[From Atholl Papers - AP 42B-6]

[Letter from Duke of Atholl to Lord Mansfield, 7 August 1764]

Atholl House August 7th 1764

My Lord

the many marks of friendship and kindness which both the late Duke of Atholl and I have at all times received from your Lordship, emboldens me at present without troubling you with an apology, to beg the favour of your advice and assistance in an affair of the greatest consequence to the Dutchess and me and our Family : the sale of the Isle of Man to the Crown ; the consideration of which your Lordship will see by the inclosed copy of a letter from the Lords of the Treasury to me, is again resumed by Government ; I have likewise inclosed for your perusal my answer to the Lords of the Treasury which is upon the plan of a letter wrote upon the same subject by the late Duke in 1759 to the Duke of Newcastle, which I believe had your Lordship's and the late Duke of Argyll's approbation ; If you think it is proper please order it to be left at the Treasury but if you don't approve of it I shall be extreamly obliged to you for a hint of what you think will be a more proper answer.

I must beg leave to take up a little more of your Lordship's time to explain to you my sentiments with regard to the value of the Isle of Man in case I am necessitated by Government to sell it.

I believe it is one of the most improveable estates in Britain, as it undoubtedly is the most honourable ; the income of it it is near double since the late Duke succeeded to it, and is still daily increasing : The real money which was paid into the Duke's bankers hands in England for the last six years after every deduction whatever amounted to 43934 sterling which at an average is 7322 @ annum ; this produce I believe is more than most freehold estates in England that are called 10,000 a year : Above 5000 of this arises from the customs and I have strong reason to think (the duty being now so extreamly low) may be doubled with the consent and satisfaction of the people who are very desirous that we should not part with the Island ; and I believe this may be done the first time we go there which we intend doing next summer : the places and benefices in the Lords gift, ecclesiastical and civil, with their sallaries and perquisites amount to near 3000 @ annum. The Island lies most centically for fair trade : there are near 30,000 inhabitants and the cheapness of living makes it in my opinion one of the properest places in the world for introducing all sorts of manufactures, which I have very much at hearty, and think may turn to very great account. The above reasons and my not having it now in my power to form a real niotion of its exact value make me wish to put off the sale of it, at least for the present : I have made a vague estimate of the valuation which tho very inaccurate I take the liberty to transmitt to your Lordship for your opinion : We intend being in London sometime in October or the beginning of November but if your Lordship thinks my being there sooner of any consequence I shall obey your directions. I am with great regard and gratitude

Your Lordships most obedient & most humble servant

Athole


 

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