MACPHERSON (JAMES) Autograph letter signed ("James Macpherson"), to Captain Clark of the Marines, at Ruthven, 1791
Lot 58*
MACPHERSON (JAMES) Autograph letter signed ("James Macpherson"), to Captain Clark of the Marines, at Ruthven, 1791
Sold for £125 (US$ 212) inc. premium
Lot Details
MACPHERSON (JAMES)
Autograph letter signed ("James Macpherson"), to Captain Clark of the Marines, at Ruthven, giving instructions regarding the building of his house ("...With respect to the covering of the House, I am equally impatient; as after that is done, we can go on with the finishing, at perfect leisure; and so with any other work of convenience or improvement. I am, upon various Accounts and for strong reasons, averse to have so many persons employed about my place, for the future..."), flood defences, and tenants ("...With respect to the tenants of Bellid casting peats, on Invernahaven; that business has been too long neglected: Yet I know not, how one can stop them, for this year, as no notice has been given them early in the Season. You will be so good, as to inform Ralia, what I have mentioned in person to Cluny, that unless this business is finally settled by Arbitration, before the next year, I shall lay a positive interdict upon the Bellid tenants: And you may Acquaint the tenants, that it is merely by sufferance, expressly from me, they are to cut peats this year; and that they must look out some where else for peats, hereafter, unless it is decided, they have a right to cast them, upon my ground..."); autograph franked address on verso ("free/ James Macpherson"), 3 pages, two small mounting-patches, 4to, London, 25 May 1791

Footnotes

  • THE AUTHOR OF OSSIAN SETS UP HIS ADAM HOUSE AND ESTATE IN THE GAELIC HIGHLANDS: James Macpherson had been born in comparatively humble circumstances at Ruthven, near Kingussie, then still a strongly Gaelic area. Captain Alexander Clark of the Marines (1754-1819) was his nephew and, as this letter shows, acting as his agent. During his time in London, Macpherson had, thanks to his political contacts, built up a considerable fortune, while retaining a deep affection for his birthplace. He had Robert Adam design him Belleville House (since called Balavil) which he erected on the estate he had acquired to the north of Kingussie, work there beginning in 1790; and it was here that he was to die in 1796, his body being taken from Belleville to Westminster Abbey for burial.
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