The Saba Islander

by Will Johnson

Letter from Father David Hope

Image (1826)It is always interesting to read letters concerning Saba from so far back in time.
David Hope served as the Anglican Priest on Saba from 1878 – 1883 and again from l887 – 1892. The following letter from 1892 after he left Saba and addressed to his friend Peter Every was kept by Miss Florrie Every daughter of Mrs. Helena Peterson-Every, a copy of which was given to me by the late Mr. Frank Hassell.
The letter is from Stamford Bridge, York, England and dated December 31st, 1892.
Dear Peter,
I have often thought of writing you a few good words about your work in church. It is very pleasing to learn that whoever gives up their post as Reader you still hold on. This is most praiseworthy on your part. May you long be spared to continue the blessed work in God’s House which has so far honoured your name. I have never heard whether Mr. Rogers brought you a volume of sermons as advised him to do and other books for church use.
I hear Thomas Holm is going to sea again with Captain Lovelock (Hassell). Well I fear Thomas will feel it hard upon him with his complaint especially if he goes into cold places. Give my respects to all the people. Give the old letter stamp to Ian Hassell it is from Egypt. I hope your family are all in good health and Dickles and Beeks and Richard are all in good health and attending their church. I am truly sorry I cannot return to you on account of my health. It is my liver Doctor says. It is the fevers I have had which have done all the mischief. I am not able to bear anything much; a little bread, tea, milk little beef, but no vegetables of any kind and the cold is very cruel with me. We are having a severe frost, roads iced over and all the water frozen over, ground white with snow. I have been out of work 3 months now doing a little work just to get bread for these little ones. I do not often go home but Mrs.Hope writes to me and tells me how they are getting on. The children feel the cold very much and often cry of pain in their fingers and toes from frost. I hope you have got the bell for Church before this. I fear it is rather small. The old Bishop was too anxious to get it and never told me until after. I collected $12.50 toward Bell from lectures I gave about Saba and from a few friends. I hope you will like it. Give respects to Toney and the Crossleys and all others. Tell them how much I long after them and am pleased to hear of their welfare.
I have heard of several deaths since I left Saba and that you have had a hard hurricane season, through quarantine T.C. (tuberculosis) .There is a little cholera still at Hamburg. I hope it will not get to England again. It is a fearful disease.
With regards, I remain,
Yours Truly,
D.Hope

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