H. Stanhope to Peter, Banff, August 22, 1892

[Point Ellice House Collection, uncatalogued]
Found in PEH Transcription Collection

Banff Hotel
Aug. 22nd [1892]

Dear Mr. O’Reilly

I don’t know if you have received a letter from me, so I had better tell you that is the second – I had asked you in my first whether you would consent to my marrying your daughter, but did not give any details on which you could give a reply. I propose to do so in this letter. I also told you the position in which Miss O’Reilly & I stood. I may add that she volunteered to me before leaving that she did not think I would have long to wait. Now Mr. O’Reilly, if you will excuse me for being so naive, I am perfectly satisfied regarding your daughter’s affection for me, only, as she expresses it “it makes me feel so frightened”. I do not wonder at it. As I told Mrs. O’Reilly, I was selfish in thinking only of myself, & not of her future when compared with her past life. I had often thought of that before, it was the reason of my long silence, but sorrow at leaving her forced the words from me. I hope you will pardon me, especially as I am sure I have not brought unhappiness on anyone of your family. I could not tell her anything with certainty, & how could be expected to look with anything but ashudder at a prospect so uncertain, and give up her home and her horse, and all her other things, and leave her parents, who are so devoted to her, & she to to them, in complete uncertainty as to when or how she would see them again. I think it shows what a sensible and feeling girl she is. It is different for me; I don’t mind what I lose so long as I win her. I now wish to tell you how I am palaced – I have at present only £5,000 in the world, with the prospect of perhaps £6000 more on the decease of a mother & Aunt which I trust will not occur in my lifetime, as I love the former too well. In England, I am, of course getting very small interest. In British Columbia no doubt I could get more. I should far prefer as a married man to be out of the Navy, even had I house (?) appointments your daughter would not see much of you. I am not keen on staying in the Navy – I might get a retirement of L200 a year more, & I shouldn’t have the least objection to making my home in British Columbia, and finding something to do out there. I would gladly take your daughter & give her everything I possess. I hardly like asking you the question, but if you were inclined to give her anything would be sufficient you your opinion (when added to mine) to consider yourself justified in allowing me to place her future life before Miss O’Reilly and asking for her final reply? What my mother says on the subject I will lose no time in …

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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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