World's oldest printed Valentine's Day card reveals real-life Bridget Jones berating her man

2 months ago 11

World's oldest printed Valentine's Day card reveals woman berating her man for 'ghosting' her as long ago as 1797

The 224-year-old correspondence is illustrated with delicate design and portraitIt was published on January 12, 1797, by John Fairburn of 146, Minories, LondonWriter Catherine Mossday writes she has 'repeatedly requested' for a Mr Brown

By Emily Webber For Mailonline

Published: 15:50 GMT, 13 February 2021 | Updated: 16:23 GMT, 13 February 2021

The story behind the world's oldest printed Valentine's Day card from 1797 has been revealed in which a real-life 'Bridget Jones' berates her lover for 'ghosting' her. 

The 224-year-old correspondence is illustrated with delicate design and an elegant portrait of a woman and was sent to a Mr Brown of Dover Place, Kent Road, London.

It was published on January 12, 1797, by John Fairburn of 146, Minories, London, and is currently housed at York Museums Gallery. 

The writer, Catherine Mossday, from an unknown address, writes she has 'repeatedly requested' for a Mr Brown of London to see her and that he 'must have some reason for not complying'.

The 224-year-old correspondence is illustrated with delicate design and an elegant portrait of a woman and was sent to a Mr Brown of Dover Place, Kent Road, London

The writer, Catherine Mossday, from an unknown address, writes she has 'repeatedly requested' for a Mr Brown of London to see her and that he 'must have some reason for not complying

Her note continues: 'As I have something particular to say to you I could wish you make it all agreeable to come on Sunday next without fail and in doing you will oblige your well wisher.'

It ends with only her name without any traditional sign off such as 'love' or 'yours' and in modern-day parlance, Mr Brown could be seen as 'ghosting' his admirer.

'Ghosting' is a recent term which is used when someone ends a relationship by cutting off all communication with the other person without any explanation. 

Miss Mossday also chose a card which remains the oldest pre-printed Valentine's Day card in existence.

Miss Mossday, referred to as a 'real-life Bridget Jones' (Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones, pictured), also chose a card which remains the oldest pre-printed Valentine's Day card in existence

Miss Mossday's full message to Mr Brown 

Miss Mossday's full message reads:

'Mr Brown,

As I have repeatedly requested you to come, I think you must have some reason for not complying with my requests, but as I have something particular to say to you I could wish you make it all agreeable to come on Sunday next without fail and in doing you will oblige your well wisher.

Catherine Mossday.' 

The printed verse around the edge also reads: 'Since on this ever Happy day, All Nature's full of Love and Play Yet harmless still if my design, Tis but to be your Valentine.' 

The maker also pierced the corners of the card to give it a delicate lace effect.

Meanwhile the oldest handwritten card was penned only seven years earlier and sold at auction in 2019 for £7,000. 

It was published on January 12, 1797, by John Fairburn of 146, Minories, London, and includes a verse printed around the edge:  

Curator at the York Museums Gallery Helen Thornton said: 'This wonderful card is one of many Valentine's cards in our collection but it stands out for a number of reasons.

'Firstly is its age - it is believed to be the oldest printed Valentine's card in the world.

'Secondly, it is beautifully made, with intricate designs which were probably hand-coloured after printing.

'But just as interesting is the message inside which gives you an intriguing glimpse into the life of the sender more than 200 years ago.'

The practice of sending cards on Valentine's Day was becoming a popular pastime among the wealthy by Georgian times which took off in the Victorian-era when the penny post was launched, which meant it was an affordable thing for the masses to do.  

Read Entire Article