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Letter NEWHM:1996.H67.38

Sir William George Armstrong to John Hancock (12 January 1881)
br>Lord Armstrong invites Hancock to accompany him to Cragside where he is entertaining a number of guests including the local gentry. John Hancock declines as he is already committed to visiting the Bewick family.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

[p.1]

Newcastle upon Tyne

12 Jany 1881

My dear Hancock

Lord Cairns & his 2 sons (Ld Garmoyle & Mr Herbert Cairns) are now with us at Jesmond & are going to Cragside this morning where we shall have an accession of visitors tomorrow viz Ld & Lady Algernon Percy & Sir Matthew & Lady Ridley.    We shall be glad if you will join our party — We go by last train this morning & if you can not come by it we shall hope to see you tomorrow.

Very truly yrs | W. G. Armstrong [signature]

[p.3]

[note of Hancock’s reply in his hand]

I could not accept Sir William’s kind Invitation in consequence of having to spend friday evening with the Miss Bewicks which is Miss Bell’s 91st Birth day.

J.H. [signature]

[p.4]

1881

Sir W. G.  Armstrong

Cragside

[in Hancock’s hand]

 

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NOTES

1.  The Cairns party were: Lord Hugh McCalmont (1819-1885), 1st Earl Cairns.

His eldest son Arthur William Cairns (1861-1890), Lord Garmoyle, of Garmoyle in the County of Antrim, who succeeded his father as 2nd Earl Cairns in 1885.

‘Mr Herbert Cairns’ was Herbert John Cairns (1863-1905) 3rd Earl of Cairns, who succeeded his brother in 1890. He was also a partner in Lord Armstrong’s ordnance company in Newcastle upon Tyne.

2.  Lord Algernon Malcolm Arthur Percy (1851-1933) the second son of Algernon George Percy, 6th Duke of Northumberland. His wife was Lady Victoria Frederica Caroline Percy.

Sir Mathew White Ridley (1842-1904), later the 1st Viscount Ridley, and his wife Lady Mary Georgiana Ridley.

3.  ‘Miss Bell’ was Isabella Bewick (1790-1883), the daughter of Thomas Bewick, the famous Northumbrian wood engraver. The ‘Miss Bewicks’, Isabella and her elder sister Jane (1787-1881), were then living at 19 West Street, Gateshead and John Hancock was a welcome visitor having been a lifelong friend of the Bewick family. Isabella celebrated her 91st birthday on the 14 January 1881.