Love Letter

Age of Emotion: From Love Letter to Court Case…1892-93

A tale of love and hate unravels itself among some fascinating documents in Barrow's Kendall and Fisher solicitor's collection, starting with a bundle of love letters and finishing with a legal settlement… 

Nelly was in domestic service in Morecambe and her beau was working as a miner in Ulverston. His letters often make excuses for reports that he has been seen with other girls, and this, the last letter in the bundle, suggests that Nelly has received an unpleasant letter from a girl in her home town of Ulverston:

"August 18/92
Sun Hotel

My Dearest Nelly,

I received your kind and welcome letter this morning and was very pleased to hear from you Dear Nelly I don't know what to think about that letter you got but I can make a good guess who sent it I left your address on the table and the marker got it and he must have shown one of the girls that I suspect but I shall know for a sertin before I say anything about it and when I get to know there will be a row…"

There are no more love letters. Then:

"An agreement made the 30th day of Aug 1893 Between Eleanor Thistlethwaite of Ulverston in the County of Lancaster Domestic Servant of the one part and John Farrell of 3 Bridges Pennington in the same county miner of the other part Whereas the said Eleanor Thistlethwaite was delivered of a male child on the 18th of May 1893… And whereas the said John Farrell admits that he is the father of such a child and is desirous of entering into the following agreement…" 

And so John agrees to provide 10 shillings fortnightly to Nelly and her child, as well as picking up the costs for the birth and the legal agreement. Considering that some of his letters had been asking Nelly for money, we can only hope that he managed to keep up with his payments!