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Faraday and Sarah Faraday to George Buchanan   7 and 16 November 1860

Royal Institution | London | 7, November 1860

My dear George

I think I ought to have written to you before for I received your letter of the 15 August some time ago but you know how many small things are sufficient to delay an old man whose hand gets stiff and who knows that you are kept fully up in every loving communication from your own house. However I do not plead that as my personal excuse but I have no other to offer. I will let all that pass and now thank you very heartily for the pleasant clear accounts that your letter gave me of your doings & positions and for those we gain from home.

I understand that now you have gone South, have in fact rather retreated from your former field of operations and I shall be very sorry indeed if any deficiency of care or judgment in those who guide or at least influence the course of the works altogether should deprive you of the opportunity that was in your hands of manifesting your power and worth. I myself have great confidence in both and therefore regret the more that there should become for a time any delay in your working out that may be placed in your hands. But we must always expect these things and indeed a man’s ability & perseverance is shewn just as much by working steadily on amongst adverse circumstances as in any thing else[.]

Here we go on from year to year - and I hear of great schemes for improvement in London itself, but they interest me less & less & I understand them less - for year by year I withdraw from mingling with them. I cannot therefore tell you of Underground railways1 or River embankments2 - or new termini3 - and you get all these from the papers & your brothers. Edward4 is here & looks very well. Nathy5 comes in frequently & is a pleasant sound sincere fellow. I have seen little of Handasyde6 since Edward has made him an Engineer but the latter reports well of him. Jeannie was cheering us up, with her presence until a day or two since. Of Mother7 & Mary8 I will leave your Aunt to tell - for she means to write with this communication[.]

I received the Money & thank you. I hope you did not hurry matters or press yourself. I should be very sorry if I thought you had.

Ever My dear George | Your Affectionate Uncle | M. Faraday

Geo. Buchanan Esqr | &c &c


Novr 16th

Dear George

I am concerned to have kept this so long & will delay it no longer for I am not very well with cold &c and I may be some time before I am in a writers [word illegible]. I saw your mother lately & heard of your proceedings which will cause some little anxiety till we hear again - not your proceedings exactly. We have been much occupied in many ways all of which you will no doubt have heard. Your Uncle has been running about the country on Trinity house business twice to Whitby two or three times9 to Birmingham10 & to the North Foreland11 & he seems none the worse & has again agreed to take the Juvenile course of Lectures12 which I had hoped he never would but Mr Barlow has resigned the Secretaryship & it was thought not good for your Uncle to give up any thing he could keep at the same time[.] I am sorry to send this as it is for I am not fit to write much so you must take the will for the deed & believe me

Your very affectionate Aunt | S. Faraday

Footnotes

A reference to the Metropolitan Line, the building of which commenced in 1860. Weinreb and Hibbert (1983), 512-3.
Ibid., 238.
Victoria station was opened on 1 October 1860. Ibid., 916.
Edward Barnard Buchanan (d.1869, age 36, GRO). Nephew of Sarah Faraday’s. Civil engineer; Colston (1873), 53.
Nathaniel Buchanan (d.1907, age 69, GRO). Nephew of Sarah Faraday’s. In 1861 census as a bookseller’s clerk (TNA RG9/135, f.13, p.26).
John Handasyde Buchanan (age 17 in 1861 census, TNA RG9/135, f.13, p.26). Nephew of Sarah Faraday’s and Assistant Librarian in the Royal Institution, 1858–1860; RI MM, 1 November 1858, 11: 251 and 6 February 1860, 11: 314. See Cantor (1991), 76.
Charlotte Buchanan.
Mary Buchanan (d.1926, age 86, GRO). Daughter of Charlotte Buchanan and a niece of Sarah Faraday’s.
Faraday reports to Trinity House, 16 August 1860 and 19 October 1860, letters 3828 and 3865, volume 5.
Faraday report to Trinity House, 14 September 1860, letter 3846, volume 5 and letter 3875.
Faraday report to Trinity House, 16 August 1860, letter 3828, volume 5.
Faraday (1861c) which he delivered after Christmas 1860.

Bibliography

FARADAY, Michael (1861c): A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle; to which is added a Lecture on Platinum, London.

Please cite as “Faraday3882,”εpsilon: The Michael Faraday Collection accessed on 15 December 2018, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/faraday/letters/Faraday3882