David Balfour to George Macintosh 1803

‘ David Balfour to George Macintosh 1803 ’


Eunice Shanahan

This letter was sent to George Macintosh Esq Glasgow, from David Balfour of Edinburgh dated 1803. There are only two postal markings, a 5 manuscript charge to cover the cost of sending a single page letter a distance of between 50 and 80 miles, between the years 1801 to 1805. The second is a date stamp (Bishop mark) of Edinburgh in red ink faintly applied showing OCT 1803 3 in three lines, in a circle.

The paper is cream and thin with a watermark of TAYLOR 1801.

Now to the letter, which is obviously a legal opinion :–

My Dear Sir
I am not at all surprised that Mr McD and his personal friends should oppose his Estate being brought to a Judicial Sale but instead of being a ruinous measure I consider it to be beneficial at least to his Creditors – and probably to himself, if he expects any reversion of the price. If not, & that there must be a deficiency, it is the Business of the Creditors alone to take the most expeditious and cheapest method of converting the Estate into money. The Auction Duty alone, upon a voluntary sale would be much more than the whole necessary Expense of a Judicial Sale. But in my view of the case there is no alternative. This business being inextricable in any other way except by consent of the Crown, which cannot be got, or by a judicial sale.

Perhaps upon a more complete view of the case & considering the Acts of Parliament &c which I have never seen, I may find reason to entertain a different opinion.
If I am at all to appear in it, a few lines from the Committee will be necessary, authorising me to do so.

So that is the end of the legal opinion and Mr Balfour then continues on a personal note.

Polly set out this morning at 8 o’clock for Stirling with an intention as I understand of being at home on Wednesday or Thursday so that I had not an opportunity of telling her that you wished her home sooner, otherways no Doubt she would have complied with your orders.

I am my Dear Sir
Yours sincerely
David Balfour
3rd Octbr 1803.

Reference Great Britain Post Roads Post Towns and Postal Rates 1635-1839, Alan W. Robertson.

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