[From Atholl Papers - AP X11-43]
May it please your Grace
The honour which I have of your Grace's letter of 13th gives me a most sensible joy, for ever since I had your Grace's dated  14 septr, (which by accident came verie soon to hand, I have heard nothing but uncertain reports either of your Grace or any of our friends, which considering the inhapie situation of that countrey which many of them were, and some still are, gave me great pain of mind. Mr Harison was a most welcome guest, for now we know all with some certainty, how these afairs have been managed, & are likelie to be. This desperate atempt to subvert our present constitution (which in the opinion of every one who understands the nature of civil liberty, is surely the best that ever any nation or people were blest with) will I hope now, soon be defeated, and serve to strenthen and confirm it; That such measures shall soon be taken as may effectualy secure it from such danger hereafter. Such as shall secure the people, their civil rights & propertyys from all future illegal acts of violence, from one who avowes an uncondetarnal ? domininion and the arbitary exercise of lawless power upon a divine inalienable right, derived to him by birth, to our lives & propertys, which he may dispose of, as his proper goods & chattels; Such a claim so directly inconsistent with the natural & civil rights of mankind, must have a freightfull sound in the ears of freemen, who have tasted ye sweets of civil liberty.
As soon as I had certain notice of this insurrection, wee got some of our soulder out, and had the armes which were ever purchased last summer, delivered to them, had a good many balls cast, and cartriges made up, but we are so poorly armed, and our men tho loyall enough, yt of such poor spirits, that I am afrayed if enemy force was to be landed upon us, wee should make but a bad figure; Wee shall however do the best wee can; all our watches are doubled and stictlie kept night & day; all steingers strictlie examined, and if any of those unhapie people, those instruments of tirreney, who have brought so much misery upon their countrey; should come hither for shelter (I wish it was come to that pass) your Grace's orders shall be strictlie obeyed, they shall be confined in the inner ward of Castle Rushen, and as carefuly guarded as Owen & his crew were, untill wee have your Grace's order about them.
As soon as Mr Harison arived, I acquainted the Receiver and sent Mr Quail around the merchants, to bring in all the dutyes he can, All wee can muster together is no more than £1649 in sterling for which Mr Harison is to give the reciver his receipt pursuent to your Grace's order of 18th instant.
Mr Harison tells me your Grace inclines to raise £12,000 here upon the security of the customes, this cannot possibly be done in this Island, for since old John Murray dyed our mercheints excepting two or three have hardlie stock enough to carrie on their business, and I doubt if any one of these few could spare £1000 out of trade; And the tenants are all poor, most of them in debt, as they live for the most part above their circumstances; But I should think it verie easie for your Grace to raise that summ at London upon such undoubted security, for your Grace will observe that customes at the lowest minimum these severall years exceed £2000 a year; As for your Grace's purpose of living some time here with ye young ladyes, until that summ is payed of, in my humble opinion it cannot fail to answer the good end proposed by it; if the security is so conceived as that the payments shall be made quarterly, both of the interest & in part of the principal summ, your Grace may soon be made easy
It will be proper, as soon as your Grace is fixed in this resolution that I should be advertised, in order to provide what is absolutlie necessary for your Grace's reception, I mean beds only there are four bedchambers in the house, but I have only five bedds, which I bought of Gov Murrey; one of them is enough for my wife & me, so that more will be wanted for your Grace, must be provided & sent either from Liverpool, with beding blanketts off, for my wife brought nothing here but table and bed linnen, and of these, wee are tolerably well provided. The bedds ought to be here at least a month or two before your Graces arivall that the house may be fitted up in the best way wee can, which may be done at a verie small expense sufficient to answer the purpose of your Graces being here only as a lodger with your own servant, I must also take some meadow ground for hay before ye setting time as your Grace will no doubt bring two or three horses along with you, for your own & the young ladyes use.
I observe by your Graces letter of 14 Septr that mine of August [?1] had miscaried I am afreyed it has fallen into wrong hands, I have therfor made out another copie of yt abstract I made of the accounts, since Mr Harison carys the books themselves, I shall only make one observation, which I did befour that I think the Receivers balance verry high. After your Grace has perused the accounts, if you think proper you may take notice of it when your Graces words upon that subject
The stewarts payments, exceed his receipts, which is answering to the new Court house at Peele, they are now firming the ground from the sea, which with the result I hope will be let for something more than the interest of ye money, the whole coast.
I have explained to Mr Harison the reason why wee apprehend the T__o [tobacco] trade has failed, and wee are now in hopes it may revive again; Wee have this year a plentyful crope, and the hering fishing has been good. The works of the mines are carried on, seemingly with skill & judgement but hitherto with badd success, but they have good hopes as they have some apearancers.
Mr Harison has now cncld'd with the controller and receive, but as the wind is directly S East he must stay to drink the Kings health with us, which he would not have don had the wind kept about, for the Dukes sloop is lying at Douglas readie to sail with the first fair wind I am with great respect & sincere esteem
Castleton October 30th 1745
PS Since I finished my leter the controller has got of dutyes here £14 11 - so the whole summ he carees with him is £1663 - 12-
[Lindsay's hand, like his spelling, is somewhat difficult at places]
The rebellion he speaks of is the 1745 Stuart uprising.
The 'firming of the land' at Peel refers I assume to the improvements and inclosure of the river bank and foreshore in the mid 1740's - several new intacks were added at this period but this is the only comment I've seen that explicitly mentions the Courthouse.
| Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The
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