Thursday, 22 November 2012

22nd November 1812: The Luddite convict, Thomas Holden, writes fom his transportation ship, the Fortune

By Sunday 22nd November 1812, the Luddite convict Thomas Holden, had now been moved from the Prison Hulk Portland to the Fortune, the ship that would eventually deport him to Australia. He wrote from the ship to his wife:

on board the Fortune November 22

Dear and loving wife I take this opertunity of Righting a fue lines to you hoping to find you and my Dear Child in a good State of helth and Dear wife I have been Very poorly Ever since I Came on Board this Ship But thank God I am getting a deal better and Dear Wife I Receved your kind and welkum letter on the 22 and dear Wife you say you Could wish to go along with me you little know how I am soled it is a long voyeg of six months and my Brother Said he wished he was in my sted But he little knowes my Sircumstance and dear wife if any thing Should happen any of us from Boulton we let know with all speed

Dear wife you desire me to Right at all opertunitys and you may Depend I Shall But it is a great Deal of truble and Difficulty to get to Right a letter hear Dear wife it dose not troble me to much Being Confined hear as Being parted from you and my dear Child Dear wife we are among a deal a differnd Soarts of peple But If I live to Serve my time oute as I trust In god I Shall you may depend upon it I Shall Returne to Ingland and then I hope we Shall Spend the Remander of our Days in this world in love and happyness togater Dear wife if you Send me any moar money I Beg you will Send it in a Noat and not a post office order and Pay the poastidge

Dear wife as Soon as I reach my jorneys End I Shall Right to you and if thear is any prospect of you Coming to me and us doing well I will send for you and shortly so I would have you to get all the money Gathered togater as you Can Dear father and Mother I hope you will never Seace doing all you Can to get my Pardin or to get me to Stop in Inglond you might get my pardon Sooner But if I go I hope you will do all you Can to fetch me Back agane to you and I hope you will keepe Sending up Pertisones to Government to get me off or to get my Sentance mitegated dear if think I do any moar I hope you will Right and let know by Return of post for we may Sail any Day or we may Stop a month we do not know and So I must Conclude and so no moar at Present from your Ever Loving Efecned husband and Son til Death Thomas Holdin

Please to give my love to my father in low and
Mother in low and Nancy Barret and Thomas
Baret and all inquiring Frie[n]ds

[To] Mary Holden
to be Left at the
Golden Lion Church
Gate Bolton Lee
Moars Lancshire

This letter can be found at Lancashire County Records Office, ref DDX 140/7/11.

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