A letter of love, Gundagai Jan 1859 from John Jewell Rutter

John Jewell Rutter  was born in 1831 Lymington Hampshire England, son of John Obahiah Newell Rutter and Mary Frances Good.

His wife who was also his half first cousin was Cecilia Sophia Cooper, born 1837 Currawang Lake George NSW, daughter of Robert Cooper and Catherine Newell Rutter.

They were married 29 Jan 1859 Gundagai and moved to Milton on the South Coast NSW in 1862, where some of their descendants reside today.

Many of their Rutter and Cooper siblings/cousins were also living in the Milton Ulladulla district at the time.

In early Jan 1859, JJ Rutter wrote to his aunt Mrs Thomas Chapman of Kiama, (Catherine Newell Chapman was Cooper nee Rutter) requesting that his “dear Cely” be allowed to come to Gundagai and they be given permission to marriage…

My dear Aunt

I am happy to be able to inform you that I am now in a position to receive my dear Cely. I have taken on a very neat and comfortable cottage, which is quite new. It is now in such a state as I am sure you would approve of. I have taken the cottage for six months with a proviso that the lease may be extended to a longer period if I wish.

I am now getting things ready to receive the Office as W Cracknell has assured me I may rely on getting sanction of the Govt.. To do so I took possession of the cottage on the 1st Jany and am now living in it.

I am sure I need not again assure you that everything shall be done to compensate dear Cely moving up. I am aware it will be a hardship for her to leave home but I will do my utmost to make her very happy in the new home up here.

I need not enter into the previous, which have obliged me much against my will to allow dear Cely to come up to me. We understood this cottage as such before I left Sydney and with your and her consent of occupation.

The peculiarity of my appointment you will fully understand is the only cause of my not being present to claim my dear Cely in the usual success and I am sure you can trust her to the guardianship of her brother who has with your consent, proudly offered to escort her to Gundagai .

It seems only serious for me to assure you in the most solemn seriousness that as long as my life is spared it shall be devoted to the welfare and happiness of my fond Cely.

Since three years and a half, we have been engaged and I do believe that each of us love the other with sincerity and affection which will last and become more firm as we journey together through life. I have done every thing since I have been up here to accomplish this end. I have had this view so long and since if we are spared, I trust our hopes will be realised in every sixth sense.

I wish you could see the cottage for I am sure that you would like it. The Office will be here so I shall not be leaving Cely all day alone.

Please say dear Aunt I sincerely beg of you to consent to our immediate marriage, and I leave Robert to make the arrangements necessary for their trip up here. I cannot say more here I leave already to dear Cely that my greatest wish is to be happy with her as my own dear wife.

As soon as ever they leave I shall be in a position to receive them and I only suggest that they come up quietly and go to the Hotel here and on the day after or thereabouts that we be married, and oh?? go to our house.

Here say dear Aunt a success of each bit assuring you that I have done all that your desired and I have made all necessary preparations.

The Rev Charles Fox the Episcopoline Clergyman. I leave operation so send he will come from Tenanbandra 15 miles to perform the ceremony. Here begging that you will give us you hearty good wishes and a blessing , believe me, to sincerely wishing you a very happy new year and hoping that I sierah I shall address you as leasssma believe me

Ever Yours affectionately J Jewel Rutter