18941104 See an image of this letter, https://doi.org/10.17613/4vc5-dg21



4th Nov. ‘94


My dear Mother,

I have not heard from you since I wrote to you last, by the “Clyde”. My letters have gone on to Bahia, but they will be sent back in a day or two.

They have given me a comfortable room at Lathams’, though the house was pretty full[1]. Some fellows fortunately left just at the right moment. Mrs Latham has been in England for some months, putting the youngest boy to school. She is now on her way out and will arrive in about a fortnight. There are still several men living here who were in the house when I was last in Pernambuco, and altogether it is very social and pleasant. Frank Youle whom I knew so well in Rio is living here.[2] He is in the London and River Plate Bank – Accountant – and has come to this Branch for some six months. He has done very well. He came out with me in ’91, and to become full accountant in three years is quick promotion.     The Parson, Mr Macrae, is still here, – a capital fellow, fond of chess, whist and tennis. Mr & Mrs Alfred Guimarães arrived from England by last steamer.[3] I have almost quarrelled with him. He told me they were in Belfast when I was there and never came to see me. He said I had not written to him this time though I knew he was in England. I said I was only a home for a short time, that I was running about a great deal – in Scotland – in London – and so on. I reminded him that the year before I had written to him asking him to stay with us and that I had enclosed a note from you to Mrs Guimarães, and that after that I took it very much amiss that he had not even looked me up in the office. As a matter of fact I consider it very rude. If it were anyone else I should say that he did not want to see me. But I know it is not so with him. He thought I might have written again and not having done so he would not come and seem to fish for an invitation. He is an extraordinary fellow, – always ready to imagine a slight. He said he even put a dress-suit in his bag and told his wife to take a couple of dresses in case they might hear from me at the last moment. I believe they went on to Killarney, but I was so much annoyed that I did not ask him any questions. I went, two nights after their arrival, to pay them a short formal visit out of politeness, for they were very kind to me when I was here before, but I don’t think they will ask me to dinner this time for I think he understands that I should certainly decline any invitation.

I have already received many invitations from other sides and others are threatened. Keiller is not back yet from the South, but I called on the Tucknisses.[4] I also dined with Mr & Mrs Howard Tuckniss who are the happy parents of a four-weeks-old daughter.[5] Mr and Mrs Santos gave us an excellent dinner the other evening, fiz and all the rest of it. Mr Santos is the leading exchange-broker. His wife was a Miss Thom. The Thoms are an old Pernambuco-English family. We were three guests: – Youle, myself, and a Mr Fletcher, manager of the railway. After dinner we had a good game of whist. Altogether I have had a lot of whist this week. Two nights here, one at Santos’, and one at a Mr Comber’s; – the last was a meet of the local whist-club.

I have been to call on the Williams family,[6] and last night I went to visit Mr & Mrs Wilson, who came out on the steamer with me. In the afternoon if I have finished my business early enough I usually have a game of tennis and the exercise does me no end of good.

There will be another homeward mail five days hence. I will write by it if I can, but I don’t promise.

Love to all.



  1. Mrs Latham’s English guest house in Pernambuco. See Index to People.
  2. Frank (Schwind) Youle (b 1867) was 27 when JMcC wrote and died 9th March 1900 (only aged 33) in Rio de Janeiro. He was buried in the Cemiterio dos Ingleses there. See Index to People.
  3. Alfred Lopes Guimarães. See Index to People.
  4. Benjamin and Leonora Tuckniss. Keiller lodged with them in Pernambuco. See Index to People.
  5. Benjamin Howard Tuckniss and Constance Mary Tuckniss née Braga from Pernambuco, who were married in West Derby on the 15th November 1893. The daughter was Irene Mary Barbara Tuckniss. She returned to the UK and became a teacher. Her married name was Penrose Pilgim and she died in Devon in 1968. See Index to People.
  6. Arthur Llewellyn Griffith-Williams and Edith Ann Williams (Mrs Williams was born Boxwell, sister of “Miss Boxwell”). See Index to People.


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John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889 - 1895 Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Fink, Robert Boyd, Sarah Watkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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