Letters from Edward Scott 4LD to his sister Mary Scott
April 1827 - Nov 1830
Reference: London Metropolitan Archives, ACC 2247/1
Mary Scott was the eldest child and only daughter of the Rev. Edward Scott, D.D. of Worton Hall, Isleworth, Fellow of Queens College, Oxford from 1788 to his death in 1817. He married Jane Walker in August 1799. Mary was born in August 1800. Worton Hall was sold by Scott's widow in 1820. The property then passed to Henry Cerf, then W.H. Story Esq. In 1913 it was purchased by film producer George Berthold Samuelson who turned it into a film studios. As such it remained until 1952. In 2008 it was proposed to convert the building into apartments. In 1820 Mrs. Scott, Mary, Edward and their brother, William, moved to 7 Upper Phillimore Place. William, the elder brother, went up to Queens in 1821 and was apparently in poor health. Both brothers were reported as `being in the pox' in 1823. William adopted no career. In 1827 when the commission was purchased for Edward Scott the house was given up and the furniture sold. Mary and her mother were separated and moved from boarding house to boarding house. For a time Mary was a paying guest at 100 guineas a year to a family Lowndes in Hans Place. Mary became friends with and nearly married artist and unregistered `doctor' John St. John Long, who was popular in fashionable London society but was prosecuted at the Old Bailey for manslaughter of a TB patient. He was found guilty and fined £250. Mary and her mother were reunited and lived in a non-descript boarding house in Bryanston Street. In Autumn 1829 Mary went to Paris to a family Kennett, but was unhappy there. She returned to England and boarded with a family named Gordon, first at Broadstairs, then at Ramsgate, then at their home at Richmond Green. She then went to Worcestershire near Malvern, her health failing, and still unmarried.
From Edward Scott, April 1827, Cavalry Depot, Maidstone
You will be surprised to hear so soon and in this way, but Fauns not being able to bring my stocks down to the coast, and now being on his way to Canterbury, has called upon me and thus you can get this letter. You may very well believe that I was extremely dull here the first day, but I am happy to say that is fast dispersing as I get acquainted with the officers down here. We are obliged by the regulations of this place to appear in regimentals every day and all day, and never dare to appear out of them excepting the week after next which is the assize week, when we are exempt from all drill which is very severe, and as soon as the weather will allow we shall begin drill at 5 o'clock in the morning. As we are obliged to find our sheets and pillow cases for which we give a [long] price if hired I shall be obliged to our dear Mother to let me have [if she can spare them] 1 pr. of sheets and a pillow case as we wash every fortnight, which, if she will be kind enough to send to Fauns', he will send them down with my dressing gown etc. I shall perhaps be home soon for a fortnight, but will let you know beforehand. I am in great haste as Fauns is waiting for my letter.
Give my kindest love to my Mother and accept the same from your Vy affectionate brother Edwd. Scott, Saturday night.
From Edward Scott, 26 March 1827, [Cavalry Depot, Maidstone]
Here I am seated in my Room, the Band [which altho' small is one of the best I have ever heard] playing before my Room in the Barrack Yard. I must now, as I had not time when last I wrote, tell you concerning my journey. It was a dreadful stormy day as to wind and at intervals very smart showers. I was the only outside passenger, the inside contained four women - I won't say Ladies - and two children in arms [thank God I was not there.] In coming down a steep Hill our leader fell [for we only had three Horses - and that was not all the way] and the other Horses were over him - the coachman not daring to leave the Box I was obliged to exert myself very much in getting the Horses undone from the coach, which I can assure is not done without danger, however I managed pretty well and we arrived safe and sound at the Star, Maidstone, where I took up my quarters for the night, but the same day that I arrived, I went to the Barracks, and ordered the Quarter Master to get me a room etc, which I had the next day, and a very nice room it is. You will think me extreemly [sic] grand when I tell you I have two servants, a man and a woman. The Man always wears livery and a hat with a cockade in it and costs me 2/6 a week. I have more coal and candles allowed me than I can use and as good a dinner every day for 2/6 as I ever had at the Free Masons Tavern for £1/1/-. Our Breakfasts are superb at 1/6 - a pair Fowls, ham, roast Beef, Boiled Mutton, Eggs, tongue, veal, and such cream and tea as I am sure would make you comfortable. Indeed there is no Life like a soldiers', for altho' duty is very hard and as much or more writing than I had at office still when that is over and we have nothing to do but eat and drink - drink we do not, for we have the steadiest and best set of young men I ever knew and I am happy to say to say that the expense of living entirely depends upon yourselves. I am very certain I could live here with two Horses in the best possible manner for £52 a year above my pay, and if India is the same I hope not only to live upon my pay, but to save money. The pay in India for a Cornet is £33 a month, which when multiplied by twelve makes £396 a year besides other advantages.
Our duty consists in Drills from a quarter before nine Till a quarter past ten - half past eleven to half past twelve, and from half past four to half past five - besides being orderly officer every three days when you have to visit the hospital, schools, stables, and be present at meals, examine the meat, bread, and see that the Beds are properly made up and the Light extinguished - examine the Arms - be present at parades - drills, issuing of forage and indeed inspect every nook and corner of the Garrison three times a day, and besides during the night visiting the sentries immediately after setting the guard and occasionally between the mounting guard to see that they are alert and to receive the watch setting report of which things we have to give a report in our own handwriting [no small job] the next day to Sir Jno. Browne, besides writing a Roll of our Regiment, and that is to say every person's name and who they are and how and when employed. On Sunday morning attending parade at twelve when the whole of the men are marched round the Barrack Yard, which is very large, in slow and quick time, the Band playing in the front, then we all march to the riding school where service is performed by the Chaplain and sacred music played by the Band. The whole Garrison standing the whole time [2 hours]. When it is finished the parade is dismissed and we do what we like for the remainder of the day - everyone says that a soldier's life is an idle one - but never believe that again - indeed I should not like it so well if it was.
I must now tell you of a Ball which we had the other night at the Assembly Rooms which are exactly the opposite the Garrison - it was a delightful Ball, and of course as we dare not ever appear out of Regimentals, not even our spurs, we were obliged to attend in full dress and a splendid appearance we cut - the 4th Lt Dns wear their facings turned in, so that the coat appears only Blue excepts the collar and cuffs, and is a great improvement, as it shews off the other appointments to great advantage. I managed to dance in spurs very well but was so tired before I went with my Drills that I only danced ten quadrilles - five of which were with one Lady. The Ladies here spoil the officers for they are never content to dance with one out of the Regimentals and are very proud to walk with the officers which makes us give ourselves airs [more shame for it]. I met Charles Duggan at the Ball, but he did not know me, and very few people I believe would know me in Regimentals - nothing makes such a difference. Captain Mathew [4th Lt Dns] and a very gentlemanly young man, was one of the stewards together with the member for Kent and a mud [as we call Infantry] Major. There were plenty of women and some very pretty ones, the one I danced five quadrilles with was like both to Miss Jervis and Miss M. Hector, so you may suppose she was far from bad looking - we came away from the Ball at 3 oclock [sic] and had a famous supper in the Mess Room - it was a dreadful rainy night, but we had a carriage lent us altho' only twenty yards.
This letter has not been written in one day but at different intervals and this part is written on St Patricks Evening as I have left most of the other officers drinking as a great many of them are Irish. We had a most unpleasant thing the other day [that is to say] a court martial on a Deserter and he was then marched down to the riding school, all the officers in full dress and the Band with the four different Regiments - in the middle of the school was placed the prisoner and a whipping post, but I am happy to say his sentence was changed to six mths at the Tread Mill, where I have been today and seen him walking up. I also had a few turns on the Mill and would much sooner do that than have fifty strokes, each to bring blood. I must stop here tonight that I may write my Divisional Roll.
I could here very easily get invitations to Dinner every day, but as you pay for your Mess dinner all the same and visiting is such distant work it is best for a limited man to keep entirely at home. I went to a card assembly at the Rooms on Monday night last and I preferred it to the Ball, it is called a card assembly but there is dancing all the same. The great attractions are the officers and one Band which always attend on these occasions. I danced with some very nice Girls, the Miss Milners - plenty of money, who begged we might be better acquainted. We go to these balls in our shell jackets and dress trowsers which look very neat. I should not have gone, but Lady Browne [who with Sir John is extremely kind] requested me to go as her bodyguard - We have another court martial on Friday, when I fear a man will be flogged for sleeping on his post.
I think I am better now than I ever was before - rise early - plenty of eating - and plenty of exercise. I hope yourself and our kind Mother are as well as when I left you and our Brother better - I had not intended to send this letter till I should have received the sheet and pillow case, but a friend of Morris' having come down here to try to find a cause I take the opportunity of forwarding it to town. You will find this letter badly written, but the truth is it is always written after Drill when my hand shakes with the Exercise it has undergone. Give my very best love to my mother and tell her if she has not sent my shirts to Joshua to keep them. Believe me to be Your affectionate Brother, E. Scott
From Edward Scott, 21 April 1827, [Cavalry Depot, Maidstone]
Being rather tired with drill I think I cannot employ my time better than in sitting down and writing a few lines to you. You can see by my writing that I arrived quite safe from London, and a very pleasant drive I had. A gentleman on the coach supplied me all the way with very nice segars [sic] and we arrived just in time for Mess. I went with Warren all the way into the City as no coach starts from the West end of the town at that time of day. I have rec'd two invitations to dinner since I came back and we have [had] a very gay Ball on the 19th which I should tell you of in the latter part of this letter. We expect the Duke of Wgtn here early in May to inspect us. I feel a little dismayed at the idea. The 8th Hussars march thro' Maidstone and we shall be obliged to ask them to dinner, which is a great bore as they are a set of very expensive dogs and will not be contented with humble sherry and port.
Sir Jno. Browne has this morning [Sunday] read to us an Order from the Horse Guards for a Return of Men and Officers who are fit for Duty and as soon as they are known we shall be ordered for embarkation which will take place on the 1st of June. The reason for this sudden thing is that the Regiment is in such a state that we have out of 20 officers only 3 fit for Duty and 90 Men out of the whole Regiment. The officers are taken all aback here and are fit to expire as none intended going out - it makes not the slightest difference to me - but I am better pleased as the sooner I go to India the better [as I look to the pay]. As soon as I know that I start, I will get a Months' leave of absence and come home to you at Kensington. They say down here that the Duke of Wellington has resigned the commander-in-chief-ship. I hope he has, as his opinion of young officers is very bad.
On Monday I went to a Card Assembly and a very pleasant one it was. Tuesday the officers of the 8th Hussars dined with us and instead of them drinking claret etc they preferred your favorite [sic] beverage - gin, which they sat drinking till half past two and smoking so much that [as I told one of my Partners last night] we were obliged to blow the smoke away before we could see our next door neighbour - last night, Wednesday, I went to a dinner, Ball and supper at Mr. Days' and a delightful party it was, no formality. I met a young Lady there of very large fortune, Miss Tisson, who was at the Kensington Assembly the night we were there, and says that she had another invitation to one either just past or to come. I advised her never to visit Kensington again as it was a most scandalous place and inhabited by a large quantity of the cat species. She is very well acquainted with the Barlows - she came to this Ball in her Papa's carriage which is a very splendid one. The Miss Milners were there to whose house I am likewise going to a dinner, Ball and supper on Thursday the 26th of this present month. To-night, Thursday, we have our gay Ball, were [sic] I fear I shall dance all night as I know nearly everyone there - you see I am not very dull. As I was going down a street the other day I saw a gentleman start and who should it be but Major Codd who swore with two dozen oaths I was the greatest dandy he had ever seen and advised me to get William down here to wear mustacios - I sport my old chin piece again, as the Fourth [sic] intend wearing it, and I intend to have my mustachios somewhat larger. We are practising for a Field day or some such thing on the King's Birthday, when we will have a large party to dinner. I forgot to tell you that as ill luck would have it, I was vice president the day the 8ths dined with us and had a benefit in carving for 25 - you know what a good carver I am.
Our Ball took place last night but I was not nearly so full as our last - The Rochester Ball being the same night. However I found [it] all the pleasanter as we had more room to dance. I had plenty of dancing and a great deal of Fun. I danced five quadrilles with Miss Tisson - then saw her into her carriage - as she was by herself. I have this day been to Preston Hall, the seat of Mr. Milner, to enquire how the Ladies did and staid [sic] so long that I only saved my distance for parade by two minutes. As I galloped into the Barrack Yard Sir John shook his head, but I looked at the clock and said I had saved my bacon by two minutes. The Milner Park is a most superb one and the house larger than Worton Hall - the drive from the Lodge up to the House is about a mile and beautifully wooded - the youngest Miss Milner looked divinely pretty today.
Our Ball took place last night but I was not nearly so full as our last - The Rochester Ball being the same night. However I found [it] all the pleasanter as we had more room to dance. I had plenty of dancing and a great deal of Fun. I danced five quadrilles with Miss Tisson - then saw her into her carriage - as she was by herself. I have this day been to Preston Hall, the seat of Mr. Milner, to enquire how the Ladies did and staid [sic] so long that I only saved my distance for parade by two minutes. As I galloped into the Barrack Yard Sir John shook his head, but I looked at the clock and said I had saved my bacon by two minutes. The Milner Park is a most superb one and the house larger than Worton Hall - the drive from the Lodge up to the House is about a mile and beautifully wooded - the youngest Miss Milner looked divinely pretty today.
The Doppas are very much laughed at in this neighbourhood from their being such Braggers when they can keep up no sort of appearance of style. They keep only two Horses which do every sort of work and their House is only half finished. Charles was at the Ball last night. I hope Blount is very very well to whom when you see him let me be kindly remembered. I hope that our dear Mother is in good health and yourself likewise and that William's body and mind are both improving, to both of whom give my kind love and believe me to be your ever affectionately, Edward Scott. Write soon.
[From Edward Scott] Cavalry Depot, Maidstone, Saturday 5th May 
Phillimore Place Kensington
I am sorry to inform you that I am at this time confined to my Room and Bed by a severe kick from a Horse and have been obliged to have leeches applied. I am now recovering fast altho' it has been a great bore to me. You must know that in our riding drill we never go but with the expectation of having our legs broken and it is very common to see a man carried off to Hospital from a blow; had I not lived so quiet and low as I have since I have been in Barracks it might have gone worsely with me. I had been at a Ball at the Milners and had rec'd an invitation from a Colonel Hay of Chatham to a very gay ball where I promised to go as I should meet the Milners, and the very next day I was laid on my back. I was never more enraged at the disappointment. Sir John has been extremely kind since I have been here but not more particularly so since my accident - sending every day to inquire how I do, and saying how sorry he is that he cannot come upstairs to see me [he being lame from a broken leg occasioned by a kick from Col. Harris' horse]. Today he sent the Adjutant to ask if I was well enough just to come down stairs to speak to him, which I managed to do and he said that he was so pleased with my attentive conduct at the Depot that he would give me leave to come to you on the 10th of May and stay till the 23rd and then he will be able to tell me more concerning my departure to India and will give me leave accordingly.
You recollect that I used to say about lending money that I could never refuse it - however when I came here I made a determination never to lend more than 5s at a time. However a young fellow sent for me the other day and begged me to lend him £15 till Thursday [it being Saturday]. I did not like to tell him my resolution but said that I had drawn so much that I had no more left in my Agents' hands - with which I at last satisfied him, since which he has gone off to Ireland without leave, in debt to everyone and runs a great chance of being broken - how well my £15 would have looked.
The reason Hopkinson wrote to know whether the difference was ready is to recommend me for purchase which will not take place most likely till September. The difference of pay between Cornet and Lieut. in England is only one shilling a day altho' in India it makes £200 a year, so it is a consideration, as it likewise qualifies you for the situation of Adjutant at which I aim, and for which Sir Jno. will give me a letter, saying that I am fit for that situation. The pay of a Lieut. and Adjutant is about £800 and if I can I will save half. I am not of a very expensive turn of mind as is proved by my living here so cheaply as I do: I very seldom spend so much as my pay - talking about my expenses I have sold my horse with a little loss but that does not signify as it would have come to the same thing in the end if I had waited for a better price as he would have been living at my cost.
I am very happy here as I have so much attention paid me and for what reason I do not know, as I make it no secret that I am as poor as a rat - the fellows here say I am the best tempered fellow in barracks and always introduce their friends with that recommendation, and being able to shake my legs at a ball and talk with the Ladies, they think me a good fellow likewise. Miss Riddell, daughter of Lady Francis Riddell, is accounted a very proud young lady and all the officers on that account are very civil and attentive to her. For my part I thought if she were proud it was no use for a poor Cornet like myself to pay any attention to her, and therefore I paid not the slightest to her at a dinner party at the Milners, but the other night I met her again at a Ball at the Milners and she said, `How do you do Mr. Scott?' upon which I went up and had a very pleasant chat with her, made her laugh famously and danced two Quadrille with her to the astonishment of my Brethren in Arms. I have quite done with parties for the present, yet confined to my room as I am my spirits are in very good condition, altho' my drink is that pure beverage - water.
About a fortnight ago, being President, I took that opportunity of cutting the tip of my finger off, and what was worse could not find the piece - it bled famously, but I covered it well with salt and it has quite healed up. I knew of Mr. George and Wardingham's intention of separating but being a secret I did not like to tell you and besides it was nothing to you. I was very sorry to hear of Reids' account which was transmitted to me in a letter from Jackson containing ten lines and costing 11d, more than a penny a line. Your letter, I am happy to say came in a Frank which in my opinion is the pleasantest way of rec'g a letter as you have not to pay for the news. The reason this letter is written in so slovenly a way is that Isaacs, the Chatham Jew who fits out the fellows for India and at the same time is a very good fellow, is waiting to take it to town with a letter to Morris, so that I have very little time to tell you anything, but as I shall see you so soon it does not much signify writing much. You may therefore expect me on the tenth of this month. Give my best and kindest love to my dear Mother and accept the same from your ever and Trully affct. Brother Edw. Scott.
My departure to India will not take place till July.
[From Edw. Scott], 25th June 1827.
My dear Mary,
This letter will be delivered to you by James Ashley [who accompanied me down to Maidstone on Saturday and has staid [sic] to see me on board] and is written at Gravesend at the Nelson where we dine after having embarked our men. We sail tomorrow for Portsmouth and I am sure it will give you and my dear Mother greatest pleasure to hear that our cabin is very delightful and everything in the ship very Pleasant. I am afraid that you feel more at parting with me than I do: as I have not time to shew [sic] my grief, but I can assure you I feel all that a dutiful son and an affectionate brother can. We stay a week at Plymouth. I could come up to town but I do not wish the said parting over again. The officers of the 15th Hussars dined with us on Sunday, and a very fine set of fellows they are. Once more then Adieu and my best love to Mother and remembrance to all kind friends, I am, my dearest Mary, Your very affect. brother Edward Scott. June 25th 1827.
PS: Isaacs will call in a day or two for a sort of security of payment which my Mother may safely do as I shall be sure to remit the money.
On Board the Neptune, 2nd July 1827.
My dear Mary,
This letter is written from Portsmouth where we arrived yesterday after a week's passage from Gravesend and a very tempestuous one it was. We were obliged to beat about Harwich for three days for fear of getting involved in what is called the shivering sand. Our Captain and Pilot were very much alarmed, the Pilot swearing if the men did not lend a hand we should be aground. However we have arrived here safe with the exception of a little tackle broken. I can assure you, I felt very unwell which will show you that it was rather rough, but was not sick altho' I had all the sensation of it. Our cabin, altho' we have three in it, is very comfortable and has a water closet attached to it, which is very convenient; as no one can go there but ourselves, it leading out of our cabin. They seem to think of nothing on board but eating and drinking, we having five meals a day and living as well as I did at the Mess. There are some very pleasant men on board. The only lady [Lady Campbell] has not yet arrived; it is rather a bore having only one lady as we shall not be able to have any dances on board. Newton, the Lieutenant you have often heard me mention with dislike, is on board with us and behaves very well indeed, and says that he would not have come out without me on any account as I do everything that he wants without being too subservant. The other officer [Gordon] is my junior and a complete schoolboy, so that on the whole I may consider myself very well off.
You must tell Mr. Cornish when you see him that his pipe is my constant companion and that it puts me in mind of all the Happy days I have spent in Kensington. I am happy to say that I have got all my luggage safe on board and am in hopes of getting them as safely off. I shall go on shore to-day and see the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, neither of which place have I yet seen. The country about here appears very beautiful from the ship - Hyde on one side and Portsmouth on the other. Captain Cumberlege is a very nice man, and so is his son, who is second officer on board the Neptune - The whole family of sons were on board from Gravesend to this place and I understand that Mrs. and Miss are at Ryde - the latter of these ladies being a v. pretty girl. Mary dear I shall think every woman I see an angle [sic] after my voyage as at present I have not seen but one female and that is the old bumboat woman. You must look out for some nice Girl for me by the time I come home, such a one for instance as Miss Barling - tell them all my good qualities, but you need not say anything of my bad ones.
Our Surgeon, a Mr. Owen, is making me laugh just now by saying that he wishes they would keep the ship quit [sic] as we are rolling at anchor while we are writing in the Cuddy and he feels very unwell. I suppose you have not had much wind on shore but we had a great deal on Thursday last; if you had I'm sure you would think of me on the `deep deep sea' - in passing Hastings etc. it brought many pleasant days to my remembrance but I hope that I have embarked in something which will produce both profit and pleasure. I wish you were here with me as I know you would find yourself comfortable and you would hardly think yourself in a ship but for the motion which is certainly great at times. I hope that you will write to me often. When in India I shall send all my letters to Mr. Ashley's. Talking of that I wish you would tell the first of them you see to tell Mr. Ashley that the man he was enquiring about of the name of William Scott is with this detachment. I told James about it but I am afraid that he may have neglected to mention it.
I am going to do a very necessary thing to-day - vizt. shave, the which I have not dared to do since I have been at sea and they do say I want shaving as my beard is a weeks' growth. Our soldiers seem very happy, altho' they grumble a little at only having an allowance of water, and being fed on salt meat. They are rather thirsty. We are just laying in our live stock and the geese kick up such a row that I shall be glad when we have eaten them.
When Sir Jno. Malcolm comes on board we are to salute with eleven guns and our men are to be drawn up to salute him also. I understand that he was once a common ship's boy and raised himself up by his great diligence and industry. Being a king's officer I shall be near the person of Sir. Jno. and I shall try by all the means in my power to ingratiate myself into his good graces. I understand that it required great interest to get out by the same ship and that hundreds of cadets were refused. Sir Jno. chose his [own?] friends. I have nothing more to say, but the next letter I write will contain a great deal of interesting adventures as I will give you an exact account of our voyage and arrival in India.
So that I must now wish both yourself and mr dear Mother adieu for some months, and I hope that both of you together with our Brother may enjoy good Health and that at my return I may find your affections to a Son and Brother the same as I have left England with and that anything which I may have been guilty of to cause any of you pain or uneasiness may be forgiven, and that my dear Mother will believe me to be as an affectionate son as I am your sincerely fond Brother Edwd Scott.
From Edward Scott, India
[Postmarked [in England] April 20 1828]
To go by the 1st ship to England
My dear Mary,
I received great gratification and comfort by yr. letter of the 1st Octr. and hope that a letter which I sent soon after my arrival at Bombay has reached you in safety. [Note: This letter is missing from the collection.] I can assure you, altho' I am now quite settled and comfortable I still feel continual pangs whenever I allow my thoughts to travel homewards, but what is a young man to do at home now that there is nothing but peace? Here we are always on the look out for something interesting, and altho' we have not a long or severe war we are constantly having slight skirmishes, just to keep ones hands employed and we have now great hopes that the Russians will give us an opportunity of doing our leetle posuble.
I think my last letter left me in the Island of Colabah at war with the Mosquitos. We left this place in Boats on the 3rd of November, having first laid in a sea stock as it was more than probable we should be out at least nine hours. My companions were Captain Gibson of my own Regiment and an Aid de Camp of Sir Thos. Bradford's; during our passage, by some Remarks Gibson proved to be a very old acquaintance of mine, he having nursed me in my infancy during the time he was educating at Albemarle House, and this indeed proved a happiness.
On our arrival at Panwell I marched the men up to their encamping ground, two miles from the village and having to pass a River knee deep [v. delightful]. On returning to the Parsee Tavern I found that the officers who had left all the duty to me were comfortably asleep and occupying all the Beds that this miserable hotel contained so that I was obliged to sleep on the floor, `all wet and dry and weary.'
We remained the next day at Panwell and commenced our first March at night so as to reach our ground before sunrise. The country through which we marched is Extraordinary Romantic - the vast ghauts reaching to the skies and extending as far as the Madras country [up these we travelled at night] surrounded on all sides by junguls. [sic]
At the bottom of the ghauts a serious adventure had nearly happened to two of the party and myself. After dinner Campbell [Brother of Miss C. my Partner] and an officer of the Queens, having taken more wine than they could conveniently carry proposed taking a walk as the night was cool and being invited I joined them. Having proceeded about three miles from our Quarters we came to an encampment which proved to be the Horde of a native Prince. Campbell being pot valiant declared his intention of making an attack and taking the Raja by storm, in which he was seconded by Hesse of the Queens, and your humble servant, by way of preventing mischief, followed after. We had not proceeded far before we were attacked by some dogs, and on putting them to flight we were surrounded by the attendants of the prince all armed. Campbell, knowing nothing of the language, immediately commenced clearing his way, and after a short fight, which had it continued would most likely have proved fatal to all three, we forced our way and made a speedy retreat as we had nothing in our Hands [as the Irishman says] but our fists.
The object most worth of Notice on the Road between Panwell and Poonah is Carlee - the caves of which place far exceed in grandeur anything I have before seen. How or when this wonderful work was performed has not as yet been discovered, at present it is used as a Brahmin Temple, and we sadly poluted [sic] it by drinking a few bottles of Claret [innocent amusement]. We arrived at Kirkee the 12th of November and were v. kindly rec'd by Col. Sale and those officers who remained behind with the right wing. The left, as I before told you, having gone to Colapoor against the Raja of that place who was after a little while v. willing to enter into the views of John Company.
For five months I lived in my tent during the time my Bungalow was building, but now I am happy to say I am v. comfortably lodged in a House of my own suggestion. It is dreadfully hot during the day in a tent and miserably cold at night. I saw the deaths of Messrs. Buckley, Mair and Alexander in the Newspaper before your letter reached me, but certainly what you mention concerning Sarah Clarke is truly astonishing; if you recollect I danced two or three Quadrilles with her at the Garrards party and by the Date of yr. letter it could not have been v. long after speaking of dancing. I have not seen so much as any since I have been in India, much less have I [as you would say] `Tript it on the light fantastic toe.'
I have had invitations - namely from Sir Lionel Smith and the Inhabitants Civil and Military of Poonah to the Officers of the 4th Lt Dgns. But I heard that every person was to take his own plate, knife, fork etc, so `I cut the concern.' From the account of a Particular friend and Brother officer named Ellis I gained the following information - `There were present,' says he, `two ladies, five women, two hundred and fifty men, and a few gentlemen. The supper consisted of stale turkies [sic] and fowls, rusty tongues and hams together with a few Buffalo hoof jellies. No knives, plates, forks, or glasses, so that those who had not taken their kit with them were obliged to eat with their fingers and drink out of the bottles, all these delights were mingled with abundance of low and disagreeable scandal and chit chat void both of grammar and sense.' [Indian Society.]
I am delighted to hear that you are so comfortable with the Lowndes and hope you will continue so. I think it rather unkind of you to mention so distinctly the powerful attraction of Miss Anna Matilda - as you know what an admirer I am of beauty. I am already desperately in love with the description and shall shortly meditate some dreadful act. Pray be more cautious in future, as in this place there is no such thing as a white woman to be seem as none of our officers are married and to tell you a secret, I am almost black myself, being burnt to a very respectable brick dust colour. When I see my face in a glass it reminds me of a warming pan.
You do not say whether you think my picture a good likeness. I hope to receive yours shortly as it will be a remembrance of the happy times past and [I hope] to come. as well as great ornament to my sitting Room. I am highly pleased to hear that William is so much recovered and stronger in the nerves than ever before - but Mama says he is too fat, I am also much stouter than I was in England.
People quite mistake when they say that this climate is unhealthy. The Climate has very little to do with that, but all sickness arises generally from imprudence. Just imagine!! Beginning before breakfast with Brandy Panee. At one Hot tiffen with two or three bottles of beer besides wine. From three to five o'clock reading in a Bath. Then a Ride and after that come Home to dinner at eight o'clock - eat little and drink much. Go home to bed heated with wine and sleep either in wet clothes or in a Bath of water for the sake of being cool. Do this in England and see the consequences! Nevertheless in this way do many of our officers [even Col. Wilson] live, and yet I never saw a healthier set of fellows - Newton excepted, who during the six months he has been in India has never been one Hour sober or one Hour well.
You talk of the Boys of the Military Asylum with great pleasure, but I only wish you could see our Regiment in Review order and I think you would say you never saw one better dressed. Our Band have very splendid dresses very like the 3rd Lt Dgns if you recollect them at the Benson's party - vizt. white cloth jackets [the same as in my picture only white] with scarlet facings, collars and cuffs and silver lace, scarlet trousers with lace down the sides and chacos and plumes also of scarlet handsomely ornamented, and mounted on grey Arabs. Speaking of the Band I wish you would be kind enough to send me a little music of the latest dates set for a Band [Military] such as pretty waltzes, overtures and marches - do not send much as it soon becomes old.
At one of our Field days I nearly met with a serious accident. In cantering round after saluting, my charger being a terrible fiery beast reared up in the air and went along on his hind legs, and in endeavouring to pull him down he made a trip and fell head over heels. Everyone thought I was very much hurt and Col. Wilson and the surgeon came up immediately, but odd to tell, altho' my saddle and bridle were beaten to pieces, I did not lose my sword or cap. Col. W. forbid my riding him again in the Field but I humbugged him that it was all my own fault and since that he has gone pretty well, with the exception of sending a few men to Hospital who had the pleasure of riding near me. I think the behaviour of Mrs R. Trogly truly shameful and should certainly advise the cut asap. I always thought her a pert affected thing with not a little of the Tartar, which Ralph has found out by this time. You do not mention much concerning our different friends such as the Coombs etc etc.
Perhaps you are ignorant that I am a little smitten with Miss C. Barling - and have on that account named a very beautiful Horse C.B. My stud consists of - `Filko da puto' - grey Arab Horse, rising six, fifteen hands high - `C.B.' Brown Arab Horse, rising six, fourteen Hands, three inches and a half high, and `Jerry go Nimble,' Bay Bernah Horse, five and off, nearly fourteen hands high - has won every match he has been engaged in. Jerry is quite a little fortune to me. I gave very little for him and have won his price over and over again and have had most splendid offers but I will not sell him. He could carry you delightfully as he has carried a lady. I wish Reid and Jackson would write to me. Should you see either, beg them to do so, for you cannot imagine what pleasure a letter gives me, therefore like a good girl write much and often.
I am afraid you find my letters v. dull for as you are unacquainted with the country and the people little can be interesting to you. You will be surprised when I tell you that Twigg has been out to Bengal to join his Regt and is gone home again on sick certificate. Every bit of my Luggage unpacked as well as if it had never been to sea for which I am greatly indebted to you.
I have the good fortune to be on excellent terms with both the Colonels of my Regt., which is rather a difficult thing as they are at daggers draw together [sic] but I do my best and am always punctual in my duties, so that there is no fear but that I shall continue so. Col. Sale is a Nephew of Thomsons, the Brewer at Chiswick, and used in former days to stay there a good deal, so that I rather think Mama must have met him: As to the other Officers we are all united as if we were really brothers. You do not say any thing concerning Blount, whether he is assiduous in his attentions or whether some other favoured youth has superceded him in your fickle attentions. I consider you rather close, you ought to tell me all your secrets as I have told you concerning Miss C.B. etc etc. You can have no idea with what contempt the Native Officers are looked upon here, especially the Infantry. Even the Ladies think nothing of us Dragoons, but pay all their attentions to the miserable yellow-faced old civilians, no young man has any attention and it is considered to be a great favour if an unmd. lady will even notice an officer. Thank God I want none of their favors [sic] and am happy to say that since I have been here I have not so much as seen a Lady much less spoken to one.
There are various reports spread such as our coming home - others of our going to Bengal, at any rate I believe the Regt will not stay out longer than five years more at farthest. I do not know if I shall return with them, but I some how think I should like it v. well.
I think it would be no bad thing to cut our Uncle and family now that they have come into some property, as they will not know how to look upon us and we had better be first considering their previous behaviour formerly. My Cousin Mary I consider as one of the family. She is so altered. I think her last letter was concerning Baron Fishcher and I suppose she thinks we did not exert ourselves sufficiently, however she is v. much mistaken. I strongly recommend you not writing to her until she writes and when you do upraid [sic] her well for her decided neglect.
Col. Wilson intends returning to England in two years and when he does he says he must be acquainted with my family, and he paid me a great compliment, altho' I ought not to tell it, but as I have promised to conceal nothing I suppose I must. It was at Mess one night when I remarked that most likely I should remain in this Country a long while - to which he made answer, `My dear Scott, if you have the least money I advise you to stay at home and not waste your life in this wretched country - for I have seen sufficient of you to say that you have talents for any Rgt. or Station in the Service.' Of course I made a low bow to such praises. I must now wind up this long winded letter and conclude by first begging you to give my very very best love to Our dear Mother and Brother and after that my love to enquiring females [young of course] and Salaam to every one else.
I remain Dear Mary your truly affectionate Brother Edwd. Scott.
I have just seen Gibson who desires to be very kindly remembered to all.
[From Edward Scott], Kirkee, Jany. 12th 1829
Postmark 25 Apr 1829
Care of J. Ashley Esqre, Agent
135 Regent Street, London
Readdressed to R. Gordon Esq.
Post Office, Broadstairs, Kent
My dear Mary,
You will no doubt complain greatly at the length of time which has elapsed between my letters, but you must consider that there is nothing here which can interest you, and consequently it is with the greatest difficulty I can ever fill one sheet of paper: therefore if I do write oftener my letters must of necessity be shorter. I have been waiting with great impatience for your picture and now I have given over the idea that I shall ever see it. Perhaps you intend to come yourself and then there will be no occasion for the likeness - but God forbid you should ever come here; for if Hans Place is too mild for you during a winter in Europe, what would you do in this place, where our coolest winter is much hotter than your warmest summer. The Lloyds are still living in my House, but I do not see much of them, as I have never forgiven Mrs. L. [sic] for her strange behaviour at the Ball. I think she has fallen off v. much in appearance and by the time she has been in this country a few years she will be almost ugly. [remember this is entre nous]. We have had a great deal of sickness, especially fevers this season, but [tell the Heskeths] none of the pig fever.
I see by the Newspaper that Worton Hall is for sale: Mr. Cerf will now find out the difficulties which attend the selling of an estate. Tell James Hector that I wrote to him by a Captain Lawson of the Queens Royals, but not having heard from him I suppose my letter has shared the same fate that all do, when sent by a private hand. However mention this to him and say I haven't forgotten him or his kind family.
I think I told you in a former letter that I have got a couple of v. beautiful moss stones for you and I have now added three Talismans, one for yourself, and the others for our Mother and Brother. They were procured from a Persian Dervise. The first opportunity that occurs I will send them.
How provoking it is to think that our Uncle's family has monopolised all the luck, and I suppose it will make good the old saying of `It never rains' etc. I have told my Brother what I wish in case `dame fortune' should ever smile on us, but should she not, I must still remain an exile. Pray tell Miss Jervis that I consider her v. cruel in wishing to return my Handkerchief when the knowledge of its being in her possession would be to me a great source of delight. In looking back at your letters I find that you mention your picture in one dated Oct. 1st 1827, and now it is Jany. 1829. You do not disclose any of your little secrets nor is your old Admirer Blount's name noticed so that I suppose there is something hidden, but as Hazzi Baba says, `If I find that you have laughed at my beard and caused me to eat dirt, I shall insist on burning your Father.'
William gives a splendid description of the Elegance of Mr. St John Long's House etc. and I also see that the Literary Gazette speaks highly of his great abilities so that I suppose his cures are really the case.
You must make a proposal for me to some nice young lady who has a little Money and then I will come home and marry - as I do not know any unmarried women here, it is impossible for me to become one of the happy married - however I shall propose to the first I get acquainted with. Colonel Wilson, who went home in Captain Wiltden's ship with Mrs. Haylett of Dulwich, gave me a long account of her and of a Brother of hers [Mr. Evans] who threw himself overboard. I do not know whether you ever heard of it. He was out here in the Company's service but was obliged to go home from ill health, and on board he shewed signs of derangement so that he was continually watched, but one night he chose to jump over, and altho' one of the sailors caught him by the coat, so determined was he to be drowned that he struck the man who would have saved him and by that means got loose and was never seen after. Col. Wilson says that he was rather glad than otherwise as he was a great nuisance to the whole ship.
I have been v. busy drawing some patterns for our Mess Plates etc and I have at last succeeded in pleasing the Regt. If you should ever go near `Spodes' China Wharehouse [sic] ask them to look at them and give me yr. opinion. I have also ordered some new decanter stands to be made according to a drawing of mine, but what silversmith will make them I cannot exactly say, as Western ofr ours has taken the Patterns with him to England. We have just been reviewed by Sir Lionel Smith who has been pleased to compliment us in a way highly gratifying, both to the Colonel and the Rgt.
I went to a party in the evening and actually made a conquest of two sisters, but as they are neither remarkably handsome or rich I fancy it will go no further. One little circumstance made me laugh, namely in handing some cakes to the eldest, she made choice of one in the shape of a heart and shewed it to me. However the busy tongue of scandal has already made free with our names, but as there are two, it is not yet fixed which I am to have.
Do you remember that a young Lady of the name of Parry [friend to the Weltden's] gave me a Letter to her Brother, a Lieutenant in a Native Rgt. Young Parry has just been tried by a Court Martial for behaviour highly unbecoming an officer and gentleman in the first place, having given a draft to a Native on Messrs. Remington and Co., knowing at the same time that he had no money in their hands. 2ndly [sic] for threatening the Native with loss of situation if he disclosed the circumstances of the draft being dishonoured, and 3rdly for writing a more abject apology to the man for the letter he had sent to the surprise and annoyance of the commander in chief, the court have acquitted him instead of sentencing him to be dismissed the service, which I think he most richly deserved. The Court, of which Col. Wilson was president, has rec'd a wigging for their sentence from the Com: in Chief. I am happy to say that I have never rec'd the least reprimand or even a cross look from either of our Colonels, but on the contrary am a v. great favourite - which I intend to remain. I have just now to my sorrow read in the Newspaper the death of poor Maria Hesketh. I am certain that you must have been greatly distressed by this sad occurence. Mrs. Lloyd was v. much hurt when she heard of it. I should have thought that Sarah was more likely to die than Maria. As I shall write again v. soon you must excuse the shortness of this letter. With kind remembrances to all inquiring friends. Believe me to be your truly affecte. Brother Edw. Scott.
I have just met with an opportunity of sending the pebbles etc. There is a piece of blood stone for William and some Turkois for yourself, also the small Talismans with parts of the Koran cut upon them. E. Scott
[Note: On 30th October 1830 J. St. J. Long was indicted at the Old Bailey for manslaughter. The indictment charged that Long [who was not a licensed medical practitioner] did with a certain inflammatory and dangerous liquid, secretly prepared mixed and made by him, cause and procure one Catherine Cashin to be rubbed, washed and sponged upon the back whereby he caused one mortal inflammation and wound from which the said Catherine Cashin languished from 3rd August to 17th August 1830 and then died. 29 witnesses were called to the defence including the Marchioness of Ormond, and a lady who said she could never be sufficiently thankful to Mr. Long for what he had done for her family. Long was found guilty and fined £250 to the King. On 19th February 1831 Long was similarly indicted for the manslaughter of a Mrs. Lloyd, the wife of Captain Lloyd and was found not guilty. Note that Miss Cashin's complaint was said to be consumption, and that the liquid was used as a counter irritant to cause blistering.]
Extract of a letter from Edward Scott's mother to Mary in September 1829:
`...Your brother Edward asked me to send him a pr. of spectacles asap, I went on Saturday to St Pauls Church Yd. to bespeak them, likewise something for myself...'
[From Edward Scott] Kirkee 5th April 1829
My dear Mary,
I had much delight in rec'g yr. last kind letter, No. 4 but was greatly surprised to find thereby that you had not rec'd a letter which was written previous to my going to Bombay, and altho' it was not worth perusing, still I must say I hope it will have come safe to hand.
I rec'd yr. Picture in good condition, but am sorry to say I do not consider it a good likeness. The Scrivener has certainly a pretty style of painting and has made a good picture, but not a likeness. In the first place the eyes are much too small and are not the proper colour, and in the next place there is not a sufficient shade between the two chins, consequently the face appears much longer than it ought, and another great fault is that by your Picture you seem undecided whether to laugh or cry. This rascally climate has already affected it and has sadly warped the ivory, but if I can save it from cracking I shall be well satisfied. Lloyd has an ivory picture of Sterne's Maria [in compliment of Madame] which has split thro' the centre.
Talking of the Lloyds, they have at last got into their own house and left mine in such a filthy condition, that I should have been ashamed to have put my Horses into it. Their dirty servants had been in the habit of throwing the washings of dishes etc behind a table in the verandah instead of taking them out of the House, and the Lloyds themselves had used my Bath for any other purpose than that for which it was intended. In fact you may imagine the dirty state it must have been in when I tell you that during the eight months they occupied this House it was not once swept out or one piece of furniture moved. It actually beat Mrs. Domeier hollow. The event however has had a good effect on me as I shall be more carefull in future how I lend anything of consequence; in short I now intend living for myself and not for other people.
I saw the death of poor Maria Hesketh in the papers some time before I rec'd yr. letter but the cause thereof was unknown. I should think that Thomas must feel the loss of her v. much, as she certainly was his favorite [sic] sister.
I read in the Morning Herald an accound of a man accompanied by a constable having entered a House and insisted upon seeing his Wife; on which the Lady of the House informed him that no such person resided there - but this did not satisfy him and he desired that all the ladies should be paraded before him, one of whom [says the paper] was the widow of the late Revd. Dr. Scott, an inmate of the House. Qy. was it our Mother?
I see a work has been lately published called `The Journal of a Voyage to Pern etc etc.' by Lieut. C Brand, R.N. - This must be our old Hastings acquaintance. I never think of poor Brand without laughing at the recollection of his misfortunes, on his return from our House after having dined there on my birthday. My fellow passenger Hamilton has just returned from Persia, where he went with presents from Sir John Malcolm to the Prince - he has had the misfortune to get a disease called mulderlibs caused by drinking the water of Baghdad. How miserably we deceive ourselves in reading the Arabian Nights with regard to the splendour of that city, the residence of the renowned Caliph Haroun Alraschid, when from what I hear it must be a miserable place - the walls being built of Mud and the streets both narrow and dirty. The Gardens thereabouts must certainly be fine, in fact it takes its name from the Garden as bagh the first syllable of Baghdad signifies a garden. From what Hamilton says it seems that the generality of the Persians with the Russians to conquer as they pay handsomely for whatever they want. To tell you the truth I believe a Persian or an Asiatic would sell his own father for the sake of a little money, their conversations day and night is composed of nothing, but about money and expenses.
In my last letter to our Mother I mentioned that if at any time the Blind Lady commonly known by the name of Fortune should smile upon us, whereby an allowance of £200 a year would not lessen any of her own, yours, or William's comforts, I should certainly wish for an Exchange into some Heavy Dragoon Regt - altho' we ought to `find tongues in trees, books in the running Brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.' Nevertheless I must say that the monotony of an Indian life is so great as to render abortive all those good resolutions - but remember, dear Mary, these wishes do not extend to the present small income of our Mother, for as I have said before - and will say again, that I have not the least conception how we have managed to keep up the very respectable appearance in Life [which we certainly have] on her slender pittance - believe me I should be sorry to deduct one shilling where I know it can be so ill-spared.
However, when you get settled in Matters-o'-Money - which I hope is not far distant, I shall certainly come home and sponge upon you for some months. When I shall expect you will provide me with a good wife who will be able to support me as well as herself - you must recommend me a la Liston in the following words,`He's not handsome, but there's a sort of a kind of an indescribable something about him etc.'
I am sadly afraid that my parcel of letters and pebbles will not have reached you in safety, as the gent. with whom it was intrusted [sic] had a liver much larger than my head, which I am fearful will prevent him thinking of my letters. However, tell Mommy and William that in case they miscarry I will write again shortly, you can mention to our Mother, that in my letter to her, I requested that she would be so kind as to send me a pair of spectacles [no. 7 or 8] of silver gilt, the mountings to be as small as possibly can be made and also that I will not trouble her to send me any books, as our library furnishes us with all new works, papers and periodicals.
I am afraid that you will rail at the shortness of my letters, but when you consider that for a whole year I have not moved three miles, nor seen a strange face, I am sure you will consider it a sufficient excuse.
Remember me v. kindly to Mrs. Morrice and the Hubbacks, also to the Hectors, and tell James I am surprised at not hearing from him. In fact remember me kindly to all inquiring friends, but to my dearest Mother and Brother give my sincerest love, and that God may bless and prosper you all is the prayer of your affectionate Brother Edward Scott.
P.S. I have just heard of the death of Lieut. Col. Williams of the Qs Royals. He had been ill for some time but I did not expect that he wd. have died.
[From Edward Scott], Kirkee 28th June 1829
Postmark 14th Dec 1829
Ship letter per The Eliza
My dear Mary,
I rec'd yr. letter dated the 1st Jany. on the 21st June being two days after the arrival of my Mother's letter of September. The conclusion of your letter has truly alarmed me. I hope that your illness was not serious and that you had the best advice; for believe me, should anything happen to you, I shall never again hold up my head nor look forward to visiting my dear country with any satisfaction. Where would be the reward due to me for my perils by sea and land and for my banishment from all kind friends and the inroad made upon a good constitution? unless some beloved relations remained to soften by their dear society the residue of a life, the commencement of which has been little better than a blank. My mind is made up!! Should any thing happen to my dear family I will sell my commission for the benefit of those who shall remain and will seek the close of an unhappy life as a Volunteer in the ranks of either Persian or Turks. But Avaunt thee!!! I will not cherish such killing thoughts.
I am truly sorry that Mrs. Lowndes should have behaved so unkindly to you as I am sure that you would make yourself agreeable to them, independent of the handsome sum I supose they rec'd from you. You seem to think and write so much of consumption that I am afraid you will at last imagine yourself in one - perhaps for the sake of the generous offer - a ___ gratis - I have the same consumption, that is to say in victuals. Harvey, of the 4th and myself went to Bombay for the Ball given by the Governor in honour of the King's Birthday, you may suppose it was in good style, when the Expenses not much less than 20 000 rupees, equal to £2000. The Ball was given at a place called Pareil, the gardens of which were à La Vauxhall, being illuminated with innumerable coloured lamps, the walks round the fountains were covered in with flags and sofas, couches, etc etc, placed in every direction. At eleven o'clock the Trumpet sounded and a rocket being fired announced the commencement of the Fireworks - upon which we went through a Triumphal Arch, up an immense flight of steps, to a very high platform also covered and carpeted - at the back of the platform was a lake down which a small illuminated steam vessel peddled firing guns by way of a salute - after this commenced the fireworks, which were uncommonly good and did great credit to Captn. Miller of the Artillery, under whose management they were conducted. Immediately after the fireworks we went to supper which was managed pretty well excepting that the wines were v. hot. After supper I amused myself with looking at some native Nautch girls dancing and singing. I do not think more than three quadrilles were danced during the whole night. People were walking, talking and quizzing, peeping into the dark walks, revisiting the supper table, etc etc till it was time to retire.
For my own part having eaten my fourth supper I entered my palkee and was taken home to the Esplanade. On my road home, hearing a great noise I looked out of my Palkee and fd. it to proceed from a carriage containing fourteen middies, one standing behind as a guard with his sword drawn - they all seemed the better for the Governor's Hospitality. It was rather fatiguing pleasure for us, as each having four horses on the road we went from Poonah to Pidiaell, 70 miles in nine hours and immediately cross the sea, a distance of thirty miles more. However, I think it did me a great deal of good as I had not stirred from Kirkee for a year, and in this country people required to be occasionally well shaken. However the unhealthy season is at last passed without having had the slightest effect on me, and I have nine months of excellent weather before the direful hot winds again crack our shins [as Mrs. Lloyd says.]
B.D. Small [who served his time with Mr. George, the Surgeon] is married in Calcutta and is attached to the 6th Light Cavalry, pretty prospects for Madam in the course of a few years what numerous changes take place. I am greatly hurt to hear such sad accounts of poor James Hector and suppose that the reason of his leaving my letter unanswered is from the bad state of his Health. Remember me kindly to them whenever you see them and say that I am quite ready for another water party as delightful as our last.
Major Leslie's Regt is now at Poonah having changed quarters with the 20th - on their arrival here we gave them a dinner and of course rec'd one in return. I do not mix much with the Infantry as they are in general v. hard goers and seldom leave the table till they are particularly well floored. It was the Mess of the 6th regiment of which I was an honorary [sic] member on my first arrival in this sweet country, but I must not complain as altho' every thing is so inferior to Bengal, the climate is so v. excellent, and after all, good health is far preferable to pleasant society.
As you say, `So many Ladies admire my picture,' and again that they are `quite desperate to see the living image.' Suppose I invest you with the full power to make proposals to any who may, according to your ideas of female perfection, suit your Brother. Of course you know my income and therefore the woman, who may condescend to marry me, must have some trifle where with to make the pot boil [as the vulgar have it]. Such being the case I would either come home or meet the Lady in Bombay, at any rate I would regulate my future views to her wishes. I can assure you it is a common occurence for a Lady to be sent out here witht. the Gent. ever having seen her. It happened a short time ago that an officer from up the country went to Bombay for the purpose of rec'g a young lady who was coming out to marry him and he of course had prepared all things requisite for her comfort; directly the ship came in, he went on board to claim his bride - when to his bitter disappointment and dismay the Captn. told him that the young Lady had formed an attachment with an officer on board the same ship who was going to join his Regt at the Cape, and on their arrival there had married him, and was v. comfortably settled.
We are just commencing our plays and `The School for Scandal' is the one fixed upon. I find my name put down for Joseph Surface - now this character is rather difficult and unless we have a good Lady Teazle, I fear it will be a failure. Gibson takes the part of the Jew, and Charles is to be acted by Gillespie of ours, who is an admirable actor. He has performed a great many times in Calcutta whilst on the staff of the Commander in Chief. He has lately married his third wife which is pretty sharp work, as he is not yet thirty years of age.
I was not at all surprised at the proposal made to our Mother, as she is worthy not only of a Coronet but of a Crown. Colonel Wilson, I think, intends something as he is always asking if my Mother is still unmarried and saying that he must go and see her as soon as he gets home which will be early next year. Tell William that I rec'd his delightfully long letter and have answered it, but I am afraid that it has not arrived - also that I am looking out for another letter, and that I shall be greatly disappointed if it is not equally as long and amusing as the last. I intend writing in a few days to him, our Mother, and Miss West - but as the Eliza sails in two days I only have the time to write this uninteresting letter.
Remember, you must not upbraid me for writing short letters as it is impossible for me to do otherwise, as I seldom move out of my house, and as to persons it would be folly in me to wrote concerning people you are totally unacquainted with. Jackson's letters to me were v. short, but tell him that I intend to write him a long letter shortly which will contain some advice relative to his future life.
My Mother wrote me to write to my Aunt Langston - but I do not really know what to say. I have begun at least ½ a dozen letters and have not been able to get beyond `My dear Aunt.' Mrs. Lloyd is completely tired of India, but she has no chance of going home for some ys, as I have the choice of leave before Lloyd, being his senior in the Rgt and having been longer in India. They are neither of them improved in health, in fact Mrs. L. can never expect to be well as she seldom rises before 12 o'clock in the day and never takes any exercise. `Thank God she is not my wife.'
Remember me v. kindly to all friends, especially the Morris', Combes, etc etc. Oh how I long to see you all again and revisit the White Cliffs of Britain. `But Hope, our guiding star shines brightest in the darkest hour, and peoples they loom with fairy forms of its own Creation.' God bless you all and that He may protect you from all evils and guide you through the trials of this life, is the constant prayer of your affectionate Brother Edwd. Scott.
Cover [From Edward Scott], 30th Oct 1829
Addressed to J. Ashley, Esqr.
Regent Street London,
Postmarks 20 April 1830, India Liverpool [to go by the first ship]
Kirkee Octr. 30th 1829
My dear Mary,
I am sure you would not accuse me of neglect, did you but know the difficulty I have in collecting sufficient to fill one sheet of paper. You will be surprised to hear that Lloyd and his wife are returning to England on urgent private affairs, and my opinion is that he will not only leave the Rgt. but the army altogether, being a Bachelor of Divinity, his intention is to go into the church - I do not think Madam suited for a clergyman's wife as she is [entre nous] a confounded little flirt - I rather think she has cut me [but care killed a cat] I shan't break my heart. A young, charming, innocent, bewitching creature [as Captn. Loveit says] has married Gillespie of the 4th, and since their arrival at Kirkee I have found out that even in India happiness is sometimes attainable. They have introduced me to all their friends, especially female, by the denomination of the petit maitre of the 4th I have rec'd great kindness from all, but especially from the family of the name of Grant, consisting of Mr., Mrs., and Miss, the latter being sister to Mr. Grant. Mrs. G. is a delightful little woman, and so I tell her, reminds me of Diana Vernon in Walter Scott's beautiful novel of Rob Roy, as she is quite independent of the world and says and does whatever she pleases without the least apprehension of scan. mag. [sic]. Her husband is a fine yg. man, and as he rec'd a fortune of £20 000 with her [which I believe is settled on herself] allows her of course to do whatever she pleases, as long as her actions are proper.
The next to be described is the pretty Julia. She is unaffected, kind and accomplished, and had she that necessary article called money would be a desirable object to any poor man, but as it is, she must not be blind to her own advantages, and my wishes for her aer that she may meet with a husband deserving of such an amiable wife. She is not one of those yg. ladies who are annually sent out to the white-flesh market of the East, like unstamped cards, which are made for exportation, the return of which to England to be played with incurs a heavy penalty. Scandal has already engaged her to me, but I have always taken care that she should not misunderstand my innocent flirtation. Gillespie, altho' not much older than myself, has been three times md - he is son to the famous General, Sir Robt. Rollo Gillespie, whose gallant conduct at Java [Nb: he led the attack on Batavia] so much contributed to the taking of the place and the complete defeat of the French.
We have been v. gay during the rains with Fancy Balls, Plays etc etc. At the first ball I wore a v. handsome Venetian dress, but at the second I composed one of a group of Greeks than which none could be better. The Newspaper spoke of us in raptures, in fact the sensation we produced was quite enviable. The group consisted of five, namely Mrs. Burnett [who is a lovely woman], Mrs. Gillespie, Gillespie, Sir K. Jackson, and yr. humble servant. I declare upon my honour the ladies looked quite angelic. Our jackets were of crimson with sky-blue sleeves v. richly embroidered with gold of every sort, size and description - blue breeches, also ornamented, crimson stockings with gold sash, shoes, rosettes, etc etc to correspond. But our little caps were the most knowing you ever saw - and, what do you think - the whole of my dress, with the exception of those nameless sky-blues, was made by the amiable Mrs. Gillespie. I had a v. pleasant evening, the whole party dined and dressed at the Burnetts, and of course started together. The Ball was given by the Governor in commemoration of the Battle of Assaye and was as handsome a turn-out as could be procured at the expense of John Company. We have had two performances this season, both of which went off remarkably well, but more particularly, the last. I acted in all the plays and people have tried to flatter me that my performances were v. creditable.
Since writing the above I have met with an accident which might have proved serious. Miss Grant had been staying with the Gillespies, and, as she intended ret'g. to Poonah, Mrs. Grant came in the carriage to dine and take her away. Now your humble servant being invited to meet the Ladies, volunteered himself for their cavalier as far as the River Tungum, distance two miles. Mrs. Grant remonstrated, so to put an end to her objections I sent my horse to the river and then quietly told Madame that unless I went with them my horse would remain out all night, so being merciful to dumb animals she consented. At half past ten we started when we arrived at the commencement of the cliff leading to the river Miss Grant remarked that it was the only unpleasant part of the road, but as the horses were so steady of course fear was ridiculous, this was no sooner said than on looking out I observed the wheel going over the rocking precipice, and had only time to call out, `We're over, hold on,' before the carriage tilted up, shied round and fell a distance of 17 feet on to the rocks and shingles. Well I certainly thought at that moment that I was on the high road to that `undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller rets,' but as it happened we all arrived at the bottom in safety, and having crept out from the carriage, which by the by, was standing v. contentedly on its head, we shook our feathers and found that not one of the three had rec'd any further injury than a few bruises. As luck would have it I fell on my head, which being the thickest and hardest part of me was least susceptable of injury. The Ladies were very much shaken, but I can assure you that from the time of my saying, `we're over,' till the final bump there was not a scream. In fact I never saw so much courage displayed by any female before as by these, especially Mrs. Grant, on taking further view of our misfortune, I found that the Coachman's thigh was smashed and the servant who was on the box complained that his back was broken, but I believe that it is nothing more than a severe bruise. One horse was very much cut, but the other had escaped unhurt. The carriage, which never complained the least, was the most injured of the party, as the pole, perch boot, lamps etc were broken to pieces, and its poor head dashed into its body, so that neither mouth could be opened. After having put the carriage on its legs again I had the Ladies carried over the river and then walked with them to their house, which is a distance of two miles.
I think I told you in one of my former letters that Daintry was in a Rgt on the Madras coast; some time ago I met an officer of his Rgt at Poonah who told me that Daintry was v. unwell, on which I sent a letter begging him to come and see me as I thought the change of air would be beneficial to his health but I never rec'd an answer to my invitation. Looking into an Asiatic Journal. I found that Lieut. Daintry died at sea on his passage home. Poor fellow! he will be a loss to the service. I have lately become a Mason, and of course am now acquainted with the grand Secret, as yet I am only an apprentice, but hope shortly to be raised to a fellow craft. I think it an excellent thing as I have known very many benefits arise thereby. I must again impress to yr. mind that if you ever wish to see me again you must contrive to make love for me to some nice yg. lady with a leetle money, and when that is done write me word, and I will be home over land in less than two months - by the by I have sent a v. short letter to our Mother by Gibson via Egypt, but I do not suppose that it will arrive so quickly as this.
I am at present rather pleasantly situated, dining out every day. Mrs. Grant has made me promise to spend every Thursday and Sunday with them as Grant is in Bombay; in fact the kindness of that little lady to me is beyond conception - and I only fear I shall never be able to repay her attentions. I tell everyone out here that I am engaged to be married in England in order to contradict the reports with regard to Miss Grant and myself, or whom [Miss G.] I never had the least thought. Remember me most kindly to all friends but to my dear Mother and Brother give my sincerest love and believe me Dear Mary your v. affectionate Brother and Sincere Friend, Edwd Scott.
I have never been able to judge the character of Mr. Jones as the devil a bit of paper could I find. I see the death of poor Henrietta Laing. E.S.
[From Edward Scott], April 1830
Forwarded to Dripskill House near Malvern Worcs.
Postmark 22nd Oct 1830 to go by the first ship
Thannack April 1830
Don't let anyone see the contents of this letter.
My dearest Mary,
I have to return to you a thousand thanks for your last letter dated 3rd Sept. which afforded me great delight both with regard to the contents and also the knowledge that I am not entirely forgotten by my dear sister, you little know my feelings on receipt of a letter from England cast off as I am from all my friends, though I must not exactly say all, as I formed some acquaintances in this part of the world the like of whom I never before met with.
You may see by the date of this letter that I am staying at Thannak with the Grants, who like true friends have requested me to come and stay with them as long as I like and I have accordingly applied for a months' leave. I travelled from Poonah with them in their carriages and we all walked down the Ghauts. You may suppose what a happy walk I had when the dear little woman held my arm the whole way and I had the pleasure of supporting her down the tremendous hills. Thannack is distant from Bombay twenty four miles. I rather like the place as it is surrounded by well wooded hills whereas at Kirkee there is not a tree to be seen. I do not think I have told you that Miss Grant is md. to a Captain Hamilton. You will think it odd that I do not speak to her, but the truth is she wished v. much to have md. me, but I never would give the least encouragement. You may think me v. vain in telling you this, but I think it is true, as I had it from the very best authority; such devices to catch your unfortunate brother - but remember all this is a secret, since her marriage we have cut, but I will enter upon the subject again in the latter part of my letter.
How am I to thank you sufficiently for yr. handsome present of fifty pounds, which will go towards paying a debt I owe to Fauns. The truth is, that altho' our Mother was v. liberal in the sum put down for fitting me out still after all the deductions for my commission, law expenses, part of my fitting out together with the hundred pounds I gave my Mother, there remained but a small sum for my landing offices, the purchasing of things actually necessary for an officer joining his Corps, so that there still remains a balance against me in the books of Mr. Fauns, however I flatter myself that I should be enabled to save enough to pay off the demand. But alas how disappointed I have been. Would you believe it there was hardly a year passed since my residence in this country without some deduction being made in my pay by John Company. However, thank God, I am out of debt here and if my house, horses etc have to be sold I should be worth a much larger sum than I brought out with me, which proves that I have saved something, but enough of business. I shall write to Joshua on the subject who by the by I shall be proud to call b-in-law.
Talking, or rather writing about marriage, I think it would be a splendid match for me if you could entice the yg. lady with beauty and forty thousand pounds to accept a yellow, liverless fellow without a pica to bless himself with. But I do not look to so much, although the girl I marry must have something. I wish to God you could find one amongst your pretty friends that would like me for better for worse. I somehow or other flatter myself that I should make a good husband - not a little conceited - quoth Mary Scott.
I went into Bombay for the Ball that is given on the King's Birthday but it was nothing like the one given last year on the same occasion. Grant and myself put up with a Mr. and Mrs Leake. He is a lawyer and in partnership with a Mr. Smith. After the Ball Mr. Smith ret'd to Thannac. I don't know how it is, but it must be from a super abundance of curiosity that I generally enquire of people the place in which they have lived, and on putting this question to my utter astonishment I found him to be one of the Smiths who were our playfellows in Hampshire. William must recollect them well. He immediately said, `What, are you Little Edward Scott that used to come out and ride yr. donkey,' which strange to say is ever still alive and kicking. How oddly we meet people. I am quite surprised at not hearing from Miss West as she told me in her last letter that she should write to me from Brighton, but I must not blame anyone as I am shockingly remiss in answering my letters, but the truth is that the heat of the weather prevents one from collecting matter wherewith to fill a letter.
I went to see a ceremony which to an European will appear scarcely credible - it consists in passing a hook through the muscles of the back and hoisting the person into the air in this manner, the top bar moving on a pivot and bring turned round by ropes. I was within a foot of the woman on whom this was performed and can therefore vouch as to there being no deception. She did not seem to experience any pain, although she was entirely supported in mid air by the flesh of her back - in this pleasant situation she distributed fruit and pan to the crowd beneath which was v. great. Do you remember Major Campbell, whom we met at the Garretts. I think I told you that a son of his was Asst. Surgeon to the 5th King's Regt. of Foot. He was taken ill and obliged to go home, but previous to his leaving Poonah he was bitten by a dog and I have since heard that he died of hydraphobic [hard word to spell without a Johnson] on his passage home. Poor yg. man. I recollect dancing with his sister who was, in my humble opinion, a v. pretty girl.
I wish you had sent me the music as well as the words of `Love thee dearest, Love thee.' That I might have given it to some one of my favourites. I like some of the lines well enough but do not think the others read well.
I hear that we are to have lots of promotion in the 4th - should this be really the case and I have any chance of being sent out of the heat when the Rgt. leaves India, I think I shall remain but do not be surprised if you see me home in the course of a year or two - for the purposes of procuring a wife and also a new lease of my life, not that I can complain much of bad health as I never have anything worse than a casual headache.
Nevertheless I have a great wish just to see you all again but directly I can afford it you shall see your plaguey brother back. I shall only remain twelve or eighteen months unless the Rgt. is ordered home in which case I must remain [willie nillie] till something can be procured for me.
I have just been to call upon our beautiful cousin Mrs. Alex Shaw [is not yr. curiosity raised]. Mrs. S. was a Miss Hodgson and daughter to the late Dr. Hodgson, Principal of Brasenose, Oxford. I did not let her into the secret as it was my first visit, and she might not have chosen to have owned a relationship with such a poor devil. She is certainly v. pretty, tho' I can't say much for the husband who is a red carroty looking fellow.
I am sending you home a china silk shwl which I hope you will like and if it is correct pray wear it on your wedding day, should it ever come to pass. You must take great care and never part with the said shawl as it was once the property of a certain fair Lady, altho' never worn by her. I wish you could send me out some suitable present for her in the shape of a scrapbook or anything which might be in vogue. The binding of some of the books I have is v. handsome, green velvet and steel, but I fear the steel would be spoilt. Crimson or pink and silver would look very well tho' rather expensive - The initials in silver would be E.G. If you do, you must write some poetry in the beginning. I have first written to Miss West in which I have said that I fear you are not such good friends as you used to be for in none of yr. letters do you mention her. I have not heard lately from her so I suppose the next intelligence will be that she is either dead or md.
I wish for yr. sake that the pen I am writing with was better - or that my hand was more steady, you will think I have taken to drinking but thank God I have not come to that yet. The weather is so dreadfully hot that Mrs. Grant says we look as if we had been washed with ghee but had forgotten to wipe our faces afterwards. You know what a perspiring hero I am so you may judge of my present situation. As I have plenty of time I intend writing to my Aunt and Jackson but what can I saw to them? If I mention peoples' names they know nothing of them and as to writing concerning the country I beg to refer them to Grant Duff's `Maratta War' in which book they will find all the circumstances relating to our victories in the Deccan etc. I suppose we shall have no balls this year as there is an order to prevent regiments from giving any little amusements, economy being the life and soul of the Army.
I met the other day with the Billamores both of whom I think were at school with William. One [the eldest] is md. to a queer looking fish. She cannot surely be the yg. lady whom we met at the Bensons and who was pleased to tell the Kenneths that I was the best Dancer in the room. I quite forget her name, tell it me if you remember it. The Billamores have not the least idea whom I can be altho' I recollect the youngest coming to Worton Hall when we had a little dance. I have just rec'd the specs from our excellent mother and intend writing my thanks to her. Fortune sent me a letter of introduction by Jacky Raitt with whom I was acquainted on my first arrival in this country. We have had a fine supply of officers by the China. One of them Capt. Houston is a complete giant being upwards of six feet four and stout in proportion. As I shall enclose a letter with your shawl I will here end my wretched scrawl with wishing that whatever may happen your lot in life may be happy. Kind remembrance to all friends and believe me your very affectionate brother E. Scott.
[From Edward Scott], 18th Nov 1830
Postmark 26th March 1831 to go by the first ship
18th Nov 1830
My dearest Mary,
I fear you will find a long space between the dates of my letters as I rather think my last was written in May - but the reason I shall give will be a sufficient excuse and [I trust] a source of pleasure to my dear Sister. I mentioned in my letter that I was staying with my dear friends the Grants. Well, I continued with them for two months and a v. pleasant time I had of it. Sometimes we went to Bombay for a fortnight and then retd. again to Thanna, [sic] at length the time of parting arrived and I rejoined my Rgt.
On the road back I made a resolution that as there was no interpreter to the Corps [Harvey having gone home] I would endeavour to pass in the language; so that I might hold that situation or rather appointment. I arrived at Kirkee in the evening and went to Mess: afterwards we retired to the Paymaster's Bungalow to smoke a cheroot and drink a glass of Brandy Pance. I then stated my intentions and Harrison, the Adjutant, thinking me an idle `ne'er do well' offered me a bet of 500 rupees that I did not pass in the language before the 31st of October. I took the bet and commenced study the next day: As I had but little time I made a vow that I would not write a letter to any of my friends in England till the trial was over. I was obliged to read day and night and you may imagine the severity of my studies when I tell you that I have frequently read sixteen hours a day, but it made me look very ill, and when Grant came to stay with me he was seriously alarmed and begged Madame to persuade me to relax a little, however that would not do. One month previous to the Examination I went down to Bombay to live with Smith, he crammed by the head Moonshees, three of whom attended me daily. At length the day arrived, and not a little frightened was yr. poor brother, but [Thank God] after a severe trial I passed a v. good Examination and now behold me - Interpreter to HM 4th Lt Dgns etc etc!!! I am sure you will rejoice at it, as there is not only great honor but considerable pecuniary advantage arising therefore. I have now got into such a habit of reading that I have commenced the Marcattas language with the intention of undergoing an examination in that also, which will again add to my pay.
I have become a great actor and [would you believe it] appeared on the character of Miss Leach to the great amusement of everyone, all declare that I am the best woman that has as yet appeared. When I was in Bombay I rec'd a v. polite note from the manager of that Theatre to request that I would honor him by performing the merry Monarch, Charles the 2nd [which is an old and favorite character of mine. I had however unfortunately cut my head open the day before by a fall from my horse and was therefore obliged to refuse, at this he waited upon me himself and at last persuaded me to appear: so that I think my week's work was pretty well - to wit - cutting my head open to the skull, performing Charles the 2nd at a large Theatre and passing an examination in the Hindostanee language.
I sent you home a china shawl which I hope has reached you in safety and that it meets with yr. approbation. I will send you something more valuable when I grow rich; but at present my money box is in a consumption owing to the large sums I have expended in Moonshees, books etc. And I have no horse to win me any money this year. If I grow rich, as I said before, you shall see me in England in the course of a year or two just to have a look at the improvements and perhaps to get a wife, but I must return to India again as I have not sufficient to live in England - however a rich wife will be `another pair of shoes' as some lady says in some play or other - your Brother is vain enough to imagine that he might have md. more than once in India, had he pleased, but there were no inducements and I have no idea of marrying without the means of supporting my life as I ought, for I'm sure that unhappiness and regret would be the lot of both parties - as the Scotch proverb has it: `Ne'er seek a wife till ye ken what to do with her.'
For the first year and a half that I was in India, I scarcely knew one person, and now I am acquainted with almost everyone. Some new friends of mine, Major and Mrs. Powell, are delightful people, and have shewn me a great deal of attention. In fact I must say I have rec'd particular kindness from all. I have an invitation to go to Elora and see the caves without any expense, but I have been away from my Rgt. nearly four months this year and I must now attend a little to my duty; besides I am just appointed acting adjutant. I happened to see Col. Sales' letter to the Commander in Chief recommending me to the Interpretership in which he called me an active, zealous and attentive officer. I can assure you it made me hold my head something higher than usual, but this is egotism.
The behaviour of the Halletts was v. extraordinary, but as there is madness in the family we must pass it over. During the time I was in Bombay one of the yg. men arrived from England as a civilian, and he told some friends of mine that he was particularly anxious to see me as he knew all my family v. well and had seen me likewise at Dulwich - we were not fated to meet or I certainly would have mentioned the circumstance of their denying you but, `Kooch fiken ruheen' as we say in Hindostanee.
Sir John Malcolm is on the point of leaving India and is far from being popular; in fact he is so much disliked that he has been hung in effigy, both here and in Bombay. The reason is this - that during the time he has been Governor every person's pay has been so cut that it is now impossible to live here and yet they talk of further reductions: If so we shall all come to beggary - notwithstanding these clippings which have been made on the plea of the Company being v. much behind in their money matters - still the Governor's personal expenditure and in fact our pockets have been picked for the benefit of his Scotch friends and his own amusements. I was reading a newspaper and observed an advertisement for Vauxhall - do you remember the 18th June when we honored the place with our presence and met poor Blount there. I shall make a point of visiting the Garden with you on my return to England which may be sooner than you expect, however don't mention this to anyone as everything in this world is so uncertain. The letter from E.J. is well written, but in my poor opinion it is all a hoax: if so the person is a great fool for his pains. I'm sure that some people must have a great deal of idle time on their hands; or must be particularly fond of writing: for my part it is with the greatest difficulty I can keep up my correspondence small at it is - let me know the result of the Christmas visit. I have rec'd some v. pleasant letters from Miss West in which she tells me of all the improvements which have taken place in London since my departure from the great City - in fact she is a v. good Correspondent and I must shortly tip her a line. You are constantly reminding me of secrecy with regard to many of the subjects in yr. letters - mind that you are prudent and do not disclose to anyone what I have written in some of my letters, as you might by doing so get me into a terrible scrape. Altho' you know your Brother's Honor too well to suspect anything, but other people will and I never take the trouble to put them right, as they have no business to interfere in my affairs - if you should possess the unfortunate letter I mean pray burn it and never mention the subject to me in any of yr. letters as it was written in an unguarded moment. I have no wish now of changing my Rgt. as I am a Lieutenant and expect to rise rapidly, if some of the auld ones will take themselves off. Our new General has just arrived as we expect grand doings in the review line, I am sorry Sir L. Smith is going to leave us as he is a v. good sort of an old woman. I forgot to tell you that we have rec'd a spinster in the Rgt. by the last ship - sister to Mrs. Gillespie, but she is far from being handsome or yg. so I fear she will not catch a dragon. Mrs. Grant says I ought to propose as I have become `an eligible' which word signifies that a man possesses more than 400 R a month - indispensible to a marrying man - however she will have a long time to wait if she wishes to catch me for I take v. good care to keep our of the way. We have had a little fighting with the Rajah of Ukiclcote but it did not last long: the light cavalry lost one officer [Captn. Sparrow] and thirty troopers. Mr. Rajah is now paying handsomely for his disturbance and it is but right for a march is v. annoying especially when it all ends in smoke as it did at Ukiclcote. I am quite ashamed that my dear M's letter should remain so long unanswered, but she must take into consideration what has lately engaged me so much. William's letter I shall answer v. shortly altho' I do not know how to fill it. You must be aware of the difficulty I have in writing a letter as you are not acquainted with any one here and you must be tired of hearing so much about myself. I mean to sell all my superfluities and live very stingingly for if poverty be a sin, I am a dreadful sinner. You do not mention the Coombs in yr. last letter - William wrote something about the eldest Miss Barling being dead, but I could not exactly make it out as it was put on the outside and not in the best writing. You must give my love to him and my dear Mother and say that I will v. shortly write to them. The races will take place in the course of a month. I have retired from the sport and shall therefore only go as a spectator - perhaps as a better. I fear I've a little itch for gambling, but I always keep within the bounds and generally come off a winner. Remember me kindly to all enquiring friends but especially to the pretty yg. ladies of fortune and get me a wife from among them as soon as you please. As I have no more to communicate Believe me your very affectionate brother Edw. Scott
Miss Scott or Mrs. ___ What.
4th Light Dragoons Index: