The following letters form the last part of the typed manuscript of Mary Woolley’s memoirs.


[Mary’s family had known the family of her future husband, Charles, for many years. Here her father writes to Charles’s mother to tell her of Mary’s birth.]

My dear Madam,

When I had last the pleasure of seeing Mr. Wooley he most kindly requested me to communicate to him the result of Louisa’s accouchement, should it take place during his visit to Ramsgate. Being informed that it was his intention to return to-morrow morning (consequently before the Post Delivery) I have taken the liberty of addressing this letter to you knowing the kind interest you and Mary take in my wife’s welfare.

I have the happiness to say, that at 6 o’clock this morning, I received the gratifying present of a little Girl who with its Mother are doing extremely well; at least , they were so this morning when I left Peckham and Mr. Bean conceives nothing as likely to occur to retard Louisa’s speedy restoration to health. As our pleasures are never yielded us without some alloy, I am concerned to say, our little William has been, and still continues very seriously ill; attributable partly to teething, and partly to internal inflammation; I hope he is mending, but he is much reduced. Our cook has also left us, I fear in a dying state, from inflammation; my poor Wife has had enough to do to support herself under these peculiar circumstances.

I hope, my dear Madam, you receive every benefit which the Sea Air can possibly bestow, and that you and Mary are very much enjoying yourselves. I begin to fear the fine weather has taken its flight, not to return this year, and indeed we must not complain, having enjoyed so large a share of it already.

Pray present to Mrs. Heale my respectful compliments, and inform her I walked with Frank this morming, who gave me a favourable account of the inmates of the Lodge.

I beg to apologise for intruding upon you so long a letter and remain,

My dear Madam,

With much respect,

Your humbly obliged Servant,

Stewart P. Pearce.

Swithins Lane,

September 24th 1822.


Mrs Woolley,

At R. Heal, Esqr.,

Wellington Crescent


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[Mary’s paternal grandmother writes to Mary’s father about the birth of his first child, Stewart.]

My dear Stewart,

I take the earliest opportunity to congratulate you and your dear Louisa on the birth of your dear little son, may it and its mother be long spared as blessings to you; and, now, my dear Stewart, you sustain a very important character in life, as a father. I hope you will be very anxious to discharge the great duties it requires, of you, by training up the dear little immortal to the service of God from whose gracious hands you have received him, and who is saying, bring up this child for me, because it is not only the body that’s to be thought of, it is a little immortal and almost every thing for time and eternity depends on early instruction. I do not think I shall see my sweet little Boy till Tuesday because on Monday I must give orders for my mourning, and I hope you will not suffer Louisa to see anybody except her Mama, and the head Nurse, kiss dear tiny for me, and I pray the blessing of God may rest upon him, and believe me your affectionate Mother.

M. Pearce.

Love to little Madam


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[Mary’s brother, aged 7, to their Aunt]

My dear Aunt,

I am much obliged to you for your kind present of a sovereign. I think you will be surprised to hear that I am writing this letter on a handsome new desk which my Uncle Charles gave me yesterday, it has my name upon it on a brass plate. I hope you got home safe on Saturday night from our house. Give my love to Uncle John, and give my love to Mr. Rosson, Esqr.

I remain, dear Aunt,

Your affectionate nephew,

Stewart Highmore Pearce.

Monday evening

Hanover House 1825


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[In 1828 Mary’s mother was ill, and was away for some time.]

October 16th 1828

My dear Mama,

I hope you are better, and Aunt Ann quite well. I hope I shall deserve the shells you promise me. I sat up to supper last night with Miss Gibbs from,

Your affectionate and dutiful child,

Mary Pearce.

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[Mary’s parents seem to have been away again for some time in 1834. This is not mentioned in the memoirs.]

Dear Papa and Mama,

I was very much pleased to hear from you this morning, and that you were so comfortably settled. Miss Silberrad wishes me to ask you if you will write either to Jane or me in preference to herself, and, write to Jane next, if you please, as (though she cannot read) it would please her to have a letter directed to her.

Andrews called here this morning and wishes to know if Mamma would have any objection to give her a character after the Winter, as She is going to remain with her sister to help her, She has been keeping house for her while She was in the country, and is looking very well, She brought us some beautiful Dahlias. I am very glad Louisa likes Dover so much, and hope She will come home quite well. We are very happy, but I am longing for the time of your return home quite well. Will you write soon to let us know how you are and mention Andrews. As you have crossed your letter, perhaps you will allow us to cross ours, let us know on the next, please. Will you have the camp stool sent down. Give my love to dear Miss Luweza, who I hope is better, and accept the same yourselves, dear Papa and Mamma.

From your dutiful and affectionate child

Mary Pearce.

September 1834


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Dear Papa and Mamma,

I was so glad to hear you are better.

Give my best love to Louisa, and tell her I am very happy, but I shall be happier when she comes home and I remain dear Papa and Mamma,

Your dutiful little Daughter,

Jane Pearce.

Jany says she can hardly write, with happiness. I wish you could see her little face. L.S.



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My dear Madam,

I wish you could have seen the delight with which Mary and Jane received their Papa’s letter this morning and I was likewise extremely pleased to hear that you were so soon comfortably settled.

We are, I am pleased to say as well and happy, as we can be considering the dear children are without either yourself or their Papa, but in a few days we shall get more accustomed to the smallness of our Family party although that will not make us the less anxious for your return. The servants are doing everything they can to make us comfortable, and Ford and I are such friends that when She leaves I fear we shall mutually regret the parting. Being forbidden to cross this letter I must with regret conclude, and with kindest respects to Mr. Pearce and affectionate love to yourself and dear little Louisa, remain ever my dear Madam.

Yours very sincerely,

Louisa Silberrad



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Imperial Continental Gas Associaion,

Established by Act of Parliament,

Office, White Hart Lane,

Lombard Street.

9th June 1836.

Dear Sir,

I have great pleasure in communicating to you, by order of the Board, the following Resolution of the Board, proposed by Moses Montefiore, Esqr., yesterday, and unanimously agreed to by the Directors.

“That the thanks of the Board are eminently due and are hereby given to John Meriscoe Pearce, Esqr., the Solicitor of the Association and that the sum of £500 be appropriated to the purchase of a piece of Plate, or otherwise, as Mr. Pearce may elect, to mark the sense which this Board entertains of the unremitted Zeal and Talent which has been employed by him, in the successful prosecution of his duties as applied to this Association from its first Establishment, in the general conduct of their legal business in obtaining the original Act of Parliament with a limited liability under which affairs have been conducted and more especially in carrying through both Houses of Parliament, the New Act for more than doubling their Capital preserving the privilege of limited liability.

I have the honour to be, Dear Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

Charles Fortnum.

J.M. Pearce, Esqr.


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[Author unknown, but I detect Mary’s writing style and sense of humour.]

Some memories of John Meriscoe Pearce.

When quite a young girl I was on a visit to my Uncle and Aunt, John Pearce at Hampstead, then a quaint place, with the beautiful walk across the Heath, to the almost Classical “Spaniards” a small run, was to Caen Wood the fine place of Lord Mansfield on the left, two nice houses on the right were Lord Erskins, and another Lawyer’s. The view from the Heath was wide and lovely, and every part covered with Firs and gorse. A few large houses on the Finchley and Highgate roads were the only dwellings. My Uncle would take me on Sundays to walk across the Heath with him, speaking rarely to me.

On one such “Sabbath” walk a gentleman accosted him, who I heard afterwards was Sir Andrew Agnew an M.P., and vehement advocate of a very strict and dogmatic “observance of the Lord’s Day” as the Bill was called by its supporters. My Uncle knew Sir Andrew Well, and was quite well read in the details of this Bill, which forbad any but relegious occupations on Sunday, or any travelling or amusement.

He greeted Sir Andrew cordially expressing his great surprise at seeing him on Hampstead Heath on Sunday. “Oh,” said the good M. P., I am working day and night in the House in the effort to pass my Bill for “Observance of the Sabbath” and you know Mr. Pearce what that means on mental strain. Then too, as you also know, the atmosphere of the House is most insanitary and unhealthy so that I find, unless I can get a Sunday rest of mind, and recruit my health by coming to some such charming place as this in fresh country air, I should utterly break down and fail in heart, so I always get out of town on Sundays.

My Uncle paused a moment, and then said “Indeed Sir Andrew I am quite of your opinion that such blessings as fresh air and the beauty of nature are absolutely needful for us, working men, and I am glad you recognise this for your own case. But does it not seem to you Sir Andrew, that your Bill, if it be passed, must entirely deprive thousands of tradesmen, Artisans and mechanics, who toil all the week in foul atmosphere, and in poor surroundings, with few pleasures in their lives, of the one boon permitted to them on the Sabbath, fresh air and exercise coming in the healthy country places which God provides for us.

Sir Andrew said, “Good Morning” and walked on.


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The Provident Clerk’s Mutual Life Assurance Association,

27. Moorgate Street, E.C.


27 February 1878.

Dear Madam,

I am instructed by the Board to convey to you their sincere and ernest sympathy in the affliction caused to yourself and family by the decease of their old and much esteemed friend, Mr. Charles Woolley. I have also to convey the expression of deep regret and sympathy on behalf of the members assembled at our Annual General Meeting, at the loss which the Association has sustained, in the person of their able and upright auditor. Permit me to add on my part my sincere concurrence in the above and my best wishes for yourself and family.

I have the honour to be,

Dear Madam,

Very faithfully and respectfully yours,

W.P. Linford,

Acty and Secy.

Mrs. Woolley.