8 Sampson's Terrace
Victoria Park Road
8th May 1868

My dear Andrea and Alexander

The wish expressed in your letter that I should write to you with "perfect frankness" I shall with pleasure comply with; feel me assured [I feel reassured?] from the sympathy you have shown, that you are both interested in my welfare. By the date of this you will perceive that I am still in the same apartments, and so far I am very comfortable, as the family treat me respectfully and I am left to myself, which I like, although at times I do feel the loneliness of widowhood. Your poor, dear father's company I had much of during the last few years of his life, and nothing can make amends for it but the Grace of God. He has wonderfully supported me under this bitter bereavement.

The business cares too have provided mercies as they have drawn my thoughts from dwelling too much upon the dear departed. I still have business matters to attend to, and unfortunately have no friends who can help me in these matters, and they do not understand Building Societies, or the management of property involved in small houses. Besides, I have but few male relatives living and those few are too far off to render me that assistance I require. Paid agents I could get innumerable but they would run off with all the profits and cheat me into the bargain, so I am plodding on by myself as well as I can; if I could but get good tenants I could manage the cottages very well but with bad ones I find it most difficult. They are situated too, at a distance which is a great disadvantage in the re-letting. I have now one empty; the man has gone owing £7 in my debt. I shall not object to fresh tenants in one respect as I shall endeavour to look well into character, and if they will not pay regularly I must give them notice to leave.

You seem inclined to visit England; to see you and your dear Andrea, would afford me more pleasure than I can express, but I dare not urge it lest after you have taken the step you would repent. If you could settle down here in England I should without hesitation say come by all means.

By this time I presume you have received the intelligence of poor Charles Manfred's death and now I have to record another viz. your poor uncle Benjamin Clarke; poor man, he suffered much and for a long time. I hope he is at rest but his mind was so absorbed in the difficulties of business that I fear he had no time to think of the higher duties of the soul.

Mrs Lestourgeon (your late uncle Daniel's daughter) drank tea with me yesterday. She is now on a visit to her uncle Burbidge at Stamford Hill. She is very stout and fast fading but she is a very agreeable, pleasant woman which is better than beauty.

Your nephew, John Kraushaar, dines with me every Sunday. He is about getting a situation similar to the one Walter had with Mr. Speed with this exception that his future master is one of the Brethren, which we hope he will take additional interest in.

I thank you and your dear Andrea for the 2 pieces of gold coin sent in the letter. At present I have not bought myself any thing to wear with the sovereign you so kindly sent before but I will do so as soon as the weather gets fine enough for a change of dress. You are very good to continue so often [to offer?] assistance to me, but I do hope, unless something very unforeseen happens, I shall have enough & to spare. At my time of life I cannot expect to live above two or 3 years and it may not be so many months. At all events when the time comes I hope I shall not only be willing but desirous to leave this world in hopes of spending an eternity of happiness with HIM who died to Redeem me and with those I have loved on earth.

I sent you a fortnight ago a Newspaper containing Abney Park Cemetery. I though you would like to see the ground where your dear father lies. I hope nothing will prevent my being buried in the same grave, I sometimes feel disposed to take up my residence near the Cemetery. I would do so now but for the cottages. I should be then too far off. I have no doubt I shall make a change this summer as Bethnal Green has ceased to have any charms for me.

I hear no more about the Holt affair excepting that Mrs. Hopwood says our uncle's name was Edward, and not John. I never thought much about it but I believe the Austons and Mrs. Daniel Holt did. I feel that "man wants but little here below, nor needs that little long". I do not say I always felt so.

I feel pleased, dear Alexander, that you continue to cherish an affection for me & that gratitude towards the authors of your existence are not forgotten - it is a pleasing trait in your character. I hope it will be so when we are both in our graves: it will be a source of consolation to you. [Transcription unclear - sentence rearranged.] I hope you and dear Andrea will be spared for many years and should the time arrive for me to see you once again, and accompanied by your dear wife, I assure you it could not fail to be a time of much joy. Well do I remember the time I parted with you upon the stairs. I still have the likeness taken of you at that time, a most excellent one it is. I can often see my boy of 16 years old. Oh how I should like to meet you and hear you recount all your adventures. Some of them were painful ones I expect but I must say farewell, dear Alexander and Andrea.

Accept the love and best wishes of

Your affectionate mother

Sarah Murray