Guide to the Letters of Edward Arnold (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Arnold, Edward
Letters of Edward Arnold (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1841 - 1843
Collection Number
12 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

1. Four fragments of letters, two written by Arnold from Waimate, New Zealand. The only complete letter written to Arnold is addressed to Port Phillip and dated November 1843, from Isabella McCullum of Darlinghurst, New South Wales.

2. 11 letters 1841-43 from Arnold to his family in Windsor, England, some from Exeter and Plymouth before his departure from England, the rest from Sydney, Geelong Harbour and Waimate, New Zealand. In addition to news of family interest the letters contain candid comments on places visited, people with whom Arnold and his employer stayed, and his attitude to the treatment of convicts and Maoris. They also provide brief descriptions of employment prospects, costs and living conditions in Sydney and Auckland.

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 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1960 (AJCP Reel: M411). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

The originals are located in the private residence of Mr G.A. Arnold. London.

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 Notes

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 of Australia 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

Maori people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress. It 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.


Arnold, Edward; Auckland, New Zealand; Australia: visits to; Broughton, William G., Bishop; Convicts; Exeter, England; Geelong, Victoria; Great Britain; Maori; McCullum, Isabella; New Zealand: visits to; Plymouth, England; Selwyn, George A., Bishop; Sydney, New South Wales: visits to; Waimate, New Zealand


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 11, p4.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Arnold was a visitor to Australia and New Zealand. Arnold was employed in the service of Bishop G.A. Selwyn, first Anglican bishop of New Zealand. He accompanied the Bishop as a servant on the voyage to Australia, arriving in April 1842. After a brief visit to Sydney, where Selwyn stayed with Bishop Broughton, they sailed to Waimate in New Zealand, where Arnold remained for about a year.

Item Descriptions

Arnold (Exeter) to his parents (Windsor), [12 Dec.?] 1841 (File 1)

Railway journey from Slough to Exeter.

Arnold (Exeter) to his parents, 13 December 1841 (File 2)

Description of Clarence Hotel; Arnold treated like an English gentleman; meeting with Bishop G. A. Selwyn; Exeter Cathedral.

Arnold (Plymouth) to his family, [23 Dec.?] 1841 (File 3)

Arrival in port of ship Tomatin.

Arnold (Plymouth) to his parents, 26 December 1841 (File 4)

Imminent departure; farewell.

Arnold (Sydney) to his parents, 4 June 1842 (File 5)

Damage to Tomatin on entering Sydney Harbour; enforced stay at Mosman Bay for nearly a month; departure of Bishop Selwyn and W. Cotton for New Zealand; would not encourage anyone to emigrate to NSW; difficulty of finding employment; impressions of Sydney; convicts; town of Windsor; capture of bushrangers.

Arnold (St John's College, Waimate) to his parents, 14 January 1843 (File 6)

Memories of home; possibility of teaching either at school for sons of missionaries or a native school; Arnold's knowledge of Maori language; his assistance to Sarah Selwyn as an interpreter; travels of Bishop Selwyn in South Island; disputes with Maoris; arrival in Auckland of juvenile convicts from England; need for a native hospital; Maori pas; discussion with Bishop Selwyn about Arnold's future; St John's College.

Arnold (Waimate) to parents, [20 April] 1843 (File 7)

Plans to return to England; offer of work as a sawyer in Fiji; friends and relatives in England. (incomplete)

Arnold (Sydney) to his parents, 19 June 1843 (File 8)

Departure from New Zealand; Bishop Selwyn; Arnold's low wage; food prices in Sydney; plans to stay in Sydney until he can get a steward's berth; Sarah Broughton; voyage from New Zealand; purchase of clothes.

Arnold (Sydney) to his parents, 29 July 1843 (File 9)

Pecuniary difficulties; his grievances concerning Bishop Selwyn; conflict between Maoris and settlers; request of J. Busby for a warship to be sent to New Zealand; possibility of Arnold joining it as a purser's steward.

Arnold (Sydney) to his parents, 14 September 1843 (File 10)

Engaged as second steward and valet on the Rajah sailing from Port Phillip; expects to be valet to Sir John Franklin returning to England; conflict with Maoris in New Zealand.

Isabelle McCullum (Sydney) to Arnold, 12 November 1843 (File 11)

Bishop W.G. Broughton's good opinion of Arnold; family news.

Arnold (Geelong) to parents, 18 December 1843 (File)

Discusses the impending voyage home; Sir John and Lady Franklin; Arnold's duties on the Rajah.

Letter Fragments (File)

6 fragements. 4 are illegible but are legible. They mention time in New Zealand, and family and friends.