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Title: Richard Rothwell, to W. J. G. Allen, Greenisland, Belfast
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileRothwell, Richard Sr/32
SenderRothwell, Richard Sr.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientCampbell Allen, William J.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 1558/1/1/257: The Papers of William John Campbell Allen, Deposited by the Late F. D. Campbell Allen Esq., 15 London Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.9905208
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 01:06:99.
Word Count1341
TranscriptW. J. G. Allen Esquire
Fawnorar. Greenisland

Dear Mr Allen
To attempt to write to you requires
me to buckle my Armour for I know from Rose that
you see all my weak points and can be down on me,
run me through and leave me prostrate" now
the Armour I would put on you shall see through,
and see at the sametime that I can see distinctly how
I am situated as well as how I may be in a very
little time. _ _ __ I made one observation to you
this day to the effect that my sight is blunting very
much and you met me with a very kind and most
gratifying observation, that my picture which you
last had from me, bore no traces of my sight failing
but on the contrary was liked as much as any
I had done, this was one of the most cheering
things you could have said for I have ever aimed
at fulfilling my duty in any engagement I undertook
and I was bound in the most especial way to try
to succeed in the portrait of your son therefore
it might be said of me that I called "Eyes look
your last." my last two sittings with your little fellow
was worth all the anxiety I had about the picture
for we chimed into each others whims too
fun to both us .... but I know that from anxiety
or age or whatever cause that my sight has lost
its original power and I feel bewildered over
a picture, this I keep to myself but the fact
stares me in the face ____ now I have failed
in life. I have lost my prestige, the pictures of
my friend Mr Emery would not bring within
hundreds of what he bought them in when he was
changing his house some twelve years since, this
is a fall for me, then look at my position in the
British gallery. My Student which I spent more
time than I would willingly mention on is absolutely
placed at the top of the room looking like a scare
crow. - I was so disheartened at seeing it placed
that I felt that it was now time to make an effort
in another direction, and this direction you think
the most absurd project on my part: but I see no
other. - I abhor the affectation of trying to be
fine ladies or gentlemen, the effort to be fine
without the substantial means is like unto the
non-tasteless and inelegant pettycoats
[petticoats?] when stripped of its gear is heartten
[heathen?] & leaves the wearer to contempt. - I
had the courage to go last year to Canada
and every day since I returned I have had reason
to thank my God that I took those two boys away
from the example of the home. I have had to put
up with, for alas my eldest boy would have
ruined them., now they are living in a simple
home where love cheerful obedience and
untering [untiring?] industry give a zest to each day,
and makes every member of the family proud
of each other, there is no quarrelling or discontent
because they are not as fine as their neighbours
- propriety arising from knowledge and a
high perception of what is the duty of each to the
other in that family has exhibited to me a home.
. - I have none - my word my advice or my
instruction is not considered by those in the
house in which I sleep - I see nothing but
destruction to myself and disgrace to those to whom
my children are allied here, and therefore
do not think that I am so far astray in
wishing for a home where I might live for the
sake of living - you must know that my
children have no talent ... poor Rosabella
that I once loved and watched tenderly is now
past all hope of recovery, and poor child her
vanity has been encouraged until she thinks
it very hard not to have a servant to attend on
her, and has been allowed to indulge in a sort of idleness
that I look at with painful regret - My wife is
the most devoted mother, but strange as it may appear
she wants the power to see the first faults in her
children, and I fear very much that Franklin by her
mistaken misjudged love will give her trouble.
.. Rose has not the power to think for herself
and as to keeping a school she is just as fit
as I am for it is "what will others think," a
Master must think for others and be original
. - the few pounds that my pictures may bring
would be swallowed up here in a season
and then I see nothing but the work house -
look for a moment at my point of sight and
see me in my true light - the Children one and
all delicate. Francess who has totally disregarded
my instruction with regard to keeping
her bed room well aired. I had occasion
to go into it once and found the windows closed
and some eight flower pots, chrysanthemums
which require much air and water shut up in
the room and this her good mother thought
was the evidence of taste for flowers, it was
whim, not judgement. _ because Miss this
or that has certain things I am often told it is
very hard that they have not. until I am
obliged to hide myself.
Now not to annoy you much more
I would briefly say that if you would not
see my views in too ridiculous a light
and think for a little on the possibility of my
getting around me a cottage home where
we might have time to thank God
for existence. - my object is to go out
and get Mr Bagleys son to come with me
for a week to Wisconsin he is a most amiable
young man, a first class farmer and [take?] his
judgement on some ground in Latitude
43 and if we did not or if he did not
think the land good then I should return
to Canada where William and Andrew
have a farm, for two or three hundred
pounds I could establish myself, and
then as I grew older if my boys are good
and I confess I do hope that the example
under which they are living may influence
their future lives, and so remove me from
shame, they may have a home for poor
Rosabella, where she may be able to enjoy
the clear air of Heaven. __ Richard
is not bad, but he is ungracious, in manner
and I cannot contemplate but with pain
his future particularly here, if he could
have a year with those lads at Mr Bagleys
he might be improved if not too late
his rude self opinion is the worst thing
I see in him, now if it was known to Rose
that I have dared to say so much I should
be made most uncomfortable. I look
at what I was and see him and wish
I had never been born. _ a mouth
or two will soon run round, and Rose who
has given notice that she will change her
house, will have fresh work, new bills [etc?]
and where is the money, the money that she
will spend in one year here would establish
a home for her. - I have told her this
but I have not ventured to urge it strongly
because it might seem to remove her from
her father, but now I cannot meet misfortune
further _ I might muster by the
sale of all my works between three & four
hundred pounds _ I know well that I can
not again ever hope to have as much
and when my confidence is gone all is lost:

this is part of my thoughts this
day and you will be tired out by
Richard Rothwell

friday Belfast