IS IT MR. DARCY THEN?

by ehistoryadmin on February 4, 2017

Brian McCabe of Kill Local History Group is constantly unearthing secrets and curious things. This week he brought to the library a small document given to him by historian and calligrapher, Timothy O’Neill, a member of the RSAI, which Tim has donated to Kildare Library Services and we thank him for his thought and generosity.

At first glance it is a rather innocuous little document about tolls and carriage of tiles upon the canals in 1849, curious in that it is on the Midlands Great Western Railway (Canal Department, Broadstone terminus) notepaper and it is during the Famine. It is a note from a Samuel Draper to A.G Lefroy, Cardenton House, Athy.

Midland Great Western Railway (Canal Department)
Broadstone Terminus
8th May 1849

Sir
I this day laid before the Board your letter of yesterday’s date and in reply acquaint you that they have agreed to allow Tiles to be boated on the Canal upon payment of the same rate of toll to which coal is subject, namely one penny per ton per mile not to exceed 1s/8d per ton for any distance

I am Sir your most obedient
humble servant
[Signed] Saml Draper (Secry)
A.G Lefroy Esqr.

[Overleaf]
Ay. [?] George Lefroy Esqr.
Cardenton House
Athy
TL

My dear Anthony
The Enclosed was left at Leeson St & is so important I lose no time in forwarding it – you’ll all be glad to hear I am thank God much better but not yet allowed to leave the house.

Your affecte?? uncle
TL

There are some letters/words that are troubling to decipher with the utmost clarity and the nominl(s) at the end are guessed at – TL – based on intuition and another document found on the web – but here is where it gets extremely interesting.

Anthony George Lefroy is the son of  the Magistrate, Benjamin Lefroy, of Cardenton House, Athy (many of the family buried in St. John’s graveyard in Athy). Benjamin was the brother to the Chief Justice Thomas Langlois Lefroy (1776-1869) making Tom an uncle of Anthony George – could this be the TL?

Tom Lefroy is presumed by some to have provided the inspiration for Jane Austen in her book Pride and Prejudice for Mr. Darcy.

Another point of interest is in relation to the haulage of freight by the boats of the Midlands Great Western Railway – apparently Samuel Draper was Secretary of the Royal Canal Company and there is a suggestion that they began hauling freight only from the 1850s or even 1870s; this note suggests otherwise or at least an earlier start to these endeavours!

[see https://irishwaterwayshistory.com/tag/samuel-draper/ ]

Lefroy Doc 2 small

 

Lefroy Doc 1small

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