Object #1025558 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 26 Jul 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
26 July 1852


My dearest Puss

I have duly received four letters from you since I left home and I am delighted to hear that you are in such good health and spirits. I sincerely trust you may continue so and that our separation may not be very long.

I am frequently asked out to evening parties and dinners but I have no pleasure in any kind of entertainment without my pet so I have as yet, excepting going occasionally to Capt King and Dr Wilson's, declined all invitations and I confine myself entirely to my duties that they may be soon over and that I may mount my steed and hasten back to Wellington. Mrs Wilson seems very much annoyed that you have

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

never written to her and she says if you study etiquette that it was your place to write first. Now puss I often find that you neglect these little agreeable duties that might raise you much in the estimation of my friends, for instance I did not think you have yet acknowledged Dr Sinclair's kind note, and what must he think of you. Excuses will not satisfy a person of his knowledge and penetration therefore do not procrastinate in these matters otherwise we may both have occasion to regret it. I am much pleased with the tone in which your last letters are written and I may say that I at least cannot find fault with you for not corresponding

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

regularly and well. The more I see of Mrs Wilson the more I admire her ladylike manners and behaviour. You feel so perfectly at ease in her company and yet you must conduct yourself with great propriety else you find no quarters from her. She is a quick discerner of character and I feel flattered by the affectionate notice she always takes of me.

I slept there the first night but owing to the illness of Mr Govett, Robt Hunter is obliged to stop there and he is also laid up but the doctor who has been taking tea with me this evening says they are all better. The cause of their illness has been owing to the dampness and closeness of their house, there being no ventilation, so do not blame me

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

for advocating ventilation. It is much less expensive than doctor's bills. I have not had time yet to attend to any private business of my own. Dr Wilson has sold our farm for £170 which I am glad of but the money is not payable for some months.

I trust Papa has paid the butcher and baker's bills and that you have had sufficient funds to provide for your own little wants. I do not see anything here that I can purchase for puss unless I get a keg of salt butter as you request. I will enquire for some good for you. Do not be out after sunset on any account. I am glad you rise so much earlier since I left. Papa will of course blame me

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

for your past laziness. I am up every morning now at 1/2 past 7. We breakfast at 1/2 past 8, dine at 1/2 past 1, at 6 and no drinking of any kind excepting an occasional glass of beer, and wine only at Capt King's. The other people such as Dr Wilson, Flight, Halse, Turton and indeed all of them never have it on the table and water is the general beverage. I am afraid our house is too much of a wine consuming house for our means, therefore I must in future be guided by your very prudent advice not to use so much of it. It seems most strange but I cannot now feel happy in the society ladies as I used to do. I think all my attention should be confined to

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

you and to you only, consequently I have declined being introduced to many smiling young damsels that in former days I might have been exceedingly polite to.

The society in the place is now very good indeed. I believe there are upwards of 20 pianos. One was raffled lately for £50 and it is said to be a very good one. My puss must also have one when I can afford it. You never tell me how Jessie is, neither do you enquire for Mrs Wilson. I excuse this as probably your thoughts are otherwise engaged when you are writing to your Donald. I am not disposed to go to Wellington by sea nor can I say definitely when I can leave here. Of course I shall not remain longer than I can help as I must leave you so soon when I get back. A few short years, if we are

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

spared by Providence, may I trust put an end to this rambling. I am going to sell all my things here by auction. I find that Mrs Wilson has taken good care of them and that I have still several things that I was not aware of. My expenses here will be small, living is so cheap. I am glad dearest that you seem more earnestly to put your trust in God to keep and preserve you. Do not forget your daily prayers to Him (who rules the universe and all that is in it) on behalf of your husband and may His merciful guidance and protection be ever extended towards you to enable you to lead a happy and a virtuous life through all the various changes we may have to undergo until we are united in that world where separation never takes place. I feel that I could keep writing all night to little petsy but she has sometimes been so

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

naughty a girl that I will close my letter for the present as I have to write to Sir George and to Papa before the 'Kawai', a small schooner, sails. I was truly [sorry] that I did not arrive here before last Monday's mail started. Do not however be anxious if you do not hear from me by every mail. I may not always have the opportunity of writing.


Ever your own affectionate devoted husband
Donald McLean

English (MD)

Taranaki
26 July 1852


My dearest Puss

I have duly received four letters from you since I left home and I am delighted to hear that you are in such good health and spirits. I sincerely trust you may continue so and that our separation may not be very long.

I am frequently asked out to evening parties and dinners but I have no pleasure in any kind of entertainment without my pet so I have as yet, excepting going occasionally to Capt King and Dr Wilson's, declined all invitations and I confine myself entirely to my duties that they may be soon over and that I may mount my steed and hasten back to Wellington. Mrs Wilson seems very much annoyed that you have never written to her and she says if you study etiquette that it was your place to write first. Now puss I often find that you neglect these little agreeable duties that might raise you much in the estimation of my friends, for instance I did not think you have yet acknowledged Dr Sinclair's kind note, and what must he think of you. Excuses will not satisfy a person of his knowledge and penetration therefore do not procrastinate in these matters otherwise we may both have occasion to regret it. I am much pleased with the tone in which your last letters are written and I may say that I at least cannot find fault with you for not corresponding regularly and well. The more I see of Mrs Wilson the more I admire her ladylike manners and behaviour. You feel so perfectly at ease in her company and yet you must conduct yourself with great propriety else you find no quarters from her. She is a quick discerner of character and I feel flattered by the affectionate notice she always takes of me.

I slept there the first night but owing to the illness of Mr Govett, Robt Hunter is obliged to stop there and he is also laid up but the doctor who has been taking tea with me this evening says they are all better. The cause of their illness has been owing to the dampness and closeness of their house, there being no ventilation, so do not blame me for advocating ventilation. It is much less expensive than doctor's bills. I have not had time yet to attend to any private business of my own. Dr Wilson has sold our farm for £170 which I am glad of but the money is not payable for some months.

I trust Papa has paid the butcher and baker's bills and that you have had sufficient funds to provide for your own little wants. I do not see anything here that I can purchase for puss unless I get a keg of salt butter as you request. I will enquire for some good for you. Do not be out after sunset on any account. I am glad you rise so much earlier since I left. Papa will of course blame me for your past laziness. I am up every morning now at 1/2 past 7. We breakfast at 1/2 past 8, dine at 1/2 past 1, at 6 and no drinking of any kind excepting an occasional glass of beer, and wine only at Capt King's. The other people such as Dr Wilson, Flight, Halse, Turton and indeed all of them never have it on the table and water is the general beverage. I am afraid our house is too much of a wine consuming house for our means, therefore I must in future be guided by your very prudent advice not to use so much of it. It seems most strange but I cannot now feel happy in the society ladies as I used to do. I think all my attention should be confined to you and to you only, consequently I have declined being introduced to many smiling young damsels that in former days I might have been exceedingly polite to.

The society in the place is now very good indeed. I believe there are upwards of 20 pianos. One was raffled lately for £50 and it is said to be a very good one. My puss must also have one when I can afford it. You never tell me how Jessie is, neither do you enquire for Mrs Wilson. I excuse this as probably your thoughts are otherwise engaged when you are writing to your Donald. I am not disposed to go to Wellington by sea nor can I say definitely when I can leave here. Of course I shall not remain longer than I can help as I must leave you so soon when I get back. A few short years, if we are spared by Providence, may I trust put an end to this rambling. I am going to sell all my things here by auction. I find that Mrs Wilson has taken good care of them and that I have still several things that I was not aware of. My expenses here will be small, living is so cheap. I am glad dearest that you seem more earnestly to put your trust in God to keep and preserve you. Do not forget your daily prayers to Him (who rules the universe and all that is in it) on behalf of your husband and may His merciful guidance and protection be ever extended towards you to enable you to lead a happy and a virtuous life through all the various changes we may have to undergo until we are united in that world where separation never takes place. I feel that I could keep writing all night to little petsy but she has sometimes been so naughty a girl that I will close my letter for the present as I have to write to Sir George and to Papa before the 'Kawai', a small schooner, sails. I was truly [sorry] that I did not arrive here before last Monday's mail started. Do not however be anxious if you do not hear from me by every mail. I may not always have the opportunity of writing.


Ever your own affectionate devoted husband
Donald 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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