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Title: Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1829
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Jane
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhelps in family business
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2589
Genreattending meeting, their brother William's decease, news of family, friends and neighbours, religious conflict
TranscriptLisburn 7th Month 26th 1829

My dear sister
I have often thought of writing to thee, for the last two or three months, but still something occured to prevent
me. We read two very acceptable letters from thee since any of us wrote from this - one to sister M O'Brien and
the other to brother Thos - and were truly glad to hear that you were more comfortably settled than heretofore
and pleased to get such a particular and agreeable account of your children. They must be a great source of comfort
to you. I often, very often, wish I could see you and them. If you were within any reasonable distance of us, I would
think nothing of going to see you, but being so far away puts it entirely out of the question, at present; but I dont
despair of seeing you sometime either in this country or America if health is preserved to us all - though it may
be a long time to it.
My Father enjoys pretty good health in general: his stomach does be sometimes out of order for a few days at
a time but by taking a little medicine and some strengthening things after, he gets it restored again. He thinks he
is bilious - but he has not the least appearance of it, for he looks fair and ruddy; considering his time of life, I see
very few old men like him. He suffered a good deal last spring from his old complaint of rheumatism in his back
hut when the warm weather came it went gradually away. I think it was owing to the very cold piercing winds we
had then: it was colder than it had been for some years. He likes living in Lisburn very much. We have a good many
kind friends and acquaintances here; besides it is a great matter to us to be so near Meeting, which we all attend
very regularly, and it is our own fault if we dont profit by it. So far we are happily free from any of the divisions
amongst us — from which the friends in America have suffered so much - and I hope will continue so.
I expect thee will have heard the certainty of brother William's death long before this reaches thee through
M O'B, but perhaps she wont think of mentioning any of the particulars. He lasted longer than we expected he
would, when Susanna wrote thee — though it seemed to come rather sudden at the last. He was just worn to skin
and bone. Though he did not suffer much pain in comparison to many, yet the difficulty of breathing and having
to lie constantly on his right side was very distressing. He bore it with great patience and resignation. I never knew
him murmur, which was a great comfort to us. He was quite aware of his situation, and I trust through divine mercy chat he has entered into eternal rest: he died after a short but nor severe struggle the 5th of 12th month
last. He had not been stout for the last 3 years of his life; he had a cough which nothing he could take would
effectually remove; he was not able to attend much to business, yet still we mm him in many ways a great deal,
but we endeavour to be resigned.
Brother Thomas was so kind as to allow Susanna to live with us altogether, which is a great comfort indeed
She and I have long anxiously wished to get living together and at last we have got our wishes realised. It is a great
loss to Thomas to be without her, but he thought my Father had the best right to be made comfortable, and we
do our endeavour to make him as much so as possible. It is only our duty: he is a kind affectionate father and his
happiness chiefly depends on us now and I trust we will never do anything to grieve him.
Thomas intends going to England next week to lay in goods for both himself and us for the winter. He has
gone for the last two or three years and we find it to answer us best: we can get the goods so much cheaper. Susanna
LS in Dungannon at present and is to stay there untill after Thomas returns. I wish from my heart he had a good
wife: he wants one badly. Aunt Molly is still wich him but she is not stout, and it is not to be expected that she
can be able to attend to his affairs many years longer. She is in her best fashion at present. She does be often talking
of thee when I see her, which is seldom, as I get to Grange but once a year though the distance is so short. Bur the
reason is I cant be well spared from home - it is I that purchases all the goods except what is got in England, and
having been here so long I am better known to the customers, and my Father likes me to be constantly in the shop
so I am very closely confined. We have a young woman to assist us but she is not clever so it requires my constant
attention. Business is nor good at present in any part of Ireland, I biieve, and considering the times, we have not
bad reason to complain so far. We get a very fair share of what is going but it is not at all equal to what we used
to do in Armagh or to what Thos does now. There is great opposition every place and we have to be satisfied with
small profits.
Brother John was down in Belfast last week. He had only time to call for a few minutes to see us, left Mary
and her little daughter Elizabeth (who was born in the beginning of last 5 month). Well, the latter is a fine little
thing and thriving finely. It was a great joy to them. She is their first and they will soon be three years married
Both John and Mary look well and are stouter than they used to be - they live very happy together - but all that
does not make me feel quite reconciled to the connection. They have great competition in Armagh and a heavy
rent and sometimes I feel uneasy about them, lest they should not be able to hold out to everything.
Brother John has got John and Elizabeth Walpole settled in the town of Cavan about 6 weeks ago and so
far business offers full as well as they had expected; brother John seems to think that if J. Walpole is attentive and
sells low, that they may be able to make it out pretty well. He is far away from his old companions and he will do
better now, I expect. They have two fine little boys, the youngest is upwards of two years old, and I dont hear that
there is a sign of any more, & it would be well for them that they would not. Margaret Sinton has left Dublin
business was so bad with her for the last year or two that she thought it was best for her to leave it in time and try
some country town where she would be at less expence for rent &c &c. So she took a house in Cookstown in 3
month last but it does not seem to answer well and she is affraid that she will have to leave it also But she cant
do so sooner than 5 month next. She has got lodgers that will help to pay her rent - they are a Presbyterian
Clergyman and his wife who was Grace Rolton that thee used to meet when she would be on a visit at poor
Jonathon Hoggs. They were only married this month. She will be company for Margaret. Thomas often sends his
horse and car for Mgt on 7th day and she comes and stayes in Dungannon untill 2nd day. When Mary O'Brien
and I were there (which we were in 5 month) she stayed most of a week with us. Business is so dull she can be
spared very well except on market days. S_he has not become reconciled to John and Mary yet, nor do I expect that
she ever will if she keeps in the same disposition that she is at present.
It was very pleasant for us to have sister Mary and her son John [John Greeves O'Brien] with us for a few weeks
She and he were at the yearly Meeting in Dublin and came on from that to Armagh where I met them. After paying
John and Mary a visit there, we went to Dungannon and seen all our relations in that quarter, and came home to
L.sburn by Moyallon and seen most of our friends there, so we had a visiting time of it for a while. Uncle Sam
and Aunt Ruth seem very happy and comfortable: they have their house very nice and snug indeed - I think it a
pity that they had not been married long ago. Aunt Debby is finely and looks well. She still lives with her stepson Thomas, who is very kind and attentive to her. If he was her own, he could not be more so. Should he marry, which
he does not seem to have any idea of at present, she would have sufficient to support herself comfortably.
Most of our relations there, as well as in Tyrone, were asking when we had heard from thee and it was a great
satisfaction to have to tell them that Mary had a letter a few days before she left home, and that you seemed to be
more comfortably fixed. They all seemed glad to heat of your welfare. Mary and John did not stay long in Lisburn,
they had so many to go and see, and brother Dan was anxious to get them home again. John is a fine sensible boy
and is of great use to his father. We wete glad to have them even for so short a time — I had not seen any of them
for 3 years before.
I often see thy Aunts Dolly and Jane Lamb35s: they and their family ate ail well. I suppose thee heard of Maria
[Lamb] having been married to Wm Webb last summer. She had a little daughter359 a few weeks ago and both she
and her mother are doing well. Wm is in the manufacturing business, and it is very dull at present. John Lamb
is still in the wholesale trade and he seems to be doing very well. Jane Wakefield Jnr of Moyallon was married
last week to Thos Christy Jnr of London. His rather was nephew to Uncle Joney of Kirkcassick: they had a
great wedding indeed. None of the Dawsons have got married yet, no more than Susanna and I, nor do I hear any
talk of their being likely to be so soon. Huldah Nicholson was married about 6 weeks ago to a young man of the
name of [Thomas] Abbot from Limerick, a woolen draper; Anna [Nicholson] went home with them and has not
returned yet. Charlotte [Nicholson] was married to Thomas Greer, a son of Joe Greeves, last winter, quite
against the wish of her sisters and none of them have seen her since except S ... Pike
who is well and all her family. Her youngest child is seven years old. Cousin William & Peggy [Pike] are also well:
they are still making kind enquiries after thy health and happiness365. She was with us for two nights and a day
lately on her way home from Belfast - we were pleased to have her, and she preferred being with us though she
was asked to the Richardsons. She still seems interested in our welfare.
I suppose you have heard that the Roman Catholicks were emancipated last session of Parliament, to the no
small annoyance of the red hot orange men; the latter were determined to make a great display this 12 of July in
opposition to the others - so they collected in large numbers in different parts of the North. Some places the day
passed over quietly but in the neighbourhood of Coal Island it was reported that they intended burning a chapel -
so the Catholicks collected to prevent them and they had a severe conflict. There were great numbers killed on
both sides and government is obliged to keep a patty of horse and foot soldiers stationed in the neighborhood to
keep them quiet, and I have not heard that they ate quite settled yet. There was fighting in other places also and a
good many lives lost which is very deplorable, and I think government must pass a law to prevent patties of any kind
from walking. The Catholicks had behaved very well: from the time they got emancipation they did not make
any show of exultation and I hope the government will have no cause to regret that they granted it to them. My Father encloses a half sovereign in the seal which I hope will go safe: it will help to pay the postage for you.
Mary Heazelton (Douglas that was) died a few weeks ago in consequence of a fall she got, and she in [he family
way- and has left a husband and 7 small children to lament her loss, the eldest of whom is not older than thy
Maria. She was married just the week before you. Thomas is greatly to be felt for: he is only recovering from a fever
that was brought on by grief. Anne Douglas lives with Mgt Simon in Cooks town, Susan with the Nicholsons in
Armagh and Elizabeth with Thomas and Charlotte Greer, so none of them are at home with their father. James
Dickson and his wife returned from India a few mos ago. He had to come on account of his health and he has got
finely already. He got a rich wife in India but she is a good deal older than himself, but he has to return to India
when he is stout enough. The old Doctor is finely as is also Anne; Helen was married to Rodin Nicholson last
spring was a year, and they both live at the Doctors. They have a sweet little baby: I saw it when I was over there
with Mary. Anne jr [Boyd] is comfortably settled in Belfast.
I was near forgetting to tell thee that I have got finely — the pain in my side seldom troubles me except when
I get cold, which I guard against as much as possible; and I have no cough now which is a great blessing. I am
getting quite lusty besides what I was and I hope with care that I will continue stout. I have almost written myself
out of paper and news; I hope thee will be able to make it out. We all wish thee would write oftener than thee does
and do be anxiously looking out for a letter from thee; write as soon as possible after thee receives this: Thee cant
be too particular in the account of yourselves and children. Father joins in dear love to thee, brother Wm and the
children with
thy truly affectionate sisterJane