Object #1009948 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

8 pages written 20 May 1847 by Archibald John McLean in Mumbai to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items). Letters written on board ship or from various ports, 1847-1858 prior to his arrival in New Zealand in mid-1858. From then on the letters are almost all written from Maraekakaho about station matters.

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

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

20 May 1847

Bombay

My dear brother

Your kind and welcome letter dated Taranaki Oct 23 /46 came to hand on the 18th inst two days before my departure from Bombay home. Words cannot convey the transport of joy it gave me to receive a letter from a brother. I so having and earnestly desired to hear from you. Abrade me not writing you well you might but when I tell you your address and place of abode in New Zealand was quite unknown to me you will excuse me as rest assured I never entered a port where any colonial vessel was laying but I made every inquiry as to your place of abode but all to no avail till this. Receiving your kind letter relieved me of my anxiety about your welfare. I am delighted at your success and trust God will endow you with health and happyness till the happy day will arrive I may have in my power to visit

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English (MD)

you in the land I have laid down as the spot to rest for all of our father's family who may follow the eldest of there tribe to be under the protection of there young and worthy brother on a settlement in New Zealand. You say you have had hard ships and trouble to contend with. I dare say my dear Don you have but what are they to what I have gone through. The reverse of fortune has followed me year after year since 1844. I must give some account of my good success first and then my downfall after I sailed from the Clyde in 1841 July 16th as Chief Mate of the barque 'Potentall' the ship I came out to Sidney with when you were there. A quarrel between me the Capt in China made me leave her there. I was friendless, however fortune took a good turn and I was engaged as sailing master of an armed brig on the salary of £120 per annum in her. I worked my way up to hanker after the English fleet the time of the war, came back to Hong Kong 9 month afterwards where I was taken much notice of, put in command

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English (MD)

of a large barque named the 'Hong Kong'. I commanded her for 4 months when the owners failed the vessel I sold, then again I was left to my own resources. However being so well known a week afterwards I was appointed to supperentend the building of the first vessel built in China built by Mr John Lamont a native of Tyree and a most excellent man and great friend of mine. I named her the 'Celestial'. She was beautiful little craft. She was built for my late owners Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy of Bombay. I commanded her for sometime. She was like a little man of war. She was intended for an opium smugler, not chosing that trade I resigned the command and went Chief Mate of the largest East Indiaman out of London named the 'Lord Louther' of 1700 register. In her I only remained but a short time as my late owners sent me Chief Mate of one of there large ships on £12.10 per month trading between Bombay and China. I remained by her till I commanded

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

her when my pay was £30 per month. Shortly after this event I commenced to speculate with my money and on the voyages I was rather fortunate but ever since 1844 latter part of that year I have nearly lost all I have made and never could get above. So that times in Bombay having failed in the shiping since I left, before ill fated fortune would further follow me by empering [impairing] my health and return to old Calidonia to try my luck there in getting the command of a vessel. I have shipped again as Chief Mate of a large London ship the Messrs Stuart 'Elphinstone' which is better than paying a passage. During all this time of vexatious trouble I always assisted my sisters with money to educate them but I do not know how I am to continue it till better luck will turn up. So there is a portion of the history of your ocean bird and care worn brother. Here he is now returning to his native land as poor as when he left but in good health and spirits with a hope for better

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

days. All my ambition now is to get the command of a ship to the Colonies that I may have an opportunity of seeing you. You must bear in mind in all my travels I have made many good friends and acquaintance and have the goodwill and wishes of all who know me or ever had any dealings with me and further I cannot blame myself any further than that may be being too ambitious. My known skill in my profession gaves me every hope yet of crowning my latter days with the extent of my ambition which is to join you and Sandy in eigher [either] of the colonies most advantageous for agriculture. Thus the care worn sailor will after driving ships gladly join the rest of his brothers and if necessary think it no shame to guide the plow with the same care he often has guided ships over the trackless ocean. This having

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

conveyed to you my history and intentions I return to family matter. I have great hope in all our dear orphant sisters and one and all of us must strive to aid and assist them. My determined wish is if I can put it into practice to take them to New Zealand if guided by your advice. Therefore I hope you will on receipt of this imidiately write and let me know what you think of it. Catherine & Annabella are fine girls. Poor Flora Ann has been unhealthy but I hear she is now getting better. Catherine & Annabella with dear Aunt McLean's attention have gleaned a very accomplished education to enable them to move in any circle. Having so far convey my intentions to you allow me to put a few questions. What is your oppinion of thus my plans? Your oppinion freely gave also project and plans invent [?] to sooner remove the family of Kilmoluaig from there native shores to meet a beloved brother on the wilds of blooming

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Taranaki. Words cannot convey the joyful picture. I think as I write these lines I see my noble brother coming on board to meet a brother who holds him and all his father's family most dear to him. Our youngest brother John is following the sea. I have heard he is likely to do well. I hope if I succeed in commanding a ship from home to have him as an officer under me as I have left Bombay and not likely to return there any more. When you answer this my address will be care of Rev Uncle Donald, Glenorchy. He is always shure to know what parts of this globe I may be as I always write him worthy man he is, thank God at last comfortable and few deserve it more. Aunt Jessy keeps house with him. I hear your cousins the McDugalds are not at all doing well, all too fond of the black bottle that fatal rogue

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

to which there sister fell a victim to. I had a great regard for Colena and would have carryed that regard further had I not heard of this misfortune. I hope you will have tidings of my marriage to one of my worthy cousins Catherine Douglas in my next, that is to say if I meet my wishes. I am in hopes her father will supply me with a ship. You of course have heard of them. They are very kind to our sisters. Catherine has spent some time in there amiable company. Colena McDugald long corresponded with me but I have since the beginning of 46 never answered her letters my sole reason being hearing of there frequent and deliberate use of liquors. They had a designe on Uncle Donald after he was worth knowing but happy I am he has been to wise to reject them all. Now my dearest brother adue for a time and may the blessed God guide & protect you in all your proceedings is the earnest prayer of your ever affectionate brother


Archibald J McLean

English (MD)

20 May 1847

Bombay

My dear brother

Your kind and welcome letter dated Taranaki Oct 23 /46 came to hand on the 18th inst two days before my departure from Bombay home. Words cannot convey the transport of joy it gave me to receive a letter from a brother. I so having and earnestly desired to hear from you. Abrade me not writing you well you might but when I tell you your address and place of abode in New Zealand was quite unknown to me you will excuse me as rest assured I never entered a port where any colonial vessel was laying but I made every inquiry as to your place of abode but all to no avail till this. Receiving your kind letter relieved me of my anxiety about your welfare. I am delighted at your success and trust God will endow you with health and happyness till the happy day will arrive I may have in my power to visit you in the land I have laid down as the spot to rest for all of our father's family who may follow the eldest of there tribe to be under the protection of there young and worthy brother on a settlement in New Zealand. You say you have had hard ships and trouble to contend with. I dare say my dear Don you have but what are they to what I have gone through. The reverse of fortune has followed me year after year since 1844. I must give some account of my good success first and then my downfall after I sailed from the Clyde in 1841 July 16th as Chief Mate of the barque 'Potentall' the ship I came out to Sidney with when you were there. A quarrel between me the Capt in China made me leave her there. I was friendless, however fortune took a good turn and I was engaged as sailing master of an armed brig on the salary of £120 per annum in her. I worked my way up to hanker after the English fleet the time of the war, came back to Hong Kong 9 month afterwards where I was taken much notice of, put in command of a large barque named the 'Hong Kong'. I commanded her for 4 months when the owners failed the vessel I sold, then again I was left to my own resources. However being so well known a week afterwards I was appointed to supperentend the building of the first vessel built in China built by Mr John Lamont a native of Tyree and a most excellent man and great friend of mine. I named her the 'Celestial'. She was beautiful little craft. She was built for my late owners Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy of Bombay. I commanded her for sometime. She was like a little man of war. She was intended for an opium smugler, not chosing that trade I resigned the command and went Chief Mate of the largest East Indiaman out of London named the 'Lord Louther' of 1700 register. In her I only remained but a short time as my late owners sent me Chief Mate of one of there large ships on £12.10 per month trading between Bombay and China. I remained by her till I commanded her when my pay was £30 per month. Shortly after this event I commenced to speculate with my money and on the voyages I was rather fortunate but ever since 1844 latter part of that year I have nearly lost all I have made and never could get above. So that times in Bombay having failed in the shiping since I left, before ill fated fortune would further follow me by empering [impairing] my health and return to old Calidonia to try my luck there in getting the command of a vessel. I have shipped again as Chief Mate of a large London ship the Messrs Stuart 'Elphinstone' which is better than paying a passage. During all this time of vexatious trouble I always assisted my sisters with money to educate them but I do not know how I am to continue it till better luck will turn up. So there is a portion of the history of your ocean bird and care worn brother. Here he is now returning to his native land as poor as when he left but in good health and spirits with a hope for better days. All my ambition now is to get the command of a ship to the Colonies that I may have an opportunity of seeing you. You must bear in mind in all my travels I have made many good friends and acquaintance and have the goodwill and wishes of all who know me or ever had any dealings with me and further I cannot blame myself any further than that may be being too ambitious. My known skill in my profession gaves me every hope yet of crowning my latter days with the extent of my ambition which is to join you and Sandy in eigher [either] of the colonies most advantageous for agriculture. Thus the care worn sailor will after driving ships gladly join the rest of his brothers and if necessary think it no shame to guide the plow with the same care he often has guided ships over the trackless ocean. This having conveyed to you my history and intentions I return to family matter. I have great hope in all our dear orphant sisters and one and all of us must strive to aid and assist them. My determined wish is if I can put it into practice to take them to New Zealand if guided by your advice. Therefore I hope you will on receipt of this imidiately write and let me know what you think of it. Catherine & Annabella are fine girls. Poor Flora Ann has been unhealthy but I hear she is now getting better. Catherine & Annabella with dear Aunt McLean's attention have gleaned a very accomplished education to enable them to move in any circle. Having so far convey my intentions to you allow me to put a few questions. What is your oppinion of thus my plans? Your oppinion freely gave also project and plans invent [?] to sooner remove the family of Kilmoluaig from there native shores to meet a beloved brother on the wilds of blooming Taranaki. Words cannot convey the joyful picture. I think as I write these lines I see my noble brother coming on board to meet a brother who holds him and all his father's family most dear to him. Our youngest brother John is following the sea. I have heard he is likely to do well. I hope if I succeed in commanding a ship from home to have him as an officer under me as I have left Bombay and not likely to return there any more. When you answer this my address will be care of Rev Uncle Donald, Glenorchy. He is always shure to know what parts of this globe I may be as I always write him worthy man he is, thank God at last comfortable and few deserve it more. Aunt Jessy keeps house with him. I hear your cousins the McDugalds are not at all doing well, all too fond of the black bottle that fatal rogue to which there sister fell a victim to. I had a great regard for Colena and would have carryed that regard further had I not heard of this misfortune. I hope you will have tidings of my marriage to one of my worthy cousins Catherine Douglas in my next, that is to say if I meet my wishes. I am in hopes her father will supply me with a ship. You of course have heard of them. They are very kind to our sisters. Catherine has spent some time in there amiable company. Colena McDugald long corresponded with me but I have since the beginning of 46 never answered her letters my sole reason being hearing of there frequent and deliberate use of liquors. They had a designe on Uncle Donald after he was worth knowing but happy I am he has been to wise to reject them all. Now my dearest brother adue for a time and may the blessed God guide & protect you in all your proceedings is the earnest prayer of your ever affectionate brother


Archibald J McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 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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