Letter from 1912.
I found this letter in the Watson archive in the cellar
of Altamont House, Carlow in 2002.
Dated 1912 it is addressed to Fielding Lecky Watson,
father of Diana Curtis and Corona North. The writer of the
letter Mary Matilda Manley was born M. M. Watson in 1848.
Her mother died in 1850, her father John Watson of Carlow
was a brother of Thomas (Arkansas) Joseph (Oregon) and
William (Canada) . Thomas went to Arkansas circa 1850 and
William went to Meaford, Canada circa 1830s, he died there
in 1888, he was married to Jane Speer ,they had no children.
M.M. Manley joined her uncle William in Canada and died
there in 1930 , she did not have any children.. We know Mary
visited Ireland in 1915 and carried out research in the
Public Record Office on the Watson family at that time. I
have a lot of data on William and Matilda but for now I
share this letter.
- April 20th 1912.
Dear cousin Fielding, the sinking of the Titanic has
caused great shock it is the worst event ever in our memory.
Were you -- with any of the victims? I am unwell since the
news, my friend Ann pens this letter. I was looking through
old maps and papers of Carlow belonging to uncle William.
Looking at the maps my mind went back to the happy days my
brothers and I spent in Carlow in Ballintrane, Kilconner
Lumclone and with the Master in Ballydarton, Ballydarton
became our home after my mother died (I was two years old)
.All of us attended Friends (Quakers ) meetings in Kilconner.
I recollect the elders M. Lecky and Mr Watsons sitting on
the high benches. I am now a member of the English church.
But I reserve the greatest veneration for the Quakers. I
remain in contact with cousin Joseph Watson family in Oregan
? and family of Sam Watson. I would dearly love to return to
see the old homes for I love the Irish and the curious
stories of dear old Ireland related ? by the peasants. Every
place begins with "Bally" and "Kil" .
Watson grandson of uncle Thomas now owns the home and the
land in Carlow. I have not met him but I have been to visit
his sister Mary and the Stalling family. T.C.W. was to
accompany me to Ireland this year but with the "Titanic"
accident we are isolated. I send you a photo sent to me by
Thomas Churchill I was struck by the likeness to my brother
Fred and to you. The split in our family changed everything
if only the elders were sitting it would never have happened
and now Ballydarton is no longer in the Watson family. I was
only two years old when my mother died and was brought to
Ballydarton -- on the map I have marked a cross where my
brother Manly is buried in Quakers burial ground at
Ballybromhill. I wonder is his grave attended. On your
travels you are welcome to stay here .I hope we meet again
- I will say goodbye for the present.
- Affectionately from Cousin M. M. Manley
The above is a true and
accurate transcript of the original document.
Transcribed by Michael Purcell
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