Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP337

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Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
John Wallace
11 January 1840

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Kington, Herefordshire to John Wallace [none given] on 11 January 1840.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.
Verified by:
17/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline (All except summary checked);


Re. the Penny Post, including a poem on the subject; John's membership of the Literary Society; Chartist trials at Monmouth; description of lodgings and Mr and Mrs Wright.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP337.337)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/3/6
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
17/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline;

Item notes

Physical description

Transcription information





Jan[ua]ry 11th, 1840.

"Hurrah, Hurrah for the Penny Post

For now we may write like fun

And not feel a shock when the Postmans knock

Proclaims that a letter is come".--

"Hurrah, Hurrah for the Penny Post

And well may it answer & long may it last.

Heres luck to Mr Hill who brought about the Bill

And caused it in Parliament to be passed.["]

Dear John1

I write this as a sort of congratulatory letter on the commencement of the Penny Post -- I meant to have sent it yesterday but as I wrote a long one home I had not time till to day. I received your two letters quite safe and was exceedingly amused at their spicyness -- I was much amused at your supposition of my being devoured by Billy Goats but the fact is that about as much is seen or heard of those interesting and voracious animals in Wales as in England. I was very Glad to hear that you belonged to the Literary Society and hope that you will not give it up or if you do that you will belong to the other one. I shall now expect you to write very often and tell me any thing that happens; if you have nothing else to say give me a full true & particular account of the proceedings of the Society -- Tell me what you have been reading any thing particular you hear see or in fact any thing to fill up a letter -- I suppose you hear more about the [[2]] Chartist Trials at Monmouth than we do as I suppose you see the Daily Papers -- The last news I have heard is that "Frost" is found guilty -- I hope you will tell me all about your sporting at Hoddesdon and the rest of your adventures till you left. I some time since made a resolution which I always intend to keep which is; "never to expect any thing till it has happened" -- It is a good saying that nothing is certain in this life but death". I have been expecting ever since we came here to go into Breconshire Surveying but I shall not think any more about it till I found find myself either there or somewhere else -- We are almost sure not to leave here for a couple of months at least as we have a stiffish job in the house. I shall now give you a short account of our situation here as I forget whether I did or not in my last letter -- we are lodging in the house of Samuel Wright Gunmaker alias "Alderman Wright". If you fancy Mr. Pickwick with his nose a little rounder and his corporation a little larger you will have an exact Idea of Alderman Wright. Mrs Wright is an old woman something like Mrs Nickleby but very Religious (in talk), very superstitious and a pretty considerable tarnation long tongue -- [[3]] Alderman Wright is very fond of telling a story in doing which he is quite different to "A. Jingle Esq[ui]re" for he says about 4 words at a time and waits about 5 minutes between each the whole being very mixed up with 4 or 5 "thats" & "says hes" to each four words he will converse [one word illegible crossed out] on uninteresting topics (for instance taking dinner at an Inn) which has happened twenty or thirty years ago word for word, in this manner & at one of the stops Mrs Wright will come up with "Now Samuell you dont tell that right" -- We sit generally in a room behind the shop which has four doors in it and wherever we come in if we do not make a circuit of the room [1 word crossed out illeg.] and shut all the doors we are in danger of being blown up the chimney and have to hold hard on the table till they are shut. I have several times recom-mended Mrs Wright to have a windmill placed between two doors which would be useful to grind coffee and several other domestic purposes -- but she will persist in asserting that it is the warmest Room in the town. -- I and William have but one bedroom and bed which takes [[4]] up about one half, and the Remaining portion about 6 ft x 4 ft is all we have to hold a bureau 3 large Boxes & chair and to dress & undress in -- We are down at the Office (which is about 1/2 way down the town) The principal Part of the day and sometimes when neither of the Mr Sayers[?] are there have some good fun -- I shall describe the coves in the office in a future letter -- I hope you will not fail to write soon; there has been a nice frost here two or three days ago have you had any skating on the Serpentine -- Write me the history of any particular adventures you may have met with in your wanderings about the mighty City either by night or day -- I would recommend you to get some paper like this I write upon as it only 3d per quire -- and is very light I sent 2 1/2 sheets home the other day under the 1/2 ounce -- I have written this with red ink as I took the bottle by mistake but I think it does just as well as black. did you see George Silk when you was[sic] at Hertford. I think I shall write to him -- Having now filled my sheet

I remain dear John | your affectionate Brother | A.R. Wallace [signature]


1. ARWs brother, John Wallace (1818-1895)

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