Object #1017525 from MS-Papers-0032-0811

13 pages written 27 Aug 1847 by Catherine Isabella McLean to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Catherine Hart (sister); Catherine Isabella McLean (sister-in-law), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0811 (71 digitised items). Catherine McLean (later Hart) wrote from Stobs Castle, Hawick, Roxburghshire and from Edinburgh, Scotland prior to her arrival in New Zealand in 1861, and from Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Christchurch, 1861-1875, including many undated letters and fragments. The folder contains 9 letters written by Catherine Isabella McLean, from Maraekakaho and Glenorchy, Hawke's Bay, 1861-1875.Includes one letter written by Annabella McLean from Edinburgh in Nov 1862

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

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Page 1 of 13. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Stobs Castle Hawick
August 27th 1854


My dear Donald

I had a letter from our Uncle a few days past from which I was glad to hear that he had received a letter from you, mentioning the safe arrival of Archy McInnes.

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English (MD)




I do hope that he will get on well and that he will be a comfort to you as well as you to him. It grieves us very much my dear brother that you have of late given up writing to any of us. We are always glad to hear of your welfare both from Uncle and our good worthy Aunt but for all that we would much rather have a letter from you to ourselves. I have sent you 3 letters and Annabella one since I had your last but I very much fear that you got one of them as I am sure if you had that you would have written us.

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English (MD)


At the time we had the very melancholy accounts of dear Susan's death I began to write to you but ere it was finished I was seized with a very severe illness, a rheumatic fever which lasted for 7 weeks, not able to move a limb, but through God's mercy I got better and went for 2 months to the sea side which did me much good. One of the months I spent with my dear Aunt and cousins in Wigtown shire (Stranraer). Dear Lady Boswell (with whom I have been for 4 years) did every thing that she possible could for my recovery. I [crossed out] Indeed had I been her own sister she could have done no more.

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English (MD)


How thankfull I ought to be to the giver of all good, for placing me with kind, good Lady Boswell, when I had nowhere that I could call a home to go to but he who has promised to be a Father to the fatherless and the protection of all who put their trust in him has truly been this to all of us. I am most anxious to hear how your dear little baby is getting on. I believe that you have him with his grandfather. Darling pet. I wish that I was out there to look after him for you. I hope with God's blessing that he will grow up to be a comfort to you.

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English (MD)


My dearest Donald before proceeding further I must tell you of something that perhaps will astonish you but of which I hope you will approve and that is that I intend going out to New Zealand with my name changed but only with your approbation. My friend is a Mr Turnbull, a farmer in this county and a man who bears a most excellent character. The only fault that I have to Mr Turnbull is that he is not so polished in his manners as I should wish my husband to be â?? but perhaps this is only a feeling of pride in which I should not indulge.

Page 6 of 13. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


Having been brought up in the country all his life he can not be expected to be so smart as those who have seen more of the world. If we do go together it is our intention to go to New Zealand and buy land. The rents are so extremely high here that really a tenant has no hope of getting on. Mr T is very anxious for me to go in Spring but I will rather wait and have your advice which I hope you will not be long in sending. He also desired me with his compliments to ask you to be kind enough and send us

Page 7 of 13. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

all particulars about the price of land and other things connected with it which you will better understand than I can write it. I believe it is a difficult thing to get work men and things for working in your country if so pleas let us know. Should God be pleased to spare me and that you will advise me to go to New Zealand I shall take dear Annabella out with me. If you come home home as I do hope you will, God willing, perhaps you will take Flora Anne out with you. It will be a very great trial for me to leave her behind,

Page 8 of 13. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

but I could hardly ask Mr Turnbull to do more than take Annabella. I must now thank you for the money which you so kindly sent us through our aunt. Five pounds with which we bought a dress the price of the money which you sent to uncle (how much I do not know).

We have not as yet thank God needed any of it with the exception of 2 pounds he sent me when ill. Flora Anne had a letter from dearest Archy John this week from New York. He is now on the fair way of doing well again. May the Lord prosper keep

Page 9 of 13. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

and guide him. Dear fellow he has been a most affectionate brother to us. He commands a very fine ship which sails between New York, Calofernia. Of John we had tidings a short time ago. He was wrecked poor fellow on his way from the Mauritius to Hobart Town but whether he has got another I ship or not I can not say. It was a Capt Carmigal a great friend of his who told us of his misfortune. Alexander never writes to us but we have frequently heard of him and by all accounts he is very well of, settled in Melbourne

English (MD)

Stobs Castle Hawick
August 27th 1854


My dear Donald

I had a letter from our Uncle a few days past from which I was glad to hear that he had received a letter from you, mentioning the safe arrival of Archy McInnes.



I do hope that he will get on well and that he will be a comfort to you as well as you to him. It grieves us very much my dear brother that you have of late given up writing to any of us. We are always glad to hear of your welfare both from Uncle and our good worthy Aunt but for all that we would much rather have a letter from you to ourselves. I have sent you 3 letters and Annabella one since I had your last but I very much fear that you got one of them as I am sure if you had that you would have written us.

At the time we had the very melancholy accounts of dear Susan's death I began to write to you but ere it was finished I was seized with a very severe illness, a rheumatic fever which lasted for 7 weeks, not able to move a limb, but through God's mercy I got better and went for 2 months to the sea side which did me much good. One of the months I spent with my dear Aunt and cousins in Wigtown shire (Stranraer). Dear Lady Boswell (with whom I have been for 4 years) did every thing that she possible could for my recovery. I [crossed out] Indeed had I been her own sister she could have done no more.

How thankfull I ought to be to the giver of all good, for placing me with kind, good Lady Boswell, when I had nowhere that I could call a home to go to but he who has promised to be a Father to the fatherless and the protection of all who put their trust in him has truly been this to all of us. I am most anxious to hear how your dear little baby is getting on. I believe that you have him with his grandfather. Darling pet. I wish that I was out there to look after him for you. I hope with God's blessing that he will grow up to be a comfort to you.

My dearest Donald before proceeding further I must tell you of something that perhaps will astonish you but of which I hope you will approve and that is that I intend going out to New Zealand with my name changed but only with your approbation. My friend is a Mr Turnbull, a farmer in this county and a man who bears a most excellent character. The only fault that I have to Mr Turnbull is that he is not so polished in his manners as I should wish my husband to be â?? but perhaps this is only a feeling of pride in which I should not indulge.

Having been brought up in the country all his life he can not be expected to be so smart as those who have seen more of the world. If we do go together it is our intention to go to New Zealand and buy land. The rents are so extremely high here that really a tenant has no hope of getting on. Mr T is very anxious for me to go in Spring but I will rather wait and have your advice which I hope you will not be long in sending. He also desired me with his compliments to ask you to be kind enough and send us all particulars about the price of land and other things connected with it which you will better understand than I can write it. I believe it is a difficult thing to get work men and things for working in your country if so pleas let us know. Should God be pleased to spare me and that you will advise me to go to New Zealand I shall take dear Annabella out with me. If you come home home as I do hope you will, God willing, perhaps you will take Flora Anne out with you. It will be a very great trial for me to leave her behind, but I could hardly ask Mr Turnbull to do more than take Annabella. I must now thank you for the money which you so kindly sent us through our aunt. Five pounds with which we bought a dress the price of the money which you sent to uncle (how much I do not know).

We have not as yet thank God needed any of it with the exception of 2 pounds he sent me when ill. Flora Anne had a letter from dearest Archy John this week from New York. He is now on the fair way of doing well again. May the Lord prosper keep and guide him. Dear fellow he has been a most affectionate brother to us. He commands a very fine ship which sails between New York, Calofernia. Of John we had tidings a short time ago. He was wrecked poor fellow on his way from the Mauritius to Hobart Town but whether he has got another I ship or not I can not say. It was a Capt Carmigal a great friend of his who told us of his misfortune. Alexander never writes to us but we have frequently heard of him and by all accounts he is very well of, settled in Melbourne and married. I got his address and wrote him in Jany last and I do hope that he will not be so void of heart as not answer it. Our friends in the west are all in their usual way. Aunt Jessie I am glad to say is much improved in health.

Dear good Aunt McLean is getting very frail but at her advanced time of life we can look for anything else. I am thankful that you are so mindful of her and so is dearest Archy John. He sent her five pound not long ago and five to each of us.

Now my dear Donald I think that I have told you all that I can remember and I do hope you will not be long in writing me with your advice. Mr Turnbull is considered a very interprising and excellent farmer in this neibhourhood and I think that He would do well in New Zealand. Give my love to Archy McInnes and give a very affectionate kiss to my darling wee nephew for me. Dear child may God bless and keep him from all evil. When you write me please address care Lady Boswell, 44 Queen St, Edinburgh.



We go to Edinburgh in winter and here in summer.


My dearest Donald may God's blessing attend you in all your undertakings is the sincere prayer of your ever affectionate sister
Catherine McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Catherine Hart (sister); Catherine Isabella McLean (sister-in-law), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0811 (71 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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