Miss A. Gavey letters


To Mrs Mary Lowndes


near Stoney Stratford


London May ye 17th

My Dearest Friend

I write this to let you know that I shall not go to the Masquerade, which I rejoice much at, & I think you will be glad to hear it, as you did not seem to approve of the Scheme. I am sure I should be in such a Fright all the time, that I should not have any pleasure there. I was entertained at the Opera, & I think it very laughable and Ridiculous, but should not wish to go very often. I like Madame Mara singing much better than Mrs Billingtons, her voice is softer and she singes with greater ease, Mrs Billington seems to strain very much, and it must be pain to her when she sings those very high Notes. I have not forgot what this day is, and that you may see many, many returns of it, in health and happyness is the sincere wish of my Dear Friends, Ever affectionate

AG  [Ann Gavey]

I beg you will write soon.

I saw Mrs Fitzherbert at the Opera and think she has a fine Face.

Tomorrow I shall be engaged from morning to night to be at the Trial by 12 o’clock and in the Evening to the Play. I am now going to see the Pictures at the Shakspeare Gallery. Not on foot


Miss A Gavey to Mr P Gavey

Cosgrove Novb 15th 1805

My Dear Brother

I feel ashamed when I look at the date of Yours, to think how long a time has past since I received it, & will trust to your good nature and knowledge of my dislike to Letter writing (for a pardon) and that you will not lay it to any want of regard for you; I was much surprised to find by the conclusion of yours that you was married again, indeed you prove yourself a true Lover of Matrimony & that it may answer your expectation in very comfort and happiness is my sincere wish, I hope to hear that you are quite free from ye troublesome pain in your Head.


Cosgrove June ye 23  1808

My Dear Brother

I receive Yours (without a date) on the 17th Inst as to the Death of my poor Aunt Price, I had a few lines from James on the 28th of last month to say that she died on ye  4th of April, after having been for some weeks confined to her Bed from Weekness & Old Age: I had not hear’d of her for a very long time, & wrote to James on ye 2nd of May on purpose to know how she was, and that was the answer I received, which Shocked me a good deal do you know what was her Age: I wonder James & you have not seen each other in ye time as both live in Town; do call on him for it is a pity not to have all Relations, on a friendly footing together, & I shall hope to hear in your next that you have meet.

You ask me if I ever mean to come to Town again, I should like much to take a peep at it, & have some chat with you, but I have not any Aquaintance to be with, & Lodgings would not suit my Pursh, unless I could get a Prize in ye Lottery  You say the Measles are not so much as they were, but you do not say anything of ye Smallpox, & ye account in ye Papers made that to be very prevalent particularly in Westminster.

You must be altered that you have passed Mr G Sharp without his noticing of you, had either of them known you, I am sure they would have spoke to you  Mr W. Sharp Eyes are very bad he does not know People in ye same Room with him, I think he has lost ye sight of one Eye; have you a Wig, for that will give you a very different look

pray do not be long before you write to me, & send all ye News you can with kind regards to Mrs Gavey. I Remain, dear Brother

Your affectionate sister                                  


Mrs Lowndes’s desires comps to

Next time you write do direct Mrs A Gavey & not Miss


Cosgrove Augst 30th 1809

My Dear Brother

I am very sorry that you cannot contrive to give me a meeting, for I have much to talk with you about, & what I do not like to write about, it also is a long, long time since I have seen you.

Mr & Mrs Wm Sharp are not at Wicken Park, Mrs Sharp has been very dangerously ill, hope ye change of air will set her up again, for she is very much pulled down with it: Mrs James Sharp has also been ill, suppose you saw in ye Papers ye death of Mrs Judith Sharp; Mr G. Sharp has the best health of any of them, he is also at Wicken.

You remember Mr & Mrs Walker, they are going to leave Cosgrove next October for good, & reside at Bath, he also has been given over, & they say ye Bath Waters are ye only thing that can prevent a return of his Disorder, I am sorry to loose them, as I have known them so many Years Miss Walker I shall particularly miss, but such changes must take place in this World.

Pray when next you write let me know all you can off my old Friends & Acquaintances suppose you can remember Mrs Wood she is still alive & a great age 81: pray what Age was my Aunt Price when she died. With kind regards to Mrs Gavey, & hopes of soon hearing from you, I remain,

 Dear Brother

 Your Affectionate Sister


Mrs Lownds’s desire their Compts


To Mr Gavey

No 7 Lambeth Walk

Near Prince’s Road


Cosgrove, Janry ye 19th 1812

My Dear Brother

I am much obliged to you for two kind Letters, but will not say anything about not writing sooner, & trust to your good nature for my pardon:

Indeed ye accounts in ye papers of ye Murders, & Robberys are quite dreadful, but thank God we have not had any Murders in this part of ye World; nor Roberrys; that is House-breaking; ye stealing of Fowls &c is all that I have heard about here; I am also very glad that you have not had any near you, & I hope that you will escape them.

It is a good thing that DeGauchy has sent his Mother some Money, it was hard upon her to be so neglected by a Son How does James Price do; pray when you write next let me know how, all that I know do &c. I thank you, & Mrs Gavey for your kind wishes of happy new Years, & wish the same returns to you, & Mrs G. I remain Dear Brother

Your Affectionate Sister


Mrs Lownds’s desire their Compts

PS. Please do not follow my bad example but let me have ye pleasure of hearing very soon from you. You cannot think how much, I still miss good Mrs Prowse, and what a great loss she is to the Neighbourhood, there is a very handsome monument for her in Wicken Church. I have not seen it. (She was bury’d in Fulham Churchyard)

I have a copy of the Inscription, and as I think you may like to see it I have written it out for you.

To the Memory of Elizabeth

Daughter of Thomas Sharp DD ArchDeacon of Northumberland,
 and Widow of George Prowse Esq: late of Wicken Park.
Who died February 22nd 1810. Aged 77.

This Monument was erected by her three nieces, as the affectionate
 Expression of their Veneration for her Character and their Gratitude
for her Kindness.

Stranger, whose Eyes to this Memorial turn
Where Wicken’s sorrows points to Prowse’s Urn
If Grief for worth remov’d thy Heart rever’s
Then add thy Tribute to the Village Tears
Oh: wouldst thou Peace should cheer thy Pilgrim way
And Joy salute thee on thy rising day
Go live like her, by God and Man carrest
Then die like her and be forever blest.

NB on the Monument is a little Book fix’d on the left hand with these words:

Let her own Works praise her : Prov Chap 31st Ver 31st


Cosgrove June 18th 1812

My Dear Brother

Many thanks for your kind Letter which I received Yesterday, I am indeed in very great trouble & sorrow for the loss of my dear & ever to be lamented Friend, she died on ye 3rd Inst & not as is put in ye papers on the 2nd, the Shock was sudden and all appears like a horrid Dream, she was taken ill on Tuesday ye 26 of last Month, with a Shivering & pain in her Back & Chest & Spasms all over her, & a Strong Fever, that could not be got ye better off. I feel as if I should never be happy again, we lived together, day, & night, & all & everything about me reminds me of ye Melancholly event, I did not leave her, nor go to Bed for eight Nights, it is a Satisfaction that I was with her to ye last, and that she died easy. All ye Lowndes family are very kind to me but at this time I do not know if I shall remain here or where I shall be to hear from you will be a comfort to me, I thank you for your kind offer to render me any Service, but Just at present I do not know of anything that you can do for me. With kind regards to Mrs Gavey, I remain Dear Brother,

Your Obliged &
Affectionate Sister


PS Mrs Lowndes is as well as can be expected  


Cosgrove Septbr ye 7 1814

My Dear Brother

I return you Many thanks for your kind Letter & hope to hear that you are as much pleased with your Situation &c, as you was when you wrote, I do wish it was not such a very, very long way off, for I wish of all things to see you, & talk with you, but it cannot be at present, for ye Expence of Traveling, & length of ye Way is great; by the Papers you have had nothing but fine Sights, & are all gay, & alive, & ye Provisions so very cheap; there is a Joke in ye Papers about a Man eating french Eggs, after which he spoke french fluently, I said that I would get you to send me some of them, to try the experiment. I suppose you have not forgot the teaching of myself, & Patience that language.

I have not any news to send you from this retired corner. I went to Leckhamstead ye other day to see the Monument, as I was told that it wanted cleaning up; I call’d on Betty Brittan, she enquired much after you, I had not been at Leckhamstead since I came to Cosgrove, which is above thirty years ago [c 1784], it was but a Melancholy visit, I did not like to go into ye Parsonage.

With kind Regards to Mrs Gavey, I do beg that you will soon, send a long Letter to,

Dear Brother, your Affectionate

A Gavey

PS Mrs Lowndes desires her Compts. She is as well, tho always complaining; as one of her Age can expect to be, that is 84.

I shall be obliged to you, to send me the directions to James Price, how does he – Gauchey, go on 


Cosgrove Novbr ye 20th 1816

My Dear Brother

On Sunday I received yours and hope that you, & Mrs G are by this time safe & well, in Town; I am very, very glad to have you nearer to me by 72 miles, for Dover was, a very d from each other, I do now hope that we shall meet again;

At this time my Spirits feel much agitated about poor Mrs Lowndes, for in July last she had a slight Stroke of the Palsy & lost the use of her right hand; & about a week ago she had another slight Stroke, & she has now no feeling in her right side; ye Dr says the danger is from her great Age & weakness that a third might be more than she can bear, her Spirits are good, to good for her strength; I shall lose a good Friend, & not only that but a Home where I have lived more than six & thirty Years [1780] & I do not know where to go to; I fear my Income will not do to keep House, & to Board I think I should not like, nor should I like a Town, but should like to get rooms in a Village with a quiet family near a Market Town, pray how small an Income do you & Mrs Gavey, think might do, for a Single person with but one Maid, live comfortably upon, not reckoning the rent of ye House, (for I suppose with you the rents are great could I but continue to live in a Small Cottage, it must be pleasenter than living in another persons house, unless one can have a part quite to oneself, pray send me your thoughts on the subject, for God only knows how soon I may be put to the trial.

You do not say what you have got in Town, hope as good a situation as the one at Dover, pray write soon for I wish to know all about you, for I have not had a line from you but yours on Sunday, since ye 21st of Febry, I should have written but had daily hopes of hearing from you – with kind Regards to Mrs G, believe me to be,

dear Brother,

Your Affectionate Sister


Mrs Lowndes desires best Compts 

I have not had any opportunity to hear anything about Mr Lee, if I do will let you know, fear I shall not know no one in that part of ye Country, but will try

The letter below, only partially complete, is not dated, but is from the period between when Miss Gavey left the Priory at Cosgrove in 1817 and when she took up her final accommodation at Stony Stratford.

P. Church has been with me since I came here, (two days before), she has returned home about ten days, and beg’d when I wrote her best Duty, to you and Mrs Gavey, she helped to make up Beds that I had washed on my moving, also mending Carpets, &c. one is ye same Carpet which you bought for me, green and white; I do not know how many years it is since I had N.. I have not felt mush of ye Rheumatism yet, hope as this House is not damp I shall be better then at O Stratford; I enjoy my little Garden and gravel Walk; ye other House like a Dungon to this; it so confined no to walk but ye street; this is ye same as Village and like what I have always been used too.
I have found the three first Papers you sent me, but cannot yet find ye others, have saved them all, and I think I had one of ye Funeral

And in the summer Must be very pleasant, I have a good side view of the Forest, the House is very dry, and I hope I shall be comfortable tho’ standing high it has the Winds about it. I have found out one bad thing which is ye Water, it is so nasty no one can drink it, I am obliged to have Tea &c. from a Neighbour’s Pump, which makes more work for my Maid, but something will be in every place, that one must put up with, As one cannot hope to meet with all Just as one could wish it should be in this World.
I think the account you give of Mrs de G…. very odd, and also that he did not write to any of his old Friends, the little I know of her I thought her very pleasant, and agreeable.
When you see James Price pray remember me kindly to him, and tell him I should be glad to hear from him. I do intreat you  will write soon or I shall fear that you do not quite forgive my not writing; you may direct as before I shall have it, or you may put Old Stratford near Stony Stratford Bucks. With kind Regards to Mrs Gavey and good Wishes I remain
Dr Brother your
ever obliged and affectionate

Sister A


Mr Gavey

John Search Esq.

No 15 Vauxhall Walk



Stony Stratford 1819

May the 31st

My Dear Brother

Thanks to you for two kind letters, but I am very sorry to find that you are not quite well. Pattie gave a delightful account of your good looks, and Spirits, and said that she did not think that you appear’d any older than when she saw you before.

Just a month today, I came here to live, have taken this House for three years, Rent £12 18s. It is the same that I could not get before, indeed I have been sadly teased to meet with a House and feared that I should not get one in your old neighbourhood, and the one I was in at Denshanger was put up to auction in Feb 09 but not sold, not anyone bid so much as my landlord valued it at, and it is therefore still to be sold. But I was obliged to quit it in a hurry, and before this was ready for me, the smell of the Paint is not gone off in the Parlor, which gives me at times a Stupid kind of Headache, but I think I shall like this House much better than the Denshanger one, and hope to be comfortable, if I can make my Income do. The Poor Rates is what I fear; I am told I may live cheaper in a Market Town than a Village, hope to find it so.

I do not know anything of the original Obligation which you mention, think it must have been at the time given to De Gruchy, or you. I have a little Trunk in which I keep some papers, but I cannot get at it now; but will look it over as soon as I can. Money would be at this time very acceptable to me, as well as to yourself; but as much as I can recollect about it, think it has been settled, and if it is I shall find a memorandum of it. Doubt not that De Gruchy could inform you all about it.

With kind Thanks to Mrs Gavey, and hopes of soon receiving a good account of your good health &c I remain

Dear Brother

Your ever Affectionate and Obliged sister

A Gavey


Patie is here today and begs her Duty to you & Mrs G. She very often comes to see me, from Cosgrove, where she has two Rooms at a house, & likes her situation very much, it makes it pleasant for her, to live amongst her old neighbours, she went there in November.

My house is very near the top of the High Street, and there are ten coaches passing every night, and some stop at an Inn within two houses of me, which I think is a good Guard.

There are many things still to be done to this house. Hope my Landlord (Mr Evert), will get them done soon, as he has promised to do.

Ann Gavey was buried on 27 January 1827 at Stony Stratford, Bucks.

Her brother Philip, then living at North St. Finsbury Square, administered her estate, as she died intestate.

Her belongings were sold by auction, as below.

Northampton Mercury 10 February 1827

By Jno Day & Son

In the HIGH STREET in STONY ST RAT-FORD, Bucks, on Friday the 16th  Day of February,1827, and following Day, if necessary, late the Property Miss GAVEY, deceased ;
COM PRISING four-post Bedstead, mahogany-feet Pillars, quilts and Blankets, mahogany and chamber Chairs, pier and swing Glasses, dressing Tables etc.; Sheets, table Cloths, and Napkins;  nearly 300 Vols, Books, as  Bibles, Prayer Books, Sermons, etc.; History of London, in two Vols.; Travels, Plays, Novels, Fables, etc.; Prints and Caricatures, diagonal Mirror and  Prints, magic Lantern and Glasses, chimney Ornaments , and Shells, wine Decanters, Glasses and Rummers, tea - and China, capital eight-day repeating table Clock, in ebony Case; small Sofa, with Bolsters and Cover; Barometer, mahogany Wardrobe, 4ft. 10in. high. 4ft. 3 wide; and one oak Ditto; Secretary and Bookcase7ft. , 2in. high, by 2ft. 9in. wide; two mahogany Bookcases 7ft. 2in. high, by 2ft. 9in. wide (each); Indian Cabinet,  japanned Bureau, small mahogany Cabinet. containing Paints  and Colours, with drawing Glass, very complete Ladies' mahogany work Tables and Boxes, needle-worked floor Carpet, 3½ Yds. three Yds. in excellent Preservation; kitchen Furniture, as roasting Screen, bottle Jack, Knives and Forks, Tin and Earthenware, glass Bottles, and various other Articles, which will be explained Catalogues, which had in due Time of the Auctioneers, in Stony Stratford. N. H. The Books are most them neatly bound and lettered. The Sale to commence Eleven o'clock precisely.