21 July 1818

Eliza Fenwick, Barbados, to Henry Crabb Robinson, c/o Mrs. Collier, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London, 21 July 1818.1

Barbadoes   July 21st1818

My dear Sir,

     My day of asking favors is not yet come to an ^end^ for I am going once more to intrude on your kindness. You are I have heard [sic] on friendly terms with Sergeant Rough who fills an important situation at Demarara. I may probably be under the necessity of visiting that Colony as I have money owing me there, which I cannot afford to loose. There are other reasons also which may induce me or my daughter to go there for a short period, & should the necessity arrive no circumstance or recommendation could so well aid my views as a letter from you to Sergeant Rough, & I shall be indeed greatly obliged if you will forward to me here that letter of introduction, which even if I do not use I shall look at with gratitude as a fresh testimony of your long tried kindness.

     This place has not proved to me a Haven of repose and the success of my exertions has even added poignancy to other sufferings. Since the death of my beloved Son, I have had to apprehend the loss of my no less beloved daughter. Her health has been in a critical state for some time & her constitution so terribly impaired that unless a very speedy renovation takes place, she must try a colder climate. If she must wander, I must wander with her, nor will you blame me when I add she had but me to soothe her anxieties & assist in the support & protection of ^her^ four infants. She is and has been during the whole of her married life as prudent – as estimable a woman, as h ever exercised the duties of Wife & Mother; but (I speak it in confidence) she has drawn an unhappy lot. Company & the prevalent vice of the West Indies (drinking) has detached Mr Rutherford from his family & his duties. He had become not merely a burthen, but an injury to our affairs when happily for us he determined on going to England, where I trust he will remain and pursue a better course of life. It is probable you may see or hear of him as he required of my daughter on his departure a line to the Lambs. As I know their feelings of kindness towards us my induce them to put constraint of ^on^ themselves (from which they always are sufferers) to show attention to Mr R— I wish to relieve them of the motive to such constraint by this communication of the real cause of his separation [sic] from his neglected family. I would have written to them by the Vessel ^in^ which he sailed, but that very day my daughter brought her fourth Baby into this world of care, and my time was exclusively given to her – You will be so good as to shew them this letter, but further than them & you I do not feel it necessary to speak of the matter.

    Since I began this letter a Vessel from Demarara has arrived without any remittances to me which after the urgency of my last application convinces me I shall be compelled at last length to take more active measures.

     If therefore you find it not inconvenient to comply with my request I solicit your answer as soon as possible[.]

     My daughter was ordered a voyage in Sepr last, & went to Demarara which now from the woods being cleared has become one of the healthiest of the Colonies. In the ten days of her residence there she heard Mr & Mrs Rough highly spoken of but had no opportunity of any Introduction.

     I have not heard from Miss Hays for some time, & would have written <–> to her by this cover, but I am an Invalid & can ill meet the various claims on my time & attention which surround me.

    May I beg you to post send the enclosed to the 2d post. 

                     Adieu My dear Sir

                             Believe me ever gratefully yours

                                            E. Fenwick


Address: To | Henry Robinson Esqr | Care of Mrs Collier | 11 Salisbury Square |Temple | Fleet Street

Postmark: 12 [?] 1818


1 Crabb Robinson Archive, DWL/HCR/5/6/11, Dr. Williams's Library, London; a portion of this letter can also be found in Grundy, Secresy 374. Robinson added on the address page the following note: "Mrs Fenwick A most charming woman I cannot destroy a letter from her And yet I am too lazy to relate her painful history which can render it interesti intelligible."