Object #1001871 from MS-Papers-0032-0816

6 pages written 7 Sep 1859 by Sir Donald McLean and Annabella McLean in Glenorchy, Auckland Region and New Zealand 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 ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

Manse of Glenorchy
Sept 7th 1859

My dear brother

I came here on the 12th of August to spend my holidays. I enjoy it very much. It is a lovely spot. The church and manse so pleasantly situated. The surrounding scenery considered by many tourists to be the most romantic and beautiful in Argyleshire. At present it is very gay with resident nobility and passing excursionists. Uncle is so well known that he sees such a number of visitors especially of the aristocracy who seem to enjoy his fund of wit and pleasantry in the extreme. When the Marquis of Breadalbane passed here on his way to the Blackmount Uncle spent the evening with him. On the following day they called at the manse. The Machioness along with the nieces the Miss Pringles with whom Uncle seemed to be quite enraptured. They walked about the grounds came into the house and talked so graciously to Aunt Helen. Friday last was a day of great excitement in the Glen as such an affair as laying a foundation stone for a monument had never before occurred in Glenorchy. It was in memory of Duncan McIntyre, a Gaelic poet whose poems and songs perhaps you have heard sung. All the gentlemen in the neighbourhood with the committee from Glasgow walked in procession dressed in the Highland costume with a pair of bagpipes playing such delightful Gaelic airs that it added greatly to the charms of such an enchanting and memorable scene. Aunt Helen and I followed them in a carriage along with several English ladies of uncle's acquaintance so that we had a full view of the proceedings. After the ceremony of laying the stone was over the gentlemen returned to the hotel where a public dinner was got up for the occasion. Several very good speeches were delivered but I believe Uncle's got the most applause as being the ablest and most suitable speech for the night. Probably he will himself send you a newspaper with more accurate details. We had a number of them to breakfast on the Saturday morning and a constant influx of gentlemen visitors during the day popping in to say goodbye before they started on their journey homewards. We expected a visit from Aunt Jessie from Jura this month but I am disappointed she can't come this season having so many household duties involving upon her. Uncle was there some weeks ago assisting Rev McKenzie's sacrament. He said they were all well. Her little girl Flora was going to school. A pretty interesting looking child I believe. The McInnes are now so very far away that we very rarely see any of them. I wish they had been at Oban as I could have so easily seen them during this visit. I am very glad that I have come as I should never have known so much about my mother or father's friends. Aunt Helen is quite a genealogist. So many pleasing anecdotes of your boyhood days she delighted to relate and scarcely a Highlander comes into the house that is at all likely to know anything about you that sees your little boy who is placed upon the parlour mantlepiece as one of the principle ornaments. How very much all your friends long for your coming home. With Uncle and Aunt it is an increasing expectation. Aunt H poor body goes the length of imagining that that is Donald McLean if they observe a carriage with a single gentleman driven in this direction. Uncle says that Mrs Gascoyne's father was either first or second cousin to your father but no relation by your mother. Uncle had an intimation of the death of McLean, minister of Tyree. The McLeans of Croish Kilmoluag are surprised that they never hear from their brother who is I believe with our brother Alexander. Uncle was lately in Shuna cottage. He felt and saw a great change in it. He saw Dugald McPherson who was enquiring much for you. My sisters are both well. I hope you have got the likeness safe. Catherine is sitting and I am standing. I return to school on the first of October if all is well. With kind regards to all my brothers and dear little Douglas in which I am joined by Aunt Helen and hoping to hear from you soon.

I remain my dear brother

Ever your affectionate sister
Annabella McLean

[Postscript added at end of Annabella's letter]

My dear nephew

I was made happy on receiving your letter of April last. I hope that I may soon hear from you again and more especially that I may have the satisfaction of seeing you soon within the manse of Glenorchy. If you intend to take your sisters to New Zealand. The sooner they go the better so that they would settle down in life. I am surprised that your brother John never writes to his friends at home. I trust his wife will prove to be worthy of his hand but her father was not a good man and much disrespected in this country but his daughter may not inherit any of his bad qualities. I am getting on well but I find my income too small for so public a place as this is; six stage coaches pulling my door daily. Annabella is a nice genteel girl and well advanced in education.

Your affectionate uncle

D McColl

Donald McLean Esqr
New Zealand

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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