FAMILY LETTERS FROM THE PAST
FAMILY LETTERS FROM THE PAST




LETTERS FROM JOHN WHITE OF BATH, SOMERSET, UK



Letters & notes submitted by Ian Butterworth who may be contacted at ian@melbpc.org.auThese 2 letters were written by John WHITE (my Great Grandfather), to hiscousin Eliza in Melbourne (I cannot ID who she was). Somehow Lucy BARRY neeWHITE (my Grandmother) obtained the letters and they have been passed on tome.John WHITE arrived in Australia on the Southern Empire (previously calledthe "Jacob A. Westervelt" - an American ship. This ship caught fire in NewYork Harbour on the 11th April 1860) - Black Ball Line - 1534 Tons. (Copy of"Line Engraving" of ship before it was called Southern Empire is in thefile.) Note two ships of the same name. The Captain was Thomas Reeves. Theysailed from Liverpool on the 18th April 1864 and arrived in Melbourne 30thJuly. Notice in the Age of August 1st 1864. The ship carried 4 cabinpassenger with 450 in steerage. Bright Bros. & Co were the agents.John WHITE was born 14 Sep 1844 at Bath, Somerset, England; married MaryDavidina Brown GRAINGER on 13 Mar 1872 at Sebastopol, Victoria, Australia;died 4 Jul 1879 at New Band and Albion Company Mine, Sebastopol in a miningaccident and was buried on 6 Jul 1879 at the Ballarat New Cemetery,Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.They read: -Words in brackets ( ) have been added by myself. ...... are words I couldnot read. As near as possible each dot is a letter.Page 1.See a scan of this pageBath July 9th 1860Dear Eliza,I have now taken the opportunity of writing these few lines to you hopingthat it will find you in good Health as it leaves us at the present exceptpoor father whose breath still keeps ........ .... .Eliza I hope you will forgive me for not writing to you before for we havebeen so very busy in moving things and as we were not quite settled in ourfresh house.I have not had the opportunity before.Dear Eliza Mother seen you brother John yesterday and he has sent his kindlove to you and is waiting to receive a letter from you every day he has nowgot a place in Bath at Mr. Lasiham's as a baker he (is) now getting tenshillings a week which I think is very little but the wages are so low inBath and provisions so high that one can scarcely live the meat is .. from10d to 1/- lb.Page 2..See a scan of this pageDear Eliza I have sent you a newspaper and we have received 5 altogetherfrom you but I have forgotten to mention it every time I wrote we received aletter from Alfred last September from Calcutta and he told us he was goingto Melbourne and I hope he has called on you before now Dear Eliza I amstill with Aunt Brown but it wont be for much longer as she has been sellingof her stock for the last three months as she is going to dispose of herbusiness to Mr. Robert Carey and she is still so great a tyrant as she usedto be nobody can do nothing to please her and she has not spoken nor askedfor Mother this last nine months Aunt Mary and Aunt Jane at Trowbridge hassent their kindest love to you and her son James is in Melbourne where hehas been the lastPage 3..See a scan of this pagethree years and he has never wrote a line to his mother Dear Eliza Motherhopes you are out of your trouble long ago and has added a fine son ordaughter to your number I am glad to hear you have a comfortable house andhome and doing well Dear Eliza I see in the papers that there is anothergold field discovered and I hope it will turn out well for if I was overthere I should try to turn over some of it and make my fortune before I wasas many years older I suppose there is no chance of ever seeing you in thiscountry again but I hope we shall meet again in a better country where weshall never part no more Lucy has sent her kindest love to you and she isnow in a situation but her wages is low only 7 poundsPage 4..See a scan of this pagea year which will scarcely find her in clothes Dear Eliza I have seen yourAunt Hill last Saturday and she has sent her kind love to you and beg if youshould hear anything of Frederick to send word in your next letter I amsorry to tell you she has more trouble now with your Uncle Hill than she hasever had the older he gets the worse he is she has had as you know atroublesome life in this world her daughter is still with her and she comesto Bath to work and back again at night she often talk of going to Londonfor she is quite tired of her father going on but I hope she will stop athome for her poor Mothers sake Dear Eliza I have no more news to tell you atpresent so I must now conclude with my best respects for your welfare whilstI remain your ever loving and affectionate cousin J. White


Page 1.See a scan of this page18 Oak StreetLower Bristol RoadBath Dec. 14th 63 (1863)My Dear CousinI now with great pleasure sit down to answer your kind and very welcomeletter being very sorry to hear that you still remain so poorly but I hopeby the time this reaches you it will find you and your family in betterhealthDear Cousin I hope you will forgive me for not answering your letter soonerbut the reason is that I did not get yours until the mail was .n the verypoint of starting and therefore I had no time to write or otherwise I shouldhave done so I am very sorry to inform you Father doesn't seem to get muchbetter in health and I am afraid he never will but he lasts itPage 2..See a scan of this pageout better than I expected I should have been glad to say with you that wehope it would be a blessing to him but I am afraid it is not the case withhim but we must leave it in His hands who is the Divine searcher of allhearts who when he thinks fit can prepare us for that Heavenly Kingdom whichwe all hope to inherit where all our earthly troubles cease and sorrows endand as regards Mother I am very sorry to say that she has been very illlately but she is now getting the better of it and her leg I am happy to sayis nearly well and I never hear her complain of it at all they have bothsent their kindest love to you together with Aunt Browns and Mrs Hills theywishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year they all says they shouldlike to see your face once more but if it is Gods will they hopes to seePage 3..See a scan of this pageyou in a better and brighter world were we meet to part no more Dear CousinI am so happy when I think perhaps in a few short on months I shall have thepleasure by the blessing of God of being amongst you and I thank yousincerely for your kind and heart felt advice on advising me (not) to set mymind on making a fortune which I will assure you is not the case all that Iam anxious about is that I may be able to earn a living in a better way thanI can in Old England and if I wants to settle down I may be able to ....with more contentment in the colony than should were I to stop here aseverything ... the rate is so very dear here and labourers wages so very lowthat if I settle down here I should scarce be able to earn a very scantysubsistence and if it should be my lot to ever reach the colony I shall forever own myself indebted to the goodwillPage 4..See a scan of this pageof an affectionate brother please to give our kindest love to him and lethim know that he will never regret what he has been pleased to do for me Ishall expect a letter from him next month with some good news and should bevery glad to hear that he has .... .... left and then there may be a betterchance for me to reach the colony Dear Cousin I must tell you that miss Hillis still in her situation and not likely to get married yet and I think sheenjoys very indifferent health at the present her Mother also remains verypoorly but she was .... ... to be for .... .... .... rests a little morecontented about Fred since you thinks he is all right I have enclosed a fewlines from your brother but I am sorry to say he is not in constant work butI hope after Christmas his luck may turn betterPage 4 - Written across ways over the other writingDear Cousin I have no more news to tell you (at) present but I hope if Ishould ever have the opportunity of seeing you I shall be able to tell suchlots of news more than I am able to pen in a letter and therefore I will nowconclude with my best and most earnest wishes for your welfare and also muchJoy and happinesswhile I remainYour ever loving and affectionate CousinJohn White


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