P.Scott of Sneaton Castle, Whitby

Shipping Timber to Whitby
from Stirling, 1834.


Eunice Shanahan

This is a very interesting letter to me as it gives information about shipping a cargo of timber from Stirling in Scotland to Whitby in Yorkshire, including the cost of freight. The letter was written by Mr Hosie, addressed to P Scott Esqr Sneaton Castle, Whitby.

It has four postal markings:
1) a circular datestamp in black where it was lodged in Stirling on the 8th February, 1834, and
2) an Additional halfpenny Scottish mail tax of the type IIA, size 18 x 15 in black ink, recorded in use from 8.2.1834 to 16.6.1834. This is of interest by itself, as this was the first day of use of this particular handstamp.
3) The Stirling post office would have put on the charge of ‘ 1 ’ which was the cost of sending a standard sheet letter a distance of between 170 and 230 miles.
4) a transit stamp circular date stamp in red of Edinburgh FEB H 9 M 1834. However there is no receiving stamp at Whitby.

The letter is in two parts, written on different sides of the letter sheet. Inside there are two paragraphs of Mr Hosie’s letter, the first being the invoice for the cargo to be shipped on the sloop ‘Catherine’.

Stirling Shore, 7th Feby 1834

P. Scott Esqr
To William Hosie

To Freight of Catharine from Stirling to Whitby
with 315 9 feet peices and 640 3 feet peices of Fir wood
Shore Dues are on ditto.. 5.6

Underneath this is the information about the shipment.

The Catharine sailed from here this day and hopes she will soon be with you, she has on board as above and is quite full stowed. I mentioned to you when here the freight was to be Fourty Pounds. My paying all charges in loading &c I will thank you to remit me when the Catharine is discharged the above freight by Draft on London. Should the Captain require a little money you can give him what he may need.
I am Sirs Your Most
Obd St.
William Hosie.

The following is on the other side of the letter, written in a different hand writing

Shipped on board the Sloop Catharine of Stirling whereof is Master this voyage Thomas Morrison and now lying in the Port of Stirling and bound for Whitby nine hundred & fiftyfive peices Scotch Fir Wood from William Ramsay Esqr Sauchie to P Scott Esqr Whitby all Dangers of the seas accident and navigation of what ever nature excepted

For the Master
James Alexander
Stirling 7th Feby 1834

Note: Whitby is a port in North Yorkshire with a history of boatbuilding and fishing. Captain James Cook's ship Resolution was built here in Whitby where he served his apprenticeship, and he sailed from here on his voyage to the Pacific in 1768. So perhaps this cargo of Scottish timber was destined for the boat building yard.

I have been unable to find any information about the sloop Catharine or any of the people mentioned in the letter, so if any visitor to our website knows any more I would be really pleased to hear about it.

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

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