Feb 24th 1882

MS Princeton University, Parrish Collection

My dear Madam

I well remember the apprentice system in Devonshire (where to this day they call farm boys apprentices though I don’t believe they are so) I believe it was a good thing that the system was done away with for the farmers were apt to be very harsh with them. My grandfather, as a magistrate had continually to hear complaints about their being flogged. The people who might have done them good seldom had them, though I remember one, a great girl in my aunt’s house, learning her collect on Sunday, and I also remember disappointment at the finery she put on when she became her own mistress. But the adopting would be an excellent thing. I knew one workhouse girl who being taken into a clergyman’s family to help in some emergency grew beloved by the servants and got into quite good service, but having rheumatism was sent to the Bath hospital, where some visiting people took a fancy to her, and she was prospering with them when last heard of. Our GFS has a special department for workhouse girls,- and your plan might be engrafted on it.

I cannot tell within a month or two when I shall have room for the paper. I was forced (or rather the printer to put your Sunshine to wait a little longer for space.1 I never can tell for certain when there will be room for short articles as longer serials must have the first place, but I will get each in as soon as I can. Do you often get children of ‘good havage’2 in the workhouse -? I hardly know of one.

Yours truly
C M Yonge

1‘Workhouse Orphans', MP(July 1882) 83-88, is evidently the article discussed, but whether 'Sunshine refers to this or a different paper (could it be a misreading of 'orphans'?) is not clear. This correspondent was probably the author of 'A Christmas Tree at a Workhouse'.
2'Workhouse Orphans', p. 84, ‘There is a curious Cornish word which just explains my meaning. 'Get a servant of a good havage,' a lady once said to me. 'A what?' I exclaimed; 'a havage, what is that?' 'A good stock,' she said, 'a respectably connected family.' ‘

Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/2743/to-an-unknown-woman-55

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