Boness, September 9th 1831
To Miss Rutherford,
My Dear Friend,
When we parted it was in the expectation of soon meeting again when I thought to have a long confab with you, without having recourse to the medium of pen and ink; I never entertained a doubt of your coming, since Tuesday we have kept a look out on the Boats; believe me I have listened to every footstep on the stair and many times ran to the door with eagerness, only to return more chagrined, but “hope deferred maketh the heart sick” Yesterday I gave it up, sure that you must be home as your Father intended writing you to shorten your visit perhaps you may plead that as your excuse but I wont take it as I had your Father and Mother’s consent. Notwithstanding all that, it would not have detained you a bit longer. I should have liked you to remain some time with us, but when I knew you were required at home I would by no means have pressed you to stay longer than a night to have been over here with the passage boat at 1 o’clock then the Steam boat in the morning would have been no detention but rather all on your way and killed twa dogs with a bane as the saying is.
Now Susan, was it not too bad to pass within sight of the very door, what I am to conclude from it I will not say, what it might had me to think, —- tit for tat is fair play. I would have returned your visit, but now I cannot indulge in such hopes unless Miss Nancy’s half promises be better than your whole ones. However, my friend don’t argue with me about promises. Again, neither have you anything to say to the Doctor about punctuality to a minute for that is a trifle compared with a promise altogether. Now I dare say you are tired of this jangle but whether pleased or disappointed I must give vent to it and as it is a failure of mine both to talk and write by circumlocution – you must pass it over.
We had a very pleasant sail down, my Father stood it wonderfully, quite hearty but next day used too much freedom with himself was up before breakfast went out too often and caught a little cold so that he has not ventured out since. But his appetite is good and looking well, all our acquaintances remark he looks better and clearer than he has done for a long time, so that I have great hopes of seeing him returned to his usual health. Mother is quite well as for myself they all say I am much stouter.
I hope you have returned as much the better of your jaunt as I have done with an appetite like an alligator. Well no doubt you would enjoy yourself much, as it was in the society of old friends; at Keirfield though I could not claim the title of an old friend yet and do not think it formal words of course, I was not long before I counted you all as such and felt as happy in the family circle which I joined so often, as I had been in the habit of doing for long, I never acted so before and sometimes think since, it was using too much freedom for I was continually tormenting you.
Well I indulge in the hope of seeing you all at Keirfield again but should any casualty come in the way that I be disappointed. I shall never forget the kindness I met with there and it shall always give me pleasure to hear of every member in the family being well and prosperous.
I called for Miss Hunter she is troubled a good deal with her breathing, she fully expected to see you, intends to go over the water for some time. Jinnie, alias Mrs Black is well.
Be so kind as tell the girl to make the cap a little deeper at the ears than yours and the border broader. I would have paid her before I left had I not depended on seeing you here, however you can keep it until the Doctor comes and send it down with him he must not forget the ill fared tooth, Dr Cowan —- a call from him.
I wish I could transport Charles Neale and his flute here for I have felt rather dull, — I ca —- nobody to bother with at all, anything mountainous happened since I left you. I should like much if you would write me down a few lines and satisfy me about passing Boness.
I must conclude my Mother is continually crying to me about the boat and it puts me all in a perturbation when I am hurried. I wish I had learned better how to mend pens for I might as well write with a match but that’s always the apology of scrawlers, however excuse this one which is literally filled with nothing. I feel quite confident you will not make it a subject of criticism.
Remember me kindly to your Father and Mother, the Doctor, Charles Neale, Mrs Baird and any who may be so kind as enquire for your truly attached friend,
P.S. Jinnie desires me to tell you the parrot is better, the sight of her restored its speech!
Sent to: Miss Susan Rutherfoord
At Mr N. Hay’s,
Keirfield 15th September 1831
I had a letter today from Mr Hay attempting to excuse you from not coming home the lateness of the steam boat however can be no excuse as it arrived at Stirling shore between 5 and 6 o’clock but though later you would have had your sister’s house to come to. I would rather you had been some time in Boness where Mr Boags family would have made you very welcome. Both he and his daughter have written about you and will think it strange that you have not visited them. Your mother has by far too much to do without your assistance for Mr Irvine’s family requires much attention.
To Miss Rutherford,
Boness, November 17th 1831
My Dear Friend,
With much pleasure I received your kind letter I was just beginning to expect an answer not unmissed with doubt whether I would be so gratified, excuse my saying so but as I think you are too candid to write or correspond against your inclination, I was afraid you might be indifferent about another being enrolled in your list, as indeed, too many correspondents is useless. However my fears and scruples in that head are over by your writing and so soon after the receipt of mine it might almost have been across the Atlantic, I cant think of what had come of it but I suspect it had several trips from Stirling to Leith in Captain S. pocket.
I am much pleased with the cap and begging your pardon yours is not to be compared to it, the border is so much prettier. I have just been making it up, Jennie says it might serve a Bride and advises me to put it past, but in case it should be out of fashion I will take the use of it, you would have a good deal of trouble in bleaching and dressing it, I cant get into the way of ironing that netting I am in the hope you will also dress it next time, when I will get a lesson and my Dear Friend you must allow me to settle it.
If all is well I flatter myself to see you at the time promised and shall be much disappointed if I don’t, indeed I would come willingly with Mr Shaw which I doubt not would be more welcome than a letter, well I must just live in the hopes to pop in upon you some day, I was taking a look at that quarter today and thinking how beautiful the village would be when it is clear and frosty also the comfortable fire and circle at Kierfield, for I can fancy you will all draw pretty close to it just now, if I were amongst you I would have a battle for the warm chair.
You did not tell me if Mrs Young’s child was better and next time you write mention if Charles Neale is at home as surely he was not the last time you wrote. Remember me kindly to him.
Did not I tell you Nancy would take a stay a good long month indeed. I must pause as it is past eleven, I did not know of this opportunity till late and the boat goes up early but if all is well, I will not be ceremonious, as I know as I know I have more time than you so that if you write a few lines when you have spare time, I will do so, when I have a good opportunity such as the one I send this by. Be so good as present my kindest respects to your Father, Mother, the Doctor and Mrs Baird, and with every wish for all your welfare, I remain your Truly attached Friend,
P.S. Tell the Doctor though my tooth is now better it will not prevent him making another trial of it “though the head should com with it,” as my Mother said if I get up. Mrs & Mr Stephenson are well; want of soon now oblige to stop.
To Miss Rutherford,
Boness, October 20th 1831
My Dear Friend,
I had resolved not to write again until I had heard from you, when I might flatter myself you were not averse to corresponding but such ceremony at present is needless; knowing you were all interested about Miss Hunter it would be very inattentive not to inform you of her death which took place last Saturday at Torryburn. She had been worse for some time and confined to bed about ten days, was quite sensible and though apprehensive of herself she did not seen to be aware, the night before she died that it was so near though apparent to others. Her corps were brought over on Monday and I believe will be interred on Saturday. Poor lady last time I saw her when talking of Kierfield her spirits got up, said how happy she was there and felt towards you all as if related to her, acquaintances used to tease her that she never had been happier since she left you, what with removing to another home and a lad servant I doubt if not-none of her Relations were there when she died, her two Nieces only returned to Liverpool three weeks ago.
We received the parcel in safely, the shawl is beautiful it is such an uncommon pattern and will be a most comfortable wear in a cold day, but we are sure the value of it is much higher than the many given by my Mother to the Doctor, but if all is well that we have the pleasure of seeing him again he may expect a scold from her for his silence on the subject – My Father is well pleased with his Strapp and intend writing him soon when he has had a longer trial of the cord, he is much better these some days past, the cord is doing well I am glad it was put in as I hope he will be greatly the better of it.
As for the ill for a tooth it has given one a good deal of pain especially when taking anything warm or cold so that I am determined if he tries it again I shall not move until it is out though it should ——–. You may tell him that also to return many thanks is but a ——- expression for his kind present of the olive branch but to be assured I value it as a present and like the content of it much and hope it will always be the symbol of peace as the title of it denotes.
I hope Mrs Young’s child has recovered though from what the Doctor said I dread the consequences. I was glad to hear your appetite was better and that you had quite recovered from your illness you had at —. Ah Susan were I only at Kierfield I should give you such a teasing about your excursion here so little time etc. Well I was wishing heartily this afternoon that I could transport myself over beside you, with my reason the weather is so uncommonly thick it makes one quite dull. I hope to have the pleasure of spending a few days at Kierfield this winter but I am afraid of being disappointed for I have already begun to plan it in my own mind which is too premature.
Mr Stephens has come down for me to go up with him to hear some grand musician. I would rather be excused at present for since I have begun to write it has quite dispelled ennui & I cant bear to be interrupted, but I cant well excuse myself so I will pause and tell you when I come back whether it was worth while going.
I did not stay long but have been detained from getting this scrawl resumed – I certainly was much pleased it is the finest music I ever heard I was secretly wishing your father had been with me it was on Dr Franklins Harmonic instrument.
The time I was out a letter came from my sister-in-law she has heard of my brother and expects him in Liverpool every day also accounts of my other brother but none of the youngest who is at Africa we are beginning to get very anxious as he was poorly in the last accounts.
My dear Susan I know you seldom find much time to spare but I should like very much when you have a few minutes, to write me that I may know what you are all about both those that are at home & about. I hope to see your sister as she returns I hope Charles Neale is quite stout now & the Doctors appetite returned & likewise I hope he has now digested a certain dish. I expect to hear of Christian Hunter being soon married.
I must now conclude as it is getting late & they are all to bed I am generally latest up I wish I could say —– up in the morning – remember me kindly to your Father & Mother Mrs Baird. I would include the Doctor & Charles Neale but as they cant be bothered delivering respects and it will be stupid also to receive them however I cant help adding my friendliest wishes for all while you may rest assured of them being sincere from your truly attached Friend.
P.S. Lennie desires me to tell you the poor parrot is dead today she is very ill about it indeed though I never made a fuss about it I was very fond of it – it was such a nice talker. I declare I feel I could write all night but I must stop or you will never be able to decipher it.
Friday – This is a beautiful morning I think if all is well the Doctor will be in Stirling to day. My Father has slept well and still continues better, he joins in my Mother in kind regards to your Father, Mother and all, she is reproaching me for not mentioning her leg I thought it such a trifle – it is better these some days past.
To Miss Susan Rutherford,
Dunfermline, 8th November 1831
My Dear Miss Susan,
I have just now had the pleasure to receive your kind note along with some apples for which I beg you will accept of my warmest thanks. They are very fine fruit indeed, the best I have seen this year.
I am glad to say that my mother is rather better than when you were here, altho’ not very stout yet. I am sorry to say that my Brother Robert has been confined to bed for some days past, but who we think is rather better today. The Small Pox is raging here at present, of which several have died and a number are confined.
It will give me great pleasure to spend a few days with you at Kierfield and which I hope to be able to do in the course of next summer.
With complements to your father and mother and to your brothers & sisters in which all here join.
P.S. Please accept of a few biscuits the produce of our Garden. You might write me oftener, and I hope to hear from you soon. We are all well and hope this will find you all in good health.
To Miss Rutherford,
Boness, December 11th 1831
My Dear Friend,
It seems a long time since I heard of our Friends at Keirfield, and I believe we are the debtors by the receipt of the Doctors kind favour to my Mother, but do not accuse us of negligence for scarcely a day has elapsed but what we have signified our intention of writing and I flattering myself of seeing you all soon which was better, but I have less hopes of that pleasure than when I last wrote you. I was afraid of being disappointed from my anticipations, for in general my jaunts are never long premeditated, however, if all is well with you and us, I fully expect to perform my promise, though not so soon as I expected. We had a letter from my Brother Thomas and mentions his intention of visiting us about the New Year, which I did not expect, Mrs Boag and he being down in the Summer, but my Father having no business to trouble his mind, is more anxious than ever about the absent, so that if Thomas can get away it would not do but to gratify his wish as Father’s feelings are easily hurt now. He is much better since the cord was put in I know a great difference on his speech, besides the absent look he used to have is away.
David came home on Wednesday night which makes a great difference in the house helps to keep us cheerie in these dull short days. He only intends to make a short stay, so in that case it will be out of his power to accept of the Doctors kind invitation.
We have heard from William his —— had a letter from him dated the 8th August, he had been ill but was quite recovered, had lost both his mates and had only two white men on board. A vessel is to sail in a few days for the Coast and is to take out mates and men for him, so that if he is spared he will be home next June. I hope this voyage will have cured his positive temper, that he will never be so headstrong as go back again.
My mother would have wrote the Doctor a few lines but I am sorry to say she is very complaining, she was confined two days this week with Dysentery, she is up today but is still very unwell – When Cholera is so much dreaded I feel alarmed…..
I wish I could take….
—– for any disease……
more afraid of Friends than my……
I promised you a box if you came…. TORN PAPER
Come to ask what a clock it was, I had…
It is such a poor one, as all the….
In Friendships estimate tis said, small gifts are…..
And great ones small if they impart, no token of a……
Be so good as give the small one to your……
I have performed … which I made to Charles Neale, of a purse, but in truth it is poorly set, for I am but a learner, and commissioning others to get the silk in Edr. It is not to my mind. Perhaps the Doctor has forgot his promise respecting his, he surely has not seen to his friend Mr Hamilton since his arrival, so had time permitted he would have given us a call in passing.
Any account of Nancy yet? We were sorry to hear of Mr likman if one might judge by appearance I don’t think she will be very happy with her uncle.
I must pause as the Steam Packet will be up directly. My Mother joins me in kind respects to your Father, Mother, the Doctor and Charles Neale, and accept the same yourself from your truly attached Friend,
P.S. My Father forgot to mention the chicory which the Doctor was so kind as send, we use it every morning and find it a great improvement.
Dr Wilson has begun to practice.
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Care of Mr David Rutherfoord,
Aberdeen October 18th 1831
My dear Susan,
I wrote Eliza and John some weeks ago and I am surprised that neither of them has answered my letters. I am now very anxious to hear from home and I hope my dear sister you will relieve me of this anxiety by writing me as soon as possible after receiving this.
Say when you write how my Father is, I am sure he will think us all very negligent here, I would write him today but have nothing interesting to communicate and particularly as David says he writes to day. He has been very much engaged of late, as Mr Stewart was in the North a fortnight, and since his return he has had a good deal to do. It is with much pleasure I inform you that David is steady and attentive to his business which is prospering and I am convinced that nothing is wanting on his part and Mr Stewart seems much pleased with the manner he conducts himself.
How is Eliza’ I was sorry to hear she was complaining, tell her she should write Mr Stewart, he often speaks of her and the children and is anxious to know what she intends doing.
I hope you are better of your jaunt and that you enjoyed yourself in Dunfermline. I suppose you must see Miss Hunter and Mr Boag’s folks when in that quarter. I dare say you will be glad to hear that Miss Fyfe is now almost well, Mr F. is also much better since she returned. You know I expected little attention from them after leaving home, but they have all been most attentive to me in inviting me to their house and introducing me to their friends, for which I must ever feel grateful. For altho’ I am quite comfortable here and nothing is wanting either on the part of our cousin or David, yet it is pleasant to have an acquaintance with a family where you can go at any time when inclined.
I wish you to send a shawl the same as the one I have for Mr Carther, there are none here of that kind. Let it be of the best quality and as small in the set of the border, the same as mine. You will better send it by Torrence from Alloa, I suppose he will be there next week. The — Margaret will see it delivered to him they are acquainted send the price along with it. I hope my Mother received the herrings and box containing some things of John’s.
I expect to hear from you in a few days. Remember me to Father and Mother, John, Charles Neil and to Mary. I hope they are all well. Miss Fyfe wishes to be remembered to you all.
I expect to be home in a few weeks.
Your affectionate sister,
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Boness, January 5th 1832
My very Dear Friend,
We were very much struck by the last accounts from Kierfield. I am truly sorry for Mrs Stewart’s bereavement and the great trial she met with before will make this affliction be felt more heavily. Elisabeth was indeed a promising child, it is easy to say we feel attached but in truth I don’t know when I felt so much attached to a child I saw so little off. Her smile and sweet dispositions could not fail to endear her to strangers, but more especially to relations and to a Mother who was to her, in a manner, all her company.
It cannot be expressed when reflecting on her many engaging qualities, what painful feelings must it occasion, such a blank now in her little circle. But on the other hand my Dear Friend if we view it in another way, there is much which your afflicted sister may draw consolation from if we believe the scriptures, she is in mercy taken away from a world of sin where no real happiness is, all is care and anxiety. She has tasted little of this worlds bitterness and so much the better, every day may tell us, by sad experience, the folly in depending on anything here for happiness, all is a curtain, but we are too apt to plan and lay schemes for future happiness which may be crushed in a moment, would, that those disappointments draw our affections more to the Creator than the creature.
Another year has commenced its F— c—, since I last addressed you; this season is generally regarded as a time of mirth and festivity – I have seen it the case with us, but not so this year, and I may mutually say so, my Father who has been so well for some time back, turned worse on Saturday, but I am glad to say he has recovered, it was not the —- to his head, though I feared it was another attack, as he got uncollected all at once, he seemed in a kind of stupor and remained in that state all Sunday but the Doctor said it was from cold. He is so very much reduced, very little hurts him, we have in a manner to guide him as a child.
I have also been very unwell for three weeks past complained at first of apprehension at the chest and pains in my limbs, I was afraid at first it was fever but it turned out to be a severe cold. I had been some days confined to bed when I received your Father’s kind letter. I got up last week but the cough was no better and on Saturday when the Doctor called was surprised at feeling my pulse at a hundred, advised me to get bled immediately, as there was a little inflammation, I did, which has relieved that tightness at the chest and I think done good to the cough. Likewise I have not been up all day yet, I wished to take a short walk today, but the Doctor said if I did it would make me as bad as ever, so as I never like to disobey their orders, I must just content myself in the house. Excuse my selfishness in saying so much about a cold I have not yet learned to express myself in few words.
On New Years day I felt dull, my father in one bed and I in another – I was thinking much of you all that day, for I had hoped to be at Kierfield, yes Susan I had the time set, my father wrote Thomas as he was no well, that he would not insist on his visit the distance being so great and being here in the summer. Well you may be sure when I heard this I pleased myself that my visit should be performed and immediately and immediately arranged it with my Mother. Next day I was sick, still though hoped to be better in time. I have often thought I anticipated my visiting you too much, I have oft imagined myself on the way – really Susan, you can’t imagine how much I was delighted at Kierfield last summer. I often look back both with feelings of pleasure and regret, the latter because the two families are not nearer each other.
But if we are spared, I fondly trust our friendship though only begun last year will like it not stray into a state of nonentity. If I am spared, my feelings must alter very much were I to forget the many happy hours I spent with you all. And please God that all was well with us, nothing should give me greater pleasure than to spend a few days with you but I will not again set any time.
David is still with us, he has been curling all day on the ice. I think had I been up he would have come for me, as he never was in Stirling. I intended to have sent the Doctor’s purse last time but my mother being ill, I could not get it finished, though I have sent it. I do not hold his promise said which you are witness off, you know he promised to come for it but to set that joke aside, I flatter myself we shall see him here, as he may be going down on the Steam boat —— and would surely come ashore, though I know his profession seldom admits absence.
My Dear Friend I can’t tell you how much I felt your Father’s kindness in writing me, I could not have thought it the least neglect your not doing so, after what had so recently occurred, but your Father to do so, was more than I could have expected. I fully intended writing him but now that I have sat down, in sincerity feel my deficiency, never having addressed one so much my senior and superior. I hope he won’t take it amiss in not acknowledging the receipt of his letter, remember me kindly to him and to be assured of my gratitude for his attention. I hope your Mother keeps well and Charles Neale I hope is quite stout now. It is most alarming to hear the cholera is in Edinburgh.
Excuse this scrawl please. Say you will laugh when I say my hand feels unsteady. My mother intends, if well, writing a few lines to the Doctor tomorrow morning. I hope my Father will be able to come down tomorrow. If not otherwise engaged I should like much to hear from you next week as I am wearying to hear how Mrs Stewart is. How is Mrs Baird? I hope little Maggie keeps well. I must stop. I dare say you are tired long ago.
Remember me kindly to your parents the Doctor and Charles. And wishing you all many happy returns of the season. Believe me my Dear Friend to be
Yours very affectionately,
Given this as —– as read a glance shows me so many needless personal prom—– –that I feel inclined to do it myself. When does Nancy return.
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Boness, February 16th 1832
I dare say my Dear Friend will be thinking my letters rather troublesome. I did not intend writing quite so soon but my Father has been anxious to write the Doctor for some time and expecting some of our acquaintance to go to Stirling, put off, but will wait no longer, so as he was waiting I could not resist also writing a few lines to acknowledge the receipt of your —— —— for —— which I received last Thursday.
I am happy to hear that you are all well; I was beginning to get uneasy before your Brother’s letter to my Father. Mrs Stewart would be much the better of living with you. I think as often as possible, you should go beside her, but you like the house so well there is no getting you out of it, if Nancy was at home I would have more hopes (turn to the 3rd page, it is like me, such an awkward mistake.)
Our Country is indeed in a most distressing state at present and has every appearance of getting worse instead of better, this fearful pestilence is approaching always the nearer, as and unless God is pleased to avert this dreadful disease by a wonderful inter position of his providence it will soon inevitably be here. It is highly praise worthy of those that are using every means which is best to stop its virulence. I am glad to hear of the liberality of the Stirlingshire Folks, but its what I expected, in hearing cleanliness, temperance as so often mentioned as a good preventive. I have often remarked the Bridge of Allan sun the most chance to be ——-. I wish my —— of this place could be so, it is so entirely done for want of trade, the most opulent families are continually dropping away to other towns, so that the poor families are very great and the most part of them has no means of subsistence, besides the temperate society met with no encouragement here.
A board of health is constituted and a subscription has been raised to erect a soup kitchen but the wants are so great that I am afraid unless more be done, the applications will become too numerous for them to continue long, however we must hope the best. Few comparatively that I have heard off seem to be afraid, none in the house but myself has much dread, I never felt so in hearing of trouble before the very preparations and the daily reports of the papers is enough to create melancholy feelings, and yet why it be so, what is this country more than others that plagues is so much in. And if we would only consider it —–, it is by frequently meditating on the uncertainty of everything here (except the certainty of death, that should enable our minds to be brought into the proper state for fully appreciating the comfort and friends allotted us, but when all goes well with us, we discard such reflections as if they tinged our thoughts with too dark a shade with the different pursuits of this life.
My Dear Susan, the repeated kind invitations that I have received from you all to visit Kierfield tempts me very much, my Mother has been saying this some time she thought I would be the better of it. Though my cough is almost better yet I have never felt altogether well since I wrote you, though seldom out, I scarcely ever —- getting more cold. I could have come away immediately on the receipt of your letter, but our Sacrament is on Sunday and owing to the distressing state of the country, I dare not flatter myself, though I have been doing it more this —– days past, but I will say or plan nothing, except if we keep well. I need not add Kierfield will be my first visiting place. I am afraid all mode of travelling will soon be stopped, David has just been sending his trunk with the carrier, the canal boat being stopped, he leaves us this week for Liverpool, he wont be persuaded to stay longer, he has been with us two months which he says is long enough to be idle, we will miss him very much. Thomas sails next month we have heard nothing more of William, it is an unhappy life a sailor, so unsettled, while their friends are never free from anxiety.
I must pause giving you such a long screed the last time I intended to make this short, but I get always into the same fault of spinning it out. Do remember me very kindly to your parents, the Doctor and Charles also Mrs Baird and believe me in sincerity your truly attached Friend
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Bridge of Allan.
Boness, February 23rd 1832
My Dear Miss Rutherfoord,
You will be surprised when I tell you that Margaret is married and off to Liverpool quite unexpectedly by us at this time. Mr Oliphant arrived in Liverpool two weeks ago he wrote her he intended to come down, her Father and I was decidedly against it for some time yet as we thought her too young to enter into the cares of a married Life. She wrote him to our oppoinion but she got her too brothers consent in Liverpool and came of by land came hear on Friday night got her Father to consent was three times Proclaimed on Sunday and was married on Tuesday and set off imidiately to go by land for Liverpool as the Steam Boat has to day 10 days Quarentein that goes from Glasgow to Liverpool on account of the Colara so they could not go by sea.
She regrated very much that Docter R. was not here but the time was so short we had only Saturday and Monday to get her ready to go away you may know we was very much hurried all her compainions was serving for her she could do nothing herself. She is to get her dresses at Liverpool she only got one made up to be married in that she had laying for some time. I have sent you a bit of it to let you see it. Please to accept of a pair of gloves for the Doctor and you with a bit of bride cake. She is to return to us when he sails which I hope will not a month at most.
Mr Boag is just in his usual way as when I last wrote the Docter about too weeks ago, Margt wrote you at the same time, write soon and say if you got them she intended to have been up with you this week had this not taken place she desired me to make her best respects to you all.
Mr Boag joins me in best respects to Father & Mother the Docter and all friends.
While I am thy Dear Miss Rutherfoord
To Doctor J.S. Rutherfoord,
Boness, June 30th 1832.
My Dear Sir,
I received yours and was glad to hear you got safe home and that you had not been particularly wanted. I am glad to say we have had good word of William he arrived safe in Liverpool the end of last week quite well, I expect him hear soon but cannot say the time. I got another letter we expect Thomas and David in eight days as we have heard of their safe arrival out at Montreal. They had a very severe passage out, Thomas had got cold and was seized with inflammation but was getting better. Had it not been my anxiety about William we would been at Kierfield before this as I have been complaining very much with pains since I saw you and very dull as I cant think of going out any way hear now and I could go about their, we hope to be up soon but cant say the time or we know about William coming. He talks of sailing again in a month for Africa but I hope we will get him put off going their when he comes.
Give my kind complements to your Father and my name sake and Susan, them all. We will always be glad to hear from you and see you at any time when convenient for you.
I remain my Dear Sir,
P.S. I cant help adding a postscript to answer your kind enquiries. Your prescription I followed once which cured me and has been well ever since until last Saturday it was very cold which has given me a severe cold from trying the cold bath. No matter, I think I hear you say, just what she deserves. And you suppose me to have more sense than give way to such thoughts about Cholera, really Doctor you give me credit for more sense than I am possessed of, for I have the same dread as ever, you may call it foolish, but I cannot help it. The idea of being predisposed, I know, is the cause.
I hope Susan is better, I have been expecting to hear from her daily: I am almost convinced that I have all this time been forcing myself as a correspondent with her, for I think had the wish to correspond been mutual, she would now and then have wrote a few lines. I have persevered, always making excuses for her, but I see I have only been flattering myself all this time.
Well I hope all the members of the family will not give way either to procrastination or indifference but will let us know, when spare time, how it fares with you all. If my wish were only gratified to be at Kierfield, but I must not flatter myself too much in that either. I had no intention to extend so far but you must forgive me as I never know when to stop.
Is Mrs Stewart returned yet? Remember me to Mrs Carter when you write her and all friends at Kierfield. Trusting to hear of you all or what is better see you soon.
I remain ever your Sincere Friend,
To Miss Rutherfoord.
Supposing this will find you in Alva, as you intended to leave home tonight.
When I came here I found Eliza very unwell she was confined to bed on Thursday, but I am happy she is much better today. If she is well on Tuesday she intends going to Glasgow to advise John to come home now, this will prevent me getting to Keirfield this week. Let me know by Mr Murdoch when you intend being home. I hope it will be this week.
I dare say you will feel very happy with your old friends again, wishing you much real enjoyment.
I am Dear Susan,
Your affectionate sister,
You may expect to see Mrs Dick on Thursday or Friday – Remember me to Mrs Henderson.
To Mr David Rutherfoord,
Kilmarnock August 13th 1832.
I take the opportunity of sending you a few lines by Miss Jean Glasgow who intends to go to Stirling tomorrow. We received your letter of the 12th July and were happy to learn that you were all well as this leaves us all at present. John Black is also in his ordinary health at present. He has left Mrs Hutchison’s and is residing in a House at College Law.
There has been a great deal of trouble for some time in this place: fever has been prevailing to a considerable degree indeed to a rather unprecedented extent and Cholera as you will likely have learned has been existing amongst us for about five weeks. There have been 163 cases by yesterdays report and 83 deaths and we cannot say that it is decreasing as yet: it has extended over the greater part of the town, though some districts have not been visited.
We are glad to learn that John is succeeding in his business and I may mention that several young men have commenced in the same line ever since the time he was making enquiry and seem to be doing pretty well.
We have had no word from America since we wrote to you last.
You mention of Gabriel Stevenson and that you had little expectation of obtaining the account betwixt you. He is still hearing I think and seems to be in rather a poor state to judge by appearances there is indeed little likelihood of getting much from him. His son is here from the Continent in the mean time.
I suppose that you will know by this time from Mrs Lawrie that she holds a Receipt from Mackie, Kilmarnock Carrier, for the money which she paid for the Bleaching and she is anxious to know by the Bearer of this if you got the money from the Stirling Carrier.
Be so good as give our best respects to all our friends in and about your place and we will be happy to know by the Bearer that they are all well.
I am Dr Sir, Yours Truly,
P.S. The Bearer was prevented from having this at the time intended and intends now to leave this tomorrow the 20th. We cannot say that yet there is any abatement of the trouble prevailing here.
To Miss Susan Rutherfoord,
At Mrs Boag’s,
Keirf. 23rd September 1832
My dear Susan,
We were favoured with a news-paper, I suppose from Mrs Oliphant, with some pencilling, which though somewhat illegal, is not the less welcome, as the information communicated is pleasing.
My object in writing you now is to inform you that we expect a visit from Marian Carter tomorrow evening. She is now in Glasgow, having been prevented coming here last night by the Coach being full. But she will now probably be here tomorrow. You I suppose know of her being with her friends in Ayr for some time. As we know not how short her stay may be with us, it is advisable that you leave Boness as early as you can, that you may have as much of her company as may be, the more so that Margaret expects you a night with her and it would be wrong to disappoint her. You will perhaps think its right to steam by Alva to hear what is going on there, which I understand is not exactly as was —– -but this as you ——- ——.
Nothing material has occurred here since you left us. We have had no lodgers nor are like to have. The terror of Cholera, being so near as Blairlowan, I suppose is the cause of fewer strangers visiting the wells than has been usual at this time of year, and the weather so fine. I believe the disease has entirely cursed its savages about Stirling. So far well I hope Boness will entirely escape it, and of course you are able —– Mrs Oliphant for whom I cannot but —- much —–. You will be able to say on your return how soon we may expect to see her here. Your mother and the rest of the family send best wishes for the welfare of Mrs O. Hoping to see you soon Susan.
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Liverpool, 16th October 1832
My Dear Friend,
Two days after I arrived here I scrawled you a long letter but the person who was to take it went off without letting us know. I have still kept it but it is now too old to send, perhaps this one may be the same, the opportunities are few at present. Oliphant has told me of one today which I with pleasure take advantage off though I have but a few minutes for it. I must try to be as brief as possible, my last I gave a journey up St Si but will cut short by telling you I arrived in Liverpool late on Sunday evening after you left us, I stayed in the Packet all night. Oliphant was on board early in the morning, both arrived at the same time, so Susan you have prognosticated true for once, you said he would be there waiting, I am glad to say he is well, likewise my Mother and Brothers. I trust my kind Friends at Kierfield are well also and that they were not put to any inconvenience by your remaining a day or two longer with one.
I fully expected to hear from you before I came away, a letter came for you which M. Brown promised to forward. I hope you got the newspaper to tell you I was arrived here. We got lodgings the day we arrived here and not very far away from my Brothers so that we generally see my Mother every day. She speaks of coming home next moonlight, the Berth is to sail 5th December for Carthagona the same coast again, if Oliphant had been in a little sooner my Brothers Owners told him they would have —— him charge of a vessel to Sydney the same voyage as my Brothers are going it is a great pity as it is a fine healthy voyage and all their vessels are out at present so it is likely he will go in the Forth again, for my part, I wish he would leave them and come home with my Mother & I for the winter. I have got him the length to say he should like very well to come if he was agreed for another vessel or if Mr H. discharged him, which between ourselves, he would not care if they did, only he will not voluntarily leave them unless it is for the better. Excuse my troubling you but feeling confident you are all interested how we get on makes me more communicative.
You are likely left alone now, David I imagine has been at Kierfield and taken Mrs Stewart with him. —— come will home and all well I am determined to come and see you would that I got my wish and William would accompany me, but I can’t flatter myself in the least that he will come home with me.
How did the Doctor enjoy his jaunt, my Mother wishes to be remembered to him. I would like if you would send a paper and just say if you are all well. Address\it to Cornwallis Street, No 43, care Captn Colburn any old paper. I must stop, Oliphant has come in calling for his dinner in a hurry he has to take this so you must excuse this ill connected scrawl. Remember me very kindly to your Parents, the Doctor and Charles. Don’t change your name till I come, at least if you do don’t leave Kierfield adieu whilst believe me to be my Dear Susan,
Your affectionate Friend,
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Mr David Rutherfoord,
Stamped: ABERDEEN PENNY POST
Aberdeen, November 8th 1832
My dear Susan,
I have long expected to hear from you and regret much that there is so little communication between us. I know you must have a great deal to do but surely John or Charles Neil would not refuse to write for you I know you will say. I should write oftener.
Are you often in Stirling? If I had been there and seen my dear Elizabeth before her little eyes were closed in death I think I would have regretted her loss; her poor mother will long feel the loss of her dear interesting daughter. Her loss has been many and severe. I feel very much for her and wish I saw her again; but I dare say I will be persuaded to remain here for some time at least.
The servant that was in the house when I came is still with us she gave up her place at last term owing to a misunderstanding between Mr F. and her only a day or two before the term, which placed me rather in an awkward situation, however she acknowledged her fault and was anxious that I should engage her which I did, but I would have been better with another for I have had a good deal to do myself for she is not very stout. I am looking out for another.
I have just returned from Mr Fyfe’s, Mrs Fyfe is very unwell she has been confined for more than a week, she wishes to be remembered to you all. Miss Fyfe wishes you to get wrought for her two net Capes – the honey-comb kind with borders for them. I said they would be 6 shillings each, also nine yards of border net for Cape to the Misses Carter. I would like the border as soon as possible, perhaps you could give 3 yards of the border to one person and the rest to another as they would like them —- as it is intended for three caps. —– would not do to be divided as Miss F. is not in such a hurry for hers. Net is just beginning to be wore here and is very expensive.
My cousin is at Dundee, he left this yesterday morning and returns tomorrow. David is quite well and wishes to be remembered to all at home, John is also well. To my father and Mother well remember me affectionately to them, to John, Charles Neil and little David, also to Mary and James. Write me soon and say when the borders will be ready.
I am dear Susan your affectionate sister,
– let the borders be like your own.
To Miss Susan Rutherford,
Care of Mr Rutherford,
Dunfermline, Thursday Evening 8th November 1832.
Perhaps you may have heard of the Death of my Brother David, but in case you should not, I have now to inform you that he died about the end of September last.
We know that your Family was always very kind to him when he used to visit your place, and he more than once expressed his sense of that kindness. My mother is on this account, as well as an account of the intimacy which here for a long time subsisted between us. Extremely sorry that you Friends should not, ere this time, have been made acquainted with this distressing bereavement; but from the confusion which such an event necessarily creates a great many other omissions of the same sort have occurred. She therefore trusts you will excuse her.
My mother is bearing this heavy trial wonderful, altho’ from the very great fatigue which she has undergone the last nine months of my Brothers confinement, she, as might be expected, is not very stout. A change of air and scenery will, we think, be the first thing to renovate her spirits, and as soon as she is able to undertake a journey to Stirling, will no doubt do herself the pleasure of paying you a visit. The weather however will not permit this for a considerable time yet.
I have no news to tell you, only I am happy to say the Cholera has nearly left this town. Indeed I have not heard of any new case these few days past. We have had a dreadful visitation: not less than 400 cases have occurred and out of these about 170 deaths have taken place. This dreadful malady seems generally to be on the decrease everywhere. I sincerely trust it may be banished from our Shores forever!
I find I am encroaching a little on my time, and perhaps on yours also, so I must stop short. I need not add that we shall be most happy to have a visit of any of your family, and this we hope will be soon We shall be glad to hear that this finds you all in good health, and I am happy to say that we are all at present in that condition.
My sister desires to be remembered to all around your fireside. She expects to hear from you soon. Meanwhile, I am,
P.S. I wrote a few hurried lines last week which I intended to have sent by Luke the carrier last Friday, but unfortunately he did not come to town that day.
Altho’ I have addressed this card to you, you will no doubt be kind enough to communicate what has occurred to your friends. I daresay I need scarcely have added this postscript for I know you will not forget to do this for us.
To Miss Rutherfoord,
Bridge of Allan,
10th January 1833.
My Dear Susan,
We were very happy to hear by the receipt of the Doctors letter that you were all well as we were getting anxious having been daily in the hopes for some time past to have news from Kierfield. I came home about ten days ago and fully intended writing a day or two after my arrival but I suffered so much from sea sickness that I have scarcely recovered from it, in general I was much the better of it but I never had such a severe attack, the wind against us made the steamer have more motion.
The newspapers you were so kind as send came and am daily spoke of returning a Liverpool one, the only excuse why it was not sent is putting off from day to day and the last that the Stirling journal came , the day before William sailed so that as I was to be home so soon made me put off. I examined it carefully in the hopes to sell all well or something but not a word, nay more Susan, I looked to the marriages expecting interesting news, but I suppose you are still Miss Rutherfoord, though something whispers not long.
The Doctor did not mention Mrs Carter but I trust from his silence that all friends are well in Aberdeen. I conclude also that David came for Mrs Stewart and is now also in Aberdeen with her two sons, may they be long spared for a comfort to her after the repeated bereavements she has met with. We are glad to hear Mrs Baird and little daughter is so well, as for you I fancy you are still living on little less than nothing.
My Dear Friend am I really to reply in the negative again to this kind invitation out of the many I have received. I am truly afraid my kind Friends at Kierfield will now be tired with my excuses which makes me feel at a loss to express myself so as to convince them that I cannot at present comply with their request next week. I hope you will credit me when you know so well how anxious I am to perform my long promised visit, indeed when I look back to the many times, especially this time twelve months the different days fixed for it, that I can’t help feeling at times a dread if ever I am to get my wish gratified being so often disappointed but I trust to be arguably mistaken.
My Mother has wearied so much this some weeks by herself, what she never was before, and none of my Brothers at home, which has not been the case for many years, makes her feel her loss more – that now I am at home she wont hear of me going away at present, you may very naturally say I might come, were it but for two days, to this Susan, were I to see yourself my reason would quite satisfy you.
My Mother is very anxious to come but could not at present the season of the year being her only reason. She thinks the water may do her some good, and I cant express how anxious I am to get her up, since in Liverpool she has got so stout that when walking the least bit feels quite breathless and weak that makes me uneasy. Besides her rheumatisms troubles her more I think in the Spring. If well, I am advising her to come, Mrs Boag is come down from Liverpool and she promised to wait for her, however before that, if I am well, I will be up though it shall only be one night. Now I think you will be tired by a string of excuses but I trust I am believed and the best evidence you can give is by fulfilling your half promised visit here. If on the event of your marriage which my Mother joins me heartily in I am not joking but serious unless you extend your jaunt to Aberdeen. What nonsense is this I have taken into my head, you will say,I have no foundation for it, but I think you are intending to change your name soon remember my dear friend I write to you candidly don’t be offended at my free speaking, you might have wrote me to Liverpool & told me if Nebuchadnezzar was still in the bridge of Allan.
I think in my last I mentioned William was still in Mr Henderson’s employ he left them & joined the Brig Matilda a regular trader up the Mediterranean to our view advantageous, though often the brightest prospects does not turn out the best, but if he keeps his health & does as well for his Honours as he did for the Hendersons I have no doubt he will have the pleasure of giving satisfaction, the way the latter has used him made the offer of this vessel more readily accepted we are now at law with Mr. H. for only a third of what they unjustly defrauded us off, my Mother is angry at our simplicity in not claiming the whole which would have been no more than they deserved after the way they treated my father for so many years.
I have got the root of the tiger lily which you saw for your father & the first safe opportunity will send it be sure & write me as soon as you can spare time by the past & tell me particularly about the family how your father & mother is keeping their health I think if the Doctor has not been to Edinbh. Since you were here that he will probably be going soon, if so, do tell him to come ashore & see us for we are wearying very much to see him I flatter myself if he had any time at all he would give us a call in passing, there is no friend my mother respects so much & as for myself you know too well my opinions “did you take his advice as I told you
Jennie desires me to remember her kindly to you & the Doctor, she has some notion she says of his now thinking seriously of marriage but I think her suppositions are not well grounded for I rather think it is your Ladyship
I need not say excuse this scrawl for I might have taken time & wrote it better, but I am beginning to think that is more than I am able for it puzzles me to form one letter, my hand is getting so cramped however if you can make it out that is enough burn it as soon as read & you will oblige me
I will expect to hear from you next week, my Mother joins with in kind regards to your Father, Mother the Doctor wishing you all many returns of the season believe me my Dear Friend to be yours sincerely
To Miss Rutherford,
Bridge of Allan.
20th May 1833, Alva
By this you will be informed that your parcel will be left at Mr McDonalds Inn Casawayhead as it will be a good deal nearer than the Toll for you to send for it. I will send it tomorrow with the Alva Carrier I will say to be left till called for so you will send there for it. I would have sent this with the Bearer of yours but the Boy went away before I read it. I sent your Fringes with John Scotland upon Friday last he said he would give the parcel to Mr James Baird or to Mr Adam so if you have not got them you must enquire after them.
And I am Dear Susan your well-wisher,
To Miss Rutherford,
Bridge of Allan.
With a Parcel
Alva, 21st May 1833
My Dear Friend,
When I went to purchase your blankets yesterday afternoon the kind that you wanted was not so easy got as I expected. The first I went to had non but the seckond pick that was long Willie. So I went to James Harrower and the ones that he had ready for sale was not so good nor yet so fine as those that was on scoured , so I bought those that was not ready but they were to have them scoured and dry by the time the Carrier left Alva, but they were not ready so soon as they expected and that was the reason I did not get them sent with the Alva Carrier as I said in my letter yesterday. But have sent them with George Young the Dunblane Carrier and to be left at Mr Donilds jnr Causewayhead as I said yesterday so I hope you will get them safe.
Be so good as send a fue lines with the post and let me know if you have got all things safe also when the day of your marriage is to be.
And I remain in heaste with best wishes for your fouter prosperity till the end of your Days and throu all Eternity.
To Mr Adam Baird,
Dated: March 27th 1840
Stamped: Dover, 27th April 1840.
I have received a letter with the Melancholy accounts of your Wife’s death. I was so much astonished when I received the accounts as I had sent my kind love to her and children and by this time would have sent her a small present for her attention to me during the time I was in Dunblane. It is out of my power now for she needs no more of this Earthly grandeur.
I was just reflecting in my own mind that this time two years the death of your dear Sister happened and since that time Both of us have been deprived of our partners in a short time. I may say that I feel it very much being cast upon the world without a relation. But then I had a Father and friend that took me up and has brought me out of many tunnels and afflictions. He is a kind Father and will not lay any more upon us than we are able to bear and if we could only Bring our minds to think that it is for our good that God looks upon us in that way in depriving us of our comforts upon Earth to bring us home to himself. I hope that you may find the same comfort that I have found and then you will be able to go through. But without that faith in Christ we are not able to do any thing of ourselves.
I feel so much for the Children for they have lost a very kind Mother and they must feel it very much for there was always so much care taken of them. I hope that the Baby is stout and well cared for with some careful hand to Nurse it. I am sure of that for you are well off in having a sensible person as Mrs James Baird, she is so kind a person and so well acquainted with them all. Please remember me kindly to her and let her know that I am quite well and thriving so very well here, but have not the prospect of remaining long in this family as they are always speaking about going a broad. But if the Lord will, I hope to remain till next spring, if not I must just come home. If I can find an opportunity I will send some small present to the children. I cannot get it sent by the post. I will not forget them. I hope to hear how they get on for I will be often thinking about them.
For I am with much respect,
Dover – Reverend John Drakes
44 St James Street,
March 27th 1840
To Mr Adam Baird,
Fairnfield, 10th April 1840.
It is with great grief that I have heard of the breach that death has made in your family. It is indeed a dispensation of divine Providence to the surviving members of a family circle that nothing can compensate in this world. I trust that the power which inflicted the wound has bestowed strength so far to endure the severity of the pain which must follow – and that the affection you bore towards your kind hearted, gentle and excellent wife has been soothed by a well-grounded hope that her spirit is through the merits and mediation of the Saviour, is in a blessed world – beyond all pain or sorrow forever.
You will no doubt feel her loss in a thousand ways – to yourself, to your children – as the head of your household – as a mother, and as a Companion.
You must naturally feel long depressed – and nothing but the purest & best of all guides – Religion – directing you to an active care of your children – and to the cultivation of its influence upon your heart & life can bring you true comfort & peace. May God give you the desire to seek peace from himself, and enable you to say – “it is the Lord’s doing – blessed be the name of the Lord! How desirable that we should all apply the warnings that Providence gives, according to her own wisdom, to each, and that in all worldly occupations and ? we should remember that another world must be our eternal home. How necessary then now, while it is called today, to strive to profit by the divine grace offered to us so freely & fully, and to strive to enter in by the strait gate!
Mrs Grierson writes with me in the expression of sympathy in your bereavement. She entertained a sincere regard for your departed wife – and is anxious for the wellbeing of your little children.
Have you been able to carry on your last year’s Christian kindness in teaching the poor neglected children in your neighbourhood on the Sabbath afternoons? I hope you may still be able to lend your useful aid in the good work.
My own health is considerably improved by this warmer country – but still far from being strong.
Again expressing my sympathy with you, and praying that God may sanctify the dispensation to your own spiritual profit
– Believe me
To Mr Adam Baird,
Tillicoultry Manse, 25th August 1840.
My Dear Sir,
As I know you must feel very desirous of getting an able and faithful minister to such an important station as Dunblane, give me leave to say, that in my humble opinion you have at hand a man well fitted for such a charge, I mean your friend Mr McLaren of Lecropt. Having known him long I may be permitted to say that as a Pious and amiable man, a judicious and able divine, a faithful evangelical Preacher. There are few men in the Church superior to Mr McLaren, and as he is a tried man and has been forward with much usefulness both in Lecropt and elsewhere.
I have no doubt, that were it the will of God to call him there, he would prove a great blessing to the People and Parish of Dunblane. As I have had some experience in these matters, I may suggest that you and the rest of your Elders should get a Petition made out and sent thro’ the Parish, getting the Heritors to sign it if you can and as many of all causes as are desirous of having a faithful Gospel ministry among them, and send it to the Secretary for the home department and there is every reason to think he will present the man for whom the Heritors, Elders and People petition.
May the Lord himself direct you and thou who wish well to —– in all things, and may he send you a Pastor whose labours he will own and bless.
In haste I remain my Dear Sir,
Yours very sincerely,