William Macky to Thomas Macky(Endorsed Received per Kitty)
October 1st, 1851
My dear Thomas
We received your kind letter of 7th April on the 6th August and it gave us all great pleasure to hear of your welfare.
You must excuse me for not writing to you since that time until now, but as we were anxiously expecting to get the farms disposed of I did not wish to write till I would be able to give you some certain news respecting them. We have got nothing as yet done and as Kitty is now about to go to New Zealand I thought you might think it strange or unkind if I would not write to you with her. We had hoped that we would have been all going together but as there is little prospect of us being ready soon to go it would have been folly for her to wait for us, and I am sure you will be anxiously looking out for her. And if I miss the wedding I hope to be there in time at farthest for the christening and my God grant you and her every happiness and comfort is my fervent prayer.
I hope that ere long we may be able to get the farms sold though it will be at a low price. There are not many caring for buying land at present, more particularly, land without a lease. Kilfennan would sell ready enough but I am afraid we will not get more than about £600 for it and it costs a good deal to make a title.
Coshquin will not be so easy sold. We are at present in hopes of getting it sold to a Scotchman but have no certainty about it. I think it will not sell for more than £250 so I am afraid when all debts are paid we will have very little to take out with us.
It is very kind of James to provide a farm for us in New Zealand. You will please thank him for us and I hope if God spares us health we will be able to repay him for his kindness. We are very glad to hear that he is doing so well in his business and that he has such a fine family.
You press John very much to go out and I am sure, could he get an appointment from the Free church to the congregation there he would not hesitate to go but he does not like the idea of going on chance. When you wrote to him about coming you ought to have tried and got some of the members of the church in Auckland to have recommended John to the church at home. He has applied to the Free church for an appointment but how it will be yet I do not know.
There is very little prospect of the times mending in Ireland soon. Potatoes are gone this year again and corn is likely to sell very low this year. Flax is the only article of farm produce likely to sell well and it, in general, has been a bad crop this year. We had 11 acres of it sown this last year and it has done middling. We have two stooks of bruised flax off it all.
We are glad to hear of Uncle and Aunt Baird being so very well fixed. It was well for him he sold at the time he did; he would not sell near so well now. The girls are likely to be married by this time as I suppose the ladies are scarce commodity there. Remember me sincerely to them all and tell them that I hope soon to be able to visit them in their new house.
I have very little news to write to you for Kitty will be able to tell you all my news better than I can write it to you.
Mr Wm Thompson has got married to an English lady, sister-in-law to John Keys. He has removed his business to his new house and his brother, James Thompson, in company with Muir Crawford (formerly of Butcher St) are occupying his old place in the grocery line. George Mooney is still with Mr Thompson. He is always glad to hear of your welfare. Wm McAuley has a book shop in the Diamond and the other brother is still with Mr Thompson. William Macky has quit farming and turned auctioneer. He is doing very little and I am afraid he will never do very well in any business. James McIllwane is occupying his farm in Lisfannon. There is not much change among your old neighbors about Coshquin. The Wallaces are just all the same as you left them. They are often enquiring for you and glad to hear of your welfare. Mr Stewart's family is well and always the same kind of neighbors as ever. Mr Mills, of Balowery, two sons are both dead, one died in St Louis, America, and the other in California.
James Macky's family is all well. He and Jane and Mary are getting very old looking. I am afraid he is greatly reduced in worldly circumstances. If times improve not I doubt he will scarcely be able to hold on in his farms. Margaret, their eldest child, is dead but they have still four daughters and one son alive, a small helpless family. Gallaugh people are all well, just the same old thing. They have written to Aunt Baird so you will hear their news. Kilfennan folks are well and glad to hear you are well.
I must conclude for want of anything more to say but Kitty will be able to tell you all the news better than I can write it to you, but I hope that before this reaches you we will be in the way of joining you all there and then we can spend many an hour in talking over old times. I have no doubt but John will be along with us, let him get the appointment from the Free church, aye or no, and when we all meet together in Auckland it will surely be a joyful meeting.
There is not one among us more desirous of going than sister Dorcas, she is always talking of New Zealand.
Remember me sincerely to James, Anne and the children, to all the Bairds, and may God Almighty grant you and dear Kitty many happy, happy days is the earnest prayer of
Your ever affectionate brother,