Thomas Wooley,Edinburgh, 1839

William Dundas to Thomas Wooley, Edinburgh, 1839.


Eunice Shanahan

The letter is in two parts, the first part is perfectly legible and intelligible, and written on the back of a printed headed Bill from Charles Smith Bookseller and Stationer. It was written by W. Dundas from Stirling, dated 24th November 1839 and addressed to Mr Thomas Wooley, 25, St. Andrews Square, Edinburgh.

It has four postal markings.
1) a 3 line framed STIRLING NO 24 1839
2) Additional halfpenny Scottish mail stamp In green ink, applied in Stirling,listed in use from 2.12.1830 to 18.12.1830.
3) Edinburgh circular date stamp in red NOV C 25 M 1839
4) the charge mark which looks like a 7, which would cover a distance between 30 and 50 miles, which would be correct.

It is a very small letter because it has been torn off the headed paper, but it is complete, and has been sealed with a blob of black sealing wax.

Dear Thomas
If this has not been paid it ought to have been paid long ago – Pray pay it – if unpaid. I don't think I shall be in Edin soon. I hope that you will come out for some days at Xmas & that you will bring a fiddle wh.(which?) will not give you the rheumatism or a stiff back! – as you had last year –
if you can find Mango pickles in Edin. – send me out a pot.
Believe me
Yrs Faithly W Dundas
Thursday night.

(Note: I was surprised to see a mention of Mango pickle at this time, perhaps they had become available because of the links with India in the Victorian age.)
So on turning over the page it shows the Bill which is headed Bought of Charles Smith,Bookseller and Stationer of 87 Princes Street, Edinburgh Next door to the New Club, and addressed to Willliam Dundas of Ochterlyne.

This is a really good example of a headed bill of this time. It is beautifully engraved and at the left it has the words Every New PUBLICATION of Merit, and on the right hand side it has Cash Books LETTER BOOKS Ledgers ∧c.

The interesting thing is that if William Dundas had read this account properly, he would have seen that the bottom line reads.

1839 Nov 25th Received Payment £1. . . signed Charles Smith..

So he could have saved himself the trouble of writing and the seven pence it cost to post it.

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