“Sometime in December 1847 a simple one-masted sloop, the Heart of Oak, registered in Beaumaris, Anglesey, North Wales, made her way up the coast to the buoy situated a short distance off the entrance of the channel leading to Pentewan dock. She was an elderly vessel, her lines not as sleek as younger ships. Her captain was David Jenkins, in his mid-thirties, from Anglesey. During this or a previous stay in Pentewan Captain Jenkins met Eliza Ann Varcoe, but he was not in port long enough to further their acquaintance. After his departure in January 1848 he attempted to ignite a romance via correspondence as he sailed from port to port.”

The letters in this very touching piece were discovered in 1966 by an antiques dealer, Mr Waters from St Blazey. He had found the letters in an envelope stuffed into the upholstered seat of an old chair that he was repairing. As the letters were addressed to Miss E Varcoe, Mr Waters passed them to the author’s father as he thought that the family would find them interesting.

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