Series MS 17/9/8 - Miscellaneous correspondence of James Dalyell, with some correspondence of John James Dalyell.

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MS 17/9/8


Miscellaneous correspondence of James Dalyell, with some correspondence of John James Dalyell.


  • 1832-1870 (Creation)

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71 items

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(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".


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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 17/9/8

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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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