[The last Duchess of Gordon.] Autograph Letter Signed ('E Gordon'), from Elizabeth, Duchess of Gordon to her 'own Pastor' [Stuart?], regarding religious arrangements in Huntly, and 'the extreme destitution of the district of the bread of Life'.

Elizabeth Gordon, Duchess of Gordon (née Brodie; 1794-1864), Scottish noblewoman, wife of George Duncan Gordon (1770-1836), 5th Duke of Gordon [Huntly Lodge, Strathgole, Aberdeenshire, Scotland]
Publication details: 
Huntley Lodge [Strathbogie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland], 18 May 1849.
SKU: 21162

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. 78 lines of closely-written text. The Duchess became more fervently pious with the passing of the years, and the present letter bears testimony to her religious preoccupations. It begins: 'My dear Sir, | At the last meeting of the Huntley Presby. it was settled that Mr. King was to present the Petition from the Station [?] that it may be sanctioned as a Charge, if Mr. Mackray did not before the Genl. Assembly decide on resigning – I am told he has been very diligent in visiting the sick in Huntly, since that time & indeed Mr Cumming found that he was with poor [?] Wilkie one day when he was going to visit her, which he had scarcely ever been before, altho' she belonged to his congregation.' She lists the names of individuals to whom she has written 'on the subject of the delay in presenting the Petition', 'begging those who are not Members of Assembly to interest others in this case, which is really a very urgent one, when we consider the extreme destitution of the district of the bread of Life, and that both the Independent & Secession Churches are without regular Pastors & exposed to grievous error & the English Chapel is closed'. There is 'scarcely one Pastor' in the whole neighbourhood, 'who can rightly divide the word of truth (this of course I only say to you as my own Pastor) either from ignorance or inexperience. I do think that there is no Mission nor cause that calls more loudly for help than Huntly'. She continues in the same vein, adding 'In regard to this House & the Station we have been priviledged indeed & our responsibilities are as great as it is possible to be. So full, so free, so holy, the gospel that has been preached with such varied gifts suited for all.' There is a reference to the 'first visit' of Cumming and 'Mr. M Cheyne', and to 'Mr. Milne', who has 'written to invite Mr. Somerville to come here'. She ends with pious sentiments, and sends her 'kind regards to Mrs. M. Stuart'.