Mary C. Caswell



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Mary Caswell tells her uncle Philander Chase about her life in England. She now has four children, the youngest having been born in December. She asks Chase if an eighth number of Reminiscences has been published yet, as she and her family enjoyed reading them all, particularly the seventh.




Philander Chase, Mary C. Caswell, Mary Caswell, Lady Charles Napier, Charles Napier, Clementina Hamilton, Clementina Baillie-Hamilton, Hartwell Horne, Cardinal Newman, John Henry Newman, Edward Denison, Bishop of Salisbury, England, Church of England, Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church, family, sickness, Vermont, marriage, birth, Queen Victoria, Wiltshire


Figheldean Vicarage

near Amesbury



My dearest Uncle

Your letter gave me the greatest joy and I have delayed writing to you in the hope to be able to send something worthy of your acceptance for the great work which lies so near your heart. I have not succeeded, as all of our friends who have anything to bestow, have interested themselves in the building or repairing of Churches in this country. We live in a retired place where we see few people except the neighbouring clergy and their families.

We continue to be pleased with our situation here. The parish contains about 500 inhabitants all of them very poor with the exception of the Squire and 5 or 6 farmers. They had for a long time been without a resident clergyman before Henry came and he has had enough to do to get the parish into proper order. There was no day school then, and now we have two, a boy’s school; and a girl’s school with a teacher from the training school for teachers at Salisbury. There are 60 children in the two schools. We have also had a Clothing Club in operation for two years which is a great assistance to the poor. We are educating our children at home and we are glad on th[at] account to be in a quiet place where we have but few interruptions. We now have four children. Elizabeth, Robert and Henrietta you have seen. The last was born on the anniversary of your 70th birth-day on the 12th of Dec’r /44. Her name is Emma Louisa. Our children are all healthy and they are very much beloved by all of their relations in England. Elizabeth remembers you and wishes me to give her best love to you. She has just returned from a visit to her Grandpapa and Grandmama at Lavington where she has been for the last three weeks. On the 12th of this month all of our family party are going to Gillingham in [D]orset to remain two weeks with Mrs Deane, Henry’s eldest sister, who is a very interesting person. Her husband the Rev’d Henry Deane has built 5 churches in his parish during the last 12 years. Henry’s father is now 78 years old and continues strong & active. He often walks to Devizes 6 miles and back, making 12 miles without any apparent fatigue. I am very much attached to him he is such a very excellent person. I feel very happy in England and much more at home than I could have anticipated. Henry’s relations are all most affectionate to me. I regret that you were not able to see them when you were in this country. Your likeness hangs in the study of Henry’s father who has read your reminiscences with great interest. We have sent to town for another No. but answer was returned that no number was on hand. We have received No. 7. Has No. 8 been published? We were particularly interested in No. 7 as most of it was quite new to us. We saw by the papers that you had again been upset in a stage-coach and afterwards that you had commenced your journey to the West. I sincerely hope that before this you have quite recovered.

You have probably seen in the papers an account of several of the Clergymen of England who have joined the Roman Catholic Church. It has made a great commotion in all parts of the country. Mr. Newman has a sister who is a neighbour of ours. She is the wife of the Rev’d Mr. Mozley who was formerly the Editor of the British Critic.

I have not heard from Vermont lately as I have not yet replied to my last letters, but hope to by the next mail. The last we heard was the death of Mr. Sabine of Bethel. Will you please to present my best love to Aunt Chase, Dudley, Henry, Mary and Philander. I can only think of the latter as a little fat boy and cannot realize that he is married. How happy I should feel to see yourself and family party again. I hope Aunt Chase has good health after all of her exertions for Kenyon and Jubilee. We always think of her example as well worthy of imitation. I should be very glad to have a letter from dear Dudley. My sister Mrs Cook mentioned seeing him last year. We have several times unexpectedly met with persons in England who were either personally acquainted with you or had known those who were and who take an interest in your proceedings. Lady Charles Napier who met you in Scotland and her niece, Mr. Hartwell Horne at the British Museum, who is the Librarian, Mr. Stowe of Greenwich a relation of Henry’s and the Bishop of Salisbury were among the number. The Bishop of Salisbury has lately married the Hon’ble Clementina [Ham]ilton who was one of the Queen’s Maids of Honour. She is a very ladylike person. Henry writes with me in love to yourself and family and also to Mrs Russell and Sarah and

Believe me my dear Uncle

Your truly affectionate niece

Mary C. Caswell

P.S. Can you tell me what part of England the Page’s[sic] were from who were my dear Grandmoth[er’s] ancestors? I have quite forgotten if I ever knew. M.C.C.

Letter to Philander Chase



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