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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 Occupationclerk
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
DestinationMountmellick, Co. Laois, Ireland
RecipientBeale, Margaret
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count3527
Genremail, sending money, encourages his wife to emigrate asap, prospects, savings, friends, weather, news, religious meetings, costs ot voyage
TranscriptMelbourne 7th day even'g 6 o'clock.
7th mo: 9. 1853.

This morning when on my way to the office I called at the
P.O. On chance and when askd by the clerk (as is usual) from
whence I expected letters? "Mt. Mk," I heard with delight the
reply "all right" and with encreased delight I saw thy well
known hand. I hasten'd with quick step to my office, to read
it in quiet enjoyment, and I did enjoy it. Well thou wilt have
rec'd £20 by the "Harbinger," £20 by this mail already posted
"the Eagle" and as thou'hast so many expenses I shall send £20
more by "the Elizabeth", but thou must not do anything with
these remitt's except for thy own comfort in every way, and
then for my dear children, don't pay old debts for a while and
when thou comes here all I have shall be thine to do with it
as thy heart desires.—So thou thinks if thou come here, "as
thou art fully persuaded, thou never could do the work I should
do in Australia" and thy poor heart sinks at the anticipation!
I could smile at thy fears, only if thy heart is cast down, mine
cannot be cheerful.—Ah thou never yet learned how I love thee,
and with all other comforts now that we enjoy (i.e. myself and
the boys) we are without anxiety as to money matters. My only
anxiety is to have thee here in love, in peace of mind, with ease
of pocket, respected in society (as I am) and with our dear little
ones around us—"go home to Ireland!" the best 2000 sovereigns ever coined in London given freely, would not induce me and
the boys to return to the misery of mind we all suffer'd there,
and I fear thou still suffers—Come here if possible, if thy father
would assist thee I will repay every farthing he may advance.
Since I last wrote thee, my employers told me of their own
accord, "you are not paid for the services you do us by £250 a
year, we will give you an advance from the commencement,"
I have no doubt it will be £300 or £350. Jos'h has £150 as a
beginning, Francis the same, and |as Kennedy is employed as
a servant to mind a horse, wait on our lunch table etc, but
besides his hoard and lodging I do not know his salary. I left
it to the firm to say what they tho't right—thus we are all together, in one establishment. Wm Locke said to me a few days
since, "I think when you get things in order and the books as
they ought to be, we will give you a situation that will be more
comfortable to you and more for our interest, we are at a loss
for a judge of wool, in which article we could do an immense
trade with London but not knowing the trade ourselves [as
you do] we do but little comparatively in it, but if you can
manage it for us, we would give you a share of the profits in
addition to your salary."—Why dost thou doubt, my love, our
ability to support I» comfort all the children and thyself?
William if here could earn £150 a year and if we all lived together
we could live for about as much as I pay weekly for
jos'h, Frs and myself. Meat, tea, sugar, coffee and at times flour
are as cheap as at home, but when labour is added, then and
then only, you pay dearly. We could save Mary Brophy's "keep
in good style" by a saving in washing, and if she would accept
of the washing of respectable people at 8/- a dozen for shirts,
hkfs [handkerchiefs] and stockings, she could earn a good income.
Don't be afraid, don't hesitate a moment.
Last first day week after dinner I took a walk to see Deb'h
Thompson. "Oh she said how comfortable Joseph it is to be
here, when you know the colony, there is no such thing as
looking down on you because you are poor"—but I sh'd "entre
nous" be very sorry indeed to see thee in what she calls "comfortable".
I believe she has to do the most part to support the
family, her husband talks a deal, but he is of a desponding disposition and seems to give up everything as lost. Deb'h is
cheerful, clean and above desponding, talks away like a parrot
and is a very amusing person to spend an hour with. I intend
to walk over to see her tomorrow and tell her thou rec'd her
letter and also ab't her brother being to see thee. She amused
me the first time I met her, by remarking "it is very strange how
people acquire die manners and voice of those they associate
with, thou hast Margaret's manners and even thy very voice is
like hers,"—well, as thou tells me to write only for thyself, I
do so, I cheerfully obey thy command. Wm Locke kindly said
to me a few days since, "I think, Joseph, tho' you may not
make as much money with us at present as work'g on the roads,
yet if your sons continued at it, they would never be anything
but carters, and here they can learn the mercantile transactions
of the world and may with prudence become first rate merchants."
He is a very kindhearted man, but a most "fussy" individual—
he annoys the clerks at times by running out of his
office when they are busily engaged with accounts and asks for
an acc't or a book, and if not ready in a moment he reads a
lecture, when no lecture is earned.
Since I last wrote (1st day) we have had delightful weather,
fine warm days, the streets dry and as hard as flags. While I
write it rains, but one fine day sets all right again. Since we
left the tents we enjoy perfect health, and the spirits in this
climate are never sunk or depressed as at home.
If Arthur Thornton was here and under my guidance I would
go a half share with him in a bakery. D. Thompson told me
that a man near her (at Richmond) began with scarcely any
means ab't 6 mo's since tand that he is now worth more than
£1000. If he sh'd come he will land either on our wharf (R.L.T.
& Co's) or Cole's the next to it, and if he enquires for our
office any carter will tell him, and on arriving he will find me
at once—and believe me there is a great deal in hav'g a word
of disinterested advice from one who knows the habits of Melbourne.
I could soon get him a good job (or in Colonial
language a good billet) —character is the first thing required
then ability, I mean in a confidential situation, hut as a labouring
man, they don't care what you are.
How kind to subscribe for the E. Post out of thy very limited
means. I could not have expected it—it reminds me of "the
widow's mite". I shall not probably receive them for another
week, as the newspapers are left aside until the letters are assorted, and the "Osmanli" that bro't this mail had the largest
mail that ever left Eng'd—upwards of 40 tons measurement.
Well at last I have to wear spectacles. I could not write this
by candlelight without them. I gave 5/- for them, they exactly
match my sight.
The news, that thou hadst only one return of attack, is indeed
a heartfelt comtort, and 1 thank from my soul the Author
of All Good for thy preservation, my much loved wife. Nothing
caused me so much anxiety or thought before I decided on
coming here as my fears ab't thce if I were absent, and often
have I at night earnestly implored Divine Goodness to protect
and preserve thee in every way, and I cannot be sufficiently
thankful for His gracious protection of thee in this way. I look
upon it as one of the greatest favours that could be vouchsafed
to me a poor weak unstable creature.
Thou asks how we cooked our food, washed etc. Well, when
we were on the roads I cooked, and a right good cook I am. I
could make thee a first rate bowl of soup with a very little
meat, palatable and cheap, as to washing I was one summers
even'g sitting on a stool outside my tent washing a pair of
stockings, my tho'ts as usual at Monordreigh, and I tho't if by
any means thou could see me, whether thou wouldst laugh or
cry at the position I was in. We had to cook wash and do
everything we wanted ourselves. A visit to these colonies makes
a man learn to wait on himself, even here at Wm Robinson's
where I have every comfort I have to clean my own shoes and
boots every morning.

[Note added later:]
One day while cutting up a sheep when T had the store (the
butcher supplied the dead sheep) a man looked in, and at last
said, were you bred to the butchering trade?—No, I said, not
exactly. "You do it very well, that is my trade"—here one
learns to do everything that necessity compels—this is a step
beyond cooking and washing.
Thou may assure Mary Brophy with my sincere regard and
respect for her, that she vas mistaken in seeing me run after
Tom Conroy down the passage. No, I am too comfortable and
too happy in the prospect of having you all here with me (including
Mary and her daughter Charlotte) ever to again endure
the damps and colds of Ireland inwardly and outwardly, and
when she next wonders how we are going on, tell her, thro'
Divine Goodness (I cannot attribute it to any other cause, seeing
the misery of many educated people around me) we are
very well off which is cause of great thankfulness to Him who
has given us a station amongst the wealthy in this land.
The next paragraph of thy letter is ab't Wm Horahan. I
wish he were here poor man with his family, and John Laffy
and his family, anyone that / could really say was honest and
suited for a job, I could get employment for. John would make
an excellent store clerk—and I would be glad indeed to serve
him [in this way].
Thou asks "if we read many books?" We have no time to
read, business occupies us every moment, everyone who means
to do well must "go ahead." We have only time to read on first
day. Friends [Quakers] here are very kind to each other, there
is great cordiality in a short converse with each other alter
meeting on first day. They are raising a subscription to buy
land and build a meeting house. I gave £2 for Jos'h and £2
for Francis as they could not take from me.
For this night farewell. I think of you continually at night,
and compute it is now day at home—3 o'clock (my usual hour)
I awake, so I reckon what you may be doing at 5 in the even'g
—and again at 12 o'ck in the day I picture you all asleep at 2
in the morning. Oh what I would give to spend one day with
you all, one first day and to have an opportunity of handing
thee my little purse of sovereigns. Often when putting 20 or 30
in it of hard earned money I thought if I could only hand these
to my dearest Margaret, I would cheerfully pay £10 out of my
next earnings to have them conveyed. Oh I do grieve to think
of thy privations, and we so well off.
I am in a writing humour and if the same prevail tomorrow
I shall add another sheet. I intend to buy the £20 order on
2nd day. I sent the first from the Union Bank of Australia—
the 2nd from the Bank of New South Wales—and this from the
Bank of Victoria to enable thee to judge of the sets of 3 each—
There are as I before explained, three bills drawn for each £20, so
that if two are lost, any one of the three is equally good and available.
P'rhaps the 3rd may arrive first as the vessel with it may
outsail the others with first and second." Well I hope the 3
remittances, £60, will keep thee out of anxiety—but don't tell
anyone of thy receiving them or thou wilt be annoyed''—when
I say anyone I don't include my dear Sarah—Thy last letter
was worth all thy former ones together. When one is far separated from those they dearly love, a harsh allusion even, causes
much trouble, but in thine before me, there is nothing of the
sort, it is like what thou used to write me when I was in comfortable circumstances.
I met a man today with whom I have been dealing ever since
I came almost, and he never knew who I was until talking of
Mt Mk, he said to me there was a Mr. Beale there who gave a
deal of employ’t. I smiled and sd. I believed I was the person
he alluded to. He raised his spectacles off his nose and looked
at me, held out his hand and shook it warmly, and gave me
another shake when he heard thou wert my wife, he sd lie knew
thee well, and that thou wouldst recollect him, when I reminded
thee of (I think) "Patrick" Doyle of Tombrick, as I understood
the name of the place. I told him thou tho't I might as well
return home "return home Mr Beale? you would not do so for £5000.”
First day. I met the boys at meeting, where we had a silent
one as usual, but I do indeed feel such a quietude, and feeling
of what is good amongst us, that it is very comforting The
boys walked here with me after meeting (they lodge at a place
I don’t like, merely because they save 5/- a week each, but on
3rd day they are to have apartments at our place of business business, but I rem’n with Wm R.) Francis read over thy letter, handed it to me smiling and sd "I think my mother was in a good
humour when she wrote that letter." He was greatly pleased
that thou mentioned [our children] Laura, Nannie and Tavy
I think she was right about Tavy's being sturdy." I told the
boys to meet me here (at W.R's.) after their dinner to walk to
D. 1 hompson s and while I wait for them I write this The
more I W this Colony the better I like it-hut many like
Harry Fisher had better never to have come. I fear [my brother-in-
law] Geo: Black is another out of place, a man must have
energy of mind and body, well trained to business habits, or a
man who lives by manual labour. I paid W. Locke back the
£60 he lent me soon after lending, I owe nothing in this part
of the world but £4, and I told the butcher to whom I owe
it, to call on me next day and I would pay him, "never mind
Mr. Beale, its all right, when I want it I'll call, I am not hard
up. That was three weeks since and I never saw him since and
to pay him I sh'd [have to] walk 4 miles and back again, but
I know he feels all is right. I have no fear of anyone calling on me for accounts. I keep £40 to £50 in W. Rs hands if anything
sh'd offer cheap to buy it.
Well I tell thee what I think of, if I wait until I can send
thee £300, which I think would be required to pay for all your
passages out here in the most comfortable manner I sh'd wait
for 6 mo's from this time to do so (and to keep some £50 or
£(50 by me here for chances, besides what we hold in stock)
then 3 mo's would elapse before thou rec'd it and at least 3
mo's before thou couldst be here, and thus we should be a
whole year longer separated from each other, whereas if thy
father would advance the expense of coming here, the moment
thou landed thou couldst return it with interest and many
thanks. Jos'h Frs and I intend leaving our salaries for months
untouched in our employers hands, so that there can be no
mistake at all ab't it. I believe Wm Locke would lend me the
whole £300 if I asked him for it, but I had rather keep free in
that quarter. I think it is more prudent to show my masters
[my] independence in money matters—I reckon by a first class
sailing vessel of Gibbs Bright & Go's of Liverpool thou, Sarah
and Margaret could get here for £40 each in first cabin say £120
Wm Laura Nannie and Tavy at less than ½ price
but say half 80
4377055153035Mary and Char'e Brophy second cabin 60

Expenses to Liverpool from Dublin are free’d
43008551397000(I believe) but say 40

This we could pay if life be spared, as readily as could be
5 o'clock. I have just returned from a visit to D'h Thompson
where I spent an hour and ½ in cheerful conversation. I read
to her thy acc't of her bro'rs visit to thee at Monordreigh, which
did not appear to give her as much pleasure as I anticipated.
"Joseph, since last I had the pleasure of seeing thee, and I am
I assure thee always glad to see thee, I rec'd a letter from my
Bro’r Rich'd which annoyed me very much. He blames my busband
for all the labour that I have to endure; why I never
had any labour to endure. I never washed anything myself. I
made £15 last week by buy'g skins and getting them made into
P.O. [mail] bags. T never set a stitch in them and yet I put £15 into our pockets, independent of our regular income. Marg't
thinks she should work here—nonsense—she need never do any
tiling herself etc etc etc etc." It would take me an hour to tell
thee all she said. On parting she asked me to wait for tea, but
I sd I wished to finish my letter as I had but little time on a
weekday; "Hast thou any message to Margaret?" "Oh! yes, tell
her with my dear love to come here at once, not to hesitate,
not to fear for anything, but to come immediately, and one
thing I beg of thee to do, to get her to write to my bro'r James,
or Rich'd or Thomas, to send out my eldest son as soon as possible,
sh'd he spend years in Dublin, he can do no good for us,
whereas if he were here he cd earn for us £200 a year, we will
repay all expenses." To my own knowledge this is correct, I
could get him a situation for £200 a year, if I only said I know
him to be a young man of principle and one who knows his
I have now written thee all I think of, though p'rhaps when
this letter is posted, I may think of very many things thou
wouldst like to know—obtain the means if thou canst from thy
Father to come here at once, and I pledge myself to hand thee,
the day thou lands the amount with interest, to remit him. I
have with Jos'h and Frs means nearly that sum now, if we sold
everything, but we have carts, harness, clothes etc etc (which
we dont like selling now) that would make up nearly that
Jos'h told me today, he promised in a letter written by last
mail to send £1 to my dear Sarah and £1 to Mary Brophy, so
I shall add these to the £20 for thee and £1 from myself for
Sarah, £1 for Marg't and £1 for Wm, total £25—so thou wilt
please hand them these amts and see that the children are well
dressed and in every way comfortable, but above all and everything
take good care of thyself.
Farewell my dearest love, may every blessing attend thee and
my beloved children, is the sincere and earnest desire of thy
fond, loving, affect'e and faithful Husband
Joseph Beale.

I intend sending 2nd of exchange by the "Elizabeth" and thirds
by the next steamer, and whichever lots arrive first, thou canst
use, and when paid, burn the others. I think with pleasure that
these remittances, will relieve thee from present anxieties.