see you,well I must close thanking you ever so much for those presents, I hope these few lines will find you all in good health, write soon from your cousin, Carrie Bimson to Carrie and Mary Potter .

Dear Sister and as Carrie says i must finish this well i hope it will find you all well We are having a very hard winter on the 3 and 4 of Jenerary the thermometer went down to 33 below zoor the coldest it was known in this part of the cuntry i lost the most of my flowers i entend to send you sum more cactus but I have lost them so I shall not send any this spring oh how i would like to see the prinrose again i never got one of the cowslips to grow and i tried so hard but none came up i will send you some verbena seed but i have not got much they are a very pretty flower and bloom all summer i have sent for seed but have not got them yet or would send some of them i dont think we shall have any frut this summers end me sum vetgable marrow i dont know what it is write soon                    Did all the cactus live I sent you well must conclude this time


From Carrie Bimson to Carrie Potter, who dies about 18 months later, asmall section of this letter is torn out hence the omissions dotted, the Richard’ mentioned is Richard Crozier.

Beverly, Ill. November 28 1884

My dear Cousin, I do not know whose turn it is to write, yours or mine, but it is along time since I heard from you.

Mother says she does not know whether she answered your last or not. She was visiting sister Ann then and when she came home she had to go and stay with Libbie so you must excuse her. We are all well as common and hoped you are the same. It is rather cool here now but we have had pleasant weather most of all the autumn,last week we had a snow storm about four inches of snow fell. It was the first of the season. Have you had any yet? It does not snow much in England does it?

I have been teaching school this winter and it was pretty hard work, I had to walk so far. I boarded at home but I liked it splendid. Paula, John and I have just returned from Missouri. We went gypsy fashion in the wagon camping out at night. It is a two days drive to Anns but those two nights I got all I wanted of camping. It isn’t much fun to sit by a camp fire all night which doesn’t make light enough to read or do anything else. But I had a pleasant time after I got there, enough to pay me for going. We got home yesterday Thanksgiving, and it passed off just like any other day. I think everybody ought to keep Thanksgiving, dont you? O yes I have a new niece Ermen……. dont you think that is a pretty name, it………named. How is your little nephew getting along………Richard is getting along very well he seems to like America but I believe he would rather be near his father and mother, he seems to think a great deal of them. Are you going to have a christmas tree this year, I think it will be very dull here for I do not know of anything going on. Do you ever keep Halloween. They do here sometimes. It is about your birthday now I believe, you are twenty two I suppose. Do you ever see Anne Hibbert, I have never heard from them for two years. Does John Clarke ever write to you. He did not go to Europe as he proposed doing did he. I think he must have made up his mind to drop us entirely, we have never heard from him since his silver wedding.

We have had very exciting times in some parts of the country as it was presidential elections, I am sorry to say our side was beaten but it is the first time in twenty four years that the Democrats had a president. There was a young lady made a bet that if our side was beaten she would stand on her head in the courthouse. Have you any flowers in bloom ours seem determined not to flower in this winter just when I want them. I had the present of two mocking birds this summer, do you have any in England. They mock everything they hear mine do not sing much yet as they are so young. I underwent the pleasant experience of having a sprained foot this summer. I fell out of the wagon right in town too, I hated that the worst. Well it is getting late so I must bring this to a close,excuse all my mistakes for they are all talking and I never could write when tried to listen to any one talk. I hope you will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Give my respects to Johnnie and wife, also the folks at home, tell Mary to write me and dont wait as long as I did and I will be better next time

Good by write soon from    Carrie.


Carrie Bimson junior to Cousins.

Beverly Ill. Feb 15 1885

Dear Cousins

I received your letter about two weeks ago, Was glad to hear you were all well.Our folks are all reasonably well with the exception of “colds”, “frosted fingers”, toothaches and such slight afflictions as the cold always brings in its train. on the 11th of this month we had about the coldest weather ever known here. There its lots of snow on the ground now. times can be very dull here and bid fair to be worse of course it does not hurt us as it does people who have no farms and are compelled to live by days work. As it is very hard to get (work I mean) farm products are very low too. You cant hardly sell butter at 11 1/2 cents a pound. Our cows are all dry but one for which I have been devoutly thankful, sometimes when it is pretty cold one is all I can think about milking. Mother cant imagine what that flower can do, I wish you could send us a leaf or a bloom. I would like to know what it is. Did you ever see a passion flower, we have a vine or had one I expect it has frozen before now it never blooms though.

Well I have filled one sheet of paper but dont think I can fill another for I have a headache I think I have had that for all the rest of the family but I do not have it so often nor is it so severe as when I was a little girl. I am not an Amazon yet though for I have never weighed more than 84 pounds can you beat that? I believe you would weigh more than Carrie (Potter) do you not. You look tall in your picture. I am writing this in my lap as it is too cold to get very far from the stove. I dont know whether you can make out what I’ve written or not it looks like crows tracks. I suppose by this time you will have out door plants in bloom as it will not be long until spring. I am not in a hurry for it though for I like cold weather in its season. I want to teach this summer if I can but we have a great deal to do for we will have hands for part of the time. I dont know as I ought to leave it all for Mother to do.

Is there any cholera near you? It has been pretty bad in France hasn’t it. The most of our sicknesses now is lung diseases. This winter has been very bad on the lungs.

We got the picture alright he is a cute looking little fellow and I expect as full life and mischief as he can be. Yesterday was Valentines Day, i wonder how many you girls will get?

Oh yes I wanted to ask you if you had ever seen any winberries, Father says he has seen lots of them and Mother says she never heard of them in England.

Tell Johnny to give that baby a real pretty name. I expect I will always call him Johnnie for that is the name I first knew of him by and any other would sound strange. You mentioned how nice it was to see the skating on the river. Were you ever at a rink? I never was but I would like to go there must be some amusing scenes there to judge by the ridiculous stories published by the papers. One of my mocking birds are dead, isn’t that too bad? I have a canary too but it is getting too old to sing much. You didn’t say whether you enjoyed your holidays particularly well or not but I expect you did for Father says they have better times there than they do here. I went to a Christmas tree and the next day went to a Christmas dinner. I had a real nice time and coming home we upset and had to walk the rest of the way home. Which happily was not far off or my feet might have been froze for they were awful cold.

Is your brother Johnnie still a policeman we have not had a letter from him for along time. I expect he has been too busy or something.

Karl was quite taken up with the picture of the baby. he asked all kinds of questions about him. He is mischief enough for this house though he is not near so much bother as he used to be. He is bothering me now wanting me to write his letters so that he can learn them. He got a little book on the Christmas tree and has got all of the pieces by heart. He can say them real well for a little fellow. Many thanks for your kind wishes and those cards. Write soon and dont write a short letter, with love to all from your cousin Carrie.


From Carrie Bimson to Mary Potter, this is about 8 months after Caroline Ann Margaret Potter cousin died on the 4th April which she doesn’t mention. She now writes to Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Potter the youngest sister. Richard Crozier, the ‘Richard’ mentioned has returned to England. Polly is the only daughter of Richard and Julia who married and survived well into the twentieth century, she, with her daughter Janie Mildren, are last recorded as being in Roscowell, near the Pilchard Inn, Helston, Cornwall.

Beverley, Ill. 21/12/86

Dear Cousin Mary, As Mother has been writing a few lines I will also, we were very glad to get your letter for Mother was quite sure you were all sick. As the weather is generally the first topic of conversation I will commence with that.It has not been so very cold here yet excepting a few days. It has been nice,warm weather for over a week now but it is raining at present. The times here are very hard but I dont see but what most people live and dress as well as ever they did. Things do not sell for much, turkeys alive are only 4 1/2 cents per pound, butter fifteen cents., other things according. How are you going to spend the holidays but I need not have asked that for they may be over before this letter reaches you. There is going to be several Christmas trees around and a ladder (?) at one place but I do not think any of us will go. We have never heard from Richard since he went home. I suppose he is well himself though. Do you keep many houseplants? Ours are none of them frozen yet but we most always lose some of them during the winter. We have got a photo for you whenever we go to the office to send it off. Well as it is getting late and I was out until two o’clock last night or rather this morning, I will close. I went to an Oyster supper last night and I had to wait until all the dishes were washed and it was a good way from home so I did not get much sleep,

Good by write soon

Love to all Carrie


From Carrie Bimson to Mary Potter. The first  page of the letter has a pencil drawing of passion vine (or similar) which appears to have been copied it is also arranged with the words ‘Joyous Christmas’ in decorative style. This is the last available letter of the American letters to Preston UK series. The baby referred to is probably that of John Potter and his first wife, Susannah Dobson. Julia, Mary’s mother will survive until the 14th Dec 1889, she is interred with her husband Richard, Ellen and Carrie at St Leonard, Walton ledale.

Beverley, Ill. November  1887

Miss Mary Potter

Dear Cousin, I will write a few lines this afternoon as it has been some time since we received your letter but time does slip away so fast when one is busy. We were very glad to have the baby’s picture who is a cute little fellow. I hope your mother is still in good health. How fortunate anyone is that does have good health, I think we really do not appreciate it until it is gone. We are having a great deal of sickness around here this fall and winter. Still, it continues dry, wheat is already injured, we have had no rain to amount to for weeks but I think I had better stop as I cannot see the lines, I will postpone the writing until after supper.

Do you have the headache ever. I have it so much, it can be very troublesome sometimes. I was out riding this afternoon and that makes me have it when the wind is blowing. I am going to visit my sister in a short time, I have not been there for three years as she lives one hundred miles from us. I expect to spend Thanksgiving with her if nothing happens. Do you keep Thanksgiving?

Suppose you saw a great deal of the ‘Queen’s Jubilee’ was it good where you were. I attended the Soldiers’ Re-union at Quincy a short time ago. I enjoyed it very much. The parades were very fine. Some of the floats were lovely, better than usual. One was ‘Europe’ but the best one was ‘Arctic Ocean’

And then a man jumped from his balloon 7,300 feet high with a parachute.

It made me feel, well, a little queer. He came down seven miles from where he started from. Isn’t it strange anyone will risk their life so uselessly. Do you do fancy work knitting or crochetting, I will send you some of my patterns if you would like them. I have just finished five yards of lace for window curtains and I am embroidering a stand cover, I will stop that kind of work when I get a pair of Mittens knit as my eyes are beginning to bother me.

We have been looking for a letter from Willie for a long time but have not received any yet. Suppose they are busy and have not time to write. I thought Mother would write a part of this letter but she says I had better finish it. She has not been at all well all summer but in some respects she is better now or I could not leave (for her trip to sister Julia’s)

What are you going to do for Christmas and New Years, But I suppose you will have a tree or something. The English people here tell me there is always something going on during the holidays so that one can enjoy themselves, and that if I went there I would never want to come back again.

But I think I would never leave my home willingly for another.

Well,I must close as it is getting late, next time you write just drop Fair Weather as we dont go there very often and the letters are delayed there for weeks sometimes, “Beverly, Adams Co. Illinois, USA, is the address,

Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain you cousin, Carrie.

This is the last letter in the series from America.


Letters and documents of English origin found within the bundle.


Bro’ Clark’s Coppy.

To be inspected and Improved

between and Saturday Oct 25th 1823

Byorder of the Trustees

Ata Meeting held in the Primitive Methodist Preaching Room in Preston, Lancashire.Oct, 22, 1823 When the following resolutions were entered into ,

1.It was resolv’d a Chapel shall be built in Preston and shall be made over to thebody of the Primitive Methodist, Established by Hugh Burne and others.

2.That four shares shall be purchased of the Building Club in Preston, each share120, total amount 480, pounds.

3.That the following persons are subscribers to the said building Club, and alsoTrustees for the said Chapel.

4.That each subscriber pay 2 (? marked over an inwardly topcurved ‘u’, shillings?)or as necessity may require the Money to be paid the first Monday in everyMonth.

5.At the expiration of the said Building Club, each subscriber shall receive thewhole of his Money he has paid into the said Club, together with the fullInterest according as the said club as made.

6.If a subscriber fails in Trade, and not able to pay into the said Club, he maysell his share unto any other Person by giving one Months notice to the saidClub.

7.If a subscriber seace to pay according to the 4th Rule, he shall forfitt 1 (shillingsymbol?) and if he sease paying to the said Club altogether, without sufficientreason, he shall forfitt all the Money he has paid into the Club and also theInterest.

8.No subsciber shall receive his money out of the Club untill the Club is paid up,except he die, or leave Preston above 20 miles, or he fail in Trade, then he orhis successor may sell his share according to the 6th Rule, then he do not sellhis share, but will have the somes already (Offprint copy here), as aformentioned, successors shall pay the Money, but no interest shallbe for such money.

9.If a subscriber die and his successor continue to pay to the end of the Clubaccording to the 4th Rule, that successor shall receive the benefit according tothe 5th Rule, at the expiration of the said Club.

10.If a subscriber die, and his succesors neither continues to pay according to the4th Rule, nor demands the Money already paid, the Money already paid shallremain to the end of the Club. Then the said successor shall recieve thebenifitt according to the 5th Rule.

11.All forfit Money shall go to carry on the work of God, as the subscribers maythink proper, by a majority.

12.That these Resolutions be Printed, and each subsciber receive two coppys, theexpence be devided eaqually amongst them.


Amulti folded sheet  addressed to;

James Clarke


at Mr Francis Sleddons

Machine Shop



Liverpool October 13th 1834


This Comes with my xxxx Love To you hoping it will find you and yourFamily well as this leaves all main Excepting me and I am luxx very unwell, witha severe Cold I am and has been very uneasy Concerning you , this is the 3rdLetter I have written and Can not get any answer from you which I consider to bevery ungrateful, such as I Trust I do not Desrve. If you do not answer this whatCan I do, so it is impossible for me To Come To preston write to me by return ofpost and let me know how you are, and I hope you are getting on comfortable, Ishall be very glad To see you and if you Can Come. i will make you asComfortable as I can, But send me word by return of post Direct post office SntAsaph, Flintshire, North Wales and I will Direct you how To Come By return,

Byso doing you will oblige your




A printed letterhead with logo shield top left ‘Saml. Meggit’s Bone Mills, Sheffield’

EffinghamRoad, Blast Lane,

Sheffield…..Oct 21……………185 8



We are just at a stand still for want of these netts if Mr Woodhouse hasnot sent you any bond, send to his place and tell him he must let youhave some to be going on with, as soon as you have about 100 made send themdirectly.

Enclosed you have 2 carriers notes, get one of them signed and the othergoes with the netts.

Now you must not delay, get as many hands to works at them as you can

Yours Re…..y

Saml Meggit

Written on other side;

PS Write Per return and say when we may expect 100 of the netts


This is  a single page pinkish unruled paper  withpossibly a business heading trimmed off  (upsidedown to the writing is a space for the date then 18….) written both sides andheaded 3 and 4, the opening page may not have been copied.

The 1881 Census shows Thomas and Eleanor Gillett nee Swarbrick living atGrayton Street, Fishwick.

page 3

Iknow you have had good wages,  Isuppose your brother will pay you for looking after his home, perhaps I shall come over shortly but there is one thing you may be sure i shall pay you first, you see we shall have a lot to july when we commence, thatwill

page 4

pullus back then the children are badly off for clothes boots etc so will understand how is if I have not been able to pay you Mr G islooking very poorly he has been so worried expecting first only one thing then another and then nothing to come ofit I hope you are getting on alright with the children poor little thing it isvery hard for your brother, I …….

Yourstruly E Gillat

Written vertically across page 4

Youmay be sure I have had a very hard time of it I should not care for any one togo through what I have this last few years, the children often talk about you Ihave to have …… hopeful I shall have my reward and get better off.


Hand written, black ink. – single side page, no year probably to Richard Potter, from James Birtle




Ishould be greately be oblidge to you if you would send me word as near as youcan the number of salmon taken by you at your fishery this year as we wish toget the acount as near as posable the number taken this year.

It apears to me that there is more sponing fish this year than I ever sobefore

Yours truly

James Birtle

A printed form to Julia Potter was kept demanding one pound six shillingsand eleven pence vis:

PRESTONUNION.    Demand Note No. 129

Townshipof FISHWICK


Theoverseers of the Poor demand payment of the Poor Rate made June9th 1888, and of the arrearsof former Rates as below, now due from you

Ratemade on the 9th day of June 1888,on  8 pounds 10 shillings at 3s. the Pound   Total  L  1/6/11

Arrears offormer Rate       Nil

Total                               L1  6 Deduct for Cookson  14   7

12   4

s. d.

0 7  in the pound for Poor Rate

0 2 in the pound for County Rate

2 0 in the pound for Borough Rate

0 4 1/4 in the pound for Watch Rate

0 0 1/2 in the pound for Baths and Washhouses Rate.

0 0 1/4 in the pound for other Expenses of the Overseers.

3 2

G.LANCASTER, Assistant Overseer

Office : 178 Station Road, Bamber Bridge

Attendanceat the Overseer’s Buildings, entrance, first door,Saul Street,Preston every Saturday,from 11.30 to 12.30 to receive Rates.

This concludes the transcribing of letters and documents relating to persons in the American correspondence.

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