Object #1012974 from MS-Papers-0032-0816

9 pages written 15 Mar 1861 by Annabella McLean in Glenorchy 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 MD) appears below.

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Page 1 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Manse of Glenorchy
March 15th /61


My dear brother

It is now a long time since I heard from you that I get very anxious not knowing what your feelings may be. So many fears and disquietudes seize my thoughts that I feel so unhappy lest my letters or my movements may have displeased you but as to that I trust I may

Page 2 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I may be unnecessarily sensitive as more probably the true cause is that you are too much engaged with public affairs to write private letters. Uncle wrote you by last mail & I by the two former, one of which was for little Douglas. Did it amuse him? I teased Uncle to shew me his letter but he got cross in his way of it and would not. I know he wishes to retain me here as Aunt Helen is by no means better which is a very desirable home if I lay aside in all expectations of going to New Zealand, my education is sufficiently adequate for such a sphere as this or indeed any other I may have the prospect of in this country but not such as to render me useful in the capacity you anticipate. For that I must have ten years longer and if enabled to go where I am desirous of I am sure I shall not disappoint your hopes in that respect [by in by?]

Page 3 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I shall never go, be the inducement was so tempting unless competent & acquit myself in the best of society. We hear that peace is about being restored but even although we fear your visit home will still be retarded. Uncle never passes a night without speaking of you. Poor man no Father could be more devoted to a child than he is to you. Indeed he is more attached to our family than any of the others. The McInnes are so

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English (MD)

concentrated in self and their own interests but for all that a very genteel exemplary family. I admire Duncan & Johny very much. The girls I do not know but I believe well accomplished. Archy gets no better. Oh I am very sorry for the family is thought to be very consumptive. We were disappointed in Capt McDougall not coming up to visit us here he is such a general favourite being very ill with the gout recently we had several other very pleasant visitors who we enjoyed very much.

Page 5 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

There was a gentleman here for sometime, brother to Moses Campbell I believe, an intimate friend of yours. He is a Colonel in the army and been to almost every country in the globe except Constantinople. We have a ploughing match here today & Uncle's horses & man are fully equipped [and unless than compitting for the prize ?]. There was a concert in the Free Church the other evening at which Un[cle] gave the speech of the night and so gaily distributed a few prizes that were given. He never appears to such advantage as when excited. Mr McLean though an excellent man is very party spirited and I fear a too mean opponent to much influence in the parish but his great loss has been being left with Aunt Helen for her mind never was very strong and consequently could not guide him and she possessed not that which commands the respect of the people and the house neither might kept nor conducted as gentleman's establishment

Page 6 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

should be. The situation of the manse & the Glen itself is most beautiful so much so that I could bring my mind to have no wish beyond it and now that Spring is coming you can't think how it rivets one just like what the imagination would picture a fairy grove. I have seen many places but none, oh none that I adore like this. There is something in the beauty and retirement of nature so congenial to my feelings that it affords me more

Page 7 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

happiness than the most tempting gaieties of city life for which I possess neither taste nor inclination. I am now in daily expectation of hearing from my dear sisters. Painful has been my anxiety regarding them all winter, so much so that I could not have studied to advantage had I remained at school. The domestic duties here have been such a relieve [?] to my mind that I do not regret coming. How I miss my beloved

Page 8 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Catherine. It is now that I know & feel all that she was to me. Her image haunts me night & day. My most trivial wants were sure to meet with a mother's care from her. Mrs McLean I much admired for her magnanimity of mind and I am sure you will very soon come to be very partial to her also. What will they do now at the McLean station having to become subject to petticoat government. I doubt Sandy will rebel! Having so long held the sway of the realm. I am glad little Douglas keeps so well and getting on to your wishes at school. Uncle regrets you not bringing him home but that would not be for his advantage at present. With our united love to my brothers & sisters when you see them.

Yours my dear brother


Very affy
Annabella McLean

Page 9 of 9. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


If not inclined to write just send me a paper. Adieu. A M L

English (MD)

Manse of Glenorchy
March 15th /61


My dear brother

It is now a long time since I heard from you that I get very anxious not knowing what your feelings may be. So many fears and disquietudes seize my thoughts that I feel so unhappy lest my letters or my movements may have displeased you but as to that I trust I may I may be unnecessarily sensitive as more probably the true cause is that you are too much engaged with public affairs to write private letters. Uncle wrote you by last mail & I by the two former, one of which was for little Douglas. Did it amuse him? I teased Uncle to shew me his letter but he got cross in his way of it and would not. I know he wishes to retain me here as Aunt Helen is by no means better which is a very desirable home if I lay aside in all expectations of going to New Zealand, my education is sufficiently adequate for such a sphere as this or indeed any other I may have the prospect of in this country but not such as to render me useful in the capacity you anticipate. For that I must have ten years longer and if enabled to go where I am desirous of I am sure I shall not disappoint your hopes in that respect [by in by?] I shall never go, be the inducement was so tempting unless competent & acquit myself in the best of society. We hear that peace is about being restored but even although we fear your visit home will still be retarded. Uncle never passes a night without speaking of you. Poor man no Father could be more devoted to a child than he is to you. Indeed he is more attached to our family than any of the others. The McInnes are so concentrated in self and their own interests but for all that a very genteel exemplary family. I admire Duncan & Johny very much. The girls I do not know but I believe well accomplished. Archy gets no better. Oh I am very sorry for the family is thought to be very consumptive. We were disappointed in Capt McDougall not coming up to visit us here he is such a general favourite being very ill with the gout recently we had several other very pleasant visitors who we enjoyed very much. There was a gentleman here for sometime, brother to Moses Campbell I believe, an intimate friend of yours. He is a Colonel in the army and been to almost every country in the globe except Constantinople. We have a ploughing match here today & Uncle's horses & man are fully equipped [and unless than compitting for the prize ?]. There was a concert in the Free Church the other evening at which Un[cle] gave the speech of the night and so gaily distributed a few prizes that were given. He never appears to such advantage as when excited. Mr McLean though an excellent man is very party spirited and I fear a too mean opponent to much influence in the parish but his great loss has been being left with Aunt Helen for her mind never was very strong and consequently could not guide him and she possessed not that which commands the respect of the people and the house neither might kept nor conducted as gentleman's establishment should be. The situation of the manse & the Glen itself is most beautiful so much so that I could bring my mind to have no wish beyond it and now that Spring is coming you can't think how it rivets one just like what the imagination would picture a fairy grove. I have seen many places but none, oh none that I adore like this. There is something in the beauty and retirement of nature so congenial to my feelings that it affords me more happiness than the most tempting gaieties of city life for which I possess neither taste nor inclination. I am now in daily expectation of hearing from my dear sisters. Painful has been my anxiety regarding them all winter, so much so that I could not have studied to advantage had I remained at school. The domestic duties here have been such a relieve [?] to my mind that I do not regret coming. How I miss my beloved Catherine. It is now that I know & feel all that she was to me. Her image haunts me night & day. My most trivial wants were sure to meet with a mother's care from her. Mrs McLean I much admired for her magnanimity of mind and I am sure you will very soon come to be very partial to her also. What will they do now at the McLean station having to become subject to petticoat government. I doubt Sandy will rebel! Having so long held the sway of the realm. I am glad little Douglas keeps so well and getting on to your wishes at school. Uncle regrets you not bringing him home but that would not be for his advantage at present. With our united love to my brothers & sisters when you see them.

Yours my dear brother


Very affy
Annabella McLean

If not inclined to write just send me a paper. Adieu. A M L

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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