The HUNTRISS Connection


Nothing to report - except for the Prince of Wales, an Emperor, and an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria

Thank you for your letter which Ned sent on to me as I only slept there on Monday night and got up and had breakfast at 5 the next morning at Charing Cross hotel with Tom Eskrigge; we saw the procession from a shop window in the Strand and the went up Chancery Lane and saw it again a Holburn were Ned and TE each took one of my legs and lifted me up to see. We saw the illumination in the evening there was awful..

...crush especially at Temple Bar and Ludgate Hill. I only managed to get back to Blackheath at 12 o'clock, awfully dirty and tired, as I was undressing I found such a monstrous flea on my cheek but before I could kill it, it had hopped away, and I could not catch of sight of it again. This morning I found a few spots on my arm but if I see it again I will have it if I possibly can.

I had a letter from Herbert Estrigge the other day, their horse has died he says, he does not know what from. Tell Jessy that I had nothing to do with her valentine, nor did I know about it until some time after it had been sent.

There was a fire here a few days ...

.. ago the backs of some shops in the village at about 1 in the morning I heard an engine go by here but never thought it would be one.

What did you mean by the winding up at the mill?

There is no weekly half-holiday at the bank is there? Ned said Thursday I never new it. I saw the Emperor again about a week ago - his hair and moustache were dyed black when I saw him before he was quite gray.

I have got a bunion on my little toe and two corns on the same foot one is on the sole and is rather sore; the other was well trodden on in the crowd the other night.

I never see the paper at all so consequently did not see FB's marriage.

I shall be sorry if H Lockwoods cottage comes down;did Richards' baby die?

A man has shot at the queen on Constitution Hill but did not hit her; he is in custody.

Please send me plenty more stamps as this is the last but one letter or two now. I never know that Lucy's school people had ????.

It is bedtime now so with love, believe me, your affectionate son

PS How is my jackdaw - mind he is taken good care of and don't let the cat get him.

I need some more envelopes too please.

Whilst the date at the top of the letter clearly states 29th February 1871, this must be a mistake. The details below are consistent with a date of 29 February 1872.

The Processesion

In the winter of 1871, while staying at Londesborough Lodge, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the then Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VII)contracted typhoid fever, the disease that was believed to have killed his father. There was great national concern, and one of his fellow guests (Lord Chesterfield) died. Edward's recovery was greeted with almost universal relief. 13,000 people squeeze into St. Paul's Cathedral for a service of Thanksgiving in appreciation for his recovery; thousands more line the streets for the procession from Buckingham Palace.

The Emperor

It is possible that the Emperor could have Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (1808–1873), who was the first President of the French Republic and the last monarch of France. He spent the last few years of his life in exile in England, with Eugenie and their only son. The family lived at Camden Place Chislehurst (then in Kent), where he died on 9 January 1873. Chiselhurst is just six miles from Blackheath

Attempted assassination

As Queen Victoria circuited Hyde and Regents Park for a Leap Day drive, 17-year-old would-be assassin Arthur O'Connor managed to scale the fence at Buckingham Palace and sprint across the courtyard without detection. When the queen's carriage returned to the palace entrance, O'Connor rushed up to its side and raised a flintlock pistol just a foot away from the queen. John Brown, the queen's personal servant, seized the teenager by the neck and tackled him to the ground as the queen was rushed to safety. Although the monarch didn't know it, O'Connor's pistol was broken and unusable. A descendant of Irish revolutionaries, O'Connor said he never intended to kill Queen Victoria, but to frighten her into signing a document that would release Irish political prisoners being held in British jails. Brown received a medal for his heroism. Sentenced to a year in prison and 20 strokes with a birch rod, O'Connor was eventually exiled to Australia.