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2-033 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Reibey, James,24
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Irvine, 1992
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2-033.txt — 9 KB

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Launceston Van Diemans Land August 10th 1829
Dear Cousin
Your much esteemed favor of the 8th November last is now before me in which you refer me to yours pr. William Young of the 6th Ult./ this letter I duly received and as there was a vessel just weighing Anchor for Sydney at the Moment I received it I enclosed it to my Mother with a request it might be returned to me/ My Mother shortly after arrived here (is here now) and forgot to bring your letter with her or I certainly should have answered it by the last ship, but you must recollect we live in a very out of the way place in the far extreme of the Island to where Hobart Town is situate and therefore seldom know exactly when a ship sails/ your charge against me for discontinuing writing you is quite just and I take great shame to myself and in fact you must be very good to look over my neglect, the only apology I can offer is that I never understood to the Contrary but that my Mother was in constant corespondence with you untill she arrived here about two Months ago,/and for these last Six Months I have been very ill for some time my life was completely despaired of / I had a severe attack of Inflammation in the bowels and three Doctors who attended me gave me up,/ I certainly recovered by a Miracle, this must plead my excuse for some months but had I known my Mother had not written you for some time I certainly would have written you a few lines occasionally to inform you how we were getting on / another cause of my not writing you before was in consequence of the harrassed state of my mind for the very blameable and foolish conduct of Thomson, the event has justified my forebodings, entrusted as he was, at the head of Customs & Treasury of this part of the Island with immence Sums of Money with a Salary of only £300 per Annum to be careless so as hardly to keep any accounts and to live at the rate of £800 or 900 pr. Year/ all my advice and knowledge only served to irritate and make him shun my society / the Consequence is that Govt. at last took notice of it, every thing he had was Seized (all the property Mrs T. had from my Mother included) and sold and he thrown into Prison, the deficiency was about £3,000. My Brother Thomas and Myself had at last come forward to save him from a worse fate (as was threatened) and became security for the Amount to Government, which released him,/ [100] his property has paid off about one half and there may still be some errors which it is supposed will be but I am afraid we shall have to pay about £1000 independent of this/ My Mother has assisted and paid in Cash for them about £2,000, some of his Bills which My Mother endorsed have lately come back on her, they were drawn on his Uncle Young's of Burnt island, this has much injured my Mother in taking up, as they came suddenly upon her,/ this I believe has prevented her as much as anything remitting some money she owes you she is continually talking about it & you and saying she is ashamed to write you / I was trying very much the other day to get her a Bill on England for £100 to remit you but could not succeed for her / Mr & Mrs Thomson are living on their farm at Pattersons Plains but [?] off and he is so very lazy and useless a being that he cannot turn his hand to anything,/ I have no patience with him so extravagant and so careless, and to add to their misfortune Mrs T. has just been confined of her fifth child,/ his Uncle John seem inclined not to do anything for him / they ought after My Mother has embarrassed her affairs for some time in I may say foolishly paying Money for him. My Mother some time back sent me a bale of Carpetting one that came by your recommendation from some part of Scotland,/ this Carpetting I sold here on Credit to a shopkeeper of the name of Ash, he shortly after failed, and having a good opinion of the Young Man and willing to assist him I advanced him large sums of money and became security for other sums including my former debt Carpetting included of about £1,500/ he repaid me some part of the Cash advances I had made him, when unfortunately he was killed from a fall off a horse, leaving me Minus Carpetting included of £870. I seized on all his property I could get hold of on this side and a Lawyer of the name of Butler at Hobart Town seized on all he could get hold off/ and as the accident happened then he had the start of me, this Butler was his Guardian and has advanced a claim on him for some English outlays as he states before their arrival in this Colony,/ we are at law [?] now who will obtain Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court, but the little property left is hardly worth while contending for, and if I succeed the whole probably will be swallowed up in law expences. I am extremely sorry to have to send you such an account of the Carpetting. I would have communicated to you before respecting it but was in hope of something better turning up.
My Mother as I stated before is here / Mrs Atkinson is also who accompanied my Mother down / they go up in a few days in a vessel of mine the Hetty to Sydney again. You will probably hear before this My Sister Elizabeth's Marriage about three Months ago at Sydney to a Lieutenant Innes of the 39th Regiment who is also adjutant. [101] I have not seen him but I understand he is a very fine Young Man and highly respected, he was brought up at the Military College,/ it was as it appears quite a Love Match but my Mother has settled £200 per Year on her and her heirs as well as a farm at present let for 70£ more and an improving property - I have just received a letter from her by a vessel arrived this Evening from Sydney / she seems very happy and gay, but I would sooner have seen her married to a steady sober farmer or Citizen,/ Atkinson is not doing very well he has had some expected claims from England on him lately, but he has industry and perseverence,/ you know long ere this that Eliza Foster was married to a Mr Pitman an American Gentleman from China, extremely well off and a most exellent man, but I do not expect she will live long as she is in a deep consumption -/ Mrs Foster her Mother lives with them and she has a good farm and some other property of her own, you know old Foster was found dead supposed to be murdered as he was on the way from the interior of New South Wales to give evidence against some Cattle stealers - the eldest daughter Jane was some years ago married to a man of the name of Patten (formerly Master of a vessel)/ they keep a Public House in this Town and he has turned out a drunken beast / she is very steady and they are well off,/ it was an unhappy circumstance for our family they ever came here/ we have never been so united since/ she is a perfect D---l
I send you accompanying this a letter some time back written to Messrs Young the owners of the North Britain & Wm. Young respecting a difference that has occurred between myself and their drunken Agent a Mr Morrisson of Sydney. When Read please send it to them sealed if you think I am right in so doing, I pledge myself to the truth of every sentence -
Your Communication with Sir Thomas Brisbane respecting the Eclipse I am exceedingly obliged for and I am sure Atkinson will be the same when he Knows of it I am astonished at Sir Thomas Neglect, he promised me most faithfully personally in Sydney he would get us Remuneration for the Loss. I gave him all the Certificates and documents relating thereto at his own Request previous to his departure from New South Wales, I also wrote him a long letter eighteen months ago reminding him of his promise and recapitulating the whole of the story again on purpose to assist his memory/ I have not heard from him since/ he is a good man but very forgetful, his loss is much felt in these Colonies, I see he has acknowledged the receipt of the additional documents sent home by Mr Atkinson, and I hope you will not let him rest untill he has done something for us to redeem his pledge / his last words to me were, 
"I feel for the loss you & Mr Atkinson has sustained severely had there been a precedent in the Colony I would order you immediate remuneration, but if you will extract me with the documents as I am about leaving N.S.W. for England I pledge myself I will use all my endeavours to get you some recompence"[102]
at that time I could not find a precedent, but it was after-wards found in the Case of the Boy Harrington Captain Campbell and which was the substance of the additional documents sent home by Mr Atkinson,/ our loss was also more glaring, as the Vessel was taken away from the Port in the open day moored close to the Wharf, and within Pistol Shot of the Centinel on duty by the very Men in Government Employ employed to load her which Cargo was purchased by us from the Government paying them 10/- per ton for them and for which they were to put them on board,/ and these men so employed by them (the Govt) were the Pirates, overpowering the Crew and taking her out of the harbour having the wind and Tide in their favor as [?] [?] any in the Port and the Govt not a boat to send after her - I know your disposition so well you will leave no stone unturned to gain Atkinson and Myself a recompense,/ our value of the vessel was £1,600, after she was taken away/ Sir Thomas ordered the Master attendant to Value her, but he not knowing the stores &c she had on board valued her very low at £1,000 or £1,100 I forget which, but this Certificate of Valuation was given with the other documents to Sir Thomas/ if they will not give us Cash in remuneration Land would do at a fair valuation in part if not for the whole
My Brother Thomas & family are quite well he has still but three Children he is very industrious and is one of the first farmers and Graziers in this Island,/ he has nearly twelve thousand acres of land - Mother & Mrs Atkinson are at present at Mr Thomsons four miles from Town / I Remain yours most truly and faithfully obliged Cousin
Mr D. Hope, Glasgow