Frances and Jane Coster of Eastbourne

9 May 1909: Jane Coster to Her Niece, Florence Scott

This is a letter written in 1909 by Jane Coster (Nurse to the children of Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia) to her niece, Florence Mary Stilwell of New Zealand.

Villa les Vagues
May 5th 09

My dear Florrie,

This is old Auntie Jennie who is writing to you now. I was so very glad to hear from you this morning – having got your letter forwarded from Eastbourne – and as soon as I have written to you I will send your letter on to Aunt Fanny in Russia. I will give you her address now, so that you can write to her when you get this, and send me a message in her letter, as I hope to be in Russia too before you have time to write to me.
Miss Coster
24 Quai de la Cour
St. Petersburg

How glad she will be to hear from, and you must tell her all about yourself and your Husband and Children and brothers and sister. We want very much to know all, all. I will send you my photo by this post so that you can see what I am like, and I should very much like to see you all. How old are your Children? And what are their names? Who was your Husband and from where?

Your Father came to England before Grannie died, and he brought one son (Walter, I think) and one daughter, was not that Ada! I was living at home and taking care of Grannie till she died 15 years ago. Then, 1-1/2 years after her death, I went to Russia to take care of the Emperor's little niece, and I brought her and her six Brothers up. I am still with them. We are travelling in France at present but hope to go back to Russia soon, when I shall meet Aunt Fanny.

I have heard that New Zealand is a beautiful country and should like very much to see it, but at present am too much occupied as I just told you. Who knows but that perhaps we may meet, either in England or there, some day.

Uncle James has 11 living children, and they also are scattered. 2 boys are in South Africa, 1 daughter is in Bulgaria and one here – both earning their living as governesses. 3 daughters are in situations in England, and one is a telegraph clerk. 1 boy has been in Africa and is now in England looking for a situation as Engineer, and the 2 youngest are at home.

With best love to you and all yours,
I remain, my dear Florrie,
Your loving Auntie,
E. Jennie Coster