[From Atholl Papers - AP 36/38 (2nd)-20]

[Letter from John Lewhellin to Duke of Atholl, 24 June 1768]

My Lord

I am greatly obliged to you for your complyance in allowing me to rent a parcell of your commons which your Grace's stewards have viewed & have fixed thereon the yearly rent of thirty shillings. I proposed at first twenty, as Barrool which adjoins it, & lies more contigious, & contains I think a larger quantity, was rented not many years past to fifteen, & had I made application then, this would have rented at ten shillings. The great expence & difficulty that I shall be at in enclosing it, the north west side there being few or no stones in but what are on the top of the mountain, & rather on the other side, & the ground being in many places so exceeding swampy that there is no possibility of drawing stones, were they tio be had ; & the outer part of the south west side there are no stones to be had but from the top of the mountain ; which upon the whole makes many think the enclosing it with a stone wall, & when that cannot be done, with a sod wall, which I must plant willow &c in to make it sufficient, would be a suffient purchase for it, with a small acknowledgement to your Grace. It is true there is a large track of land - but it is wild & out, far on the mountain, & your Grace will perceive by the plan that the south side is all along stony & rocky, & the north side quite wet & swampy - I take the freedome, my Lord, to be this particular in the description of this place that what I have offer'd, & fix'd on by your Graces stewards may meet with your approbation. I propose taking in two enclosures on each side for planting in, & set this so much wanted improvement forward, & that others may catch from the example, & go with it - I am likewise greatly oblig'd to your Grace for the delicate manner you vouchsafe to condescend to lay before your stewards your sentiments about my being game keeper which I readily accepted of, & they have drawn out of me a deputation in which they signify that it is by your Graces appointment. - It is a place that a good deal of trouble & some expence will attend, & have always been executed by men of general repute ; so for my part I shall let nothing be wanting to keep up that dignity & respect that is due to you, my good Lord, & to the honor & memory of your noble family, to whom my heart is warmly attached.

I have some thoughts of building a small lodge in some commodious place on the top of the mountain, where I shall yearly invite some of the principle people of this Island to meet me, & have the pleasure to drink your Graces, my Lady Dutchess's & your noble familys health, & propserity

I am My Lord your Graces most oblig'd & most obedt humbl servt

John Lewhellin

Ramsey 24th June 1768

PS as the season is farr advanced it will be conferring a great obligation on me if your Grace will please to confirm the licence & give speedy notice to your stewards that I may begin.


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