A. W. N. Pugin

The Collected Letters of A. W. N. Pugin, Vol. 4: 1849–1850

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To JOHN HARDMANRamsgate, early February 1849?

Text: MS PC [HLRO 193]   Address: none   Postmark: none

My Dear Hardman

1 Mr. Talbot of St Georges has ordered a Lamp for the Lady chapel.1 I inclose a sketch of the sort of thing. you have plenty of Patterns to work by. the cost is pg 22not to exceed £15. it is to be plated—a coronel & chains with a Lamp suspended from it.

2 you have talked a great deal about sending templets—but none arrive—& I want tracery work for Hendren. dont complain if you run short now for it is not my fault.

3 with regard to the inscription for the Petre brass there is no need of anything whatever at the angles & I have written to Mrs. Petre to day about it. I thought you had got it long ago.

4 you were right. I had plenty of Candles at the church but only 1 at home. we think of getting rid of Harry from the house—& saving something that way.2 I have hardly patience to think of all the money I fooled away last year in rascally business.3 it would have glazed the church. everything now comes on me. since Mr Buckle left we actually have had only 1d in the poor box for 3 weeks & 0 0. 0 in the mission for 3 months—notwithstanding all the great people we have had here & no trade.4

I send you a drawing for the counterweight which I hope you will understand.

I never saw a year open with such miserable prospects—there is only one redeeming fact but that is a very great one. everything is most comfortable at home but besides that there is no one bright spot. people dont even pay small sums that have been long owing & I expect contrary to my Rules I shall be obliged to make them. what say you? I fear your prospect is even worse than mine. I am very grieved about your Loss. it is a sad thing—for it prevents the possibility of doing good. we have both seen our best days I expect—& may make ourselfs a raft with the wreck but if that will float it will be something.

  • ever dear Hardman    
  • your devoted friend
  • ✠AWelby Pugin   
pg 23

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 The lamp is the gift of Elizabeth Knill, Jane Pugin's aunt. Jane's cousin Stuart Knill orders it on his mother's behalf in a letter to Pugin which is preserved in ML.

  • London Bridge Wharf
  • Feby. 1st. 1849

My Dear Mr Pugin,

Mr Talbot is very much pleased with the Lamp. Will you therefore be kind enough to order it to be made at once—The expence must not exceed £15To John Hardman Ramsgate, Early February 1849?

I enclose the two bills receipted which you think you have—as you told me you had filed them—and I forgot whether I had Sent them.

  • With love to Jane                 
  • I am                                 
  • Yours very Sincerely
  • Stuart Knill           

Writing on 24 April 1849 in a letter filed in ML, the priest George Talbot asks if the lamp may be received by 1 May, and enquires further if his reliquary, ordered probably in January 1848, will be finished by July. MWDB enters to George Talbot at 1 May 1849 'A Plated Corona Lamp, with Sawpierced Crestings, Ball Chains &c &c' at a price of £13. 10s.; with counterweight, pulley, and other essentials, costing £1. 10s., the whole is 'for Ladye Chapel, St George's Church'.
Editor’s Note
2 Harry's identity has not been surely ascertained. He was a handyman about Pugin's property and may be the 'Oken' or 'Oker' of other letters.
Editor’s Note
3 The money was fooled away in Pugin's attempt to marry Helen Lumsdaine.
Editor’s Note
4 W. H. Buckle left Ramsgate, as Pugin notes in his diary, on 24 November 1848 to take up another customs post in Hull. MWDB records his address in March 1849 as 20 Stoney Street, Hull. Evidently Buckle found the equipment of the Catholic church he had to attend in Hull a distressing contrast with what Pugin provided, and set about improving his surroundings. The building he describes as a 'Grecian & Gothic Mixture', and there is 'Grecian & Egyptian furniture' in it. In a letter to Birmingham of 24 January 1849 in ML Buckle declares that he does 'not mean to remain a day longer' in Hull than he can help; he enquires about fabric for vestments—his daughters want 'a small bit of Pattern of curtains'; he orders ecclesiastical metalwork; he hopes Powell 'goes on comfortably' at St Augustine's, where he fears the young man 'misses my assistance'. MWDB enters an order totalling £3. 14s. and including cruets, candlesticks, and a holy-water vat to him at 10 February 1849. That last item is explained in a letter to James Powell of 7 February 1849: asking for an asperges bucket to be sent as soon as possible, Buckle reports that 'They have actually a brown Pie dish for sprinkling the Coffin at Mass for the dead'. His lament on 14 February that 'Bed Candlesticks' are used in the church may have led to the purchase of candlesticks and candles worth £9. 10s. 10d. recorded in MWDB at 6 March 1849. Another gift is entered to him in MWDB at 29 March 1849: 'A Large Brass Sanctuary Lamp' which with all its accoutrements costs £6. 5s. Improving the church was discouraging work, however, for, as he confides to Birmingham on 23 April 1849, the people of Hull are 'not disposed to follow a good Example'.
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