Can you help solve a 160-year-old mystery and reunite a letter in New Zealand with the recipients family?

Davida Erdahl

A one hundred sixty-year-old letter involving a Bishop’s Stortford tallow chandler and a London merchant has been rediscovered on the other aspect of the world. The letter was purchased lots of yrs ago by Greg Healey, seventy four, a retired airline technician from Picton, New Zealand, around eleven,500 miles absent. […]

A one hundred sixty-year-old letter involving a Bishop’s Stortford tallow chandler and a London merchant has been rediscovered on the other aspect of the world.

The letter was purchased lots of yrs ago by Greg Healey, seventy four, a retired airline technician from Picton, New Zealand, around eleven,500 miles absent. Greg thinks following he purchased the letter he saved it absent and then considered no extra about it.

Greg reported: “As a retiree, I am hoping to type out the muddle and background of my daily life and this minimal instance dropped into my lap. I believe I purchased it from a next-hand store lots of yrs ago amongst other items. Then I saved it absent and forgot about it.”

Greg with the bill letter at his Picton household on New Zealand’s south island

The letter, which appears to be an accounting of earlier yrs and potential orders of tallow, is tackled from John and Edward Cook dinner of London to Bishop’s Stortford businessman William Palmer. The Cook dinner brothers ran a successful business in London from 1831, following inheriting it from their father. The business was globe-renowned for its antiseptic soaps. Shortly right before the 1st Planet War it joined forces with and then was taken around by W H Lever, who are now acknowledged as a single of the world’s most significant brands, Unilever.

Now Greg desires to reunite the letter with the addressees’ loved ones. He additional: “I am of the thoughts that these items ought to be in the rightful fingers of family members or museums.”

It is not acknowledged how the letter finished up in New Zealand or if William has any dwelling family members in the local space.

Letter from Edward & John Cook is currently in New Zealand (44257336)
Letter from Edward & John Cook dinner is at the moment in New Zealand (44257336)

Who was William Palmer?

The addressee, William Palmer, was a perfectly-acknowledged figure of the city and ran his tallow chandler business from Bridge Street for around sixty yrs. Small is acknowledged of William’s early yrs, beyond what can be gleaned from the documents from the time. He was born in Bishop’s Stortford on Wednesday, February six 1793 to mom and dad William and Mary Palmer, and was Christened at St Michael’s Church just around four weeks later, on March 8.

William’s grownup daily life was a story of sorrow and success. He married Henrietta Crabb at Small Hadham Church on June 24 1823 and a year later their very first of 6 little ones have been born. By the time of his dying, in 1877, he experienced outlived four of them and his spouse.

Actual specifics of when the business began are misplaced to background, but the election checklist documents from 1832 exhibit William dwelling at Bridge Street, exactly where he and his loved ones lived over his store and warehouse. By 1832 four of his little ones experienced been born, William, John Sanders, Martha, and John Smyth. Sadly, John Sanders experienced by now handed absent at just around a few months old.

By the 1851 census, John Smyth Palmer experienced died aged four, Mary Henrietta Palmer and Amelia Palmer experienced been born, and his spouse Henrietta experienced, in accordance to the loved ones bible died “pretty abruptly on Monday night September 16, 1844.”

William Palmer photographed in his later life
William Palmer photographed in his later daily life

William, by then 58 yrs old, was dwelling nevertheless dwelling at seven Bridge Street with his son, William (26), Martha (22), Mary (eighteen), and Amelia (9). The document also lists two feminine domestic servants at the deal with.

Mary Henrietta died in 1865 aged thirty, adopted two yrs later in 1867 by William’s previous remaining son, William, aged 43.

William lived to see Amelia marry Henry Staines Wilton on August 4 1868 and have five little ones. The very first four have been born in Bishop’s Stortford, exactly where Henry ran a saddling business from up coming doorway to William at 5 Bridge Street, right before going the business to London in 1875. William’s will refers to Henry as “my buddy.”

Bridge Street residents and business of William Palmer, which adjoined The Star Inn in the 18th century.
Bridge Street citizens and business of William Palmer, which adjoined The Star Inn in the 18th century.

William died a couple of yrs later, on August 4, 1877, with only Martha and Amelia surviving him. Of them, documents show that only Amelia experienced little ones.

William’s obituary in the Chelmsford Chronicle from August 17, 1877, reported: “In the dying of Mr W Palmer, which took location about five o’clock on Wednesday 7 days, the city has misplaced a single of the couple of remaining backlinks involving the previous and current generations. Deceased, who was in his 85th year, experienced been in business as a tallow chandler, &c., in Bridge Street, for a interval of upwards of sixty yrs, and was generally revered by all who realized him.”

Amelia lived to see the stop of the 1st Planet War, dying on December twelve 1919, aged 78. Her obituary in the Essex County Chronicle on December 26 1919, as a item of its time, designed practically no reference to her, but to her husband and father. It reported: “Mrs Wilton, widow of Mr Henry S Wilton, of the firm Winner and Wilton, Saddlers, Oxford Street, has died at an innovative age. She was the daughter of Mr Wm. Palmer, who died in the seventies [1870s], who carried on a trade now extinct, the building of tallow candles. He lived in Bridge Street, and the thoroughfare at the aspect is nevertheless know as Tallow Chandler’s Lane and Palmer’s Lane.”

Palmers Lane, named after William Palmer, is opposite the Bridge Street tallow chandler business he ran for around 50 yrs
Palmers Lane, named following William Palmer, is reverse the Bridge Street tallow chandler business he ran for around 50 yrs

William was buried in the old cemetery in the city on August 13 1877, joining his son, William, and daughter, Mary, in the identical plot. The city documents exhibit that a ‘brick type’ memorial marks their closing resting location, but weathering to the stones from around a hundred and forty yrs ago will make them extremely hard to study.

If you are a descendant of Willaim Palmer or Ameila Wilton, or if you are equipped to aid identify any local descendants, you should call David through email at [email protected] kingdom or to the North Street place of work on 01279 216515.



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