July 31st 1884
Dear Mr Brown
Having casually heard “that Mr Bradburn has been to Carlisle and taken away all deeds and papers and that they are now in his possession” I write to let you know what I have heard, trusting that you will excuse my letter, but I cannot help feeling uncomfortable about it — although resting on your kind province to me that you “would look after my interests and write when there was anything to tell me”.
Being aware how very busy you have been I did not care to trouble you with even a letter but I know positively nothing about matters.
My husband has not been to Carlisle or he would have called upon you.
With kind regards, believe me
Mary A Haines
This letter is edged in black which means that Mary Haines was in mourning for the loss of somebody within the family. This could have been up to twelve months prior to writing the letter.
After carrying out some research, it is my belief that Mary A Haines was the wife of the Rector of Great Musgrave, Mr Stafford A Haines. He was born in Bombay, East India in 1839 but can be found in the local censuses for Kirkby Stephen. His wife, Mary A, was born in Dalston, Cumberland circa 1843.
The million dollar questions of course are who was Mr Bradburn and was he up to no good? My guess is that he deeds and papers were connected to Mary’s bereavement. Perhaps an expected inheritance?
Would love to send this letter to one of Mary’s descendants. Any takers out there?