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Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

87 Clement’s Inn, W.C.—Expresses his love and admiration for her, and his sense of the honour of taking part in the forthcoming trial.

(With an envelope labelled ‘My most precious possession’, etc., which formerly also contained 6/80.)

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Transcript

87 Clement’s Inn, W.C.
April 25. 12

My great beloved

I have it in my heart to write to you of many things—to tell you, beloved, how glorious it is to have you for wife, to tell you how beautiful to me is your majestic spirit, to tell you that in the calm grandeur of your bearing in the exquisite poise of your head in your sublime pride I find my ideal of the perfect woman.

Beloved we are very near to a great day, the greatest that we have seen in our lives. To me it seems that an honour such as conferred only on a few men & women in many centuries is about to be conferred upon us. We are to stand where the great & noble have stood before us all down the ages. We are to be linked up with those who have won the everlasting homage of the whole human race. If next week you & I were to be crowned king & queen in the presence of an adulating people how paltry would be our honour in comparison!

It is supreme joy that you and I will stand there together. It is the complete and perfect expression of that faith to which we by our travail are giving birth.

Lastly, it is good that we shall have by our side that great woman who is our friend & who of all women in the world we would most wish to have with us in that hour.

I am, beloved,

The one who has chosen you & whom you have chosen as
Everlasting Mate.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

(Folkestone.)—Expresses his love for her, after a day of restful pleasure.

(In the train from Folkestone to Dover.)—The weather prevented them from walking to to St Margaret’s Bay, so they walked to Dover instead. ‘We have been wonderfully good in keeping off the suffrage, but I made a few plans this morning.’

(Letter-head of 87 Clement’s Inn, W.C.)

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

‘The Echo’ Office, 19 St Bride Street, Fleet Street, E.C.—Expresses his love and admiration for her, and acknowledges her need to go (to Egypt) and gather wisdom.

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Transcript

‘The Echo’ Office, 19 St Bride Street, Fleet Street, E.C.
Aug 8 1906 {1}

Darling

I have been longing for the time to come when I should be free to be able to write to you—not tht† I have any news to tell you but simply because I want to write to you so much & tell you how I love you.

You see Girlie you are so much more than all the other things in my life[—]you are the great rest, you are the great solvent in which all the other things of life become fluid. You are the great Ocean into which I flow, you you darling—ah I seem to understand sometimes the full measure of the divine law of the world that permeates all our being, and by that law I need you absolutely not merely to construct or achieve but simply to be.

Beloved it is difficult to tell my soul-thought in words & yet I know you will understand.

Beloved you said yesterday that you had once a store of wisdom & you had shared it with me, & now you needed to go & gather a further store lest haply you should be left behind: beloved I know that the thought which lay behind your words was true because your heart is so great & strong & beautiful, & yet the words are only true in part to me for though you have shared with me your store of wisdom, you are ever in front of me. And the very travail of your being, for which I reverence you, is the outward & visible sign of that union of you dear woman life with the Earth, with Nature, & with th† Holy Spirit which places you forever as my umbilical cord to keep me living.

Sweetheart the words upon paper will not reveal to you: but behind them is the loving heart of your laddie & the living fingers who know the tenderness & the delight of your being.

And I am just yours dependent on you for being

Woman

Man-Baby

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A couple of words are unconventionally abbreviated.

{1} The first three figures of the year are printed.

† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’ (part of 5/30f). 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.

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’ (5/30f, pp. 205-20).

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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 Mary Elizabeth Lawrence

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island.—Sends a brief greeting. Is about to begin a ten days’ run without port to Hong Kong.

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Transcript

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island
July 11 1898 {1}

My dear Mother.

Just a line from this corner of the world where all nationalities meet.

From here we have 10 days run without port to Hong Kong. It begins to get a bit warm, & will I expect get still hotter all the way.

I dont know when you will get this

Yours ever
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} The first three figures of the year are printed.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edwin Lawrence

Calcutta.—Congratulates him on his baronetcy. Describes his stay at Muzaffarpur, and refers to his plans to observe the eclipse.

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Transcript

Address c/o Thos Cook & Son
Bombay

Calcutta
Jany 5 98

My dear Uncle.

Hurrah! Just received your telegram & sent off mine. Bravo! Delightful news! I am ashamed to say I had not seen anything of it until I found your wire awaiting me here. I won’t try & put into words the sentiment all must feel, how well it is merited.

In your telegram as it reached me were the words “wire health” so in my reply I have said “excellent health”. I hope this doesn’t mean Harry has got one of his depressed fits on.

In point of fact I am particularly well & the climate at this time of year is delightful, just like an English September at its best, only the sun is rather hotter in the middle of the day.

Very many thanks for all your greetings for Xmas birthday and the New Year; I expect I shall get your special Xmas card in a few days; letters take some time because they go across to Madras first & then come nearly back again & up here, you will see from the heading of this letter that it will be better for them to be forwarded on direct from Bombay when they arrive.

I have written Dora a letter in answer to hers {1}, you will see from that that I have been spending 10 days with W. S. Adie at Mozuffapore which is about 200 miles from here, and to get there one has to cross the Ganges in a steamer. Mozuffapore is quite a large station (some 50 to a hundred Europeans) and I played lawn tennis, racquets & billiards & watched Adie playing polo nearly every day. Then on Xmas day we went to dine with the Collector (head magistrate) and on the Monday following we had a jolly little dance there. Altogether I got to know nearly all the people there & I shall probably go up again 23rd–28th inst when the special Mozuffapore week is on. The station is the centre of indigo planting, & I went over & spent 2 nights with an old Cambridge man who runs a factory. There is nothing going on now, as the indigo is not sown till March, but I saw over the factory, & looked at the fields—all as smooth as a billiard table—& learnt something about the curious sort of life the planter leads. The coolie who works in the fields gets something less than a penny a day.

Everyone here has a servant who looks after things; I have just got one at Cooks, and I have gone with him through all my clothes (I have left my big trunk behind with Campbell); he speaks English which is a blessing & I hope he will prove fairly honest. They are very serviceable when one is travelling, but if one lived very long in this country I am afraid they would make one lazy, as they take off one’s boots for one etc, they also wait at table wherever one is.

Tante asks from where I am going to see the eclipse; to tell the truth I don’t really know, possibly it will be from Buxar where the Bengal Astronomers are going, possibly a little further South where I think Christie & Dr Common are.

I have presented my letters of introduction to the Viceroy & his secretary, & I am going to the Ball to-morrow night, & to an Evening Party next week, & I shall probably see most of Calcutta there.

One more hurrah for yourself, love to Tante (I thought I would wait to write to her till later) & renewed kisses to Dora,

Your affectionate Nephew
Fredk W Lawrence

I have endorsed & returned chq to Sharpe

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{1} This has not survived.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

In the train from Ogden to San Francisco.—Has parted from Alden and met Annie (his sister). Describes his crossing of the Pacific and visits to Yosemite, Salt Lake City, and Yellowstone Park.

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Transcript

In the train from Ogden to San Francisco
Oct 3. 98

My dear Tante.

We are coming back from the Yellowstone Park, & at last after all this delay I start to write you a letter.

The great meeting took place at Salt Lake City & seemed to me the most natural thing in the world; Annie was brisk & shining & had enjoyed her voyage across with her triple escort, I had parted from Alden only a few hours before at Ogden.

I don’t know how far I shall write an encyclical of all my doings in the States, but in any case as I seem to have got rather behindhand, you will probably like to hear something in advance.

A capital voyage across with a day’s stop at Honolulu brought us to San Francisco where we only remained long enough to get a squint around & then went down to the Yosemite. After a day and a half’s coaching we arrived smothered in dust, & spent our time in the valley climbing up to different points of observation. The valley is tremendous with its great slabs of rock, & must look even finer when there is water flowing over the different falls. From Yosemite to Wawona & the giant trees, then back to San Francisco & away to meet Annie at Salt Lake.

There we viewed the Mormon tabernacle & were shown the various points of interest, bathed in the sulphur springs, & floated in the dense waters of the lake. The city is splendidly laid out with streets 150 feet broad & shady avenue trees; & you can ride your wheel on the sidewalk whenever the road is bad!

The week we have had in the Yellowstone has been very jolly; If Japan is pretty, & Yosemite is grand the Yellowstone park is handsome & the geysers are captivating—the memory of Old Faithful is quite that of a departed friend. Perhaps 70 miles in a coach in driving snow is not the happiest method of spending a day; still we did get to Monida, the railway station, whence we returned to Ogden & now I am on my way to the west coast once more.

To the 5 hours which the train started late it has added 2½ more, owing to the buffet car becoming somewhat damaged; it has been quite an excitement watching the broken part being repaired; the loss of time will only mean that we spend to-night in the train instead of at the Palace Hotel.

Many thanks for all the letters received at San Francisco; I sent Sir E.L a scrawl from Yosemite, & Dora a letter from the train, & now this tardy recognition of your own. Somehow with a biweekly mail one does not make it so imperative to get a letter off! I expect Annie & I shall look up the Cohens shortly after our arrival, & then after a few days in S.F go down to Del Monte & Los Angeles & then slowly work our way across[.] We have not quite made [up] our minds about staing the States over Xmas but of course if we do, we shall gladly accept Dr Collyer’s invitation; in any case we will send him a line in a few days’ time.

c/o T Cook & Son. New York will probably be the best address for letters for either of us all the time we are over here.

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

In the train from Madras to Tuticorin.—Explains his views on titles of honour, and encloses part of an ‘encyclical’ (part of 5/30b?). Refers to his stay at Madras, where Michie Smith showed him the results of the eclipse work.

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Transcript

Train from Madras to Tuticorin
April 27. 98

My dear Tante.

I have been meaning to write to you for a long time to answer your letter of March 3, but somehow I have always had something to write to the Vunculus about, on business, & so have waited till now.

There is only one point in your letter to which I want to refer; you say you had feared I shared my sister’s prejudices on the subject of title. No: I have always believed very strongly that a title is one of the few recognitions of desert which a grateful nation can bestow. What I am somewhat opposed to is hereditary title, though I am always prepared to admit that it is not without its advantages. Personally however I am very glad that none ever fell to my lot.

The sheet of my encyclical which I enclose tells the tale of my stay at Nellore, altogether I had a very jolly time there, & some of my equestrian experiences were great fun. I think I had a glimpse of the feeling of those who have said that they wanted to spend their life in the saddle & die at last by breaking their neck at a fall, a sentiment which I never understood at all before,—& one which even now I have no intention of attempting to put into practice!

I had a very pleasant two days in Madras, & saw most of the people I had met before. Michie Smith was very kind to me, & showed me all his instruments & the results of the eclipse work, he also gave me some prints of the corona taken by our instrument, one of which I have sent home to Mother. It was exposed 4 seconds very nearly at the commencement of totality. You will see, looking round the edge of the sun, one very bright point, this is a prominence, & should be set to the left hand; the approach of the moon was from the bottom right hand corner, & you will notice that though it has covered the whole body of the sun proper, yet there is a white rim in left hand top, the portion of the solar atmosphere not yet covered. The corona shows extended some way.

I also have a group of the Madras party which I will send home later. A miscellaneous collection of photos has also gone home, mostly representing different places out here, but there are one or two of Cambridge which Booty gave me.

M. Smith has a very large compound, & by joining with his neighbours, he has made one of the best golf links I have seen out here. I played Monday morning with him & 2 of his friends all of whom were rather good; fortunately I played up & did not make a fool of myself. That is really the great thing at golf, that the better people you play with, the better you play: you see while you learn by watching their good strokes, their play does not in any way interfere with yours.

I am now journeying steadily South, & am in lower latitudes than I have been before, I expect to reach Tuticorin this afternoon & then I go on board a boat which should land me in Colombo to-morrow morning. As I shall have a day or two to spare in Ceylon, I shall run up country, to Kandy & shall try & get a glimpse of J. Parkin who has just come out; he is a Trinity man of my year, & tried for a fellowship last October.

I hope to send a word to some one before I sail; after that as I shall not send a wire from Australia, you will not hear from me for some weeks. But I daresay that will not be much of an affliction after this train-written scrawl. I enclose a slip for E.L

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

The Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Encloses part of an encyclical (5/30f, pp. 1-4), and refers to his visits to China and Japan.

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Transcript

The Oriental Hotel, Limited, Kobe, Japan
P.O. Box 55

Aug 3. 98

My dear Tante.

I send you a few lines from here to accompany the commencement of my 6th encyclical {1} which treats of China; the 4 pages which I send you, however, are, I am afraid rather ancient history, but you will get the later pages from home. I find a tremendous lot to write about China though I was only there such a short time; of course any opinions I have formed are in consequence liable to great error. Those who are on the spot do not seem very well satisfied with the action of the home government, & seem to think England ought to have taken some definite principle on which to stand, & to have stuck to it; of course they cannot see altogether the difficulties at home. I shall make further allusion in the end of my encyclical.

Japan is a very bright pretty country & we hope to have a very jolly time here under the able auspices of our guide F. Takagaki.

I hope Aug 1 bank holiday was a great success; we spent the day in Nagasaki.

We are off this morning (Aug. 4) to Kiyoto & after travelling about a bit get on to Yokohama in a few days more.

Hoping you all flourish including Dora

With love to all & kisses to her

Believe me
Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 1–4.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Durning-Lawrence

Bombay.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’ (part of 5/30b), and responds to her news of family members and neighbours. The plague at Bombay presents no danger to Europeans.

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Transcript

Bombay.
Feb 23. 98

My dear Tante

I am sending you with this the conclusion of my second encyclical {1} which gives all my movements up to date so that there is very little to add.

I think it is a capital plan of yours taking the name of Durning-Lawrence, and I, for one, thoroughly approve. (Not that my lordly approval was in the least required!)

I am glad you think Harry getting on a bit but one is always so afraid that it is only a case of up & down; from a letter which I have from him this week I understand that he is now at Cannes & is going on to Nice.

You seem to have been losing several Ascot neighbours Sir R Mead &, old Dean Liddell; it was strange that he should have died so shortly after Lewis Carroll; I think you used to say Alice in Wonderland was written for one of the Dean’s children.

Out at Fatehpur Sikri I met 2 Cambridge men, brothers, of the name of Reckitt {2}; I did not know them before, but I understand the elder is MP of N. Lincolnshire & knows Uncle E a little bit.

You will probably have seen that Bombay is somewhat stricken with plague just now, but there is not the smallest danger for Europeans. Even among those brought into close contact with plague stricken people it is exceedingly rarely that anyone is affected at all.

With best love to all, hoping Uncle E is in great form in the House.

Ever Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30b, probably pp. 91–106.

{2} Harold James and Philip Bealby Reckitt. The former was the MP.

Letter from Amal Home to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Akashvani (All India Radio) Headquarters, Akashvani Bhavan, Parliament Street, New Delhi.—Asks him to record his recollections of Rabindranath Tagore.

(Signed as Chief Producer, Tagore Centenary Programmes, All India Radio. Sent in the first place to the BBC, then forwarded to Pethick-Lawrence with 5/134a.)

Letter from George Booth to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Bush House, Strand, London, W.C.2.—Encloses 5/134b, and discusses arrangements for recording the talk at Bush House and delivering the tapes to the High Commissioner’s Office for transmission to India.

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