Object #1012547 from MS-Papers-0032-0826

9 pages written 3 Aug 1850 by Susan Douglas McLean in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 digitised items). Mainly letters between Susan Strang and her future husband Donald McLean. Includes a letter from her mother Susannah Strang to McLean, 1849; letter from E Shand to Susan Strang, written from Portobello, 1850 in which she gives her impressions of Dunedin

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

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Page 1 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 3rd 1850


My dear Mr McLean

All my employments for the day are over and I shall now sit down and write in answer to your letter which I received yesterday. I always like to write to you in the evening

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English (MD)

for I am quiet then and have nothing to disturb me. I intended to have written to you last Saturday but was prevented from doing so by Mrs Kelham's coming to spend the day and as the night was wet she remained till late on Sunday. On Monday I did not write as I could not get any person to take the letter to Papa's office. As usual there is no news in Wellington except that the 'Constantinople' and 'Poictiers' have arrived at last. We had letters by them. Poor Mama has been very unhappy for two or three days in consequence of a letter which she has received from that cousin whose

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English (MD)

likeness is in the study. I think you have heard Mama talk of her. It is now about five years since her marriage to a person who it appears has married her for her money. He is now very unkind to her and she is quite miserable. How much better it would have been had she come out to New Zealand

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English (MD)

instead of getting married at her age. I think it was very foolish as she is a few years older than Mama but I cannot see any reason why she should not come out now. She ought to give the nasty old ill-natured creature the half of her money since it was that he liked and not herself

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English (MD)

and leave him and come and [crossed out] to stay with Mama. I am sure I would rather give him the whole than be tormented but I fear she will not do this. She is much more submissive than I would be were I in her situation but I am really in earnest when I say that I should like my cousin to come out. She would be a great comfort to Mama for from childhood they have been like sisters. When I saw your letter dated from Rangitikei I thought that you were on your way in and I was quite disappointed to find that you were going back to Wanganui. I wish you had not told me that you were going 100 miles up the

Page 6 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

river in a canoe for I cannot help thinking that it is dangerous. I shall be quite uneasy till I hear of your return to Wanganui. You will say that this is very foolish but I am a great coward for boats. We are going to have a wedding soon. Miss Redish is at last going to be married

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English (MD)

to Mr Hargreaves . The marriage is to take place when the 'Mariner' arrives from England which is bringing out their furniture and as it was to leave on the 1st of April it may be expected daily. It is expected that Miss Murray is going to be married to

Page 8 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Mr Brandon. I can scarcely believe that such a pretty girl would marry him. If it is true I must say that I do not admire her choice but I think that most likely there is no truth in the report. It is perhaps like a great many of the Wellington stories.

I am glad to hear that you are not quite so lazy as you were in the morning. I am doing all I can to get over the bad custom of sleeping till till [crossed out] late. I know that I am very lazy in the morning but I think that you were much worse. I am quite determined now that I will endeavour in future to get up early

Page 9 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

for I see that always when I rise soon that I can get more work done during the day. I must now bid you good night as I have got a bad headache and I find that writing makes it worse. I think that it is caused by sewing a good deal without having any exercise. Mama sends her kindest regards and believe me


Your affectionate
Susan D Strang

[Note on transcription: Ellen Redish married Edward Allen Hargreaves in 1851.]

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 3rd 1850


My dear Mr McLean

All my employments for the day are over and I shall now sit down and write in answer to your letter which I received yesterday. I always like to write to you in the evening for I am quiet then and have nothing to disturb me. I intended to have written to you last Saturday but was prevented from doing so by Mrs Kelham's coming to spend the day and as the night was wet she remained till late on Sunday. On Monday I did not write as I could not get any person to take the letter to Papa's office. As usual there is no news in Wellington except that the 'Constantinople' and 'Poictiers' have arrived at last. We had letters by them. Poor Mama has been very unhappy for two or three days in consequence of a letter which she has received from that cousin whose likeness is in the study. I think you have heard Mama talk of her. It is now about five years since her marriage to a person who it appears has married her for her money. He is now very unkind to her and she is quite miserable. How much better it would have been had she come out to New Zealand instead of getting married at her age. I think it was very foolish as she is a few years older than Mama but I cannot see any reason why she should not come out now. She ought to give the nasty old ill-natured creature the half of her money since it was that he liked and not herself and leave him and come and [crossed out] to stay with Mama. I am sure I would rather give him the whole than be tormented but I fear she will not do this. She is much more submissive than I would be were I in her situation but I am really in earnest when I say that I should like my cousin to come out. She would be a great comfort to Mama for from childhood they have been like sisters. When I saw your letter dated from Rangitikei I thought that you were on your way in and I was quite disappointed to find that you were going back to Wanganui. I wish you had not told me that you were going 100 miles up the river in a canoe for I cannot help thinking that it is dangerous. I shall be quite uneasy till I hear of your return to Wanganui. You will say that this is very foolish but I am a great coward for boats. We are going to have a wedding soon. Miss Redish is at last going to be married to Mr Hargreaves . The marriage is to take place when the 'Mariner' arrives from England which is bringing out their furniture and as it was to leave on the 1st of April it may be expected daily. It is expected that Miss Murray is going to be married to Mr Brandon. I can scarcely believe that such a pretty girl would marry him. If it is true I must say that I do not admire her choice but I think that most likely there is no truth in the report. It is perhaps like a great many of the Wellington stories.

I am glad to hear that you are not quite so lazy as you were in the morning. I am doing all I can to get over the bad custom of sleeping till till [crossed out] late. I know that I am very lazy in the morning but I think that you were much worse. I am quite determined now that I will endeavour in future to get up early for I see that always when I rise soon that I can get more work done during the day. I must now bid you good night as I have got a bad headache and I find that writing makes it worse. I think that it is caused by sewing a good deal without having any exercise. Mama sends her kindest regards and believe me


Your affectionate
Susan D Strang

[Note on transcription: Ellen Redish married Edward Allen Hargreaves in 1851.]

Part of:
Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 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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