[From Goldie-Taubman Papers - p127 of Letter Book]

dated 30 July 1791 addressed to

Capt Wm Cunningham 58th Regt

It was only yesterday that I recd your favor 17th Curnt and observe that your early attachment to my daugr still continues. I am only sorry that this affair hath laid over so long dormant, had you made known your intentions to me at first this procrastinatrion might in all probability have been prevented, as I never had any great objection to it taking effect, for I had formed a strong propensity in your favor, from your apparent good and affable disposition, which inclined to think you would make my daughter happy, which I always looked upon as the first object of a parents consideration on such serious occasion. No doubt the article of fortune (however important in itself) comes under the second head of consideration.

I flatter myself and have the amity[?] to think that my daugr from her natural good dispn, general understanding and perfect knowledge of the world and mankind as worthy & deserving a partner in the first sphere of life, but perhaps you may think, I settle high a value on her good qualities and perfection, and although your situation in life does not enable you to make a suitable provision & settlement on my daugr. It is my intention to give her a fortune equal to that which I gave her sister, who marryed a gentleman of a large estate and property and who made a handsome settlement on her and her children, But then, as this is not the case with you as you will most naturally conclude, that common prudence & reason dictates the neccesity of my settling the intended balance for my daughters use and that of her children &c which I should hope you can have no objection to this: at the same time I would not willingly deprive you of the liberty of using some part thereof as might be necessary to promote you in the army, or any other public character.

The fortune which I settled upon & gave my daugr Margaret on her marriage with Mr Christian of Unrigg hall in Cumberland was five thos pounds British in land [?hand], and three thos more settled on her children to wit, £1000 to the second child of the marriage (the first (if a son) being provided by the family estate) £1000 to the third and £1000 to the fourth child, which said three thousand pounds was payable when the said children respectively came of age.

I intend giving my daughter Christian a similar settlement, I would and willingly make it greater at this time, least it might give umbrage to the sd Mr Christian, although it is not improbable but she will sooner or later have a further addition from myself or my wife at the close of life. But then as I have already observed that you can make no settlement on my daughter and issue, you certainly cannot think me unreasonable in securing the five thousand pounds for my daugr & family, sole & seperate use allowing interest thereout to you & her imedly.

If this is agreeable to you, I would be glad to see you here in order to conclude this matter as soon as you can please. But at the same time, I would not on any acct have you to loose sight of the Majority you have in contempn and money shall not be wanted to effect so desireable an object to a military man.

I am &c


The Majority refers to promotion from Captain to Major.

Christian, second daughter and third child of John Taubman and Esther Christian was baptised at Malew 14th April 1753, her elder sister Margaret, wife of John Christian of Unerigg, died aged 29 on 1st February 1778 leaving a single son and a distraught husband, John Taubman gave significant financial support to his grandchild John Christian. Her younger sister, Esther, died in her childhood.

The marriage of William Cunningham, Captain 58th Regt of Foot and Miss Christian Taubman of Castletown was at Kk Braddan by special licence on 12th Nov 1791 - witnesses being John Taubman and Margaret Stevenson.
Their son, and only child, Robert Cunningham was baptised at Malew on 11th June 1793.

The name was usually spelled Cunningham in the 1790s but post marriage it starts to morph into Cunninghame.

Taubman gave significant support to Cunningham allowing him rapid promotion in the Army - no further letters between Taubman and his son in law can be found in the letter book but there are notes of addresses and presumably letters sent - several letters to his Glasgow based banker Robert Carrick however contain instructions to allow Cunningham to draw on Taubman's account. The Letter book concludes c.1796 with Taubman noting poor health and looking forward to a stay at Bath - Taubman died 1799, and his widow in 1802..

25 Aug 1792 letter to bankers that draft of £4500 at 10 days for Capt Wm Cunninghame
22 Oct 1792 Capt Wm Cuningham to be paid £250
13 Nov 1792 Capt Cuninghame Bandaloch Brown Squre Edinburgh,
20 Dec 1792 notes in a letter to his banker that a joint bill with Capt Cunninghame for £4500 will not appear "as there is some stop to the Majority &c" i.e. Cunninghame's promotion was in doubt .
20 Dec 1792 Capt Wm Edinburgh,
12 Jan 1793 Christian was noted at Edinburgh,
28 Jan 1793 Christian was in Scotland though Taubman was expecting her to return to the I.O.M.
3 Nov 1793 Major Cunninghan noted as at Plymouth
15 Nov 1793 noted that Major Cunningham to be Lt Col. on raising a certain quota of men and will need a credit for £600 or £700 [pd by Charles Kensington London],
22 Jan 1794 £250 paid to credit of Major Cunningham [pd by Robt Carrick Glasgow],
15 July 1795 annuity of £250 to Lt Col Cunningham [pd by Robt Carrick Glasgow]
23 Dec 1795 Lt Col Cunningham £250

In January 1794 Cunningham wrote to the Duke of Athol that being a Major in the 58th Regt. [Northamptonshire Regt.] and anxious to gain promotion by obtaining recruits, he asks permission from the Duke to enlist as many as possible of the Irishmen serving in the Manx Fencibles,promising that his brother-in-law will find native Manxmen to replace them [AP_102_2 dated 6.1.1794] - his brother in law being John Taubman junior often known as Major Taubman. A month later Lieut. Governor Shaw wrote to the Duke that permission has been given for men of the Fencibles to exchange into the 58th Regt. under Major Cunningham [AP_X21(2nd)_14 dated 5.2.1794] . However a relative of the Duke, Lord Henry Murray, was also wishing to recruit men into his regiment - thus in April 1794 Shaw wrote again to the Duke saying that Lord Henry got more recruits from the Fencibles than did Major Cunningham,the former asking for men to go to his own regiment in Scotland and the latter for men to go to the West Indies (where he was not even going himself)was sufficient reason for this, though there were others also.[AP_X20_12 dated 24.4.1794]. However it would seem that Cunningham gained sufficient recruits to obtain the desired promotion.

In Nov 1798 William Cunninghame was appointed by the Duke of Athol as Major in the Royal Manx Fencibles [AP_103_49] in which he served well - Lt. Gov Shaw commenting favourably in a couple of reports.

In 1806 Cunninghame was elected a M.H.K. but resigned in 1824 (his son Robert being elected to replace him) though it seems playing little part as in 1822 he states in a letter to the Duke, whom he would appear to have supported, that he has now no knowledge of what passes in the Keys [AP_110_26 dated 29.3.1822]. He died 30 August 1825 - his widow Christian died at Lorne House, the home of her son, in 1832.


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