Series MS 17/9/7 - Correspondence between James Dalyell and his uncle, William Cunningham Cavendish Dalyell (youngest brother of Sir James and later 7th Bart of the Binns).

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MS 17/9/7


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


  • 1844-1865 (Creation)

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65 items

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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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Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

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Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

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Paper. May require conservation

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MS 17/9/7

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Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997



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  • English



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