Letters from Jeremiah Brandreth to his wife (retyped)

Written whilst he was in prison in Derby jail.

“Derby Jail, Oct. 18, 1817

MY DEARLY BELOVED WIFE.  At last I thought it my duty to write a few lines to you which I am sure will affect you very much, to inform you of my dreadful situation, but I hope God will be your friend and, if you will by prayer appeal to God, you will undoubtedly find great consolation and relief for your distress, and as a husband and father let me entreat you that  you will act a motherly part to the poor fatherless children and bring them up in the fear of God, which is my most sincere desire, and likewise conduct yourself in an undeniable manner as an example to the children to the love and fear of God, in the faith of Jesus Christ, so that you may never depart from that faith in Christ; and I wish for the convincing of all the souls in the house that they may be at the arrival of this and that we may all meet in heaven where trouble ceases and all is joy and glory!  And I pray to God may this fatal stroke be joy to all that belong to me, instead of sorrow.  Oh! that I may be the cause of their holy salvation – may it penetrate each wounded heart, so as to be their sole conversion to God.  My dear, you may suppose my feelings are not easily to be described.  At this time the sentence is not passed, but I am found guilty by the jury this day.  My dear wife, it would give me great consolation if I could see you before I depart from this life, but my dear, if you are pregnant, I would have you advise with your poor distressed mother-in-law whether it would be proper or not, and if she thinks it would be not be of serious consequence, I should be very glad, but let it be well considered before you come to me and if you do not come, let your father (if he thinks it would not be more than he can bear) as I know he is of a very timorous turn; but if neither come I shall write again, if God permit me.  So, my beloved wife, I hope you will excuse my short letter at this time.  You may inform all friends that God gave me great fortitude to bear up my spirits on trial, so I hope the blessings of God will be with you all, and most especially with you and our poor little babes.  So I conclude,

Your most affectionate Husband,


For ANN BRANDRETH, George Bridget’s,

Bedlam-Court, Sutton-in-Ashfield.”

“My Beloved Wife, - This is the morning before I suffer; I have sat down to write my last lines to you, hoping that my soul will shortly be at rest in Heaven though the redeeming blood of Christ.  I feel no fear in passing through the shadow of death to eternal life so I hope you will make the promise of God as I have to your own soul as we may meet in Heaven, where every sorrow will cease and all will be joy and peace.  My beloved, I received a letter this morning with a pound note in it which I leave for you in the jailer’s hands with the other things which will be sent to you, as I shall mention before I have done.  This is the account of what I send to you:- one work-bag, two balls of worsted and one of cotton and a handkerchief, an old pair of stockings and shirt and the letter I  received from my beloved sister with the following sum of money – £1.12s.7d  This, I suppose, will be sent in a packet to you by some means.  My dearly beloved wife, this is the last correspondence I can have with you, so you will make yourself as easy as you possibly can and I hope God will bless you and comfort you as he hath me; so my blessing attend you and the children and the blessing of God be with you all now and ever more.  Adieu!  Adieu to all for ever!  Your most affection husband,

This letter was written in a clear and legible hand.

The work-bag above alluded to was about eight inches square, drawn together at the top and ornamented on each side with bunches of flowers worked in different coloured cottons.  This, as well as the other things specified, were enclosed in a small canvass bag, extremely dirty.