Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Queen to Lady Christian Maule

David Harcourt Maule Wingate is, I believe, a third cousin, once removed, of George Ramsay Acland Mills. David has been gracious enough to share some of his family's archive with me and this is the first of item of six consecutive posts I'll very happily create this evening.

This is the text [left, click to enlarge] of a letter from Queen Victoria to David's great-great-grand-aunt, Lady Christian Maule, on the passing of her brother, the Hon. Fox Maule Ramsay, 10th Earl of Dalhousie, 2nd Baron Panmure of Brechin & Navar, K.T., M.P. Christian Maule would have been George Mills's great-grand-aunt, and Lord Dalhousie his great-grand-uncle.

The printed text of the letter found here is from page 496 of The Panmure Papers, published in 1908 and edited by Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, who had served as Lord Dalhousie's private secretary while the latter was Minister of War. Sir George is George R. A. Mills' namesake and maternal grandfather.

It was interesting reading the letter in Queen Victoria's actual hand, which I did with my daughter Emlyn, aged 19. We hadn't sat and read together—just father and daughter—in quite some time, and it was wonderful. We made some errors in our reading [apparently the Queen had "children," not "chickens"], but did fairly well—we even think there may be a mistake or two in Sir George's transcription of it!

It's not every day that a 19-year-old finds something old to be "cool," but this clearly was. My family was fascinated and delighted to be reading it!

See and read it for yourself. I'll upload the five-page missive in the next five posts in reverse order so it can be read easily from top to bottom.

I hope you enjoy it as well, and, once again, many, many thanks, David!

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