The Bergh Family Records

Henry John Bergh

Notes for use of our family chronicler (Francis Rattray Bergh)

1844 The present writer was born on 16th January, 1844, at Eastbourne in Sussex - was christened Henry John but registered Henry Bergh. In those days Eastbourne must have been a very small village containing a few gentleman's houses etc.

1845- We appear to have moved about from place to place - spending summer of 1845 in Littlehampton where I nearly killed myself by sucking the paint off wooden soldiers - taken to London - Marleyford Place - where 1847 old Kensington toll-bar could be seen from windows - Doctors sent me to Brighton.

1846 As a last resource in 1846 we stopped at Waterloo Place in that town till end February. We then went to Greenwich to stay till end Autumn.

1847 Again we went back to Harleyford Place and lived there till May 1847. Then came a move back to Eastbourne where we stayed till November returning to London to 9 Park Road, Stockwell - and here we stayed till my father died 1849 - Abbot Bergh (brother Fred) says it was an old fashioned house standing in a large garden at Eastbourne. He supplied details given above. I can remember nothing of Eastbourne but the sea, going about in a boat and an old fellow named Pinner who told wonderful tales - can well recall an attack upon grapes which I pulled down with a rake, also part of the sequel.

1848 Began school at Miss Moppin's 'Academy' in Clapham Road, probably one of the old dame schools? Anyway it was not considered satisfactory so I was taken away and taught at home with my sister (Gussie) by a governess Miss Hayward. My brother Fred went to Stockwell Grammar School - adjoining our house - we could see the boys' playground from our bedroom window. Can remember very well indeed using bullets cast in kitchen and in spite of all warnings getting held of mould and pinching myself badly. My father was one of the 100,000 special constables sworn in at time of great Chartist gathering on Kensington Common and the bullet casting was evidently part of the preparations, and there wars two truncheons, one heavy and one lighter. My father has always been described to me as very handsome and most exceptionally strong, but I have no recollection of him myself, which is surely curious as I can well recall scenes in which he played a part, the incidents remain but the faces are forgotten. Nor do I remember anything at all about my first governess and her teaching, tho' I dimly recall a struggle with boys and a form falling on us - probably at the dame's school? The work of learning to read, write etc etc is quite obliterated from my memory, the only vestige of those ancient struggles being a sort of feeling, lingering still, that seven sights are 'beasts' to make 56! Miss Hayward must have taught well - I think -

1849 My father died this year of cholera - in September I think. (Yes!) He was one of the numberless victims of the terrible (because not understood) disease - can remember the funeral. Directly afterwards we went to live at Greenwich (Gravesend). (i.e. Gravesend, not Greenwich - Abbot Bergh) 1850 and then moved to 2 Queen's Road, Bayswater, where we remained until end of 1850. I remember our life at this time fairly well - particularly the small escapades etc. In 1851 we moved to 3 Garway Road, Westbourne Grove, a country place with delihtful fields and houses, and the Park quite near us and here we stayed till 1853. 1853 Can remember the new governess a Miss Pollard - a Roman Catholic - and going to tea at her house.

1854 We moved to 9 Cumberland Place - New Road - School followed the governesses; one was in Little James St., and I remember the Head Masters name was Morris. The second school (also a private one) was somewhere in Marylebone; Head Master's name was Childs (Shives in High Street) I think. Again faces and names have left no trace on my memory but the incidents of our daily lives are recalled with small difficulty - And now I was old enough to want to do 'big' things. Books and tools especially appealed to me. An old copy of Joyce's Scientific Dialogues was my great treasure, read over and over again - I knew it by heart - and my attempts to carry out the various experiments resulted often in serious damage to the house and serious tribulation to me. And now also the taste for mechanical pursuits developed strongly and I became the happy owner of sundry small tools. But I wanted always to be a sailor, was called the 'Admiral' and was disgusted later on to be disappointed because my mother had a horror of the son. My poor mother was very fond of us all but had absolutely no idea of the way boys should be brought up to become useful men - nor would she take any advice upon the subject. Love alone cannot suffice. And now my brother Fred begins to stand out as much cleverer than I am in all sorts of book lore and my sister Gussie to seem the best of sisters and the three younger children - or rather the two boys - to be my followers, and I am now called 'Rex' in consequence. A pleasant thing no doubt to have devoted adherents ready to obey all commands but carrying the disadvantage of punishment on 'spec' as soon as any ingenuity is discovered. We had a very quiet sort of life as my mother had withdrawn herself from all her relations and would have nothing at all to do with them. She seemed to be soured and lived in strict retirement - tho' I can remember my grandfather (Augustus Bergh) coming one day to see us at Queen's Road - and also a visit from my Uncle Augustus (Bergh) when we were living at Cumberland Place, and here we stayed until 1857 (or 1858) when the home was broken up and we went to France. Looking back, I was surprised with how very little material or moral help, we children contrived to spend so happy a childhood. Treats to theatres etc., were very rare indeed, living was very simple except upon the family feast days - birthdays - Christmas - New Year etc. etc. etc. Occasionally we sat up to supper - there were lessons and regular reading aloud - otherwise we had to amuse ourselves and succeeded easily - tho' we had no magazines or books for boys and girls and very few books children could read. When it became too dark to read two tall candlesticks were brought in and placed on the table with snuffers and tray between them - a two candle light for a big room - the present generation would be puzzled to see, yet we contrived to do everything by this light quite easily. When the 'moderator' lamps were invented we thought the effect 'immense' - Chas. Dickens' books were coming out in monthly parts and Oliver Twist made a great impression - And the Crimean War, and all the terrible news in the letters from the fronts published in the Times. - And so my mother decided to send us to France that we might learn to talk French as prettily as she did herself - All the old furniture was sold and we went into lodgings in London for a very short time and then in Folkstone for some little time - During our stay here it was decided to make an exploratory trip and we went to Boulogne, I being included in the party as a precautionary measure. 1858 My mother liked the place and the schools, took a furnished house and we returned to Folkestone for the rest of the family - When the wind and the sea were calm enough, we all went back to France - My sister was entered at a girls school, my brother and I at the College Communal - We went as day scholars first and after a year and a half about, my mother returned to England we being entered as boarders - 1860 All went to England for the long midsummer holidays - We went into lodgings at Ramsgate a seaside town we used to go to in the summer - There my mother decided to stay and took a house in Harbour Street which was duly furnished and became the new house - The holidays over, we went back to France and boarding school - It was not so nice as our life as day-boys when we lived at G... but it was jolly enough in its way - And the following year, 1861 my brother Fred gained his degree of B.A. in a very brilliant fashion, being the only successful candidate from our College - Some of his glory was reflected upon his younger brother and I had a share in the pleasant doings - So my brother's scholdays were over and we returned to England together, I looking to return and to take up the course of Civil Engineering for which the Authorities at College considered me especially fitted - of course, with my tastes, the plan seemed a very good one - But my poor mother thouht me half starved and wouldn't let me go back again - But later on, I was to 'read' with the head master of a school my younger brothers were attending - and so on - Did do some desultory reading and found out that it would cost too much to be articled to a Civil Engineer in England - so that project failed - Wanted to emigrate to one of the Colonies and applied for a free passage to Commissioners in London - but failed to convince them of my value as a colonist - So persuaded my mother to let me learn some useful trade which would make me successful as an immigrant.

1862 Finally was apprenticed to a builder and architect at Canterbury - as indoor apprentice - I know the premium was seventy-five guineas - The new life was very much to my taste and the mysteries of he craft were so quickly mastered that I could soon do well as an ordinary joiner besides getting a valuable knowledge of the drawing office work etc etc - Mr. Shrubsole was a kind and appreciative master but I couldn't stomach his wife's interferences, so after about a year of living in their house, I asked for liberty and a guinea a week - This was agreed to and during rest of my time, a fellow apprentice and I has diggings together and were very comfortable and contented - It was rarely I got less than 25/- a week wages - I had a very good time at Canterbury and was sorry for some things 1865 when I arrived at Jan 16 and was of age and so out of my articles - Gave a supper to all the men in my department, Mr. Shrubsole presiding - during the stay at Canterbury, often walked home (16 miles) on Saturday afternoon and back following evening - always did like a walk.

Mr. Shrubsole was glad to keep me as he could rely upon me in most ways as far as business theoretical as well as practical work - but being free, my roving instinct prompted a move to explore the world a little - So a look out was kept on advertisements and enquiries were make - in April 1865 I saw an advertisement for someone knowing French to go to Algeria for work in the forests - of course, I applied without losing a moment - the thought of wild adventures in the forests of Barbary and the probably finding of another Xury was attached and faithful as Robinson Crusoe's companion, was quite absorbing - only knew that Algeria was one of the Barbary States and visions of pirates and slaves and wild doings of all sorts in wild surroundings, I, of course, playing the big parts, quite blinded me to the possibility of there being any drawbacks. There was a difficulty in persauding Mr. Oldfield, the Secretary of the Advertising Co., (and my future father-in-law) that I was not a young gentleman bent on a spree - as he phrased it - When convinced of my bona-fides he took me to see a Frenchman who soon vouched for my knowledge of his language - I stipulated for £8 a month and all expenses other than food and these terms were agreed to - Returned to Canterbury to pack up - was helped to make a serviceable chest (still in good condition 1911) said many goodbyes etc etc - and left at last for London early on the appointed day - Had a very friendly send off, as a whole lot of the men insisted upon coming to the Station to see me off - losing a quarter day by so doing - But as to this, can say that I have always, or nearly always, found the working men very kindly people - Always have pleasant thoughts of Canterbury - I did now what I have always regretted since - it was to start away from England without letting my mother or any of the family know - It was done unwillingly but after due consideration, as I feared being persuaded to renounce the idea - I shall always regret this for my mother died a few months afterwards, so that I never saw her again - Had no reason to suppose she would not live for many years and looked forward to many future visits home - Am not at all superstitious, but cannot help being impressed with the feeling that if my poor mother had been able to wish me God speed, possibly my experiences in Africa would not have been so disastrous to my health and not to my purse only, but to the purses of my younger brothers and sister.

Stayed in London two or three days having several things to buy and do. First duty was to be photographed by Stereoscopic Co., and a remarkably innocent looking youth the camera revealed - At last I started on my travels towards the unknown land - Passing through Boulogne I eagerly looked for signs of old friends and places - At Paris had to wait a day but had an introduction to a French gentleman who saw me off at night, bound for Marseilles - Had to present another introductory letter there and spent nearly twenty hours waiting for steamer to Africa - Next day went aboard and crossed Mediterranean for first time - It was all new experience and new surroundings from the time I left Boulogne and I tried to see all I could and was charmed with the people and everything. A terrific thunderstorm at sea was decidedly impressive - In those days the voyage from Marseilles to Philippeville took at least two days - At last we saw due South of us a very mountainous coast with black and forbidding cliffs - an effect of the sunlight no doubt - It was the beginning of May and roastingly hot - or so it seemed to me - dressed as I was in thick winter clothes - Shall never forget the pleasurable excitement of that first sight of mysterious Africa. In those days there was no harbour so we landed in boats at a place called S --- 3 miles from Philippeville - Of course the boatmen tried to plunder the unwary passengers and there was a wonderful scene of squabeling and swearing - very striking to a newcomer from quiet old England - There was a big barge to take passengers' baggage to Customs House and later on a small steamer would carry the passengers to the town - But this was later on and I could not wait - Within half a mile of me was the wild shore with a sort of road landing along the cliffs to Philippeville, 3 miles away - No I could not wait, so bargained with a boatman to land me and my Carpet Bag on the beach - It was the great moment of my life so far to jump out of the boat on to the shore of Africa and to see around me houses, people and flora, quite new to me and all suggesting a tropical country - The strangely dressed Europeans and the still more strangely attired Arabs and Moors and Black and the jargon they uttered as several tried to relieve me of my Carpet Bag - not to steal it as I understood from a few odd French words, but to carry it for me - Managed to get directed to Philippeville and started off carrying the heavy Carpet Bag having disposed of the vociferous crowd - Shall never forget that first walk in Africa, it was most exhilerating - the weight of the Carpet Bag seemed to disappear, the heat and dust were unnoticed as I marched triumphantly along and realized that I really was in Xury's country - and might at any moment meet him - There was so much to see along and from that mountain road, everything was new and yet the flora, the people and their dresses were like what I had seen in pictures - In due course I came to the gate of the fortified town of Philippeville, passed the guards and asked my way to house of a gentleman to whom I had a letter - My progress was slow because there were so many new things to look at.

Arrived at the house, I was very kindly received and cared for. My employers The London & Lisbon Corkwood Co. Ltd. had a fine estate about fifty miles away from Philippeville and this was to be my headquarters. The local manager a Mons. Graby had come up to town to meet me and escort me back to the Safia as the place is called - a small coach would leave at 6 a.m. next morning and take us as far as a small hamlet called Jenmapes and from there we had to ride or drive about eleven miles more to the Safia - That first afternoon and evening in Africa were very pleasantly spent for Graby was a very nice sort of companion and we cottoned immediately - though he was more than twice my age - Next morning at 6 we started for the interior, we were perched on top of a ramshacle old diligence and like all the other passengers had to get down and walk up the hills - and these were fairly numerous for the country is mountainous - We changed horses at a small village which was walled and guarded like Philippeville and Jenmapes - passengers carried arms as there was always danger in those days - for the Arabs were but half conquered - We stopped at three roadside inns for a drink and to rest the horses - It took us five hours to do the thirty-nine miles to Jenmapes - and I really began to think myself in the interior of Africa when we got there.

The life in Algeria, as in all colonies in the early times, was a much free-er, wider sort of life than one lives in the older countries - There is no restraint or fear of Mrs. Grundy, so ceremony and forms are neglected - People dress and do as suits their own convenience respecting only the people's equal rights. The great amusement I found to be hunting wild animals, shooting game etc - In due course we started for the Safia and for first mile after leaving Jenmapes, we travelled over a fairly good road, afterwards it was a rough track through the forests etc - Progress was slow so there was walking and talk of all sorts of hunting exploits - In those days the forests were in a virgin state and decidedly imposing, some of the cork trees being immense - I was shown the speer of lions and other animals - also the torn trunks of cork trees where the panthers had sharpened their claws just as our cats often do at home - Great eagles and vultures were often visible and the partridges, song doves etc. etc., were very plentiful - Then Graby showed me certain places where he had killed wild boars and once nearly got ripped open by one - And the sky was intensely blue, the vegetation around me was strange and luxuriant, in many places the great cork trees interlaced their branches overhead. My companions were very friendly and courteous as is the way of all Frenchmen - And the newly appointed young English Manager who had come to Jenmapes to meet us, was very friendly indeed and glad to have some one to talk to for he knew no French - On we went along the forest track up hill and down dale, trees and brushwood all round us and the top of high hills showing through the trees - At last we got to a ridge and down below in a sort of basin there appeared the Safia buildings with the fermiancs, garden, etc - a lovely picture - the Safia brook wound through this basin with tall trees growing on its banks and the whole basin was enclosed by hills most of these covered with trees to the top, others showing naked limestone heads above their belt of trees - The sun of course was shining brilliantly - and to me it looked like Paradise - And having had a drink at the house, the young Manager got his gun and we went off to look at the porcupines' holes! - Think what a change from sleepy Canterbury! The Company employed many Arabs and a small staff of Frenchmen. The accommodation was very limited and the bedroom to myself which I had stipulated for, required to be built! And a good need of building would be needed evidently. Mons.Graby, his wife and two daughters were very nice to me - Two days later there arrived from Algeria Mr. Oldfield, the young Manager's father and also his eldest sister Mary. She had come to keep house for her father for a while - Mary Oldfield became my wife later on, the only good thing I got out of Algeria - And now I was busy indeed and most pleasantly occupied for the enlargements and additions etc., having been decided upon. I was left quite free to design and carry them out as I liked - Of course my bedroom was not forgotten Soon I had a heterogeneous bunch of workmen, Italians, French, Maltese, Kabyles and Arabs - The joinery and carpentry I undertook myself - cleaned out a shed, made a long window and door for it - built a proper English bench - and enjoyed myself with my beloved tools - I had to get to Philippeville several times and many times to Jenmapes to get the building materials etc - Had a blacksmith at Safia to make bolts and fittings etc etc. - Worked really hard and managed to get value for wages paid to my workmen - The Grabys boarded us etc and pending building of my bedroom, I slept in a bed arranged in a tree - It was a big olive tree and I contrived a suitable platform across some of the branches about fifteen feet above ground. On this was a bed and clothes etc - supplied by the Grabys - and I slept very confortably here for some weeks, only once getting wet through when a sudden thunderstorm came on - Sundays were great days as we, Graby and I usually but sometimes more of us, spent the whole day in the brush, shooting and fishing - We took the necessary implements and butter etc etc - and used to cook the fish and some of the doves for dejeuner - And we had several bathes in the river and enjoyed ourselves immensely - It was a life that suited me entirely - and having written home, I found my brothers wild to come out to join me, which was of course impossible then - But they told me our mother was so ill that it had been judged best to conceal from her the news of my move to Africa - so my letters to her had been kept back - This, of course, was depressing news but there seemed no reason for fear; the letters told of what seemed a passing illness - We were very busy at the Safia as the cork trees were being stripped for the first time and I had my hands quite full of preparations for putting the cork into marketable shape, in addition to the building operations - A few weeks more and there came news of my poor mother's death - The work pressed and had to be done - and was done - A few weeks more and we were in the middle of the hot season and in fear of fire - for the Arabs had been setting fire to the forests in the hope of driving the hated foreigners away - And now we had to suspend much work so as to take turns in watching and patrolling and the sky was covered with smoke and showed red at night - The military post near us was reinforced and troops were stationed at our nearest neighbours - But the fires came nearer every day - some white men were murdered and many Arabs were shot or cut down - We used to ride horses or mules on our rounds and the day soon came, when, on reaching the northern line of the forest, I found the adjoining forests on fire and the wind urging the flames towards the Safia - A wild gallop back to the house and then a muster of the men. But one man was still at his post in the forest (or we thought so) I volunteered to alarm him and ran off into the woods - Got to where we thought he should be but he was not there, started over to the military post and found he had run there. As he was afraid to return to the Safia I hurried back alone - and had to run for my life literally - For the north wind had increased and was now blowing furiously - The flames seemed to rush through the foliage and as I ran at top speed, the smoke came flying on before me and as I got to edge of cleared banks this smoke was mixed with burning leaves and twigs for the flames were just behind me - What with the heat the smoke and the pace over broken ground, I felt very groggy - Went on to house and was received with shouts; found the women weeping and hysterical and generally everyone excited because I was considered lost - Old Graby first embraced me and then abused me apparently to relieve his feelings - And now the fire was across the cleared lands and threatened the buildings - Armed with branches we kept the house safe also the stables and saw the fire rush on up the hills behind us - leaving the property a black waste - Young John Oldfield was prostrate in bed with fever and couldn't move, but I had promised his sister to carry him out if the house caught fire - When all danger was over we suddenly discovered how tired out we were - That night we could see the old trees burning like torches on the hills - The forest was utterly ruined and could produce nothing for years to come - And when we looked about us by daylight, it was impossible to believe there had ever been a paradise where was now nothing, but a blackened waste studded with charred stumps! Many lives were lost in the burning forests and the destruction of splendid trees was wide spread - the Company would have been well advised to abandon the Safia forthwith - We heard afterwards that the troops in our neighbourhood had galloped away after their Officers when they saw the fires getting nearer - the corkwood stripped and in the cork place I had arranged, was all saved and it was now prepared for shipment - it was of good quality, but the forest could not give any more so good for many years to come and then only if there were no more fires - There was wholesale destruction of wild beasts and game. The lions used to prowl round the buildings most nights before the fire; it was many weeks after the conflagration before they resumed their visits - The scene of desolation around us seemed to affect our health and spirits, anyway a number of the folk were down with fever and John Oldfield was very ill indeed - I had taken possession of my new bedroom and had furnished it very confortably - One morning I waked with a bad headache and felt heavy and funny all day, next morning felt more uncomfortable still - spoke to Graby who prescribed quinine but I wouldn't have anything. Shivering and burning was the next stage and the fits became more frequent and more and more severe - my head was splitting - So about a week after the first attack and when the fever had got thoroughly hold of me, I began to take quinine and continued taking it for months! - At last the attacks became less frequent and between them I could go about my ordinary business - After the fire, Mr. Oldfield came to Safia again and brought Miss Johnstone to keep his daughter company - She subsequently married John Oldfield - An eagle's nest was found on one of the crags and an eaglet was brought me as a present - It was like a large ball of down and being well cared for grew up to be a formidable young eagle - I called it Jacko and kept it in my room or on my verandah and fed it with frogs and snakes etc - It was quite affectionate with me and would come to me when I called - but no one else could approach it - a pity, because having to leave the Safia on business, it was necessary to get some one to look after Jacko in my absence - He was killed the day I left as he flew at the man who had brought food and ripped his hand open.

The Company had decided to apply to the Government for some compensation for loss of Safia value - and consequently I had to go with the Secretary's party to interview the different Authorities in Constantine, Bone etc etc - It was very interesting and pleasant to see the country, as my duties were simply those of interpreter, no one else of the party speaking French - And because of this power I was generally invited to make one of the visiting or reception parties thus getting to know many people including our neighbours - Was especially thick with the officers and judges etc., at Jenmapes - And the building went on and was completed; the Safia staff was reduced and the demand for compensation was urged at Paris as well as at Algiers - I had to translate reams of documents from French into English or vice versa - All quite agreeable and much to my taste, except during attacks of fever - Inclined to think I was foolish to disregard all cautions about shooting in the pestiferous marshes etc - The cooler season was coming on at last when to the fever was added another illness which steadily got worse, because nothing was done to cure it - It was dysentry and I said nothing until it was dangerously advanced, when I told old Graby all the mysterious (to me) symptons - You are a dead man was the comforting reply! But he and his good wife set to work and with drastic remedies, drove the disease away - It left me so weak that I could scarcely totter across a room - And now the fever increased and poor John Oldfield always in bed, was in a dangerous state indeed - the doctors decided he must be moved at once to the seaside to save his life - His father had come out again and ordered John and me off to Philippeville - One required to have passed through my experience of the summer of 1865 to be able to understand the delights of being at the cool seaside once more - After a couple of weeks we were able to go out for a little stroll - and used to hold on to the pillars of the frondes and then stagger from one to the other - and no one took the slightest notice of so common a sight in the Main Street - Algeria in those days killed or nearly killed so many Europeans - And in November John and I returned to the Safia pretty well restored to health once more.

I now applied for and obtained leave of absence and returned to England in time to spend Christmas at Saint Lawrence near Ramsgate with the younger brothers and my sisters - This visit to a cool country quite set me up again - and having settled various business matters, I returned to 1866 Algeria in February - There was a good deal of travelling to do which was very enjoyable and at Safia there was little or nothing to do - as the destruction of the forest caused stoppage of expenditure - I did as I liked practically and claimed no pay - in consequence my chief work was speaking and writing French - occasionally my tools came into play, but acquired a good knowledge of Arabic and some Italian, went shooting often etc. etc. - Should most certainly have abandoned Algeria after the fire and illness, if there had been no magnet at the Safia - Two months after my return Mary Oldfield said yes and the following month she, with the rest of the party, left for London - Of course I went to see them off and felt very lonely and ill-used as I returned to the Safia alone - We were engaged but Mr. Oldfield would not hear of a marriage until his daughter was of age - that is in 1867 - Now I had heard and seen a good deal of the profitable business of breeding cattle and sheep for exportation; More particularly of the buying of lean beasts to fatten and decided to go in for the thing - others made profits, why should not I? My brothers were eager to come out to Algeria - so we arranged to work together and my younger sister was to be with us - but she had her education to complete and I wanted my youngest brother to learn something of farming - before they actually came out to me - But it was to be a joint venture - We five younger children had each given £100 to our faithful old nurse Anne, that is I had to give it for the three youngest as they were not of age yet - Anne had started a lodging house after our Mother's death, we had given her all the furniture etc - Francis was staying with her, Ernest was at a farm and Eva was at school - Francis came out to join me and was as delighted with the country as I had been - The burnt wastes were covered with grass and many trees were sprouting again - it wasn't the paradise I discovered, but it was still a place of beauty - my brother was in the seventh heaven for he loved hunting etc. etc. He found me in possession of some 6,000 acres of pasture land bordering a large lake - with a goodly head of cattle and many sheep established in it - I had a tent on the place to live in when there, Arab guards etc. etc - just what one reads about in tales of adventure - But most of my time was spent at Safia as I was left in charge and was asked to have the house redecorated and altered for John and his wife who were coming back in early Winter - Francis and I went to Algeria where I bought my good mars Tora and where we got a Union Jack made - We also visited some other places he wanted to see - then back to Safia - It was very enjoyable as the neighbours were all kind - Then there were hunting expeditions - Francis was a fine shot and spent weeks in the woods, he took the tent to live in, had two Arab servants and a couple of horses and had just the time he liked - I oscillated between the Gouersas and the Safia - The cattle were flourishing and the sheep multiplying - With Francis' money the stock had been considerably increased - the outlook was most encouraging - The Safia was ready for the newly married couple and at my place the Gouersas certain huts had been put up in the Arab style for my men and my own dwelling - My men were faithful and contented and fortune seemed to smile - One day at Jenmapes, I heard people talking about the locusts appearing away down South - and a few days after, my Arabs told me the locusts were coming North - Kismet, it is fate! was the cry - We, in the Hill or northernmost part of Algeria, became anxious as each day brought more alarming reports - the locusts were descending from the mountains, they were at this and that place, devouring everything - And there was nothing to be done; we could only hope for a change of wind - a hurricane from the North to blow the locusts back South - These were anxious days and nights and I often climbed the hill behind the Safia to look over the plain of the Gouersas - towards the mountains to the South - for the South wind blew gently but persistently - Francis was a long way off hunting and did not concern himself much about our cattle etc. - couldn't realize what it would mean if locusts devoured every green thing at the Gouersas - Now whether the extensive fires of the preceding year were the cause or it was a simple coincidence only, it is a fact that the rainfall had been very small, with the result that the country was parched and the lack of green food in their usual haunts drove the locusts towards the North - Happily the crops had been got in - One morning about ten, I saw from the top of the hill, rising above the sharply defined crests of the mountains to the South, a curiously coloured cloud, the sunshine was brilliant as usual and the singular looking cloud was a greenish grey and it rose jointly towards the zenith, the front edge almost a straight line - and a sort of cloudy mist between it and the earth - and as it mounted higher and higher the wind brought a curious noise from the cloud and what had looked like mist began to appear like snow of a curious colour, coming furiously down - As it drew nearer still the apparent snow resolved itself into myriads of insects and when the cloud, shutting out the light, was overhead, we (I had gone back to the house) were suddenly enveloped in a dense mass of locusts continuously flying down to the ground - and covering every inch of it, whilst the trees, bushes and everything else were densely covered by the insects. As arranged we all went to the small vineyard and managed to save it from ruin - And the locusts after a minute or two on the ground, rose up again so there seemed a thick cloud always falling and an equally thick cloud rising up into the sky - We were covered with the creatures and were in semi-obscurity, it was too dark to read - The cloud took a very long time to pass over the Safia; when it was possible to see we found the ground as bare as our hands, the trees and bushes had lost all their leaves and twigs only the vines still showed some foliage - There was nothing left for the cattle to eat, swarms of locusts were crawling about - these were the females looking for cracks in the earth to lay their eggs in - The brook was full of heaps of drowned locusts and the wells too - The well filled garden was quite empty as the locusts had eaten even the roots away - And away north we could see the back of the locust cloud gradually sinking down behind the tall hills as it pursued the devastating march northwards - urged on by the persistent Southerly wind - We rejoiced to think the whole mass would be blown into the Mediterranean - as was indeed the case, so that great banks of dead insects were washed ashore and poisoned the air - But the locusts had left myriads of eggs behind them and these would become insects in the Autumn and destroy every green thing again - There was nothing to be done - Kismet, it is fate! - Now we have learnt how to deal with the plague; nobody knew then - This was a greater blow to the colony than even the forest fires had been for whilst the latter affected comparatively wealthy corporations or individuals only, the locusts had brought loss on everybody great and small - Whites and Arabs alike - For the exportation of cattle and sheep was perhaps the most important business in the country - the profits were large and the sale easy - A thousand pounds worth of lean cattle bought in the Autumn and pastured during Winter on such a place as the Gouersas would fetch £1,800 in the late Spring - And now the holders of stock had nothing for them to eat! And there was practically no feed to buy - The cattle and sheep must starve until the grass grew again for it was impossible to ship them away, there were far too many for the ships available and they couldn't be got to the ports - Now the vigour of vegetation in Algeria is surprisingly great as we had noticed after the fires - so all there was to do was to hope there would be no great mortality before feed had grown sufficiently - and to clean out at once the watercourses, wells, etc. - The sheep after a few days (it rained hard in the nick of time) found enough to eat and I lost none, but many of the cattle died and the survivors were bags of bones before there was sufficient food for them - I saw the poor starving beasts eating the dead locusts! - Am sure a good many beast were saved when almost done for, by pouring beer down their throats - Now what happened to me was the general fate of stockholders on good land, on inferior lands the mortality was proportionately greater - So the first season's operations must result in loss, but I did not expect worse to follow.

The Gouersas recovered quickly and I bought a lot more cattle at low prices - also gave pasturage to John Oldfield's cattle - No one understood in those days what a plague of locusts really meant - The earth was beginning to grow green again and the trees had put forth some young leaves - the cork-cak is evergreen so is the ilex - Things generally were brighter and my hopes rose again - but now reports arrived of the 1867 appearance all over the country of swarms of little black insects, issuing from the cracks and holes in the soil - the locusts eggs were hatching and for one of our late enemies, we might now expect fifty or more new ones - And soon the Gouersas and the Safia were covered with black moving patches of life feeding on the grass and other green things and the insects grew rapidly; we destroyed enormous numbers especially in the early mornings when they were torpid from the coldness of the night - But no impression could be made upon the incalculable numbers of the young and rapidly growing locusts - They literally ate up the land and left nothing at all behind them but the walls and watercourses poisoned by their dead bodies - And now it was not the cattle and sheep only that died like flies - there was famine in the land and the natives starved and were found dead by the roadside in hundreds - Cannibalism was rife - and then the cholera fastened upon the famished people and they died by thousands !! - One dreaded passing anywhere near an Arab Cemetery, because the bodies were scarcely covered with earth at all - It was an awful time - The Gouersas was swarming with locusts - I sold the survivors of my herd to a Maltese firm some distance away whose conditions were not so bad and so saved them - and looked out and found what seemed a better location than the Gouersas.

Went to England in June on a flying visit and on my return took a little country house near Bone and had it furnished etc - Again to England and we were married on the 10th September - Went to France and Belgium and in due course reached Bone and took possession of our house - My brother Ernest came out and he and Francis lived on the big place I had rented - some 10,000 acres of arable and pasturage - I had bought a few more cattle and sheep - and went in for growing hard wheat etc. - also sublet a lot of 1868 the land to Arab tenants - But it was no use, there was a drought and failure of crops - The poor people lived on nettles and other weeds - rather they tried to live and many failed - the misery was general - We opened relief stations in the towns but only a mere fraction of the people could reach them - Our business venture was a failure - Apart from the terrible anxiety of the time as our losses increased, it was a very happy time we had in Bone - naturally - When it was evidently useless to persevere, I called my brothers to Bone and we decided that they with our old nurse Anne should emigrate to Canada - I would have gone with them but my father-in-law thought it would be too cold for my wife - We went to London and I saw them off thoroughly well provided in all ways as regards very extensive outfits and with a considerable sum of money between them - Then back to Algeria - picked up and brought my wife home to Highbury in time for Christmas - Here ended the first home -

I do not introduce into these notes mention of all the different people I came across or had to do with; it is unnecessary -

1869 Began the hunt for something to do - My capital was very small of course - a drawback in such a search - A little more cash would have given me employment and a share in the Bridgwater Wagon Works or in one of several engineering businesses - Was nearly taken in at Ripon and several other towns, and was at last swindled by a printer named Mason in London -

Our furniture etc., was in LL.Co's warehouse - My wife stayed at her father's house during my journeyings and absences - In March Mary was born - our first child - Shortly afterwards we went into apartments in Gloucester Road, Chalk Farm, and stayed there until I became Mason's partner - then we moved to Mornsey Street and made the second (and very comfortable) home - Here, Alice and Hal were subsequently born - Worked hard to make the printing business go but there was nothing in it - and partner behaved 1870 badly - Dissolution of partnership granted by Court - and the old search for employment began again - Tried various things but there was nothing 1871 good enough - Early following year got up a venture to Tunis for halfa grass. An old friend Vincent, my sister Eva and I to share expected profits! my share of capital very small but my services on the spot were necessary - Proceeded to South of Tunis - a wild and independant country in those days where one realized what it meant to live amongst Orientals - Explored the country and found plenty of halfa - bought a quantity but there were difficulties in getting it shipped, couldn't stand delays as capital was required to be turned over again to most engagements - If we had been better off for working capital, would have had a good share of the big business which has since grown up out of that beginning - Held on as long as I could, then sold out - but there was loss - Ought to have had several thousand pounds to work with - More again towards end of year - The old search 1872 resumed and Spanish studied - an inspiration as the L.L.Co wanted to open an agency in Spain and offered me the post - which I jumped at - It was a poor sort of thing but I was in no position to be particular - And so I went with Frank Oldfield overland to Seville - As my wife did not like being left alone in the house again, we warehoused the furniture and took apartments in Beresford Road near her father - and this was the end of our second home - Arrived in Seville, soon got to know useful man and to see my way - Took a house after a time, bought parcels of cork and prepared and shipped them - it paid and operations were extended - Took a forest and stripped it etc. etc. - At end of twelve months could show a net profit of £500 or more -

The above notes in my Father's own handwriting were written at my earnest request and I much regret that they were not brought down to a later date. His own views and experience in his own words would have been a valuable and interesting record. However, I have continued the notes to the best of my ability and knowledge and trust that this record of one very dear to all of us will be preserved by my own children and descendants or by any other member of our family into whose hands it may come. F.R.B.

By Abbot Bergh O.S.B.

To the very accurate account of our early life written by my good brother, I can add very little. Indeed, I supplied him viva voce with some of the information he gives out which as relating to his own childhood he was unable to remember. One or two corrections I may make. The name of the Schoolmaster he was with in 1855 was Shives not Childs and his Academy was in High Street, Marylebone - We left that neighbourhood for Boulogne early in 1857 - were at the College there as externs or day scholars during the rest of that year - were half-boarders at the College in 1858 - and on our mother returning to England in the summer of that year were left till August 1859 at the College as Boarders - Christmas 1858 was I should say one of the dreariest for both of us, he or I can remember. Of the houses we lived in nearly all are still standing and recognisable - What then was 2 Queen's Road, Bayswater, is now occupied on the ground floor by a chemist's shop. No. 3 Garway Road and the house in Marylebone Road remain as they were. The French house in Rue de Wicardenne and the Brighton lodgings in Waterloo Road (nearly opposite to our grandfather's house) I have recently inspected - as also that in which we lived for a month or two at Folkestone. Our mother died at Ramsgate (9th June 1865) in a little old fashioned place between Ramsgate and the neighbouring village of St. Lawrence - The reason of our connection with Ramsgate was that our one and only summer holiday excursion (1856) was to that place - The place we went to in 1849 was Gravesend not Greenwich.

There can be no doubt that my brother Henry had considerable abilities; but that his education was wretchedly neglected. (In youth perhaps but see page ...) His bent to practical engineering could and should have been seconded. The schools he was sent to were of little or no account - and nowhere was he allowed to remain for any adequate space of time, with the exception of the Boulogne College stay of a couple of years - At Morris's and Shive's he had perhaps three months each at most. And he puts the house-life in far too favourable a light naturally and properly saying nothing of the greatest drawback of all. However these are all bygones, and I add nothing to his account of sad times -

He should, however, have noted how in the early days of Magazine competitions (about 1859 or 1860) Beston the publisher started one and how he out of hundreds of competitors took the prize (a Pilgrim's Progress), though I forget now what the subject matter of his essay was.

He was always handy and ingenious with tools and I recall his constructing out of handy materials or rather total lack of materials, very creditable model steam engines and so forth.

In childhood he was energetically good looking; so much so that I have known artists sketching in Kensington Gardens (where we both resorted to watch the Hyde Park building of the Great Exhibition of 1851) stop us in order to get the outline of his features.

There is nothing more that I can add. Our tastes from boyhood were very different, and even then we were not much of companions. We separated practically for good in 1860 when he was only fifteen - met for a week or two in 1865 and did not again see one another till 1879 or 1880, although we had kept up a desultory correspondence in the interval, by means of which I knew of his marriage, the birth of his children and so forth. - From 1880 we saw one another oftener, but I do not know that I have anything material with which to supplement the preceding pages.

F.T.W. Bergh. O.S.B.
Carshalton - 10th Sept. 1914.

How to Model a small Steam Engine
How to construct a Boiler for a small Steam Engine.
See Boys Own Magazine. Vol. VIII. The articles are illustrated with his own plans. Wood largely used for the Engine.

Life of H. J. Bergh (continued by F. R. Bergh)

1872 It was at the end of November in this year that my Father went with my Uncle Frank Oldfield (Tio) to Seville. They went overland and the Carlist War was then on. The railway had been cut and they had to continue the journey by diligence.

1873 There was serious trouble in Seville after the abdication of King Amadeo, A revolution took place and there was some fighting in the streets. The workmen asked my Father to let them have cork to make barricades but he was able to put them off with the excuse that it had not yet been made up into balsa and was therefore useless for the purpose. He used to describe how hearing a noise one night he went into the factory and found the men making cartridges - Some friends the Misses Butcher made a Union Jack which was hoisted to protect the factory. The Government troops in due course arrived and put the revolt down. My Father went out several times into the streets to see the fighting and saw the Government troops storm the barricades and capture the Town Hall. He was much struck with the curious attitudes of men who had been shot - it was impossible sometimes to realize they were dead when apparantly knealing with their rifles still held.

At the end of the year he returned to England and in the beginning of 1874 the following year brought my Mother and Meggie, Jeanie and Hal to Spain. They stopped in Cadiz about six weeks whilst Father went to Sadajoz to see about starting a factory there. They all went to Sadajoz and took a house but could not get a place for a factory for sometime. There was practically no business going on and the place was in a state of siege. My Grandfather Samuel Oldfield went out to them and brought my Mother and Hal back to Woodville House (Highbury Quadrant) where on the 12th November Harold Samuel Oldfield Bergh was born. Father then went to Seville (leaving Tio in Sadajoz) and taking Meg and Jeanie with him. The girls were looked after by the Misses Butcher at first but towards the end of the year he took another house and factory.

1875 Early in this year he was appointed Assistant Manager in Portugal under the Visconte d'Albergaein (then M. Freise) of the London & Lisbon Corkwood Company and in February he came to England to fetch the family returning with them early in March. The Company's factory was at Caramujo in a bay on the South side of the Tagus and a house was taken in Almada (Rue do Paco) from the back of which access could be obtained to the cliffs overlooking the Tagus. Here in October Harold died.

1876 February 13th the family chronicler was born. My Father's notes stopping four years prior to this event it is difficult to cover the period up to 1889 when his letters to said chronicler commence but beyond the arrival of more children life was probably not exciting and devoted to the work he was engaged in and to his hobbies during his spare time.

1877 November 19th my sister Rose Annie was born.

1878 He became Manager in Portugal, a position he retained until after more than twenty years of constant anxiety the L.L.C. was at last wound up.

1879 October 3rd Grace Amy was born after which event the house in Almada was given up and the upper floors of a large house in Cacilhas looking out over the Tagus taken. Here in June 1880 Grace Amy died. The Portugese 1880 climate is very trying for English children and in those days the medical attention obtainable rather indifferent.

In February my Father went to Algeria whereat the Safia of which he has written the Company had a large forest. In October of the same year my brother Rowland Houghton the Benjamin of the family was born.

1882 February 2nd. The blackest year of my Father's life for on this day my Mother died in childbirth. Left a Widower at the early age of 38 with a family of six young children, the youngest under two years of age, it would not have been surprising if he had married again. Instead he devoted himself to his children trying to make up to them for the loss of their Mother, to whom he continued always faithful-revereing her memory and in the firm belief that they would meet again when he would be able to say that her last injunction Take care of the children Harry had been faithfully carried out. My Mother's sister Auntie Annie (Mrs. Ebenezer Sargent) came out to Portugal and looked after us for over a year. At the time of my Mother's death all were at home and taught by a Governess (Miss Whitworth) the first of a series.

1885 January. My Father came to England bringing with him my brother Hal and Annie who lived at Woodville House with our Grandfather (S.O.) the former going to School at Paradise House, Paradise Row, Stoke Newington.

1887 March. He again came to England with me in order that I might go to the same school and to see my Grandfather who was seriously ill and in fact died a few days after our arrival. My Father in April then took Hal to his school in Germany. On his return he then took Meg, Jeanie and Annie to Portugal to live with him, Rowland being with friends at Minster, Kent where my Aunt Gussie was in a convent. On this journey the steamer was run down and sank in the Thames.

1888 My Father came to England again on his way I think to Algeria he having been appointed Manager there, also my Uncle John Mr. Oldfield having died there leaving his Widow alone.

1889 The first of my Father's letters to me which I have kept is dated 4th April, 1889, and they form the basis on which the following notes are made. At this date he was living at Cacilhas with my three sisters and youngest brother. Hal was at Gloucester apprenticed to a firm of Engineers and I was at Paradise House School but Jeanie was about to come to England. The extracts from his letter are given as the best means of indicating how he spent his time - his views and his journeyings - All the letters up to 1902 are written from Portugal unless otherwise stated.

1889 April 13th. I have just finished winding on the wire of the New Coil ....... Fancy close upon 3,000 yards of wire as fine as thread. This was for Rowie and is a reminder that one of my Father's hobbies was making Electrical experiments. His practical object was to find a cheap method of extracting aluminium, then a very expensive article. April 27th I am at liberty now to get on with my turning etc - as the dolls house and coil are both finished - I am busy with a boring machine. He had a very good lathe with which he did a lot of turning in wood and iron and other metals and was able to do a good deal of repairing work required for the factory machinery. June 7th at Jenmapes, Algeria. very hot I find the place as you may fancy - My letter writing costume consists of a pair of drawers and a shirt only - It is much too warm to wear any more clothes although nearly 10 o'clock at night. ---We came across the locusts in several places --- 10,000 men are continually working to destroy them but they of course came by millions --- I have 50 Arabs stripping cork and as they do not drink wine I gave them a bullock to make a feast - Next week I am going to camp out at the Safia to examine and report upon the whole property which contains some 10,000 acres. June 12th. Two lions were prancing about the forest the night before last -- My hut is made of branches and roofed in with rushes. It will at all events be cool at night. July 3rd. I wish you both were at the Safia that I might have my regular dip every morning (He kept his cold bath up to the last) -- went out shooting and fishing - I like shooting fish better than catching them with a rod etc. - we were invited into an Arab gourbi and there had a feast of Courcous. It is not bad living in a gourbi and is cool enough at night as the wind passes freely through the branches of walls and roofs - It is curious too to hear the cries of the wild animals - It is 24 years since I first saw this forest. My Father came to England very shortly after the date of this letter and then returned to Portugal. Whilst in England he took Hal and I about and we stopped some days with him at Angus Hotel close to Blackfriars Bridge. Oct 7th. The workshop is going again I had first to finish Rogue's apparatus also to make him a galvonometer. Now I am on to work for the factory - I have no artificial teeth myself but am sure they are better than aching or bad natural ones. Oct. 22nd. Rogue's birthday - We are to have the magic lantern this evening and I must go and get it ready. The magic lantern was a great institution which we children much enjoyed - My father had a wall in the Attic prepared as a screen and often gave us the lanterns (describing views). Many of the slides were home made and with the aid of a camera made by himself with which photos were taken by the wet process. Lantern slides were made of most of us. These lanterns were again called into use many years later for the benefit of his grandchildren and he took great delight in amusing them and bringing out the old slides again. Nov 15th. I have been travelling day and night since last Tuesday afternoon and reached home this morning at 7.o'c. Fancy three nights and two days without changing clothes or going to bed. (Visit to Spain) Dec. 9th - I believe in chemistry - It is the science that will unlock in time nearly all the secrets of nature.

1890 Jan. 19th - The dispute between England and this country has caused very great excitement here but I hope it will evaporate in cheers and groans. This was over Delagea Bay when our Government had to deliver an ultimatum. It was very unpleasant for English people living in Portugal who were stoned and insulted and called pirates. My Father however was never subjected to any violence as some others were, but he was too well known and liked to make such a contingency probable. A discharged workman did once approach him in a hostile way but was promptly frightened back into the nearest wine shop when he found that my Father stood him ground. In March Meg and Annie came to England leaving Father and Rowie alone with Uncle Arthur and in May Rowie and Uncle Arthur came home. It will be very dull in the house alone but the busy season is coming on and I don't mind feeling solitary if sure that my little folk are doing well away from me. April 26th - think of spending a week or two now and again in Lisbon or Cintra - so that I shall not feel very dull - Besides which there is always plenty for me to do in the long room or at factory. June 23rd My bed has been under the trees which is always pleasant enough but last week we had two days and nights of thunderstorms - this scarcely marred the otherwise enjoyable burst of camping out. My Father frequently slept out in the cork forests up-country when we had to visit them. July 10th I am nearly always away with my men in the forests as this life is more interesting than being at home alone. July 24th I spend about five out of the seven days a week up country. In August I went out to Father for the holidays the last time I was in the old house. The Stewarts were there - old friends - but Mrs. Stewart was then very ill. She had confessed a wish to die at our house which she accordingly did. The trouble with poor Mrs. Stewart might have made you ill as it did me for two or three days. Sept. 23rd The Directors have authorized me to send my tanates to London, to take lodgings in Lisbon and to put the office at factory - and as soon as everything is ready I shall say goodbye to this house - it is anything but pleasant leaving it, for dull as I am alone here, it goes against the grain to abandon what has been such a jolly home for all of us - I shall lodge in Lisbon and try to get holidays in London as often as possible. (The house in Cacilhas was burnt down in 1901 and rebuilt in a somewhat different place). Oct.22nd The sale is over - I did not care to be present - find myself often regretting our old house. All the furniture was sold and only a few things including the lathe and tools sent to England. Dec. My Father came to England and took a house at Wood Green (33 Park Avenue) where he installed all of us except Hal who was still at Gloucester. I started in the Great Eastern Railway (Rates office) and the two youngest 1891 went to school. At the end of February he returned to Lisbon. The affairs of the Company were no better and my Father made tentative efforts to get other employment but nothing acceptable turned up. June 1st The longer I live the more evidence I get of the certainty that men reap as they sow in this life as well as in the next. Sept. My Father went to Spain and again to Algeria. By sea Lisbon to Gibraltar and then on to Malaga and Algeria and from there by Spanish steamer A dirty little Spanish tub not so long as the Barreiro boat - a cargo boat without cargo and didn't she just pitch and roll. The grub too was very bad - I always enjoy a visit to these old scenes but somehow the sight of them makes me rather melancholy. The fact is I ought to be rich enough to bring some of my fry with me on these expeditions and then they would be all enjoyment nearly (Written from 1892 Philippeville) He returned to Portugal in November and February came to England for a holiday a short one but important to me as it was then arranged that I should leave the G.E. Rly. and be articled to my Uncle Herbert Oldfield. August. After passing the preliminary exam I went out to my Father in Portugal staying with him at Tio's and had a pleasant trip up-country with him to the forests to see corkstripping going on, sleeping two nights in the open.

1893 At the beginning of this year my Father was home for a short time and the house at Wood Green was given up and lodgings taken at 64 Wharton Road, Hammersmith. He lived in Lisbon on his return where there were more people to see and houses to visit and an occasional theatre. There was some trouble with strikes this year, a comparatively new departure amongst the Portugese There is absolutely no need to feel anxious about me for there is [not], and never has been, the slightest danger and I am always astonishingly careful of my own skin. On these occasions when the men did strike, it was the custom to hoist two large Union Jacks at the factory gates. My Father who could already write German well took the opportunity (becoming acquainted with some Germans) to improve his talking in this language. He never seemed to think that he had finished with learning or improving his knowledge which covered a very large ground. In 1913 a few weeks before his last illness he set to work again on German and worked very hard - too hard - at it. June 6th. My Father had a very thorough knowledge of the Portugese character and got on very well with them, speaking and writing their language almost like a native. He was a close observer of everything and noted changes as they took place. He writes this month The Republican movement has undoubtedly made very great progress and the causes of the people are permeated by vague but strong disinterest with existing things and cravings after a Socialism of which the ignorant folk know nothing, though they believe it will bring great gains to themselves. Very little would probably precipitate the inevitable outbreak.

The establishment of a Republic in Portugal following the assassination of the King, Don Carlos, and the Crown Prince is recent history, having taken place in 1910 and the unrest since that event has been due largely to the disappointment of the people in not getting the great gains they had expected.

Jeanie went out to him in July shortly before her marriage to John Wilson. Father was living sometimes at an hotel or boarding house in Lisbon and at other times with Tio and Tia who were always exceedingly kind in having him. Tio, before his marriage, had lived with the rest of us in Almada and Cacilhas. August. I want her (Meg) to send me Borderland a new quarterly just introduced by Mr. Stead. My Father was much interested in this magazine which he took for some time and when in England attended a Seance at which he was much impressed but on the whole I think he thought Spiritualism amongst the non-proven subjects although his belief in a future spiritual existence never faltered throughout his life.

I like the change to Cacilhas again, it was getting too hot in Lisbon and Jeanie's presence makes life less monotonous.

At the end of November he came over to England and spent Christmas with us 1894 returning to Portual in the following February. You are right, my boy - it was wretched having to say good-bye and stll more wretched to have to live apart as we do.

Will Home Rule be conducive to the best interest of Ireland? I should say in the abstract - yes - unhesitatingly and would say the same of England, Scotland and Ireland. But in the concrete shape of Gladstone's late Bill, my answer would be - no. And if no wider ground were taken it is always easy to adduce some arguments, pro and con, in all debates. He was a Conservative and a pronounced free trader so long as it was not universal free-trade and always ready and able (not always the same thing) to argue on a very wide range of subjects.

This same month he was off again to Algeria staying in Jenmapes when not at the Forest de la Safia but the weather was wretched and thick mud everywhere. His boots gave way Slippers won't do in present state of things so one must stop in the house. The guard's house consists of two rooms anything but A.1. There are the guard and his wife, two children, five dogs, one cat, etc. etc. When all this has to remain indoors on account of the wet, life here is not as pleasant as one would wish! He got back to Portugal in May. May 12th - I had a pleasant enough journey - the sea was very smooth but I was queer once - funny wasn't it? He was a very good sailor and I doubt if he had been seasick for many years before this or more than once afterwards, notwithstanding the numerous and rough sea voyages he went. June. Meg and Hal went out on a visit, the former staying at Tio's and the latter with the Wilson's at the Ontairo. Meggie's presence shows us all up and infuses life into our very slow existance here. Their coming seems to me like a glimpse of home and family life again. On this occasion Hal had a trip up-country with him. My Father was not happy unless there was plenty of work or something to do and plenty of people to exchange ideas with. August 9th - Pipe put out. October 13th - As to stoppage of smoking, Saint, I am now in my 11th week of abstention. The only effects I have observed, or fancied I observed, are 1, a slight deadening of the mental faculties and 2, a decided sharpening of temper. Don't fear, if it seems to me advisable to begin smoking again I will at once relight the pipe of peace as in fact I intend to do when in the future things are more prosperous. Anybody who, having been always a heavy smoker as my Father was, has tried to give it up will know what strength of mind it requires. But my Father did it more than once and carried his pipe and tobacco pouch in his pocket during the abstention. Nov. 25th - I quite believe with Huxley that pertinacity and patience (in hard work) are worth double the amount of cleverness.

1895 April - My Father came to England at the end of this month in connection with the Company's affairs which were in a bad way. He continued to live the quiet and to him rather monotonous life in Portugal but he had my sister Jeanie and his first grandchild near him. Sept. There is nothing at all in the shape of news to send you - Things here go on in the most monotonous and uneventful fashion. His letters this year are largely concerned with Annie and Rowie's schooling and the idea of moving to a house and Hal's travels at sea on his first boat.

1896 Jan.12th - Thanks for your wishes for the 16th. I can recollect putting my date, name and 1848 at the bottom of my copies - can hazily recall the effect produced by passage from 1848 to '49 and remember very well indeed how much the writing 1850 instead of 1849 impressed me with the rapid progress of the World as represented by myself. As to bike - there is an old fashioned machine left at the Outsire and John showed me how to ride it in four lessons. And very amusing descriptions we received of his experiences but he soon became expert and had some very long rides afterwards in England. No I don't want Richmond Hill or any other hill level, and smooth ground suits me best. Feb. - My Father came to England on his way to Algeria and definitely decided to take a house. He returned to London from Jenmapes in March and we then went to 32 Cromwell Grove, Hammersmith, the last house my Father took in London and which remained headquarters up to 1904. He returned to Portugal same month and continued amusing himself with the bicycle there, but he had, whilst in London, used mine and got on very well notwithstanding certain wild charges on to and off the pavement, into pillar-boxes and so on. In July he moved over to Lisbon I am lodging in a sort of Portugese private boarding-house and expect it will be fairly comfortable. There are some other Englishmen and a Dutchman there so it will not be dull. I wish Lisbon was not so close and evil smelling also that London porter could be had in place of the bad water - Otherwise the life in my new quarters is not unpleasant. In Oct. he was back in England again on the way to Algeria. He spent Christmas at the Safia. Fancy being couped up in a small room almost continually since I came here, we have had nothing but rain and storms.

1897 Jan. 8th - Yes - I am having a beastly time of it. The Safia is only habitable if the weather is fine --- I have had to get several thorough drenchings in order to get a little exercise. In addition to this disadvantage there is the struggle with the confounded officials - the having to stroke them the right way of the hair to prevent a most serious injustice being done to the Poor L.L.C.. He had a long stay in Algeria on this occasion at one place or another and returning to Portugal via London until April and evidently found the trip anything but enjoyable. June 11th (Portugal) It has been very hot all the week and up-country it was simply roasting. I had four hours last Sunday in an open cart in the middle of the day - it wasn't at all cold! This month after my final exam I went out to Portugal for a short holiday, staying with Jeanie and with Tio where Father was, and very nice it was being with him again in the old places. July 23rd - My weekly journeys up-country are still proceeding and I am off again tomorrow morning. Last journey was rather more exciting than usual for our third and last camp in the forest you slept in was pitched in a place infested by Scorpions. Last Saturday night Polonio sleeping next to me was bitten. In August Annie and Rowie went out for a holiday and later went up-country with him several times. They returned in September. In this month his letters first refer to what we used to call the pedigree i.e. my attempts to get some information together about family. My Father always took great interest in any information obtained and what little matters of interest have been got together have been so got largely owing to the encouragement he gave. At this date, beyond some meagre knowledge of his Uncle and the name of his grandfather, he knew nothing of the earlier generations. Dec.14th. -I have been away up-country doing the round you and I did together some five years since, in addition to a long journey to the South of Portugal.

1898 Feb. 5th - At the Safia - I am busy enough here and have a good many men to look after. French - Italians - Arabs and Kabyles - all of whom he could talk to in their own language. Feb. 13th Last Sunday morning I woke up to find La Safia covered with snow. It was a real treat. Buried in the woods here I have naturally very little to send you in the shape of interesting news. On this occasion he was seeing to the repairs to the house which had fallen into a ruinous condition. Feb. 28th Yesterday I walked most of the way to Jenmapes before the jardiniere could overtake me and get an Arab to carry me pick-a-back over one of the streams. Right in the middle I thought he was going to tumble down but happily we got through alright --- I prefer to stick to La Safia and to see after the work. It is a caution having to turn a tumbledown old house into a new one, particularly in such weather. April 10th I am quite well as usual and now enjoying a bit of roughing it being alone here with an Arab - I'm afraid you would not admire the Cuisine. May 10th - I should like to see both the girls marry, being convinced that it is the best condition for all women in pretty nearly all cases. At the end of this month he came home to London but was back in Portugal at the beginning of June. The long stay in Algeria and the bad food had made him a little out of sorts but the Doctor soon put him right June 20th - We are going to Cintra for the next three months and shall have about five hours travelling daily although it can't be more than twenty-five miles between the factory and Cintra. Aug. 11th - I like the change to Cintra because it brings an opportunity of seeing people and having a chat with them. It is a great mistake to keep ones thoughts altogether to oneself - folk who do so become more and more taciturn, reserved and their power to think at all must soon be seriously impaired. I know people who have arrived at the stage of being unable or unwilling to utter a word for a couple of hours on end! Aug. 27th - I have a good bath under a 3" tap every morning it is like standing under a small Niagara and is A.1. at 6.a.m. Sept. 3rd (Cintra) We had a small fire at our hotel last night but no danger nor chance of effecting rescues etc. It is a change to be waked up by smoke and cries of fire! As the fire was close to my room the smoke poured in through the wooden ceiling and might have stifled me had the window not been open. In October Meggie went out to Portugal and at the end of the month he came home and in November went on to Algeria to the Safia. Nov. 27th - Have furnished the two rooms rebuilt last year and feel as if I were in clover. Fancy ten years of roughing it in this country -- both sea experiences were disturbing and I was as sick as the rest of them - so Adieu my claim to be a good sailor - Alas & Alack! Nevertheless he was an excellent sailor. On this journey he was endeavouring to get the authorities to pay up an indemnity of £2,000 due to the Company and as there was some trouble between England and France at the time, he found a change in the demeanour of his numerous French friends. Dec. 8th Fancy taking 17 and a half years to collect the funds for paying 40% of the officially estimated damage by 1881 fire. He was constantly put off with one excuse or another and heartily sick of the whole business.

1899 Jan. 18th - Philippeville - As to health of body I am quite well, as to health of mind, I am ill from constant swearing about the needless delays and exasperating slowness of the officials here - However time and patience and perseverance always win in the end. And they did for he came home shortly after bring the cash with him. I remember his arriving after three sleepless days and nights spent clutching the money and I suppose keeping an eye open for possible thieves. In March he was back again in Portugal but he had spent sometime at home and done a good deal of cycling. He took his bike out with him. March 27th. I don't like the look of the roads here, the best of them look worse than the bumpiest parts of the Shepherds Bush Road. However he managed to do a good deal of cycling in Portugal and got some tumbles. (April 21st) Thanks I am alright as to the honourable rounds rained in my tumbles with my bike it is that confounded African fever which bothers me still -- I have had little riding yet quinine, fever, dust, heat, bad roads and steep hills are all against riding. Fever and the Company's affairs bothered him a good deal this year but he did a fair amount of cycling to and from Cintra. Oct. 4th - Have had a long bout up country, returned yesterday and am off again this afternoon. Very happy to say that fever has again been staved off by persistent use of quinine. This year his brother, Uncle Ernest, died in Canada. My Father had frequently been called upon to assist his brothers, Ernest and Francis, financially. The position of the Company was critical and money matters seemed likely to become urgent. Dec. 13th - Home is for all of us and each of us has an equal right to his share. My special privilege and pleasure is to keep our home going as well as I can. Whenever circumstances arise to cut my finances I shall be down on you all instenter to aid me to keep our home going ... I have only one thought now and that is the happiness of my fry. Dec. 27th We had our Christmas dinner on Sunday and spent Christmas day cycling - a very pleasant day. Father, Tio and John Wilson at this time all had their bicycles.

1900 Jan. 5th The worst of draughts is that they act with increasing effect, witness my back aches of old caught by sitting between open door and window in the smoking room at Cacilhas. It was Auntie Pollie (Mary Oldfield, Francis' wife (509)) who convinced me that this glorious current of air gave me neuralgia and ... avoiding draughts ... I got rid of the pain years ago. I am very pleased with the news of Meggie's engagement. Of course, we think any pretender not good enough for her but yours and Tio's remarks about Ernest Hickson (My grandfather (ref: APH)) confirm the good opinion I had formed of him from his manly letter to me. Jan. 18th - have arranged a small track in the garden and we ride on this sometimes but a series of continuous curves is not equal to a high road by a long way. In February he came to England for Meg's wedding which took place on her birthday in March and made my future wife's acquaintance and he returned to Portugal in May. It's the first time I have landed here without being welcomed by little Le' with his big smile! We have a much smarter man now to do Le''s work but I liked the little chap. Our Le' had died the previous year. He was an old and faithful manservant who used to do the shopping in Lisbon and also business errands there as well as looking after us. We were all very fond of the little man who was kind hearted if not particularly clever. The South African war was of course eagerly followed by Father in Portugal and his letters at this time contain many references thereto and to the hostile attitude of the Portuguese towards the English and the ridiculous news published in the native papers. May 26th - As to the rejoicings over the relief of Mafeking, I am not surprised that all the world is inclined to mock us, we are getting to be as bad as the French! Of course the enthusiasm is evoked by the rescue of the brave people in Mafeking and not by the importance of the victory, still it seems to me overdone. The Portuguese papers don't write so jubilantly as they did when we were being licked and there is great disappointment with the course of the war. This of course is very soothing to our feelings. June - In June he had to go to Algeria (13th) Safia. Five days and nights of constant travelling at full speed - a luxury one has to pay for. Fortunately there was no lack of agreeable travelling companions - and buying the French and English papers at principal railway stations, the good news from South Africa enabled me to tickle my French friends. The Safia looks very nice but it is infernally hot and steamy. Take quinine every other day as a precaution but have had no return of fever. Nearly all the faces round me are new ones so have to watch closely to find out how far they are to be trusted. I very much miss my wooden handed Braton (the old guard). - She is a nice girl and will make you a good wife I'm sure (Mabel) She also made a devoted daughter-in-law and my Father was very fond of my wife. June 15th. You will have heard the bad news from Tenby my boy and so can understand that I am in no letter writing mood. This refers to the serious illness of his favourite sister, Aunt Gussie, the nun who was dying of cancer. In July he returned direct to Portugal. Aunt Gussie had died at Tenby on the 28th June. They had always been good friends and corresponded regularly and there is no doubt that he felt her death keenly. In August Herbert Willis (Is this FRB's brother-in-law?) and I went out to Portugal - the last occasion on which I was there with Father - and returned at the beginning of September. Oct. - When I was a boy the ordinary workman had nothing to do on Sundays but church going or public house haunting. Even a country walk was considered wrong by many people! ... Did you do your duty as a citizen and vote at the Hammersmith election?. My Father always said it was the duty of a man to exercise the right to vote and was very glad when he finally acquired the right on coming to England permanently. Oct. 25th - Yes, parents naturally want to see their children getting on and prospering - at the same time I don't somehow like to feel that I shall soon have no infants left. Nov. 2nd - Should very much have liked Max O'Rells' lecture. There is a good deal in what he says about American women. Their education and bringing up are different from what our girls get and so the finished article may be superior in some respects. But as far as I am concerned there are no women in the World like our English women. An opinion of a very intelligent and widely travelled man who saw no reason to change it even after having visited Canada and the States. Dec. 10th After the visit of the British fleet to Lisbon the tone of the Portuguese papers towards England changed. It is curious to recall 1890 when we were expecting to be assaulted etc ! and when the popular cry was Death to the English! Spent Christmas at the Outsire.

1901 Feb. Tio broke up his house in Almada I shall go to a hotel for a few days and then to the Outsire. Later on shall hire a room in Lisbon and grub at restaurants. March. He came to London again in connection with the affairs of the Company which was on its last legs and in April went to Liverpool to meet Hal on his return to England in the Rapidan. He was back in Portugal the following month. May 28th Last evening I took up my quarters at York House, a boarding house or private hotel you may possibly remember. The boarders are a mixed lot of Natives and English - the grub appears to be reasonably good in quality but I fear deficient in quantity. However, one dinner and one breakfast are not enough to enable me to speak definitely as to this very important matter! My bedroom is nice enough but too small and too full of furniture. The carpet is also an objection. In June Tio and Auntie Pollie left Portugal to settle in England. Tio having resigned. June 21st - I lately went up country but simply to see to the stripping of the last of the forests loaned to the Company, Alas! I am going to mount my bike on Sunday for as nobody wants to buy it, I may as well finish it up myself. This first bike was not up to the bad roads and Father's substantial weight. York House life is not bad - though the place is stuffy - I have had sundry invitations to outings etc but refused them to save expense partly and partly because the prospect of enjoyment was limited. Aug. 1st Last Sunday I spent in Cintra and after dinner a party of us climbed up to Moorish Castle hoping to have a fine feast of moonlit scenery. But a fog came on and we had our climb for nothing. Aug. 10th Last week end was spent at the Outsire where our folk look fairly well considering it is summer time. There is no news to send you as everything goes on as usual. I am aching to get away! The present position is most unsatisfactory. Aug. 17th I am very interested in the free wheel. When I am rich enough, shall buy a bike with free wheel, two gears, strong frame and two rim brakes worked from handle bar, also 7 and a half inch cranks. My old Sunbeam is no longer safe for me to ride - I am preparing for a run home by bike. This did not come off however although he made all his plans I have foreseen a great difficulty in regard to getting dried properly after a wet or hot day's riding, particularly in Portugal and Spain where fire-places are practically unknown except in the kitchen. I did not somehow relish the idea of sitting in kitchen with other guests, myself in puris naturalibus holding my garments to dry at fire one by one! Tio thinks John (John Wilson (601), his son-in-law)'s bike will not be up to my weight. Well, this morning, I scaled 98 kgs. say 15 stone 6 lbs - It being obvious that the Company was going to liquidate. Oct. I am trying to find places for my old hands (some have worked here for 30 years) and have arranged for all except poor Silva - However, I hope to secure his re-employment somewhere before order comes to close the doors. As to myself, I have decided to see the business through as a duty to poor old Company and also because I can't afford to lose any salary going - and shall then go home - having had enough of furrin parts after thirty-six years of almost uninterrupted life abroad --- All you tell me of your pedigree researches is very interesting and quite new to me. Oct. 11th. The Wilsons came back last Monday night so I moved my quarters to the Outsire last Wednesday. It is much quieter there than it was at York House but very pleasant and comfortable. In November he came home and the Company was committed to liquidation. He returned to Portugal the following month to wind up its affairs where necessary. The Wilsons were moving to Lisbon and he stayed at a hotel until they had settled down and then went to their house.

1902 March. This morning I tried the new brakes and find them effective. they hold me on a steep hill which the old plunger never did. Am now going to fit on the free-wheel and then must begin to learn bicycling afresh I'm told - Have only ridden about fifteen miles to test free-wheel and like the change very well. April 3rd "I want John to succeed us here." April 11th Since Monday morning last I have not stirred out of the factory so as to give my leg a chance of rest from walking. It is much better and I hope next week to go for a spin on my free-wheel. Tio's glass cage is my bedroom and I sleep on his table and think of his old mug as it used to show up through the glass! A man cooks up-country fare for me. John comes to see me regularly everyday and Jeanie and the children have also paid me visits. 16th The leg is very much better and I hope it will carry me back to civilisation within the next few days. Existence here is most decidedly quiet and uneventful especially after sun-down, when the machinery stops and the men leave. - John bought the factory and machinery and turned it into a successful business. He has since sold it as a going concern to Bucknalls of which Company he is now (1914) a Director and he still continues to look after the old place. May 1st Yesterday I came out of my retirement and proceeded to Lisbon. After three weeks seclusion in the factory it was quite a pleasant change to see the streets and people once more and get back to the refinements of civilised life. I walked up to the Ratrells, had my evening constitutional and walked down here (factory) to-day ... My engagement with the old Company ceased yesterday and I am now employed by the Receiver at the old rate of pay and have to go to Algeria shortly to see to strip, sale of cork, etc. June 11th At last I have been able to hand over premises and plant to John and am off tomorrow morning early to Africa. It has been a very disagreeable business, happily I am free at last. Came back from Cintra yesterday and am spending last day at Jeanie's. June 25th at La Safia. Have taken a first precautionary dose of quinine, get up early and try to be indoors again by 9 a.m. to avoid the hot sun - Have a splendid mosquito net and hope to defeat all attempts of the fever easily. July 4th Yes, it is awfully hot here and not at all confortable. I am trying to write this whilst defending myself from the flies of all sizes, mosquitoes etc., that swarm round me. Have only drawers and shirt on, yet am in a bath of perspiration. Impossible to get a cool drink and so have to be always thirsty, though I swallow plenty of tepid liquid. At night I sleep with a sheet only and all the doors and windows open - perspiring at such a rate that pillow and bed and everything are quite wet. No, this is a beastly place in the Summer though I like it well enough in the Spring. Aug. 1st We are having rather exciting times as the excessive heat seems to act upon the Arabs and make them more than usually mischievous. For the last fortnight there have been fires round us but at a decent distance, now however, they break out nearer home. Fires have been lighted in our forest, also in those of our neighbours and only the absence of a strong wind has saved the properties although guards were immediately on the spot and so able to nip the outbreak in the bud. Aug. 24th Five nights since, two big stacks of hay and corn at one end of the farm were set on fire and burned furiously for more than thirty hours - the Siroco blowing fortunately and the temperature 112 degrees F. - It was a wonderful escape! Now we are getting a few days of cooler weather again and last two nights have seen the stars unobscured by smoke. Sep. 7th Last night I found a big rat on my bed calmly devouring the candle which it had managed to take out of the candlestick. Got up the guard and his wife, also a young dog and we had an exciting chase - The rat was a monster but his time had come! On the 16th October my Father's engagement with the Receiver expired and he returned to England. To us children the end of the old Company was a blessing as it brought Father home permanently and thenceforward we saw a lot of him. When the anxiety was at last at an end and he found that after all we could manage very well. Father himself soon recovered his spirits. At this time Meg was at North Holt, Bradford - Jeanie in Portugal and the rest of us at 32 Cromwell Grove, Hal having given up the sea to enter into partnership in a lift business in London. My Father of course lived with us at Cromwell Grove and I only received letters from him when he was visiting. He had now plenty of time for cycling and used to ride with me all round.

1903 In June he went up to Meggie's. Hal gave up business here and emigrated to Canada where Father intended to go for a trip to see his brother Francis. Annie was also on a visit to Meggie's. In July he was home again getting ready for the trip on which he started from Liverpool on the 5th August per C.P.R. Company's S.S. Montfort. For details of his experiences - too many to set out here - his letters must be read. He enjoyed himself immensely and looked Hal up in Montreal. He went on to Winnipeg at the beginning of September after visiting Quebec, Toronto, Niagara, Owen Sound etc., and got to his brother's farm at Tenby, Manitoba, at the beginning of the same month. For details of how he found his brother and the doings of the two brothers, Francis and Ernest, with their sister Eva since they went to Canada, see his letter of the 7th September, 1903, copy of which is with the records. Sep. 9th Uncle Francis' Shanty is a regular settler's log hut with a loft above it - A solitary man cannot attend to business and his house also - latter will be left to look after itself as has been the case here. I like roughing it but in clean surroundings. Everything here is home made that could be made at home - Rough of course but useful and answering its purpose - Amongst the home made articles are a microscope, an astronomical telescope, a barometer and other scientific instruments. All the lenses etc., were made here! Uncle Francis' peculiar vanity is strong tea which he drinks at all times. He smokes as much as I do. He does not look so big and broad as he used to. His hair is unchanged but his beard is just beginning to turn grey. He is burnt and frozen quite nut-brown. His voice is almost that of Uncle Fred and many of his gestures recall the latter. Awfully careless of appearance, my eyes nearly dropped out when I saw him first. Have convinced him of the error of his ways ... On the 20th September he had gone to Vancouver B.C. in pursuance of his intention of going right across Canada. It seems such a far-cry to No. 32 now, yet I don't feel so cut off from you all as I used to in Algeria. At the end of October he got back to Tenby farm. The vast majority of the people here are connected with farming and are fools who gape at what the wonderful folk from the towns have to say about political economy and everything else. The small minority living by manufactures are very strong protectionists and as I told some of them lately they bleed nineteen farmers to keep one craftsman going - You would have enjoyed the discussions I have had on the subject in all sorts of places. Have only once found another Free-trader in the crowd to support me! My Father used to delight in intelligent discussions on almost any subject and could always hold his own. Have a big sack stuffed with hay for a bed and can therefore be content to dream of sheets, pillows and all the effeminancies you are spoiling yourselves with in that effete old country! - Oh yes, I recognized Uncle Francis though he had several neighbours with him but had to look at him twice. He had not seen him since 1868. My Father found that his brother had let himself go like many other settlers in those lonely parts and he also found him in monetary difficulties. With that self-sacrificing generosity which distinguished Father he came to the rescue both at this time and subsequently when he had to take over the farm himself, so as to provide that his brother should not be thrown upon the world in his old age. The visit to Tenby farm was not altogether pleasant but he made the best of it and it was a lucky event for Uncle Francis. (Tenby Farm was sold 1920 for $3,300 payable by instalments, Uncle Francis being in a home - past all work and partly paralysed. Nov. 2nd You should see the Aurora Borealis! I am never satisfied but go on watching it till driven in by cold. No doubt pyjamas and slippers are not suitable attire at night outdoors. Certainly not in these semi-erratic regions. It is awfully monotonous here. The country and its inhabitants are most uninteresting. Even walking is not good enough for there is nowhere to go, nothing to see and no hills at all. It is a flat marshy plain with a few clumps of low bush - I weep for my lovely British Columbia! On the 25th November he started for Montreal via Winnipeg and Ottawa. I left 30 degrees below zero in Winnipeg. He stayed with Hal in Montreal until the 8th December and then came home via Liverpool per S.G. Tonian.

1904 Father was busy at the beginning of the year setting up my brother Rowie in business in Leeds. That young man after throwing up his apprenticeship at an engineering works had gone to some friends of his in the country who kept a general store, and was anxious now to set up for himself as a Draper. Accordingly with Father's ever-ready assistance he bought a small business - a Drapers shop - at Leeds. In February Father visited Tio (i.e. Uncle Frank Oldfield Tio is Portuguese for Uncle and we sometimes called Uncle Arthur Oldfield Tio but properly Uncle Frank Oldfield is the first and original Tio). He then went on to Uncle Arthur at Churchtown. Tio and Auntie Polly had settled down at New Milton, Hants. At these places he indulged his love of walking and returned home to Cromwell Grove in March. In June he attended my wedding at Tunbridge Wells - the whole family were present except Hal and Meggie. It was a pretty wedding with a very pretty bride as the centre of the affair - tell Mabel to call me Father (pronounced Fayther as we always called him - my daughter must not call me Mr. Bergh. On our return from our honeymoon we invited him over to Boulogne where we were staying the last week and he much enjoyed himself looking up the old places he used to haunt when at school there - painting out the scene of a great fight with his Irish chum - and chatting with the market-women. Even in such a short time he began to be known to people in the town. The a name="cromwell5">Cromwell Grove house was given up in September as my Father wishes to be near Rowie in Leeds, where he eventually took a house at 15 Tanfield Street, living there with Annie and Rowie and helping Rowie all he could, that is keeping the books etc. He soon settled down in this, his last home of his own, installing his library and above all setting up the beloved lathe and fitting out a workshop, where he used to amuse himself as in the old days at Cacilhas. Meggie was at Bradford - quite close - and except for Hal in Canada and Jeanie in Portugal, we were all within reasonable distance of each other. A great improvement on his lonely life in Portugal. Aug. 24th By the way the older I get the more there seems to hope for. In this letter my hopes are enlisted in Rowie's business - and in Hal's future. Hal had married his first wife and Rowie's business was not turning out as well as it should have done. In September he ran down to London to clear up at Cromwell Grove and saw my wife and myself at our own house 33 (then 17) Ellesmere Road, Chiswick, the very day we moved in. It was a treat to see her the other afternoon evolving order and comfort out of confusion and disorder. Nov. 14th. When lathe is complete, shall make my bench and do carpentry for Nan. 21st. You will be glad to hear the lathe is up - as now on a temporary bench. Dec. 5th We continue to like our new quarters very well and I get plenty of time in the workshop and there is no end of work before me - Have at last started my bench and find my old tools very willing to make the shavings fly once more. At Christmas we (my wife and I) went up and spent Christmas at the new house - a very enjoyable visit helping Father with the new bench was like old times at Cacilhas.

1905 The life at 15 Tanfield Street consisted of working in the workshop with the old tools, looking round at Rowie's shop, visiting Meg's and other friends near, attending political meetings and so on - nothing very exciting or productive of much worth recording. Rowie's business was always a worry. Jan. 16th. I see you have made up your minds to have me for your birthday and are already opening the skylight to give me air can't resist any longer after this! Another joke was to scatter quantities of matchboxes throughout our house as he used immense quantities for the pipe. Jan. 23rd. You are quite right in thinking these old superstitious and popular sayings contain cold strats of justifying experiences. In travelling under a ladder I cock one eye aloft so as to know when to dodge falling men and materials. Feb. 20th. My cold is about gone but its departure has been delayed by a process of hardening now going on, namely the accustoming myself to working in workshop with door and windows open when there is a pleasant draught of fresh air set up. The next day he came down to us at Chiswick on a short visit. March 6th. Don't you and Mabel miss the beccy smoke? In April he was much interested in my trip up to Tynemouth where I had discovered some long undiscovered relations, including one old lady who had actually taken his Mother to school. May 1st. As to the earthquake, we slept through it but a good many people in Leeds felt it. Sorry I missed it as the noise and shaking would have forcibly recalled the old times in Portugal! May 29th. I spent week-end at Bradford - they are all very well at North Holt and getting ready to move into new house - we walked over to see it yesterday morning - Have been cycling a little lately. July 17th. Though rather late in the day I wish Mabel many very happy returns of her birthday. Am an awful sinner in the matter of remembering these occasions for in practice I find somehow that only you [my own?] children's birthdays occur to my recollection and were it not for Nan my sons and daughters-in-law and my grandchildren would generally go without birthday wishes from me. Alas and Alack! Father was always very good in sending wishes on festive occasions and carefully noted down dates in his pocket-books. July 19th. I congratulate you and Frank on your new possession and am delighted to know a Bergh of the 3rd generation (from myself) has at last made his appearance. All power and success to the youngster and his most deserving parents! July 14th. It is very kind of you both to name my grandson after me - children are a glorious institution and I am awfully sorry for childless couples. July 31st. I like to think how the new edition of H.J.B. will grow up to be all to his parents that the old H.J.B. has found his own children to be to him. In August he spent a week at Filey with Meggie and the children holiday making. [My father (HEH, known as Hal), Meg's son, used to love his holidays at Filey - APH] Walking is chief amusement here as far as I am concerned. In November he and I went up to Tynemouth to visit the new-found relations - the Mitcalfes - Mrs. Burns and Father's first cousins Miss Augusta Mills and Mrs. Hutchinson at Newcastle-on-Tyne and at the latter place saw the painting of his own Father as a young man, a copy of which I have now. We had a gloriously exciting and most pleasant time. The pleasure this trip gave my Father was alone sufficient compensation for the trouble and expense incurred in the researches into the family history.

1906 Feb. 26th. We were all three very pleased with the photo of my Father's picture and have been endeavouring to discover whom he most favours or rather who is most like him - The Bergh chin and nose have a claim upon nearly all of us, the curly hair has not been so generally handed down. If you were plumper, darker and wore your hair longer, I think you would be considerably like your grandfather --- of my generation I think Uncle Ernest must have resembled his father most - he was a very handsome fellow, same complexion and same curly dark brown hair etc. March 5th. It can be no fancy on my part that you take after your grandfather as witness the following - Last Tuesday Auntie Annie was here and saw the photo of portrait. Asked who it stood for she could not imagine but declared the face reminds me of Frank somehow though he is thinner and lighter and wears his hair shorter. April 16th. Today is Hal's wedding day - I have several jobs in hand for the house and when these are finished hope to start cycling again. May 7th. Have finished doing up the garrat which we have turned into a library - we are now upholstering the sofa and chairs. (14th) Have practically finsihed the more pressing odd jobs, have also trained myself down below fourteen stone and so went for a very pleasant spin yesterday, first this season - it was only about twenty miles. In June he started on a cycling tour visiting Uncle Arthur at Churchdown first. Did sixty first day when I had to stop (saddle broken) sixty-eight next and fifty-one third day. On June 20th he rode from Churchdown to Tio's at New Milton - 101 miles - pretty good for a man of 62! We live here on the fat of the land - the strawberry plants are giving their fruit and we go in for big feeds. It is really delightful being here and I shall be sorry to leave. He spent the time here cycling, walking, playing croquet, billiards, etc and then rode up to me at Chiswick at the beginning of July doing the ride in one day (Distance about 100 miles). At the end of July he started on his ride home to Leeds via Leicester. My mileage in riding up here was 99 first day and 76 next - only had about 20 more to reach home but it was too late to do it against so strong a head wind. By this time he had ridden some 2,000 on his machine and therefore proceeded to overhaul it with his usual thoroughness. Whilst with us he cycled down to Wargrave and got in touch with the present representatives of the A'Bear's of which family his great-grandmother was one. In September he joined the Leeds Ratepayers Association and attended the meetings for amusement, as he took great interest in municipal as well as political affairs and the questions of the day, but he was not very satisfied with the Association. At Christmas we went up to his house at Leeds (i.e. Mabel, Jack and myself) and also went over to Meggie's.

1907 Jan. 7th. I wish to see the frost set in again as soon as possible and begin to feel swindled out of my rights in a good old English Winter! - Did I tell you that John has bought the land on which our old factory stands --- it is somehow gratifying to feel that the old Caramujo factory has not got into the hands of strangers. 21st. We had a very pleasant birthday. Nan remembered that roast goose and plum pudding was the fare that distinguished my boyish birthdays and so provided it, much to our surprise and also to our enjoyment. 28th. We have had a most enjoyable taste of frost and I was sorry to see the change to milder temperature yesterday because the cold thoroughly appeals to me after nearly 48 years of hot climates. Feb. 16th. It is high time the Church were reformed radically - Disestablishment without disendowment is necessary to wake up the powers that be to the need of removing the manifold abuses existing in the state church - It looks as if there would be some change made in the constitution of the Upper House and I devoutly hope it will include the exclusion of the Bishops etc or the inclusion of representatives of all churches. He believed in equality for all religions and was not hostile to them though not accepting any particular dogma. Have defended and praised some (suffragist demonstrations) from the first and note change coming over men's opinions. He was an enthusiastic believer in the movement to give women votes. We can't possibly do with a single house nor could we be safe if Upper House is made a powerless chamber. We must have a strong second chamber not based on hereditary privilege - As to Women's suffrage I must devoutly hope that the present agitation will be crowned with success. April 29th. As to your notes regarding my Mother, have added nothing to them as I can't recall anything specially worth mention. You see I grew up to the fact that we led an exceedingly quiet retired life, never scarcely seeing anyone outside of the family and not knowing that we had any relations living or if we had been told so at any time, not realizing the fact as said relations were to all intents and purposes ignored. In July he want to see a cricket match, England v S. Africans; he used sometimes to go and see football matches but I don't think looking on appealed to him much. August Am trying to rub up the ancient furniture in the hope of deceiving folk and leading them to think it is new. It's a tough proposition. Dec. 23rd. To help amuse the fry on Christmas day am getting ready your old friend the magic lantern. The original lanterns were brought out and a new one bought, also the old slides and new slides, and he and Rowie made a whole lot of new ones, photographing old photos and pictures and turning them into slides. Father was delighted to amuse his grandchildren with these as he had amused his own children, and gave many shows at Leeds and at my own house taking no end of trouble over it.

1908 Feb. --- my thoughts have been in Portugal a great deal since reading in to-day's papers of the cowardly, stupid and barbarous murders of poor King Carlos and his son - these anarchists and bad Republicans should be hunted down as wild beasts dangerous to humanity. It is nothing for England to be proud of that she offers and gives shelter to these brutes to secure her own freedom from their attacks! At Easter he came down to us for a short visit and was photographed with Jack and myself - three generations - May 11th. Found plenty to do on my return, as usual - Believe I manufacture work when none is forthcoming. Place seemed singularly quiet without young Jack's voice and feet. Never think a home complete when these two adjuncts are wanting. May 27th. Just came in - and delighted with the news which Nan rushes up from the lower regions to announce - it is delightful to know that you have given us a boy again - I hope my new grandson will have Francis as one at least of his names. Oct. Yes, I remember as a boy seeing no popery chalked everywhere. There is a considerable section of our people quite convinced that the R.C's would revive the inquisition and other horrors if they could.

1909 Rowie's business was now on its last legs and Father came down for a week in February to discuss matters with me and Rowie and he decided to wind it up. It had caused them both no end of worry from the first. April 5th. The plan was to break up the house at Leeds - Nan was going to America to the Whitleys. Rowie was looking for a job. Propose to pass a year in Canada and then pay long visits to my fry in Europe, then Canada again, then Europe etc. (26th) We are packing up the lathe etc to send to Ernest's i.e. Fairseat, Shipley, Meggie's house where he stored a lot of things. May 10th. The dealing with impediments for storing is a twister but we have made a great hole in the work - you needn't fear that once in Canada I shall remain there. 16th All the heavy packing is practically finished and a real grind it has been - I shall keep a few special books only, everything else will be sold for what it will fetch. At the end of the month he came to us for a short visit before closing up at Leeds and starting on his second and last trip to Canada. June 10th - Fairseat You see by address that poor No. 15 has been deserted. We shut it up night before last - Rowie goes to Liverpool tomorrow to see me really leave the country.

So ended Father's last home of his own. I find this note Broke up house in Leeds Spring 1909 and the tools etc., in above lists were stored at Fairseat, the idea being that a workshop could be again started. However, in January 1913 I decided to sell them to get rid of them as there seemed no prospect of another workshop - Underwood of Manchester Road bought the lot for £40 (say 1/6th of their real value) I had to give a commission of 5% to the broker who introduced purchaser - so all my old friends realized £38 net only - Anyway, they furnished many years of pleasure from their use. H.J.B.

Father started for Canada by the Allan R.M.S.Victorian from which boat he writes on the 16th June - the time passes pleasantly enough, the intervals between meals seem far too long - we walk, we talk, we play games and today had a regular function at Sports for the Seaman's Orphan's Fund - the fog has been the great drawback - we have had two awfully close escapes from running ships down - The re-arrangement of the dining room seems a good one. It is pleasant to feel that the friendly old books have been saved. (Refers to books he gave me). He duly arrived at Todmorden, Ontario, where Hal then was. June 24th. Hal and I get up about six. It is very pleasant in the morning and evening but much too hot in the day. Am wondering if you feel more than usually deserted now No. 15 has become a memory only. Nan should be at New York to-day - Don't think I shall find a very abundant supply of materials for letter-making here - Though so near Toronto we are in a very secluded valley - Poor old Hal - He is just the same as ever and can't do enough to make things as pleasant as possible for me. Have been trying my hand at gardening etc., and find the life here a pleasant change - but the heat is oppressive and I mean to try a tent in the garden - in place of my oven of a bedroom - Have had a lot of sleeping out abroad and always enjoyed it. Glad to hear you have hung my picture where Jack will see it and so remember me. July 8th. Have converted an old shed into a bathroom and borrowing Mayman's biggest wash tub have my morning tub under pleasant enough conditions. Can see the surroundings from my tub as the planks of shed don't join and are full of holes. At 6 a.m. also there is a freshness in the zephyrs that soothes the feelings. There is plenty to do here, carpentering (with old chunks of wood and a few tools) gardening - odd jobbing including minding baby, hewing wood and drawing much, very much, water. 5th Sept. New York You see I am in Yankee land now and full of admiration too for the Yankee's work as exemplified in this and the other towns I have seen! Left Toronto last Tuesday afternoon - Here I found Nan waiting for me. The great engineering feats alone are worth a voyage to see them - have ridden and walked by day and by night about a good part of this island and have sailed to various points on the adjoining islands etc - This is going to be a great city - the great city of the world in my opinion. He had a very pleasant time here going about with Nan and Mr. Whitley. He writes that he thoroughly explored the place, visited Chinatown and even ate some Chinese dishes at supper with chop-sticks. He was back at Hal's on the 19th September and did not find much to do but he went on a visit to Hal's mother-in-law. In middle of October he went to a Boarding House in Toronto but only stayed a few days before going on to Uncle Francis at Tenby farm. He seems to have actually been tempted to settle in Canada but soon got disgusted at Tenby. 31st Oct. He was at Winnipeg on his way Insisting upon having the window of my room open and the heating apparatus disconnected - the folk have closed the ventilators etc., so that no breath of fresh air from my room can get any further into the building! 6th Nov. - Tenby Got here last Monday afternoon and found Uncle Francis with various old acquaintances awaiting me at the so-called station - Don't know whether the pretty scenery of the Don Valley has spoilt me or how it is, but this place looks awfully flat and dismal - We shall pass the winter here unless place sells which I sincerely hope it will for I have conceived a dislike for it. He was thinking of going to Vancouver with his brother at this time and settling there but luckily for us did not pursue the idea - The life at Tenby was very rough and unpleasant and he worked too hard for his age on the farm and I fear suffered somewhat in health. He was anxious to remove his brother from his surroundings and his letters at this time are full of his plans. Dec. 14th. I'll take proper care of myself - we can easily manage the winter here - Also it should be much more interesting, at least I hope it will prove so. The great drawback is the monotony, the snowdrifts are so deep that we cannot walk much anywhere. 23rd As to our frozen meat, we saw off the piece required. Uncle Francis is to cook an Christmas turkey etc., I am to boil the pudding and make the sauce and the mince pies and the cake etc. A fair division of labour. Wonder if it will mean labour also to wade through the dinner when cooked! 25th. Mabel's pudding is boiling bravely as I write this. 29th We had Mabel's pudding and it was enthusiastically received. Uncle F. insisted upon toasting the maker of that pudding and asked me to say he had not tasted so good a one for many years. Meggie's mincemeat filled my pies and those were good - we contrived to pass the day pleasantly. The photos were brought out and examined and there was much to say about the originals.

1910 Jan. 7th. Have been revising all my plans - Careful observation of my brother convinces me that he is past the age for helping me to carry out my original idea regarding British Columbia. I think he had better stay here and have an easier time than would be possible otherwise. 21st. - Nothing of interest to report unless it be the appearance of some birds at last. Went out last night to welcome them and brought two of them home to supper - fat partridge. If there is a chance to get a little shooting now things won't be nearly so dull. Feb. 2nd. Haven't got over the sad news you sent me. Am so sorry for you both because I know how you will feel the loss of litle Francis -- this blow has vividlly recalled what your mother and I felt when we lost Harold and then Gracie. Feb. 8th. I believe and always have believed that we shall see our dear ones again. 23rd. Want to begin some much needed improvements this summer and so have put off my return - Propose to complete the fences round the property, break up the virgin soil (say 90 acres) summer fallow some 30 and seed down about 20. Although now in his 67th year my Father did a good deal of hard work himself and must have found it very trying in the great heat. May 3rd. I am hard at it grubbing up the brush and trees - the breaking plough is already at work and I hope to add several acres to the arable part of the farm. 26th. Tomorrow I have a six mile walk to get myself placed on the Voter's list - We look at Halley's comet every night but think it makes a mighty poor show. A miserable affair compared with comet A1910 which took everybody by surprise and could be very distinctly seen here before the sun set. 30th. Of course it is very hard work - usually Bob (the dog) and I are the only grubbers on the place. Aug. 10th ---the visiting Judge gave me the vote. My case was that I am a British citizen and during my two visits to Canada must have put in the period of residence as I made this shack my headquarters seven years ago - I was very anxious to vote for my beloved Referendum etc and did so. As Rowie could get no satisfactory employment in England, he went out to Toronto with Father's approval at the end of October. Father left Tenby and arrived at Hal's house, 404 Wellealey St., Toronto, on the 25th October. We had noticed for a few weeks previously that Father's writing was peculiar and that he was writing much larger - eventually it got so bad that it was evident that something was wrong. However, he said nothing about it for sometime. He stayed at Hal's long enough to meet Rowie on his arrival. This was the last time Hal and Rowie saw him. He then went on to New York and saw Nan for a few days and came home from there on the 18th November by the Lusitania arriving at Liverpool on the 22nd. He had a most enjoyable time in New York - You heard of Rogue's arrival at Toronto. I was very pleased to see him - And now, dear boy, for a bit of bad news about myself. For last three months my eyes have been seriously affected and at present I cannot read ordinary print. He was practically blind and had made the journey from Tenby under difficulties but was kindly assisted on the way by complete strangers. His brother was undergoing the same experience. The passengers are a mixed lot but I have found some interesting people to cotton to. 23rd Nov. at Fairseat I went to see an occulist this morning and heard that all the mischief has been caused by tobacco. Just think of a poor innocent pipe being blamed in this heartless fashion --- the doctor says it is a choice between my pipe and my eyesight - so the poor pipe was solemnly burnt today. He had anticipated the verdict and smoked his pipe to the occulist's door. At the same time in the light of subsequent events and having regard to the fact that his brother continued to smoke and yet recovered his sight, it is very doubtful whether tobacco was the root of the evil. The sudden cessation of smoking was a very great tax on my Father's mental and physical powers. He was provided with medecine at first to stop the craving and then took to eating toffee. With his indomitable pluck and great will-power he succeeded in keeping off the tobacco but it left its mark. His eyesight slowly improved and eventually with slightly stronger glasses than he had been using, he was able to read quite well again. Dec. 2nd. It's nine days since I smoked and so am on the road to a fortune of savings i.e. the cost of baccy and matches. Dec. 7th. Am specially pleased that baby is a boy and congratulate you and Mabel heartily - It's a fortnight today since my pipe was put out. Father came down for the week-end on the 10th and we found him looking rather thin and ill but in good 1911 spirits. He continued at Meggie's visiting the Doctor and the Occulist and in January went down to Uncle Arthur's at Churchdown, from there to Tio's at New Milton, and came to us in February. In March he went to Portugal on a visit to Jeanie going by R.M.S. Antony. Whilst there he suffered a good deal from indigestion due, very possibly, to the quantities of medecine he had been taking and furthermore I think he found the old scenes rather depressing. On the way he had a look round Oporto. Leicester was with him and taking the cue from her he was called Grandpa by the passengers. April 8th. ....the greatest change is the factory - I don't somehow feel as much interest in the place as in the old time when I was boss. May 8th. I have been rather seedy for a change - Doctor says rheumatism (never had it before) set up bad dyspepsis (never had it before). Jeanie makes an A.1. nurse and turns a deaf ear to all hints that man does not live on tea and broth alone! 22nd. What a priceless possession is health and how poor other things seem compared with it! As to my own little affair - am miles better and robust in all ways. Father left Portugal on the 24th per the Ambrose and came to us and went up to Meg's in July. From now on he used to spend part of the year at Meg's and the rest with us and very glad we were to have him, not to mention the grandchildren who were as fond of him as he was of them and to whom he devoted much time in amusing them and teaching them, for he even troubled to do that and Jack made great progress with his help. The Magic Lanterns also were brought out for this amusement. At Meg's he had what he liked, some people to talk to and he made many friends up there. Here at Chiswick he amused himself walking round and in the evenings playing me or friends at billiards and many a hard fought game we had, playing as we did almost every evening. The Revolution in Portugal and subsequent troubles there interested him very much. Oct. 8th. It is a curious circumstance that whereas hard smokers suffer from singular lapses of memory in the case of very often the simplest words and names, I was not perceptibly affected in this way when smoking to excess - but since putting my last pipe out my memory has suffered greatly for not words only but blocks of knowledge evade capture when wanted! It will be a year on 23rd prox. since I had a whiff! The craving for baccy is as strong as ever. We never noticed any alteration in his wonderful stores of knowledge and memory. He used to smike 13 ozs. a week of baccy and I believe that leaving it off did more harm than good. He took the opportunity to open the cases of tools at Meg's and dry and grease the contents. He could not bring himself to part with them and was trying to screw himself up to the ordeal. Nov. 7th. You must blame the tools and other - needing to be cleaned, greased and re-paced - possessions stored here for delay in my move to Chiswick. Having put through the tool business have returned to Lantern work -- Am much gratified by the pleasure children evidently get from seeing the old Lantern show - the vastly greater attraction of the cinematograph notwithstanding - Anyway the audiences of children here all enjoyed themselves and I am looking forward to giving Jack and his friends many goes of lantern show -- Have been at Fairseat since 13th July last say 4 and a half months and I hope to get to Chiswick next week - But for the dearly beloved tools, should have gone to you a fortnight since. My Father came to us at the beginning of December.

1912 In February Jack got a mild attack of Scarlet Fever and Father was very kind to him, going into his room and amusing him for hours. In March he took Jack to Eastbourne - his own birthplace - to recuperate and spent a fortnight there with him. He was much interested in the place, trying to discover where his Mother and Father had lived but of course the place was changed out of all knowledge. He was, however, able to find a few traces of old parts of which he had a dim recollection. In June he went off to New Milton. The usual hearty welcome, the usual spick and span house, the quiet pleasant life with plenty of good eating and drinking - It is all as it always is at Mafra --- Have done most of the walks round here and on return to Yorkshire mean to try my old bike again. In July he went on to Churchdown. 9th. Have already written Mabel and now repeat my very hearty congratulations on the event - so glad you have both been wishing for a little daughter. On the 16th July he was back at Meggie's and ran over to Leeds to see the old places there. He was very fond of doing this and when in London used to visit the old house he had lived in or stayed at of relatives etc. Sept. 6th (at Fairseat) Always make a pilgrimage to the old house when I go to Leeds and shall always regret our house there. This month he went up to Scotland for a trip which he much enjoyed notwithstanding the wet weather. 13th at Rothesay. I like this place, it is very pretty - Found some companionable folk to talk to and am getting quite accustomed to the Scotch accent. he visited the Wilson's and the Doddwells in Glasgow. He also went to Bridge of Allen and Edinburgh. Sept. 23rd. Why Glasgow under the genial influence of the Sun seems quite a splendid city! I admire the place and its buildings very much - 14th was spent in Glasgow with the Robert Rankins - Sunday we had walks and spent evening with Colin and his sister at Old Manse. Last Monday I devoted to exploring the island and walked twenty miles at least. It was one of those delightful days that make walking perfect - Thursday we sailed through Kyles of Bute and up Loch Fyne to Inverary - a long and splendid day - Friday and Saturday I spent in Glasgow with the Doddwells and had a splendid welcome. 29th. Think of me tomorrow in Auld Reekie - want to see the Tay and Forth Bridges if possible - and the main features of Edinburgh - but the being alone is a great drawback. Oct. 7th (at Fairseat) - at Edinburgh - Woke up next morning to some rain and fog. However, started visiting the Castle, Cathedral, Holyrood, etc., and finally climbed up to top of Arthur's seat whereupon the rain ceased and sun came out. So made hay and in afternoon went to Dundee over Forth and Tay Bridges - Got up early next morning and did a lot more of Edinburgh and then started for Fairseat - I have brought away a very pleasant recollection of the Scots and their country - the West of Scotland is magnificent. Found the folk everywhere very courteous and got on very well with them. Getting wet in Scotland unfortunately resulted in Bronchitis when he got back to Fairseat. Oct. 16th Am being nursed and coddled and kept in Cotton Wool - which is all splendid in its way but not like life in the open air of course. Everybody is most kind. 21st. As to the bronchitis, Doctor let me come downstairs so I had a very pleasant stroll on Saturday - had a cold tub yesterday morning and was just off for a walk when he appeared and nipped everything in the bud - There is to be no going out for a week and no tub in the mornings and no this and no the other and no running of risks and courting trouble etc. Humbled but not contrite, bathless and walkless, think of me being nursed and coddled and all the rest of it - Feel like wanting to go off on the bust somewhere. 28th Doctor told me I could go for a stroll - Needless to say I was out like a shot and have been out every day since notwithstanding the fog, rain and east winds. Dec. 2nd I love to see children with tremendous appetites! Wish all my grandchildren ate as I used to eat. Christmas was spent at Meg's.

1913 Feb. 3rd. Do you, like me, say all posts should be open to all candidates and should be given to the best of the competitors whether clad in breeches or petticoats - and all businesses and professions to be equally open to all-comers? (answer - yes) see longer version attached. March 3rd. I should like to see every able-bodied man in this country (irrespective of age) drilled and trained to shoot straight, provided with up to date weapons and all other necessities. We should no longer have to fear invasion. 10th. Cremation - Have always thought it the best, in every way, method of dealing with the dead and hope to be disposed of myself in same fashion, the ashes being buried or scattered. Cremation does in a couple of hours what nature requires years to accomplish. 17th. Have had to consult the Occulist again - alas! and am to see another Doctor tomorrow - old age approaching no doubt. The Bronchitis or lifting the heavy boxes of tools has caused the rupture of a blood vessel in the left eye, the sight of which was considerably impaired. Then he had to have a lot of teeth out. 24th. Don't be nervous dear boy - I take extreme care of myself as is my custom and Magie looks after me in all things so that I feel sometimes nearer 7 than 70! In May Annie came over from New York and Father went up to Liverpool to meet her but the poor girl had hardly been in England a fortnight than she became critically ill with pneumonia when staying at Auntie Annie's (Mrs. C.C. Sargent). her illness was a cause of great anxiety to all of us and especially to Father who no doubt suffered a good deal over it, but he always kept as cheerful as possible. June 9th In a few more days hope to speak more definitely as to my appearance in Ellesmere Road. The little room with nothing but bed, chair, drawers and looking glass will suit me down to the ground. Shall put trunks under the bed and so have plenty of room. On the 27th Father left Fairseat and accompanied Meg and Annie down to London on their way to New Milton and then came on to Chiswick. We met them at Waterloo and thought even then that my Father was not looking as well as usual. In August he came down to Folkestone with us to a house (11 Claremont Road) which I had taken for a month. Here we tried to find the house he had stayed in with his Mother in 1858 but there were too many changes to make this possible. Nevertheless he much enjoyed walking all round the place and walked many miles. He came with us for a day trip to Boulogne and walked us (Mabel, Jack and I) round the old walls and into the Museum (formerly the School) But for a slight temporary indisposition he was quite well and in the best of spirits. On our return home to Chiswick he continued the usual quiet life, walking round, teaching Jack or helping him with his lessons and playing billiards in the evenings and studying German. On the 11th October he went up to Fairseat and from there on the 18th went to Liverpool to see Annie off on her return to New York. He came back to Chiswick on the 20th. At the beginning of December he went down to Tio's at New Milton for a holiday, returning on the 22nd. Whilst there he walked a long way whenever it was fine - 12 to 15 miles. He could always walk me off my feet and never seemed to tire. Whilst there my wife underwent a slight operation. His last letter to me was written from New Milton under date December 12th 1913 What is admirable is Mabel's pluck and endurance and determination to keep the trouble to herself so as not to make you nervous. It is the woman and the woman's wonderful capabilities of self-sacrifice as usual! Why most men would have let all the world know of their misfortune for a long time before the Surgeon was due to cure them -- With love to you all, Your loving Father. Christmas 1913 my Father spent with us at Chiswick and very glad we were to have him. With the end of the year his health, which had always been very good, broke with painful suddenness. After a sharp attack of influenza he was downstairs 1914 again waiting for the Doctor to let him out of the house. When, on the 5th January I came home from business to find he had had a slight attack of Aphasia. In full possession of his mental and physical powers, except for this, it was impossible to realize what this meant. He walked upstairs to bed under the Doctor's orders and remained there until the 25th when he came downstairs for a short time and much enjoyed a visit from John Wilson and Leicester. Whilst upstairs we and the nurses read to him and he much liked hearing again the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes but the great thing was that the Doctor allowed him - I fear only because of the obvious bad state of his arteries - to smoke again. My wife and I had the deep gratification of providing him with the wherewithal and it was grand to see how thoroughly he enjoyed smoking again, and how it soothed him and made bearable the confinement to his room. He was allowed out for short walks on the 30th January and except for occasional hesitation for a word seemed to have quite recovered. Unfortunately, he caught cold in the following month and on the night of the 16th February broke a blood vessel in his lungs from coughing. He called me into his room on the early morning of the 17th and the Doctor was sent for at once. He appeared to realize that his condition was a bad one and after insisting on signing a cheque to provide for any expense during his illness made me promise to have him cremated, should the illness prove fatal. Meggie who had come down on the occasion of the first illness, at once came down and was with him to the last. Abbot Bergh also saw him twice. He developed broncho-pneumonia but was sensible almost to the end. Meg read to him the last book being an old favourite The World Went Very Well Then. On the 26th my poor Father had another stroke and at 5 p.m. on the 27th February, 1914, in Meg's presence, died.

So passed away the best and dearest of father's, beloved and admired by all his children and grandchildren, who sadly miss him and will ever hold his memory dear. To us children he was not only a Father and all that the name implies but also a true companion. His loss is irreparable.

On the 4th March he was cremated in accordance with his often expressed wishes and his ashes lie in the grave of my son Francis in Chiswick Cemetery.

Many friends in London, Bradford4, Portugal and Canada expressed their sorrow. He had made a host of friends and I know of no enemy. A man of great strength of mind and body, of immense knowledge, a brilliant conversationalist, a good linguist, speaking French, Spanish and Portuguese fluently and having good knowledge of German and Italian and Arabic a little, and with all these genial qualities which endeared him to all he knew, may his descendants be so favoured as to possess some part, at least, of his attainments and disposition.

Completed Sunday 19th April, 1914, by his ever-sorrying son -
Francis R. Bergh,
33 Ellesmere Road, Chiswick, England.

Distribution of the Family at my Father's death

there were also two children who died in their first year

Father left him surviving:- 6 children and 10 Grandchildren.

He was about 5'9" high and when in his prime 44" round the chest. Hair dark-brown and inclined to be curly. Eyes grey-blue. Beard reddish. Fresh complexion, skin rather tanned by long exposure to the sun.

He belonged to a Master Mason Lodge and Rox Croix Chapter but never passed the chair. He was not prepared to incur the expense of being an active Mason.

In 1927 the remaining part of my Father's library (or rather such part as had not been ruined by damp) which I had taken over on his death was sent down from Fairseat, Shipley, where Meggie had been caring for it, to my house at Chiswick. - F.R.B.


  1. Following Father (F.R.B.)'s death in May, 1947, Mother and M.D.B. moved to Ellesmere, 15 Meadway, Ashford, Middlesex, in April, 1948, in order to be near H.J.W.B. The bulk of the library was taken with them, a few books going to H.J.W.B. A number of the older books, including those printed in Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish, were presented to the Chiswick Public Library.
  2. As Custodian of the Family Records, I acquired three books, won as prizes by H.J.B. at the College de Boulogne-sur-mer, which words are emblazoned in gold surrounded by olive branches on the front cover of each volume. They are in French, as follows:-
    1. Jeanne D'Arc par J. Michelet 1856.
    2. Recits de L'Histoire de la Rome Paienne par Mme. B. Saltenheym 1856.
    3. Oeuvres Choisies de Buffon par D. Sancie 1855.

    The printed labels remain in the first two volumes. Both were presented 11th August, 1858, at the:- Université de France - Académie de Doumi College Communal, de Boulogne-sur-mer.

    The first is Prix de Calcul obtenu par L'éleve. Bergh, Henry,

    and the second Prix d'Histoire et Geographie obtenu par L'éleve. Bergh, Henry,

    (Calcul = Arithmetic) - R.F.B.

  3. In my possession is a small leather bound pass-port cover and note-book, 4 and a half inches x 3 and a half inches, on which is stamped in gold Henry J. Bergh. It contains his original pass-port dated 20.2.1871 and is stamped with innumerable visas. At the back are a number of pencilled notes, including Warne - lawyer sloped with £12,000 to Australia, see Maman's settlement.


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