Lake Macquarie History

Fragments of a letter from Tom Fennell to his mother, 29th November 1847

Postmark Nov. 29 1847

to feed if there is shearing to do we then attend to it. William’s present is of great use if not we return home and if there is no bush work to do, I have the rest of the day for reading, shooting, fishing or other amusements. Do not think that it is [a] waste [of] time fishing etc., for we always manage to supply one meal for 7 from these sports during these hours. Dick is occupied in his house. The house is situated on a flat surrounded by hills and within a stones throw of the creek. This creek, during the rains, is filled with water, but at other times consists of deep water holes from which we take our fish. There was one taken from the hole opposite the house that weighed 70 pounds. The climate is very variable; in the middle of the day it is extremely hot and in the morning and evening as cold. We find that it is very healthy except for a blight of the eyes and the influenza from which latter complaint all the household except Dick and myself are now suffering. But poor Dick suffers dreadfully from his chest and he has an impression which I fear is too well founded that he cannot last-out.

contentment and happiness. Do not think me unkind dear brother for owning that I am happy without your other friend’s society, for I do of a truth very, very much miss it. God has however been so merciful to me beyond my desert that I should be sinful in the extreme if I was not truly thankful and happy in my present state. Let us always receive our blessings as from God then shall we be truly happy. Let us love God, then shall we love one another. Let us not long for the things of this world, but let our treasure be in heaven etc.

I have not yet seen any natives in their wild state; there are none left in these parts; we have nothing to fear but the snake, the scorpions, and a species of spider. The bite of all these are dangerous, the former in particular, 20 minutes does it, but be not uneasy for the same eye protects me that is now looking over you. I killed a fine black snake the other day; they always endeavour to escape from us. The native flowers are small but very beautiful but the summer has not yet [started]. If you can send word how I can preserve them in their proper colours I will send you samples with the birds, insects etc., etc.. Excuse this note being short and very dull for I have had much to trouble me of late. The climate appears to agree well with me for I have not yet felt a moments illness except a very slight attack of cholera on landing, and may God bless you and spare us both to spend many happy months together and ever trusting in him forever let us both live for him on earth that we live with him in heaven.

Your affectionate son
Nathaniel Thomas Fennell.

P.S. Love to all

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