[Ann Bill, daughter of Thomas Bill, Leeds china dealer.] Autograph Letter Signed to her mother, describing an excursion to Chester, with reference to the construction of the Manchester and Leeds Railway, and the Marquess of Westminster's Eaton Hall.
4pp., 4to. Bifolium. 76 lines of closely and neatly written text, including a four-line postscript cross-written on the first page. Addressed, with Chester postmark, on reverse of second leaf to 'Mr. Bill | Boar Lane | Leeds | Yorkshire'. ('Bill Thomas, 7, Boar lane' is listed among the 'Glass, China, and Earthenware Dealers' in Haigh's 'General and Commercial Directory of the Borough of Leeds', Baines & Co., 1839). The reverse of the second leaf also carries the remains of the wax seal, stamped 'Ann'. In fair condition, on worn and aged paper. The letter is addressed to 'My dear Mother', with the valediction 'Bessy joins me in kind love to you Thomas & Matilda and believe me Mother your | affectionate daughter | Ann Bill'. Having 'arrived safe in Chester', she begins by describing the 'very delightful ride': 'we had a full load from Bradford all the way to Manchester and could have got many more<.> we took up 2 Ladies & Gentlemen at Armley Mrs. the Gent upon the Bar scarcely spoke a word all the way | We took up Mr. Norris at Halifax he sat next me and was very kind in pointing out every thing worth noting the finest views though [sic] Todmorden he said were equal to Italion [sic] Scenery he also pointed out different parts of the Railway. It was very fine all day we arrived in Manchester at 20 minutes after 2 oclock and left at 1/2 past 4 through & Warrington we crossed the Grand Junction at Preston Brook about 12 miles from Chester after we got in it began to rain and wind all night'. They go out and see Chester, and stop by 'the Feathers Inn where the Coach runs too'. She gives news of family friends ('Mrs. C.' and the Booth family), and describes her activities in the city ('a very singular built town'), including a visit to 'the Cathedral and the New Bridge over the Dee'. She is much impressed by the Marquess of Westminster's Eaton Hall: 'You could not conceive a more splendid place [...] the gardens were very beautiful and very extensive they employ 50 Gardeners the grounds are 52 acres we got in to the Maqrquises [sic] State Carriage we did not see the Horses we saw the Marquis in the park he moved very politely to us afterwards we met the Marchioness driving a pair of grey ponys [sic] - she nodded very familiarly to us the[y] seem very plain affable people'. She concludes: 'We shall leave here to morrow morning and spend Sunday at Bangor we intend being at Home the middle of next week we are both very well hoping this will find you the same with plenty of Trade there are a many China Shops here'.