The letter is from one of Mrs Hamilton-Grey’s books. She says that it is from JANE, the eldest daughter of Basil and Melinda who is named on Melinda’s death certificate. Jane was a teacher and is said to have worked with Caroline Chisholm at one time. She was born CHRISTINA JANE in 1842 and lived till 1903 when she died in the Granville District of Sydney.The letter appeals to me partially due to its being the only one we have found and also because of the poignant mention of her mother who receives a ‘bad press’ from Henry and other recountants.
WRITTEN FROM PITT-STREET TO A NIECE ( IF this is a blood niece then it would be the daughter of either Henry or Edith Emily. Mary Josephine is already dead by this time and therefore is not the niece’s ‘mother’ to whom Jane refers in the letter. Basil Edward died without marriage or children that we know of. It is more likely to be Emily than Henry’s widow Charlotte due to the unhappy connections of the family with her. There is also a possibility of the niece not being “niece” in the technical sense of that word. However, Jane writes the following with affection.)
2 August 1895
My Dear ____________,
I was much pleased to get your long letter; indeed it made up for your mother’s two or three lines,although they are always welcome. I am glad you are soon to be settled in life, and hope you may be happy. In most cases it depends on ourselves whether we are happy or miserable. We make our own little world, for either good or evil. Commence your married life as you intend to end it. Meet one another halfway and all will be well. I am glad , for your sake, that your “Boy” is a temperance man, but there are other Sins besides Drunkenness. I had a letter from Mr Simpson last week. He never forgets you and your mother. I am going to write to him this week and will not forget to tell him of your engagement, etc. He is quite well, his letters are a comfort to me, so cheerful and consoling. You do not seem to be in a hurry to get married;and your ‘love’ does not seem very “hot”; but I think you will always be better for that;from what I have read about “hot love” it soon gets cold. You must know ( or your mother will tell you ) I was never in love myself except with my dear old mother – so that I cannot give you any points about love; but write and tell me about all your affairs. I am much interested. Wishing you all happiness and with love to your mother, believe me,
Representational graphic only. This is NOT Jane Kendall. Courtesy of ETC FLORIDA
Thanks to TG for passing on extensive photocopies of information.