‘That Terrible Letter’

In the late 1960s and early 1970s a Mr Mycock lived at Deepdale Farm with his sister Mrs Mycock.  (She had married another Mr Mycock but was now a widow.)  During a visit to the farm they gave me a copy of a letter which had been sent by a Richard Mycock of Grindon to his son who lived away from the village.  One of the sentences read ‘William Titton of Deepdale is de & we haved had a very grat fest in our toune & all the touns roundabout on a count of the pece’.  The first reaction is ‘What sort of person was he to cause such celebration’?

He was not a terrible person.  It is simply the way the letter is written.  Richard Mycock does not use full stops as we would to day.  Instead he tends to use ‘&’.  The sentence really reads:- William Titton of Deepdale is de[ad]. We haved had a very grat fest in our toune & all the touns roundabout on a count of the pece.  The letter is written in 1814 and William was buried on 22nd June that Year.  The ‘pece’ is the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in that year with his forced abdication and imprisonment on Elba in April 1814.   (Napoleon escaped the following year  and was finally defeated at Waterloo.) The letter ended up in the possession of the Wharfedale Historical Society who let Mr Mycock have a copy as it had been written by his ancestor.  Unfortunately its whereabouts today is unknown.  The full text of the letter is given below as it is interesting in its own right. Please remember to see the ‘&’ as a possible full stop.

1814 Grindon     I received your letter July ye 18 teenth and we areglad to here of ou all beeing in good health as it leveshus all pritte well at present Thanks bee to God for it,  and we hav Mary and Mary Bette at our hous at this time & they are all well and his john & his wife& children are well & hee milks tow cows & Addin & his children are well & hee lives where hee did when tou was over & Gorg Darbeshire folles his trad as yoursel & thay are all harty & as for Corlly as we call hor hor name is Elizebeth wene Bowdin know her Grandfather ver well at Wetton & my brother Joseph is ded  Hee dide in winter inthat grat snow 7 as for his son Sammmual we have not hard of him I suppose he ded ded & as for you my son If I were as young as you I soon could walk from there at a little charge & leve the wife and children behind 7 as for John farrow his wife gave him tow pence to put in his pocket & it was all the money tay had for to see for mney they had oing them and he came from the Ale Bench a bout 2 a clock in the night & what compney hee leeton it is unknown but he was carred by them that mordred him and lade at his one stare fot & they had dost his shune & set them by his side & his feet on the lore step the hed dounwards but the murder is unknone but Gentle man hav bee wery Good & she is likly for to do well & better thin before for one Gentle Man gave hor 3 pound at one time and she has 5 shilling per wick of Colldon Liberty & Nance She has 7 childron & 6 gose to work  And we have hard of them from Chesterfield & thay and tahy one weel for out we know & the mins in our contrey are good & the Winteer has been very bad & the bigist Snow that ever was seen in the memrey of ane one that is live   Charls Smith the soodinster is ded in that grat snow and Male tow pound per lode & flowr 3 shilling a stone & bacon a shilling a pond & chees 8 pence per pound  William Titton of Deepdale is de & we haved had a very grat fest in our toune & all the touns roundabout on a count of the pece    And Bowdin I have him to let his wife com over that I will never say more to him a boutit  My wife she got so thin that you would hardly know hor & so we send our dere loves to Thomas & his wife & children & to Bowdin & his wife & childron & we are very sorry to here of you being so bad of yor throte for I have been bad of a sweld throte my self for I ate no mal of thee days my self & I in plide to my Throte a white bred pultis & it swend it a way

Anthony leves at Manchester & Elizabeth leves at Chedle park and so no more from your loveing Father Richard and Elizabeth Mycock


Mr Richard Mycock     Grindon  near Leek in Staffordshire  to be  left at Mr Bollock   Waterhouses