Main content

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 Count1625
Genresocialising, news, friends, buying clothes, misses his wife, prospects of buying a ship
TranscriptMelbourne 7 month 27. 1853.

I really cannot tell thee, my ever dearest Margaret, when my
last letters left this city, whether by the "Eagle" which cleared
yesterday, or by some former vessels. 1 now begin for the "next
opportunity" [the next means of conveying mail].—I shall begin
by commencing with first day morn'g last, the boys accompanied
me to pay their first visit to my kind friend Debby Thompson.
Her husband and she accompanied us in a very pleasant
walk, through the Botanic gardens. John [Thompson] went with
the boys, while Debby and I talked over our own concerns, we
returned to dinner, in Colonial style, everyone waited on himself.
John Thompson apoligized [sic] for not having things
nicer, I told him a tent life [had] prepared us for everything,
and his table was luxury compared to what we endured—Now
to something more interesting to thee my love. Debby told me
she tho't it almost cruel, that her bro'r Jas would not allow "my
eldest son (who could with a little instruction from his father)
earn £3, £4 or £5 pr week here, to join us." Soon after we met
Edward E. Barrington who got into a deep conversation with
Debby. This occurr'd at the side of a ferry, the master of the
boat called out several times to Debby to get in, or he shd have
to leave her for the next trip, her husband called to her, but
she seemed fixed in deep attention. At last we got her to join us and the secret was unravell'd. "Jos'h, I heard good news,
my son is on the way out"—I heard no more ;it the time but
on yesterday D.T. called on me at the office, and told me she
had a whole batch of letters from home, that in add'n to her
son some confidential young men of her bro'r Jas' were coming
out with abt £800 worth of goods, but on talking the matter
over we tliink the goods selected by him will not pay, they are
diielly articles of clothing. Now I bo't for myself a coat, silk
waistcoat (almost too nice for me) two pairs of trousers, 2 pair
for Joseph and 2 waistcoats, a trousers and waistcoat for Francis
and a nice coat for each for £6.19.0—and on seventh day even'g
last I bo't them 2 nice silk cravats for 1/8 each. I looked at
them on first day, as they sat before me with secret pleasure,
two fine sons, dressed as gentlemen and looking so remarkably
well—thou wouklst be delighted / think to see them.
On second day my employers called me into their private office.
They told me my salary should be £300 a year, that I was
too hard worked and that they had an offer from a young man
to assist me, they handed me his letter and his letters of introduction to read. Their desire was (they said) that I slid relieve them from all care of looking after monies due and that I slid see that accts were collected and go in and out as I wished,
and in the season to judge wool for them.
Soon after, Debby Thompson called on me and I was grieved
at what she read from her father's letter, he wrote that thy
father opposed thy joining us. "Oh she exclaimed, it is madness,
downright madness to' use his influence in such a way"-
well, I don't say it is madness, but it is unkind. Since I began
this Joseph said, I hope from my gdfather's refusing to let my
mother come to us, thou wilt let him support her. In fact we
are greatly annoyed that with all our exertions we are to be
disappointed. Frs jumped off his chair in his hasty way, well,
father there is no use in working if the children are not to be
I wrote the above some days since but had no time or opp'y
to finish it. After the most delightful weather during the past
week, we have today (1st day 7/31st) wet, so I devote it to finish
this letter. 1 went over on 6th day morn'g to see D.T. She
said she was sorry she read her father's letter to me, that it
made me very silent. Oh, I sd on reflection I tho't thy own good
sense and love for a husband and children would bring thee [Margaret] here where thou wouldst enjoy everything chat means
could procure in this colony. Since I commenced this letter,
with the full approval of both my fine sons, Wm. Robinson and
my old friend John Daly (formerly of Tullamore) I enter'd
into a speculation to build a vessel for the trade of this town.
Capt'n Moreton,- who is a first rate ship carpenter, and who
commanded a vessel from L'pool to Montreal for some years,
leaves by first opportunity for Launceston, there to build a vessel
on our joint account. I find cash, and he finds skill and
labour, and when built we shall either work her on our own
a/c, or sell her and build another as we may deem advisable.
I rec’d from my employers my first months salary on yesterday,
a cheque for £50 for myself and the boys—Well only think as
I do with heartfelt thankfulness to the Giver of all good, that
here I am with my sons in the enjoy't of perfect health, and
with such prospects before us—and that when thou and my
dear children who are left in Ireland arrive here, I shall land
you from my own vessel, and convey you to a comfortable home,
if life be spared—don't delay, come off as soon as possible after
thou receives this, and thou wilt I believe never regret it, We
are to call our vessel the "Margaret". Last evening Captn. Moreton
called on me with the plan of our vessel, and he said "is
it not strange Mr. Beale that here 1 am in Melbourne for two
months and could get no one to join me with cash, but today
when seeking for a passage to Launceston with this plan in my
hand, two merchants said, we did not know before that you
were a shipwright or we slid have had you employed long since."
Well my love I am well satisfied at our prospects and I hope
I may be thankful as I ought for all my blessings. A few days
since I was conversing with a very nice gentleman, whose company
I often enjoy, a Dr. Cutts from Eng'd. He asked me if I
knew anyone of the name of Jacob in Waterford [Ireland]. Yes,
I sd, I have relatives there, I had two sisters married there to
persons of that name. "You don't say so Mr. Beale!" with great
surprize, "then you know Geo: Black?" Yes, what about him?
So I heard Geo's history from boyhood to this day—he is now
at the diggings, in a store, doing no good, in fact Dr. Cutts lent
him £100 which sum he would take £50 for—No man but a
working man has any chance here, he must work either with
body or mind—at my right hand is Harry Fisher doing nothing
since he came out, nor I believe never will do good here or elsewhere.
Wm Robinson is doing very well, and will I believe be
a first rate man in this colony. We have in this house an elderly
gentleman and his wife, she was a Willan, nearly connected with
thy father. I promised to take a walk with her today, but the
rain prevents us. I shall probably add more to this before the
next vessel sails, so for the present I say dearly and most aff'y
farewell, my dearest love to all the children, thy fond and attached
J. Beale.

2nd day 8 mo. 1st even g. This evening the "Chusan" arrived
from Sydney, she calls for our mails via Singapore and India,
so I suppose this letter will visit many countries. After finishing
the within the day cleared up and we had a delightful
even'g. I walked with Mrs. Willan and her husband thro' the
botanic gardens and by the vineyards, they greatly enjoyed their
walk. John Thompson accompanied but Debby was ill in bed.
I purposed calling to enquire for her tomorrow but today was
extremely wet, and I fear tonight will be the same, and if so, I
shall not venture.
I expect this letter will leave on the 3rd. I enclose £5 2nd of
exch'e which please remit Joseph R. Pim, I sent him the first
by last mail.
Well I cannot impress too strongly how glad we shall be to
have thee here, to make thee really comfortable, and to free thy
poor anxious mind almost worn out with care, from any necessity
to employ either body or mind to assist us—throw away
everything except what will bring thee out, say £300. If the
mill concerns dont bring so much and that no one will advance
the means we shall do so ourselves, but this will cause a delay
of a year, and a year at our time of life is a serious portion of
our remaining time. Thus to be separated from each other is
a very great trial—indeed I may say, the only one I have to
bear, and at times it is hard to bear.
Again dearly farewell
thy ever fond and aff'e husband
J. Beale.

P.S. I have no time to write Eliz'th or anyone else, let Sarah
give her extracts.
[Written on back:] D. Kennedy very well and very faithful