Dinas Mawddwy Letters
In 1856, the Dinas Mawddwy estate was bought by Edmund Buckley, who owned collieries and chemical works near Manchester, and served as Borough Reeve of that town. Buckley never married, but he had five children by Sarah Peck. The eldest, Edmund was born in 1832 and was groomed by his father to take over the works. Edmund Buckley wrote the following letter to his son from Buxton in 1859.
28 October 1859
I was much grieved at your remarks the other evening, but I did not say much as I thought you had been dining, but these matters rest upon an old man's mind and he ponders over them in a morning when he cannot sleep. Referring to your remarks, if you will examine the letter you mentioned, you will find that I said your accounts shall all be settled and everything made easy in your mind, as soon as ever the money to Sir Watkin has been paid. This has unfortunately been here prolonged and I durst not well interfere with the money, thinking it might be wanted any day. However if you think proper to go on and undertake the business, your accounts shall all be settled and your mind set at rest (be the consequence what it may) as soon as ever I return, and I hope to get through these money affairs which I have run too near and they have caused me some ill easiness, though at times things turn up better than expectation. You mentioned my refusing your going into the Army, I did this out of respect to your health, for I was pretty certain in my own mind you could not stand the wet and cold, the wear and tear of what is required. Besides you were always my greatest favourite and I felt much for you, hoping that you would succeed me in everything and stand high in society. You have a strong mind and have had a good education. I think I have refused you nothing that would contribute to your health comfort and standing in the world. You often tell me that I mention the sums that John and you have had. These sums nave an effect upon the mind of one who has known the want of a dinner and lived for 6 months upon 7/- per week, struggling hard to maintain a poor mother and a young family in a respectable way, and you are aware that I have had 16 young ones or more to bring up and I hope I have done justice to them. Now as I have said that you shall on my return be clear of everything, I must have a promise from you to quit the company that you have kept, at least some of them dining at an hotel and spending the afternoons or evenings often, I am fearful, not in a rational manner, and you cannot be comfortable after, or in the morning, when you awake. You can be of very great use indeed m taking the management of the works, but you say I interfere with you. I have interfered very little with the Yorkshire or Fairfield works. I have done so with Collyhurst because we never had such a time, and putting up an engine, it has made me more anxious than usual. If you will take the management and attend to them, I shall not care about going there, unless you wish to have my opinion on any important matter, and these three works are by far the greatest part of our business, and as they may (provided you are right) fall into your hands the sooner you take the management the better, provided you think proper to do so, for they shall be not given up if I can help it, and John I am fearful cannot manage them. Tom Buckley has got a good trade and is I hope provided for. Ralph Buckley I am fearful is not long for this world. My time I am sure will be very short and I wish to have these things settled as well as I can before I go hence. I have a regard for E. Shaw but he is too much at a loose end you will find (though I often mention him) that I have not forgot him. Now I hope you will consider these matters well, as they hang heavy on my mind, it being much worse with old men than young ones; they the old ones think often about them. You must not think that everything will go on straight. There will be disappointments and we are not sent here to live for ourselves alone, but to comfort and assist others who are dear to you.
I am Dear Ted, Yours Truly, Edmund Buckley.
P.S. I have a great many letters to write and plenty of work on hand. How are they going at Collyhurst and what do you think the men will sink it three yards deeper for per yard, ask them the lowest and we keep out the water.