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Title: Beale, Joseph Sr to Beale, Margaret, 1853
CollectionThe Earth between them_Joseph Beale's letters home to Ireland from Victoria (1852-1853) [E.Beale]
SenderBeale, Joseph Sr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstore keeper
Sender Religionunknown
Originnear Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
DestinationMountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland
RecipientBeale, Margaret
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2084
Genrecorrespondence, sending money, buying horses, dysentery, his friend Kennedy, climate, news, the tent they live in
TranscriptSpring Gully 8 miles from Melbourne
1st day, 5 mo: 1st, 1853.

My dearly beloved Wife,
On 5th day last a fellow passenger of mine pr S[arah] Sfands]
called on me, he had been to the diggings etc etc, and had lost
all his means. He told me he had succeeded with much difficulty
in obtaining his letters from home (in vain had I tried) so, I
told him to search for me in the same way, handing him a sovereign
for his trouble. Last even'g when I was busily engaged
in the store, he appeared, handing me thine of the 18th of 10th
month. When I saw thy well known writing I burst into tears.
Several persons present said what is the matter with Mr. Beale,
and some of them on hearing the cause said come into your
sleeping tent, and there I opened thy acceptable letter, for anything from home is acceptable.—I enclose £20 bill on London,
for clothes for thee and the children, my dearly loved ones. It
has pleased Divine Wisdom to favour us in this land, we landed
and paid our way and when all was done had not 20/- left. I
have now about £300 in value. Jos'h and Frs have about £40
of their own, exclusive of mine. They offer'd me £24 a week
if I procured for them 4 horses and two drays and to let them
have all they cd make for themselves over that amt. I told them
I could not afford to buy four horses, but they should have 2 horses tor £10 weekly free to me of all charge, this sum they
pay me. I write thee trilles because I believe they will interest
thee and Mary Brophy, and perhaps some others. I have been
very unwell for the last 14 days, from something like jaundice.
Today I feel better, but have a return of dysentery, so I walked
from my tent with D. Kennedy to his tent, ab't 2 miles, and
from thence I now write. D.K. has been a friend to me in every
way since we left Ireland, and so far as he could he has acted
as a parent to the boys. He earns £6 pr week as a sawyer, his
mate was a workman of Mr. Richardson's of Bessbrook [Co.
Armagh, Northern Ireland], Dan pays me £2 weekly for 12
months and then he has all for himself. Jas I hope will continue
for two years longer but he is already too much "colonised".
This is far from a healthy climate, the changes of temperature
are extraordinary, in 4 or 5 hours—and what with sleeping in
tents with nothing but canvas between thy bed and the wet or
cold, the damp, the total want of fire at night, or only at meal
hours, we have to endure very great privations. Want of water
is another trial—in other respects we may do pretty well. I am
well known for miles round in this locality. One day last week
when unwell, I rambled out for a walk ab't a mile and passing
a row of workmens tents I was hailed, "Mr Beale it is dinner
hour, wont you partake with me? won't you have share with
me?" was repeated by 50 voices so I sat down and took some
mutton and bread with one, others ran to the tent with their
frying pans, to try if I could relish better what might be procured—
here are persons of every grade working on the roads,
from the nephew of a Duke downwards, Doctors, the chaplain
of a ship, B.A's of Cambridge, some of them with the highest
University honours, down to the Government [assisted] emigrant
from the island of Sky[e], who was starving at home. D. Kennedy
comes to me every 1st day and on one of these days I said,
Dan, sit on that tea chest, and hear what I will draw out from
the different parties that come in (on 1st day everyone rambles
to where he can have a converse, but more particularly to a
store, and more particularly to me for I chat to all). Well, the
first three were 2 Swedes and a Norwegian, "good mornthin
Mr. Beale." I ascertained their country, history etc, they sd.
they were friends to the Eng'h, Irish and Scotch—to the Scotch?
[I asked] what did you do to Col[one]l (I forget the name tho'
the Norwegian gave it me with a laugh). Why, we kill'd him with 1400 menl (Thou wilt see the acc't in the travels of E.D.
Clarke). The nest visitors to me were Germans (there are
many of them here), then Scotch, Eng'h, Irish, and French.
Sometimes I meet on the road Chinese, Burmese, Lascars, and
men of almost all nations. I have slept side by side with a New
Zealander when conveying up Gov't. stores for the roads, and
next day when I ret'd for some that one of the carters [had]
left behind, this poor fellow was waiting with a bucket of water,
a man asked him for a drink, No, you carry water for yourself,
Mr. Beale's poor horse cannot carry water, I give you none, and
so soon as I arrived, he had the winkers off the horse with a
drink for him. I never had anything like a difference or
angry word with anyone in this colony. I have sometimes rebuked
them for swearing so awfully, but it seems in vain, it is
dreadful the oaths they use, and the drunkenness that occurs
every day. One night returning from Melbourne I saw by
moonlight something on the road, which I tho't at first was a
sack, as I approached I was met by two faithful dogs, who ran
round and guarded their drunken master. I dare not go near
him, and when I had passed, one dog lay down at one side and the
other at the other side. I tho't they were worth any money. When
I came to my tent, I found a bullock driver encamped near it.
I told him of the circumstances, he replied he is my mate, let
him lye there for punishment for his drunkeness [sic]. Next
morn'g he was found dead, and this has occurred to four persons
to my own knowledge since I came to this colony—but
why need I write more chit-chat, I could tell more truths than
have been told in all the books that ever were written on
Australia—suffice it to say, workmen on the roads are paid
every fortnight, every fortnight I have to advance food for new
"churns", sons of gentlemen at home p'rhaps, who have not a
mouthful for the lips. Last pay day it came to £17 and my
storekeeper, Rich'd. Green lees, tells me it will exceed £20 this
pay day. After pay day I am paid by those parties in cash, another
fresh lot arrives, that I trust at the overseers guarantee,
another party moves off to the diggins and so the wheel goes
round, since I came here in 12th mo:—5 sets of men have earned
money and gone to the diggings, say ab't 1500 men. Francis tells
me that when he and Jos'h were up with stores there was 60,000
licences paid for the month at the diggings where they were,
but if I write more on this subject I shall tire thee. Well my love 1 had a delightful dream ab't a week since. I
tho't I was at T.T. Pirn's, chatting with thee and all my old
relations. Oh! how I did enjoy it! I asked thee if thou had
rec'd my letter from St. Vincent's and the Cape, and thou said
thou did not recollect whether thou had or not. Well thinks I
to myself, it is a dream, it is not reality, but whether or not, I
shall enjoy it, and so I did until I awoke and found it only a
And now in conclusion, be assured that everything I can do
will be done to render thee comfortable in this land of privations,
if we are only together, we can do, if health be spared,
but on no account come out without Mary Brophy. I am sure
she will be as faithful as Dan Kennedy, and that is all we could
expect from anyone. While I write Dan is reading in his tent
in the Forest. Where my tent is located there is not a tree for
miles, vast plains without any cultivation save an occasional
patch sown with oats, which is cut when nearly half ripe and
sold as hay. The present price 45/- for 100 lbs. agr [? aggregate]
£45 pr ton of 20 cwt. each cwt 100 lbs. This would make
Dandy Dunphy stare and scratch his head.
Kiss all for me [from] Sarah downwards, I tho't over all on
(kh night and when I came to poor little Nannie [Anna] with
her black eyes I shed tears. Oh, it is such a privation to be
separated from nearly all one loves on earth.
Thy ever fond, aff'e, and faithful husband until death separate

Joseph Beale.
Melbourne 5 mo: 16, 1853.
I wrote the former part of my letter on the 1st inst. intending
to send it by the "Harbinger". Last evening I heard she
had arrived, so I walked with D. Kennedy to his tent, and early
this morn'g came on here. She has not yet arr'd from Sydney,
but she is hourly expected. Winter has fairly set in here, it is
very uncomfortable living in tents without fire, but we must
submit to privations for your good when you come out. Oh
how rejoiced I shall be if all are spared to meet. I intend
to take a comfortable cottage for you, either at Richmond, Collingwood,
or St. Kilda, but shall not take any place without
having thy approval. T believe if life be spared to us we shall
have enough of everything in this Colony, and a chance for our
children not known in Ireland. Come out and thou wilt find I am not so inhuman as thou describes me in thine of 10 mo.
18th. Francis is with me at present, quite well, Joseph and Jas.
Kennedy are gone with [a] loading of Joseph's own ab't 150
miles up the country. I intend it shall be the last until winter
I now say farewell. May every blessing attend thee and my
beloved children is often my aspiration to the throne of Grace
when alone in my tent at night—dear love to all.
Thy Loving husband
Joseph Beale.

D. Kennedy sends £5 to his wife, care of Jno Lalor—he will
send £5 more by next ship.
17th Today I received thy truly welcome letter of 12 mo. 17th,
also Sarah's and one from Eliz'th, all which I was rejoiced to
receive—I am surprised at Jno. Lalor's conduct. He promised
me to do all in his power for thee, he could not touch any of
the [mill] ponds, except the one not used in winter, but I do
not think he will injure thee. If thy father will sell the mill
and give thee the amount, come out at once and we shall end
thy cares about business. I was comforted when thou told me
at Cork thy father's promise that thou sh'd be cared for and
that he would send Sam'l Chandley to mind the mill and send
my poor dear Wm. to [boarding] school for a year or so.5 The
lease of the mill to the children is in the hands of thy father's
attorney, next door to the Royal Bank, Foster Place, Dublin,
but it is worth nothing as security. Sarah mentions thou wrote
3 times. I only rec'd 2 letters. I suppose thou answer'd mine
from St. Vincent's, which came not to hand. Eliz'th alludes to
it, but thou don't in thine rec'd today.
[Referring to your news of the prospect of payment of a bad
debt,] Jos'a [Joshua] Chaytor owed £600, his draft on a house
in Eng'd for which [my brother's and my firm of] E. Beale &
Co. paid cash thro' Js. & R. Garratt, the house in Eng'd paid a
composition, leaving a balance of £250. Rd. Garratt has only
a claim of 62.10.0 of this, [the] rest is Wm's and mine.8
"Forget-me-not" exists in Australia though no such flower