The Irish Bomfords
Transcription letter to Robert Savage 1869
From Trevor Winter, brother of Samuel Pratt Winter
(Transcription by Cindy Hann, email 18 Feb 2015; original letter in the collection of the Mitchell Library, Sydney: MLMSS 1203)
Murndal Augt 28th 1869
My dear Savage
G. Bomford left this place to-day for Melbourne. I suppose you are aware that his wife sailed in the Norfolk. It is a sad case but really I cannot see that she could do otherwise, in the way he was going on.
The only two times he went from here, ostensibly to attend to his profession, he conducted himself so as effectually to prevent him getting anything to do, and not only that, but wasted a lot of money some ₤12 or ₤15, sums though not apparently large in amount, are really so to a man who has not only to keep himself in a respectable position but to support a wife and family.
I have no doubt if he sees you he will tell you that he has been scandalously used. Now there is not one of his friends who is more sorry to see him in the position he is in or would be more pleased to see him recover his lost status than myself, and I must say that from what I saw of him up here, I quite agree with his wife that she had no [doubts?] that she and her children might not be left penniless and homeless at last.
I do not know what he will do, in fact he does not know what to do himself. One moment he will agree to try and get on, in his profession, and redeem himself. The next he flies off into a passion because his wife deceived & swindled him, and that he will raise money, follow, and take the children from her and never speak to her or give her another penny.
I am afraid that though he may have brains & information enough he [wants ballast?] and determination of character ever to succeed in his profession. Now one of the principal reasons I have for writing to you is that he will be very short of money for a time (as he gave Flora a draft on his father for ₤100 in one of his penitent moods. Which he regrets when he goes off the other way).
Now Flora when she was leaving, left instructions with an agent to sell her piano and other things she had in Melbourne, and remit the proceeds to Mr Cooke, as a stand by[?], in case GB should get into any great difficulty. Cooke (who is too ill to write himself) would be much obliged to you, if GB should keep steady, and try to follow his profession, and should ask you to lend him money to pay his way, until he can again draw upon his father, to advance him, at intervals such small sums as would be necessary for his support in the most economical manner, and Cooke would remit them to you as soon as he hears from the person Flora left the things with to be sold. He will write and let you know what amount he would have and that you could go to. Of course if GB should again commence drinking it would be far better to send the money to Flora for the benefit of herself and the children.
Of course if you undertake this unpleasant job Cooke would leave it to you when & how much to advance at a time. But it would be necessary that it should appear to come from yourself as he has a regular dislike to Cooke attributing to him the separation between himself & his wife, though such is not the case, as other friends to whom she applied XX amongst others, told her there was no other course open to her.
I hope you Mr Savage are flourishing on your new farm , and that Mrs Savage has not killed either herself or anybody else with the ponies. She wrote to Flora she was to XXX how is Jupiter getting in I suppose he is growing up into a fine boy now .
I suppose you will see in the papers that we have at last got up to the top of the tree with sheep of our breeding at Coleraine. Now as Willi got the highest price of the last sale for Victoria wool I consider we have improved?? Will the champion XXX was in?? out of the 1st pen of [Curris Curnis Cuinis Currie?] Rams that was sold at Coleraine when you were up here. They have made one mistake in the publishing . List they have put down W. Swan as the winner of the first prize, in the 4 tooth ewes, whereas we got it and it was out of this pen they took the champion ewe so the mistake was rather disgusting. The prospects for the sheep owners up here is anything but favourable as I have not seen so dry a season as far it has gone, since 41 or 42 and at present there is little prospect of rain. Many of the people up here will have to shear in the grease, even we will be hard pushed for soft water to wash our wool, on the average was third in the list in this district. Willis & Skene being the only ones who beat us but [thinking?] on average, on what it[sold? told?] if/it has just grossed this year what it netted?? last.
The crops up here look very fair if it was not for the white grubs; caterpillars they call them. They are the common white grub with red? heads that we use for fishing, who have increased to such an [extent?] this year that they have destroyed hundreds of acres of grass and are now attacking the crops. They eat up 300 acres of white clover in the valley in the [part?] the artificial? Grasses seem to be their favourite food.
Give my kindest regards to Mrs Savage and tell her that though I do not write I do not forget her & Jupiter and believe me
N.B. dont say anything to GB about receiving this letter.