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The Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans
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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 plan of MAINS, the property of Thomas Erskine Esq. Includes BALGAY, KIRKTON, MAINS, NEW MAINS and East Mains....

Copy plan of MAINS, the property of Thomas Erskine Esq. Includes BALGAY, KIRKTON, MAINS, NEW MAINS and East Mains. Shows distribution of fields, mansion house, steadings, burns and turnpike roads. Adjacent properties also noted with detailed tables of contents.

Original surveyor: James Sime.

Traced by: James Salmond, 1901.

Scale: 1in. to 2 Scots chains/1in. to 150ft.

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.

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".
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