Henry C St John to John Hancock (9 January 1878)
St John thanks Hancock for the payment for the bird skins he sent to Newcastle. He is pleased that there is a great deal of interest in the giant Japanese Spider Crab he donated. His son, Percy, has completed his naval training on the Britannia and will leave home for a commission soon. St John also mentions an imminent trip to Belfast.
I ought to have acknowledged y[ou]rs enclosing the cheque for £10 long since — very many thanks — I am delighted to think the crab is well on his legs – [1 abbreviated word illeg.] minus two — which I feel sure he is having been placed on those long articles by your clever hands — The paper1 you sent me [p.2] shews [shows] the creature to be appreciated — I shall not forget your museum if I ever have a chance again — We are now very busy getting Percy2 ready for departure — he leaves for sea work in about a fortnight, having passed well out of Britannia the training ship. I dont know what station he will first go on — a distant one I hope — They are always [p.3] the best for a youngster to begin life on –
In the spring some time I have to visit Belfast and will not forget the Snipe. The bird is now in the museum there.
No winter here yet.
With kind remembrances | Y[ou]rs sincerely | H.C. St. John [signature]
1. The paper mentioned is probably an article in the local Newcastle newspaper.
2. Lieutenant Percy Stuart St John (29 April 1863) son of Admiral Henry Craven St John and Catherine Dora Rodney. He married Alice Cecilia Anna Williamson in 1896. He died on 11 March 1900 at the age of 36, without issue.
He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Royal Navy.