Washington County Durham


Memories of ...

Gertrude Bell's Grandfather

Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell F.R.S.
( 1816 - 1904 )

Sir Isaac's Portrait

Builder of Washington New Hall, later known as Dame Margaret's Hall,
and co-founder of the Washington Chemical Company.

[ This portrait by Frank Bramley is in the National Railway Museum, York. ]

Letter written by Sir Isaac, 13th May 1862

Sir Isaac's Letter

Written in 1862, when working class families needed every penny to support themselves.
You'll be amazed at some of the content!

[ The above image of Sir Isaac's original letter was contributed courtesy of its current owner, Keith Cockerill. ]

Transcript of Sir Isaac's Letter

Page 1

  • The Hall
  • Washington
  • County of Durham
  • 13 May 1862
  • My dear Trevor,
  • I had so much to write yesterday
  • that I overlooked your letter of 8th.
  • The requisition was duly signed.
  • The decision you give of W *Balley*
  • appears to me fair as far as it
  • goes but Alfred Bell mentioned an
  • addendum which ultimately
  • may considerably modify *scribble?* its
  • practical working i.e that no
  • one can sell a share to avoid a
  • call actually made but that
  • in the absence of any such call
  • then any one can sell and so dis-
  • solve any liability between himself

Page 2

  • and the company - hence unless the
  • transfer by W Jackson is *irregular*
  • from having been done by himself
  • all the gentlemen whose *responsibil-
  • ities* he has assumed have escaped.
  • I am obliged for your offer of
  • hospitality but it will probably
  • suit my other movements better
  • to remain at Clarence's or Mr
  • Mauly. I cannot say which yet.
  • I shall be glad to hear from you
  • *respecting* the £16,000 of Bonds.
  • By the way W Jackson is much
  • disappointed after something *name*
  • heard from you that there is any
  • doubt or difficulty attending
  • meeting the £10,000 of Bills.
  • Yours Faith     I. Lowthian Bell

[ Please note: Keith and I found this letter difficult to transcribe so this transcription may contain some errors! ]