Object #1001604 from MS-Papers-0032-0816

6 pages written 9 Apr 1857 by Annabella McLean in Edinburgh to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Annabella McLean (sister), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0816 (50 digitised items). Letters written from Scotland (Edinburgh, Glenorchy Manse, Stranraer) prior to her arrival in New Zealand in Jan 1864 on the Wild Duck; afterwards from Maraekakaho, Napier and Wellington. One letter was written in Sep 1858 during a visit to her sister Flora Ann Conway in North Wales.

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

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Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

April 9th 1857

7 Saylsburgh [?] Place
Edinburgh

My dear brother

As you have desired me to write you in your last letter to Flora Ann I now acquiesce to your request, not that I have much news of importance to communicate. I had the pleasure of an unexpected visit from Uncle Donald a few days ago

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English (MD)

and he kindly brought with him your darling little boy's likeness to shew us. You cannot imagine with what feelings of inexpressible delight I looked upon that sweet noble countenance. There is something so lovable about his child like simplicity that I could not help kissing the very picture for the dear little fellow's sake and wished in my own mind that I had him in my arms to fondle & caress. I know not how it was though I felt happy happy at seeing it. Still I was almost overcome with sadness. We wished Uncle D to leave it with us that we might have it copied but he would not part with it upon any consideration. He is so very proud of it that I suppose he thought we should not take sufficient care of it.

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English (MD)

We were highly amused at him. We believe he takes it with him wherever he goes. When asked what he thought of it 'Ah, a fine boy, nothing could be liker his father.' You know he speaks so abrupt & short. Good taste has been displayed in the dressing of him as no other style of dress would have been so becoming as the kilt at his age. He is standing in such a gracefull attitude. Altogether he makes a charming looking portrait.

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English (MD)

Sometime ago we heard that John had left for a visit to home. We now begin to feel very anxious about him not having heard of his movements since. Different reports reach us regarding Alexander that we scarce know upon which to rely. He certainly displays great coldness & indifference towards his sisters. Been abroad for so very long never once written to enquire how we are what we are doing or anything at all about us

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English (MD)

just as if he wished to banish us entirely from his memory. Catherine has written him & John repeatedly year after year goes bye and we receive no answer. There have not been any letters from our beloved brother Archy for several months which keeps us quite uneasy as he is generally so punctual in writing us. I daresay you are long ere this aware what a good kind generous brother he has been to us: care more than many fathers would. Flora has been about a year married. She lives in a lovely village in the north of England. I was on a visit there last summer & enjoyed myself thoroughly. Mr Conway is so amiable & kind took me to see every place of interest he could possibly go to. Their little cottage is so pleasantly situated. The scenery is exquisitely beautifull. Everything was such a novelty to me that I was quite enchanted. No other people there speak Welsh. It sounds so very like the Gaelic.

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English (MD)

Catherine is at present in Edinburgh which has been my home for the last five years so that we often see each other which is a great source of happiness to us both. We occasionally have a visit from a certain personage the name of Turnbull. My dear D I now conclude hoping you will excuse this hurried letter & remember me fondly to little Donald also brothers should you see them.

I remain dear brother


Your affectionate sister
Annabella McLean

PS. Catherine joins me in kindest love to self & little boy.

English (MD)

April 9th 1857

7 Saylsburgh [?] Place
Edinburgh

My dear brother

As you have desired me to write you in your last letter to Flora Ann I now acquiesce to your request, not that I have much news of importance to communicate. I had the pleasure of an unexpected visit from Uncle Donald a few days ago and he kindly brought with him your darling little boy's likeness to shew us. You cannot imagine with what feelings of inexpressible delight I looked upon that sweet noble countenance. There is something so lovable about his child like simplicity that I could not help kissing the very picture for the dear little fellow's sake and wished in my own mind that I had him in my arms to fondle & caress. I know not how it was though I felt happy happy at seeing it. Still I was almost overcome with sadness. We wished Uncle D to leave it with us that we might have it copied but he would not part with it upon any consideration. He is so very proud of it that I suppose he thought we should not take sufficient care of it. We were highly amused at him. We believe he takes it with him wherever he goes. When asked what he thought of it 'Ah, a fine boy, nothing could be liker his father.' You know he speaks so abrupt & short. Good taste has been displayed in the dressing of him as no other style of dress would have been so becoming as the kilt at his age. He is standing in such a gracefull attitude. Altogether he makes a charming looking portrait. Sometime ago we heard that John had left for a visit to home. We now begin to feel very anxious about him not having heard of his movements since. Different reports reach us regarding Alexander that we scarce know upon which to rely. He certainly displays great coldness & indifference towards his sisters. Been abroad for so very long never once written to enquire how we are what we are doing or anything at all about us just as if he wished to banish us entirely from his memory. Catherine has written him & John repeatedly year after year goes bye and we receive no answer. There have not been any letters from our beloved brother Archy for several months which keeps us quite uneasy as he is generally so punctual in writing us. I daresay you are long ere this aware what a good kind generous brother he has been to us: care more than many fathers would. Flora has been about a year married. She lives in a lovely village in the north of England. I was on a visit there last summer & enjoyed myself thoroughly. Mr Conway is so amiable & kind took me to see every place of interest he could possibly go to. Their little cottage is so pleasantly situated. The scenery is exquisitely beautifull. Everything was such a novelty to me that I was quite enchanted. No other people there speak Welsh. It sounds so very like the Gaelic. Catherine is at present in Edinburgh which has been my home for the last five years so that we often see each other which is a great source of happiness to us both. We occasionally have a visit from a certain personage the name of Turnbull. My dear D I now conclude hoping you will excuse this hurried letter & remember me fondly to little Donald also brothers should you see them.

I remain dear brother


Your affectionate sister
Annabella McLean

PS. Catherine joins me in kindest love to self & little boy.

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Annabella McLean (sister), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0816 (50 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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