Archive / Papers / Fortescue-Brickdale Papers


Small Collections Box 10

(Lt. J.F. Fortescue-Brickdale)

Given by Mr. F. Fortescue-Brickdale

Bengal, Madras, U.P. Punjab: 1845 – 1846.

  1. Letters from Matthew Brickdale to his parents 1 and 2 July 1845 from Cove (South Ireland) having gone to see his brother, Lt. John Fortescue-Brickdale, off on ‘Alfred’ a 36 gun frigate. Describes ship and cabin and other passengers, and says as Adjutant he is very busy.
  2. Letter written on 2 July, describes parting and the Alfred sailing away. Matthew returns to Cork.
  3. Letters from Lt. J.F. Brickdale: during the time of the first Sikh War as Adjutant to his Regiment (61st Glos. Regt.):
    • 25 September 1845 From Ship ‘Alfred’ to Calcutta.
    • 4 October 1845 Description of voyage. Cabin, passengers, birds, fish seen, land passed. Latitude and longitude, wind etc. (4pp. single sheet) Reaches Madras Roads.
    • 14 October 1845 ‘Alfred’: Very hot. Describes lying off Madras, native craft and how they row. Lands at Madras, goes to new hotel. Describes European and native Madras – spends day there, gets July newspapers.
    • 18 October Lies off Calcutta, difficulty in getting in with shipping, sandbanks, and monsoon. Concludes on 22 October still not in Calcutta.
    • 4 November 1845 Dum Dum. Took until 25th to arrive at Garden Reach. Describes cantonment. Criticizes administrative preparations for march to Allahabad. Thinks they will go to Cawnpore to relieve the 53rd. Everything very expensive – gives prices. Enumerates servants. Dining at the Artillery Mess 100 bearers there; soldiers have servants. Describes his office, expense of moving.
    • 4 November 1845. Short note to mother – replying to her health warnings, and commenting on her letter.
    • 15 November 1845. Dum Dum: to brother Matthew. Still not moved. Incompetence of authorities. Describes Calcutta briefly. Attends Hindu celebration along with over 1,000 others of all colours and classes. Comments on good cooks in India. Attends dance. Personal.
    • 4 December 1845. Dum Dum: to father. Very busy; ordered to leave for Allahabad; rumours of wars in the north; now has 12 servants; bought a horse.
    • 15 December 1845. Camp, Burdwan: to father. Describes march – numbers, camp followers, baggage train, routine. The officers dine with the local Rajah. Description of his establishment.
    • 1 January 1846. Camp Benhee, 245 miles from Calcutta. Describes tiff in with the Rajah. Has fruitless beat for tiger. Stories of other game: News of the Sikh force.
    • 21 January 1846. Camp ‘Tamashabad’, 440 miles from Calcutta. To his father. Comments on the losses (at Ferozeshah) in the Punjab and blames Sir Hugh Gough. Describes reinforcements being brought up against renewed Sikh attack.. Comments on Benares. Cannot walk through streets except by elephant too dangerous. On good road, after Soane R.
    • 15 February 1846. Cawnpore. To sister, Mrs. Catherine Owen Jones. Has been to Allahabad – very pretty and well ordered. Describes people at Hindu Festival – Cawnpore, deserted of troops – all in the Punjab. Describes bungalow – not many ladies. Theatre and assembly rooms. Hears of the second successful attack on Sikhs. Comments on severe criticism of the Sikh war.
    • 18 March 1846. Cawnpore. Quiet life. Been calling. Comments on: the great informality of social life in dress, manners, etc.; suddenness of the war; unfair stopping of the general levy; good financial position. Has schools and libraries under his superintendence. Shooting. Can only write once a month, not enough paper for more. Mentions possibility of old soldiers’ pensions. (2 sheets)
    • 30 March 1846. Cawnpore. To sister Anne. Personal, on the death of his brother, Charles.
    • 17 April 1846. Cawnpore. Personal, on the death of his brother, Charles.
    • 3 May 1846. Cawnpore. Further on brother’s death; on possible promotion. Asks for financial help. News of 16th and 31st Lancers passing through (from Punjab). Describes and comments on the action, and rumours which have circulated.
    • 18 May 1846. Cawnpore.
    • 25 May 1846. Cawnpore. To father. Discusses funds for purchasing promotion. Asks father to write letters of recommendation for him to Duke of Beaufort. Speaks highly of Lord Fitzroy.
    • 26 June 1846. Cawnpore. Talks of heat, monsoon, insects. Captured Sikh guns have been through – 252 (four mislaid) including one belonging to Ranjit Singh. The Resident of Lucknow and P.M. of Oude come for the occasion. Getting up a theatrical company.
    • 30 July 1846. Cawnpore. More about promotion. Sir Harry Smith of Aliwal taken command of division. Strict disciplinarian.
    • 13 August 1846. Cawnpore. – imperfect. More about finance and promotion.
    • 30 August 1846. Cawnpore. Has corresponded with the officer whose appointment he hopes for. Hopes for exchanges. (2 sheets).
    • 18 October 1846. Cawnpore. Brief letter. Will probably remain in Umbal.
    • 17 November 1846. n.p. Personal.
    • 16 November 1846. Camp ‘Alupoor’. On the march; describes Delhi. Not certain of destination. Been out with irregular cavalry corps.
    • 2 December 1846. Umbala. Describes deserted cantonments of Kurnaul. Describes Umbala, cantonments. General Gilbert C.O. Describes his tent which he shares.
  4. Letters about Lt. John Fortescue-Brickdale’s death on 13 December 1846:
    • 16 December 1846. From Lt. J.W. Hudson 61st Regiment, in Umbala to his brother Matthew. Describes the fall Lt. Brickdale sustained from his horse and his sub sequent death from a fractured skull.
    • 16 December 1846. From (Colonel) H. Burnside to Fortescue’s father, announcing the death of his son, and the circumstances.
    • 17 December 1846. Copy of part of Edward (Wickham’s) letter from Umbala announcing the death of Lt. Fortescue-Brickdale, and the treatment and course of the illness after the accident.
    • Copy of a paragraph about Lt. Brickdale’s abilities sent by Major Charles Gregorie to Brickdale’s mother, 14 March 1847.
    • 2 April 1847. From Lt. J.W. Hudson in Umbala a to Matthew Brickdale about the disposal of Lt. Brickdale’s effects, and position of his grave.
    • Part of a letter about Brickdale, written to his mother. (1848)
    • 9 February 1849. From H.P. Powys, Hardwick near Reading, the father of a friend of Brickdale’s written to Matthew Brickdale about a complicated and curious affair with a man called Webb who wanted to borrow money. (2 sheets)
    • Four sketches for the Memorial Plaque to be erected to Lt. J.F. Brickdale and the suggested wording in the parish church at Newland, Nr. Reading.
    • Sketch of the burial ground, and position of Lt. Brickdale’s grave in Umbala.
    • Cuttings regarding Lt. Brickdale’s promotion, 1844, and notice of his being gazetted Captain, 16 days after his death, 29 December 1846.
    • Cuttings from the Naval & Military Gazette & E. India & Colonial Chronicle.
    • Anon. letter 21 November 1848 about the memorial Tablet to be erected to Lt. Brickdale at Newland, Berkshire.
    • Cutting from the Spectator 8 November 1902 sent by “B” being a copy of John Fortescue-Brickdale’s letter home from school in 1834.