Lake Macquarie History

Letter from Tom Fennell to his mother, 6th October 1847

Tom Postmarked Oct. 6 1847
26th July 1847 1847 and 4.37 north lat.

I am sorry to tell you dear mother that since I last wrote I have had an opportunity of evincing my gratitude to Mr Markham for his kindness to me.

His sister the other day during a rather heavy gale of wind had a very serious fall on the deck, by which she has much injured her back, and has since been confined to her bed. I have supplied her with many little matters in the way of rice marmalade wines & other etc.

My dear mother I have once more to trouble [you] in the begging way. My present request is for two silver desert and two teaspoons if you can spare that quantity from our stock, for the pewter ones we purchased in town are already several of them broken. Also two pair of large knives and forks, [a] pair of carvers and a good steel. I should have made a purchase of these things in Sydney if I did not fear having too many expenses before me on arriving there. I shall have to pay for all my linen washing as I shall be anxious to take away everything as tidy as possible to Richard’s house. If you send the knives and steel to a Mr Lascelles Engineer, Kirkgate, I dare say he will engrave a [crest?] on them without charging for it if he is told who it is for.

On the 8th June we experienced a very agreeable interruption of the monotony of a seafaring life by the sight of the Peak of Tenerife, which you are aware is one of the highest mountains in the world. It looked magnificent as it rose.

You may depend dearest mother on every month hearing of me and being informed of my proceedings; I only fear that I shall put you to more cost than you can afford for my letters ask if I send two a month to Wakefield if they can do with them.

I have commenced keeping a journal of which I shall send Willie a copy. Of all the extras you supplied me with, I enjoyed none so much as the ham and Hitie’s marmalade. Tell her she must exercise her hand in that way and make me a very, very extensive pot [in]every parcel that you send into this part of the world. I am able to tell you dear mother that I am happy, very happy in my mind. I have, now that I have not any earthly friend to comfort and direct me, learned to look to him who is always to be found and I know that if he is my friend and director if I fail not to seek his face.

I scarce dare venture to mention the cottage with all its beauties, but my heart clings to that spot and never until death closes these tearful eyes shall I forget it and all its beauties. Oft my memory lingers there, particularly on the Sunday, and I dare say that when you have left it, Hity will wander near its gates and let fall a silent tear for her absent brother. Tell her to pray that God will guard me with his care, direct my going in his way and bring me home that we may once more [dwell] under that roof.

Sydney 4th Oct. 1847.

Dear Mother,

I can imagine your delight on seeing the postmark of this letter which has long been prepared for this occasion. We have had a cheerful, healthy and agreeable voyage and you will see from the heading of this epistle a very speedy one. You must excuse my brevity for the vessel starts on the morrow for further information of my first impressions of this colony. You must wait with patience until I write further from the bush. I found a letter from Dick in the hands of Benjamin and Moses. I have seen the former and he was particularly thoughtful and kind to me. He told me that Dick has got his last parcel sent from Liverpool quite safely housed in the bush. His letter bore the date of the 24th September and he writes as if he was well and in good spirits and advises me to have my Yorkshire eyes open to guard against the honest folks of this colony, which I find was very necessary advice. I have seen Mr Coates but just at this time being very busy (for his Lady had just with safety presented him with a little increase in the family) he kindly gave me what instructions he could. We arrived in Port on the 2nd but being Saturday I could not see Mr Moses until Monday. On Sunday I sought out a quiet church intending it being the first of the month to have stopped and partaken of the sacrament, but [as] it was not being administered I was disappointed. I heard a good sermon from a good old man in the evening. I heard the Bishop and he appeared a very clever and also a very good man. I send one by this post also to William. Did he and you get those I sent when at sea?

God bless you my mother
To ever the prayer of god and of

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