Toodyay Letters

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15 March 1867 Dear husband i rite these
few line to you hopeing
to find you better than it
leaves us at present i have
been very uneasy sinse you did
not rite my children cried
When we got no leter Mrs Bone
has got two leters sinse i got
one will you please to rite to
me and send me wird how
you are getting on i have bilt
myself up thinking i shall get

to you some time or another
My mother sends her best love
to you she had been very ill
but she is better at present
we all send hour kind love
to you we all regret very much
for you i hope their will be a
lighting for you yet Woodhouse
has been for giving hiself up
severl times when he has been
in drink i hope he will your
John and Emma send their
love to you we have wished scores

of time you was comeing in to the
house we should syuse you to deth
for we could like to see that
Jhon ward lives next door to
us he sends his respects to you
his Wife his pius womman

she talks about you very
often Joshua Sykes has sent
word for me to go to their
house but i have not had
time to go you must not delay
riteing if you can it will ease
my mind if you can

if it ever lays in your power
to send for us when you get
abroad i would freely sell
all up to come to you if i
possibly could for health

Dear farther do pleas
to writ to is i Sends one 100
kiss for you thirza Sykes
     a kiss will xxxxx
Ann Sykes sends Dear xxxxx
father i send a 100 kiss for you
Alfredd sens kiss kinds
Love to you     Masbro
Midland Road 33


Masbro' 19 March 1867
My dear Husband—
I have this afternoon received
your letter and am glad
to hear from you—I heard yesterday
that there was a letter from
you at Park-gate and wrote off
immediately to the Governor of
the Portsmouth prison asking
him to kindly send me word
if he could what was the
latest day I could see you, as
I do not see how I could pos
sibly undertake the journey
this week, being without mo
ney, If I had received you

letter on Saturday, it was
the reconing and I would have
done my best to contrive it—
But if you do not leave before
the next reconing I will come if
I come alone for none of them
say anuthing about coming them-
selves, or assisting me to do so either
so far. I feel it as much as you do
to be very hard for you to be
where you are and Woodhouse
at liberty, but rest assured
whether I git to see you or not I
hope that when you arrive at
your journeys end you will not
forget us, for we are always thinking
about you. I hope the

governor will either send me a
reply or allow you to do so, for I
will leave no means untried to
get to see you if there is time
but if I was at the expense only
to be too late when I got there
it will be a serious loss to me
situated as I am. I feel greatly
hurt that you should send your
letters to you Brothers & Sisters
before me—for although we are
separated there is no one I value
and regard equal to you—and
I should like you to still have
the same feeling towards me,

and if there is ever a chance
of our being permitted to join
you again even though it be
in a far off land, both the
children and myself will most
gladly do so—Mr Bone has
written to his wife to get the
childrens likenesses taken for him

to take away with him I should
like you to have ours if you
are allowed the same privilige
Will you let me know? I cannot
give you up. I live in the hope of
our being together again somewhere
before we end our days—My best
love to you, the children also send
their love to you, and love and
remembrance from all friends
your affectionate wife—Myra Sykes


This is intended for WIlliam Sykes number 283 Portsmouth Prison


Governor of this prison Sir it is not my wish or will to go against
the rules or Regulations of this Prison and I hope and trust
through your instumentality that William Sykes Convict
number 283 will receive this into his hands and i hope
it will not miss his heart and i wish to inform him
that his wife and children Brothers and Sisters are
all well at present for ought i know we send our dearst
and kindest respects to you hoping it will find you in
good health, William my advice to you is that you
obey all that are in authority over you and Let
your conduct be good and try to gain that which
lost i mean your character Let me beg of you
to pray to our heavenly father and his son
Jesus Christ to give you a clean heart and right spirit
within and then all your troubles and anxieties of this
world will be small when compared with the
Joy and happiness of that bright world above William
I hope you are aware that our Blessed Lord has
Caused all holy scriptures to be written for our
learning and God Grant that we may hear and
read them and not to read them only but to do what
they teach us and then when the swelling of Jordan overtakes
us may we be ready to meet our saviour and him be ready
to convey us through the valley and shadow of death to our
heavenly father arms there everlasting to dwell with him
Dear Brother i ask you to seek for Christian salvation which

means deliverance from something that is feared or suffered
and it is therefore a term of very general application, but in
reference to our spiritual condition it means deliverance from
those evils with which we are afflicted in consequence of our
departure from God it implies deliverance from ignorance
from ignorance of God, the first and the last the greatest
and the wisest, the holiest and the best of being, the maker
of all things, the centre of all perfection, the fountain of
all happiness, ignorant of God we cannot give him
acceptable worship we cannot rightly obey his will
we cannot hold communion with him here we cannot be
prepared for the enjoyment of his presence hereafter
But from this ignorance we are rescued by the salvation of the
Gospel, which reveals God to us which makes us acquainted
with his nature, his attributes his character, his government
and which especially unfolds to us that scheme of mercy
in which he has most clearly manifested his glory
it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wate
for the salvation of the Lord. William a few more words
when they was leading Jesus to the cross and there followed
a great company of people which also bewailed and lamented
him but Jesus turning unto them said Daughters of
Jerusalem weep not for me but weep for yourselves

Well William in conclusion i will say a little about
the contents of your letter. i believe you said your children
was the strings of your heart now i say let Christ be
the strings of your heart i believe you went on to say that
wentworth was your place of birth and i say let
Christ be your salvation.

William your brother John sends his best
respects to you hopeing the advice Given will have
a good effect your sister Rebecca sends her love
to you and trusts she will see you again before
death do you part and your sister Elizabeth sends
her kindest love to you wish you to behave yourself
under your present situation and as for me C
Charles Hargreaves my desire is to point
you to the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the
world and trust in Christ as your Physician
for it is through him we Live and move and
have our being Dear William your brother John
would give your little boy a good school education
but you Dear Wife cannot find time to send
him to school i conclude with the blessing of God
almighty the father the son and the holy Ghost
may remain with you both now and for ever amen
i trust the governor of this Prison is a kindhearted Man
   Charles Hargreaves Park Gate near Rotheram Yorkshire.


Masbro' 8 April 1867
My dear Husband—
I have this day sent off a
box for you which I hope you
will receive safely—I have
sent you all that I possibly
could and am only sorry
that it is not in my power
to send you more—as soon
as I received your letter I took
it to Elizabeth—She has
sent you two of the smallest
spice loaves, and gave me 1s
towards the expenses&mash;Then I
went to Rebecca and she
could not do anything towards

it. Emma has sent the other
spice loaf and mince pie—&
Elizabeth the testament and
tract, and John the other two
books, and the remainder I
I have sent myself—I hope
you will write back the very
first opportunity to let me
know if you have received
it. I have paid 4/6 carriage
to Bristol they will send us
word what it costs from there
to the ship, and John will
pay that, I should like you
to write as often as ever you
can, and when you write next

send word whether a few post
age stamps will be of any
use to you—I walked to Shef
field yesterday morning in the
hope of getting a good shut
knife for you, but could
not meet with any of them
Sailor Bill is very well but
I did not see him, and Chas
Salt has good into the North
and Edw. Uttley sends his best
respects to you. If Saturday
had been pay day I might
perhaps have been able to get
a trifle more for you I called

at John Cliffs they sent their
love to you & Mrs sent an ounce
of Tobacco—We also send our best
love to you and the children all
wish they were going in the
same ship with their Father. I
have enclosed you a list of the
articles in the box and M....
encloses a packet of needles
with his respects—If you have
the chance to earn any money in
Australia you must save it all up
and I will do the same, that
if there is a chance of our rejoin
ing you we may be able to do so.

Be sure to write and let me know if
you have recd the box for I shall not
be easy in my mind until I hear from
you again—Remaining the best
love and wishes for your welfare.
Your affectionate wife—Myra Sykes.


Masbrough 20 September 1868
Dear Husband I take this oportune
-ty of writing you these few lines
to you to let you know that
I receved your letter dated the
July the fifth 1868 Dear
Husband I was glad to heir
that you were well and in good

(bottom of page torn)

whither I had got one from you
or not and that put me about for
I thought that something had
happened to you because their
was no letters for me and I was
much further put about when I
receved your letter when it was a
week amongst them before I got it
Dear husband when you write again
send me word what sort of a pashege
you had when you were going out
and send word whither you got that
box that I sent you when you
were leving this country for you
never said in your letter whither you
got it or not I am very sorry to be

(page missing)

Old house still and they all

send their kind love to you and
Edward Huttley and his wife
sends their kind love also and your
daughter Ann is in place and doing
well and Afread is working in the
   —al mill and he gets 10 pence per day
Ann Thurza Alf William sends their
kind love to you but William has
got long white curly hair and he

was not called William for nothing
for he is a little rip right and your
Brothers and sisters sends their kind
love to you and their was another

(page torn)

This took place on Lord
Warncliffs Eastart the Keepper
was Shot.
   Berdshaws father
took it so much to heard that he went
and through himself on the rails
and the trains past over him and
Kiled him
   Dear Husband
when you write again Derect
your letter to Mrs Sykes No 39
Midland Road Masbrough


Greasbrough 4 Nov 1869
Dear Husband I take this
opertunety of writing you
these few lines to let you
know that me and all the
Children are all well hoping
that when you receve this
letter you will be in good
helgth as this leves us all at present
thank God for his kindness to
us all Dear Husband it has
been three weeks since I hard
that their was a letter came to
your Sister and I did went to
the post office to see whether it
was right or not and I found out
that their had been one but I
have never seen it yet and Ann
had seen whether hir Ant Bacer
would not let hir see the letter but

She said that she would not
let me nor hir see the letter so
the children has taken it greatly
to heart and they are never done
speaking about it and they never
gave me any pease since but I
have been waiting with the greates
of pacientes till they had all
seen your letter that I might
know how to write to you but
they will not give it up
so the children would have
Me write to you without
Seeing your letter but Ann
is the worst of them all about
it and She is bothered greatly
About it every day in hir life
about it wheir she is serving
for all your old friends in
Gresbrough they are wanting to

know how you are geting
on their is some of your old
friends in the house where she
is every night of the week that
is in Harriss But Dear Husband
I cannot tell what they have
all got against me for I have
never yet bothered them for
nothing since you lef us all
But Dear Husband I have work
ed hur for my Children and
myself Since you went
I have done my uttermost
to bring them up as well as
any other persons Children
about the place and I have
done so yet thank God

We are living in Gresbrough
and Alf is in the pit working
and Ann is place and Thurza
and William is going to the
School and by the time I
get a letter from you I hope
Thiza will be able to write
to you Dear Husband my
brother Alfred is always bad
the same as my Brother Manuel
was before he died and he
sends his kind love to you and
all our familey does the same
Ho and I had my Brother
Ellis and his son Lodging with
me for some time but they
went back to Bannesley
the work was slack there but
it is much better now


9 March
Dear Husban I been long
In writing to you I hope you will
forgive I receved you letter
and was plesed with it I think
you mite send me more work
wot your doing I hope this will
find you in good health as
it leves us at present I want you
to sent a line to Alfred
he is geting up likes to go
to the public But is not a
Bad lad to me and I expect
you will be a grandfather of to
Wenn this Letter arrive at you
Ann on Again she is not very
good Luck lost a dule of time
from binn poly but he
Lucking well my littel Bill as
as been very poly he is
Better and Looks well

I want to now if you Write
to your brother Jos i have seen
him ons I think cince you
went away I hearit say that
if Mr Mondeller git in the
elictions for Sheffield that
he wood be abel to have some
convesation with him and
try to do something for you
it harte Bricks me to write
like this if the prodigal son
cud come Buck to his home
wons more thare woold me
a rejoicing I must tel you
that my brother Herbit as
as got very bad Brunt I
expecte as been getting Drunk
linge on the flor I have not
been to see him I must tell
you that Mr Mondeller got
in for Sheffield and I hope he
will do you good

and you mencend about
Lucking yong I thort you
did when I saw you at Leeds
my hart Broke neley wenn I
felt your hand bing so soft.
Dear Husban you wood be seprice
to see Wot a grit fine lucking
girl Tirza is it will be my
Birth day on Tuensday 17 of March
as for my self I not lucking
very well at present
Brother and sister sends there
best love to you John tell
friends ofen ask if i ever
hear of John thay not yet
Alfred is in the Woinbel main
pit and Ann Husban and my
Brother Ellis Alfred full
week 19 6 pence he minden

Ann Husban say He
Wood Work Hard for you
to come hom if it cud
be Done and my
and my Dear Husban
I sends my nearest
and Dearest Love to you
and all the children
with A 1000 Loves and
kiss wish We may meet
again ho that We
cold in this World


11 April 1875
Dear Husband I writ
these few lines to you
hoping to find you well
ass it leaves us at present
we receved your letter dated
12th of January and was
glad to recieved it and we
recived your letters you directed
to kit royal I dont douted but
you have rote a many letters
that I never heard tell of I
wonce was thee years and
had not had a a letter... your
relations said that you was
Dead I went to Rotherham
townshall and asked if they
knew wheather you was dead
or not one of the police sade
he heard you was desd

I put the chealdren
and my self in black
for you my little Tirza went to
the first place in deap Black
then I heard that your sister
Elizabeth had got a letter
from you my daughter Ann
went to see if they had told her
that you was all rite and
and they told her that ther
letter had gone to Sheffild
she could not see it that wan
the time you wass directed them
to your sister Dear Husband
Elizabeth fected the Bible
and Robinson crewsaw
while I was at the Leeds asices
I bleve John has them
John is living at the
barrow in farnsess in Yorth

I donth now drections
I lent Rebacca five shiling
to go to Leeds with and never
gave that back I had to do
the best way I coud for my
cheldren and my self
Dear Husband cant express
myself to you but I hoap to see
you wonse more seeted in
corner I will the beest for
you if it coms to pass
Some days I feel pretty
cheeful and other very sad
sad But I think it is
owing my age well I
must tell you that Ann geting
Again for A nother and
am sorry to tel you that
he is not one of the best
of Husban

Dear Husban I must tell
my Alfred I beleve is
toler than you peple is
seprsed with him
Thirza I belive she not
far off 11 stone william
nist boy he does not luse
a inch of is ight but Ann she
would be cross with me if
new I sent you wird
I dont think he is veary
fond of work he is a unculted
man peter Looffield
very best respect to you he doing
well he Loves that house that Tamer
selars ned Utley sends love to you
My brothers and Sister best Love—
xxxxx xxxxx Luke Booth send is
respects he live at the wite
house ould Mr Crssland


20 October 1875
Dear father I write these few lines
hopeing to find you better than it
leaves us at pressent my mother as
been very ill and me my self
and I am a bit better Dear father
we think you have quite forgot us all
my sister Ann takes it hard at
you not writing oftener I must
tel you that sister Ann as to nice
boys the oldest is a fine little
fellow well I must tell you what
a stout young man my brother
Alfred as got and Thirza is a
stout young womman poor Ann
is very thin Ann usband and
Alfred works at aldwarke

Main pit Edward Utley sends his
kindest love to you he as a large
famuley they have nine children
uncles and hants sends there kindest
love to you we dont live far
from hand rebacco france I
often play with there little boy
my hant often say I am like
my father there oldest boy
William as been dead fifteen mounths
my uncle John as been over from
barring furnace and he looked very well
very well Dear father you woul
Would hardly know Greasbrough
now if you seed it we have got
a new congregational church and I go
to that school

Dear father Mother would
like to no if they would alow
you our likeness Dear father
you never name me in you
letters but I can sit down and
write a letter to you now
Dear father my mother wants
to now if you ever hear of
been sat free we all send
kindest and dearest love to
you and God bless you
and 1,000 kisses for our Dear
father from your Dear
son William


Dear Husband I am grvd
to my hard A bout my
Ann I have had her
Both times of her
confindments and
Ly shee gating on
We hall sends our
nearst and dearst
     Love to you
with A 1000 kiss
Dear Husband you
must excuse writing


Page 1
Page 2

May 14th 1879
     To Well Sinkers
     in care of Mr C. Adams

William Sykes—

When I went to New-
castle I looked at
the Agreement and
I find you and your
mate were right in
what you said 5
shilling foot for every
five feet I did not
beleive that I made
that bargain with yous
but I see now that
I did.     W.T.

I am quite willing to settle
to settle with you when
I here from either of yous
yous plase send
word     your James Ward

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)