Tuesday 12 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On Board His Majestys Ship Buffalo Portsmouth
July the 12 1836

My Dear parents and friends

I now embrace this opportunity along with
Sir James he intends to leave us tomorrow we have fairly tired him out
Captain Hindmarsh is still in London. He is attending Court to day
to take leave of the King. He is to be here tomorrow and we expect to
get away at the end of the week. I am sure it is quite provoking
the way the[y] have gone on first and last we have been on board since
Friday last. We fare very well. I have great reason to be thankful
to God I have enjoyed good health. I was sickish yesterday I think
it is owing to the confusion the vessel is in but thank be to the
giver of every blessings I am better. Sir James was here to day and wished me
to go ashore and take lodgings until the vessel sailed but I wished
to accustom myself. On the whole since I left I have had pretty
good health inless it was the sickness in the packet I think I will
be sick for a week or so again after we start perhaps not. Sir James
brought me down on Tuesday with himself in the coach to pre
vent me being sick and fatigued whereas he could have got me down
in the packet free. Mr. William and Ferguson came down in her.
Mr. William was very sick but F. was not. He is the best sailor of us all. Everyone
has done all that laid in their power to make us comfortable
[?] of us since we came amongst them and still doing and
telling the head commanders of the vessel how much they respect us
both and how the[y] wish us to be made comfortable. Sir James
you would say renewed his age when he gets to Portsmouth all
captains colonels officers and all the head soldiers seems
as happy to see him as if he was there father. My dear parents
I was very happy to here you were all enjoying tolerable good
health which is beyond all the blessings in this world we can
crave [?] and happy to say Ferguson is got quiet free from his
complaint he was complaining of when we left. I was very sorry
indeed to hear of Captain Dirom being so poorly but am
happy to hear from Mr. James to day that he is getting a great
deal better. He never got over till yesterday. The Pembroke
is lying at a place the[y] call Spithead about 5 miles from this
he came yesterday. We were in the cabin and the soldiers
on deck told him we were all on shore but he came back to day and
I do assure you I was happy to see the same blythe [?] face of him
he was so cheerful and free as ever he was. Mr. William Malcolm
was saying what a confusion of this and that Mr. James made the
reply Oh we must just put up with all these things we are not
at home. He told me he was going to write tomorrow for home
and he would tell he was here and saw us he asked if we had any
word. I said none but if he pleased to say how we were and where
and I would send a letter by Sir James. He promised to come back
and see us before we sail if he can get up if not he said we were
to keep a look out as we passed Spithead and he would give
us a signal of farewell. He did more than either you or
we could expect. There is a distant relation of theirs a Mr. Phillips
one of the head managers of the vessel well he went to him and
said he hoped he would see that F. and me was made comfortable.
How considerate and kind that was of him. I do assure you I think
a great deal of it. Mr. William also is beyond everything with kindness
to me. There is a great deal of both ladies and gentlemen going
out with us but they are not come on board yet and a doctor
how many young doctors I do not know. There is another
Scotch family besides us. They came from Fifeshire within 4
miles of Bomino[?] but they do not know Uncle’s folk his name
is Cock he is a joiner with a wife and six children just going
out on his own expense upon chance. He has been this six weeks
at Portsmouth at lodgings and they are very dear here indeed.
There is a great deal of familys going in the Buffalo but they are a [?]
way of us for the children makes such a noise there is 22 in our
mess that is the place that we stop in our beds is six feet long 4 feet wide
They are like press shelfs one above another ours fortunately is an under one there
is no more division than a piece of canvas on the side partition. They are
like my mother’s hens nests. How strange every thing seems here indeed such a set
The English is A-like [?] the Scotch folks ways but yet by[?] for they are
beyond all for stuffing for theyre tripe [?]. My dear friends I think it will
be a fortnight from this before Sir James reaches Langholme but as Mr. James
Diron promised to send word about us where we were, and how we need not
dispatch one just now please God to spare us to reach the Cape of Good Hope
they intend to put in there so we wile send you a few lines the next will
either be with a next vessel or after we send[?] if it please our kind protector
[?] he is the giver of every blessing although we are parted we have
all the promised blessing of meeting at a throne of Grace where we never more will
be parted and I hope none of us will ever kneell or even think for we may
think when we cannot get kneeld in private but I hope we will all wish our
hope for each others souls welefare and if we seek seriously after God in Christ
we will find we are far from you all but I hope we are still so
near to God and I trust from my heart our daily small endeavours
that we can and do make will bring us hourly nearer to him we must
trust for the best my dear friends. I had nearly forgot to mention
Sir Pulteney’s son that is at Sidney they had a letter from him
two three days before we left London saying he intended to
make Mr. William a present of a few of the finest of Merino
sheep I suppose these will be about a score but he did not mention
how many but they fancy [?] about what I have stated likewise.
Ferguson has a letter to a gentlemans son there the[y] saw his father
in London. He was selling his wooll he is just returned home
but his son is remaining he told Sir James and Ferguson what
sort of management and sheep was most profitable for the Colony
and sent a letter to his son to render them all the assistance
he could. Every [thing] still appears promising and if we are just favoured
with our Heavenly fathers countenance and protection there is
about 20 of the Royal marines goes out to protect us from our
earthly enemies. There is also a paper to be printed weekly in the Colony
their was one printed before we left London I got a copy
of one which I intend to send along with this if ever you hear of
any vessel coming I hope you will embrace the opportunity by
address to the care of Capt John Hindmarsh Governor of the
new Colony of South Australia but Sir James will let you know
or if you were to seal it and enclose it to Sir James he would be
the best [?] I am only speaking if you hear of an opportunity not to
let it slip. Ferguson and me was very happy to hear you were all well and hope
this will find you all in the same as it serves us both at present we
have many a talk and wonder how you are all getting on what a
butter lump [?] Margaretes little boy will be if he is still thrive on yet [?]
as we hope he is you are to give little Rachel and him a kiss from her
Uncle and me. Ferguson I am happy to say looks very fresh and we were
very happy to here Christine had been up. Ferguson joins me with kindest
love to you all we will see each other before so many years expire please God
to spare us I think I have meantime every little thing I am mind but
I write a few more lines in the morning if spared so good night.

Again my dear parents I take up my pen to write a few more lines. I
am happy to say we are both pretty well again this morning we leave this
harbor about 1 O’clock today at least they are all preparing for it just
now. I think I have mentioned everything I think will interest you. Ferguson
was very sorry at parting with Guile and so was I, but it was Sir James
wish and he would not hesitate about it. We have got a good
deal of things for common clothing at London which will keep us
comfortable for years please God to spare us and give us health to use
them. Indeed everything still the same as before seem prosperous and
as favourable as we can expact and even more than we could expect
but it is hard to say how the helm of fortune will turn all that is hid
from us my dear friends. I must now stop and wish you good
bys I wish you may be able to make out this scrawl I am far from
you but I have every kindness shown me, more than I ever
expected in my station of life, and more than that one of the kindest
and best of husbands I could desire. If it is the almighty will to spare
us to [?] if not that we may be enabled to undergo what
ever he thinks proper to afflict us with. Ferguson joins me
with sincerest love to you all John & Margaret & family John & Mary
and family Aunt Mary David Street [?] and Dear Aunt Jean and all of
[?] and them all old Jenny Biers Robert [?] folk
John Houghton wife and all Jean Hollway and David we were happy to hear he was
satisfied to all enquiring friends and acquaintances which we have
forgot to name tell Baby Skin [?] she must never think of coming[?}
she can lye in one of the Bullocks feeding troughs our sows to and
Biers wife and family David and I Ferguson sends his particular [?]
Love to Christine and she is to pay every attention and kindness
to my father and mother and please God he will reward her for it
and she likewise will receive the Almighty blessing and reward
. I must now stop with our sincerest love and best wishes to you
all so good bye and believe us ever your affectionate son and
Rosina Ferguson
July the 12/ 1836

[on cover]
Thursday morning Spithead we have got this far now.
My dear father it looks a little better now. We expect
Captain H to day so if the wind is favourable we get
of[f] on Saturday. Mr William comes on board to day
and Sir J. so we have all to take leave of him.
Tomorrow he starts for London. There is a great deal of
soldiers always lies at Portsmouth. 5 or 6 regiments is of[f]
to assist the Queen of Spain for the one [several illegible lines]

After you have read the paper you may
send it to my father in law Hardy [?] perhaps will like to see it.
Sir James has made me a present of a pounds worth of little cake.
It is beef boiled till it is like glue. In case I am sick we dissolve it in
water and it is like beef tea. Now my dear parents I hope you will I seriously
beg of you not to make yourselves unhappy about us for we are
very comfortable, as much and more than we could expect.
I will not let one opportunity slip of giving you every detail of how we are and how we get on.
[illegible line]

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