ARC2013_579.jpg Sarah Ann Trott & Others Plaintiffs V. G. H. Morey & Others Defendants [item] (1905). Collection of Puke Ariki (ARC2013-579).

Robert Morey wrote several letters to his siblings in England between 1885 and 1902. Between his tales of turnip crops and "fine mobs of sheep", it is obvious Robert’s mind is occupied by one thing: there are no good women to marry in New Zealand. “Good gearls out here are very scarce” he writes to his sister in explanation for why he is still a bachelor. He compliments the ladylike behaviour of his English nieces by saying there is “none of colonial gearls about them” and laments his single status as “the cooking is a nucance.”

Perhaps Robert’s problem was not a lack of lovely ladies, but an unwillingness to let go of old relationships. In nearly every letter, Robert asks after his "old sweetheart" Polly Loveridge, and begs his siblings to inform her of his plans to buy a farm. “Tell her to write a pore fellow,” he implores. Robert died of a brain disease around 1906. When his siblings sued one another over the contents of his will, his letters were used as exhibits to prove he was on good terms with them. This excerpt from Robert’s letter to his "Dear Sister Bessy", was posted on 30 June 1902. 

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