[ Nineteenth-century Scottish landowner. ] Manuscript Account Book [ of Thomas Melville ] with itemized expenses and individual accounts, records of livestock farming in the Hebrides, rents in Greenock and Campbeltown.

[ Thomas Melville; Charles Munro of Campbeltown; Alexander Birrell of Inverary ] Nineteenth-century West of Scotland landowner's account book [ Hebrides; Greenock, Renfrewshire; Campbeltown, Argyll ]
Publication details: 
The West of Scotland (The Hebrides; Greenock in Renfrewshire; Campbeltown and Inverary in Argyll). Between 1837 and 1852.
SKU: 18922

113pp. in a 12mo notebook. Quarter binding with black leather spine and soft covers in marbled paper, interleaved with pink blotting paper on which occasional notes have been made. Printed on front pastedown: 'Sold by John Thomson, St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh.' In fair condition, on aged paper, in worn binding. There is a section of 53pp. of itemized expenses at the front of the volume, and another of 47pp. of individual accounts at the back, with groups of six and three pages among the otherwise-blank leaves in the centre. At the front is a partial 'Index', and towards the rear a page headed '1839 | Abstract of Debts due 1 Jan.' The compiler is a West of Scotland landowner and merchant, farming livestock in the Hebrides, with rents in Campbeltown and Greenock, and shares in the railway and in the Clydesdale Bank, he being an early investor (1839 and 1844) in the latter, the Clydesdale Bank having been founded in 1838. He has accounts with the Renfrewshire Bank and the British Linen Company, maritime connections, dealings with the North of Ireland (Belfast), and is sympathetic to the Tory interest (he subscribes to the Wellington Testimonial). The connection with the Melville family is clear. On blotting paper at the end of the front section is the mirror-image blotting of the valediction to a letter, in the same hand as the rest of the volume, signed by 'Thomas Melville'. The expenses include records of money given (as opposed to paid) to 'Mrs Melville' (i.e. 'Gave Mrs Melville for Acct to Pay servants Tea Money &c and Sundries' and 'Gave Mrs M: Money for Hay'), and to 'Mr Melville' ('Mr Melville for house' and 'gave Mr. M money to pay Servants Wages'). There is also a list of rents collected in Greenock including 'Melvilles land'. The first of the individual accounts, headed 'C[redito]rs. | 1st. Sepr. 1839 – G. Melville', begins with two substantial payments: £5100 'In the hands of Jordan Matheson & Co (China)' and £2000 to 'Palmer McKillop Dent & Co London'. Loosely inserted is an Autograph Letter Signed from Alexander Birrell of Inverary to Charles Munro of Campbeltown,11 June 1852, regarding a 'Contract of the Factory and Commission' by 'Mr. Melville', with reference to 'Mr. Watson' at Glasgow. A number of pages deal with livestock farming in the Hebrides. These include three pages headed 'Cows purchased', with three mentions of Loch Boisdale. A fourth page is headed 'Two Cows grazed on the Island of Hyskeir 1838', with the first entry recording the fact that they were 'Purchased at Barra 28 May' for £5 5s 6d. (See, among the individual accounts below, a page of minor dealings with Sir John Rae Reid of Barra.) A page headed 'Mrs Deniston M.phe & Co Stewt for ch ship Hebrides' includes an entry for £490 'Cash pd Capt Alexr Melville of 2nd. Jany 1842', and is followed by a page of accounts, 1841-1843, headed 'Hebrides'. And among references in the general expenses are the purchase of 'a Pig at Ulva (118 lbs) [£1] | D[itt]o Boisdale (150[lbs]) [18s]'. Three pages of accounts with 'Renfrewshire Bank', 1837-1842, deal with substantial sums, as for example, £744 to 'Hebrides', £140 'Receivd. to pay Capt Beatson for Cathcart House', £168 for 'Railway Shares', and ending with reference to large sums for properties: 'Greenock House 1000 | Cottage 800 | Spring Bank 600 | House in 150 | Cash due by me 15'. The material at the rear of the volume mainly consists of individual accounts, with pages headed: 'Captain Knight' (including reference to 'Arbula Purchased from Mr Brooman Jany 1840'); 'Messrs. Turner & McKillin' ['Mr Turner (Greenock)']; 'British Linen Company', 'Captain P. Campbell', 'Mr Service', 'Mr Stewart & Co. Knights', 'Mr McKersey', 'Mr McCaig', 'Mr Kilpatrick', 'Captain Stevenson', 'Mr. G. Oughterson' [of Robertson, Oughterson & Co, Greenock?], 'Clydsdale [sic] Bank' (first entry, 22 May 1839: 'Lodged with Mr John Colvill to pay for Ten Shares of Clydsdale Bank', £115), 'Mr Christie', 'George Melville', 'John Brodie', 'Mr McKinnon', 'James Adams', 'Archd Gray', 'Jas Melville Junr.', 'Mr Congdon', 'Mrs. Chas. Stewart', 'Neill McGibbon' [Neil MacGibbon, WS, Inverary], 'Custom House', 'Mr More Greenock', 'Rail Road', 'Peter Stewart & Sons', 'Sir John Reed' [address at rear: 'Sir John Reed | Park Gate | near Neston | Cheshire', i.e. Sir John Rae Reid (1791-1867) of Barra, head of firm Reid, Irving & Co, and later Governor of the Bank of England], 'Nathl Taylor', 'The last Census', 'Abstract of Debts due 1 Jun', '3 Cows – 29 March 1841', 'Wellington Testimonial', 'Nett Income at Campbelt', 'Rent of Greenock Houses' ['Melvilles land' and 'Cathcart House', to nine named individuals], 'Income & Emoluments of a Commander of 1st. Class Cutter', 'Onboard [sic]', 'Chas Kerr'. There is also a page headed 'Size of rope and Number of Yarns in each Strand (Contract for 1843)'. The accounts at the front of the volume detail expenditure between 10 January 1837 and 6 January 1844. The first entry in this section records a payment of £4 2s 0d for 'Garden & Store House rent for 1836' (£4 2s 0d), and at the end is £5 in 1843 'Paid Mr Galbreath his rent for Store Ho & Garden'. The last entry among the expenses is accompanied by a memorandum: '1844 | 6th Jany granted Mr Colvill a receipt for £200 out of my Deposit acct. and also a draft on the British L[inen]. Co[mpan]y. At Stranreir [sic] for £55 – for the purpose of purchasing 20 additional Shares of the Clydsdale [sic] Bank'. The expenses include payment of the poor rates, servants and tradesmen's bills, whisky, water jugs, bread, vegetables, black tea, sugar, gold lace, snuff, 'Freight', stationery (from 'Mr Hislop'), veal, fish, hens, potatoes, soap, candles, 'leavender', 'Lamb wool Jacket' and 'Jacket to A Melville [-'Junr' added]'. Entries include: 'Paid Insurance for Campbeltown Houses' (£3 17s 0d), 'Paid for a Pig (Weighed 130 lbs)' (£1), '4 large Waggon or Six Tons Coal' (£3), 'paid Mr Slade his Share of prize money', 'Pd. Wm. Blew for White washing Cottage', 'Paid Mr Johnston for Whisky', 'a White Bonnet with trimmings', 'Paid Mr Car the Ballance [sic] of Boy Murphys Wages', 'Paid Clark Watch Maker'.?>