File F3340 - Letters to Mary Anne Ruck from members of the Atkin family

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Letters to Mary Anne Ruck from members of the Atkin family


  • 1865-1867. (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 folder ; 38 cm.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Elizabeth (Tilly) Ruck was Welsh by birth. She married Robert Travers Atikin in 1863. The Atkins arrived in Queensland in 1865, settled in Herberts Creeks, 100 km from Rockhampton, eventually moving to Brisbane. Robert and Mary had three sons: James Richard, Walter Stewart and Robert Laurence. Mary and the children moved to the United Kingdom in 1870 due to an illness of their third child. She returned in April 1872 to Brisbane to nurse Robert Atkin. She returned to Wales after his death, and later married Thomas Ruddiman Steuart. She died in 1920.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert Travers Atkin was born on 29 November 1841 at Fernhill, Clonakilty, County Cork. In 1863 he married Mary Elizabeth Ruck in London. Robert and Mary, his mother Alice and sister Grace arrived in Queensland aboard the Wansfell in 1865, took the steamer to Rockhampton and took up a selection of land near Rockhampton at Herberts Creek. The Atkins did not take to farming in the Queensland heat and moved back to Rockhampton, eventually moving to Brisbane where Robert embarked on a career in journalism and politics. They had three sons: James Richard, Walter Stewart and Robert Laurence. Robert died at the age of 30 in 1872. There is a large sandstone memorial to Robert Travers Atkins and his sister Grace Atkin at St Margret's Anglican Church, Sandgate.

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Biographical history

Grace Townsend Atkin was born in Ireland, possible in 1844. She, her mother, Alice, sister Catherine, brother Robert and his wife Mary left London in 1865 aboard the vessel the "Wansfell". On the journal Catherine died and was buried at sea. They arrived in Queensland in 1865. Grace Atkin was a governess in Rockhampton. When the Atkin family moved to Brisbane she ran a private school. She was appointed assistant teacher at Brisbane Girls Grammar School in 1875. She died on 26 January 1876, at the age of 32. She is buried beside Robert at Sandgate.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Anne Matthews was born in the county of Merioneth, Wales, possibly in 1821.

Archival history

Previously titled: Letters, 1865-1867 : Hurberts Creek, near Rockhampton, to Mrs. Ruck.

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Scope and content

This file is comprised of copies (handwritten and typed) of letters written by the Atkin family to Mary Anne Ruck. Newly weds, Robert and Mary Atkin, together with Robert's sister Grace Atkin and his mother Alice Atkin arrived in Brisbane on the vessel the Wansfell on 23 March 1865, from England. The vessel left on 11 November 1864. They travelled by steamer to Rockhampton and eventually settled at Herberts Creek about 100 km from Rockhampton. The letters cover the time in Central Queensland, before moving to Brisbane.

There is an exercise book of handwritten copies of the letters with the cover missing and bottom and side edges appearing to be burnt; 18 leaves of photocopies of typed copies of the letters rom 1865 to 1867 [?], with handwritten annotations in red pen; additional 5 leaves of photocopies of typed copies, no annotations with the title on the cover page 'Copies of letters written to Mrs. Ruck from Queensland 1865-1867 Mary G. [sic] Atkin, Robert L. Atkin, Grace I. [sic] Atkin'; 7 leaves handwritten notes about the letters; 'The Wansfell' (1 leaf printout from The Courier, 1865 Mar 24); 2 leaves (plus title pages) about the Wansfell (photocopies from 'Log of logs : Vol. 2' by Ian Nicholson).

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Unrestricted access.

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  • English

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, Linda Justo, 20-May-2022. Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




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