Saturday, 19 November 2016

19th November 1816: James Towle writes a letter to his wife the night before his execution

Dear WIFE,

In a few more hours I shall be no more. But my dear Creature in my last moments it is my duty to beg of you to seek for that peace in God which is far beyond my pen to describe or tongue to speak; and my dear Girl above all, I hope you will bring my dear Children up in the fear and love of God, and then you will find a friend; a friend that will support you through all the troubles of this world, and in the hour of death, give you that comfort that will raise your mind far above all treasures that the earth can afford. My dear Girl this afternoon there has been a gentleman that wished to see me, and made me a present of a pound note for you my dear Children, and he promised me that he would bring it to you himself with this letter, and promised me that he would do something for you towards making you comfortable, and my dear I have no doubt but my Mother will be agreeable to you and my dear Children to be with her, and I hope and trust she will be a Mother and a Guardian to mysweet Babes, which in so short a time will be Fatherless. Dear Wife, my last words are, may God Almighty bless and protect you and my dear Children in this world, and prepare you for the world to come, is my sincere prayer.

From your Dying Husband,

Tuesday night [i.e. 19th November 1816], 10 o'clock.

This letter was published in several newspapers, with this example from the Leicester Journal of 22nd November 1816.

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