A letter, unopened for almost 100 years, could be sent to Australia to be read

12:17 04 July 2014

Kimbolton resident, Owen Spice has had an unopened letter dating from 1921 in his possession for 40 years and hopes to find relatives of the addressee

Kimbolton resident, Owen Spice has had an unopened letter dating from 1921 in his possession for 40 years and hopes to find relatives of the addressee


After 40 years of searching, an unopened letter sent nearly a century ago may soon find its way back to relatives of the Kimbolton woman who never received it.

Robert Kay, a distant relative of the addressed family, contacted The Hunts Post after reading the article featured last week (June 25) and revealed 
that the direct ancestors now live in Australia.

The letter, which was sent in 1921 from France to a Mrs Carter, has been in the possession of Owen Spice, 72, a retired antiques restorer, for 40 years.

Mr Kay, 60, started researching his family tree in 2009 and is the great-great-nephew of Joseph F Carter who lived in Kimbolton when the letter was sent.

Mr Carter’s daughter, Etheldreda, moved to Australia with her husband, and is where the direct ancestors now live.

Joseph Carter, a land agent to the Duke of Manchester, was the father to 10 children and died just days before the letter was posted from France.

One theory is the letter was sent to Mr Carter’s wife, Frances Agnes, from their daughter Lucy, a sister of the order of Notre Dame.

Lucy Carter, born in Kimbolton, was the first woman to receive a PhD from the University of Glasgow in June 1921.

Mr Kay said: “It’s been suggested that she could have been out in France just about the same time she was awarded her PhD.”

Mr Spice, who was given the letter among many other items by a friend during a house clearance in what is now known as Carters Yard, on hearing of Mr Kay’s response, said: “That’s very good news. It’s all finally coming together.”

While Mr Spice donated the majority of the items from the house clearance to the Kimbolton Local Historical Society, but could not part with the letter.

Despite the theories, the letter still remains unopened by Mr Spice who says he is willing to pass the envelope onto the next of kin.


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