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Davies, Ellen Mary (1860–1904), sister of Lord Pethick-Lawrence
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Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Muzaffarpur.—Sends birthday greetings, and refers to the receipt of a parcel containing cards to himself and to his Christmas dinner with the Collector. Discusses his future movements.

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Transcript

Mozufferpore
Dec 27. 97

My dear Ellen.

I write this on your birthday, wishing you many happy returns. I wonder whether you are having a bright sunny day; here we have delightful weather. It is just like a very fine English September, but somewhat warmer in the middle of the day. We have some capital games of lawn tennis from 3 to 5.

Possibly you may not know, or be able to find this place on a map because it is spelt all kinds of ways; in that case look North West from Calcutta & you will come to Patna & a little North you will see this.

A fine budget arrived here Xmas eve forwarded on from Nellore containing among others Xmas & birthday cards from Mother yourself & Carry; I think but for the insertion of “birthday” it would have quite escaped my remembrance that I had such a thing coming off at all, & I should have reached the mature age of 26 without ever becoming aquainted† with the fact.

I have now definitely made up my mind to stop in India till I go to Australia; this I have arranged because Booty very much prefers my coming to him at the end of February & wants me to go round some Islands with him, & this will probably take 3 or 4 weeks.

Please address all letters after you receive this (and it is really much the best plan for any one travelling to India because in this way no time is wasted) | to c/o Thos Cook & Son | Bombay; | & I will keep them posted up in my whereabouts & they will forward letters on.

There are quite a number of people in this station & we have a lovely time.

On Xmas day we went & dined with the Collector (I am not sure whether you will have got used to this term yet; it means the chief Magistrate, a post to which Campbell & Adie will probably attain in about 10 years) & his wife & had a pleasant little party of 14; this evening we are going to a small dance there.

With thanks for all your good wishes

I remain

Ever your aff[ectiona]te Brother
Fredk W Lawrence

I shall probably leave here about Jany 3 or 4 & go to Calcutta, & spend 10 days there. For the eclipse I shall join a party somewhere near Benares; I am not sure yet of the place; Campbell is going there with Michy Smith the Madras Astronomer, & I shall possibly meet Dr Common, & I fancy Christie.

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† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Cambridge Mission, Delhi.—Responds to letters from home. His decision not to return to Calcutta prevented him from seeing Mr Preston again. Describes his stays at Roorkee and Delhi.

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Transcript

Cambridge Mission | Delhi.
Feb 10. 98

My dear Ellen

I find I have only written to you once since I have been in India, but then of course I have reckoned really all letters to 79 L.G. as the same. Your letters to me have at last got straight; so I have to acknowledge yours & Carry’s of Jany 14 & Mama’s of Jany 21, all of which brought very interesting news; please thank Carry for managing subscriptions; she guessed right about the Homeopathic Hoop. I have an order; I forgot that they were in the habit of sending a receipt from there, or I would have told her that. I don’t think there is anything else which calls for comment.

As I altered my plans & settled not to go back to Calcutta, I have not been able to see Mr Preston again; I am disappointed as I should have liked to have had a talk with him; it was a pity that owing to a mistake of mine (forgetting he was there) I left it too late to do more than just have a few words with him when he was busy; but such mistakes can’t help happening. I have not been able to get as far as Lahore to see the other brother.

I had a jolly time with Tipple at Roorkee, & we went over for Saturday to Monday to a place near by (only 7 hours away by rail!) to see two other Cambridge men, H. S. Rix whom I used to know very well (a Trinity Man who has been out 3 years), & H N Hutchinson who came out with me on board the Caledonia, & so we were 4 together. It seemed quite like old times.

At Roorkee I spent the days in the labs trying in vain to distill some very dirty mercury, in the afternoons I played tennis or rowed or rode on my bicycle, & one morning went out for a ride on a horse.

Then in the evening I went sometimes & dined at the Mess of the R E officers (Royal Engineers) who kindly made me an honorary member during my stay.

Here as you will see I am stopping at the Mission, & have found one man who was up at Trinity with me; but so far it has been rather wet & I have not seen much of the sights.

I am going however to drive out to-morrow morning to the Kut’b, one of the residents here going with me, & we hope to spend some hours wandering about. I am afraid I shant be very good at descriptions but such little as I can give will be sent shortly to complete my second encyclical.

With love to all

Your affectionate Brother.
Fredk W Lawrence.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Describes his arrival and activities in Japan, and encloses part of his sixth ‘encyclical’.

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Transcript

Oriental Hotel | Kobe
Aug 3. 98

My dear Ellen

Here you see us actually arrived in Japan, having had a day at Nagasaki & a day here; so far we have found the Japanese a pleasing little people.

I forget whether I told you I had arranged to have a guide here, as in this way we should be able to do more in the time at our disposal; F. Takagaki met us this morning on the Belgic & seems a very pleasant man.

I enclose you part of my 6th encyclical; {1} the first 4 pages have gone to Lady D.L. & the rest of the encyc shall follow in due course; the part you have not begins with an account of the voyage up from Brisbane & takes you as far as Townsville where we are supposed to be on page 205.

We expect to get to Yokohama via Kiyoto in about 10 days, & then we go off to Tokio.

There will probably be no mail from here for another 2 or 3 weeks.

Glad to hear of plans as to 26 & look forward to meeting Annie.

With love to all

Your affte Brother
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 205–20.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’. Refers to letters received from home and to his visit to Yosemite, and asks about Ellen’s own travels.

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Transcript

In the train | Frisco to Salt Lake
Sept 20 98

My dear Lel

Knowing your interest in Japan I meant to have sent to you the first portion of my encyclical on the subject, but as I forgot to do so, I send you this part along now, {1} & hope you may get some amusement from it; I don’t anticipate there will be a great deal to follow.

Perhaps when you see this letter you may expect to hear that I have met Annie, but if you do “I guess” you will be disappointed, for she does not get to Salt Lake till after the mail has gone out.

I found a great many letters awaiting me when I got to Frisco[,] among them those from Mama & Carry from Pontresina, also one from Harry & a little later I received yours; many thanks for all of them which I enjoyed reading very much, if Harry is with you please tell him, I will write to him soon.

Our passage across the Pacific ended very pleasantly, as it had been most of the way across; & Percy & I soon made up our minds to go down to the Yosemite almost at once. So after spending 3 days in San Francisco & had a delightful though somewhat dusty time. {2}

The Yosemite valley is grand where Japan is pretty & the great trees are stupendous.

I gather from your letter that by this time you will be just about returning to England; I hope your jolly time continued to the end.

The accident to the Hopkinsons was very sad, I trust it did not make any of your party nervous about your smaller excursions

With love to all

Your affte Bro
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} Part of PETH 5/30f.

{2} The grammar of this sentence is a little confused.