Index

Letters from Adam Gordon Geddes

These letters are a copy of a copy so the copyists may have made mistakes. Apologies for any of mine. I have added some paragraphs to make the letters clearer.


To Adam's brother, John Geddes IV



This is written by Adam Gordon Geddes to one of his brothers, John Geddes IV. 'David' is another brother, David Geddes. Their father is John Geddes III

12 March 1826 from Adam Gordan Geddes to John Geddes IV. Recd. 3rd May.

My Dear John,

I wrote you on 16th December & the 15th January last to go by the packets of those months, & my father wrote you on 11th/12th. of last month to go by the Bebruary Packet; on the 8th of last month my father received yours of the 8th Decemr via Greenock, & on the 11th. of last month he received yours of the 16th. Decemr via Bristol. You may imagine the pleasure we all felt at the Receipt of your letters & how Anxiously we will look for the next Arrivals which I fancy will be on the Packet due on the 27th. of this month.

I regret I have to communicate to you the death of William Fraser which took place at Rome on the 4th. Ultimo, before his death was known here but in consequence of a letter from Dr. Clarke of Rome, communicating the little probability of William surviving above half a few days. Colin made application by Memorial for leave for Willm to go on half pay receiving the difference or to Retire from the Service by the Sale of his Commission. Mr. MacKay drew up the Memorial & backed the prayer of it with his Interest, & I am glad to say with success, the Comr. in Chief's sanction for the Sale was obtained. Mr. Mackay is of the opinion that it will not be withdrawn, but that under the Circumstance, & from the way the Memorial was drawn up, the Sale will still be allowed. Colin, Charlotte & Crawford are quite well. Crawford leaves hospital in May when she goes to London for a short time, after which she and Miss Zeigler commence Business in Edinburgh.

I had a latter from Capt. Bogue a few days ago from London where he is to remain for some weeks, on the expiry of his leave he is to join the depot, being one of the Captains selected by Col. Hare for that duty, the other Captains are Macleanm Macpherson & Higgins. Mahor Dansey now commands the depot, but is to go to Demerara as soon as Col. Hare's leave expires, who is to take the depot himself. This, I understand, is not quite regular, but it is done in some instances. Col. Leahy 21st. now has the depot of his Regiment. Col. Thomas is on full pay in the 20th. Bogue says that he paid the full difference 1314 to get in again. I mentioned in one of my letters that I had written Mr. Green, from whom I expected some information about the depot. I have not heard from him in answer, & the above I got from Bogue who I requested write me when he got to London.

There are no Military news stirring the estimates passed with fewer remarks than usual. Report says that Brevet Officers are to be allowed to sell or go on half pay of their Brevet ran as if it was Regimental, but not to remain as Captains.

David has been confined to the house for the last ten days with an inflamation in his eye. Cruikshank was afraid that the passage between the eye & the nose would again close up, but he now thinks there is not the least danger of it, and David is no so much better that he intends going to Union Place tomorrow. My father I am happy to say enjoys excellent health & takes his walk every day for which the weather for some time past has been particularly favourable. He has not yet got a house, nor has he any one in prospect

There is little news stirring here except the worst of all news, distress and failures among the merchants and tradesmen, every day announces half a dozen new ones, among the people you know in this neighbourhood - Deuchar & Zeigler, Barclay Gary of Leith & his brother-in-law Anderson Ship Builder, by which I suspect Mr. Grey, Geo: Square will suffer considerably. In Glasgow the failures have been to an immense extent, and both there and in Edin. some of the people who were least suspected.

Brownlee dined with us yesterday, he desires his remembrance to you, the Court of Sessions rose yesterday & he goes fishing next week. William McArthur Abbey lost his wife a short time ago, & John Miller has also departed. The mail for Demerara is made up in Mondon next wednesday, so I must conclude this scroll and go with it to the Post Office in order that I may return in time for dinner by half past 4 o'clocl, otherwise George Ryrie who is to dine with us will grumble.

My father and David desirte their love to you & believe me ever to be my Dear John Yours

Adam G. Geddes


This is written by Adam Gordon Geddes to one of his brothers, John Geddes IV. 'David' is another brother, David Geddes, Their father is John Geddes III

16th April 1826 from Adam Gordan Geddes, Minto St., Newington to John Geddes IV

My Dear John,

I wrote you on the 12th of last month, my father wrote you on 11th February & I wrote you by the packets of last December & January all of which letters, with the exception perhaps of the one of the 12th of last month you ought to have received before now. We were disappointed at not hearing from you by the packet which arrived the 3rd. or 4th. of this month, (the Dove). The Queensbury is the enxt expected, she is due the 25 of this month and we expect a budget by her.

In my last I mentioned the death of our young friend William Fraser at Rome & that the Comr. in Chief had authorized (previous to his death being known in this country) the sale of his Commissions. The sale has not yet taken place, nor has there been any Correspondence on the subjecct of it. I trust however that the Comr. in Chief will not withdraw the Sanction he have for the sale.

Colin Charlotte & Crawford are quite well. Crawford leaves the Hospital the 15 of next month when she goes North for a few weeks, after which she & Miss Zieglar go to London where they are to remain until October or November, & on their re3turn to Edinburgh at that time take possession of a house in Frederick Street & commence a business as Milliners and Dress Makers. Charlotte and Colin seem not more than half to approve of this arrangement.

Miss Geddes is quite well, the investigations in the hospital are at present at rest, but every now and then anonymous(?) Representations of abuses are given to the Governors who are foolish enough to entertain the and by their proceedings to encourage these Representaions, which does away in no small measure the comforts Miss Geddes's situation dormerly possessed.

My father has taken a house for the next year, No. 8 South Grey's Street, the Street runs parallel to Minto Street to the West & No. 8 is the furthest South house in that Street. The house is rather small, having no Sunk floor but my father only intends it for one year. He is at present in terms with Anderson and Douglas builders for one or two houses they are building is Salisbury Road. They want 1000, my father has offered 950. ?Lewis Wallace is to inspect & report on the house next week. My father continues to enjoy excellent health. The only thing that he ever complains of is cramp or rheumatism in his legs which prevents his taking so long walks as he used to.

I mentioned in my last David's eye being inflamed. It confined him to the house for ten days but is now perfectly recovered, without affecting in the least the passage between the eye and nose which Cruikshank was afraid of.

The concern in Union Street still goes on but business not encreasing. George seems tired of it, but it would be a pity to give up without a trial, whch cannot be had in so short time as since they commenced.

The newspaper of yesterday announced the death of your old Acquaintance and friend Lt. Col. Drummond of Kelty. He died on board the Pomona Merchant Ship on passage to Jamaica.

The last Gazette contains the longest list of promotions that has appeared for many years. I see you have got quite of Ensign Tew & that Capt. McLean's son has got a Lieutenancy by purchase. I also see that you have got a paymaster, which I fancy you are not sorry for, even altho' you lose your share of the Committee Allowance.

I have heard nothing about your Depot here since I wrote you last. I expected Capt. Bogue would have been in Edinr. by this time from whom I would have got some news about Major Dansy joining &tc &tc. I have not heard from your Agent Mr. Green. I wrote him on 16 December last and enclosed a letter for you, altho' he did not think it worth while answering my letter, I fancy he would forward the Enclosure as I requested.

Brownlee desires to be remembered to you. On your return he expects to get a great deal of information from you relative to West Indian Affairs, & particularly relative to the Caribs, a correct account of whom does not exist, & he knows no one as well qualified as you to supply that desideratum, & he also expects to see a splendid musuem not only of Works of Art of New Andalusia, but also the most rare natural production in Ornithology, Conchology, Mineralogy and all other ologies. He has no fishing yet, but intends to have a few days before the Session commences.

I believe I have given you all the news I can at present recollect that would in any way be interesting to you. David or my father I fancy will write by the next packet. There are I believe frequent opportunities by private ships from Greenock, but I never see a Greenock or Glasgow paper and cannot take advanatge of these opportunities. but you may confidently expect a letter by every packet either from my father, David or me.

I had a card the other day from Lord Robt. Ker(r) saying he believed Flyn the District Paymaster intended shortly to resign and go on whatever Allow'ce the Sec'r at War would sanction. I have heard no more about it. I saw Lord Robert two days ago & he is to let me know Flyn's movements if he goes out. I don't know whether I shall ask the district or not. At all events I will not feel disappointed if I don't get it. It is of not much consequence.

I believe I mentioned in my last that William McArthur had lost his wife. Poor man, he misses her very much. He has given up one of his cows and is afraid from the difficulty of getting a steady trust-worthy person to look after them he must give up the others.

I conclude this scroll to attend my father to Church, it now being half past one o'clock and 40 minutes walk from this to St. Giles.

Believe me always to remain my dear John, Your affectionate brother,

Adam G. Geddes


This is written by Adam Gordon Geddes to one of his brothers, John Geddes IV. 'David' is another brother, David Geddes, Their father is John Geddes III

18th April 1826 from Adam Gordan Geddes, Minto St., Newington to John Geddes IV

My dear John,

I wrote you on Sunday to go by mail that ought to be closed in London tomorrow, but as the packets are always a day or two, and sometimes ten or twelve days of sailing after the regular stated periods, &am; of course the mail bag being kept open for Letters until the packets are ready to sail, I write this in hopes that it will be in time for the packet of this month.

Yesterday morning I received your letter of 27th. January, per the Latona via London, & this morning my father received yours of 14th of last month via Greenock, this forenoon I also received per smack from London, a box containing three Bottles Arrowroot, three bottles Cayenne pepper, a Bird's Nest and a dried fruit name unknown. One of he bottles of Cayenne pepper shall be conveyed to Mrs. Brownlee this eveing, accompanied with your Comp'ts.

The Bill for 100, which accompanied my father's letter of 14th ulto. I endorsed to Sor Wm. Forbes & Co., taking from them a Receipt for that Amount being placed at the Credit of your Account with them from 24th of this month. The receipt I have given to David to be preserved according to your instructions.

You cannot expect a collection of news in this letter so immediately after the budget I gave you in my letter of Sunday. I am glad the feveryou mention as having been so frequent in the Colony has subsided before your last letter, & that you had so completely recovered from your attack of it. I trust having got so well over the first, you will not be so exposed to a second attack while you remain in the West Indies.

I can learn nothing of the arrangements at your depot. I expected Bogue would have been in Edin'r before this from whom I might have got some new, but I fancy that he has gone to the Isle of Wight without coming to SCotland as he at first intended.

My father and David are quite well. We have had gardeners putting the gardens of the house no. 8 Gray Street in order. There is an excellent show of cherries and apples. If you are releived early in the summer we should be glad you arrived in EDin'r in time to eat some of them.

I remain my dear John Your very affectionate brother

Adam G. Geddes



To Adam's daughter, Margaret



This is written by Adam Gordon Geddes to his only daughter, Margaret Geddes.

Envelope adressed: "Miss Geddes, No 7 Henderson Row, Edinburgh". 2 postmarks FY, MY-29, (illegible) & MAY, A 29 E, 1853

Cathedral Hotel
No 48 St Jeames Churchyard
London, Saty 28 May 12 o'clock

My dear Margaret,

Here we are arrived all safe. We reached Euston Square Station about 11 o'clock, took a cab & came straight here, after getting our faces washed & ready for a short walk, it began to rain & we are driven back for shelter.

On the whole the 16 hours ride was not unpleasant, our only annoyance was dust & smoke, the Rail Road had all the appearance of the Portobello Road or a day in summer when a brisk west wind blows & no rain has fallen for a month. We tried to keep the dust out as well as we could by closing the windows, but it was no go, and we were literally as much covered with it altho' inside as if we had been walking on the road. Tell your Uncle the stoppages are more numerous than we were told in Edinburgh viz. 20 minutes at York & 20 minutes at Derby, we in addition stop half an hour at Berwick waiting for a mail train, about 20 minutes at Newcastle, the same time at Rugby, & about 5 or 8 minutes at one or two other places: but otherwise the train kept its time within half an hour of the advertised arrival. We had one delay of about 20 minutes, not by an accident but by what was a very providential escape of a drunk man from destruction, he appears to have been walking on or crossing the Rails beyond Newcastle & to have fallen, luckily for him, in a position not across the Rails but lengthwise between the Rails, where he had fallen asleep, the driver saw him but could not stop the train until the whole of the carriages had passed above him. When the train was stopped & backed to look for the man, who was supposed by the guards and driver must have been of course killed, when he was found still comfortably asleep in the same position as the carriages had passed over him. He was got into the luggage van & left at the first station. We of course knew nothing of it until we got to York when the guard explained the cause of the stoppage & back movement.

It has cleared up so there is a prospect of Andrew & I taking an Omnibus Ride to Walham Green to see Major Maclean. Andrew thinks nothing of London, in all the way from Euston Square to St Paul's Churchyard he saw no street equal to George's Street, the height of St. Pauls is not equal to St. Andrews Church steeple or the building itself equal to St. Giles.

Andrew or I shall write you again on Monday, as there is no post from London on Sunday. Make my compliments to all at Newington. I shall write your Uncle on Monday & give all our movements.

I remain, my dear Margaret,
Your very affectionate Father
Adam G. Geddes

Letter from Adam Geddes