|Title:||Reynolds, William to Reynolds, Laurence, 1893|
|Collection||The Reynolds Letters. An Irish Emigrant Family in Late Victorian Manchester [L.W. McBride]|
|Sender Occupation||linen trader|
|Destination||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Genre||business, property, family|
|Transcript||1 Dudley Place|
Oct 19/ 1893
I take this opportunity of writing this Letter to you hopeing yourself
Maryann and all the family are enjoying good health. My mother
Maryann John & his wife and myself are quite well. My mother is keeping
up wonderful I for a woman of her age and everybody is supprised
she keeps So well. Wheather it is the number of prayers she says, as she
is praying continually, or the great care taken of her I dont exactley
know. I think one helps as well as the other to keep her living.
Maryann or myself would have written to you before. Only we have
had So mutch to contend with Since our place caught fire. The amount
of work we had to do was Something enormous. For myself I can Say I
passed through the most trying time of my life and Just Managed to pull
through with the narrowest escape of loosing our business. There was a
loss alltogather with goods in trust for Dyeing & Cleaning to the extent of £1300. I received from insurance £580 but had to Settle all claims of
goods out of this amount. What remained was not vary mutch.
The Landlord of place burnt out was not insured and would not
rebuild allthough having plenty of money. Our business was at a Standstill
and our goods had to be sent out to be cleaned elswhare. And I had
to pay rentel for 12 months for old ruin. Thare was nothing for me to
do but look about and find a works. I came across the old mill at
Longsight and purchased it. Thare was nearly 13 hundred yards of vacant
land. But the mill was vary mutch out of repair. The house on the front
of Stockport Road was used as a Babtist Mission. I paid £600 for the
place as it stood and it cost £300 more to repair and get into working
order. The new Buildings cost about £800. I was my own contractor. It
was a hard gob for me and I never want another like it. I was nearly laid
up and trying to to look after our Dyeing business as well. Only I done
my own contracting it would have cost me half as mutch more With the
Buildings and machinery I have Sunk about £3000. I managed to hold my
house property but had to borrow £1200 The Steam Boiler in old works
was was too Small and had to buy a larger Boiler. The Boiler in new
works 24 Feet long 6 Feet 6 dia., 8 Lubes, double flued steel ends, one
of the best made, cost over £200. And the works had to be fit up with
gas steam and water. And Shafting and machinery anacted in different
departments. The buildings cover about 1500 yards - and is now one of
the best works in England. The back of works overlook the Great Western
Railway to London. It was a heavy trial to pass through. At the present
time the Coal Strike has all most all business at a Stand Still. I have
been loosing about £5 per week through ad vane in price of coal. When
I purchased the mill there were two Tennents, The mission people and
one who had part of old Mill. The mission people had 18 months of thair
Lease to run and as I wanted tham out in about 3 months thare was a difficulty here to be overcome. I corresponded with tham as I thought it
was betterr than personall interviews and told tham how I was Situated
- been [being] burnt out. I mat tham on good terms and got tham out in
about 3 months. Thay removed a little lower down and built an Iron
chaple on Some Vacant Land. Thay did not find out I was a Catholic till
the works was finished. I heard afterwards when thay found out that I
was a Catholic thay were vary annoyed.
Hughie was with me from the time of the fire. Been [Being] a good
writer and 9 years with Attorney OBrien, his legel knowledge helped
me from time to time. I am now the owener of the Longsight Mill, The
only Mill in the Village. Father Daly called and went through the
works. When he heard all he said you are the only Irishman in
Longsight and prayed that God would Bless the place and myself.
We received a Letter from Maryann and also one from James
William with photo of his Brother Short time Since.
Dear Brother, John & wife have retired short time since from business
and are now living at Stretford near Manchester in a vary nice House.
Thay have managed to Secure an income Sufficent to Support tham. Thay
have two lots of properity and receive about £4 per week from tham. The
last lot he bought through me. When I got the mill working thay thought
I was a Million are and I had Sevarel lots of properity offered to me. The
lot John bought ware a bargain and I saved him about £70 in the properity.
Thare are 13 houses, 4 on the front of Stockport Road in a line with
mine, and 9 houses behind. He has an income from this lot of about
£2-14-0 per week and perchused tham for the Sum of £850. This lot
were bargein. They ware very heaviley morgaged. The owener wanted
money. John bought tham at the right time. The Mill is called Spring Bank
Mill and Johns houses are next to the mill and named Spring Bank View.
John and I are still close togather. Hughie bought the goodwill of Johns
business in Travis Street and Sent to Ireland for his Sister and Brother.
Thay have been over about one month and are gatting on as well as can
be expacted up to the present. I am Sorry to Say Hughies Father Died
Since he Hughie came to Manchester. He has been in my imploy as
bookeeper Since he came over about 15 months.
Dear Brother, The Worlds Fare at [Chicago] I Suppose is nearly over.
I am Sorry I had not the chance of paying a visit to see it and to see you
and your family and all our friends. Nothing would have been more
plesent If I could have managed it. I hope with the help of God I will be
able to visit Chicago yet to see you and your wife and all the family and all our friends. Chicago is a great City and America is a great Country.
Thare is more liberity in America than in England and I think the people
are not So heavily taxed. It is the home of our country people. The
English people are not in Sympithy with us and do not nor never did
like us. Our country people are only receiving the crums wile thay eat
the loaf. We ware willing to make the best use we possiable could of
the Home rule bill, if the upper Supterfuge had not trown the bill out.
In Maryanns letter to us She mentioned about James William comming
to Manchester. Thare are a good meney things to be considered.
If he has a good prospect in Chicago it would be rong to come away as
I think he would be mutch happier in Chicago with his own Brothers.
Maryann and I have talked it over meney a time if we could get a friend
to assist us in the business as it has been vary heavy for Maryann and
myself to manage from time to time. Let us know your opinion in your
next Letter. If Manchester did not Suit him after about 12 months time
he could return to Chicago. I am sure you will be wearied reading this
Letter. I thought I would make up for lost time. All send the[ir] love and
best wishes to you Maryann and all the family.
your Effectionate Brother