Letter to Sarah Sinden, 1886

Photo of Alfred Sinden and Sarah Sinden (née Hogg), c.1870

Sarah Sinden (nee Fogg) was born in Hull in 1842. She married Alfred Sinden and died in Brighton in 1934. Alfred died in 1881 and by 1886 Sarah had nine children aged between 8 and 20.

Sarah’s oldest son, also Alfred Edward (Alfie), was born in 1871 and became the grandfather of the actor Sir Donald Sinden.

This letter was written by John Fogg to his daughter, Sarah Sinden, in 1886 when she was living at 40 Temple Street which was described as a lodging house.

The original letter is in the possession of Sir Donald Sinden but it was photographed by a cousin, the late Michael Sinden, whose wife Margaret Sinden has contributed the photograph to the Letter in the Attic project.

Someone will wish they had written oftener

“Wish Mother could write, she would if she could – she is now trying to sweep up the house poor dear soul. You must write to Emily. She will be glad to get a few lines from any or all of you. We often wonder you don’t write to her. As for me, a poor old man, it does not matter so much – when I am gone somebody will wish they had written oftener.”

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Comments about this page

  • In the 1881 Census in Misterton (the place mentioned in John Fogg’s letter to Sarah), living at Station Road is a Baptist Minster named John Fogg and his wife Elizabeth. I believe this to be the John Fogg in your article. Elizabeth was his 3rd wife as daughter Sarah Ann is shown on the 1851 Census with her mother named as Ellen Fogg and on the 1841 Census with her mother named as Esther. In the 1841 Census John Fogg and Esther Fogg are shown living at Snaith, Yorkshire with children William and Sarah. John’s occupation given as Indt Minister. 1851 John Fogg is shown as a lodger living at Durham Hetton le Hole (wife Ellen and children living in Stockport, Cheshire). The image for the census is poor, but occupation can be made out as Minister. Hetton le Hole is where daughter Isabella was born in 1854. 1861 Census: John and Elizabeth are shown living at Buckingham Road in Winslow, Buckinghamshire with children Elizabeth, Esther, Isabella, Frances, Emily and a servant Sarah Ann Smith. John’s occupation Independent Minister of Winslow Chapel. 1871 Census: John and Elizabeth shown living in Misterton with children Frances and Emily. John’s occupation Baptist Minister. 1881 Census: John and Elizabeth shown living at Station Road, Misterton with children Frances and Emily. John’s occupation Baptist Minister Misterton Chapel. John Fogg died 1887: name: John Fogg, estimated birth year: abt 1814, date of registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1887, age at death: 73, registration district: Gainsborough, inferred county: Lincolnshire, volume: 7a page: 453. Some of the children’s births (from FreeBMD): Sarah Ann Fogg b1840 Hull, Isabella Margaret Fogg b1854 Houghton le Spring, Emily Fogg b1860 Winslow. Hope this helps someone from this family line and solves the mystery of who John Fogg was.

    By Toni (18/12/2012)

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