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John Campbell, Duke of Argyle to Archibald Campbell of Stonefield, Deputy Sheriff of Argyllshire at Inverary. 1740


        I have received letters out of Argyllshire giving me Intelligence of a project that is set on foot there mischievous to the Publick and very knavish in the Projector to the poor people who he would seduce to their ruin, for his base private Interest. The person I mean is Sir James Campbell of Auchinbreck who after having ruin'd himself & his family by his monstrous Extravagancys would now undo numbers of poor Ignorant people by false representations of Imaginary profits which they are to receive by following his irretrievable fortunes. I have had occasion to learn the State of the West Indies as well as most men alive and consequently know that every word of what that Gentleman has been pleased to represent relating to Jamaica is notoriously false, Excepting in so far as relates to the Caracter of the Governor Mr. Trelawny who I know, and who is without doubt a Gentleman of excellent parts & great Integrity and who, when I have described Sir James to, will have the same opinion of him that I and every Body else that knows him has and will, I am confident, give him a reception accordingly. What he tells poor Ignorant people of their being transported gratis to Jamaica & to have six months provisions given then after they are there, is with a design to sell them when he has got them there. And such tricks have actualy been play'd with poor ignorant people who have been carried from hence upon the same pretences that are made to delude these poor people. To prove the truth of what I tell you, you cannot from England transport a Man to Jamaica for less than about Thirteen pound Stg. And what six months provisions for a man will cost there, I need but tell you, that it is the dearest part in the known world for provisions there are three & four times dearer than in the City of London. The Governor as I have told you already, is without doubt a just and honourable Man, but has no manner or method in his power to provide for people who go there. It is true, that men who are able in any useful Trades, if they can live in the most unwholsome Climate in the Universe, may possibly find their account in going there, but no other Body can. I thought it my Duty to give you this account, that you may be able from me to undeceive those poor wretches who, this Man can have no other view in deluding but in order to sell them as Slaves. If the Gentleman has a mind to go by himself I shall not trouble my head about him, but let him take his fate. I think the Country will have a very good riddance of him, but if he persists in endeavouring to debauch any of the people, I will describe him in his true colours to Mr. Trelawny & other Gentlemen who have the chief offices in that Plantation. I would put you in mind, that so long as the Embargo continues, if these ships which he has told them off, should arrive in any part of the Country subject to my Jurisdiction, they will fall under orders I have received from the Admiralty, And I shall consult what further can be done whenever the Embargo is taken off.

I am Sir
Your most humble servant
Argyll & Greenwich

London 22nd March 1740
1 5th Baronet of Auchinbreck died in 1756; his property was sold to pay off his debts. Sons James and Donald by his third wife, emigrated to Jamaica.
2 John Campbell was both 2nd Duke of Argyll and 1st Earl of Greenwich.

Dugald Clerk, Braleckan to Sir John Clerk, Penicuick. (1741)

My Dear Barron,

I had letters lately from Jamaica from my Brother Robert who tells me that seeing the Projects about my son Johnie have missgiven he desires that he may be instructed a little in the Law and thereafter Bound Apprentice to a Merchant at London of his aquaintance and when he is done with his master that he take a voyage to Jamaica & settle there or Trade 'twixt that place and Britain. But as This is an Expencive employment to furnish all necessary for it I'm afraid it will put me to my parempters, yet That I should straiten myself very much. I'm willing to put him in a way of Living and please his Uncle who happens to have a small Plantation in that Island and that he is a widower these many years past, has no Children Living and Don't understand that he inclines to marry being advanced in years.
As for Gabriel he has resolved to be a Chyrurgeon which his Uncle at Jamaica aproves of he being sure to be employ'd there if he is Capable of his Business. Therefore I have sent him to Edin. To be bound Apprentice to any person you please and Intreat you'll use your Interest to get his 'Prentice fee as easie as possible - considering both of the Lads's Demands will be very heavy upon me at once whereas if I had some respite for paying either of their 'prentice fees I'd do my best to answer them at suitable Terms. Therefore I begg you'll be pleased to procure long terms for paying Gabie's 'prentice fee. This with my humble Duty joined with Sarah's to my Lady Clerk & all the young folks of your family & I am with very great Esteem much honour'd Sir

Your most Affectionate humble servant
Dugald Clerk

Pennymure 18th Nov. 1742
There has been no Herrings catch'd in Lochfine this year and our fleet having been this long time at the Barrs of Air I sent some half Barrells there to make Herring and how soon I understand they are made shall order a part of them for your use. I've got some Cotton seed from Jamaica & have thought to proper to send you a part of it to be sown in a Hott Bed in your garden aden. D.C.

3 Robert & Dugald Clerk were related to the Campbells at Orange Bay, Saltspring, Salem and Campbelton in Hanover.
4 Robert Clerk's plantation was Pell River in Hanover. By 1754 it was in the hands of John Clerk [CO 142/31, a return of landholders in Jamaica notes one John Clarke [sic] owning 794 acres in Hanover].
5 Gabriel Clerk was apprenticed to Andrew Johnston, surgeon-apothecary in Edinburgh, on 17 March 1742. It is not known if he did indeed go out to Jamaica.
6 Sarah Little, Dugald Clerk's wife, was a niece of John Clerk of Penicuik.
7 Loch Fyne, Argyll, West Scotland

John Clerk (son of Dugald) to Sir John Clerk, Penicuick. (1749)

I am prevented from doing myself the pleasure of seeing you, before I set out for Jamaica, by a ship from Clyde sailing sooner than I expected; and as this opportunity serves, chose it rather than a winter passage. If the wind serves we will sail on Thursday next, & I think we may be eight weeka agoing, as the vessal sails but slowly.  I will always consider it as my Duty to acquaint you of my progress on the Island, and first Essays among Strangers; and will write you immediately as we arrive. I offer my Compliments most respectfully to all the Family at Pennycuik as I am with sincere esteem Sir
Your obliged humble Servant
John Clerk
Glasgow 25th July 1749
As an Introduction to the Governor from some body in Britain might be of use to a young man; when I had the pleasure of being last with Mr. James he thought it might be brought about by means of Mr. Maul from the Duke of Argyle. I waited of his Grace several times at London on my fathers affair but did not ask him this favour.

Dugald Clerk, Braleckan to Sir John Clerk, Penicuick. (1751)

Honour'd Sir

        Just as I receaved yours of the 25th March last I perus'd two letters that came from my sone of the 2nd January to two gentlemen in this countrie about some affairs recomended by them to him in Jamaica which gives accotts [accounts]of his being in good health.
All the accotts I can give you of the produce of my brother Roberts Estate since his decease, that the rum and sugar is sold at London (free of all charges) betwixt £14 and £1500 Starling yearly and wishes it may continue so.  There is nothing to hinder John to come home but his Cussin Dugald Malcolms arryvall at Jamaica who was to sail from London the last week. And I sent of[f] one Daniel Clerk another Cussin of his from Virginia by a ship from Air to be Johns overseer of his nigro's So that I think those two Cussins will take care of all his affairs there and that he may come soon home and reside in his native countrie.  Your Nice [niece] and I join in our humble duty and good wishes to my Lady Clerk and whole family and I am with Esteem Honour'd Sir
Yours most affectionatly
Dugald Clerk
Pennymure 2nd April 1751

If your nevoy goes for Jamaica please aquaint me some time before he goes of.

1 Pell River in Hanover. The plantation passed to John Clerk then to his cousin Dugald Malcolm and then to Neill Malcolm.
2 John Clerk returned to Scotland and became a Clerk of the Customs at Glasgow. [the will of Hugh Malcolm, 1764, who had been a clerk at that port before he set out for Jamaica]
3 Nevoy (Scots) = nephew; in this case unknown.

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