Letter O Wolfenden to son Richard July 1854

John Gayer of Dublin and children

This letter was written in "cross writing", also called a "cross letter" or "cross hatching.  It was a technique used in the early19th century to save on paper and cost of mailing.  Transcript of the letter (by Alex Cameron) is at the bottom of the page. 

Top half of front page  (portrait view)

Olivia to Richard may 1854 top

Bottom half of front page (portrait view)

Olivia to Richard may 1854 p1

Back of letter (landscape view)
Olivia to Richard May 1854 p2

On outside of letter:


To Richd 20 of July 1854

1st letter

July 20th. 1854

My dearest Richd,

I have just heard that Mr. West of Anngrar [?] St proposes having this for Melbourne on the 25th. and altho I have not much time as I am going tomorrow to the north to see Charlotte yet I wishd to write a few lines to you to say we are all as well as when you left us. I was very poorly for a month after you left as indeed my spirits were so low and I got into such a nervous state that I was fit for nothing for altho’ I knew all along that you would not stay in this country the shock was too much for me when it came to the time of your going. I wish’d to talk with you the day you went away but could not, for I felt my poor heart was bursting with grief & I could [...] do nothing but weep & distress you but oh how I felt after you were gone when I thought it might be the last time we should meet in this world. I thought I might have tried to restrain myself & had a few moments conversation with you. Sleep left me & I thought I should have taken a fever. I blamed myself for many things. I saw that you were unhappy & disappointed and I said he came to see me & I saw the cause of all his unhappiness, but I trust my dear Richd that you are now satisfied & happy. The letter which came for you two days after you had saild was very satisfactory. William wrote immediately so that you would hear all was right on your landing, it appeard though that you did not get the letter before, but it came by the Australian which was stranded and the mails had to come by another vessel. It would have saved you & us all a great deal of uneasiness if it had come before, but perhaps it was all for the best, but, my dear Richd we must look beyond this world for true happiness & peace of mind. Look for the pardon of your sins, & pray to the Lord that for the sake of the Lord Jesus who died on the cross for you, to give

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you his Holy Spirit and he will be more willing to give it than you to ask it & then you will have peace of mind & your happiness will not depend on outward things. The Lord has been very good to you & saved you in many dangers & you should be very thankful, oh may he bless and save you still my dear Richd is the constant prayer of your afft Mother. Your father is gone this day to England Birmingham to the conference there, we had our conference here in June. Mr Duncan has gone to Waterford he was married just before the conference to a Widow a very nice woman about his own age. We have got a Mr Price a very good Preacher in his stead. Livy is gone to Bandon to Dr Melchers to spend some time. The Mathews of Kingstown are gone to live in Queenstown & Livy is to pay them a visit before her return – I hope before you will have got this letter you will have written me a long one giving me an account of your Voyage. If you could be of any use to the Wests in giving them advice as you know the Colony so well I am sure it would be gratefully received & he might be of use to you perhaps in some way. I intend writing again by the Mail in case you should not get this letter – & now my dear Richd farewell. May the Lord keep and preserve & bless you is the prayer of your affectd Mother.


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