Isabella Wyly was one Irish migrant to Australia during the goldrushes. She was one of a group of 44 single women, classified in shipping records as ‘domestic servants’ who came to Australia from Ireland in 1851 aboard the Navarino after being selected by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners.
Wyly arrived in Adelaide at the age of 18, an orphan. The letters she wrote home to her family are, as David Fitzpatrick observes, ‘redolent of reduced gentility’. In one letter, she discusses the experiences of her Uncle Alexander and his family, who also travelled from Ireland to Australia, and decided to try their luck at the goldfields of Victoria. This letter was written by Isabella Wyly from Adelaide on 2 July 1856