Guide to the Letters of David Atkinson and other New South Wales Settlers (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Atkinson, David
Letters of David Atkinson and other New South Wales Settlers (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1810 - 1862
Collection Number
10 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The collection contains ten letters written in New South Wales between 1810 and 1862. Six of the letters were written by David Atkinson and were lent for copying by Mr Harry Shepherd. The owners of the other four letters are not known. The letters are listed in the order that they appear on the original microfilm.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1961 (AJCP Reel: M436) filmed at the private residence of Mr H. Shepherd, Yorkshire, England. Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

National Library of Australia, Canberra (originally with Mr Harry Shepherd, Yorkshire, England). Collection reference: NLA MS 670. For further information see David Atkinson at the National Library of Australia (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Atkinson, David; Boorowa, New South Wales; Emigrant voyages; Emperor (ship); Melbourne, Victoria; New South Wales: immigration to; Sydney, New South Wales


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 13, p. 27

Item Descriptions

C. French (Sydney) to Capt. Charles Bethune (HMS Conway), July 1838 (File)

An invitation to Capt. Harding of HMS Pelorus for Friday next.

Capt. Charles McIntosh (Sydney) to Wilson & Son (Bannockburn, Scotland), 27 July 1810 (File)

This letter discusses: payment of a bill; discrepancies between bill and amounts stated in a letter to Governor Lachlan Macquarie; hose cloth and plaid despatched to 73rd Regiment.

Benjamin Clayton (Windsor) to Fanny Broughton (Appin), 5 December 1834 (File)

Claytons' letter discusses: his return from Sydney; licence sent to Parramatta for the Governor's signature; Clayton's confident hope that Fanny will soon be his wife; his breakfast at Hobartville with members of the family of William Cox; meetings with Mrs Bernie in Sydney.

Biographical / Historical

Frances Broughton (1814-1893), the daughter of deputy commissary William Broughton, married a doctor, Benjamin Clayton (1805-1854) on 18 January 1835.

Rev. Irving Hetherington (Patrick Plains) to Rev. James Allan (Sydney), 21 May 1839 (File)

This letter details: the regrets of his inability to attend meeting of Presbytery; financial estimates; appointment of a minister at Portland Head; growth in the number of adherents in Hetherington's district, including 23 Highlanders on one farm; current total of 150 adherents entitles Hetherington to the second rate of stipend.

David Atkinson (ship Emperor) to his father and mother, 4 March 1851 (File)

The letter discusses: thanks for letter received at Plymouth; he spends most of the day on the deck which is beneficial for his health; meals; good weather; expects to see Madeira tomorrow; sightings of fish and other vessels; church services; death of a child; appointment of constables on the ship.

David Atkinson (ship Emperor) to his brother, 4 March 1851 (File)

The letter details: 300 emigrants, mostly Irish, on board ship; good meals as they are government stores, but short allowances of flour, rice, potatoes and biscuits; well treated by emigrant depots at Deptford and Plymouth; church services; death of a child; passengers divided into messes.

David Atkinson (Boorawa) to his brother, 14 September 1862 (File)

This letter: thanks for his letter; hopes to see family again; advice on emigrating to Australia; wages for farm work; losses due to his employer's bankruptcy; he has not drunk liquor for four or five years; nearly all Indigenous Australians have 'tumbled down'.

David Atkinson (Sydney) to Mr Carroll, 23 August 1857 (File)

In this letter Atkinson discusses: how he has not heard from Carroll since his arrival in the colony; his voyage to New Zealand with 40 horses; if Atkinson's brother wishes to emigrate he will pay for his expenses.

David Atkinson ('Collingwood', Gunning) to his brother, 18 April 1862 (File)

Dearth of letters from his mother and brothers; his baby son James.

Biographical / Historical

Note: Collingwood was a station on the Fish River, near Gunning, which had originally been owned by John Hume, the brother of the explorer Hamilton Hume.

David Atkinson (Boorawa) to his mother, 18 June 1862 (File)

Discusses: lack of letters; news of death of Mr Carroll; requests a gun or a watch as a keepsake and also a newspaper from home; insolvency of his employer Chambers.