Letters from England to Canterbury

Letters from England to Canterbury, New Zealand


Burnham Bucks
23 Feb 1874

My Dear Brother,

I feel you will think me a long time answering your letter we received it quite safely and was most pleased and glad to hear that you where all well.  I have begun several letters and have not finished them but I will try if I cannot finish this one for I know you will be glad to hear from England.  We are all well, I am thankful to say quite well but you are sure we are older and much altered you would think but that we cannot worry. Alex and myself are still going much about the same but I am sorry to say that we are not any more prosperous than when you left.   Everything is such in _ place and a large little family makes us sometimes at our wits end.  I know now to get on, it is all work with us and I do regret very much that we did not take your advice and start years a ago to New Zealand we then should have had some prospect of a little to keep us in our old age if we should be spared.

My four eldest children are now growing up.  William is following carpentery and Charles is a painter but is often out of work. That there is little chance of him doing any good for himself or us either. Polly is out in a situation and Sarah is out sometimes so that leaves us four at home and the youngest is seven years old and there is so many to provide for out of so little money that I should be thankful for a change.

Could you help us a little. I wish we where nearer if you are doing prosperously.  I hope you will send us some money and then we would try your part of the world. I think with a little assistance we could get over that great and dreadful sea.  Charles is thinking of sailing I believe next month to Queenstown, there are several going from Burnham and he says he will not stay about here any longer.

I shall like to try and come next September.  If possible let us hear from you as soon as you get this.  I have no one to care leaving behind now our dear mother is gone so I shall hope on hope on and never dispare of seeing you now before I die. You said in one of your letters that you would send me all your likeness. Why don't you do so I want to see some of your children. You must give our best love and kind remembrance to them.  Sister and I would send you all our likeness only I am too poor to have them taken.

E. Cooper hill house is very much altered it is made into a training school for young gentlemen....

Well here I hope we shall meet some day.  I think my news is all told. I must wish you all good wishes that is possible to Eliza and all the Family from Alex, myself and all the children. Through you would think William, Charles and Polly three old ones should be back over to you, you will have a large increase in your family all at once.  I must now my dear brother and Sister draw to a close and hope you will not forget that you have one proud and loving sister left in the world. God Bless you all and believe me to be your affectionate

Sister M.A. Sales

P.S. I think goodbye do not forget all I have told you. I quite mean to set about preparing for the boys this summer. 

Ten years later...salespalmer.gif (5318 bytes)

Reading between the lines. To save the expense of buying paper or hoping to save on the cost of postage the letter was written horizontal then vertically by filling the page and then turning it 90� and beginning again, sometimes called "cross-writing".  Mary Ann Palmer Sales, b. 1826, Egham, Surrey, England wrote to her brother William Palmer of Avonside. 

Burnham Bucks
28 Oct 1884

My Dear Brother and Sister,

I send you a few lines to say that I received your letter which was most welcome to me.  I had been longing for one for a long time. I can now see how the mistake has happened through the delay of the non delivery of my letters but I hope it will not happen again as it is nice to know you are still living and in good health.

I knew you would be grieved to hear of poor father's death... I saw Jane, Mrs Cooper, in London about two months ago. They are still living at Kibble House, Westminster. ...told me there eldest son would go to NZ and has tried to find you out but could not.  I gave them your address so whether he will find you I do not know.   I also saw the Paynes but they are so very high up in the trees now.  George is State Coachman to the Queen, he cannot get higher....

I have 8 in all, my 2 eldest girls are married and I am now preparing for the wedding of my eldest son William your godchild if you remember.  He is 36 today the 28th October, him and Charley you can remember as children. They often talk of you and wonder if you will come back again.  You by your letter do not seem to speak of your past as very prosperous.  I wish it where different for your sakes.

I am still in the old place Burnham, should I leave it I will send you word. I should like to slip in and surprise you some evening but I shall never venture so far from Old England. I have enclosed old Burnham Church.  I thought you would like it. I will send you another likeness when I get one taken.  This one was taken about 4 years ago.  Again goodbye and believe me your ever affectionate.

Sister M.A. Sales

Geroge Payne 1887THE QUEEN'S COACHMAN.

Wanganui Chronicle, 17 July 1890, Page 3
Some weeks ago a report appeared in the London papers stating that George Payne, her Majesty's state coachman, had retired from his position, and that the box of the royal state carriage would be filled by another. The Queen's State coachman, George Payne, has just retired from Her-Majesty's employ after half -century of service. A London journalist the other day visited the old man in the cosy little cottage on banks of the Thames to which he has retired, and had a chat with him about the sights he had seen., from his point of vantage on the box of the royal carriage himself in his gold arid scarlet uniform, one of the features of the numerous splendid processions in which he has taken part. It is fifty-two years since Mr Payne, then a lad of thirteen, was first employed in the royal stables at Windsor. Fifty-two years is a long time, and, as the old man put it, when a man is getting, on for seventy years his hands become a little shaky, and the eyes rather dim, so he thought it wiser to resign in time before, an accident might happen to spoil his record. In all the crowds through which this veteran charioteer has steered the great ones of all countries, he never had a single mishap. " What is the greatest crowd through which you overdrove the Queen the Jubilee, I suppose?" asked the reporter. " No, no, no; not the Jubilee, by any means," was the reply, given very slowly and thoughtfully, while, with eyes fixed steadily on the ground, the old state coachman evidently saw the pageants of many years pass before his mental eyes. "The Jubilee crowd was comparatively small, because it was dispersed along the whole route from the palace, up to Constitution Hill, along Piccadilly, and on to the Abbey. It was a child's play to drive through it compared to making one's way through some crowds I have seen. The worst I think was, when the Princess of Wales first came to England. I was not on the royal box, because I was not appointed Her Majesty's State coachman then, though I have driven the Princess, and the Prince, too, times without number on later occasions. But I had a good deal to do with the supervision of the procession, and I never saw the like of that crowd. At the Mansion House and Bank it was something terrible; the Volunteers who were stationed there were bodily lifted up, guns and all, right above the crowd; and one mounted officer and his horse got under the carriage of the Princess, which, for a moment was in great danger of being upset. When the Queen opens Parliament in state the crowd is always bad, because she goes by the nearest way from the Palace, to Westmister, and it is no joke to drive the eight cream-coloured ponies even when there is no crowd to make them nervous." Mr Payne indignantly denies the slanderous rumour that the cream coloured ponies were " circus ponies," even going so far in his indignation as to say that he was a circus pony himself if they were; They were bred at Hampton Court; brought up to town when they were three years old, and kept at the Royal Mews, in Buckingham Palace" road, where their chief business was "to stand and eat their heads off." As to "Monarchs he has known," there isn't a sovereign in Europe whom he has not had in the carriage behind him, and he retains handsome mementoes of most of them in the shape of gold watches, pins, and chains, and so forth; which they have presented him in acknowledgement of his skill. What he prizes most, highly is a diamond tie pin which the Queen gave, to him on the fiftieth anniversary of his entrance into the Royal service. The Queen evidently knows how to treat her servants, and the latter are not-wanting in loyalty and affection to their Royal mistress.

"Glenmark" sailed London July 29th 1871 and arrived Lyttelton, New Zealand November 1st 1871
Passengers included William Cooper, age 26, Labourer. Wife Delia and son James C. 1 year from Bucks. Was this William the son of Jane  Cooper? How is this family related to the Palmer's?

burnham1861highst.jpg (215359 bytes)    burnhamcensus1871.jpg (258539 bytes) (opens in a new window)
The Alexander Sales family on the 1861 and 1871Census High St, Burnham, Bucks.     
Where is the Sales / Sayles family now in 2013? Please contact Olwyn if you have any ideas. Thanks.      

1881 England Census Record
Mary Ann Sayles
Age in 1881: 52 Estimated birth year: abt 1829
Relationship to head-of-household: Wife
Where born: Egham, Surrey, England
Civil parish: Burnham ,Buckinghamshire
Married Dressmaker
RG11/1461 Eton Burnham ED: 2 Folio: 37 Page: 22

Name Est. Birth Year Birthplace Relationship Residence Burnham, Buckinghamshire
Alexander Thos. Sayles abt 1827 Age in 1881: 54  Norwood, Middlesex, England Head, Occupation: Carpenter & Joiner
Charles Sayles abt 1853 Islington, Middlesex, England Son
Hary Alexdr. Sayles abt 1864 Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England Son
James Sayles abt 1867 Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England Son
Mary Ann Sayles abt 1829 Egham, Surrey, England Wife
Sarah Sayles abt 1858 Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England Daughter

1861 census enumeration numbers
68 Red Lion [a]
107-118 Church Row
119 Five Bells  [b]
124 Church St
129 Bricklayers Arms, Lent Rise [c]
133 Magistrates court
134 Parade [d]
143 Plume of Feathers now a house no. 29 [e]
162 Patronage? House
163 Infant school
164 Beverly Rd goes east from south end of High St
173 French's Gardens
174 Swabays
175 ++++  Alexander Sales
179 Windsor Cottages
187 The George Inn [f]
192 Swan Inn
193 Brewery Tap
223 Grove Place
1871 census enumeration numbers 
house numbers are just the enumerator counting how many households.

140 St Peters St
Magistrates Chambers
152 the Vicarage
153 St Peters [k]
155 St Peters St
184 High Street
185 Alexander Sales
187 Infant School
188 Godings new house
Three Empty Cottages
189 Windsor Rd now Lane, south of High St
190 Rose Cottage
191 Windsor Cottages
196 Dawes Rd east

High St., Burnham, Bucks. Pubs are numerous.

These wonderful photos of High Street, in the charming old village of Burnham in south Bucks, (Buckinghamshire) were taken in October 2004 by Chris Glass.  Thanks Chris.
a.The Red Lion   b.Old Five Bells Pub on the north side of Church St. opposite the church.  c.The Brickmaster Arms, 170 Lent Rise Rd. Burnham   d.Parade, Burnham   e.Plume of Feathers now a house, no. 29.

f.The George.    g.High St. Burnham   h.In High Street there are numerous 16th and 17th century buildings. The Burnham Historical Society were very active in trying to save the old buildings in High St.   i.The Bee, north end of High St on Britwell Rd.   j.Garibaldi Public House, High St. 

k.St Peter's Church     l.St. Peter's    
St Peter's, a XII Century Church, near High St. 
The tower was built by the Normans between 1150 and 1200.

The Common

The Common in Burnham    

High St.

High St, Burnham  High St.

'Isabella Hercus'

New Zealand Bound

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