Object #1001520 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

10 pages written 20 Jan 1852 by Susan Douglas McLean in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items). The letters from Donald are written from Porirua Barracks, Otaki, Rangitikei, Waikanae, Wanganui and Taranaki. Susan's letters are addressed from Dalmuir Hill (her parent's home) and Wellington Terrace. Many letters are undated and were written prior to their marriage in Aug 1851. Includes correspondence between Susan McLean and her mother Susan Strang (2 letters, undated); one letter from Helen Anne Wilson to Mrs McLean, 30 August 1852

A transcription/translation of this document (by MD) appears below.

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Page 1 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Wellington Terrace
January 20th [1852]


My own dearest Donald

Major Durie is going away tomorrow so I shall have another opportunity of writing to my darling husband whose letter written on Friday evening from Otaki I must not forget to mention having received in case of having a scold from my old plague. I am so

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English (MD)

glad to hear that you are quite well again. You have no idea how anxious your little slave was about you.

I have had no visitors since you left but the Pauls and Miss Kelly. Miss Hart and Miss Dorset also called once. I am very glad the people have the good sense not to call yet for I am not yet able to see anyone without painful feelings and poor Papa does not like to be disturbed when he comes home.I was just going to forget however the two visitors I had this morning. I am sure you will be rather surprised when you hear who they were, Mr Pelhcut [sic] and Miss Howe. I was quite astonished when I saw them coming up. Mr Pelhcut [sic] seemed much disappointed when I told him that I did not expect you before Friday or Saturday as he wished you to be present at the marriage. I don't think how if you had been here

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English (MD)

that you could have gone just now. I cannot say that I like Miss Howe much. She does not appear to have that delicacy which a young lady ought to have. If I had been the oldest friend she had she could not have spoken more openly of her marriage. She did not appear to have the least bashfulness about it. It seemed to me so strange that she should talk of it as she did to a perfect

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English (MD)

stranger. Do you remember the Sunday before we were married we called at Captain Sharp's and although we were to be married on Thursday no allusion was made to it and do you remember I had not courage to ask Miss Dorset to be bride's maid and Miss Kelly had to ask her for me. Their wedding is to be quite private.

Page 5 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

They are to be married by Mr Kirton and they are going to stay at the Taita w[h]ere we spent such a happy fortnight.

I have never found anything wrong with Ewaru and he is far more useful to me than Ben would be. He has never disobeyed me once and is most attentive. A few evenings since I was up at the house with Papa and Jessie was out, when I came home I found he had got tea ready and he had got two eggs on the table which he wished to boil for me so you must not say anything against poor Ewaru. I told in my letter yesterday that I had not commenced bathing yet but when I do so I shall obey you by having a cup of tea and a piece of bread before I go out.

Page 6 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I have no doubt my dear husband thinks it will be a good chance to have a cup of tea himself at the same time seeing his pussy never would encourage lazyness by giving him one in bed. I must indulge you in this however when you come home. You are such a good dear husband and so indulgent to your little slave. Next Friday

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English (MD)

it will be three years since you came in from Rangitikei. The reason I know the day is because it was on the last day of the races and you know that it was not a fortnight after that we were engaged. Thinking of these brings back dear Mama to my mind dear Donald I felt so dull and miserable.

Page 8 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

This evening when Major Durie came up to see Papa it seemed to me such a short time since Major Durie had breakfast with us the day he left for Whanganui although Mama was not quite well then still we did not think that there was anything particular wrong with her more than what she generally complained of in winter. I remember her saying that she hoped you would be in soon. You are so right in in saying that I should not give way to grief as I do. I should remember that she is far happier than we are and instead of murmuring to look forward to the happy time when we will meet again if we died [crossed out] die as she died.

I must now my darling husband conclude for it is nearly 1 in the morning.

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English (MD)

I had no idea it was so late. Do dearest try to be in by Saturday. God bless and preserve my own dear love is the prayer of your ever affectionate wife


Susan D McLean.

I forgot dearest that you ask me if I wish my mare brought in. If I am to take a journey on her it would be as well for me to ride her for a week or two first as she has not been accustomed to a lady for

Page 10 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

some time but I shall leave you to do as you like, only love, if it will detain you to bring her in do not think of doing it.

Ever your own Susan

[Note on transcription: Charles H L Pelichet, surveyor, married Fredrica Howe, eldest daughter of Dr Howe, Taranaki on 22 January at the residence of Daniel Wakefield, Attorney-General.]

English (MD)

Wellington Terrace
January 20th [1852]


My own dearest Donald

Major Durie is going away tomorrow so I shall have another opportunity of writing to my darling husband whose letter written on Friday evening from Otaki I must not forget to mention having received in case of having a scold from my old plague. I am so glad to hear that you are quite well again. You have no idea how anxious your little slave was about you.

I have had no visitors since you left but the Pauls and Miss Kelly. Miss Hart and Miss Dorset also called once. I am very glad the people have the good sense not to call yet for I am not yet able to see anyone without painful feelings and poor Papa does not like to be disturbed when he comes home.I was just going to forget however the two visitors I had this morning. I am sure you will be rather surprised when you hear who they were, Mr Pelhcut [sic] and Miss Howe. I was quite astonished when I saw them coming up. Mr Pelhcut [sic] seemed much disappointed when I told him that I did not expect you before Friday or Saturday as he wished you to be present at the marriage. I don't think how if you had been here that you could have gone just now. I cannot say that I like Miss Howe much. She does not appear to have that delicacy which a young lady ought to have. If I had been the oldest friend she had she could not have spoken more openly of her marriage. She did not appear to have the least bashfulness about it. It seemed to me so strange that she should talk of it as she did to a perfect stranger. Do you remember the Sunday before we were married we called at Captain Sharp's and although we were to be married on Thursday no allusion was made to it and do you remember I had not courage to ask Miss Dorset to be bride's maid and Miss Kelly had to ask her for me. Their wedding is to be quite private. They are to be married by Mr Kirton and they are going to stay at the Taita w[h]ere we spent such a happy fortnight.

I have never found anything wrong with Ewaru and he is far more useful to me than Ben would be. He has never disobeyed me once and is most attentive. A few evenings since I was up at the house with Papa and Jessie was out, when I came home I found he had got tea ready and he had got two eggs on the table which he wished to boil for me so you must not say anything against poor Ewaru. I told in my letter yesterday that I had not commenced bathing yet but when I do so I shall obey you by having a cup of tea and a piece of bread before I go out. I have no doubt my dear husband thinks it will be a good chance to have a cup of tea himself at the same time seeing his pussy never would encourage lazyness by giving him one in bed. I must indulge you in this however when you come home. You are such a good dear husband and so indulgent to your little slave. Next Friday it will be three years since you came in from Rangitikei. The reason I know the day is because it was on the last day of the races and you know that it was not a fortnight after that we were engaged. Thinking of these brings back dear Mama to my mind dear Donald I felt so dull and miserable. This evening when Major Durie came up to see Papa it seemed to me such a short time since Major Durie had breakfast with us the day he left for Whanganui although Mama was not quite well then still we did not think that there was anything particular wrong with her more than what she generally complained of in winter. I remember her saying that she hoped you would be in soon. You are so right in in saying that I should not give way to grief as I do. I should remember that she is far happier than we are and instead of murmuring to look forward to the happy time when we will meet again if we died [crossed out] die as she died.

I must now my darling husband conclude for it is nearly 1 in the morning. I had no idea it was so late. Do dearest try to be in by Saturday. God bless and preserve my own dear love is the prayer of your ever affectionate wife


Susan D McLean.

I forgot dearest that you ask me if I wish my mare brought in. If I am to take a journey on her it would be as well for me to ride her for a week or two first as she has not been accustomed to a lady for some time but I shall leave you to do as you like, only love, if it will detain you to bring her in do not think of doing it.

Ever your own Susan

[Note on transcription: Charles H L Pelichet, surveyor, married Fredrica Howe, eldest daughter of Dr Howe, Taranaki on 22 January at the residence of Daniel Wakefield, Attorney-General.]

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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