In January 1830, Mary and William Lincolne of Halesworth wrote to their son, William, who was apprenticed in Witham, Essex.
Gingerbread cake, sealing wax—and two half crowns
The letter is a fine example of ‘cross-writing’, in which two or more writers wrote at different angles; this saved paper, which was very expensive at the time.
In the letter, they refer to a Valentia Box—which is obviously a box of treats.
Inside this box, William received several cakes, a bottle of wine, some sealing wax and money—with which it’s suggested that he get a haircut and buy some new clothes, to smarten himself up a bit.
A personal box of treats
Never mind what goes inside; first the children have to decorate the outside of their own little boxes. Over the next two weeks, they will create their own Valentia boxes, using images, letters and bits of artwork they’ve made during the project.
Meanwhile, the residents have received their own set of boxes, materials, and an Activity Pack to advise them in the delicate art of decoupage.
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