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Dear Wife: Letters Home From a Gunner, 1806

Posted by Helen Doe, on August 27th, 2012


This post contains two letters from John Orrack of HMS Perlea to his wife, Mary, giving some basic details of his life on board, including the death of her cat that he had taken with him. These letters were used as proof of the relationship and forwarded as part of a claim to the Charity for Sea Officers Widows, which provided pensions to support widows of commissioned and warrant officers of the Royal Navy who were in need. The introduction to the letters gives details of how the charity worked and how the letters were used where the widow lacked a marriage certificate to prove her entitlement. The introduction also discusses the challenges of the naval postal system that these letters illustrated, as well as examples from other letters in the same files from The National Archives.

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