March 17, 1852
To: Octavian Blewitt, secretary of the Royal Literary Fund
I take the liberty of requesting that you will bring the case of Mrs. Davenport [note: widow of author Richard Alfred Davenport] a second time under the consideration of the Commitee of the Literary Fund, and at the same time knidly give her the benefit of your support… the assistance afforded to her by the Literary Fund, two years ago enabled her to open a small shop, which together with what the two widowed daughters earned by plain sewing yielded for a long ti,e sufficient for their support; but, of late, owing to changes beyond her control in the little town where she resides, this resource has utterly failed; and to add to her difficulties, trying enough before, both her daughters, at all times feeble, have fallen ill on her hands, and she is reduced to very great straits.
The only course which seems open to her is to turn that portion of her small house, which is now occupied as a shop for the sale of tapes thread bobbins &c, into accommodation for a lodger; which a moderate degree of help from the Literary Fund might enable her to do; and I venture to say, from my knowledge of the circumstances, that a grant could scarcely be more seasonably, or in many respects, more worthily bestowed.
I remain, Sir,
E. C. Gaskell