To Thomas Martin 7 August 1849

London

7 August 1849

My dear Sir,

Delayed by two weddings this morning I did not leave home for the first train as I had intended, & so received your notes & the very interesting account you were so good as to send me – which I read as I walked to the Church & put into my letter box on my return & hope you have received it – I could not help contrasting the difference in general appearance between the two hale and blooming brides I was uniting to their country bridegrooms & the descriptions of the women in the report – In one respect there was a moral or rather immoral resemblance almost universal in county practice – Though our very young women grow up to be good wives & mothers – they will persevere in thinking themselves to their future husbands to an extent which makes our registers sad tell tales or else first children are begotten in a marvelously short time – I think some little improvement has taken place – but we are still grievously below the correct standard – I have no doubt one of our county executions would be a more pleasant party to look at than such as Mr Brown leads out of the alleys of his parish – but I was much touched with the account of grasping at the first Dog rose – & I think my eyes watered at least a score of times on my journey as I thought of it & since – I shall be truly rejoiced if more of my blackcoated brothers will take up this policy – as you must have found it needs only a certain amount of forbearance & a little experience to obtain success – Experience also will secure the due economy – The visit to one of the 350 from Ipswich was rather more expensive than I should feel justified in repeating annually – but from memoranda made I believe I can reduce it one half & bring it quite within the limits I have been accustomed to allow myself for some sort of annual treat as fireworks &c for some years back – The great thing is to obtain co-operation & as yet there has been a lack of this – My policy is never to go cap in hand – but to lay down general rules & let volunteers step forward – last year we were 70 & this year 180 – & might have been many more if I had not thought first to draw a line – I am happy to say that I am allowed to rent 16 acres of our feoffment land for allotments – at last I have allayed opposition though I have not made any converts among the Farmers – When the land was let 9 yrs ago they would not listen to my proposal though I had a list of 60 willing to take the land – last week they consented to allow me to have my way merely stating they were not in favour of the scheme – I shall hope before long to have a Hitcham Prize Show & take a leaf out of your Book in that respect

Believe me

very truly yours

J.S. Henslow

Please cite as “HENSLOW-1083,” in Ɛpsilon: The Correspondence of John Stevens Henslow accessed on 18 September 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/henslow/letters/letters_1083