Thursday, 29 March 2012

Hilarious Convict Letter 1828

Courtesy of Carol Brill

 This is a great letter... let Carol tell you about it...

Dear All,
I've just tripped over another wonderful letter written by a convict in Jerusalem writing to his Mary Anne in the Female Factory, in 1828. I hope you don't mind me posting all of it - it's such a delight, and took me a while to decipher, even though I'm an ex-school marm with some experience in this area!
"(The following letter was delivered last night at our Office, in Liverpool-street; we suppose, in mistake for the Female Factory. As there exists some difficulty in transmitting letters of business to the inmates of that establishment, we here publish it for the benefit of all concerned).

JERICHO, May 28, 1828. - My dear Mary Anne,

I sees the furst safe and since I ave bin eer to ryte to you, which I does by Kunstaple ------- who is going to camp to-morrow morning with poor Jim who as got into trouble, I ave giv him a doller, with wich he has promessd to by you a drop of summut, wich I ope, will be sum cumfurt to you in yor present doll cityashun. I was very sory my last tryall to git you ought did not succeed. Mr. Lacklane found it all ought ass you no. For all thatt I ope you will not be fals to me, for I ave a plann in vyou by wich I think I shall be able to git back to camp, and to git a frind to take you oaf. My merster kips a number of milking cows and a large diary awl verry reglar, and I expex he will send me to camp with the nixt lode of butter. He as also a number of marine ship and takes a grate deal of pens with the owl, wich he intends to pack up carefooly and send away by the Call Easter, now loding in the arbour. You need nivirr be jellies of me for I think of nothing but my dear Miss Ma!
ry anne and her lovly fase day nor nyte, from your loving and halfexshonat lovyer.

Poss Kripp. Do not forget to send a loin by the Kunstaple who will be on iss gurney back in a boot a week. I ave written some loins of pottery on you, wich I will send you nixt time. Send, me a Kurrier with the camp noose. Yours till death." - Hobart Town Courier 7 June 1828

A few clues: I sees the furst safe and = I siezed the first safe hand; Marine ship = Merino sheep; pens with the owl = pains with the wool. Also, the Calista berthed in Hobart town in early May and departed in July, with 400 bales of wool on board.

I've tried to identify this Mary Ann, and the Jericho master, and the writer - no luck yet - any help on the identities of any of them will be gratefully received.

Best wishes from your halfexshonat friend,

Carol Brill

 If anyone has any clues as to who Mary Anne was, or the writer of the letter, please post a comment. We would love to know. Thanks to Ellen Crehan for sharing this treasure.

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