Letters dating from 1888 to 1920's are reprinted with permission courtesy of Maggie Fox.


The Grange Eccles, Manchester March 12th, 1888

My Dear Brother & Sister,

I cannot tell you how glad I was to receive a letter from you, not having heard anything about you since you left England. I was very sorry to hear of Sissey’s being dead, the little darling, & you will miss her so much. It does seem hard to part with the only girl, but she was too good for this world.

From your letter trade does not seem very bright, but things will be brighter when the warm weather comes & if you are in need, you must let me know & if it is in power to help, I will willing do so.

Now I am going to give you some good news, you will be surprised to hear that Uncle Horatio died last July worth over nine thousand & he left us two hundred each, but we cannot get it until Aunt has been dead twelve months & she is alright up to now & came to live here in October, but shall be leaving in about six weeks.

I am going to be married to Tom Jeffrey at Whitsuntide or soon after. I went home last weekend & they are all very well. Father gets to look old, Hannah has been living in Manchester three months but it did not suit her & she had to go home for a few weeks. She is better & has got a place at Maccelsfield & Jemima is in a place at Middleton near Manchester. George is much the same.

If you write to me soon, I shall get your letter before I leave here. John Conway is married to Lizzie Ancock at Hucklow & Jack Wragg to Claire Jeffrey, daughter Dennis & Robert Evans daughter were married at xmas & there are six or more coming of in a while. I don’t know where Tom and I are going to live, so that if you send any letters home, I shall be sure to get them & then can let you know where we settle down.

My dear Brother and Sister, I should like something of Sissy’s, if only the least thing. I think if she had been my own child I could not have loved her more, but she is better off. I hope the boys are all well. They will have another Uncle Tom soon. By the by Mary Hannah Dakin is to be married the first week in June to Jacob Hall in Smalldale. Don’t you think it a proper leap year? Well, I think I have not any more news to send.

With much love & kisses, from your loving sister, Emma Jane Fox

PS: I am enclosing a photo of Father and Hannah’s. Please write soon & tell me all particulars about your means for I couldn’t let you want if I could help you.

Church Inn, Clayton near Manchester

My Dear brother and sister,

I am sorry I could not answer your letter before now but I have been busy & was glad to hear that you had a safe journey over the sea and you had settled down in the home again.

I have seen about the policies for you and I could not make anything of them but it strikes me it must have been to the wrong place so send the address and I will do my best for you about them.

I have good news for you. My Uncle Horatio has died and left Arthur 160 pounds and all of us the same and us three young ones the extra from my Grandfather’s share that was lost in the bank so I think after all his greed he has died worth eleven thousand pounds and divided it share and share alike. The Bradwells he has left only 100 each as they was more of a family then we so you see there is fuel for the fire yet.

Emma Jane and Hannah are come to live at Manchester and my father has been over to day to tell me about the money and he asked for your address and he said he would get George to write to you. With love I must close hoping this will find you all in good health as it leaves me at present with love and kisses to my little (illeg - heart?) and the boys and all.

Your loving Sister, Jemima Fox.

Bradwell, August 26th, 1888

Dear Brother & all:

I was very glad indeed to hear from you. I thought you had quite forgotten one. They say out of sight, out of mind, & I fancied it was true.

The weather here has been dreadfully wet all summer. Many acres of grass went, yet at Dronfield they would give anyone crops that would go & get them. The weather is so unsettled.

There have been lots of changes since you left. We have a bus running opposition from Hathersage 3 days a week, one from Castleton 4 days a week, M. Hall Bridge Inn, Bradwell 4 days a week.

John Cheetham is dead & they have had a sale of 5 horses, 3 heavy carts, dog trap, spring cart , 2 buses & harness. I bought the best of the buses for £8.15.0 & Michael Hall the other for £5.0.0

I am running to Sheffield 5 days a week now, we had some cussing for it on Saturday August 19th. I & the Castleton bus was running from Sheffield & going down by Fox House (the Fox House Inn has no family relation).  He could neither pull up his nor keep right, both of us having heavy loads on & I had 35 passengers he had 15. We both had 4 horses & I was first. He came pass me at full gallop, he runs his 2 & 2, you know, 4 in hand style. He nearly ran into me & when he got past I pulled up at Fox House but away he went until he came to the bend in the road just below & down he come with such a crash, both leaders running his wheelers straight over them. [Got] one horse nearly killed and frightened everybody.

The Fox House Inn, Longshaw, c 1880-90

Posted with permission courtesy of Picture the Past:

They picked one up for dead, but she is coming round all right; his bus it is a smart one. They call it the Surprise. Large gilt letters & he advertises to run the journey in 2 hours & 50 minutes. He has 10 good horses to do the work. He drives in top white hat & yellow kid gloves, quite a proper swell.

I have got six of [the] best horses in the world, I can leave any of them anywhere. Three 5 year olds, two 6 year olds & one aged the one we bred. They are the finest horses that ever was in Bradwell, not one failure. They all stand 16 hands high.

3 Bay Black Points
2 Blacks
1 Roan

The Bradwell people back me hand & heart. They all call M. Hall a rogue. We are pulled out-of-doors with work.

The new railway is coming, they have given the tenants notice for the land.

(Job) Charles Middleton has bought Top Cupalo & is going to build a fine house for himself.

Emma Jane has got married to T. Jeffrey of Smalldale this last weeks. They live at Leeds. There was 19 of us sat down to dinner. It was held at home. We had a proper time of it, I can tell you.

John Bradwell, Newburgh Arms, was taken ill & died very sudden & M. Hall has been at Hassop over taking it & everybody is crying shame over him. Father went & saw Taylor for himself & I am the next of list when Mrs. Bradwell leaves.

I think we are all very well in health, which I sincerely hope you are enjoying, give my kindest affections to your family, receiving the same yourself, & believe me to remain,

Your true & sincere brother,
George Fox

P.S.  Tell Herbert & the lads to stick to their school & make men of themselves.

Circa 1893

I am very sorry Arthur that I cannot help you in your undertaking as I being married & all my monies gone in building a cage. But I do wish you all everyone of you a successful & bright career. My dear boy, you must not get daunted, there are brighter things ahead. You will get over this small financial difficulty.

I don’t know whether you know or not, but your Uncle Horatio Bradwell died some 5 years ago & left you £ 200. I suppose for you to draw at the death of your aunt. You can understand my position. We are paying £ 25.0.0 a year Rent for our shanty. They was only built in 1887 & 1888. I leave home about 8 in the morning and comes back about 6. Sometimes come home to dinner. I have a jolly time of it from Saturday dinner time to Monday morning all to myself.

They are making a new Railway between Sheffield and Manchester from Dor near Fox House through Hathersage, Edale, & Chapel-en-le-frith. It is to be finished next summer. My wife ‘s Mother lives with us as my wife was the only child. They belonged to Farm Hazleford, my wife’s Grandfather was called John Walker. You will find a Photo of my wife but not me as I have not been took for years.

Hannah came & stayed a week with us & brought your Photos for us to look at but took it away again so I have not any. We are going to have our baby(‘s photo) taken & then I will forward the on to you…our folks sent Chapman's address.
Dick Walton is still with the Carriage Co. and live in Bank St. They have 2 children boy & girl. So now I conclude with our united love to you all.

Your (affectionate?) brother George Fox
Please do write a little oftener & soon you might enclose a Photo if you have one left.


523 Cheetham Hill Road Manchester 11-3-96

Dear Arthur and Family,

We have often wondered how you are all going on. No doubt you all have altered very much as we have done here.

I am sorry to say that Father died last December & was buried at the Wesleyan Chapel, Bradwell. It is 24 or 28 years since since mother died & the grave had never been opened.

My wife died last May after 6 weeks’ illness. We buried her at St. Lukes. She left me with 2 lads, 2 years 10 months & 6 months, the youngest a perfect model of his mother, called Arthur Harold. I sent him to be nursed at Bradwell & he grew wonderful. At 7 months old he was bigger than plenty children at twice his age but he died at 11 months old (convulsed inwardly). The other lad John Reginald will be 4 next July. Not over-strong but exceptionally quiet with a grand retentive memory. My mother-in-law is house keeping for me. We have servant-maid, man, horse & turnout, Engine (steam) boiler, enameled steam [illegible] mincers & appliances all on the very latest principles.

Emma Jane lives at Bradwell & has 5 bonnie children. Jemima is not married yet. Hannah Rebecca is married & has one child. Delia is married & lives at Bradwell. Her husband, Charles Bancroft, Job Middleton’s grandson, bought my father’s house, buildings & etc. some 12 months ago for £400.00.

He (father) had gangrene set in the left foot & it killed him. I used to go and see him once a week. I made his will & he left mother the interest of his worth while she lives. I & Hannah Rebecca are the executors to father’s will, he has left us power to all or part or anything, so we are having a sale to pay his just debts & testamentory expenses on March 28th. He left Emma Jane, Jemima, George, Hannah Rebecca & Delia share & share alike. He left you out. I tried my level best for him to leave you like the rest, but he said he would not. If I would not follow his instructions, he should let some old will stand. I wanted a new will because in that old will he had left me everything he had – land, homestead, furniture, down to a match box.

After father’s funeral & before the will was read, no one knew how things was. So I said to all concerned, “Mr. Z. Walster, before this will is read, there are some of the family who will be minus of a share. Are you all agreeable, no matter who it is that is left out, to share with them a portion to make us all alike?” Each & all answered yes, so you, old chappie, shall have as share equal to mine at mothers’ death. You must not build your hopes of having much money out of father’s estate. There are 3 fields left & but he has had some tremendous law reverses, one cost £100.

I should be very pleased to hear from you any time. There was a [illegible] report of your being on your way home again, but signs cannot be so bad with you as they are here. Everybody complaining about bad trade & short work.

With a hearty, hearty wish that 1896 will be the best year you have had is the earnest desire of your affectionate brother, George Fox

P.S: Remember all my family to yours, Mrs. Fox as well as the rest.


44 Livingstone Road, Meersbrook, Sheffield
Nov. 29, 1900

My dear Brother,

You will all no doubt be very much surprised at having a letter from me but I have often longed to write to you so that I might hear how you were all getting on from time to time & I feel sure you will be glad to hear from the old country & the old folks at home at least what are left of us.

I gather from your last letter to George (which he has forwarded on to me) that you are aware that Father is dead, but you will probably not have heard that mother died last April. I wasn’t able to go to see her or to go to the funeral as our little girl Dorothy was down with scarlet fever at the time.

We have one little girl aged seven last May & one little boy (Birley) who was two last time. You say in your letter you have nine children. How many daughters have you then? What a merry family you must be, I think if we had nine similar to the two we have we should be ready for America sometimes.

I was sorry to hear you had been so ill with pneumonia. There seemed to be such a lot of people about us that died from it last spring or had narrow escapes. My husband took influenza & was at home six or seven weeks about February. Congestion of the lungs followed the influenza & we finally went to Bournemouth (to harden) for a fortnight before he could return to business.

I think I have told you enough of myself, now for the others. Jennie is at Bradwell with her husband & six children ranging from 10 yrs the eldest to 2 ¼ the youngest – four girls & two boys called Florrie, Hannah, Eric, Edna, Ann, Willie.
Jemima is living at Fir Vale Workhouse Sheffield, she is nurse in the imbecile ward. She often comes up here to see us. We have got electric cars in Sheffield now, so travelling is made easier than it was a year ago as the corporations have laid and are laying tram lines in every direction. You would be very much astonished at the growth of Sheffield if you could see it now & compare it with the time when you lived here, but I am running off my tale, as the old woman said.

George is at Manchester still pork butchering. He only has Reggie & Mrs. Hall (his mother-in-law). Delia is at Bradwell she has only one little girl called Mollie, but I am just thinking you may not have heard that she married Charles Bancroft son of George Bancroft, stone mason on the Hills. This George Bancroft fell from a scaffold in Stretfield (where they were building some cottages) this last August & died after lying a week with a broken back. He has left about nine children but they are nearly all getting up.

I don’t know anybody particular that you would be interested to hear about or I would tell you about them. You will probably know that Jabez’s father & mother & his aunts & uncles have all gone home during the last few years & Bradwell doesn’t seem the same place, when we go over now, so many dear familiar faced are gone & the old homes broken up & so many strangers in the place, for it is quite a residential neighbourhood now a days & the building trade quite brisk.

You would think it was altered now for they have converted all the old barns & cowhouses in to dwelling houses & built quite a nice lot of villas on the hills & up & down. There is a boot & shoe factory in the old Butts, where the girls can earn several shillings a week & Uncle John Dakin has sold his school over the brook to someone of the same trade. He sold it for £190. I think. **

Do you remember Mrs. Wills that is cousin Eliza Longden, well she lives not very far from us. She & her husband came up last night to see us, she has four very nice girls, the second one Maggie is at Cambridge college sitting for her teachers certificate & Nathaniel (Jabez’s brother) only lives a stones throw from our door & Annie (Kizzia?) married William Andrew & lives at Norton.
Haven’t we had a dreadful war with South Africa. I don’t know whether it has affected you over in America but it has seemed to make everything dearer here. Coal is a ton & provisions have increased in price all round.

And now I want to know all the news about yourselves. I know Herbert & George & Wilfred & Richard, but I want to know the rest what they are called & how old they are & all about yourself & Elizabeth. Give her my love & tell her to be sure & write & tell me all particulars. And now after all this chatting I really must get to business. We have some money in the bank which we are going to divide up & we all agreed (although Father didn’t leave you in his will) that you shall share along with the rest of us. There will be about 49 odd pounds each after paying for a tombstone & I want to know how you would like this money sending, whether you will have a banker’s draft & if so on what bank? Or in what way shall I send it on to you. When you have decided will you please let me know & I will forward it & then you must send me the receipt as soon as you have received it.

Hoping this letter will find you all well & happy with love to all. Believe me to be your ever-loving sister, Hannah R. Somerset


** John Dakin, married to John Fox's sister Mary, built telescopes and was also an optician.   1881 England Census for John Dakin


Nurse Fox
Fir Vale Union, Sheffield, Jan. 1st 1901

My Dear Brother & Sister,

I went to see Hannah last week and got your address from her as it is the first time I have had the right one or you would have had heaps of letters and all the news about affairs as they stand over here in this finished country of ours, but from your letter I should think yours is the lead. How I wish sometimes the water was not between us as we should see your large Family, but you have not been forgotten. We have talked about you many times and hoped that you was doing well and from your letter I think you must have had an uphill fight like myself.

You will know from my letter that I am a nurse in Fir Vale Hospital. It has been a long pull and a strong pull for me through life, but I cannot say but I have done well for myself. I have 44 pound a year now so that is not bad and very good board & apartments. You will hear that all of them are married but me, but Dear Brother marrying is not everything and I say there is plenty of good you can do for other as I have given my time to nurse the sick. E Jane is married and quite a large Family – 6 in number, 4 girls, 2 boys. They are doing pretty well now and live at Bradwell. Indeed they have all children from all I know doing well, like myself, and getting older.

Hoping you will get your small draft of money all right and safe, though it is not as much as we ought to have had, each every little helps, but my word the Bennetts Family cannot look us in the face.

I did not see Mrs. Fox (step mother Priscilla Bennett) before she died but what I heard from Emma Jane at Bradwell her Death bed was anything but an easy one and from what has been found out since I do not wonder. But I nursed my Father in his last illness, sat up at night with him when he was wandering & rambling in his talk. Of course I had not been at home for six years but when he was so ill for five.

Weeks they sent for me to come. They could not manage him and my Father told me she had done us all the harm she could and made him turn against us, and he told me one night, while I was dressing his leg, they wanted him to sign a paper but he was so bad, the Dr. Grace would not allow him to do it because he rambled so much and it would not be right.

It seems that it was a paper on the bank for 300.40 pounds. She had saved for Delia & Lizzie and made my Father guardian for Delia when she was 17 years old and as she was not of age the bank would not buy them the money without my Fathers name, so it came out Delia going to see George to sight the paper. He had an idea from what I had told him my Father & the Doctor had told me and sharp as he always is, asked her how many hundreds was there besides the 40 pounds she wanted him to sign for. He took the paper from her and found it was 300 with interest in the bank at Ashton Underline. Don’t you think they worked it well to lose it, for this is the money you are now going to share with the rest of us.

Delia has got the home I suppose you know by this she bought it of my Father with his own money. We know quite well that she had no money but I told her what came on the old Man’s Back went Under His Belly, and an ill got (give?) did no one any good. She was welcome to it for me and may she enjoy living there all her life, but it is sure to come out how she came by it. There are many ways as she was always at home and we was turned adrift. But for myself it was a very good thing as I have never looked behind me since they drove me from home.

Tell Elizabeth that I send my best love to her and all the children and hope you will hear of your missing son doing well and in the best of health. Remember me to Herbert and Richard, I remember them well.

Since the Dore and Chindley new line was opened with a Station at Hope, Bradwell has increased very much indeed. Derbyshire is not like the same at all. There is no Bus driving now, you would think you had got into another land if you was to come over.

Hannah lives in Sheffield and has a bonnie boy and girl. I go to see her when my Duty will permit me to do so and am very pleased to be so near to her. You will see that I am in the Union Hospital. In the Union there is thirteen hundred patients, 100- 150 officers and nurses, 3 Doctors, 8 Hospital Blocks, 2 Asylum Blocks male & female, 4 Infirm wards and 900 paupers within the grounds and an able-bodied Men’s Test House.

I think you will have to excuse more as Duty calls me. Hoping to hear from you soon. Your loving sister Jemima.

January 9th, 1901

My dear Brother & Sister

I was very glad to receive your long letter of Dec. 18th & to hear so much about your family & country but was sorry to hear George was absent and that you hadn’t any idea where he was, it must be a great anxiety I am sure.

I always had the idea that in America you generally took the lead in most things & from your letter I see it is so, but I didn’t know that you were residing quite in a town. Your education is very cheap though ours is a little cheaper as we have fee education here now. I am sorry the climate does not suit Elizabeth so well. I am sure it wouldn’t suit me for I am such a very nash (rash?) creature I cannot stand cold at all. We have got a little fall of snow here came two days ago & I am nearly starved to death. What I shall be as the frost increases I don’t know. Perhaps we shall be getting acclimatized by then. We have had such a mild Christmas & no frost or snow whatever till this week.

We had Jemima here to see us the day your letter arrived so she had the pleasure of reading it & she said she should write to you now she knows the address.  We have had Jennie’s eldest girl Florrie over for a week for a little holiday before school commenced again, she returned home on the 7th which was Monday.

**As to Uncle John Dakin’s family of course you will know that Aunt Mary has been dead for years & Mary Hannah married young Jacob Hall & has three children. Catherine is at home with her father & John her brother, Uncle John gets to look an old man, I believe they are all well.

If I didn’t tell you of what Mother (stepmother Priscilla Bennett) died of, it was no disease, the doctor said it was simply wasting away. She had no pain but was in bed about seven weeks.

***Tom Fox is still at Hazelbadge, he has five children, the last two were twins but they are getting on now & Albert Fox was at Hazelbadge till some time back when he married someone from either Little Hucklow or some other such place. A daughter of the landlady, a very dashing high spirited girl about 20 years old, but they hadn’t been married very long before he ran away & left her to it & I think he was sold up or something. I haven’t heard about him since.
Mary Hannah is living not far from us, she married Herbert Bocking you will remember, but I think she has taken to drinking, by her looks. Emma and Fanny are keeping shop in Manchester somewhere. Emma is a widow with one little girl and Fanny is not yet married.

Since writing my letter to you we have had a narrow escape of having our little boy burned to death. He caught fire with lighting paper & his pinafore & frock were burnt away from the front, but I managed to put the flames out & he is nearly better again now his little right arm & chin were badly burnt.

Another of Uncle George’s family has died this last December. Sarah Eastwood, age 58. You will know that Jemima is dead, she died of diptheria at the age of 32 & Ellis died of consumption & left a widow & two children.
Walter (Jabez’s brother) has had pneumonia this Christmas but he is recovering nicely now. Delia buried a little girl called Maud, born at the same time as our Birley but she died when she was four months old.

I shall let Jennie see your letter when I see her & then no doubt she will write to you, though she says she would rather do a day’s washing than write a letter.  I prefer the letter rather than the washing. I am enclosing the draft for £ 49.15 less the cost of the draft & hope you will get it safely & shall be glad to hear from you again to hear of its safe arrival & to receive the receipt for it.

I am glad to say we are moderately well & was very glad to hear you were all well & hope you have had a bright Christmas (we have had a very quiet one) & that you will have a prosperous 1901.  With heaps of love to the children & to you both from each of us, I remain
Your loving Sister Hannah R Somerset

p.s. I see the draft is not made out on the bank you named but it is one in the same place it is for Two hundred and forty dollars & 44 cents & I shall send another draft in duplicate by the next mail so that if this one should miscarry the other will arrive shortly after & if you have cashed the first you must destroy the second.

**Likely related to Elsie Dakin who sent a letter to Herbert 1925 (below).
***Tom, Mary Hannah, Albert, Emma and Fanny Fox are siblings and cousins to this group.  Their father Samuel was John Fox's older brother.  To view Fanny, Emma and Albert's 1871 Baptisms:

Nurse Fox
Fir Vale Union, Sheffield
June 23rd, 1901

My Dear Brother & Sister

You will no doubt think me a long time in answering your interesting letter but I am on night duty just now and it takes me all my time to get sleep enough through the day. I went to Bradwell a few days ago & Emma Jane said she would write to you. I took your letter for her to read. My word we could do with some fruit here, like you have it we can get it but we must pay a high price for it. You have the advantage of us in a many ways but I don’t think I should like your head and cold as you have it to extreme sometimes in winter and summer it would not suit me at all in summer.

When I was at Bradwell Emma Jane said from anything she knew they was all well at Nether Water as you asked me to inquire I did so but she said your sister looked a deal older. They are much the same there. Emma is very busy with her large family and George is at Cheetham Hill. Hannah & family are all well. As for myself I do not enjoy the best of health but I think it is being shut up so much with the patients.

You see the hours is rather long on duty. Of course it is a very large place and plenty of fresh air but we do get the smells from the wards from different cases. You see we have the lowest of the low come in to be nursed, sometimes we get them filthy creeping all over. How would you like that work to clean them? We had a case of (illegible - new mom?) a young woman and she died before we could get her from the cab to the sick ward and she was covered with filth and vermin bites all over her.  So you see nursing is not all sweet milk when you have to stand and see a arm or leg taken off and hold the same. It tries your nerves and strength to the utmost but still it is a good work and you can do a great deal of good in the life of a nurse, so it repays you for what you go through while training.

I hope you have heard of George doing well wherever.
Complain with love to all, I remain your affectionate sister, Jemima


Mrs. J.B. Somerset, 44 Livinsgtone Road Meersbrook, Sheffield

Sep 4th 1903

My dear Herbert,

Auntie Jemima gave me your last letter along with the photo of Maud for which I must now thank you (though late in the day)  I was pleased with the photo it is very nice and I have been told it is very like what I used to be like at Mauds’ age which you say is just nine.

We were sorry to hear George had been so near and yet so far, not to have called to see us all, but we are all very glad the war is over, I think George has got a roving disposition.  We were sorry to hear of Father’s escapade and danger with the Express train but thankful it ended no more seriously than a good shaking.

Did you know that Auntie Jennie and family are seriously thinking of coming to America perhaps next spring.  Tom’s brothers and sisters have emigrated the last year and are writing for them to follow.  I don’t think uncle Tom is very anxious but Auntie Jennie seems to think the children will get into employment there better than at Bradwell but I shouldn’t come, there is no place so sweet to me as dear old England though I think a voyage over would do Auntie Mima (Jemima) good as she hasn’t been very well lately.  Her duties in the Imbecile ward are rather trying and she neglects herself too I think.

We all went to Mablethorpe for our holidays this year.  Auntie Mima (Jemima) generally goes with us but she could only stay four days this time having spent the rest of her holidays at Bradwell wakes. So after she had returned we had our family group photographed one of which (I can lone) you, it is considered very good by most of our friends.  Birley is five and Dorothy is ten in the photo.
I wonder if you have heard that Uncle George has got married again about two yrs ago and they have buried (Mrs) Hall this last June.  Uncle George’s Mother-In-Law.

**I am also enclosing a picture postcard Florrie sent to me from Bradwell of Hazelbadge  I know your father will be glad to see it again.  I wish I could get one of Nether Waters for Mother to gaze upon, but am afraid its historical character is not sufficient for a print.

I don’t think there is much news to send.  Uncle John Dakin gets a feeble old man and Aunt Horatio perceptible to getting older.  They are the only two of a former generation we have left – as all the Somersets are dead too.

And even I feel to be growing old my hair is going grey.  I only have indifferent health, my chest and throat are so weak I am frequently laid up with them I have been ill all week, this week with a bad cold.

Tell Father Mrs. Bateman (nee Hannah Birley) has lost her husband.  I expect she will be paying us a visit before long.  How is mother?  I hope she is keeping better and father too.  I trust is well.  You must be sure and write, tell me all about you all and if you received the photo too.

With love to you all from your loving Auntie Hannah


**See Fox Ancestry page for the post card of Hazlebadge Farm and correspondence from Issac Arthurs in-laws of Nether Water Farm.

1907 - 1908

The Big Inheritance

From the estate of Uncle Horatio Bradwell (Rebecca Bradwell's brother) and his wife Ann (cousin to John Fox).


Scarlet’s Plains, Toronto Junction Dec 6th, 1907

Aunt Horatio’s Will:

£25 For John Ford as Executor

£300 Mary Ann free of Duty her servants

£100 Children’s Hospital

£100 Victoria Memorial Hall in Sheffield

£100 Chapel Trustees Crookes

£100 to the Weslyan Mission

£250 to Mrs. Wardle (Aunt’s Niece)

£250 Mr. Edmund Lee, nephew

£250 to another Mr. Lee, nephew

£250 to Mrs. Hadfield, niece

£250 to Mrs _____ Lister [illegible] the one above

£600 to provide a nurse for poor people in Braddon, to be called the Ann Fox Nursing Home

£20 to Constance Herberts

£10 to Annie Bradwell, Charlie Bradwell’s daughter

£10 to Elizabeth Buttons

£10 to Hannah Marie Langden

£250 to Joseph’s Hospital for Women

£250 to the Royal Hospital

£250 to Hanna Maria Needham [total disbursements:


If there is anything left after selling all & paying the above out it has to be divided between the nephews & nieces of her late husband’s share alike.

Dear Brother & Sister Just a few lines hoping you are all in good health. We have just received letter from Hannah & hasten to let you have the news we are sending on your address to Hannah she did not know yours & she promised to get them for the Executors so that they can correspond with you after if Necessary. The above is a copy of Aunt Horatio’s will as I have had it sent to me. Hoping to hear from you soon as you have not answered my last letter. I remain Your Loving Sister, E.J. Jeffery

Across the top of the letter, in pencil:  I forgot to say this is only Aunt’s will. We shall still have the money Uncle left us in one year from Aunt’s Death

44 Lismore Rd Meersbrook, Sheffield

May 20th 1908

My Dear Brother,

My husband has seen Lawyer Bagshaw today and he has informed him you will have to appoint a Power of Attorney in this country to act for you in receiving the legacies due to you from Aunts + Uncle Horatio’s will.  (A Power of Attorney is a deed signed by you authorizing someone to act for you & receive the money + forward it to you.)
The stamp on the deed will cost 10 p (?) & the deed will be perhaps a guinea or two.  I don’t know, but it seems a shame the lawyers can’t forward you a draft themselves instead of all this humbug.

However you must not delay writing to appoint someone here. Then the person you appoint will get the deed drawn up, send it to you to be signed, then you will have to return it before anything can be done.

It is very annoying to only just be told about it because if I had known sooner it could all have been arranged by now, whereas it will delay your getting your legacies very likely two months. The lawyers are ready to pay out in about 3 weeks & you will have to wait over till we get orders what to do. Jennie’s is the same. I am writing her this post.

I hear Uncles estate is not realizing what he left & we shall all have to go short £20 or 30. Edwin Bradwell has to have £1000 before anyone else gets anything, so he is alright.Whoever you appoint will have to forward a draft on some Bank, so you must say what Bank the draft has to be made payable to.

We hope you are all keeping well. We are all middling. Dorothy has been having her 15th birthday today. I haven’t time to write anymore as I want to catch the mail to night.

With love to all, I remain  Your loving sister
Hannah R Somerset.

Issac Arthur Fox’s rough draft of his affidavit to appoint Jabez Somerset as Power of Attorney in England re: Horatio Inheritance

August 1908

Know all man by presents that whereas I, Isaac Arthur Fox of the Town of Dunnville in the county of Haldimand and Province of Ontario Am a son of Rebecca Fox (whose maiden name was Bradwell) and John Fox of Bradwell, Derbyshire, England and a nephew of Horatio Bradwell of 14 Park Street, Broomhill Sheffield, England, retired Merchant & brother of my said mother Rebecca (Bradwell) Fox.

And Whereas my uncle the said Horatio Bradwell died about twenty one years ago, having first made his last will whereby he bequeathed inter the sum of £1000 to be divided amongst the Children of his sister Rebecca (Bradwell) Fox, my Mother, aforesaid to be paid after the death of his wife Ann Bradwell who received the income thereof during her life.

And Whereas the said Ann Bradwell died on or about the 17th of November last and the amount of the said legacy is now payable. And whereas I desire to appoint my Brother-in-law Jabez Birley Somerset of 44 Lismore road, Meersbrook, Sheffield, England, Cashier my attorney for me and in my name to receive my share and portion of the said legacy from the Executors of the estate of the said Horatio Bradwell and to give the necessary release or releases and discharge or discharges therefore.

And whereas I am also entitled to a further share of the residuary bequest under the will of the said Ann Bradwell, widow of the said Horatio Bradwell and it is my desire that my said attorney shall also receive the same for me and in my behalf from the Executors of the estate of the said Ann Bradwell in the same manner.

Now know ye that I the said Isaac Arthur Fox do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint the said Jabez Birley Somerset to be my true and lawful attorney for me and in my name and in my room and stead to receive from the Executors of the estate of the said Horatio Bradwell and from the Executors of the estate of the Said Ann Bradwell the share or legacy payable to me under the last will and testament of the said Horatio Bradwell and the share of the residuary bequest payable to me under the last will and testament of the said Ann Bradwell or desirable as payable from or out of the said estates or either of them in any way whatsoever and to give all necessary receipts, releases and discharges therefore and to act in all respects with reference to the winding up of the said estates so far as I am concerned in my behalf in the same manner as I might do if personally present.

I hereby agreeing to satisfy and consign whatsoever my said attorney shall do my virtue of these presents. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal at the Town of Dunnville in the county of Haldimand and province of Ontario. Signed, sealed and executed (in triplicate) in presence of: [blank] 1. That I was personally present and did see the within instrument thereof duly signed, sealed and executed by Isaac Arthur Fox one of the parties thereto 2. That the said instrument and duplicates were executed in the Town of Dunnville 3. That I know the said party 4. That I am subscribing witness to the said Instrument and duplicates. Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of [blank]

44 Lismore Rd, Meersbrook, Sheffield

August 7th 1908

Dear Brother,

We were glad to hear from you last week. We had wondered how it was you were so long in sending for your legacy, as a rule people are in a big hurry to receive money.

The Power of Attorney arrived safely. I took it to be stamped like the one Jennie sent which costs 11/- & then sent it to the lawyers & they sent for me to call on Wednesday morning when they paid me the money & I at once paid it into the Bank for a draft. I now enclose the Draft value 932. 70 Dollars which you will notice is drawn on the Bank of Montreal as my Bank said it would not cost as much & would make no difference to you. I shall send the duplicate Draft by the next mail. Please sign the enclosed receipt & send it back at once.
The Legacy from Aunt Ann’s Estate will be paid out in a week or two I believe.

The following are the particulars of Uncle Horatio’s Legacy.
Amount of Legacy - £200 minus Legacy Duty £ 6 = 194
Subtract also Solicitors Charges 1.1.0, Stamping Power of Attorney & (illegible – Pattas?) 12.0 + 1.3.0
Amount of Draft less cost of same £192.7.0

George is just recovering from an attack of pneumonia. He has been in bed 3 weeks & it is a wonder he has got round so well.

You must excuse more this time as it is post time. We will send more news next letter
With Kind regards to you all. Yours Sincerely, JB Somerset.

Undated 1908

Dear Arthur,

I now enclose you the duplicate Draft for $519.95 Dollars the original of which I trust will have arrived previously.

We are having cold wet weather here for the time of the year & although the crops are food there is a danger of them being spoiled for want of dry weather.

With Kind Regards,
Yours Sincerely, JB Somerset.

44 Lismore Rd, Meersbrook, Sheefield                Aug. 15, 1908

Dear Arthur,

Enclosed is the duplicate of the Draft which I sent last week & which I hope you have received before now.

With kind regards I am yours,
Sincerely, JB Somerset 

Issac Arthur Draft Letter

Dunnville Ontario
August 28, 1908

Dear Brother,

Yours of the 7th was received on the 17th & the duplicate on the 22 & went to Hamilton 37 miles from here to negotiate it & everything was satisfactory.

We thank you very much for the manner in which you looked after our interests in our absence & trust the balance may be done the same. Enclosed please find receipt for the amount $932.70.

As George has been unfortunate to have pneumonia we are very glad to hear that he is on the road to recover & we would like to hear from him to know how he is getting along & also those at Nether Water. We wrote them a few months ago but haven’t heard from them for over 3 years. In fact we have had very little news of late.

WE are getting along fine here & this is a real nice place. We have at this writing with us Florrie & Eric from Toronto.
I don’t know that there is much more to say, only to thank you again & hope you are all well as we are at present.

Sincerely Yours

44 Lismore Road, Meersbrook, Sheffield
September 2nd, 1908

Dear Arthur,

Your letter of the 24th came to hand to-day. I am glad to hear you received the Drafts safely. I have now pleasure in enclosing you another Draft the proceeds of legacy from Aunt Ann’s estate. The money was paid to me last week but I wanted to hear from you before Sending this. I sent Jennie’s on Saturday. The Amount left to be divided amongst Aunt Ann’s nephews & nieces was £ 2281 and as there were 22 of them it made £ 102 each but your family being blood relations the legacy duty was only half of what it was for the other & it made your shares £ 108.3.2 each.

I am not quite sure whether I told you when I last wrote that the lawyer paid the legacy duty to the Government as if all were related alike. It occurred to Hannah one day that as Aunt Ann & your Father were own cousins, the relationship with your family was a blood relationship & so would make a difference of five per cent in the duty.

So I wrote & told the lawyer but he had just paid the duty & said it would be a difficult job to get it back. However when I found out how much the legacies were & that it would be worth while, I instructed him to get it back & it has landed us in some expense, but it has made a difference of £ 5.15.9 to each of your shares. He wanted to charge £ 6 for the job but I objected to such an amount & he at last dropped it to half.
The amount I received was £ 108-3-2 Less Expenses 0-15-2 leaving £ 107-8-0 which I paid into the Bank & it produced a Draft value 519.95 Dollars which I now enclose.

George & Jemima came to draw their shares last Friday. George looked very poorly, his illness has fetched him down. He was very pleased to hear you had been enquiring after him & would like very much to hear from you.
Hi address is 36 Whitland St. Harpurhey Manchester.

**Hannah was at Bradwell a week or two ago & heard that Mrs. Wragg of Nether Water had been an invalid for some time. Her eldest son & daughter have both married.

I was surprised to hear you had such along distance to go from your place to Hamilton. I thought you were just on the outside of the town.

I must now conclude hoping you are all well, Yours Sincerely,  JB Somerset.
We got a photo of Jennie & her family the day before your letter arrived. I shall send duplicate draft in a few days.

**See Fox Ancestry page for correspondence from Mrs. Wragg of Nether Water farm.

44 Lismore Road, Meersbrook, Sheffield
Oct. 26th, 1908

My dear Brother

We read your letter & were very glad to hear you had received your amount alright & hope it will do you good. We were all surprised when we realized how much there was each for us.

Thank you very much for the photos. I was so delighted with them all. It made me wish we had a few of the apples off the tree, they look so abundant. We have two apple trees in our garden but they haven’t yielded any fruit yet. One has succeeded in blooming once but it ended there.

Maud has grown since we had a photo of her. She is about six months older than our Dorothy & looks about the same height.
We haven’t had a family group taken for many years now, but when we do have one I shall be pleased to send you one. I shall be delighted to receive your family group. Herbert & his little boy look well. Jennie says his other baby has died. You look very much thinner than you did on a previous photo we have but I think Elizabeth looks bonnier. I had Mrs. Wills up to day, nee Eliza Ann Longden, & she says she should have know you anywhere by your photo. John Henry Longden gets into a little old looking now.

I didn’t hear what was the matter with Mrs. Wragg of Nether Water. I only heard she was a great invalid. We notice there are only four of your boys on the photo – I suppose George, Richard & Wilfred have made homes for themselves by now.
I must now close as it is getting late. Give my love to Elizabeth & all the bairns & accept the same yourself.

I remain,  Your loving sister
Hannah R Somerset


Ashopton August 28
(re: Elizbeth Fox's death – written after 1925)

Dear Mr. (Herbert) Fox
Ever since we got your letter telling us of your Mother’s death, we’re intended writing to you. We are very sorry. She was not left a little longer with you but so glad she was able to visit the dear homeland before she passed to the Great Beyond. Each time Mother went to Bradwell for a little rest, she took and addressed envelope to will to your Mother. It is in her case now & has been for two years. Mother so often speaks of the happy week she spent with you & is doubly glad she did so now.

On Jan. 5th this Year Mother began with pneumonia & we nearly lost her. She made a splendid recovery & is now nearly her normal self.

We had a very busy year, as my brother & his wife have been over from Vancouver for two months. They wouldn’t stay in England (I mean live) again, for anything they find things so different to pre war. They leave on on Saturday by the boat which will possibly bring this letter, going round by Los Angeles to see my brother there who is not very well, so they will have had a fine trip won’t they? We have also had some American friends staying so have been somewhat busy. We’ve actually had some fine weather this summer, the first fine spell since 1921. How’s that for a food climate, it was no trouble for the farmers to get their hay in this year. We hope the weather conditions have been as favourable for your harvests. Mother is busy making a birthday pudding for my brothers birthday which is the day before he sails, as she was very anxious for a letter to get to you I said I would write for her.

We are glad you are all well & hope you will continue so.
With kind regards to all & the best of wishes,
I am Yours very Sincerely,

Elsie Dakin

Mother is very anxious for you to see some of her grandsons, these five little farmers live quite near to us, the baby is the same age as Waller’s boy.



44 Lismore Rd.  Sheffield
March 19th 1931

My Dear Nephew,

I received a letter from Auntie Delia the other day with an enclosure of your father’s death. I was very sorry to hear of his long tedious illness. He must have been a great trouble for you, all this life would not be a joy but an existence, so we cannot mourn or wish he was longer as one feels he is better off now, though we all feel it is another tie broken.

When Aunt Horatio Bradwell died in 1906 there were 26 or 27 nephew & nieces on the Bradwell side then living. Now there are only three… Mrs. Wills who is 98 (aunt Jemima’s daughter), Auntie Jennie & myself. I was rather surprised it was not thought Auntie Delia Bancroft was a sister of ours because she is a sister as Grandpa Fox was her father as well as ours but our mother was a Bradwell & hers was Priscilla Bennett – who was our stepmother.

I have not yet read the letter from you so presume you have still not got my address & I have not heard from Auntie Jennie since Christmas but she told me then how helpless & blind my brother was.

We have had a very severely cold time of it since Dec. consequently there has been a lot of influenza about – Dorothy has had two (illegible) but I am thankful to say she is now about better.

Our son Birley is in the Malay States at ‘IPOH’, we get a letter from him every Monday morning without fail, which cheers us up wonderfully. He says he does not think he will be able to come over for another four years. Which to us is very sad. It is very hot there all the year round & I believe he is very thin in consequence.

I am glad to say Uncle Jabez is keeping well though he is not too strong but I have been laid up with a bad leg the last eight weeks which requires no end of rest. I think it is improving but the Dr. thinks I am threatened with phlebitis. We do not often see them from Bradwell.

Give my love to your dear wife & children with kindest regards from Uncle Jabez.
Love to yourself & sympathy from your loving Auntie Hannah R. Somerset
P.s. I shall be pleased to hear from you soon.

44 Lismore Rd. Sheffield
May 23rd 1931

My dear Herbert,

This is just a line to remind you you did not send us a copy of your family group after all, or if you did it was not there when your letter arrived here. So will you please send one on as I am anxious to see how all your family have grown.

We were so pleased to know you & your family are doing well & trust your Father’s estate has been wound up satisfactorily to all parties. I was very sorry to hear of your father’s very tedious indisposition – we none of us would choose long illnesses if we had our way. I think good health is far better than great riches.

We are quite looking forward now to some nice summer weather. Life is very enjoyable here when the weather is bright & we can sit in the garden & enjoy the fresh air. We have found the past winter very severe & trying - I wonder if it has been bad with you & the spring has lacked sunshine. I must now close.

Give my love to Lyda and the children. With love to you from your affectionate Auntie, Hannah R Somerset.

31 Hemsworth Rd. Norton Woodseats, Sheffield
Oct. 4th, 1931

My dear Nephew,

I must apologize for being so long in answering your last letter & I must thank you very much for the enlarged photo of your complete family which duly came to hand. We were very pleased to receive it & are very interested in being able to look at it when we wish.

Your description of your silver wedding trip to New York was also very interesting to read but we were sorry about you having your car stolen & hope by now you have got recompense for the loss thereof. It must have been very annoying at the time.

The reason I have been so long in writing, we have been changing our abode as you will notice by the heading of this note. I failed in health last January being very suddenly afflicted with a phlebitis let. So had to rest most of the time & eventually had to stay in bed. I was about five months laid up & the Dr. advised us to get into a Bungalow if I must regain a normal life. In the meantime Uncle Jabez had a bad heart attack which precipitated our removal.

We came here on the 3rd of August & have consequently been very busy trying to get straight. We have already found great benefit from living on the level & are both much better than we were. It is very pleasant living here – more in the country & near to Graves Park – the most extensive park belonging to Sheffield. We have a larger garden (which by the way grows weeds most successfully) but a less house – I think it is ideal or will be, when we have got a Porch erected at the back to protect us from the North Winds. They tell us it is very bleak up here in Winter. We are about a mile & a half from where we lived before but the bus terminus is about 3 minutes from our gate so we are in close touch to town & Dorothy comes home for dinner each day, her school being a 1 ½ ride away.

Trade is very bad in Sheffield & elsewhere & Birley writes from ‘The Malay States’ that business is shocking there. Perhaps times will mend by & bye. We had Auntie Delia & Uncle Charlie & Mollie staying with us for a fortnight whilst Dorothy had a holiday & they liked up here very much. Uncle Charlie’s feet are very bad & swollen with rheumatism but he managed to toddle off to the park every day to watch the cricket matches.

Is it not surprising how time flies? I could hardly believe your sons were as big & old as they now are. How old is your daughter Dorothy? She looks much younger than the boys. The remembrance of you, is, as a boy about 10 or 11 yrs old & here you have grown up sons, it all goes to show what old people we are getting to be.

Give my love to ‘Lyda’. I heard quite a lot about her when your mother was over & nothing but good & remember me to each of your family, though we have not met one has a soft place in one’s heart for kinship.

If at any time you are inspired to write us, do not put the thought away but write, write, write. We shall always be so pleased to hear from you & of you all, with love to you and yours, from your affectionate Auntie,  Hannah R Somerset.


31 Hemsworth Rd, Sheffield 8
Jan. 10, 1954

My Dear Dorothy (Herbert Fox's daughter),

Thank you for your news about your father. I have felt very grieved for him & wondered however he would get along.
You see, I fell in love with your mother. Having had a lovely one of my own I know how much she must have meant to all her family & that her going must have left a terrific gap for each one of you.

You say they had a lovely time here – well it was mutual. I am so glad we met & made friends, nothing can take that away. I had hoped it might have been possible to meet again sometime on this earthly journey but that is not to be.

I hope you & your little family are very well & that you like your present place of abode.

I have been to Birmingham as usual for Christmas & had a very happy time. I am now back at school (groans) & life is very full.
We had our first snow & ice this week but it has gone away & the temperatures have risen again, long may they continue!

With every good wish, Yours affectionately, the other Dorothy (Somerset - Aunt Hannah Somerset's daughter).