Note: Samuel Waller was born (1820-1841) in Cuckfield and lived for several years at Leyton House (now Cuckfield House). He attended Guildford Royal Grammar School before beginning an apprenticeship as a solicitor with his father. However he was keen to enjoy a 'more adventurous' life as a soldier and in 1840 joined The East India Company. He landed at Madras in December 1840 and was posted to Secunderabad where he died ten months later as a result of a bacterial infection.
Guildford Saturday April 26th 1834
My dear mother
As you seem a little vexed with me for not having written to you before, I will now solve the mystery. You know in the holidays you complained that my letters were full of misspellings, but however as Miss Pelling is now Mrs Turner (I think that's the name) will try to turn with her 'and sin no more'.
I was surprised to hear of Grandmamma's long and severe illness, but we trust she is now recovering. On Saturday we received the basket (after it had taken a pleasant trip to Windsor and back) for which we are much obliged, and return many thanks; everything it contained was as we wished; however, I was a little disappointed in not having a letter from the three girls. Fred says he meant you to send him some flower rooms for his garden and not a mere nosegay; he also says that he promises himself a treat from Brighton while you are there, which he hopes you will not forget to send. If you do intend to send anything, tell Peggy, Lou and Susan (as Miss Markin will be there, I dare say she will assist them) not to forget to write each a letter to me.
Sydney with three others is just put into the Latin Delectus(1) and he is certainly the most pre-eminent of the four in being decidedly the worst. I do not think he will be there long; we both generally explain his lessons before he goes up, but all his stock of knowledge instantly vanishes when arrayed before Mr Stanley's desk. He is general favourite throughout the whole School and goes by the name of ‘Thidney’ both by masters and boys, Mr Ayling only excepted. Good Friday we actually have to come into school and do regular lessons, directly after church. Tell Aunt Mary I will shortly write to her. We are all three quite well, and send our best love to you all, Miss Martin not excepted; give also our love to them all over the way and tell Grandmamma she must soon get well.
Believe me to remain your affectionate son
I daresay you saw an account of the distressing accident which happened at Woolwich some little time ago, of the roller rolling over poor Foote Onslow, he was here at this school and left only a short time before we came here, we have two of his cousins here still. He lives at Ripley, his parents and I think five sisters and four brothers, one of whom is just come home lamed for life, were all sadly distressed.
(1) : a book of selected passages especially for learners of Latin or Greek