Descendants of Jack Gawn: Donegore and Ballyboley


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Letter from John Hill Gawn to his son-in-law  John Fullerton in Australia


Larne, 1st March, 1880

Dear John,

Again, as in Duty bound, as well as with affectionate regards, I write --- Your last arrived on 10th Nov. 1879. Mother says I did not write since, I think I did. If I did not I most sincerely apologize. You may be sure, we were highly pleased, thankful for its contents --- Truly it is nothing less than the Lord's doing that you succeeded so amazingly  well with the Town Council which I suppose will be a settlement for life -- We are also glad that George has got on so well with his Business and most sincerely hope he will yet be somebody --- What about his "Drawing" that he intended to exhibit? We are also very glad that Helen takes the place of her that is gone so satisfactorily. We daily implore the richest blessing of God on the head and heart of each member of the Family. As it regards James, we are very sorry indeed that he thinks of the dangerous, fatiguing, and in many cases, the reckless life of a Sailor --We had hopes that he would have chosen a more Sacred Profession -- O how many have we known that might  have adorned human Society lying in a watery grave and them in the spring of life, or after a few years returning to their paternal roof to linger for a few weeks or months and drop into an untimely Tomb.

You no doubt have heard a great deal about the Irish Famine -- There is surely a great deal of Suffering in the South and west, arising from the bad crops of last season, and want of fuel. It is seldom otherwise in those localities -- It is, I think, most to be attributed to the impoverishment of the people than any other cause and to the itinerant stump Orators going about exciting rebellion, in breach of law, instead of assisting to tide over the misfortunes that have occurred. Thank God we do not as yet know anything almost about it in this locality except a great scarcity of cash and bad trade which is somewhat recovering. Respecting ourselves --  I am I trust thankful to say that my health continues very good for a man in his 76th year. I am very seldom unwell, I am still able to go on with my Public duties pretty comfortably. I am sorry to say Mother is delicate, principally the stomach. She is still able to be about and we are trying to live as comfortably as possible, not I trust, forgetting that this is not our home.

Louisa has grown a fine, tall, girl -- she is great company for us -- She is rather talented as a musician -- plays the piano well and has considerable taste in that direction.  Our son John and family are as usual -- He has not yet got a living -- but is still a Curate. We hope he may soon obtain one, as he has been a good while in the Harness. We hope you and the family, especially the young people, still retain your Revival Experience -- I regret to say Methodism is not increasing in Spirituality in Ireland, however it may be in Australia. Is the Rev. Jas. Waugh still alive -- If you have the opportunity you might remind him of us.

I must come to a close -- Mother and Louisa, as well as myself send kindest love to you all -- Do not forget to write -- Time hastens on, our time for letter writing will soon be over -- But I hope that we shall meet where death divided, Friends shall part no more for EVER.

Yours very affectionately,

John H. Gawn


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