“To Robert Man in Edinburgh
from Thomas Edington, Glasgow, 1816”


Eunice Shanahan

This letter looks as if there was an accident with the red ink pot, but it is still possible to read the address and the postal markings. It is written on very thin paper watermarked RUSE & TURNERS 1813.

It was addressed to Robert Man Esqre Banker, Edinh, and inscribed Paid. The handwritten figures on the outside flap of the letter 9/9 is possibly the amount the postman would have had to collect on that delivery for other letters which had not been pre-paid.

There are four postal markings, beginning with the Glasgow unframed three-line date stamp/mileage mark for 4 OCT 1816 405 — G, this being the mileage from Glasgow to London.

They also applied the framed PAID at GLASGOW also in black ink. Because the writer lodged the letter and paid for the postage, this was written on in red ink P 7. This 7d was the rate for a basic letter being carried a distance of between 30 and 50 miles between 1812 and 1839.

The last post mark was the circular date stamp on receipt in Edinburgh PAID 5 OCT 1816. So now to contents of the letter

To Robert Man Esq
Glasgow 4th Oct 1816

Dr Sir
Since Mr More was suspended as Cashier of the Royal Bank almost all the respectable Merchants here have been day after day expecting to hear of his being reinstated, as they are confident no one can fill the place better. At same time if the Directors are resolved not to reinstate Mr More, many of them (our Merchants) have suggested Francis Gordon Esqre here, as a most able person to fill that situation, having every way qualified in point of abilities &c &c, they requested me to write you on the subject which I hope you will excuse, & if you would have the goodness to favour me in course with a few lines it would be most obliging, giving me your opinion of what you think (it is probable) will be the result of the business.

Having got the business of the letter out of the way, he finishes the letter with personal greetings

Mrs E joins me in best wishes to the Ladies & you.

I am Dr Sir

Yours respectfully

Thomas Edington.

This is another of our letters which raise questions. The first, as stated in the opening sentence is why a Cashier would be suspended by the Royal Bank in Edinburgh. The second is, how would the Glasgow merchants know this, and why would they be concerned?

An internet search revealed this information about the writer of the letter. He was one of a notable family in Glasgow.

Thomas Edington & sons (fl 1804-1903)

One of Glasgow’s oldest iron foundries producing ornamental castings, also known as the Phoenix Foundry. The foundry also produced ordnance for the British army, some of which was used in the Crimean war.

I do not know What the fl stands for, but from the dates, this Thomas appears to be the son of the founder of this iron foundry. Perhaps his position explains why he would have written to Robert Man about the situation of the Cashier in the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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