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Thread for antique letter decipherers! Pics included

99 replies

OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:15

Thought I'd set up a thread for those of us interested in historical letters/ postcards/ photos

Here's my current one... and what I have so far!

? June 14th 1843

Send my father tomorrow
Mr W ??? Hungerford (don't think it's this)

1/2 ? ?
1/2 ? ?

The sooner leader is up here packing, the better, he had better bring up some empty ? there are so many ? bottles (?) to move

Thread for antique letter decipherers! Pics included
Thread for antique letter decipherers! Pics included
OP posts:
OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:16

Lovely wax seal and this is addressed to

? ? Cunningham
Devizes
Wilts

Thread for antique letter decipherers! Pics included
OP posts:
OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:17

Ooh it is Hungerford!

Thread for antique letter decipherers! Pics included
OP posts:
OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:17

@MrsDanversGlidesAgain
@reddingweddy
@AnotherSpare

If any of you absolute buffs fancy a go

OP posts:
Maireas · 13/02/2023 13:18

Messrs Cunningham.
Plural of Mr.
What beautiful copperplate handwriting!

OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:21

@Maireas yes I think that's it - Messrs.

And yes the handwriting is beautiful isn't it?

I can't tell if the writer is a bit pissed off.

Probably - most of them seemed to be back then judging by the letters I have! Grin

OP posts:
Maireas · 13/02/2023 13:24

It's obviously an order, isn't it? I can make out 11 shillings and 34 Shillings?
I'm just trying to work out what it's about!

reddingweddy · 13/02/2023 13:34

Oooh exciting!

Empty hampers?

reddingweddy · 13/02/2023 13:36

I/2 gall. (gallon) best ???

reddingweddy · 13/02/2023 13:37

Messrs Westall (& Gray)

I'd be pissed off to be in brackets if I was Mr Gray.
Oh and he wants it in jars. I wonder if it's beer?

reddingweddy · 13/02/2023 13:42

I think it's Cunnington rather than Cunningham.

redastherose · 13/02/2023 13:48

OldTrot · 13/02/2023 13:15

Thought I'd set up a thread for those of us interested in historical letters/ postcards/ photos

Here's my current one... and what I have so far!

? June 14th 1843

Send my father tomorrow
Mr W ??? Hungerford (don't think it's this)

1/2 ? ?
1/2 ? ?

The sooner leader is up here packing, the better, he had better bring up some empty ? there are so many ? bottles (?) to move

Hungerford June 14th 1843

Send my father tomorrow

Messrs Westall ( @ Gray ) Hungerford

1/2 Gale best ? - 11/-
1/2 Gale best ? 32p

The sooner leader is up here packing, the better, he had better bring up some empty Hampers, there are so many empty bottles to move.

The word Gale could possibly be Gall but no idea what it refers to.

I read old legal deeds so am used to reading the writing.

AnotherSpare · 13/02/2023 14:09

I think it's "Gall", as in, short for gallon. On the right of that it says "in jars".

theatrical · 13/02/2023 14:10

The name Leander rather than leader? Will look at the rest later

AnotherSpare · 13/02/2023 14:11

And you've got a post mark from two places as it was sent from one, Hungerford, then went through Devises before being delivered.

Beautiful writing!

WarningToTheCurious · 13/02/2023 14:42

William Cunnington started a wine business in Devizes in 1836, so this could be a wine order - bought in jars and then decanted into bottles?

John Westall ran a drapers shop in the High St in Hungerford in 1830 - a William Gray also had a drapers shop in the High St at this time.

TressiliansStone · 13/02/2023 14:44

<plonks arse on thread>

TressiliansStone · 13/02/2023 14:47

Definitely "empty Hampers"

TressiliansStone · 13/02/2023 14:50

I vote for "Leader"

WarningToTheCurious · 13/02/2023 15:04

I think also that at the time the letter was written it would have been postmarked at each stage of its journey - so on leaving Hungerford and on arriving at Devizes.

OldTrot · 13/02/2023 15:07

You are all SO bloody good at this.

I notice there is no 'thank you' or 'please' so clearly back then an order was just that!

I will write it up and pop with the letter and file away as I think we've sort of got it

OP posts:
OldTrot · 13/02/2023 15:07

@WarningToTheCurious that's so interesting to know, off to research

OP posts:
Greentree1 · 13/02/2023 15:14

I would say it's beer, 'gall of best' gallon of best ale I imagine.

SirVixofVixHall · 13/02/2023 15:17

Yes it is 1/2 Gall short for gallon of ale. I find that really easy to read, maybe an age thing ? (I am in my fifties) .

OldTrot · 13/02/2023 15:19

@SirVixofVixHall ha me too (err just!) but it takes me a while to 'get my eye in'

Which is weird as I have enough of these letters!

OP posts:
Greentree1 · 13/02/2023 15:24

Thinking about it Devises could also be cider, I remember gallons (demi-johns of cider) back in the day.

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