Letter: from RC Faithfull (nephew) to Emily Faithfull

Scope and Content

Dear Aunt Emily, I have a curious story to tell you, that I heard an hour ago from Mr Fanguhar. Fanguhar is a great friend of the Wildmans. Mr Wildman is now incumbent of Calandar and was chaplain to Lord Galloway. Lord Galloway built a cottage in his park for Mr Wildman and called it Park Cottage, and as he was a great friend of the family he was often there. There is a superstition in the branch of the Stuart family of which Lord Galloway was a representative that each member was in the habit of dying in a storm of thunder and lightening. On New Year's eve Lord Galloway gave a ball to his tenants and servants, and at twelve o'clock, for such was the rule of the house, everyone was turned out. A man Drysdale stayed behind til about two, as he was courting one of the maids; he then left.[words crosssed out] A little after this the servants heard Lord Galloway on the stairs; they supposed he was looking to see that the house had been properly looked up. As Drysdale was going through the park he saw Lord G, and was surprised, but he hid, for he knew he had no right to be there at that hour: he almost immediately afterwards saw the policeman Wade, and asked him if he had seen Lord G. Wade said he had not, so Drysdale took Wade up onto some rising ground and showed him to Wade, walking through the Park. I have not put the events in the right order but however, When Lady G went to her husbands room about two o'clock, he said, must put up the blinds I want to look at the sea. She did so. It was a beautiful night -Lord G said, 'I am going out with the tide.' She said 'nonsense you are very well' or something to that effect. Then he added 'this does not look like thunder does it?' She got into bed and he dropped off to sleep. Annie Wildman was reading a novel in her room after two o'clock, she heard a step on the stairs; at first she thought it was her mother's so she blew out her candle and jumped into bed. The steps went into her dressing room, then downstairs and out of the house. At one time she had thought it was Lord Gs steps, and when the steps disappeared she thought they probably were. She got up, went to her mother's room, and asked her if she had been in her room; Her mother was sleeping; she woke her and told her that if she had not been in her room Lord G had. I ought to have remarked before that Lord G had said several times that he would like to see Park Cottage before his death. At four o'clock, young Wildman,who is an undergraduate at Queens Cambridge, was [word crossed out] awakened by a peal of thunder, he woke his elder brother, who used to stroke the Christ Church boat, and told him that Lord G was dead for he had dreamt it and added that soon they would hear the bell (for Mr Wildman). [lots of words crossed out] Lord G died before half past four, the doctor said his pulse stopped in a most sudden manner. But before the doctor had come Lord G told his wife that he had been to Park Cottage.[whole line crossed out]

Believe me your, affectionate nephew RC Faithfull.

Written at Trin. Coll. [Trinity College]. Dated Sunday evening