Object #1008174 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 1852 by Susan Douglas McLean 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 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Monday evening [1852]


My dearest Donald

I was quite delighted to receive your note this morning which you wrote me last Friday. We are indeed most fortunate in finding opportunities of writing to each other. I met Dr Featherstone today and he told me that he was going up to Rangitikei this week and would take a letter for me so that my darling will at least have two letters this week from his pussy. What a piece of impudence in you to say that you were quite happy. How could you be so without your wife. I have a good mind not to kiss you when you come home for saying such a thing. I saw Mrs Stephens today and she advised me to turn you off and gat a new husband who would stay at home. I would take her advice but I am afraid

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I would not be able to find so indulgent an old husband although he is a great plague sometimes and will go to mason's meetings. Talking of mason's meetings had Mr Hart not been at the last he would have been able to walk home with his sister and would not have had occasion to grumble about moonlight walks. That meeting really caused a great deal of mischief, making two lovers very miserable and a young wife very cross. I was quite vexed Miss Hart called today when I was out. I must send a note tomorrow and ask her to spend Thursday with me. I am sure she will be glad to hear that I have heard from you and that her dearly beloved is quite well. I have been out all day with Mrs Kirton shopping, buying those things which I mentioned before you left. Fisher has commenced to paper the parlour and one bedroom. I shall have it so nice when

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

my dear Donald comes home. I am going out tomorrow with Mary Paul. I must call for Mrs Wakefield and Mrs McDonald. I must now bid you goodnight for I have to write my house book before I go to bed. May God bless you my darling husband.

Tuesday night
I had a nice walk today. Is not your pussy a good girl for obeying her husband's orders to take exercise every day. I find walking does me a great deal of good. I feel that I am getting stronger every day. How thankful I ought to be for enjoying such good health. I am glad of it for your sake darling for a wife who was always ill could be no comfort to you. I saw poor Mrs Stokes today. She is no better. She reminds me so much of poor Mama. I do not think that Dr Prendergast treats her properly. He does not order for her what Dr Featherstone did for Mama and the complaint seems the same. Mary Paul is

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

coming up tomorrow to stay for a few days. She will keep me cheerful for sometimes at night I get quite dull. Papa goes to sleep and I do not like to leave him to sit with Jessie so that I am left to my own thoughts and I am sure then to begin to fret for the loss of poor Mama. I think if I had her beside me I should not feel dull and lonely but I must not write this way. It is very wrong to repine at the will of God who knows what is for our good and why should I wish my dear mother back from a world of happiness to one of care and sorrow. The black horse was missing for three days but Johnny found him and he is looking better than when we last saw him. We have put him in the stable tonight as it is a cold south-easter. I think my dearest husband you are taking care of yourself this changeable weather. I am so frightened

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

for rheumatism. You must not leave off wearing the flannel. I must now dearest Donald say goodnight. I hope you are in bed and asleep by this time.

Wednesday evening
I went to see Miss Hart today and told her that I had received a note from you on Monday. I thought she seemed pleased that you had got so far on well but as her mother was in the room she is coming up to spend the day with me tomorrow and I shall hear if there is any appearance of her mother being agreeable to the marriage. It is talked of so much here as being quite settled that I shall be very sorry if it is put a stop to. Every one I see speaks of it. It is a great shame that people will interfere and talk about what does not concern them. I suffered much myself before our marriage that I can feel for poor Miss Hart and it must be much worse for her than it was for me. She is so differently situated. You have been gone now darling

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

for a week and it is the longest I have spent for months. You have no idea how much I miss my dear old husband. I have no one to pet me and call me his pussy. It is impossible to be happy without my dear Donald beside I could be happy anywhere with you. I trust the time is not far distant if we are spared that we need not be parted again. I have been busy putting up the curtains tonight. They look very well. I did something today which you will perhaps scold me for. You remember the curtain bands you bought for me, they were only sufficient for one window and I found I could not manage with bands for the other windows so I got three tie pairs from Wilkinson. They will be 12/6. I did not like getting them without your leave but I found I could not do without them. I must conclude for tonight love for my candle will scarcely see to go to bed and everybody is asleep and I do not wish to disturb them getting another.

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Goodnight my darling. God bless you.

Thursday night
I have been very wearying my darling husband so much to hear from you again but I suppose there have been no opportunities and I shall not hear before tomorrow afternoon. How anxious I shall be for Papa to come home. The day will appear never to pass. I wonder if every wife looks forward with such anxiety to hear from her husband. I have often heard that when people have been married a few months their love decreases but I am sure dearest it has not be[en] so with us. Every day seems to bind us more closely together although your pussy is at times a bad girl and is disobedient. I don't think Judy will pay another visit. She is so ashamed of her conduct the last time she was here. Miss Hart and I called for Mrs Stephen today.

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

She did not spend the rest of the day with me as she intended as her brother Robert could not come for her. She told me that there is no appearance of any change in her mother's feelings with regard to their marriage and that she had passed a most disagreeable week. They seemed so displeased with her. She does not intend to say any more to them on the subject till Mr Park's return. She will then ask for a decided answer but she has no hopes of it being a favorable one. I am sure it is all Robert's doing for from what she says George is not against it. If Robert had any sense he would not oppose it after having been the reason of his poor sister being talked of over the whole place. I trust darling that you will not go to Whanganui but if you should I wish you would see Kitty and tell her that I wished to send up something by you but as it was uncertain whether you would go so far I thought it would be better to send it by some other opportunity. Good bye my darling Donald and believe me


Your own affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

English (MD)

Monday evening [1852]


My dearest Donald

I was quite delighted to receive your note this morning which you wrote me last Friday. We are indeed most fortunate in finding opportunities of writing to each other. I met Dr Featherstone today and he told me that he was going up to Rangitikei this week and would take a letter for me so that my darling will at least have two letters this week from his pussy. What a piece of impudence in you to say that you were quite happy. How could you be so without your wife. I have a good mind not to kiss you when you come home for saying such a thing. I saw Mrs Stephens today and she advised me to turn you off and gat a new husband who would stay at home. I would take her advice but I am afraid I would not be able to find so indulgent an old husband although he is a great plague sometimes and will go to mason's meetings. Talking of mason's meetings had Mr Hart not been at the last he would have been able to walk home with his sister and would not have had occasion to grumble about moonlight walks. That meeting really caused a great deal of mischief, making two lovers very miserable and a young wife very cross. I was quite vexed Miss Hart called today when I was out. I must send a note tomorrow and ask her to spend Thursday with me. I am sure she will be glad to hear that I have heard from you and that her dearly beloved is quite well. I have been out all day with Mrs Kirton shopping, buying those things which I mentioned before you left. Fisher has commenced to paper the parlour and one bedroom. I shall have it so nice when my dear Donald comes home. I am going out tomorrow with Mary Paul. I must call for Mrs Wakefield and Mrs McDonald. I must now bid you goodnight for I have to write my house book before I go to bed. May God bless you my darling husband.

Tuesday night
I had a nice walk today. Is not your pussy a good girl for obeying her husband's orders to take exercise every day. I find walking does me a great deal of good. I feel that I am getting stronger every day. How thankful I ought to be for enjoying such good health. I am glad of it for your sake darling for a wife who was always ill could be no comfort to you. I saw poor Mrs Stokes today. She is no better. She reminds me so much of poor Mama. I do not think that Dr Prendergast treats her properly. He does not order for her what Dr Featherstone did for Mama and the complaint seems the same. Mary Paul is coming up tomorrow to stay for a few days. She will keep me cheerful for sometimes at night I get quite dull. Papa goes to sleep and I do not like to leave him to sit with Jessie so that I am left to my own thoughts and I am sure then to begin to fret for the loss of poor Mama. I think if I had her beside me I should not feel dull and lonely but I must not write this way. It is very wrong to repine at the will of God who knows what is for our good and why should I wish my dear mother back from a world of happiness to one of care and sorrow. The black horse was missing for three days but Johnny found him and he is looking better than when we last saw him. We have put him in the stable tonight as it is a cold south-easter. I think my dearest husband you are taking care of yourself this changeable weather. I am so frightened for rheumatism. You must not leave off wearing the flannel. I must now dearest Donald say goodnight. I hope you are in bed and asleep by this time.

Wednesday evening
I went to see Miss Hart today and told her that I had received a note from you on Monday. I thought she seemed pleased that you had got so far on well but as her mother was in the room she is coming up to spend the day with me tomorrow and I shall hear if there is any appearance of her mother being agreeable to the marriage. It is talked of so much here as being quite settled that I shall be very sorry if it is put a stop to. Every one I see speaks of it. It is a great shame that people will interfere and talk about what does not concern them. I suffered much myself before our marriage that I can feel for poor Miss Hart and it must be much worse for her than it was for me. She is so differently situated. You have been gone now darling for a week and it is the longest I have spent for months. You have no idea how much I miss my dear old husband. I have no one to pet me and call me his pussy. It is impossible to be happy without my dear Donald beside I could be happy anywhere with you. I trust the time is not far distant if we are spared that we need not be parted again. I have been busy putting up the curtains tonight. They look very well. I did something today which you will perhaps scold me for. You remember the curtain bands you bought for me, they were only sufficient for one window and I found I could not manage with bands for the other windows so I got three tie pairs from Wilkinson. They will be 12/6. I did not like getting them without your leave but I found I could not do without them. I must conclude for tonight love for my candle will scarcely see to go to bed and everybody is asleep and I do not wish to disturb them getting another. Goodnight my darling. God bless you.

Thursday night
I have been very wearying my darling husband so much to hear from you again but I suppose there have been no opportunities and I shall not hear before tomorrow afternoon. How anxious I shall be for Papa to come home. The day will appear never to pass. I wonder if every wife looks forward with such anxiety to hear from her husband. I have often heard that when people have been married a few months their love decreases but I am sure dearest it has not be[en] so with us. Every day seems to bind us more closely together although your pussy is at times a bad girl and is disobedient. I don't think Judy will pay another visit. She is so ashamed of her conduct the last time she was here. Miss Hart and I called for Mrs Stephen today. She did not spend the rest of the day with me as she intended as her brother Robert could not come for her. She told me that there is no appearance of any change in her mother's feelings with regard to their marriage and that she had passed a most disagreeable week. They seemed so displeased with her. She does not intend to say any more to them on the subject till Mr Park's return. She will then ask for a decided answer but she has no hopes of it being a favorable one. I am sure it is all Robert's doing for from what she says George is not against it. If Robert had any sense he would not oppose it after having been the reason of his poor sister being talked of over the whole place. I trust darling that you will not go to Whanganui but if you should I wish you would see Kitty and tell her that I wished to send up something by you but as it was uncertain whether you would go so far I thought it would be better to send it by some other opportunity. Good bye my darling Donald and believe me


Your own affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

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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