Friday 14 February 2014

A Rumney Romance

In September 2013, we received a donation of papers found in a chest of drawers bought at an auction. Among them were eight letters. They were sent between June 1886 and May 1887 from Miss Jessie Rowland aged 16 of Grimsditch Hall, Lower Whitley to her 27 year-old cousin, Charlie Rumney. They begin in a friendly way, thanking him for his letter after the death of Jessie’s father, Samuel. But by April 1887, ‘Dear Charlie’ is ‘My dear Charlie’ and by May of 1887, ‘My Dearest Charlie’. 
Clearly, Jessie’s affections were reciprocated as in the last of the letters (17 May 1887) she ‘cannot understand you loving such a little insignificant thing like myself … but I can understand anyone loving such a darling as you’ and signing it with ‘Hundreds of kisses’. Though she thinks his letters could be longer!

A glance at the census return for 1891 reveals that all ended well and Jessie and Charlie are married and living with her mother at Grimsditch with a one year old daughter, Nora and eight month old Samuel. They had married at Lower Whitley church on 26 July 1888. Jessie and Charles continued to live at Grimsditch Hall until their deaths and the Hall remained in the family until the death of their third child, Kathleen Joyce Rumney who died there in 2004.

Our reference for the collection is D 8474.

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