Clear-Site-Data: "cache" Home

A Valentine's Day Rebus

Valentine's Day 191 Years Ago

As this is the month of February and Valentine's Day falls within, see if you can decipher this illustrated Valentine letter (it’s called a Rebus) sent to my great, great grandfather’s sister, a lady called Emma Hemmans. It is postmarked 2:00pm February 14th 1820.

I make no apologies for some of the names mentioned in it, I have no idea who they are or what they mean, I can only assume it was some kind of nickname they had between them.

Valentine's Day rebus 01 Valentine's Day rebus 02
Valentine's Day Rebus dated February 14th 1820. Photograph - Mike Welton

The illustrated letter above deciphered.


My Dear little Emma

Eye  Hope  Yew       Liberty (Bell)   Eye   Ham

I hope you will excuse the liberty I am

                    Inn            Letter   Toe   Yew   Sign

now taking in writing a letter to you signing

      Butt  Ass                              Eye

John but as it is Valentines day I consider it

       Bull       Eye    Knot                Yew

Allowable - I do not know whether you

Will                              Butt Toe          Yew

will find me out or not but to give you some

Eye Deer         Eye Ham Yew         Crow

idea of who I am you must know that Chro

           Ton                                  Ass Bean

nonhotonthologotetibusque has been seen by

                                                                Yew Bean

Altiberontefoscofornie who says you have been

Mother and child                        Yew                     Last

A good little girl since he left you on sixth day last

Hand                Eye Ham Well

And therefore I am well pleased


You must know that Chrononhotonthologotetibusque is my Old Man.

Yours Sincerely


Mike Welton, February 2011