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Adamthwaite Archive

"The website IS the one-name study!"




some letters from home

Ann Adamthwaite (nee Stout) (Joseph’s mother), wrote the following letter to Emma Adamthwaite ( nee Smith) when she was newly married in Australia to Joseph Adamthwaite.  


                                                                     From Kirkby Stephen



                                                                               September 13th 1864


My Dear Daughter,


                   If you find anything in these lines improperly written I beg you will excuse it, as coming from the hand of a loving parent relating to a dear and dutiful son.


                   I received your portrait and the letter a few days after.  You both tell me you are happy, and I do assure you my dear Emma it adds greatly to my comfort in my declining years.  It gives me great pleasure to find that his affections have centred on an object so worthy of his esteem.


                   I hope you will make it your study to instil into your hearts the duty to both God and Man knowing that this is the only solid foundation for the discharge of domestic duties.


                   He was my youngest son and I do assure you he was a great consolation to me.  I anxiously watched over him in childhood as an opening bud of promise. Though we have been parted for nine years he is ever in my mind and I have recommended him to the care of God whose eyes behold all His creatures and will reward according to their merit.


                   Before he came to Australia he resided constantly with me and his conduct to me and everyone that he had connections with has more than justified my most ardent wishes.


                   My health has begun to fail. I am above seventy years of age, so my dear Daughter my time in this world will not be long. Excuse the partiality of a Mother when I tell you as my real opinion you have placed your affections on a worthy young man.  His good qualities have endeared him to all his friends.  It would still add more to my comfort to hear of Christopher getting married.


                   I have one thing to ask you.  Will you let me hear from you once a month as it is a great comfort to hear from those we cannot see.  And since we are parted on Earth let us strive to meet in Heaven.  So now my dear daughter I bid adieu to you both.  Believe me to be a loving Mother,


                                                     Ann Adamthwaite

…We do not hear much from them.    I think they are not doing so well.


Dear Joseph, you talk about giving up the diggings.  True, you have had a good try at them and yet you have laid out a deal of money.  We think if you have your health you had better try a little longer, but Joseph, you know best.  


Sister Ann has been at Winton.  She has stayed three weeks.  She has gone very stout.  Little Ann is waiting of Mother to go at the weekend and often in the middle of the week.  


I am glad to say that I am stronger than I was once and my (illegible) is quite better, or else I was in bad strife for a long time.  


They are all well at Butterscarfe ??(transcribing ???) and send kind love to both of you.  I think they are much the same at Musgrave.  They are all anxious to hear from you and how you are getting on.  Mother has lots of visitors when she gets a letter from you.  Though you have been away a long time your old friends never seem to lose their affection towards you.


When you write you must tell me whether I am very altered since you left.  I was but a child then and very ill-natured, but I have more sense now.


You must please write every month to Mother, and I will do the same to you.  Poor old thing.  Her time cannot be long in this world if she should get out again.


When you get the address to Kit will you send them to me.  We should like to hear from him.  Mother sends her kindest love to you both and all the rest.  So now, my dear brother and sister I beg leave to conclude with kind love to all of you.  You may look for a letter by the middle of March from me


                                                                     I remain


                                                                              Your affectionate sister


                                                                                         Jane Adamthwaite



Across the written page “If the socks are not very shapely you must excuse me for I have never knitted any before”.

The following letter was sent by Jane Adamthwaite, daughter of Edmund and Ann, to her brother, Joseph, in Australia - (1st page missing)  The 'diggings' mentioned in the letter refer to Joseph's early attempts at gold mining.


Edmund Adamthwaite, son of Thomas Adamthwaite and Mary (Pearson) of the OLIVE line married Ann Stout in 1818 and they  lived in Winton, near Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.  Their children were:

Ann, born 1818

John, born 1820

William, born 1822

Mary, born 1824

Christopher, born 1832

Joseph, born 1834

Jane, born 1836


Three of the sons - John, Christopher and Joseph - emigrated to Australia.

Edmund Adamthwaite died in 1851 - and unbeknown to his parents back in England, son Christopher died in Australia in 1864.

It must have been so distressing for Edmund's widow Ann writing the following letter, knowing that she would never see her new daughter-in law Emma.  Perhaps the portrait she mentions in her letter is the same as that shown on the left?


Emma Smith - Ann Adamthwaite's new daughter-in-law

We don't know when this second letter was written, although as Jane mentions Joseph's wife in the final paragraph it must have been after 1864 when Joseph and Emma married. As she says 'to look for a letter by the middle of March' it was probably written in around December, as the journey from Liverpool to Sydney took around three to four months, but clearly the family back home were still unaware that Christopher had died.


Joseph and Emma went to on lead happy and productive lives and have a large family in Australia ... you can read about their life in another story in this section, 'Quambatook'

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