This is a letter written in 1705.
Researching local history often raises more questions than providing answers. What was the letter about? It is a bit difficult to read so we have done our best to decipher it.
This letter to Eli from W. Scott (assumed to be a brother) on the matter of an Apothecary Shop or was there some other meaning?
And who was Dr B?
...... Had I been upon the spot when you hesitated between the two Projects of settling at Dalkeith or coming to Wellingborough. I should believe I have given it for the former. In the first place it must have been more agreeable to our Mother to have you settled in your Native County amid your friends. The prospect to buy in, is , I think is extremely good. The Shop is indeed of great consequence.
Mrs Calderwoods Scruples are only an evidence of Female weakness, which I think might seemed now got over. If she could banish all the melancholy ideas with certainty, except when she heard the sound of a horses hoof, there might be some form of reason in the objection. But as that is not the case, it appears very proper indeed.
You are very much obliged to Mr. Wardlaw: But why could not transact your business yourself? I never knew a man hardly ever succeed in any thing that depended too much upon the Agency of another.
Had you gone into the Shop in time I think there was almost a moral certainty, every circumstance considered, of your success. Some person will go into it at the last minute you may easily suppose., for what is Mrs C to do with the Medicines? A primary consideration might have been proper, though did not require it. If the matter were still optional I should be tempted to try it after all. The chances is fair, and little to risk.
I wish you had wrote the reasons that turned the balance of your judgment.- As for Wellingborough, in case you go there I flatter myself it will succeed. But Dr. B. is a stranger, and I have no other source of information. He is now in Town. I have seen him at the London Coffee House yesterday, and I have just got a line from him. He dines here tomorrow.
He is a superannuated Naval Surgeon has been long in the Hospital at Plymouth: but has only been 4 and 5 years at Wellingborough. He proposes retirement to Scotland in a few months. He says Wellingborough is an excellent situation, but by what U can pick out of his own business is not much upon the increase. He proposes to do every thing in his power for you by introducing you to the People in the Town, advertising in the Newspapers and I dare say he will.
The character of the people is arguable, a good example may be these Assembly places, two Churches and a Quaker Meeting in the Town. I enquired about the rate of provisions. They are higher than I supposed, especially Butcher meat, which he ascribes, very probably to the present drought. All Northamptonshire is ill off for fuel. Hardly any coals in this Wood dear. This is a refection of my own. For I did not speak to him of that matter. The superior advantage of Dalkieth, when all to my knowledge. Many acquaintances cheaper provisions- plenty of fuel, low house rent - little or no premium, the advantage of having our own Mother with you almost immediately. In my opinion only. But if you hesitate, or if the opportunity is lost. I will hope otherwise for the best, and your determination. Dr B. Thinks you will certainly get into practice, and make no doubt of it. Nothing in town shall be wanting that can contribute to your success, here or elsewhere.
W. Scott writes.
My Dear Mother.
So far I have written to Eli; if he now is gone, be not any how uneasy. We will trust in the wise disposition of providence, and some of my own understandings. I have assisted and have given the preference to Dalkeith at present., it has been mostly for your account, and a sort of partiality that remains with me towards my native county. I await for further accounts. As ever my dear Mother.
Your very affectionate adoring Son.
W. Scott. Swinton Street July 14th 1705.