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The Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans Series
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Miscellaneous correspondence of James Dalyell, with some correspondence of John James Dalyell.

(1-15) Copy correspondence of James Dalyell and John Nimmo, Paris, 1832-1834, with some copy correspondence of Nimmo to Dalyell. Letters are mainly written from Tours and Tarbes. In them Dalyell describes his environment, financial problems, impressions of the countryside etc. Dalyell also comments on his progress with some entries to be included in a Travellers' Guide to France, published by M. Galignani, Paris. The letters also contain observations on current events, including riots in Paris and Lyons, serious outbreaks of cholera spreading from Spain, the "Civil War" (Carlist War) beginning in Spain, and the coming to power of Robert Peel. In (11) Dalyell gives his reaction to his half-brother, Francis Aubert, revealing their relationship to a mutual acquaintance. It also expresses his bitter feelings following a rejection by his mother in Paris. Dalyell asks Nimmo to send him a Burgess's Patent Paneidolon, "a newly invented instrument for enabling persons ... to make very clever sketches". (16-23) Copy correspondence of James Dalyell to Charles Ducombs. 1832-1836: James Dalyell to Charles Ducombs, includes plans for a walking tour in the summer of 1833. 1832-1833 James Dalyell to Ducombs, mainly concerning their respective financial affairs, particularly a dispute over money allegedly owed James by Mme. Ducombs. 1836. (24-45) Copy correspondence of James Dalyell to J. & T. Stilwell & Co, Navy Agents, London, 1835-1838. Letters concern Dalyell's financial situation in France, and his requests for the handling of his half pay from the Royal Navy. (46-49) Copy correspondence between James Dalyell and Lieutenant W.A. Ferrar of HM Coast Guard Service, 1838. Dalyell requests information about the Coast Guard Service for a friend, and eventually applies to enlist himself. (48) contains some of Dalyell's memories of Napoleon's last days on St. Helena (1821) including his opinion on the conduct of Sir Hudson Lowe, the island's Governor, towards his prisoner, and the journey aboard 'HMS Heron', which was sent back to Britain to deliver the news of Napoleon's death. Dalyell comments that he doesn't tell any French acquaintances of his presence on St. Helena, for "his worshippers would look upon me with an evil eye were they to know". (50-71) Correspondence and copy correspondence between the Dalyell and Aubert families, 1853, 1857, 1863-1867, 1870. The letters are mostly written between Francis Aubert Jnr and James Dalyell or John James Dalyell; but there are also some written between James and Francis Snr, his half-brother, and from Felicite Aubert to Marie Anne Dalyell, their respective wives: (50-54) Mme. Aubert to Mrs Dalyell (in French) and M. Aubert Snr to James Dalyell. 1853. (55-56) Francis Aubert Snr to James, on the topic of John James' accident on a steam ship and other family news. In (56) Francis comments on "the horrid and execrable doings among our poor countrymen in India", a reference to the Cawnpore massacre of June 27. 1857/ (57-70) Correspondence between Francis Aubert Jnr and John James and James Dalyell. Includes the announcement of the death of Aubert Snr. Also includes information on the marriage of Francis Jnr to Clemence Quentin; his work as a journalist in Paris, which brought him honorary knighthoods from both Denmark and Mexico; speculation on political events in North and South America. (70) contains some reminiscences of Mexico from James. 1863-1865. (71) 29 August 1870. Francis Aubert Jnr to John James Dalyell. Written in Paris at the time of the Franco-Prussian war, and near the end of what had been a disastrous month for France. Aubert commands on the current situation, claiming "nothing is lost". The letter dismisses suggestions that France will soon be defeated and Paris taken. The people of the capital are "armed and ready for a desperate defence". Aubert then says that he has just heard that the Prussian's are on the road to Paris, "If so ... the battle will soon take place with McMahon"; he hopes for the defeat and humiliation of "those brutal beastlike conquerors", saying "such are the feelings which almost all Frenchmen foster now". Aubert mentions the possibility of being drafted "if a new disaster were to fall upon us". He then describes the preparations made around Paris to prevent its capture. He refers to articles in the London Times as "impudent, cynical lies", and says that newspaper is "fallen to the last degree of contempt"; he trusts the Scots would repulse "such mercenary liars". The letter ends with the wish that "God exterminate both the French and the Prussians to the last man and to the last child rather than let Europe be the prey of the beastly murderers of Denmark and Austria".

Correspondence between James Dalyell and his uncle, William Cunningham Cavendish Dalyell (youngest brother of Sir James and later 7th Bart of the Binns).

William held the position of Captain in the Royal Navy and was Governor of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich. Many of the letters concern William's efforts to help James in his naval and Coast Guard careers. (1-21) November 1844 to January 1847, i.e. from the arrival of 'HMS Champion' in England. The main subject of these letters is the attempts being made to get James on the Promotion List for the Navy. William writes, "your being nearly the senior lieutenant afloat ought to strengthen your claims". (1). In (17) William regrets the decision of his youngest son, Osborne William Dalyell, to join the Navy. (22-26) May 1850 - March 1862. These include: (23) the announcement of the death of Sir John Graham Dalyell (6th Bart), in June 1850. (27-35) Include reference to incidents at James' Coast Guard Station one resulting in the dismissal of one of the men there and the other resulting from false reports being made as to James' conduct. (38) William's indignation at "the atrocious murders in cold blood of a whole boat's crew and some Russian prisoners landing under a flag of truce at Hango" in 1855, during the Crimean War. He also thanks James for his congratulations upon the marriage of William's eldest daughter (Maria Christina) to Lt. Col. Charles Taylor Du Plat. There is news of William's son, Osborne, who was wounded in the Crimea, and required an amputation. (41) James complains of gout, and its possible consequences for his job. (42-52) Largely comment on the events following injury to John James Dalyell. This occurred on a steam boat, and resulted in prolonged legal action against its owners. (53-59) Includes William's congratulations to James on his being made a commander, a promotion he "ought to have had the enjoyment of a long time ago". In (58) William comments on "the paltry benefit of the Admiralty has conferred on you after so many years service ... The discontent throughout the whole Service is incredible and Pamphlets exposing it are appearing almost daily". He also mentions the forthcoming marriage of his youngest daughter (Elizabeth Grace) to a Mr (Gustav Charles) Cornwall, head of the Post Office in Dublin. (Elizabeth later inherited the estate at Linlithgow and passed on the title of Bart of the Binns to her cousin, John Bruce Wilkie Dalyell). (60-65) August 1864 - February 1865, (63) includes a copy of a notice in the illustrated London News describing William's will, and a cutting announcing his death. In (64) James calls William "My best and dearest of friends".

Miscellaneous papers and correspondence of James Dalyell and John James Dalyell.

The papers relating to James cover the period from his promotion to Lieutenant, residence in France, service aboard 'H.M.S. Champion', attempts to obtain a pension, and activities after retirement. They include: (3) 29 May 1865. Lord Dalhousie to James on the subject of ground required for a railway station at Carnoustie. Dalhousie is willing to give the land provided "suitable accommodation for the public" is put up by the Directors of the Railway Company. The letter contains Dalyell's draft reply, in which he states his intention to print both letters in the Dundee papers. (6) 29 May 1868. Belfast. Norton Alexander, to James Alexander, an old shipmate on the 'Thracian' (1827), writes with news of his sons who trade at sea between China and India. Also contains comments on Irish newspapers, wishing they were better in order to deter the Irish from so much talking and "frothy senseless spouting". (7) 18 April 1846. Eyemouth. J. Forrester, secretary, St. Ebb's Lodge, to James regarding Masonic meetings. He mentions that they have just had the pleasure of "sitting for the first night under our new light, namely gas". (10-13) Copy correspondence between James and M. Sellier, Paris, including reference to James' recent tours. 1832. (26) Statement of A.B. Cutfield, Surgeon on board 'Champion', regarding an attack made on him by two Mexican soldiers. 1843. The letters of John James Dalyell include: (2),(4) Letters from McLaine Fraser and James Mann (c.1870) regarding 3rd Forfarshire Volunteer Artillery. (8) 1 November 1883, Royal Lunatic Asylum, Montrose, John James Dalyell to Mrs Dalyell expressing surprise that she continues to live in West Point House, Carnoustie, "after what was permitted to take place in and around it during the latter part of my residence there". (20) 4 May 1867. Carnoustie. Letter which expresses his feelings on the treatment his father has received from the Navy. (29-33)Loose notes and papers which contain an account of "money lent to Frank" [Aubert Snr] some unusual street names in France, and a multiplication table. Also includes: (5) 6 August 1838, Tarbes. Letter for M. de Sines to Capitaine Alric, "33e Regt. de Ligne", Babylon. [In French].

Miscellaneous letters and documents, mainly relating to the career and financial affairs of James Dalyell

(1-29) January 1841 - February 1844. Correspondence between James Dalyell and J. & T. Stilwell & Co, Navy Agents, London. The letters are not only concerned with Dalyell's financial affairs, but also cover the time of Dalyell's service aboard 'HMS Champion' under Captain Byron, who was a friend of both John and Thomas Stilwell. The letters, therefore, are full of news and information regarding the passage of the ship, and contain accounts of Dalyell's responsibilities as acting Commander of the 'Champion' following Byron's death in 1843. (30-43) October 1841 - October 1844. J. & T. Stilwell & Co, to Mrs Dalyell, Buckie, regarding navy pay and letters received from James. (44-56) December 1844 - February 1846. J. & T. Stilwell & Co, to James at Buckie Coast Guard Station, regarding payment of his salary. (57-66) August - November 1859. Letters to James Dalyell from J. & T. Stilwell & Co, Thomas G. Walsh of the Coast Guard Service, and A. Anderson of 'HMS Edinburgh' regarding Dalyell's claims for sick pay and a Coast Guard Pension. (67-73) Letters, documents and accounts relating to James Dalyell and his family; including bills paid consequent to his death in 1869.

Copy correspondence of letters from James Dalyell to his father, Sir James Dalyell.

1833-1837 Written from Tarbes, Hautes Pyrenees. Continued attempts to find employment remain unsuccessful. There are further descriptions of France, which are often more derogatory when made to Sir James than when made to other correspondents. In December 1834 he mentions a book called Darker Superstitions of Scotland by John Graham Dalyell (later 6th Bart), which he hopes to read soon. In 1834 Dalyell says he will "set off in search of a wife". The letters also contain details of contemporary navy pay and procedures. The letter dated 5 November 1836 contains a summary of Dalyell's navy career hitherto, and includes his attitude to the use of the lash on board naval vessels. In the course of this letter Dalyell refers to Captain Hunn of the 'Tweed' as "one of the greatest Tartars in the Service", and recalls an occasion when he wished to flog a whole watch of about 100 men. The letter also contains a vivid description of his adventure in capturing the Spanish pirates in Cuba. There are copies of letters exchanged between James and J. & T. Stilwell & Sons, Navy Agents London, regarding financial affairs. (1836). [48 pages]

Copy correspondence of James Dalyell to his father

(1-13) Copy correspondence of James Dalyell to his father, c.1836-1840, mainly from Tarbes, Hautes Pyrenees, concerning Dalyell's hopes of return to naval employment and his continuing financial difficulties together with two letters (1840) from James Dalyell at Buckie to his father, concerning the above matters and describing his life and duties at the coast guard station. Also some correspondence (1840) between Dalyell and his father regarding a proposed meeting between the two. Includes: (9) 20 November 1824, Port Royal, Jamaica. James Dalyell to his father concerning efforts to secure Dalyell's promotion and mentioning that he has already written on the subject to Lt. Col. [Robert] Dalyell: (7) (i) 1 June 1836 (copy) James Dalyell to his father including announcement of the birth of a son.

Correspondence between James Dalyell and his uncle, Colonel Robert Dalyell

Letters detail Robert's problems in settling the estate of Sir James who had died in great debt. Also matters concerning a £500 legacy left to James. In June 1841 James received a commission as 1st Lieutenant aboard 'HMS Champion' under Captain Byron. Robert comments, "How fortunate it is to have one's captain a gentleman instead of a brute". (11) The letters show James' initial dislike of his post, with Robert's encouragement for him to be patient. The efforts made by both men to get James promotion or suitable employment are well documented. The correspondence continues through the time of James joining the Coast Guard Service in 1845 until close to Robert's death in 1848.
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