Text of letter to Major John Dixon Birtwhistle from a James Kirkpatrick an agent and friend of in Gatehouse of Fleet. Text originally found and referenced in:-














Major Birtwhistle
32nd Regiment

Gatehouse 27th Feby 1839

My Dear Sir,

I am this morning in receipt of your much esteemed favour of the 24th instant and your two other favors from Canada which you allude to were also duly received and the only apology for my not writing you to that part of the
world was because I had nothing particular to communicate to you, and my knowledge that you were weekly getting the Dumfries Courier in which the occurrences that could at all be interesting to you as regards local news are more circumstantially described than could be done in the compass
of even a regular series of letters incurring postage.

Your commission as regards Dundeuch shall be immediately attended to, and from that short time which I have had to consider as regards a proper and correct valuation of what the annual rent should be I think to obtain that
through the knowledge and skill of Mr Ramage and whom I may probably accompany when he goes there in order to form an estimate of its value; the last time that I was at Dundeuch was in 1810 when I accompanied you Uncle Robert to it and over it all, and I remember that it was then estimated to be worth 150" P. annum though I am not sure but it was afterwards let for more than that sum.

There is a Land Surveyor who resides here and whom I will get to go up and measure and make a plan of it, and when the same is completed I will as you desire send to Mr Robinson of Skipton.


I am sorry that we are not to have the pleasure of seeing you here at this time for I have been expecting you to pop in upon us for sometime past from what you said to Thomas when he had the pleasure of meeting you in Liverpool, and who regretted he could have so little of your company there.


I will have occasion to be in both Bradford and Leeds about the middle of April, and if you propose to sojourn in Skipton till about that time I would arrange to go a week or two sooner on purpose to go over to Skipton and see you. I should like exceedingly to spend a week with you at Skipton to talk over your family matters and to see the place where your father and the other members of your grandfathers family figured with such high reputation and honour there would be much to enjoy and feast the mind with were I to be there with you and to tell and be told incidents within my recollection. It is 36 years next month since I went from this to Skipton with the remains of your late Aunt Mrs. Thomas B. who was one of the best ladies that ever lived, she requested upon her death bed that I should accompany her remains to the place of interment and which your Uncle Alex. complied with by taking me with him on that mournful occasion.


I had a letter from Avranches from your Cousin in the month of December, and my only reason for my not having written him since is just the apology which I have given you that he gets the Dumfries paper which is far better than any letter unless there be business in the question; I am truly happy to hear from you that you have had advice so recently that they still continue all well, please make my best respects when you get there. I expect to be in Kirkudbt. next week when I shall let all your friends know what you have stated and that you are well, they will be like me greatly disappointed that you do not find it convenient to come and see us at this time.


You would have observed by the Dumfries Courier that the dreadful hurricane of the 7th Octo. had done very great damage in Gatehouse as well as other places and I am sorry to say that your property suffered very severely, some of the houses entirely unroofed, and not one of them but what suffered more or less. I have had slaters at them ever since and and has not half finished the repairs, indeed some of the worst is un-
repairable, and it puzzles me what to do for the best. I cannot say as yet what the expence will be but I fear it will not be short of 70" & when done but imperfectly. I did not trouble Mr Alcock with writing him about it but sent him a Dumfries Courier. When you are in Skiptn you should speaking seriously to Mr Alcock about selling the Houses. I have often written him the ruinous state they are in, the poverty of the tenants, and the impossibility of getting the rents, and I find it always the longer the worse.


I may take this opportunity to acquaint you that Mr Stewart leaves Barharrow at Whitsunday first and it was consequently recently to let. I was an offerer for it for my son James and was flattered by Mr W. Gordon fro sometime that I would get a preference, and I had written also to Mr Alcock for his friendship in the matter who returned me a very polite reply, and saying that he should be glad that my son would get it; but Mr Gordon in the end wrote me that it was let to a Mr Gifford, and without giving me a chance to had in a second offer as he had promised.


I dined with D. Credie and Ramage yester day, and we, as an absent friend remembered you over our cup of punch; and your letter arrived opportunely today.


I am My Dear Sir Yours always very truly


Ja Kirpatrick

P.S. I had a letter from brother Robert a day or two go and him and family
were well. I had thought if you came to Gatehouse from Ireland you would
have stopped a few days with him in passing.

P.S. When you have finished reading the Dumfries Courier you might
put a new cover on it and send it to Avranches Dep. La Manche by
which means one paper would do you both.