Object #1012893 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

5 pages written 16 Nov 1860 by Archibald John McLean in Maraekakaho 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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English (MD)

16 November 1860

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

It is now some time since I wrote you and I mentioned in my last I would write again after docking. We docked two days ago but we have not such a good lambing as was expected. It would have been a capital lambing but when the ewes was in the thickest time lambing down their was very wett and cold weather and hundreds of them died. There is 1200 lambs this time making in all 2100 this season which gaves a percentage of 60. We are now very busy preparing for shearing. We are going to wash the dry ewes and weathers tommorrow if all goes well. I was in great hopes you would be down here at shearing time this year but I now fear you well not come at all. I do sincerely hope you will try and come down for a week or two if possible for I am very anxious to see you. I expected to here from you but I have been disapointed however it cannot be helped. I was placed in dreadful distress 10 days back bye fearful report that was circulated here to the effect that you had been killed by the Maories. Alex was at the port at the time. I dreaded his coming home fearing the report was

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English (MD)

true but thanks be to God he brought home the cheering news of your being quite well. No one can conceive the state of my feellings for three days. I was blaming myself in the most regret manner for not having seen you when here last but God in his mercy has still spaired you and I hope and trust that you will be careful in future going among those people for there is no knowing among those people what the savage mind may do when in a state of excitement. Everything works well here this season, plenty of grass and the English grass in the padocks is doing remarkable well and will produce a large quantity of seed if the weather will be favourable the time of cutting it. The entire is now in splendid condition in the stable. I mean the Auckland horse. Samson your own breeding is also a fine horse and works in the plow or cart first rate. He is in a padock at the bush a natural padock runing with a few mears. His stock from last year's covering are much thought of here. There is also a St Patrick colt entire out of the old Hobartown mear that is greatly thought of. Alex has gaving him a few mears also. There is one great comfort that the run is all freehold and in the course of a few years with perserverance in improvements it will be a valuable property.

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English (MD)

The gardin is going to do well this year. We will have plenty of vegetables. They are a great saving about a place, potatoes in particular. We felt the want of them very much this year. I have not written any of my sisters this long time now. I never was so long of writing them but really I do not no what to say till I see you. They were in hopes your going home and of course that is now prevented for a time but I hope not for long. Alex is doing a great deal better now and paying more attention to his busness. I am thankful to say but there is room for improvement yet but it may come on by degrees. I never say anything to him for I find it is the best way he has got such a temper. Any one but a relation can do better with him. There is no doubt but he is a capital manager if he was a little more careful about money matters. I will not say any more now till we meet which I hope will not be long. I am very much disapointed at not getting a letter from my wife by the last mail. In her former letter she said she would be writing me from London on her way out inclosing a policy of insurance on her life and a copy of all the things she would have with her. She told me in her last she had taken her passage in the ship Strathallan to sail about the 14 of August if so she may be here soon now. Sometimes I wish I had not incouraged her to come till this war was over or till I could be doing something for myself but I am certain if she was once here she would be of some advantage at the station. If we only had a small bit of a house for ourselves and Alex clear of the men which if I had the timber I would put up myself. £40 would pay for saving all the timber. That would build a nice little place but when you will come down

Page 4 of 5. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I know you will do something for me. I hear from M Fitzgerald that Douglas is getting a fine boy and learning fast. I hope you will bring him down with you if you come. I never here from Canterbury now but I hope they are well.


Ever your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

English (MD)

16 November 1860

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

It is now some time since I wrote you and I mentioned in my last I would write again after docking. We docked two days ago but we have not such a good lambing as was expected. It would have been a capital lambing but when the ewes was in the thickest time lambing down their was very wett and cold weather and hundreds of them died. There is 1200 lambs this time making in all 2100 this season which gaves a percentage of 60. We are now very busy preparing for shearing. We are going to wash the dry ewes and weathers tommorrow if all goes well. I was in great hopes you would be down here at shearing time this year but I now fear you well not come at all. I do sincerely hope you will try and come down for a week or two if possible for I am very anxious to see you. I expected to here from you but I have been disapointed however it cannot be helped. I was placed in dreadful distress 10 days back bye fearful report that was circulated here to the effect that you had been killed by the Maories. Alex was at the port at the time. I dreaded his coming home fearing the report was true but thanks be to God he brought home the cheering news of your being quite well. No one can conceive the state of my feellings for three days. I was blaming myself in the most regret manner for not having seen you when here last but God in his mercy has still spaired you and I hope and trust that you will be careful in future going among those people for there is no knowing among those people what the savage mind may do when in a state of excitement. Everything works well here this season, plenty of grass and the English grass in the padocks is doing remarkable well and will produce a large quantity of seed if the weather will be favourable the time of cutting it. The entire is now in splendid condition in the stable. I mean the Auckland horse. Samson your own breeding is also a fine horse and works in the plow or cart first rate. He is in a padock at the bush a natural padock runing with a few mears. His stock from last year's covering are much thought of here. There is also a St Patrick colt entire out of the old Hobartown mear that is greatly thought of. Alex has gaving him a few mears also. There is one great comfort that the run is all freehold and in the course of a few years with perserverance in improvements it will be a valuable property. The gardin is going to do well this year. We will have plenty of vegetables. They are a great saving about a place, potatoes in particular. We felt the want of them very much this year. I have not written any of my sisters this long time now. I never was so long of writing them but really I do not no what to say till I see you. They were in hopes your going home and of course that is now prevented for a time but I hope not for long. Alex is doing a great deal better now and paying more attention to his busness. I am thankful to say but there is room for improvement yet but it may come on by degrees. I never say anything to him for I find it is the best way he has got such a temper. Any one but a relation can do better with him. There is no doubt but he is a capital manager if he was a little more careful about money matters. I will not say any more now till we meet which I hope will not be long. I am very much disapointed at not getting a letter from my wife by the last mail. In her former letter she said she would be writing me from London on her way out inclosing a policy of insurance on her life and a copy of all the things she would have with her. She told me in her last she had taken her passage in the ship Strathallan to sail about the 14 of August if so she may be here soon now. Sometimes I wish I had not incouraged her to come till this war was over or till I could be doing something for myself but I am certain if she was once here she would be of some advantage at the station. If we only had a small bit of a house for ourselves and Alex clear of the men which if I had the timber I would put up myself. £40 would pay for saving all the timber. That would build a nice little place but when you will come down I know you will do something for me. I hear from M Fitzgerald that Douglas is getting a fine boy and learning fast. I hope you will bring him down with you if you come. I never here from Canterbury now but I hope they are well.


Ever your affectionate brother
Archibald John 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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