Warrender, 1799

Letters from the Past

by

Eunice Shanahan

“Hugh Warrender from William White,Jedburgh 1799”

This letter was written by William White, Bridgend 12th Septr 1799, addressed to Hugh Warrender Esqr, Castlehill, Edinburgh who was a Writer to the Signet, and also involved with the Royal Bank of Scotland, but this letter concerns more parochial or personal affairs.

The Postal markings are a very clear straight-line town stamp JEDBURGH, Edinburgh Bishopmark SE 13 in two halves (which has a very fancy figure 3, which we have not seen on any of our other examples of this postmark) and the ‘4’ manuscript charge mark, which covered within Scotland for a distance of up to 15 miles.

NOTE: This is hard to work out, as initially there seems no reason why a letter from Bridgend in Roxburgh going to Edinburgh, should go through Jedburgh, which is a long way around. However, a contact told us he found a map showing there is also a Bridgend in Jedburgh as a suburb. The maps are very small, and are copyright so cannot be used, but this would explain the postage charge…

The watermark on the paper is S. LAY.


address panel


The letter has very individual spellings

first part of letter

“ Sir
I Recd yours of the 5d and am happy to Mention that I alwise kept in view the disposing of the corn on Cawldside Park, after seeing diferent sales of late which sold well: I took in offers for the Crope, and bargained with Geo Cranston & Andw Oliver at £40.0.0. which they are to Pay the 2th Novr first; I thought it better than to Bank the Crope, as there is allwise some bad hands that there is no getting the Money from them; and Even a good deal of Expenses. but here there is not one shilling of charges; I am sensiebale they are well sold if they have 95 bolls of oates I think it will be the most there will be in the field, and they will not be fit for cutting; these two weeks ; I neglected in my last to mention the Chees I sent with the carrior I hope it cam safe to hand.”

The next paragraph refers to a problem with the neighbour, Sir Cuthbert Shafte, and the language is obviously a dialect, and he has written some of the words phonetically. Could the reference to Pea Fowles refer to peacocks / peahens?.

“ I Recd a message from Sir Cuth.Shafte Yesterday to take away the Pea Foules from Stewartfield, as they were destroying both the garden & the Corn that being the Cease I most beg to know how they are to be disposed of, I Remember you mentioning of Miss Cumming getting two to Polton; the others could be disposed of here as there wer som Making enquiry at Whit if they were to be sold.

Sir, I must beg your answer about the Peas as Sir C has consented to let them go till Monday when he will Expect them to be taken away ”

The final paragraph is giving local crop information, which gives a real insight as to how the harvesting is going in that part of Scotland right at the end of the 18th century.

date and signature

“There is still little appearance of any general Harvest here. the strong Cropes is sor laid down by the late havy rains & since the dry weather set in the after shoots is springing up amongst the laying corns. There is some Corn Cutt about Eckford & is in the Nebourhood of Kelso, but in small Quantity, Mr Church at Mosstown has 3 cart load of new meal at Dalkeith this week, which will bring a grate price but if the weather keeps good I hope the Markets will come more moderet &c

I am Sir

Your Most Hbl Servt
Wm White.”

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