Site hosted by Build your free website today!

The HOME PAGE of Mervyn B. de Plater


Arms of the Counts

The German/Polish family to which I belong, had its earliest known origins in Westphalia, Germany, when Humpertus appeared in 1160, bearing the name "von dem Broel genannt Plater (of the Broel named Plater). In the 14th and 15th centuries, members of the family went with the Teutonic Knights to the Baltic Countries as Knights of the Sword and settled in Livonia (present day Estonia and Latvia) and Lithuania and became one of the well known families of Polish Counts.

Humpertus was the forefather of all members of the family living today who have been known at various times by the full name, "von dem Broel genannt Plater" or "Broel Plater", "Plater Broel", Plater Zyberk (Syberg in German) (the present senior line of the family), and "de Plater", the name used by the family in Australia. The family was mostly referred to as "Plater" and in any index of names, references to Broel Plater and other forms were usually endorsed "see Plater". Various spellings have been applied to "Broel" which need not concern us here. The present senior line was founded in 1803 when Michael Broel Plater married Isabella, the daughter of the last male of the Sybergs and obtained from the Emperor, confirmation of his title and with the name Plater-Zyberk. The present world-wide head of the family is Count Stanislas Plater-Zyberk of Hamme-Mille in Belgium.

Simon Konarski, the noted Polish heraldist, genealogist and biographer, in his monograph about the family records that -

śAn analysis of this study shows a high percentage of outstanding personalities and right from the start of the history of this family we find some extremely interesting persons. Starting with the war which they waged in the Middle Ages against the Bishops of Cologne, we continue with John, member of of the Order of the Knights of the Sword and his part in the struggle against Moscow, and finally we arrive at the civilising work of the Plater family in Livonia (present day Latvia and parts of Estonia and Lithuania) and their merit in founding a Polish Museum at Rapperswil (in Switzerland).

.......Among all the Polonised Baltic families, the Platers are the only ones to have had eight Senators.

Being of foreign origin, the Platers were only admitted into the ranks of the great Polish families in the XVIIth century, but as their titles of nobility go back to the XIIth century, in Poland, where the seniority of the nobility is highly esteemed, it was natural for them to hold very high rank, both economically and politically.

They were outstanding in their patriotic feelings thus showing their gratitude for the welcome they had received from the Poland of King Sigismund Augustus together with other Baltic families in 1561 and it is actually from that date that the Platers considered themselves a Polish family. The glorious death of Emilia Plater in 1831, of Leon Plater in 1863, the sacrifices and suffering that the members of this family endured during the last war are an outstanding example of this.”

Various sections of the family have blood relationships to Prince Rurik, the legendary founder of the Russian State in 862 a.d. - to Louis XIV. of France, to James I of England (VIth of Scotland), Kosciuszko, and to the Duffus and Hardy families of England.


Johan v.d.Broel g. Plater ((1460 ? - 1529 ?) was Marshal of the Teutonic Knights in Livonia and substitute to the Grand Master, Walter Plettenberg. He was an outstanding warrior and fought against the Russians.

Henry v.d.Broel g. Plater was one of the Livonian plenipotentiaries charged with negotiating the union of Livonia with Poland in 1561.

Wilhelm (William) ( ? - 1599) captured the Dynaburg fortress from Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia. The fortress was manned by a garrison of over 1,000 soldiers and carried with it the office of Palatine of Livonia and this office, after being first granted to John Andrew Broel Plater, was held by the family for over 150 years until the fall of the Polish Republic.

Gotard (1633-1664) made himself famous in 1654 by the bravery with which he rushed at the head of a feeble Cavalry Corps to the help of Smolensk which was besieged by a powerful Russian army. On several occasions he obliged the Russians to raise their siege but not receiving any reinforcements, his marvellous bravery was not sufficient to save the town.

Count John Andrew (1626 ? - 1696) was the first member of the family to be made Palatine of Livonia. He was a distinguished warrior who served three Polish Kings and fought with King John Sobieski of Poland in the Battle for the relief of Vienna in 1683. The victory achieved, saved Europe from being overrun by the Ottoman Empire and succumbing to Islamism.

Count Constantine-Louis (1722-1778) was the master of an immense fortune. He established an important trade centre at Kraslaw (Kraslavas) in Livonia, now Latvia. He minted his own money and because of this was called śthe little King of Livonia”.

Count Casimir Constantine (1746-1807) - a son of Constantine Louis, Commander of Malta, Vice Chancellor of Lithuania, Commander of Malta, Castellan of Trock, statesman, historian, author and traveller.

Count Ludwik (Louis) (1775-1846), eldest son of Casimir Constantine, Senator Castellan of Poland. Grand Secretary and Grand Governor of the Masonic Order for the Great East of National Poland. The right-hand man of Prince Lubecki, the Polish Minister of Finance. He, with General Kniaziewicz, were śchiefs of the Polish Legation in Paris” in 1831 and offered the Crown of Poland to Napoleon III on behalf of the National Committee of Poland but this could not be accepted because of the failure of the Insurrection against Russia. Frederic Chopin was much indebted to Louis at the start of his career and Chopin dedicated his Four Mazurkas to Countess Pauline, the daughter of Louis.

Count Michael, Gen. XII. (1777-1862), a son of Casimir Constantine, became the Civilian Vice-Governor of Vilna and inherited from his father the extensive Great Indryca estates in the Dynaburg District. In 1803 he was married to Isabella Helen, daughter of John Thaddeus Syberg zu Wischling and Baroness von Kleist from the house of Susten and received the consent of the Emperor, Alexander I. to join to his name the name of his father-in-law and to be called thence forward Count Plater-Syberg (Zyberk in Polish) and therefore founder of the Plater-Zyberk line of the family. Isabella was the only daughter and heiress of the name and property of the Livonian branch of her family and was the last person in the whole of Livonia bearing the family name from immemorial times and carried as a dowry to her husband, estates in Courland, Livonia and Lithuania having a combined area of about 1,700 square kilometres with 15,000 souls.

Arms of the Counts


(śThe Lithuanian Maid”)

The Countess Emilia (1806-1831), daughter of Count Francis-Xavier and Anna nee Mohl was born in Vilna (Vilnius) on the 13th November 1806. As a young girl she was was appalled by the lot of the peasants and endeavoured to find out about their problems by mingling with them - learning about their habits and customs and singing their folk-songs. At the same time she saw the plight of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under the heel of Russia and the suppression of freedom of speech and worship and Polish customs and she wondered why her countrymen were not rising up to throw the oppressor out. She was very much influenced by courageous women such as Joan of Arc and tried to pattern her life on them. She also became involved with the secret meetings of Vilna youth who were plotting against the oppressor.

In 1831 when news of an uprising against Russia in Warsaw was received in Vilna, Emilia was immediately filled with patriotic fervour and, became one of the leaders of the insurrection there. She dressed herself as a man and after a church service appealed to the people to rise up for the Fatherland. Her cousins Lucien and Ferdinand admitted her into a conspiracy to capture the Dynaburg Fortress and presented her with a small hunting rifle but their endeavour was not successful.

Emilia and her cousins joined up with different sections of the insurrectionary army and Emilia became associated with her cousin Cezary Plater and went to the detachment of the Wilkomierz Riflemen under Karol Zaluski and after that to Constantine ParczewskiĂs detachment of partisans. Much was written about her activities in the struggles which followed.

After the arrival in Lithuania of General Chlapowski, where he organised the detachments into the regular army, Emilia was mentioned as Commander of the 1st Company of the 1st Lithuanian Regiment, known later as the 25th Infantry Regiment of the Line. Emilia distinguished herself in battles at Kowno and Szawle and she was given the rank of Captain in the field. It was written about her in the field at Kowno by A.E. Odyniec śYour name in Polish and Lithuanian history will sound eternally as a song amidst the battle”. When ChlapowskiĂs force was divided, she refused to make her escape with the columns heading for the Prussian border and decided to make her way to Warsaw with her cousin Cezary. In the course of this journey she became ill from exhaustion and was taken to a peasants cottage and then later to the mansion house of Ignatius Ablamowicz. In two letters from the 30th September 1831 addressed to one of her aunts, Emilia wrote words of farewell to her and other close relatives. She died at Justianow on the 23rd December 1831 and was buried in an unused cemetery at Kopciowa, near Kapciamiestis, in a tomb which is still in existence today.

It is recorded in the Polish Dictionary of Biography that -

Her movable assets were confiscated by the Russian Government. Reports about her romantic involvement in the insurrection appeared in the Warsaw and Poznan press. In March 1832 there appeared the immensely popular poem by Mickiewicz "The Death of a Colonel" in which Emilia was stylised as an ideal commander, idolised by the soldiers and the people. In Paris, the Cirque Franconi presented her in the spectacular "The Poles of 1831" as though she was the new Joan of Arc.

Further publicity was given to her by her devoted cousins, Cezary and Ladislas. Joseph Straszewicz published three successive versions of her biography in French. Verse was dedicated to her in French, German, Italian, English and Hungarian by fellow-countrymen, Mickiewicz, Constantine Gaszynski and Anthony E. Odyniec. Widely disseminated lithographs by F. de Villain and Deveria popularised a conventional silhouette of a delicate, noble ŚmaidenĂ. Emilia was entered into the Pantheon of permanent independent heroes. In the 20th century there was dedicated to her the painting of Wojciech Kossak "Emilia Plater in combat with the Cossacks", a novel (1908) by Waclaw Gasiorovski, and a drama in three acts with an epilogue (1931) by Thaddeus Konczynski. In the period between the (two World) wars, the 22nd Infantry Regiment adopted the name of Emilia Plater. Her facsimile appeared on the 20 zloty banknotes of the Bank of Poland as well as on the Bank Issue of the Governor General. She was chosen as the patroness of the 1st Independent Battalion of Women and in the 1st Division named Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Even today, one of the central streets of Warsaw carries her name.”

Even in Communist occupied Poland, in 1959 a ship of 10,000 tons was built in the Gdansk shipyards for the Polish Oceanic Line and named the śM.S. Emilia Plater”.


Ladislas Ewaryst (1808-1877), cousin of Emilia, was also a participant in the 1830 Insurrection. After failure of the insurrection he established a Polish newspaper in Paris and was an outstanding figure in Polish affairs abroad and travelled extensively in England and on the continent, promoting the Polish cause. He acquired the Rapperswil Castle on Lake Zurich in Switzerland in which he established a Polish Museum, which is still being used for that purpose at the present time.

Count Cezary Augustus (1808-1877), a brother of Ladislas, has already been mentioned in association with Emilia. At the time of EmiliaĂs illness he proceeded to Warsaw where he signed śthe access to the insurrection by the the citizenĂs of the province of Vilna and two days later was elected as a Member of Parliament. In Paris he established the Lithuanian Society and was a great help to Poles who had emigrated to France, making representations to the French Government on their behalf. After returning to Poland he became active in Poznan politics for 25 years.

Count Lucien Stanislas (1808-1857), also a cousin of Emilia, after being forced to leave Poland went to Paris and then London. He was married in London to Charlotte Price Duffus from an old Scottish family and in 1839 he with his wife, first child and accompanied by his brother Ferdinand went by sailing ship to Australia, arriving there in January of 1840. He and his brother are believed to have been the first Poles to actually settle in Australia - others came before them but did not settle. Their mother was Rachel Kosciuszko and closely related to PolandĂs greatest hero. The Polish explorer in Australia, Edmund Strzelecki, discovered AustraliaĂs highest mountain and named it after his countryman. It is interesting to note that the family of Plater is now more numerous in Australia than in any other country of the world.

Count Leon Joachim (1836-1863) was involved in a further uprising in Poland which took place in January of 1863. Being under orders from Zygmunt Bujnicki, he with a band of followers, numbering about 50, captured a Russian weapons transport in the vicinity of the Dynaburg Fortress. The detachment, while making its way to the Lithuanian border was overpowered by a superior Russian force and Leon with about twenty others were captured. An inquest followed and Leon, wanting to protect Bujnicki who had a young family, took upon himself the responsibility for the assault and as a result was condemned to death and executed by a firing squad at the Dynaburg Fortress. It was said of him śHe sacrificed his life for the enemies of the Church and his Fatherland.”

* * *

In former times, newcomers to Poland were required to prove their nobility and in 1620, Henry von dem Broel genannt Plater (Gen.VII.) submitted documents of identification for the Register of the Nobility in the province of Mitawa in Courland. These documents related to his extraction from forefathers who had arrived from Westhemmerde in the County of Mark in Westphalia, supported by eight coats-of-arms. The Acceptance of the submission was given by the Nobility in Mitawa on the 7th October 1620 and the family was enrolled on the First Class Register of the oldest families of the nobility in Mitawa.

Having the foregoing in mind, when being very much involved in putting all of the historical details of the Australian family together, I thought it might be appropriate that some record of the nobility of the family should be recorded in the British Commonwealth and particularly in Australia. After making enquiries, I was referred to the Garter King of Arms, Sir Anthony Wagner, at the College of Arms in London and was informed that no such register existed but that I should apply for a confirmatory grant of letters patent of the ancient Arms of the Platers. It was necessary to provide my pedigree and in due course I was issued with the letters patent and the Arms, a copy of which is shown below. It should be noted that the College of Arms does not recognise foreign titles and that is why the Coronet of a Count does not appear on the Arms. Since a similar Coat of Arms was already registered, it was necessary for a difference to be introduced to the shield and the sword, point upwards, was placed on the bend.

I am very interested in biographical and genealogical matters relating to my family and would welcome any correspondence and enquiries, especially from members of the family, who may be able to give me updated information about their own families.

The arms of
Mervyn B de Plater

The Australian Branch

(An Arm of the Polish Kurkla Branch)

Most of the material relating to the Australian branch of the family provided by Mr Simon Konarski in his history of the Platers, was obtained from the records of the late Thaddeus Count Plater-Zyberk of Belgium and Mr L.K. Paszkowski, of Melbourne, which was supplemented by details of births, deaths and marriages which I researched and supplied to Mr Edward Borowski of Paris, an associate of Mr Konarski. I have since updated a lot of the material contained in this section but have used my translation of Mr Konarski's record as the base for what is now recorded.

The Australian Branch, as with some other branches of the family, has a blood relationship to the Viking, Prince Rurik, the legendary founder of Russia in 862 a.d. (Refer to Armorial de la Noblesse Polonais Titree (The Armorial of the Titled Polish Nobility). S.Konarski, Paris 1958, published under the patronage of the International Academy of Heraldry. The relationship occurs through Princess Louisa Puzyna who was the wife of Fabian, see Table 27 on page 126. The Australian family also has a relationship to General Thaddeus Kosciuszko through Rachela nee Kosciuszko, the mother of Lucien, Count Broel Plater. Another important relationship is with the Duffus family of Scotland through the marriage of Lucien to Charlotte Price Duffus. The Duffus family was one of the oldest families of Scotland.

A copy of the family history and family tree with the originals of letters and documents and other related information referring to Lucien and Ferdinand Plater who were the earliest of Polish settlers in Australia, have been made available to the National Museum of Australia, to form part of its collection dealing with the ethnic history of Australia.

The following letter dated the 16th April 1930 from Bertie-Cecil (Gen.XV.) to his oldest brother Stanislas-Duffus is reproduced, because it explains precisely how the name of "de Plater" came into use by the family in Australia :-

"Dear Stan,

I am writing this explanatory letter for the benefit of those outside the family and also the younger members of the family who may be in some degree puzzled over the family surname. I refer to the titles 'de Plater' and 'Plater'.

The original family of Plater was a large and titled Polish family under the two heads or branches known respectively as (1) Plater Zyberk or Zyberk Plater and (2) Plater de Broel or de Broel Plater.

Some of the original members of the family (on our side), wishing to make the distinction in the lineage, called themselves de Broel Plater - this afterwards being abbreviated to de Plater. Others who were not so fussy about the lineage, just called and signed themselves, plain Plater - without the 'de'.

Thus we have back in 1868, the marriage of the two eldest brothers -

Ferdinand the eldest, signing the marriage register as Ferdinand de Plater

and Dad, the second eldest, signing his name on the Register as Plater. Both names are right and perfectly legal, yet, during the course of years we find confusion is brought about, owing to the mixture of surnames. Take the case of the eight children in our family - the birth certificates of May, Ben and Alice are in the name of de Plater, whilst your own, Lue, Rose, Vic and myself were in the name of Plater.

As we have for the past forty years, to my knowledge, been known as de Plater, I thought it wise, once and for all to get matters rectified for identification and other purposes, so today I took Dad down to the Registrar Generals Dep't and in the presence of the authorities there he has signed an 'addendum' to his own marriage records and to the original birth certificates of the children, whereby the existing name of Plater is recognisable and shall and is to read as de Plater always and at all times.

With best wishes to all. Your aff. brother, Bert C. de Plater"

Mervyn B. de Plater, Brisbane 1994
Revised 1997

c.Lucien-Stanislas, (Gen.XIII.),

He was the third son of Thaddeus, Marshal of the Nobility and Chief Criminal Assessor in Vilna and of Rachel nee Kosciuszko (Arms Roch III) was born on the 19th November 1808 at Pomusz, not far from Czebiszek in the Vilna District. At the time of the outbreak of the 1830 Insurrection in Poland, Lucien and his younger brother Ferdinand were ensigns in the Russian Officers' School at Dynaburg.(Daugavpils) On the 22nd April 1831 they escaped from Dzisna where they were stationed and joined up with a party of insurgents under the command of Valentine Brochocki. On the 15th June 1831 they were both mentioned as second-lieutenants. Later, Lucien, either alone or with his brother, was posted to the 7th Infantry Regiment of the Line.1)

D. Ciepienko-Zielinska in her book "Emilia Plater" (Warsaw - 1966) relates that at the time of the November Insurrection, Lucien and Ferdinand admitted their cousin Emilia into the conspiracy to capture the Dynaburg Fortress and in recognition of this gave her a small hunting rifle.1)

After failure of the insurrection, Lucien went to Paris and on his way passed through Mulhouse, Bezancon, Avignon, Lyons and Chalon. His estates, if any, in the Province of Minsk, succumbed to confiscation by the Russian government. In Paris, Lucien received the subsidy paid by the French Government to Polish refugee soldiers. He was in contact with Senator Louis Plater, the brothers Cezary and Ladislas Plater, Casimir Plater-Zyberk and others. He entered into partnership with J. Tanski and I. Domeyko, editors of "The Polish Pilgrim" about 1834 but the arrangement was terminated when circulation of the paper in Austria was banned and following the appearance of J.B. Ostrowski's "The New Poland". Very little further information is available relating to his activities while he was in Paris.

Mr Paszkowski maintains that Lucien joined the Polish Democratic Society in Paris on the 9th September 1833 for which he was severely criticised by relatives and friends, "that he was not only on the roll of the Society but for several years was an active member and in the year 1835 competed for executive office. Before being associated with the Society, he was closely connected with the radical, Arthur Zawisza, who was executed on the 15th November 1833 in Warsaw while an emissary of the Society. Perhaps it was his association with Zawisza which gave rise to his decision to become associated with the Society. Not discouraged by the tragic death of his friend, Lucien set out for Poland
as an emissary under the assumed name of 'Laurance'. This expedition was not without danger but fortunately he returned safely to England in November 1835."

In 1835, Lucien was assisted by his cousin Cezary Plater, in making representations for his entry into the services of H.R.H. the Viceroy of Egypt and although the necessary approvals were given by the French Government and a passport issued, for reasons unknown, the appointment was not taken up. Lucien's mother, in a letter dated 22nd July 1835, written to her brother-in-law, Joseph Burniewicz, thanked him "for diverting Lucien from going to Egypt".

On the 28th November 1835 Lucien was issued with a "Certificate of Arrival" at the Port of Dover, which, in addition to giving a description of him, recorded that he was a "Refugee" and known to "Lord Dudley Stewart".

1) As advised by L.K. Paszkowski

In London he was in regular contact with The Literary Society of the Friends of Poland at Sussex Chambers, Duke Street, St James and attended various functions arranged through that Society.

On the 13th October 1836 he was married in the Parish Church of St James, Clerkenwell in the County of Middlesex, to Charlotte-Price, third daughter of Thomas Duffus, a sugar planter of the West Indies and from an old family of Banffshire, Scotland, and of Susanna-Gordon Berryman .2) The officiating clergyman was the brides's brother, the Rev. John Duffus M.A. and the attesting witnesses were Alice Duffus (her Aunt) and two cousins, William (later Sir William) and Peter Hardy. Lucien and Charlotte after their marriage were residing at 5 Guildford Place, Cold Bath Fields, not far from the church at Clerkenwell. Charlotte was born in the West Indies in 1813.

A copy of a 'secret' document held in the State Archives of Tobolsk, issued from the Head Office of the Governor on the 22nd February 1836, addressed to the Chief of Police in Tobolsk, giving descriptions of Lucien and Ladislas Plater and refers to them, Casimir Plater-Zyberk and Szulz as "rebels in hiding" requiring that proper steps be taken to detect them and the Governor advised of the result.

In May of 1839, with the assistance of A. Zaba, Lucien made application to the Literary Society for a loan of 50 pounds to enable him to start a school, but this could not have eventuated since he departed for Australia a few months later.

A passport for a journey to Paris was issued to Lucien on the 3rd July 1839 in London by the " Deputy Ambassador of His Majesty the King of the Frenchmen accredited with His Majesty of Britain", and was endorsed on the back, "Going to London through Calais and back, because of a ministerial mission of 31st July 1839."

Charlotte's sister had married Prince Alois Constantine Drucki-Lubecki, also a Polish refugee and both of them and the Rev. John Duffus emigrated to Australia in 1838. The Rev. Duffus was appointed to St Luke's Church of England at Liverpool in New South Wales, now one of the oldest, if not the oldest existing church in Australia.

Lord Dudley Stewart who was described as a great friend of the Poles in England, assisted Lucien in making a successful application for Lucien, Charlotte and their first child Emily-Laura, to emigrate to Australia. The draft letter in the handwriting of Lord Stewart and photo-copies of the related correspondence at that time are now held with the family papers in Australia. They left England on the 29th September 1839 in the sailing ship "Alfred", a vessel of 716 tons, under the command of Captain Flint, carrying 260 emigrants under the superintendence of W. Baylie, Esq., Surgeon. They arrived in Sydney on the 7th January 1840 and the name of Ferdinand Plater also appeared on the passenger list with them.3) Lucien carried with him letters of recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and undoubtedly expected to receive a grant of land in the colony. This did not happen because it is understood Lucien and his brother were not prepared to become naturalised British

2) Letter, Rachel Plater,(Australia) to Louis Plater (Poland) 21/6/1906.
3) Report from Sydney Morning Herald as advised by L.K. Paszkowski.

subjects and always held hopes of returning to Poland. Lucien, for a time, taught French in a boy's college (possibly King's School at Parramatta) "but this work was insufficient to provide for a growing family." 4)

Thereafter, Lucien with his two eldest sons and his brother Ferdinand were engaged in a cordial and confectionery business - a trade in which Ferdinand had worked while he was at Angouleme in France. It is stated in "A History of Parramatta's Pioneers" compiled by James McClelland that the building at 88 George Street, Parramatta, the oldest commercial building in Australia, "was used by the Polish Count Lucien de Broel Plater and his family as a confectionery shop during the 1840-50s and continued as such under different owners until the 1880s." This building is being preserved as a national monument.

The business efforts of the family did not prosper and they had a very difficult existence. It appears that they were ill-equipped for pioneering life in Australia.

Lucien died at Parramatta on the 12th June 1857 and was buried in the historic cemetery of St John's Church of England at Parramatta where some well known early Australian persons were also buried. In publicity of recent times for the restoration of the tombstones in the cemetery, amongst the names of those to be included has been the name of "Count Lucien de Broel Plater, the famous Polish underground fighter of the 1830 anti-Russian revolution."

Lucien and Ferdinand are believed to have been among the first, if not the first Poles to permanently settle in Australia.

A document dated the 25th January 1858, addressed to the Chief of the Provincial Administration at Mitawa, Courland, from the office of the Civil Governor, refers to a letter being forwarded to Ferdinand Plater, informing him that "Our Lord and Emperor" was favourably inclined to the petition of Ferdinand Plater and entrance into Russia would be granted to him and the family of his brother Lucien who had died in 1857. However, none of the family returned to Russia or Poland.

J. Straszewicz published a facsimile of Lucien in company with Alexander Rypinski, Jan Klatt and Alexander Pagowski. There are at least two existing lithographic formats of that portrait in Europe and Australia.

Letters of Lucien to Ladislas Plater were held in the National Library of Warsaw until its destruction in 1944. A rich collection of correspondence and documents relating to Lucien and Ferdinand, and forming part of the Australian family records, have been made available to the National Museum of Australia to form part of its collection relating to the ethnic history of Australia.

After the death of Lucien at the age of 49 years, Charlotte had added difficulties in caring for her large family. Diaries left by her refer to the hardships suffered. Plans were made in conjunction with Ferdinand for the whole family to return to Poland and funds were received for this purpose. James Macarthur (the son of John Macarthur, an important early Australian), met Ladislas and Cezary Plater on a visit to Europe and it is believed the plight of the family in Australia was discussed with them. A letter to Ferdinand from