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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Lady Ellen Stirling

In their own words

Lady Ellen Stirling
Audio: 2 minutes

The departure of the Hero affords me an opportunity of sending the box of plants, Number One, which I received full of fruit trees in February. The second box I also hope to ship but Mr Drummond who offered to fill it has been so dilatory that it has not yet made its appearance.

If my letter has reached you, you will know that Number One has been filled by Captain Meares. They all appear healthy plants. I sincerely hope the contents of both the boxes may arrive safely in England and that they may meet with your approbation. I should wish you to mention which of the two cases arrive in the best order and also which of the two contains the most valuable collection. Captain Meares will be much gratified to hear that his exertions have been successful, as he has been very kind in obtaining flowering shrubs. You will also receive by the Hero the specimens collected and arranged by Miss Vittoria Meares and I think they are so well done that they will be valuable to you or at least to some of your friends.

Any curious fruit trees would be an acceptable offering to Captain Meares in return for what he has done. But as he is not overburdened with riches and the large cases are rather expensive, you had better send his portion with mine or in case of our having left the colony, make some arrangement about the payment. He is very clever with everything connected with gardening. When you write to him do not allude to what I have said about expenses.

The box which Drummond undertook to fill has not yet arrived. It is not my fault if it is left behind for I have done all in my power to hurry the old man but he is rather obstinate and likes to have his own way. All the fruit trees that came out in the last box are dead but those that arrived in the Shepherd are very flourishing. I am going to ride to Woodman’s Point in quest of shells. I walked there and back the other day, a distance of twelve miles without picking up one, but I hope I shall be more successful this morning.

Acknowledgements

Stirling, Ellen (1837) Letter to her cousin James Mangles from the Swan River settlement, 3 November 1837, State Library of Western Australia

Attribution

Voiced by Natasha Vickery

Related people

Lady Ellen Stirling

Related information

Ellen Stirling
Ellen Stirling
Ellen Stirling
Ellen Stirling

Duty bound

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2009

Joanna Gilmour explores the life of colonial women Lady Ellen Stirling, Eliza Darling, Lady Eliza Arthur, Elizabeth Macquarie and Lady Jane Franklin.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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