Furze Hill, Red Hill Jan 27/1881
My dearest Friend,
Many thanks for the precious relics which have just arrived, sacred to love and friendship! Reading these pages on which our dearest Julia’s eyes have rested, may I be the better prepared for the great change. A ‘door has been opened in Heaven’ and she has entered, but at the closing of the door there must be ‘weeping and great mourning’. Had your affliction befallen me I should have been left almost alone upon earth, but hour after hour it occurs to me how many moments of your dearest Wife surround you in her children and grandchildren, and their dutiful affection and sympathy cannot suffer you to feel quite solitary and desolate. Bishop Andrew’s will be precious. I remember dear Bishop Utterton expressing his admiration of his works in this very room, and now he is gone to join him, dying at the altar, as you probably heard, in the act of prayers. Pascal, an especial favourite always, is now doubly so, and our dear John’s photograph is the best version I ever saw. Thus is touched a train of early associations, but at present it will be enough to hope that you do not lean away from any alleviations which may present themselves under this great sorrow, and as in no small measure a fellow sufferer, again to assure you of the sympathy of,
Yours ever affectionately,
Geo. Richmond Esq., R.A.
I should much have enjoyed a talk with the dear Vicar but on that dreadful Tuesday weather-seasoned men, two in the Parish, died from the cold.