1st February 1851
My dear father,
I was very much delighted with your very kind letter.
Last year I got three prizes, one for English reading, one for Latin and one for Sabbath day lessons.
I would have written sooner but not receiving your letter from you I was not sure of your arrival. I hope as you wish me to write you monthly after.
Jessie would have written you today, but a rash came out on her throat yesterday so she was sent up into tye sick-room and so she did not get out today.
I am dux in English reading, third in Latin and second in counting. There is one of the boys in particular that I play with whose name is William Hill and another Alexander Frier.
I am very happy that you have landed, it is so very nice. I am glad that you have got a nice shop and place for it. I think it must be a very nice thing to hear cockatoos and parrots chat, and to see the orange and vine grow in the open air and to take them without paying anything must be still more pleasant.
I am always thinking about you and wishing I was with you, I am sure I wish either I was beside you or you was beside me. I am learning my lessons as well as I can so that I may be able to help you in the shop. It makes me very happy to think of you.
Aunts Whyte, Uncle William, Grandfather, Mother and Jessie send their kind love, they and I wish you good progress. The great exhibition of London is now set up in Hyde Park. Jessie is very near better and if quite better by next Saturday she will write you then.
Your affectionate son
(Robert was nine when he wrote this letter)