Letter from Revd W S T-W Fiennes to Revd George Hawkes Field
Rickmansworth Nov 27
My Dear Rector
Your kind letter with its refreshment for my Exchequer reached me this morning before the Breakfast Hour and I lose no time in acknowledging the remittance with gratitude. The demise of my dear wife has sadly depleted my income, and I am almost a candidate for the workhouse – but I hope to pull through for a short time longer. I am sorry to hear that you have been paternally bereft but as time goes on these things must happen, and we have (to) live on memories. I lost my mother when I was only three, so I may be said to have had no mother, but my father lived to be 87 and no man ever had a better. I am the only one left of my generation, a kind of Pelican in the wilderness.
Lines’ Newport rag shows that you have been having an “Entertainment” in Milton in which your kindly and charming wife took an active part. This shows that she has regained her health and strength, and I am rejoiced to believe it. It was a great delight to me to have had a peep at the old Rectory and Parish by the aid of my son John and his motor, but the time was all too short for visiting the inhabitants except only one or two. I hear that the Rector of Gt Brickhill is going to leave – are you to be the new Rural Dean? I think that there are only five of my contemporaries now left in the Deanery, Smith, Philpotts, Starling and Jones and Bennitt.
I was sorry not to be able to go into the dear old church when I was in Milton – I would like to have seen the roll of Rectors which you have so well set up. My name however is on the Tenor Bell which was re-cast in my time. There is nothing else that I know of in memoriam, but after all, why should there be?
The present Rector of my former parish of Silchester has just sold the charming old Rectory House having let it altogether out of repair. I do not think he ought to have been allowed to do so; I believe he asked £4000 – and I suppose got it – so he has escaped a charge for dilapidations.
My kindest remembrances to Mrs Field and you – you must kindly excuse my writing, as I am very nearly blind.
always very truly yours
W T Fiennes