The next letter from Elizabeth is dated May 2nd 1705
My last to you was by captain Flavell by way of Lisbon who sailed a considerable while since but I have received none by you nor any of my friends in England since August 1703 tho here hath been lately severall vessells arrived from London by some of which I thought I might have heard from you however hope you may have written by Jennings who has not yet arrived and is feared may be lost or taken … I advised you in my last of having another son who is now above ten months old and as brisk as any having had very little sickness ever since he was born my Burry also praised be God grows a healthful boy and tall enough for breeches but he has not yet for want of money to purchase them. We are all of us likewise very much in want of severall things since our great losses which have been very heavy upon us …so the only way we have to gitt any money is by selling now and then a little frish butter or a little sape which I made myself or such an od thing which is very inconsiderable so you may believe our living is very hard at present all sorts of things being very dear here for I gave almost four shillings the other day for a pair of shoes for Burry and half a crown for a pair for Harry who is not eleven months old till the 29th of this month there is no sort of clothing to be brought but what is very slite and very dere so that you may believe it is hard with us at present indeed things have not been so hard with us as long as they be now …
Since the above written I have received yours by Capt Jennings of the 26th September having not received mine by Capt Cole for which I am very sorry [Burrell’s letter having taken just over six months to arrive], I take notice of Aunt Hall’s great kindness for which pray give our hearty thanks’ (LAO 2MM B/7/20)
In spite of some help from family in England their struggle continued. When Elizabeth came of age in 1705 the money she was due to inherit was held by the Chancery Courts who required proof that the plantation should be placed in the ownership of Elizabeth and her children. This delay dragged them deeper into debt. In some desperation Landgrave Thomas Smith entered into correspondence with Elizabeth’s brother.
November 21st 1705
‘Since you have had such an ill character of the plantation and stock…if you will allow me four hundred pounds in England to be paid in six months time I will take my plantation and what off the stock is left on itt, which I doubt will be but little remaining, Mr Hyrne wanting hands to keep them in good order which is the occasion many are run wild, when I sould him my plantation as I gave you account in my other letter there was a larger and better house on itt than any county house in Carolina, he had besides the house and land about 200 head of cattle and severall horses and mares one Indian cowkeeper worth thirty pounds which is since dead one large boat for his use which has since gone to decay. By which you may calculate that my damage will rise to much more than I ask you, butt beacause you should nott think that I put a hardship upon you Bro and sister I make you this offer’ (LAO 2MM B/7/21)
By 1706 Edward had returned to England to fight the case in person. A further letter to Burrell Massingberd from Thomas Smith indicates that Edward had not been entirely straight with him:
‘Nov 16th 1706
Yours by the packet under cover from Mr Lea I received by which I find you received both mine I find you tell me that I am misinformed about your sisters fortune and that itt does nott lye in your hands but in Chancery since 1700…If I had [known] I should nott have staid till this time; when the mortgage was expired long ago … and their living and making use of the cattle all the while for their use which is within six weeks off five years all ready expired, nay not only for their eating, but they sould severall of their breeding cattle, some of which I bought my self … and they also salted severall barralls of beef and sould …doubt nott butt that Mr Hyrne will confirm the truth himself, and he knows had I not stood his friend he could not have left Carolina…’.
(LAO 2MM B/7/22)
Landgrave Thomas Smith seems to have been, at all times, an understanding and tolerant landlord and a good friend to the Hyrnes.