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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

Cobbett's Courtship

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


Cobbett's CourtshipCOBBETT’S COURTSHIP. – While in New Brunswick Cobbett met the girl who became his wife. He first saw her in company for about an hour one evening. Shortly afterwards, in the dead of winter, when the snow lay several feet thick on the ground, he chanced in his walk at break of day to pass the house of her parents. It was hardly light, but there was she out in the cold, scrubbing a washing-tub. That action made her mistress of Cobbett’s heart for ever. No sooner was he out of hearing than he exclaimed, “That’s the girl for me!” She was the daughter of a sergeant of artillery, and then only thirteen. To his intense chagrin, the artillery was ordered to England, and she had to go with her father. Cobbett by this time had managed to save 150 guineas as a foot-soldier – the produce of extra work. Considering that Woolwich, to which his sweetheart was bound, was a gay place; and that she there might find many suitors, who, moved by her beauty, might tempt her by their wealth; and unwilling that she should hurt herself with hard work, he sent her all his precious guineas, and prayed that she would use them freely – for he could get plenty more – to buy good clothes, and live in pleasant lodgings, and be as happy as she could until he was able to join her. Four long years elapsed before they met; Cobbett, when he reached England, found her a maid of all work, at £5 a year. On their meeting, without saying a word about it she placed in his hands his parcel of 150 guineas unbroken. He obtained his discharge from the army, and married the brave and thrifty woman. She made him an admirable wife – never was he tired of speaking her praises; and, whatever comfort and success he afterwards enjoyed, it was his delight to ascribe to her care and to her inspiration. – Book of Days.