This letter was addressed to Patrick Campbell Esqr Cassencarie Creetown (Scotland via Dumfries).
There are only two postal markings, a Scottish Bishop Mark bisected circle (2 different halves). In Scotland they used only two types of Bishop mark, the first from 1693 to 1714, and then the second type from 1774 to 1806. The English starting from 1661 had the stamps made as a single unit, but the economical Edinburgh office did not have a separate date-stamp for each day of the year, but had twelve upper halves with the month abbreviated and a diameter, and thirtyone lower halves with the numbers "1" to "31" and no diameter. The two halves were not always exactly the same size, so did not always match up exactly. You can see in this example that there is a break in the outside frame across the centre.
The second postal marking was 6d charge from Edinburgh, which covered a distance between 30 and 60 miles within Scotland. The rates were altered on the 24th March that year.
Edinburgh 18th March 1801
There is a different writing on the outside - sums which seem to have nothing to do with the contents of the letter.
My Dear Sir,
I write this to own rect. of your letter of the 14th and 15th and in the first place to wish you joy of the accession to your Family. I hope to hear that Mrs Campbell has a good recovery and the child thriving.
I am glad to see that you do not insist on the clauses we have been corresponding about, I thought them unusual and was therefore averse to them. I wish entirely to forget that there was any contrariety of opinion on any of the particulars now the matter is ended. The impression it made on my mind is entirely done away. I am sure youl not blame me for judgeing for myself in regard to it, and I hope youl see no reason to alter the good opinion you have hitherto held of me. Tho' I have thought it right in this instance to judge for myself in opposition to you, yet I shall at all times esteem it a proof of your regard that you frankly tell me your mind on what concerns me.
In regard to the rest of the business something else remains to be said. As to the £200, I always considered it as completely your own. If you afterwards see reason to return it, I shall be glad you do it in the way you shall think most advantageious for my wife - believe me, it does not enter into my view in the smallest degree.
You seem to point at the diminishing provision, that is the money in the event of no children, I suppose from £1000 to £800. This last is perhaps as suitable to the person's means as the former sum, let it therefore be either one or the other, as you shall think feasible, and let the blank sum of deduction in case of taking furniture etc be filled up - suppose £200. I think after that the Deed will be completely adjusted.
I think it will be necessary to fix on the 18th as the day I can leave Glasgow - if the Homes come to Ayr, they must be the night before on the road, and I co'd go the same day to Maybole or the Balloch - that will take me to Cassencarie on Sunday the 19th. I wo'd propose to stay only the next day, and set out early on our journey to Town on the Tuesday. I fancy our route would be by Valleyfield - Wo'd you talk to Penelope about these things, and let me hear how the above plan will answer
Believe me, yours affectionately
The baptismal records of the church at Creetown, Kirkmabreck Church do not go back as far as 1801, they date only from 1855, when there are still Campbells there, being baptised.
The next interesting thing about the letter is the paper it was written on, which has the watermark BUTTANSHAW 1796.
The members of the papermakers mailing list proved very helpful, and explained that a papermaking machine (The Foudrinier) was invented and introduced in 1801. As the watermark is dated 1796,it is a sheet of hand made paper.
Mr Ure kindly advised that
It is amazing what information is now available on the internet, and how the specific knowledge is being shared so willingly.
John Buttanshaw was granted a licence for a Foudrinier in 1807. To me this suggests that prior to 1807 but from 1796 or earlier John Buttanshaw was at a handmade paper mill and soon after 1807 he installed a Fourdrinier paper machine at his mill which seems to have been Roughway.
For a letter written by Mrs Adie to Mr Campbell in 1831 click here