In 1847, Philmer Eves was appointed as a Porter to King’s College London. In the letter above, written in May 1848, he asked if he could have a small advance on his wages in order to move from the College Lodge, run by the Gatekeeper, James Nightingale, and his wife, Kezia, into a privately rented unfurnished, presumably cheaper, room elsewhere. He planned to get married and wished to free up a little money to buy things necessary for the wedding and the start of married life. A note was made to the effect that the matter was deferred until October for reconsideration which may have scuppered his plans.
However, according to the parish records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, Philmer Eves married Elizabeth Wood on 10 September 1848 in St Pancras Church. In the 1851 census, they were living in Brydges (now Catherine) Street, near the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and he was still working as a Porter at King’s. By 1861, Philmer and his wife had moved to Cheshire where they stayed until his death in 1876. It is nice to see that despite the lack of assistance from the College he was still able to get married and kept working at King’s.
Philmer Eves’ letter comes from a large collection of letters and documents sent to the Secretary of King’s College London which date from the foundation of the College in 1829 through to the late 19th and early 20th century. A detailed catalogue of the collection is currently being prepared and will be made available on our catalogue website very soon.