Monday, 30 May 2016

30th May 1816: The convict, Thomas Holden, sends his final letter from Sydney, Australia

Sydney New South Wales May 30th 1816

Honorde parents

I take this Opportunity by the Ship Alexander with pleasure to inform you that Mr Allan as procured a promise from the Governor of Emancipation for me which I am to Receive the first Monday in nexs Month which kindness we agree than of this Colony for the Remainder of my Sentence & do expect to leave Mr Allan, in hopes of getting into some More Lucrative Employment which I trust in God will prove [    ] [    ] that at the Expiration of the time I have the [inexpressable] Happyness of once More enjoying my beloved parents and Relations I have to Acknowledge the Receipt of three Letters
from you which I was happy to Receive & hope I shall hear Again at all Opportunity with all information as to hear from you is a great Happyness to me – I have no particular News here to Relate Excepting that the Native Blacks are Continually Murdering the White People in the Interior
of the Country the Soldiers where font in persuit of them A few weeks back & Shot 14 of them – I hope when you write you will inform me of the Welfare of my Wife & Dear Child I wish you to Understand that this favor I am to Receive is totally Risen from my own good Conduct in Service
[of] not the least indebted to Any Interest through Colonell Melcher in fact it is only wasting paper mentioning him or Isaac Crompton & I hope when I have the pleasure of Returning to you which Nothing but Death will prevent that I shall never be Disgusted with their presents or names

I hope that you got my last Letter by the Emu Dated March last, wherein I wishd you to forward me Sundry Goods which I now most earnestly hope you will not Neglect doing According to my Instructions as they will be of Serious Service towards assisting me Home I am Exceeding Sorry to hear the Death of my Grandmother & Uncle Richard Holding – but it is a Debt we must all p[  ] I would be happy to receive a Letter from my Brother if he can possibly find time to Write me one – & [    ] Cousin James – haveing No further information to Communicate at present I conclude hopeing to God to give you all health & Happiness & my speedy Return hopeing to be Rememberd to my Wifes Sister – & all Enquiring friends & with God Bless You all --

I remain Yours
Most Dutifull Son
Thos Holding

NB The night after this was wrote I was robbed of all my money and among other things they broke open this letter. I hope by this time you have received the newspapers which I sent by my last letter. The first monday in next December I am to receive my Emancipation which day I hope you will keep up

yours &c
T. Holding

My dear wife and Louing Child that is the [  ] any has I hope the dey will Coum when we shall have the ple[sure] of once moar meetting  in this world, No more hat present from you Lovin housband

Mr John Holding
to be left at the Golden Lion
Church Gate Bolton le Moors

This letter can be found at Lancashire County Records Office ref DDX 140/7/21. Thomas Holden did receive his emancipation, and returned home to Bolton in 1818.

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