May 1899

1 May 1899 • Monday


1st. We awakened with the dawn of the 1st of May

which was indeed an excelent preface for a beautiful day

and knowing morning air was good for the sickly

we arose and dawned our clothing most exceeding quickly

Elders [Joseph R.] Squires and [Job] Hemsley yes they called for us at five

and I’ll declare it seemed amazing to them to find us well & alive

and then John Seaich yes he came five minutes later

and low and behold his astonishment was much greater

and poor Sidney [Leonard] he did not rise that hour at all

so we left him behind to pout and to snarl

but generally he is quite a good lad—but leaving him behind caused him to feel sad.

We started now to reach the ‘green-man’,1—to meet other brothers was the anticipated plan. We walked by the shops the laundry and station, we met many cops with expectation to go straight way to their destination; seemingly they had been on duty all night and natural enough didn’t look very bright. We met many men at breakfast, too, who were on their way to work and this they did do, because the wife would be in bed, too tired to arise and she has a bad head, so the husband son and father, would breakfast on the street to save so much bother. We walked on and on and met brother Keeley waiting for us and he said, “really, Brother Turner could not come he stopped with his wife to clean up the home.” [p. 23]

A cry from the co’co [cuckoo] and a song from the lark, enticed us to walk through Wanstead Park. Now when we arrived at the old iorn [iron] gate, Johnnie had to leave us or else he’d been late for his train which took him to work in the city, and indeed it would have been a loss and a pity, for tickets before eight only cost four pence you know, and all after that seven pence is the go. So we five walked through lanes and over bridges, by cool streams and amongst hedges, talking of natures beautiful green cloak and of the flowers lately out of earths soak. We watched the black crow and the swan on the brook, we heard the bobolink’s yell and that of the rook. Being tired we sat on a bench to rest, and there decided that we are abundantly blest. We now decided to return from this pleasure, but ere we vacated we raced for a measure. Squires raced with Keeley and beat him out of sight—this was quite good exercise so I run with Sister [Inez] Knight, and it was here decided as Squires had said before that we girls run like cows and of ducks we waddled the more.

Now we returned weary and worn but decided to walk again the very next morn.

P.S. I took a nap for a few min—or hours rather [p. 24]

2 May 1899 • Tuesday

2nd. Tuesday— Distributed two hundred tracts—recieved one good conversation with a gentleman who said that he had spent a great deal of time on the public platform and generally spoke against the Mormons, believing them to be all that our enemies had said we were, but now he had seen a real live girl from Utah he believed what I told him. He thanked me for the information bade me good-morning and went on his way feeling well toward the L. D. S.

We went to Sister Seagers to tea.

3 May 1899 • Wednesday

3rd Wednesday— Attended Relief Society in the afternoon.

We took a walk in the early morning with John Seaich and Sidney Leonard; and Tuesday morning as well.

After meeting we went to the Cooks, 1 Toroutt Rd., to spend the evening. Enjoyed various kinds of music.

4 May 1899 • Thursday

4th. Thursday.— Prepared tracts and was just about ready to begin work when J. R. Squires came and informed us that Brothers [Raymond] Knight and [Walter J.] Knell would be to visit us so we prepared to stay at home, sending a postal to Sister Foxley informing her that we could not fulfil our engagement with her—it being an invetation to spend the afternoon with her.

We went at noon to the nursery and purchased three [p. 25] shrubs for Sister Seaiches [Martha Shave Seaich’s] garden. I got some old man2 because I told her it would be her only chance of procuring an old man—she is a widow.

We found the boys here on our return. After dinner and a pleasant chatty hour we went to Westham Park calling to see Squires and Hemsley on the way. We watched the cricket games, sat in the sun awhile, returned home had tea at six. We went to Sister Seaiches where we planted the shrubs christened one Inez the others Lizas old men Knight and Knell.

We accompanied the boys to the station.

5 May 1899 • Friday

4<5>th. Friday.— Went tracting gave out one hundred tracts. In the afternoon we visited an investigator, Mrs. Wright, 98 Rothsay Rd., had a nice conversation.

We were going for a wheel ride so we went to an establishment where they advertized bicycles for hire but from investigation we learned that one ladies wheel was all they had and time we had arranged for another that one was let so Sister Knight went without me. However she gave me a ride which was quite enough.

6 May 1899 • Saturday

6th. Saturday.— We concluded this weeks early morning walks by taking an early stroll through Westham Park.

Did some mending. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley called we spent a pleasant hour conversing on different countries and people, [p. 26] after which we took a book of Mormon and four Perry tracts to a Mr. Walter, President of the fruit growers association. Retired early.

7 May 1899 • Sunday

7th. Sunday.— Attended all meetings, took tea with Sister Seaich. Indeed this was another day of rejoicing,—the dark cloud has rolled over and now seems to be a silvery white hung in the clearest and purest of atmospheres.

8th. <Brothers> [Jabez W.] West, Hemsley, and Squires come home with us to supper. We did not have much but told them what was good enough for us was surely good enough for them.

8 May 1899 • Monday

8th. Monday.— John called for us to go with him as far as Liverpool St, on the twenty to eight train. We arrived at #36 and found some of the Elders up pushing bright, sunny faces in front of them. An hour later we had the privelege of enjoying breakfast at this undisturbed monastry,—making the acquaintance of Brother [Charles G.] Berry of Salt Lake City, who in company with Brother [John R.] Hindley escorted us to Kings Cross where we were to leave for Teddington. We found that our train had just gone and we had to wait one hour. We also had promised to meet Madam Monteford [Lydia Mamreoff von Finkelstein Mountford] but she was not to be found. We arrived at Strawberry Hill Station, Teddington after an hour and halfs ride, Brothers Knight and White were to meet us. Brother Knell went on to the next station thinking we had gone through on the [p. 27] previous train. After an enjoyable dinner we took a buss and rode through Teddington and Bushy Park, a most beautiful drive. This Park contains 11,000 acres of ground covered over with grass trees and shrubery through which a great number of deer rove, which animals are kept for the use of the royalty; there is also a great number of rabbits running loose. We next went into Hampton Court where our first visit was made to the maze which garden of hedges contained two walks one two thousand yards round and the other six hundred yards round. The boys knew the way in and out very well so they left us in the center to find our own way out. They unbeknowns to us perched themselves on a high stand and watched us get lost. We wandered round and round, finally they keeper yelled out to us telling us which way to go at this injunction the boys could not keep from laughing out loud, they thought they had a capital joke on us. We next took a walk through the lawns and flowergardens, visiting every little plant of unusual interest among which was the grape vine which was planted by Geo. III in 1868 <1768>. It is indeed a wonder springing from the ground in one branch or trunk about three feet from the ground it branches off into three limbs or branches and each of these throws off many more [p. 28] branches and these in turn shoot forth their share of fibres until this vine covers a large space producing 1,300 bunches of grapes. It flowers about 3,000 bunches, but they cut off 1,700 because they think it too much for the old vine. These grapes ar cut and sent to the queen and she sends them to the different hospitals throughout England Ireland Scotland and Wales.

There is something very peculiar about this vine the roots branch off just as do the top branches, the third root runnning under the River Thames where it must get nourishment. This vine is all under cover and in an atmosphere kept warm.

We enjoyed our walks and talks very much. Especially did we enjoy gazing at the pond which had for a center piece a myriad of little fountains which formed one large one. The water was sent with much force in to air and sunshine, six feet from the ponds water surface, the watery sprays went fourth playing among the highly coloured rain-bow which with its transitory lovliness seemed to have borrowed special color from the fish which swam and spurted about as if keeping time with the many drops of water which fell back into the marine splendor. It was with no little curiosity that we watched the ducks dive to the bottom of the [p. 29] pond for food. Twas here wher Brother Knight introudeced [introduced] the whistle for snipes and caught succors [suckers].

We returned to Teddington and went straightway to the river and went for a boat ride, this was my first row on the River Thames and it was indeed an enjoyable one. We went back to the boys lodgings had tea after which we went over to Mr. and Mr. Jays where we were to lodge. After a little talk we retired early.

9 May 1899 • Tuesday

9th. Tuesday.— This was a beautiful day for sight seeing,—the sun remained behind clouds all day.

We took a buss to Richmond, and enjoyed an early ride,

We visited Terrace gardens, and Richmond park beside.

While walking the hill through this city the homes we did admire

This beauty fulfilled my dreams my much longed for desire.

We walked through the beautiful gardens admiring the ivy the fountains <and flowers,>

We stroled over pavements of stone by the leafy elm and under its bowers.

And now by the call for snipes we went by the ‘Star and Garter’3

And followed Brother Knight our leader into another quarter

Which was Richmond Park, filled with walks and drives for the aristocrats.

We here took pictures of the deer which played about like acrobats.

And indeed this was not all the amusement and with me you will agree

That the best amusement come when Brother Knell climbed the tree. [p. 30]

With a mischevious look and a nimble spring Bro. Knell [as]cended

The large tree that grew near by, of course the property must be defended

He had no sooner reached the end of his climb than he decended

Quicker than he went up and to us he recommended

The climb not a good one, At the surprizing statement we seemed <quite dead>

The officer come after us and sternly and quickly he said

That gentlemen must not climb trees, and after that he would not dare

To climb another tree unless it said there was a thoroughfare.

We next went to Kew Gardens ‘tis said the finest of the lot’

And viewed beauty and her company and the green house thats hot,

The tropical plants are beautiful, the palms the ferns and the rest

Of all the trees and shrubery I cant tell which is best.

Now five makes a jolly company to stroll through the parks

And in all the conference I dare say we are the best to enjoy such larks.

We now went and had dinner—meat pudding potatoes and greens

Bro. Knell presented to us two red roses and then from out his geans

He drew a half crown to pay for the dinner’s for five

This seems cheap but the meal was good enough to keep anyone alive.

We took a buss and returned straight home and there did take rest

We talked of the weather the country and of many things with which we are blessed [p. 31]

A large, many-chimneyed building on a hill surrounded by trees.

The Star and Garter, a large and elegant hotel in the Richmond district of London, looms over the River Thames, between 1890 and 1900. (Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsc-08593.)

10 May 1899 • Wednesday

10th. Wednesday.— The boys called for us to return to London before leaving we took a few pictures of the house. We walked to Richmond and from there took a train to Chezwick changing again at Hamersmith where we took dinner. We then went on to Earls Court where we took in the play

Here we enjoyed looking at the many different people and their swell clothing.

After visiting every court or play ground we returned to #36 by way of Hyde Park which place we visited. Viewed the Albert memorial with much interest.

The aristocracy were of special interrest here—out driving in all the pomp and style the vain world can produce; with their fine coaches and horses, driver and footmen, cats and poodle-dogs, silks and plumes, enjoying their ride—while we walked. I think they envied us!!!

We arrived at our destination at about half-past eight. Found all the ‘Monks’ out so we returned to our Forest Gate mansion.

11 May 1899 • Thursday

11.— Thursday.— John come by ringing his bycicle to awaken us—I would not wake—Inez went down and enjoyed an early morning chat—half-past six being the time. Lovers always like to meet early and part late. [p. 32]

Attended Relief Society in the afternoon.

12 May 1899 • Friday

12th. Friday.— We went and sit for our photographs. Called on a Mrs. Larkin who once belonged to the Church but through sickness and poverty has fallen into the channel neglect and of the neglected. She was once wealthy and entertained the Mormon Elders with much willingness and generosity, but now she feels to be a cast off and a tarnished sovereign.

We took tea with Mrs. Turner who took us to a Church of England confermation. There was a little quiet church yard in Layton where the living go to worship and the dead go to rest. The congregation at this place seems a quiet unassuming class of people who seem not to believe in high church—but on the contrary very simple, and very low church.4

The young men and women ready for confirmation marched in taking their respective seats, the young ladies being dressed mostly all in white, a few however were in grey but they all had white veils on their heads after the style of the bridal vail,—making a very pretty spectacle; the young men were dressed in plain neat suits, they went one by one to the bishop who laid his hands on their heads blessing them and confirming them into the church. [p. 33]

13 May 1899 • Saturday

13th. Saturday.— Footed stockings. Went to Penton St, (distributing ten tracts on the way) to the farewell meeting of Pres. West, Brother’s Knell and Harbor. The program was a very good one, much vocal and instruemental music and reciting. I recited Legend of Bregendz.5 Brothers Knight and Knell come out with us.

14 May 1899 • Sunday

14th. Sunday.— We all went to the Gospel class and Testimony meeting where we were pleased to see another of our blinded sheep come back into the fold.

In the afternoon we all went to Sister Seaiches where we took tea in company with Grand-ma [Rachel Brand] Shave, Sister Seager, May Woodcock, Arthur Pauly [Arthur K. Paully], Mrs. Budd, Sister Seaich and her sister Mrs. [Clara Shave] Smith, John and Mattie [Martha Seaich], Sam[uel J. Seaich], Ada [Barber], and Alfred [B. Seaich].

We all went from here to church where Brother Knell entertained us for the whole evening.

We returned home with Elders Knight, Knell[,] Squires and Hemsley, had supper after which we indulged in a heated argument—the question was ‘Do poor people feel happy and honored in the company of a well to do person, who is dressed well and proves through action to be a good congenial friend to the poor?” After a long talk it was decided that both sides of the question had good points. [p. 34]

15 May 1899 • Monday

15th. Monday.— A very stormy morning. The Brothers went back to London. Went to Mrs. Seaiches in the morning to see how they all were found Mrs. Foxley there visiting had a pleasant chat on the influence of the Gospel with strangers according to how and when presented. Upon leaving when I went to kiss grand-ma good day she cried, and clinging to my hand as a support in her phisical weakness, tried to say something about her time of departing being near, she burst into tears and could not say any thing. Poor grand-ma she had belonged to the church for some time but for a number of years has not been able to meet with L. D. S.

16 May 1899 • Tuesday

16th. Tuesday.— We went to Bishopsgate from Maryland point, with John,—met Brother [William] Lomax there and we bid John good-morning and went with Mr. Lomax to see him perform his work—which is making fancy silk as well as wool and cotton cord and braid trimmings for upholstering, and trimming dresses, etc., it was very interresting.

From there we walked to #36 where we met a returning missionary from Germany, Elder [Oliver H.] Budge.

Elder Berry gave us each delineation of our characters. He pronounced us to be opposites, con[p. 35]sequently he said we aught to make good congenial companions. But he did not need to tell us that. We cooked dinner—mashed-potatoes, beef stake and milk gravy or ‘Mormon dope.’ Usually the boys cook their own dinner and they said that was the best dinner they had had in a long time, Brother Berry said the best since he left home which was three weeks previous and Brother Budge said the best he had had since he had left home which was over two years ago. But that was all a josh. In the evening we went with Brother Knell to see Henry Irving and El[l]en Terry in the French play Robespierre. The play was written from the French Revolution which took place about one hundred years ago. Henry Irving being very ill his son Lawrence, who is a play writer, took his part. I enjoyed the play very much.

17 May 1899 • Wednesday

17th. Wednesday.— Enjoyed a morning chat at #36. At 1 o’clock we were accompanied to Bishopsgate by Bro. Knell whom we bid good-bye, knowing we would never see him again until we reached the land of Zion From Maryland point station we went to Sister Lomax, found her not well enough to attend Relief meeting. I addressed some onvelopes for her and then left for meeting which [p. 36] we next attended and went with Sister Turner to tea. Rose Cook come in the evening and after some music we left.

18 May 1899 • Thursday

18th. Thursday.— Went in the afternoon and visited with a Mrs. Larkin and her daughter. Mrs. Alkinson [Atkinson?] and Mr. Larkin come in the evening. We had a most pleasant time found Mr. L.— to be a jolly good natured man of sixty but he truely looks but forty. They having once joined the church still cling to its principals but do not pretend to come and be full fledged members. Yet they may come along as they once did.

19 May 1899 • Friday

19th. Friday.— Washed my head in the morning. In the afternoon went to London and spent a pleasant afternoon with Madam Monteford who seemed delighted to see us. She gave us the best of attention, a nice lunch including straw-berries and cream, buns, cakes, oranges, ban[a]nas, lemonade and after a wash and powdered faces. She had three gentleman callers to whom she introduced us as being Mormons from the new Zion or Utah. The first gentleman, a workman in the general post office, was not so intrested in us but very sociable and agreeable,—but the next a Mr. Clarke an English officer to whom we were introduced as Americans and when afterward it was said that we were Mormons he blushed a deep crimson and [p. 37] looked in such amazement to hear that we were Mormons and began to ask all manner of question. At this interval a Minister made his appearance on the scene. Madam welcomed him gave him a seat when the first gentleman arose to go and while the Madam escorted him below a chance was given Mr. Clarke to talk and ask more questions on the State of Utah and its people in connection with our work in this land. The Madam came back but said little but encouraged us on by smiling and winking at us so we gave it to them straight Mr. Clarke said he was pleased to have met us and shook our hands bade us good-bye and vanished. He was rather inclined to be sarcastic but we held him off all right.

The minister said he was pleased with what he had heard and asked us where we gave lectures that he would like to attend. We bade him good evening and left with a warm invetation from Mrs. Monteford to come again.

We went straight from the station to Arthur Paully’s birthday-party. He being twenty-one and the English hold that as a great day the greatest of birthdays because of this age the male becomes [p. 38] of age. We spent the most enjoyable evening, partaking largely of the bounties of life together with sweet music rendered by those present.

20 May 1899 • Saturday

20th. Saturday.— Recieved $21<20>.00 from Wash, and $1.00 from Sister Clarke.

We were at home all day, brother Squires came at about eleven. The proof of our picture come, which is very good. John Seaich come to see us in the early evening and at nine he left with J.R. Squires.

This day partial arrangements were made for Whit-Monday, a bank holliday.

21 May 1899 • Sunday

21st Monday. Sunday.— Attended the Gospel and Bible Classes. Brother Squires come to dinner and tea with us. In the evening we were happily surprized to find Brother Hindley at meeting, he and Elder Purdy occupied the time. I gave out a notice to the effect that two Sisters from Salt Lake City would be present, Sisters [Priscilla Paul] Jennings and Sanders, and I would like a good turn out.

22 May 1899 • Monday

22nd. Monday.— Elder Berry come out. We had a bit of character reading John, Arthur and Sister Seaich being here together with J.R. Hindley and J.R. Squires, <Purdy and [Richard H.] Hamblin> after a pleasant hour or so part went to Seaich’s to dinner and part remaining were J.R. H.— J.— P.— J.R.S.— and myself, the rest including Inez left. [p. 39]

In the afternoon we went on the flats walked through Wanstead Park where we met Mr. and Mrs. Foxley.

We enjoyed a walk through the park viewing with interest every thing therein; from there we went into Woodford semitary and had some pictures taken. We saw Dick Turpins fathers grave.

We returned home and after tea went to Sister Seaches.

23 May 1899 • Tuesday

23rd Tuesday.— Wrote to the Young Womans Journal, also a letter to my Sisters.6

Took tea with Bro. Squires and spent the evening with he and Brother Berry.

In the early evening I went for a bick [bike] ride calling on Sisters Dumper and Gold.

24 May 1899 • Wednesday

24th. Wednesday.— Met for a special Relief Society meeting. Sister’s Jennings and Saunders of Salt Lake City were there and gave us some very good talks also Miss Luciele Jennings and Mrs. Farlo were present. We took tea with Sister Turner and enjoyed a pleasant evening.

25 May 1899 • Thursday

25th. Thursday.— I was at home all day with a very bad cold. Inez went to London to see Madam Monteford on some special secrets affair.

Bro. Squires come in the afternoon and again in the evening and remained with me until Inez come. [p. 40]

26 May 1899 • Friday

26th. Friday.— Did nothing in the morning.

Went for the Cooks to accompany us to the park but found Miss Rose [Cook] gone to see us and we had missed her.

Inez made arrangements to go to Wanstead Park With Rose Cook, Annie Watkins and some others too She promised we would all come with both Hemsley and Squires So we put up our lunch and off for this to do. J.R. Squires led the way which he did not know of course And we followed him trusting he would be a proper guide. [1/2 page blank] [p. 41]

27 May 1899 • Saturday

Saturday: 27th. The day spent mostly at home.

7Saturday 27th.— We visited the Alle Victoria docks which is three miles distance we were almost sick when we returned having walked the whole of the distance there and back. We viewed with much interest two great war vessels a number of sailing vessels as well as steamers. We watched the barges with their cargo being manipulated about the river Thames; the water here is very very dense with poisonous fluids it is an olive green. Sister cook took tea with us in the evening.

28 May 1899 • Sunday

28th. Sunday.— We attended the morning meeting, in the afternoon we went for a walk with two young men, John and Arthur, into and about Westham Park. The conversation was upon love, matrimony, and religion. We met a great number of people out because of the beautiful day.

We returned and took tea with Mrs. Seaich after which we attended our evening services. I numbered among the speakers. After the indoor service we went to hold an outdoor meeting on the ‘triangle’ we had only just begun when Staker the anti-Mormon, broke in on us and made a great disturbance finally he left <and went> a few feet off and had a discussion with three of the sisters and we went on with the meeting.

29 May 1899 • Monday

29 Monday.— Went tracting gave out one hundred and fifty tracts and enjoyed four nice conversations, In the evening we went to Poplar and called for Brothers Purdy and Hamblin from there went on to Steppney and held an out-door meeting, here I made my debout [debut] at open air speaking, quite a crowd gathered and I told them many things concerning the Mormon people and their lovely country. [p. 42]

30 May 1899 • Tuesday

30th. Tuesday.— Went tracting gave out fifty-tracts while Inez went to the Doctors with Mattie, enjoyed six nice conversations. In the evening we held a street-meeting, Inez addressed the people who thronged the pavement in proper style, we distributed sixty-three double tracts.

31 May 1899 • Wednesday

31st Wednesday.— Inez went with Brother Squires to London and I went tracting giving out over sixty tracts, enjoyed four conversations. To day the heat was very intense almost more than was bearable. Did some sewing and reading. Went for a bicycle ride in the evening with John.

In the afternoon we held relief-society meeting. [p. 43]

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May 1899, Journals of Early Sister Missionaries, accessed May 18, 2024