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1839 (May) from John Smith to Smithurst

Place: Hudsons Bay House, London [England]

From: John Smith

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square [London, England]

Details: 1pp

Notes: This letter confirms a previous conversation between John Smith of Hudson's Bay House in London and Reverend John Smithurst. Rev. Smithurst is awarded the position of chaplain to the Hudson's Bay Company at Red River in Rupert's Land. He is granted passage from London to Fort Garry [modern-day Winnipeg].

1841 (Sept) from Ina Cowie to Smithurst

Place: York Factory

From: Ina Cowie

To: Revd John Smithurst, Red River

Details: 2pp with integral address

Notes: A letter of effusive thanks for Rev. Smithurst’s kindness in recommending Ina Cowie to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) for employment. It seems Rev. Smithurst spoke with his friend Captain Herd on Cowie’s behalf. Cowie also mentions that he wishes to write to the Church Missionary Society to let them know of Rev. Smithurst’s thoughtfulness.

1842 (Feb) from Anne Alsop to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: A. Alsop

To: The Rev'd John Smithurst, Church Missy House, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London [England]

Details: 4pp with integral address

Notes: Anne Alsop sends much news from England, with unrest over the corn laws having led to a crowd in Derby burning an effigy of Sir Robert Peel. Since the last letter, Catherine Wasse was pregnant but lost the baby boy. Anne Alsop has not seen Rev. Smithurst's brother George for some time, but she believes one of his daughters got married. Mr. Nightingale (the father of Florence Nightingale, the famous nurse) is in the area collecting rents. The economy is doing quite poorly, and the Tories want to change the poor laws. Alsop herself is a Wigg, but her nephews are Tories. While in London, she saw great crowds gather during the election. She also attended twice daily sermons to hear Dr. Crow at St. Stevens Walbrook, by whom she is greatly impressed. (It is possible she is referring to Dr. Croly who was a rector at St. Stephens Walbrook in London during this period. He was a famous orator and novelist.)

Alsop, Anne

1842 (Mar) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: [Grand Rapids?]

From: Wm Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp with integral address

Notes: Reverend William Cockran writes to Rev. Smithurst regarding Rev. Cowley and his wife Mrs. Cowley, who have lodged with Rev. Cockran since they arrived in Rupert’s Land the previous autumn. Rev. Cockran describes the Cowleys as being ungracious guests who do not understand the expense of living in the Red River Settlement. Rev. Cockran also writes that he has severed ties to the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Church Missionary Society but will continue as if he will “continue here for life.” He finishes the letter by discussing the flour he is sending to Henry Budd at the Cumberland House Mission. He mentions that James Sandison and Henry Bird are assisting him.

Cockran, William

Prior to 1844 - from James Bird to Smithurst

Place: unknown

From: James Bird

To: The Revd Smithurst

Details: 1pp

Notes: James Bird sends Rev. Smithurst “some additional sheets” of Mr. Joseph Howse’s manuscript for “A grammar to the Cree language.” Mr. Howse asks that Rev. Smithurst mention the work to the Church Missionary Society to help with circulation when the final book is published.

1847 (Jan) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G. W. Saxton

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Details: 4pp including integral address face.

Notes: Saxton writes about the clergymen and parishes in the neighbourhood of Matlock Bath. Mr. Ward, his wife, and two sons have all died. The remaining sons are “very unsteady.” Saxton’s local Church Missionary Society group has been busy fundraising. Saxton recently purchased a copy of the Bishop of Montreal’s journal and found it very interesting. He finishes the letter saying he’ll leave news of the new railway for Miss Alsop to write about.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1849 (Jul) from E.G. Gear to Smithurst

Place: Fort Snelling

From: E.G. Gear

To: The. Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, British America

Details: 1pp and integral address face.

Notes: Rev. Gear just received Rev. Smithurst's package sent via Mr. Cook. He is especially happy to receive Church Missionary Society publications. He is also very sorry to hear about Rev. Smithurst's poor health. He has heard reports that cholera is making people sick in many U.S. ports, but it has yet to reach his community. The American President has called for a day of prayer because the epidemic is so bad. Rev. Gear heard that the Bishop of Rupert's Land has been consecrated.

Gear, Ezekiel Gilbert

1851 (May) from James Settee to Smithurst

Place: Lac La Ronge, C.M.L. Station

From: James Settee

To: The Reverend J. Smithurst,
Indian Settlement (crossed out),
Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square, London (crossed out),
Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: James Settee writes to Rev. Smithurst on a number of matters. He says that Thomas Cook brought Rev. Smithurst's last letter to him and told Settee that Rev. Smithurst was suffering badly from rheumatism. Settee says both he and his wife also suffer from rheumatism, which he blames on the cold climate. Settee is about to leave on a long journey to Norway House, and he mentions that the baptized Natives object to working on Sundays, but Settee feels that the portages would be impossible without the help of the Hudson's Bay Company boats and so they must work on the Sabbath to keep up. The mission at Lac La Ronge is doing well, and Settee hopes to writes to Rev. Smithurst again once he reaches Norway House.

While written in May, this letter has a cancellation for Sault Ste Marie, C.W. in September. The letter then made its way to Church Missionary House in London, England where it was then redirected to Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Settee, James

1838 (Aug) from William Buckley to Smithurst

Place: Middleton [Derbyshire, England]

From: Frs Buckley

To: J. Smithurst, Church Missionary Institution, Islington [London]

Delivery: Great Britain mail

Details: 3 pp + integral address face

Notes: Reverend William Buckley is deeply disappointed to hear that John Smithurst had to cancel his planned visit to Middleton. Rev. Buckley goes on to relate news of recent marriages and clergy appointments.

Buckley, William

1841 (Feb) from Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: Anne Alsop & Catherine Wasse

To: The Reverend John Smithurst, Church Missionary. To be forwarded and properly directed from Islington

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson's Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4 pp (partly cross-written) + integral address face

Notes: Composite letter from friends Anne Alsop and her niece Catherine Wasse. Anne Alsop mentions Rev. Smithurst's brother George and family matters. Catherine Wasse writes about her impression of London, the renovations to Dethick Chapel, the success of her brother who is leasing Wakebridge Mine from Mr. Nightingale (the father of Florence Nightingale), Mr. Nightingale's annual visit, and the record-setting winter weather.

Alsop, Anne

1841 (Feb) from Mary Hugill to Smithurst

Place: Whitby [North Yorkshire, England]

From: Mary Hugill

To: Rev’d John Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson's Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and thence by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3 pp + integral address face

Notes: Letter from a cousin, with family news (illnesses, etc.). She asks if she can send him a gift of pickles, preserves or cakes, and to do so.

1841 (May) from Enoch Reddall to Smithurst

Place: Church Missionary Institution [Islington, London, England]

From: Enoch Reddall

To: The Rev’d J. Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson's Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4 pp + separate address cover

Notes: Reddall discusses various missionary works including great success in New Zealand and a new missionary to the Teloogoo people in central India. Clergymen posted to Ceylon, Abyssinia, and Sierra Leone are also mentioned. Reddall notes that this letter is forwarded by Abraham Cowley on his way to Rupert’s Land.

In fact, Abraham Cowley and his wife Arabella crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times in nine months attempting to reach his missionary posting at Lake Manitoba. On 5 January 1841, less than a fortnight after their marriage, the young couple set out for Montreal on their way to the Red River Settlement in Rupert’s Land. This unusual route was taken in the belief that the Cowleys would be able to travel with Bishop George Jehoshaphat Mountain of Montreal who was planning a visitation of Rupert’s Land. The couple arrived in Montreal on 28 February, and Cowley was ordained a Deacon on 7 March. Bishop Mountain’s visit to the northwest was postponed, however, and the Cowleys, seeing no hope of reaching the Red River Settlement from Montreal, returned to England and took ship almost immediately for Hudson’s Bay. They arrived in Red River on 28 September 1841.

This letter was apparently delivered by Cowley to Smithurst upon his arrival in Red River.

1843 (Feb) from Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse

To: The Rev’ J. Smithurst / Church Missionary House, Fleet Street, London

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and thence by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4pp (partly cross-written) + integral address face

Notes: Composite letter from friend and her aunt on family matters. Mentions annual visit of Mr. Nightingale (father of Florence Nightingale – John Smithurst’s first cousin) with details on their losses owing to a bank failure.

Alsop, Anne

1843 (May) from [Lord] Chichester to Smithurst

Place: London [England]

From: [Lord] Chichester

To: The Rev’d J. Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and thence by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3pp + integral address face

Notes: Lord Chichester writes a few hurried lines and mentions his preparation of a gift parcel that includes a few books, an educational book, and knives for Smithurst’s use in his missionary work. Lord Chichester further apologizes for the hurried packages and comments on the many things he would have liked to have included, had he the time.

1845 (Feb) from William Buckley to Smithurst

Place: Middleton [Derbyshire, England]

From: William Buckley

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Church Mission House / Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3pp + integral address face with postal marks

Notes: Letter from a friend with news from home.

Buckley, William

1846 (Feb) from Anne Alsop to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: A. Alsop

To: Rev’d John Smithurst, Church Missionary House, London

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and thence by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3pp + integral address face

Notes: In her annual letter to Rev. Smithurst, Anne Alsop sends news, largely relating various marriages, births, and deaths in the community. She mentions that William Wass died and Catherine [presumably her niece, Catherine Wasse] is ill with grief. Mr. George Saxton plans on enclosing a letter of his own to Rev. Smithurst. The winter was surprisingly mild. Anne Alsop now lives in Matlock Bath and is dismayed over the tenant who now resides in her old home, Sycamore Cottage. She adds a postscript commenting on the widespread speculation occurring as railroads are being built across England.

Alsop, Anne

1846 (Feb) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G.W. Saxton

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Delivery: Likely enclosed with Anne Alsop's letter of February 7, 1846.

Details: 3pp with integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton was the secretary of the Matlock Church Missionary Society and writes this letter to reach out to Rev. Smithurst whom he admires for his missionary work. He mentions the Arkwright family, the church at Cromford, and the generous financial donations of Mr. Beaumont which have covered various expenses of the Matlock Bath church. Mr. Saxton goes into great detail about the Matlock Bath church and future plans. He mentions that his parents are dead and that his widowed brother preaches at the parish of Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1847 (Mar) from Richard Davies to Smithurst

Place: Church Missionary House [Islington, London, England]

From: Richard Davies

To: Brother Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3pp on one sheet of paper.

Notes: Davies, a colleague of Smithurst’s in England, offers his thoughts and prayers to Smithurst as a letter from William Cochran has informed him that cholera has been rampant in the Red River district. Davies relates that dysentery claimed one of his own brothers in September. Davies also expresses hope that Mr. and Mrs. James have reached the Red River area safely and that Mr. James is able to relieve Smithurst of “some of the heavy duties which must have weighed on your mind as well as tried your physical powers.”

Other comments: “In many parts of Ireland too a severe pestilence is at this time raging and carrying off hundreds who hitherto have been spared by the grievous famine which has prevailed there and in some places in Scotland.”

1849 (May) invoice from R.B. and G. Seeley to Smithurst

Place: No. 54 Fleet Street, London [England]

From: R.B. & G. Seeley

To: Rev. Smithurst, c/o Church Missionary Society

Delivery: Forwarded to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 1 pp invoice

Notes: Smithurst’s book order from the firm R.B. & G. Seeley, London. Titles include: The Holy Lamp, Gallery of Arts, Old English Worthies, and Nautical Almanac for 1850.

1849 (May) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: Geo W. Saxton

To: Rev. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3.5 pp + integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton was the secretary of the Matlock Church Missionary Society in England and writes a lengthy letter to Smithurst describing in detail the various activities, events, and people in the news.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1851 (Jan) from Robert James to Smithurst

Place: [Grand] Rapids

From: Robert James

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier

Details: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: Reverend Robert James conveys the bishop's [Bishop David Anderson] instructions to Reverend Smithurst that the Journals be sent by the next packet, which will be sent in mid-February. Reverend Cowley is also mentioned.

James, Robert

1851 (Feb) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G.W. Saxton

To: Rev. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4pp + integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton writes a lengthy letter to Reverend Smithurst describing deaths in the neighbourhood, fundraising activities for the Church Missionary Society, and clergymen at local parishes.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1851 (Feb) from William Buckley to Smithurst

Place: Middleton [Derbyshire, England]

From: William Buckley

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Church Mission House, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4pp + addressed envelope with postal marks (stamp removed)

Notes: William Buckley writes from England to his friend, Reverend Smithurst. Buckley mentions that cholera has killed thousands in Jamaica. He gives a detailed account of the death of his brother Francis, who died the previous November after several months of illness. William Buckley is admiring of the deep faith in God and heaven which his brother maintained. He then gives news of people they both know. He mentions Mr. Wass, Mr. Hubbersty, Mr. John Wathy, and Rev. Smithurst’s brother George and his troubles. Buckley then complains about the “radical party headed by Messrs Everett, Dunn & Griffith, assisted by the Editor of the socalled Wesleyan Times.” He blames these radicals for spreading discord, as eight local preachers have joined these “Agitators.” He mentions Mr. Greville, Mr. Jones, Mr. Barker, Mr. Harward Senior, and Mr. Frederic Harward. Mr. Alfred Alsop plans on having a business at the Viagellia [Via Gellia] Works in Bonsall. William Buckley mentions that Mr. Mason speaks highly of the new Bishop of Rupert’s Land [David Anderson]. “Mr. Mason” is presumably Reverend William Mason. Buckley mentions there is political dissatisfaction with Lord John Russell’s handling of the Pope’s proposed papal hierarchy. There is excitement for the “Exhibition of the works of arts of all nations at London” and Buckley expects the census next year to be a great deal of work for the Registrars.

Buckley, William

1851 (May) from John H. Johnson to Bishop David Anderson via Smithurst

Place: Liverpool [England]

From: John H. Johnson

To: To The Right Rev’d D. Anderson, Lord Bishop of Rupert’s Land, North West America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier

Details: 4pp + 4 newsletters + addressed envelope

Notes: Johnson writes to Bishop David Anderson to propose establishing an annual donation from St. Andrew's Church in Liverpool, England to the Christian Missionary Society in Rupert's Land. Johnson hopes to establish a link between the two groups and he hopes to see the initial donation of 5£ be surpassed in future years. Johnson intends that this letter be sent to Reverend John Smithurst and be "left open for his perusal as probably he may have some suggestions to make before sending it to you."

With his letter, he includes four (4) issues of “St. Andrew’s Monthly Paper.” Each issue consists of a single sheet of paper that measures only 14.5 x 12 cm when unfolded. Includes February, March, April, and May issues for 1851.

Interesting facts: St. Andrew's Church is located on Renshaw Street. Reverend T.C. Cowan is Minister. Issues are printed by Richard C. Scragg, Printer, 75, Renshaw Street. The District of St. Andrew's has a population of "about 6,000." Average monthly attendance at the Day School and Sunday School is approximately 250 each, and is broken down for Boys, Girls, and Infants.

1843 (Jul) from John & Annie Corbett to Townley

Place: Priory Place, New Ross [Ireland]

From: John and Annie Corbett

To: Adam Townley

Details: 8 pp.

Notes: The first sheet of paper is a letter to Adam Townley from his brother-in-law, John Corbett. His letter continues onto the second sheet of paper, on the third and fourth pages. John is the husband of Townley's sister Annie, whose letter makes up the first and second pages on the second sheet of paper.

John Corbett relates how Annie is in fact just recovering from a five-week-long illness after a carriage accident. He comments on the rivalry between the Church Missionary Society and the newer Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. John is very concerned at the unrest in Ireland and within the Anglican church. He also mentions the alarming rise of "the principles called 'Puseyism'."

Annie addresses her brother as "Dearest Addie." She gives news about family members and many acquaintances.