June 28, 1850
"You and I know that a few words are often the best. So I say no more to-day."
FR penned these words to Bessie Roby, sister of Caroline Dent. Both these young women had become dear to FR, so it was a shock when she read Cary's letter with bad news.
The day before Cary's letter arrived, FR had been reading in the Liverpool Mercury all the sad details of the wreck of the steamer Orion, never a thought that some of her own dear acquaintances were on board.
The Orion was carrying 38 crew and 170 passengers (accounts differ) when it hit rocks near the lighthouse at Portpatrick Harbour and sank in minutes. Bessie and her daughter were among the rescued, but Mr. Roby, Bessie's husband, drowned along with 40 others.
FR's consolation, and her first thought upon reading the news was, "Thank God he was a Christian!"
Bessie Roby's account of the Orion wreck and of John Roby's life can be read here, beginning on page 71. Reports of the wreck can be read here.