Object #1023997 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 13 Aug 1852 by Sir Donald McLean in Taranaki Region to Susan Douglas 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 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Taranaki
13 August 1852


My own dearest Puss

Your letters of the 3rd inst have reached me and nothing can exceed the pleasure and thankfulness with which I sit down to acknowledge the receipt of them. It was very kind of David Hunter to give you notice that they were sending up a native to enquire for Mr Govett who I am glad to say is getting much better. I was asked to go out to an evening party tonight but your letters are a greater pleasure to me than all the parties I can attend at Taranaki. Each letter gives me additional proof of your affection and makes me feel more unhappy the longer I stay away from you. Taranaki, delightful a place as it is, has now lost most of its former attractions. I mean that the parties and entertainments I am asked to are so void of any pleasure without my own pet of whom I am constantly

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

thinking morning, noon and night. How thankful I ought to feel that you continue to enjoy such good health. I will use every effort to be at Wellington before the time you mention. How strange that my uncle has not written to me since our marriage. I am glad to hear that he called at your uncle's. Probably they may become acquainted. You do not tell me which of your uncle's lost his only son 14 years of age. Probably one of Papa's brothers as you say immediately afterwards you are surprised at not hearing from uncle Edward's family. It is not strange that my uncle in visiting Glasgow should go to Kelvin Dale as I told you long ago that he was aware of our intended marriage and further that he approved but most likely I did not tell you that part as it might flatter you too much. I am glad that you did not quite deserve the scold I have given you for negligence so much as I expected. You frequently have the advantage of me from your attention to your duties therefore I must be more careful when I scold

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English (MD)

in future. The keg of butter I ordered for you is about 50 lb weight. I will deliver your message to Mrs Wilson who is so good-natured as far as you are concerned that she attempts to scold me for keeping away from you and says I must take every care of you as she will now divide her affections between us. She is really a nice old lady. I am glad you approve of my having sold the farm. It would be useless to us at such a distance and collecting rents would be most troublesome. The money for it however is not payable till December next. My other debts are rather slow in coming in but I shall recover the most of them without much difficulty. I have to send £20 to Auckland for the grey horse (if I can get a cheque for that amount) by tomorrow's overland mail. My expenses here are very limited. You have cured me of all extravagant habits and I should be thankful to you even for that and moreover I may safely tell you that I have not yet met a single lady in this place that I would have chosen before

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

my own Douglas. None of them are in my estimation to be compared to you so you need not have said that you should have accompanied me to look after me up here as I would not, even if we had not been engaged, let alone being married, ever look at anyone in this place as a partner for life. No Douglas it would have been a sad thing perhaps for both of us if we had not become acquainted.

I am sorry to hear of the death of poor old Mrs Stokes. She was such a kind friendly creature. I trust and hope she is happy in the enjoyment of those eternal pleasures that have no end and where we all hope to meet after our worldly career is over. May the Almighty prepare us for such a change and may we my own dearest be ever knit together in the bonds of affection and love, imitating as far as mortal worms can the example of that blessed Saviour, who suffered for us that we might enjoy eternal happiness.

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I am commencing another sheet as you so richly deserve every attention I can pay you and we can now write to each other with the utmost freedom. It seems you are most attentive to your sewing and that you feel glad at the anticipations before you. There was a report here that you had a son before I was arrived at the place but of course I know what these reports are and I at once contradicted it, nor have I had courage even to hint to Mrs Wilson the probability of such an event. I do not think the English are generally so bashful in these matters. How gratifying it is to me to find that Papa is so attentive to you. My only fear is that you are being spoilt for the bush with too much care and petting. I do not intend to continue it so you must look out when I get you to Ahuriri as I shall

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

expect you to work a little more than you do at present when you get there. I fancy I like that part of the country much better than this although this is a most interesting district, and it may be some years before we have such society at the East Coast. Mr W King, whom you saw at Wellington is supposed to be engaged to a young Miss Richardson of this place. There are no other matches among persons that you know. I am thinking just now what pet is doing. I trust she is not at the kitchen fire as usual. I like ladies to confine themselves more to their rooms than to be seen so frequently roasting over a kitchen fire. I called up this evening on Mrs Webster who seems much distressed about her husband who was unfortunate in losing his appointment. Poor thing she cried & begged I would do something for him but unless Sir George helps him, which I trust he may, what can

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I do especially when I have a troublesome pet of my own now to look after.

Now my own pet I have written you a long hurried letter. May the Almighty bless you. Goodnight and believe me ever to be your own affectionate husband


Donald McLean

I must add hundreds of fond and affectionate kisses. Be a good girl. God bless you and may you ever continue to be the same kind dutiful and affectionate wife that you now are is the earnest hope of your own Donald. Our usual luck seems to attend us in writing or having frequent opportunities to write. I may perhaps send you another note by Lord Cecil tomorrow if I have time. Good night dearest Douglas. Be a good pet.

English (MD)

Taranaki
13 August 1852


My own dearest Puss

Your letters of the 3rd inst have reached me and nothing can exceed the pleasure and thankfulness with which I sit down to acknowledge the receipt of them. It was very kind of David Hunter to give you notice that they were sending up a native to enquire for Mr Govett who I am glad to say is getting much better. I was asked to go out to an evening party tonight but your letters are a greater pleasure to me than all the parties I can attend at Taranaki. Each letter gives me additional proof of your affection and makes me feel more unhappy the longer I stay away from you. Taranaki, delightful a place as it is, has now lost most of its former attractions. I mean that the parties and entertainments I am asked to are so void of any pleasure without my own pet of whom I am constantly thinking morning, noon and night. How thankful I ought to feel that you continue to enjoy such good health. I will use every effort to be at Wellington before the time you mention. How strange that my uncle has not written to me since our marriage. I am glad to hear that he called at your uncle's. Probably they may become acquainted. You do not tell me which of your uncle's lost his only son 14 years of age. Probably one of Papa's brothers as you say immediately afterwards you are surprised at not hearing from uncle Edward's family. It is not strange that my uncle in visiting Glasgow should go to Kelvin Dale as I told you long ago that he was aware of our intended marriage and further that he approved but most likely I did not tell you that part as it might flatter you too much. I am glad that you did not quite deserve the scold I have given you for negligence so much as I expected. You frequently have the advantage of me from your attention to your duties therefore I must be more careful when I scold in future. The keg of butter I ordered for you is about 50 lb weight. I will deliver your message to Mrs Wilson who is so good-natured as far as you are concerned that she attempts to scold me for keeping away from you and says I must take every care of you as she will now divide her affections between us. She is really a nice old lady. I am glad you approve of my having sold the farm. It would be useless to us at such a distance and collecting rents would be most troublesome. The money for it however is not payable till December next. My other debts are rather slow in coming in but I shall recover the most of them without much difficulty. I have to send £20 to Auckland for the grey horse (if I can get a cheque for that amount) by tomorrow's overland mail. My expenses here are very limited. You have cured me of all extravagant habits and I should be thankful to you even for that and moreover I may safely tell you that I have not yet met a single lady in this place that I would have chosen before my own Douglas. None of them are in my estimation to be compared to you so you need not have said that you should have accompanied me to look after me up here as I would not, even if we had not been engaged, let alone being married, ever look at anyone in this place as a partner for life. No Douglas it would have been a sad thing perhaps for both of us if we had not become acquainted.

I am sorry to hear of the death of poor old Mrs Stokes. She was such a kind friendly creature. I trust and hope she is happy in the enjoyment of those eternal pleasures that have no end and where we all hope to meet after our worldly career is over. May the Almighty prepare us for such a change and may we my own dearest be ever knit together in the bonds of affection and love, imitating as far as mortal worms can the example of that blessed Saviour, who suffered for us that we might enjoy eternal happiness. I am commencing another sheet as you so richly deserve every attention I can pay you and we can now write to each other with the utmost freedom. It seems you are most attentive to your sewing and that you feel glad at the anticipations before you. There was a report here that you had a son before I was arrived at the place but of course I know what these reports are and I at once contradicted it, nor have I had courage even to hint to Mrs Wilson the probability of such an event. I do not think the English are generally so bashful in these matters. How gratifying it is to me to find that Papa is so attentive to you. My only fear is that you are being spoilt for the bush with too much care and petting. I do not intend to continue it so you must look out when I get you to Ahuriri as I shall expect you to work a little more than you do at present when you get there. I fancy I like that part of the country much better than this although this is a most interesting district, and it may be some years before we have such society at the East Coast. Mr W King, whom you saw at Wellington is supposed to be engaged to a young Miss Richardson of this place. There are no other matches among persons that you know. I am thinking just now what pet is doing. I trust she is not at the kitchen fire as usual. I like ladies to confine themselves more to their rooms than to be seen so frequently roasting over a kitchen fire. I called up this evening on Mrs Webster who seems much distressed about her husband who was unfortunate in losing his appointment. Poor thing she cried & begged I would do something for him but unless Sir George helps him, which I trust he may, what can I do especially when I have a troublesome pet of my own now to look after.

Now my own pet I have written you a long hurried letter. May the Almighty bless you. Goodnight and believe me ever to be your own affectionate husband


Donald McLean

I must add hundreds of fond and affectionate kisses. Be a good girl. God bless you and may you ever continue to be the same kind dutiful and affectionate wife that you now are is the earnest hope of your own Donald. Our usual luck seems to attend us in writing or having frequent opportunities to write. I may perhaps send you another note by Lord Cecil tomorrow if I have time. Good night dearest Douglas. Be a good pet.

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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