William Macky to Thomas MackyCoshquin,
November 29th, 1849
My dear Thomas
I received your kind letter of the 10th May on the 1st November and since that we got another from you dated 10th February on 6th November and we rejoice much to hear of your welfare and that you like the place of your adoption well. You said that nothing gave you greater pleasure than hearing from me, but certainly it did not surpass the pleasure I felt in hearing from you who was to me the kind brother and adviser and I trust the time is not far distant when we shall not have any occasion to write to one another as we shall be able to communicate face to face.
We are, thank God, all enjoying good health but the times are not improving here. The prospects are still gloomy. Another year of famine is, I am afraid, about to visit poor Ireland but thank God it will not signify much in the north.
Markets are very cheap, corn 7d to 8d per stone, Indian meal 7/- to 8/- per cwt, but there is very little employment for the poor and consequently they have no money to buy. The prospect is also very bad for farmers for every article of produce is at a very low price, and taxes are getting higher.
In the last letter you had some doubts about the propriety of us going to New Zealand. You said that there is a good deal of difficulty in settling down in a farm there and I do not at all doubt it. I am afraid my father and mother could not stand it well as there would undoubtedly be a good deal of hardship. And what I think would be a good deal better to do for them would be to sell Kilfennan and clear themselves of all debt and for me to go out to New Zealand. I think that with proper care and attention that they might still manage to live in Coshquin with a little assistance that you and I might give them, but if not, in the course of a year or two they might sell Coshquin also which, with a good crop, would draw £600 or £700, and then if they would take a small place (and John would give them one) with the interest of that sum they might live, I think, very comfortably.
As for my part, I might stop at home, but if I would it would be just the same thing ten years after this. My father has still his old notions of young men making a fortune by marrying some heiress and therefore proposes for me Miss K...c..k., but my affection does not lie down that road-- at any rate I do not admire the plan. I would rather try and do something for myself so you may expect to see me out with you before long and, of course, Kitty will be along with me.
She is at present in Belfast. You say you did not get a letter from her but you know she was not to write till she would get a letter from you. When she got your letter she wrote immediately. Never fear, she is as true to you as needle to the pole and whenever she gets the cash she will be ready to go to you.
John Cochrane was married to Miss Thompson in September. He intends going to Australia by a free passage and thence perhaps to New Zealand. His father was much opposed at first to the match but is now reconciled to it. He has left Sir Robert and is living with his father.
Mr Joseph Cochrane married Miss Cowan and went to America-- their business failed them in Derry. Mr Mills went to America also and died shortly after he arrived there, much to the grief of all who knew him. I do not know in what amount he failed but he compounded with the creditors and young Joseph carried on the concern but he is about to give it up. Mr S L Cochrane of Christlaugh went security for the payment of the creditors and I am afraid he will lose a deal by that besides £400 he advanced to them at first. Sam Cochrane will also lose £100 by them. Joseph is carrying on the Buncrana mills himself and is making right well by it. The Gwynnes are all away to America. My aunt has not got the place sold yet but she is about to try to sell by auction on the 3rd December.
I doubt you do not get our letters that we send, for I have written almost a dozen of times since you went away.
Mr Baird's people have sold their place and all their other moveables and are about to proceed immediately for New Zealand, and I hope you will do anything for them that lies in your power as they have been very kind to us when in Kilfennan.
You may let James know that Sam Moore is dead at Swan River and his brother, William, of Liverpool is also dead. Old Mr Macky of the bank was buried this day. William McCoscle's widow of Elah was married to James Preston of Elah. William Macky is home from America. He has got quite a republican spirit home with him. I wanted him to go to New Zealand but he would go nowhere that was under British government. George Mooney is still in Mr Thompson's. He is mad because you did not write to him. There is not much news in Derry that I know of.
You ought to tell us more of that place, describe its natural productions, tell us more of James' business, what kind it is and of his family. They must be a fine family of young ones. You never told us the name of the youngest, I suppose it must be a namesake of my own as all the family names were before exhausted.
I hope Kitty will be soon with us again. She was not here since you went away but was in Cootehill and Belfast time about. I must now draw to a conclusion as the paper is nearly done. See and look out for something for me to do when I go out there. I am living very quiet at home now, no fun at all. I doubt I'll not be so fortunate along the ladies as you, to get one to go with me or come after me, but if not I'll have to try and get one there.
All your old acquaintances are always asking for you and desire to be remembered to you. Remember me sincerely to James, Anne and the youngers and may God Almighty bless you is the prayer of
Your affectionate brother