Object #1018794 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

7 pages written 11 Aug 1852 by Susan Douglas McLean in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items). The letters from Donald are written from Porirua Barracks, Otaki, Rangitikei, Waikanae, Wanganui and Taranaki. Susan's letters are addressed from Dalmuir Hill (her parent's home) and Wellington Terrace. Many letters are undated and were written prior to their marriage in Aug 1851. Includes correspondence between Susan McLean and her mother Susan Strang (2 letters, undated); one letter from Helen Anne Wilson to Mrs McLean, 30 August 1852

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

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Page 1 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 11th [1852]


My dearest husband

I have got over all my work for the day and I now sit down to write to my Donald which is the only pleasure I have when he is away. I am afraid love my last letter was a little pettish but you must forgive your pussy as I felt so much disappointment by hearing that you would not be home as soon as I expected besides the other annoyances I mentioned. I went for a walk to Mrs Paul's yesterday and I saw Mrs Bell there who was grumbling about her husband being away. She said she thought we might as well have none seeing they were never at home. I went a little way down the beach today and afterwards called with Papa for Mrs Stephen's. They are going to move this week into Mr Domett's house. I do not think

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English (MD)

I told you the news Dr Featherstone gave me the last time he was up. He said that Dr Fitzgerald has been busy making converts and that Mrs Grimstone has turned Roman Catholic and he is now working hard with Mrs Waitt. It is thought that she will turn. Could you believe it possible that a Scotch woman and having been brought up so strictly could for a moment think of changing. I fear however it is true from what I was told today. Miss Kelly called yesterday and whilst I was out of the room she began telling Ellen Paul about Mrs Grimstone's conversion. She seemed quite delighted and told what was quite untrue that she had not been pushed to change. Now everyone knows that Dr Fitzgerald has been there constantly. I think it would be much better of Dr Fitzgerald would attend to his patients instead of trying to convert people. I heard whether it is true or not but I do not know that

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English (MD)

Mr Waitt has forbid him to enter the house. It is really distressing to see the way the Roman Catholic religion is prospering just now. I do not wonder that ignorant people should be led away but how those who have been brought up from childhood Protestant and have studied their Bibles, besides having read a history of the dreadful crimes which have been allowed by the Roman Catholics, how they can then be blind enough to turn I cannot imagine. I must I am afraid conclude my own darling for tonight. May God bless you my own dear husband.

Friday night
I received you letters of the 30th July and 5 August with one [crossed out] this afternoon and although it gave me great pleasure to hear from my dearest Donald yet I felt much disappointed to hear that I had no chance of seeing you soon. I was in hopes that you would tell me in your letter by today's mail that

Page 4 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

your business would soon be finished and that I might expect soon to see my own dearest love. I am afraid however from what you say that there is little chance of that. I would have given anything to have had you at home last night as I was afraid something was going to happen. I went out about twelve yesterday to get somethings on the beach and on my way I felt very unwell. We came home by the Terrace and thought we would never get to Mrs Sharp's as I wished to go there to rest a little. I was not in pain but I felt faint. When I got to Mrs Sharp's I had a glass of wine which revived me and I remained till 5 when I saw Papa passing and I walked home with him. I had not been long in the house till I again felt ill and in pain so I sent for Mrs Kirton. She said she thought it would pass away again and that it was of no

Page 5 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

use sending for the Doctor. She remained all night and in the morning I was quite well again. I do not feel so well this morning but perhaps it may go off before morning as it did before. I really think however love that it will not be long now till I am taken in. Dr Featherstone says that the end of the month will be the latest. It is dreadful to think that you will not be here but as it cannot be otherwise I must submit patiently and look to God for comfort and support. It is perhaps after all better that you should be away till it is over as you would feel so anxious about me. There is one thing we are certain of and it is this that God causes everything to happen for the best. I must conclude for tonight my dearest husband as I would like to go to bed. I am in

Page 6 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

hopes of hearing from you soon by the 'Lucy James'. I saw a vessel signaled today, perhaps it is it. Good night my own Donald.

Saturday afternoon
I have only a very short time to add a few lines to my letter as I expect every moment that it and your papers will be sent for. I have been hunting everywhere for the bill of the wardrobe and other things but I cannot find it in the desk. Most likely it will be in the tin box and if I have time before the man comes I shall send it. We had pleasant night again last night. We had to send off for Mrs Kirton and the Doctor at 12 o'clock. Poor Mr Kirton was in bed. It was a great shame to disturb her as I got better again. The Doctor says he does not think I will be really ill for a fortnight but he has forbid me

Page 7 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

going out again except in the garden. I hope we shall not have the same over again tonight. It is really quite laughable that my illness allways begins as it gets dark. I do not know what I would do without Ellen Paul for when I get nervous she and Jessie laugh at me and keep up my spirits. Jessie is so cross with you you may expect a scold from her when you come home. She says she will never forgive you for being away just now. I must now conclude and have another hunt for the bill. What an old plague my Donald is to give me so much trouble. Goodbye my own darling husband. God bless and preserve you and believe me


Your own affectionate
Susan D McLean

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 11th [1852]


My dearest husband

I have got over all my work for the day and I now sit down to write to my Donald which is the only pleasure I have when he is away. I am afraid love my last letter was a little pettish but you must forgive your pussy as I felt so much disappointment by hearing that you would not be home as soon as I expected besides the other annoyances I mentioned. I went for a walk to Mrs Paul's yesterday and I saw Mrs Bell there who was grumbling about her husband being away. She said she thought we might as well have none seeing they were never at home. I went a little way down the beach today and afterwards called with Papa for Mrs Stephen's. They are going to move this week into Mr Domett's house. I do not think I told you the news Dr Featherstone gave me the last time he was up. He said that Dr Fitzgerald has been busy making converts and that Mrs Grimstone has turned Roman Catholic and he is now working hard with Mrs Waitt. It is thought that she will turn. Could you believe it possible that a Scotch woman and having been brought up so strictly could for a moment think of changing. I fear however it is true from what I was told today. Miss Kelly called yesterday and whilst I was out of the room she began telling Ellen Paul about Mrs Grimstone's conversion. She seemed quite delighted and told what was quite untrue that she had not been pushed to change. Now everyone knows that Dr Fitzgerald has been there constantly. I think it would be much better of Dr Fitzgerald would attend to his patients instead of trying to convert people. I heard whether it is true or not but I do not know that Mr Waitt has forbid him to enter the house. It is really distressing to see the way the Roman Catholic religion is prospering just now. I do not wonder that ignorant people should be led away but how those who have been brought up from childhood Protestant and have studied their Bibles, besides having read a history of the dreadful crimes which have been allowed by the Roman Catholics, how they can then be blind enough to turn I cannot imagine. I must I am afraid conclude my own darling for tonight. May God bless you my own dear husband.

Friday night
I received you letters of the 30th July and 5 August with one [crossed out] this afternoon and although it gave me great pleasure to hear from my dearest Donald yet I felt much disappointed to hear that I had no chance of seeing you soon. I was in hopes that you would tell me in your letter by today's mail that your business would soon be finished and that I might expect soon to see my own dearest love. I am afraid however from what you say that there is little chance of that. I would have given anything to have had you at home last night as I was afraid something was going to happen. I went out about twelve yesterday to get somethings on the beach and on my way I felt very unwell. We came home by the Terrace and thought we would never get to Mrs Sharp's as I wished to go there to rest a little. I was not in pain but I felt faint. When I got to Mrs Sharp's I had a glass of wine which revived me and I remained till 5 when I saw Papa passing and I walked home with him. I had not been long in the house till I again felt ill and in pain so I sent for Mrs Kirton. She said she thought it would pass away again and that it was of no use sending for the Doctor. She remained all night and in the morning I was quite well again. I do not feel so well this morning but perhaps it may go off before morning as it did before. I really think however love that it will not be long now till I am taken in. Dr Featherstone says that the end of the month will be the latest. It is dreadful to think that you will not be here but as it cannot be otherwise I must submit patiently and look to God for comfort and support. It is perhaps after all better that you should be away till it is over as you would feel so anxious about me. There is one thing we are certain of and it is this that God causes everything to happen for the best. I must conclude for tonight my dearest husband as I would like to go to bed. I am in hopes of hearing from you soon by the 'Lucy James'. I saw a vessel signaled today, perhaps it is it. Good night my own Donald.

Saturday afternoon
I have only a very short time to add a few lines to my letter as I expect every moment that it and your papers will be sent for. I have been hunting everywhere for the bill of the wardrobe and other things but I cannot find it in the desk. Most likely it will be in the tin box and if I have time before the man comes I shall send it. We had pleasant night again last night. We had to send off for Mrs Kirton and the Doctor at 12 o'clock. Poor Mr Kirton was in bed. It was a great shame to disturb her as I got better again. The Doctor says he does not think I will be really ill for a fortnight but he has forbid me going out again except in the garden. I hope we shall not have the same over again tonight. It is really quite laughable that my illness allways begins as it gets dark. I do not know what I would do without Ellen Paul for when I get nervous she and Jessie laugh at me and keep up my spirits. Jessie is so cross with you you may expect a scold from her when you come home. She says she will never forgive you for being away just now. I must now conclude and have another hunt for the bill. What an old plague my Donald is to give me so much trouble. Goodbye my own darling husband. God bless and preserve you and believe me


Your own affectionate
Susan D McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 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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