Aunt Cropley’s letter

Below is a transcript of a 1849 letter to Sarah Downing. It is written compactly on both sides of small red rimmed writing paper – horizontally and then continues superimposed  vertically – making it very difficult to read. Further research is needed to identify ‘Aunt Cropley’ – the letter was stored in a non contemporaneous envelope stating “Aunt Cropley’s letter”

Aston Grange


My Dear Sarah

Your note of the 16th inst I duly received. I was much pleased to hear that your health is so much better but disappointed to hear that you were not coming to Aston Grange but I hope that soon all obstacles will be removed such that you will make haste and finish your shirt making so that I may enjoy a little of your company here. For you must  not wait until I come over to Smethwick ere you pay me a visit as that will be so long and possibly it may never occur. Yet I hope that the pleasure of again seeing your village is in store for me.

So your brother George has at last made up his mind to embrace the bond of happiness.  I sincerely hope that he may find his bride an agreeable and affectionate wife and that his wedded days may glide on uninterrupted felicity.

I was delighted to hear that my dear Mrs Wm Downing has another little boy added to her family. You must give the little stranger a kiss for me and my very very best love to its amiable mother.

Now I hope my dear Sarah you will shortly find time to write to me and fail not to give me every particular relative to what may be going on amongst all my Smethwick friends and also when your brother is going to be married.

I suppose your sister Eliza is at home with you give my love to her and also to your dear mother who I trust is well.  Do you ever see my own dear mother it seems a long time since I saw her. Remember me kindly to your brothers.

May the sum of Omnipotence ever shield you under the wings of this protection and may peace be your constant attendant is the sincere prayer of your ever

Affectionate and devoted friend

Miss Cropley

July 29 1849

PS Be sure you write soon there a dear girl



  • Sarah’s brother George marries Ann-Maria Collins in Oldbury on 23 Apr 1850. She was the granddaughter of John Cheshire
  • The new child of Mrs William Downing is William Edmund Downing born 30 Apr 1849
Last updated on 19 August 2020 by JJ Morgan