Silvanus junior, referred to in the letters as Sill, older then George by two years, is the mainstay on the farm, especially following his father's near fatal illness. Aged only twenty, Sill suffers from a bout of rheumatism, and when he is confined to his bed even more pressure is put upon Ann and work on the farm suffers.
Overton Jan 8 1879
Just a line to say we have sent the Box with a Goose & two Fowls & a parcel for you a little Pudding & a few apples. I had nothing else to send. I hope you have had them. I am sorry to say Sill has been ill in bed since Sunday in Rheumatism in his legs & arms he is better to day & slept a little last night the Dr thinks he will not have Rheumatic Fever he caught cold last week removeing the Sheep nets in the wet at Moors. Jane has been very poorly but is better & able to get up to day so I have had a Sick House to begin the new year with. I hope poor Sill will be better soon as he is wanted every day your Father has had a cold but is better all the rest are quite well
With kindest love & hoping you are quite well this cold weather I remain in haste
Image - a traditional Christmas pudding - 1860s.