A. W. N. Pugin

The Collected Letters of A. W. N. Pugin, Vol. 3: 1846–1848

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To JOHN HARDMANRamsgate, Thursday, 9 December 1847?

Text: MS PC [HLRO 27]   Address: none   Postmark: none

My Dear Hardman

it is impossible to do anything. the gale continues. Vessells have been pouring in all day.1 half wrecks. I never saw such destruction. amonst others the king of the French yatch the count DEu—3 vessell struck the W head & went down in the harbour Large ships & Lying about in all directions—the american was brought in this morning—it will be fortune for the men.2 one of the poor Spaniards died Last night.3 he will be buried tomorrow with all Solemnity.4 your candlestics just came in time but we have no Lanterns for procession, & we cannot carry lights in this windy place without.5 pray send me some. I have now 3 more patients 2 Portuguese & 1 Italian. we have got the lower part of a house in king street as a pg 332tempory hospital but I must build one if possible.6 Mr. Daniel is beyond all praise. he goes twice a day to these poor people—even at 10 at night—tomorow we shall have a great muster of Captains & Seamen at the funeral—it does immense good. I was astonished to see a crowd of sailors for the conception.7 Luckily we had mass. we want 3 Priests—a Sacristan an organist 3 xtian Brothers 3 sisters & a superior. then we should have a staff & could defy the hereticks—if I succeed in the North I shall astonish the protestants but I hardly dare hope at present.8 do not forget the Lanterns—we want them badly. Powell has exerted himself very much in all this but—we cannot do any work.

  • ever your devoted friend
  • ✠AWelby Pugin         

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 Under the heading 'Ship news' (p. 8), The Times of 11 December 1847 reports from Ramsgate that the Tennessee from America was brought in 'a derelict', together with two other vessels which lost their anchors.
Editor’s Note
2 The Comte d'Eu left Le Havre for Cherbourg on Saturday 4 December but was feared lost in the storm and so reported in Paris. Despite the conditions, the royal yacht arrived off Deal on 9 December, where she was ordered to Ramsgate to refit, according to a report headed 'Dover, Friday' (p. 7), in The Times of 11 December 1847.
Editor’s Note
3 It is at 9 December 1847 that Pugin enters 'Spaniard died' in his diary.
Editor’s Note
4 Pugin notes 'Spaniard buried' in his diary at 10 December. The register at St Augustine's records that Antonio Veria was buried on 10 December 1847, with the priest William Harris officiating.
Editor’s Note
5 MWDB charges Pugin £6. 15s. at 8 April 1848 for 'A pair of Brass Processional Lanterns with Brass Poles, Engraved St Augustines Mark'.
Editor’s Note
6 Ferrey refers to 'two small houses' (p. 179) which Pugin 'hired in King-street, where he engaged nurses to attend the fever-stricken sailors who were left destitute in port'. This act of benevolence, Ferrey claims, was the 'embryo' of the Sailors' Infirmary in Ramsgate, but Rosemary Hill shows in Pugin and Ramsgate (Ramsgate: Pugin Society, 1999) that, despite this tradition, Pugin is 'most unlikely' (p. 15) to have had anything to do with the infirmary, which was founded by Edward Hoare.
Editor’s Note
7 The feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on 8 December. The Tablet notices the service in a report submitted by an unnamed 'Correspondent': 'Ramsgate,—St. Augustine's', Tablet, 8 (18 December 1847): 805, states that on 'Wednesday' Captain Got with the crew of the Trois Frères, of Port Vendre, asked for a special mass in order to return thanks for their deliverance after their ship lost five anchors in the Downs and struck heavily on the Goodwin Sands.
Editor’s Note
8 It is Hornby Castle that is in the North.
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