Olivia Colman Gets Emotional Learning About Indian Ancestors | Who Do You Think You Are


After her first husband’s death in 1833
harriet fades from official records for a number of years her life as a young
widow in India left little trace to try to pick up her story again
olivia has come to st. John’s Church in the center of Calcutta she’s meeting
professor rashanna Chakraborty amazing thanks yes this was
the first public building of the English East India Company oh really I think
your ancestors must have known this space yes great so the last thing I knew
about Harriet is that she was widowed just over a year after she got married
mid twenties and so it’s not happens next
this is a letter written by Charles young pheasant her second husband my
great-great-great grandfather yes I’m Cheltenham August the 14th 1838 so my
dear Richard that it was writing to his brother okay the letter reveals that
Charles Bassett first met Harriet in India and fell in
love with her there but Harriet had turned him down four years later they
met again I see I am to give some account of my meeting with my beloved H
in this country so that’s Harriet so she goes back yes she goes back to England
Charles meets her once again when he visits that brother
Harriet’s first husband okay when I arrived at his house he had only just
received a letter from Harriet in answer to one inviting her to come and pass a
month with him there she came I felt awkward enough in meeting her but did
not discern the least awkwardness in her which I hoped I might have seen
I saw no prospect of being anything but a friend – mrs. G that’s mr. G mrs.
Garret Harriet yes when one Friday evening I nearly half by chance took her
hand as it was like hahaha it was lying on the couch and pressed it
it was almost immediately withdrawn no but not instantaneously a minute
afterwards she slightly changed her position and after this I love it that
he’s telling his brother everything I took her hand again and allowed mine to
remain touching it for some time and I did fancy that once or twice there was a
little motion which might have said I am NOT indifferent to you straight from an
Austin doll really isn’t it we were summoned to tea and I did not find any
opportunity of talking any more with my fingers till Saturday evening when
having determined to be more decisive I pressed her hand and she returned the
pressure and a stroke by hand in turn we were again called a team much to my
annoyance something was brought to H Harriet to ask her opinion and getting
behind her chair and put my head down as opposed to hers as I dared you could
just feel it coming and felt the warmth of her person on my face well thus her
head moved slowly towards me and she rested on me I felt half mad the Sunday
following for half an hour we were alone together and then she said she loved me lovely for him it’s how she loved me we
should just stop the program now don’t do anything bad about Harriet so what
happened next we got married and would you’d like to
see a photograph you kidding oh my crackers Oh after all this time then yes
oh my word at the time of marriage they were both 31 family love that’s Harriet
she’s lovely isn’t she and I think you can really see that
she’s mixed parentage yes it is undeniable that she was but linear you
see easier yes cut of the hair and the eyes yes oh my god
I can’t believe it’s a photograph of her so they got married
Oh what happens to the neck you come with me and help you with that
okay week away more surprises coming tomorrow following their marriage in September
1838 Harriet and Charles returned to India where Charles continued his career
in the army on their arrival in Calcutta they
embarked on a journey upriver Charles once again wrote to his brother
September the 21st 1839 so this is a abouthim year a year or so after you
married okay yes my dear Richard after long very long that will help you
brilliant a friend and schoolfellow of Harriet’s who is married to the surgeon
at the civil station has asked her to be confined there so she’s having a baby
yes oh how lovely and now if you come to the end of the letter yes you will
notice a change in the handwriting I must add a few lines to my dear
Charles’s letter to say what he has omitted that we are by the mercy of our
God both quite well so is Harriet writing this now yes Wow sweet but
they’re reading over each other’s shoulders yes I feel most thankful we
have left Calcutta as well as we were there preparing for our river trip my
dear husband underwent a great deal of exposure which made me rather anxious so
she was really worried that she was going to lose we were because the
experience he’s had through all of the awful things that have happened to her
is everyone has just lost everyone so was the baby all right yes you will say
friend south richard present son of Charles young visit and Harriet his wife
was baptized at Christian alert and these are the successive children
that they had Oh Mary pizzette baptized 1845 turn now which is in Punjab
Charles pizzettes was gone poor endear again and funny but that turns of August
18-49 and mahou one two three four oh how lovely so they stayed in India
yes had all of their children there they
were enjoying a big family because he didn’t have much time on her own all
this time yes now she’s found someone she loves
who loves her back yes big family lots of children it’s all working out very
well yes I remember that in the house of parliament I saw the census 1871 that
had Harriet and Charles living in reading but now to find out that they’ve
done all of this what an amazing life Harriet’s ended up having I keep
thinking about her grandmother it wasn’t for her grandmother so she was named
after what would have happened do you know anything about her I don’t
know much but Harriet’s grandmother was Harry elizabeth / yes I know that she
had made a will and it contains a long list of requests but I think you’ll be
interested in the closing lionsgate to Charlotte’s lesser I bequeath 50 pounds
to India Harriet I leave fifty so they called her India Harriet so that’s her
nicknames so she always knew India was where she was from that she’s different
from the rest India Harriet’s she’s extra-special yes
that’s lovely so Olivia I have a very interesting book
about padded Elisabeth / and / your family this book is based on original
documents and these documents are owned by descendant of this letter who are
right now in Scotland the highlands of Scotland and I think you should go to
see these letters to find out more about your ancestors Wow okay the highlands is
gone before this hadn’t got a clue that India
played any part in my family Harriet’s overall story is just incredible I was
very surprised at how much I ended up caring about her
someone had never heard of before then to find out that her mum was local Fish
and Game’s woman first exciting bit when I realize it’s tangible that her
grandson is my mom’s granddad which means we’ve all touched each other’s
hands throughout time going back at the time can almost and that that really
brings it home that she was real what I knew about my family was at door English
maybe there was a French woman somewhere in the past now I definitely feel more
exotic I’ve loved being here and don’t really
want to go really I’ve loved it so much but now to Scotland in search of
Harriet’s grandmother you

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