This is a letter written in 1705.

An old engraving of Dalkeith near Edinburgh
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.

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