Edie Sherwood Letters 1913

Postcard of “Dorothy Falls, Lake Kanieri, Photo by Thiem. No. 4789”

Dear Gert Feb 14. 1913
Have just discovered mail closes earlier this week so no time to write letter again. Am having a nice time here good weather, no post, no papers & no mothing? escating? here - but just a nice happy family. Have been one or two drives but the 'ass is a bit slow. We could walk nearly as quick. One of the boys has to go 10 miles for drill he is in the mountain rifles so he will take Mrs. Dawson & I in the gig if fine His horse is a bit too frisky for Mrs. to drive. We had a little picnic in the bush one of the afternoons it was decent.
Must now close with fond love from your loving Sister Edie.


Postcard of “The Wharf, Gisborne No. 4754”

Dear Annie, Rahotu, Feb 18 year?
Am too busy to write a letter this week. Either going out or else folks coming in. Tonight 4 of us are going up to a friends house at the foot of Mt. Egmont to sleep & climb up next day to the top if possible. We only arranged it last night. & Tuesday is the only day we can all fit in. How are you all keeping. I expect letters in 2 or 3 days. Am I too late to wish Ben many happy returns of the day. I suppose the children are all growing quite big by now. Shall be seeing you all before very long.
Your loving Sister Edie


Queens Avenue, Fendalton Christchurch, Feb 25/3

My Dearly beloved neice [sic]
Well I was very pleased to hear you were having such a lovely time. How lovely for you you to be able to see the bush & above all, the bullock wagons. So many people say, that those who have lived in N.Z. A lifetime, have never had the opportunity of seeing the life near the bush.

There is such a revolution here, we have the “daisy vacuum cleaner, it does the carpets & mats & rugs no more toil beating carpets. Poor Edie that was hard work for you, Annie was finished her work about 9-40 this morning, & ready to wash the kitchen. Tis lovely. There is a little brush for the cornices & wood work, & no dust. Oh it is lovely. You can beat chairs & sofa & not a scrap of dust comes out. The house feels quite different.

(We are cumming on) Gilbert was home last week from his southern trip (which only cost £60). He has gone North now in Napier this week. ? we had a special meeting of Directors, Lawyer ? & this is his last chance. He has to work on so much a day now. Poor old Gilbert. A lady told me yesterday if he went wrong it was some one elses doing, they would have something to answer for. She had seen letters from him, which were the most beautiful, she had ever read. Willie is in a fix, he wired this morning, Jerusalem wanted a bill of sale, we don't know what will be done, He should never have done business that old bad Jew. Harry & Edgar both want a few brass buttons, which I can't send Harry earned £27 for Nov. His employer called here about the cleaner & told me ?Change it a few hours after I had a wire from Harry he must have £6. I wonder whether you will …..(I don't know where rest is, think this must be from Aunty Rachel though)

I am uncomfortable with Rachel's antisemitic remarks, but I've left them intact as a historical record of the culture in which they were considered acceptable (ditto for another letter when Edie talks about a converted Jew preaching at her church.


Muses Club, 18 College St., Hyde Park, Sydney

Dear Edith
I got your letter, but I could not answer as I have not got any addresses, so am just chancing per cousin. Harry as my book still on board, he will give it back to me on his return, it has your address in. I was glad you were such a good sailor, see what experience does, you will soon be quiet a seasoned traveller. Sorry to hear of the death of your cousin, it was very dreadful, but you were just as well not attending a funeral, it would be very depressing to begin your holiday with.

I hope you are well & enjoying yourself, & that you are going to stay a long time. Mind you call & are me on your return voyage, I am longing to have a chat with you. I have been getting on fine. Been elected a member of that august body the Christian?? Trained Nurses Association. I am entitled to wear an enamelled silver badge which I do not. Also been elected a residential member of the Kaisis' Club Ltd, where I stay when not at a case, so you see I have been hustling a bit, got this case two days after joining the Club, they sent me out, that was my third week here, so I lost no time, did I? It is not a nice case of an old woman, who has gone quite mad since I came here, & I have to give her morphia etc, to keep her quiet, it is very monotonous. The people are very nice & kind, but I don't get out very much & it is very trying, being kept awake at nights. Been here 6 weeks now.

The house is at Drommogne, a lovely place on the river side not far from the wharf. I often go in for a swim, but it is very lovely. I spent quite a lot of time with Harry, the week he was here, he is writing me a hopes for a day or two on his return voyage. That all depends on work etc. Have had no definite news from England, but Mr. Wilson wrote me & said he had written to Tommy about the bank in Western Australia. I hope to hear in another month. But I get some very nice letters. I am anxiously looking for some of the photos your cousin promised me, I am sorry if he is offended with me, but he should have been more careful in what he said to me, & the best he could have done was to apologise for it, his remarks were very unkind & untruthful, not to say rude. But you have nothing to do with that, so if you do get this letter, please write& if you can please come & see me.

I will never forget your kind companionship on the boat – it made all the difference to the voyage.

Kindest love & best wishes
Yours affectionately


To E. Sherwood, Crescent Hotel, North Shore, Blackpool, England
(Crossed out: Drydal Mount, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton)

Ben we find owes £50 for bicycle fixtures & repairs petrol ?. We are taking it from him & he will have to pay his debts so much a week.

Queen's Avenue
Mar 27 / 13

My Dear Edie
The day is drawing near for your departure from our lovely country. It makes me feel sad when I think of it. I wish I could see you once more. Lest I forget, I have got the Insurance monies without certificate. It has not come to hand & no word about it. The money is invested for 2 years at 5 or 6 per cent. I forget which on property. Auntie Burman has received the bank note alright. She seemed very pleased. I am so glad I sent it.

Edgar has evidently lost his wallet, am having to send him money this mail. We have still to address letter to Union?Co.? So perhaps they will let you known were you can find him or if you write perhaps he will meet you. He is doing tallying work for other co's now. Not much chance of me getting a holiday. He talks about May going out to work when she can get a place where she can take the baby, & putting them to a boarding school which I fear means the convent. Perhaps you can find out for me. Don't forget about the Carlingford property, see if it is worth £100, & please find the name of the people who said they would cultivate it if we would let them live it. I would like that money for my sweet self.

We have had a glorious time at the Chapman Alexander mission. I have been to every meeting for three weeks, morning afternoon & night. We have been having lovely weather. Jerusalems have taken over Willie's business, & have to pay other creditors 12/6 in £ We lose £300. They are keeping Willie for a time at £4 a week. I am sorry for him. Did I send you word, he need?used? 17.00. Of course he has more stock than that value. Good bye dear Edie.

Write often. With love from
your loving Auntie Rachel.

Insurance monies, Is she referring to John Manttan's bankruptcy...or fire whatever it was, was that around 1912-13? Is Auntie Burman a sister to Anne and Rachel (Thompson)? Carlingford is probably a property they own in near Sydney (the Manttans lived there in about 1903-04).


To: Miss E. Sherwood, c/o Mrs. Cameron, 215 Trafalgar St., Petercham, Sydney
Postmark = 21 Apr 13 N.Z.; Ethel was Douglas Manttan's widow

Sunday Morn
April 19th 1913

Dear Edith,
Your welcome letter I received a week ago. Have intended answering it every day.....Nelson is indeed the garden of New Zealand....long long letter!

We were all more than sorry that you could not come to Nelson again to see us... Your arrival in Auckland always brings back sad memories to me. But we must leave all, in Higher Hands than ours....
Give my love to the Aunty who has gone through the same trouble as myself. And tell I can sympathize with her fully. Mother & Annie seem to be getting on well. It is wonderful, don't you think. I thought the shock would be more than she could stand. I will be seeing them soon. Did you know my sister Mrs. Goller was expecting her first wee stranger in July. About the ninth. She is going into nurse Bethuner Home to be confined. She is making elaborate preparations for the wee darling. I only hope every-thing comes off well. I am going down to keep house for her....
always be glad to hear from you.
Believe me,
Yours lovingly
Ethel Manttan

Edie seems to have arrived just about the same time that her cousin Douglas Manttan fell down a lift shaft and died.


Miss Sherwood
c/o Mrs. Bishton
73 Bath Road

Franked: No such street in Wellington, Unclaimed 27 May 1913

Queen's Avenue
May 22nd / 13

My Dear Edie
I was wild with myself when I found I had missed the mail & you could get no letter before you left.. It was so nice having your nice long letters from Sydney, about our old friends. I must write to the land agent you told me of Richards, must find his address somewhere. You will wonder about our news. You will be surprised & perhaps amused to hear. I dispensed with my lawyer & auditor, with a short letter to each.

They wanted to be too hard on the boys. Mr. Weston wanted the auditors to take the business over, get rid of the boys altogether. It was too rough, & so I decided to give them another chance. I think they have had a severe lesson, & will do well. We have another auditor & he is checking everything & will give me a monthly report. He will be advisor a little bit instead of supervisor as the other one wanted to be. Thank you so much for taking the trouble about Edgar. It was such a relief to me to hear from them again.

I read a verse the other morning, about the wise woman considering a field, & buying it. So I bought the section beyond the second house from us. & we are taking an avenue off it on to our back land. Frank is or we are going to build on the back. The front will face avenue & part of the house built over the shingle hill – The section will be fenced all round, & we are borrowing £800 for everything buying the front section, & a building round bungalow with tiled roof. We have all to gain & nothing to lose, as they are lending on that land. 2.30 People will not let me be good when I am 5.20 trying to be. Mrs. McKenzie came in & now it is 5.20. & I wanted to write to my sister. Oh I am sorry another week gone, only just time to catch the mail. Mrs. Williamson our Choir master, told Annie she must be very clever, to play as she does. She's like a young plant? & will grow into a beautiful tree. Fondest love to Auntie Burman, & everyone & to your own swate [sic] self from

Your terrible
Auntie Rachel.


Miss Sherwood
c/o Mrs. Bishton
73 Bath Road

postmark Christchurch

Queen's Avenue
June 25th 1913

My dear Edie
You said in your post card we received from Colombo this morning you had not received my letter yet. Well, this is the third letter I have written to you and you have not answered one of them yet. So, who has fallen in this time? There is not a scrap of news to send you this time. Have you arrived home safely? I have been watching the papers for the name of your boat but must have missed it, or else you have not arrived in yet. Ethel is in Wellington on her way to Christchurch. We don't know when she will be here, I wonder whether we shall see her or not. We had a letter from Jenny the other day, she said Harry is earning thirty shillings a week advertising some new tooth paste. I shall be glad when he learns to be a man. Gilbert wants mother to let him have five hundred pounds worth of goods & thirty pounds in cash to start for himself in Auckland. He does not want much. I wish there no such things as toys ever invented. They are a lot of rubbish. We have not heard from Willie yet, wouldn't know where he is or what he is doing. Please give my love to everybody and I wish you were here to make us a hot cup of tea.

With very much love,
Your loving cousin
Annie Manttan


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