Kinnaird (1860-12-06)


9th Lord Kinnaird to Patrick Matthew, 6 December 1860
(MS100/2/bundle537/1, pdf image)

Kinnaird replies to Matthew’s previous letter (asking him to support the local Right-of-Way Association). Kinnaird declines, citing various reasons.


Rossie Priory
Dec. 6/60

My dear Sir,

No one can more fully appreciate the merits of the working classes than I do – or be more anxious[?] to see their interests promoted – but I regret that I must differ with you in the ways & means – by which this end is to be accomplished – being satisfied that the association you contemplate would fail in effecting the object you have in view. Large manufacturing Towns have undoubtedly their evils – and the necessary increase of the city for the accommodation of the thousands who flock there for work must unavoidably encroach over the country walks & foot paths formerly open to the public. This is a natural consequence of a rapidly increasing Town. An association such as you suggest must necessarily be in constant litigation – a state of things most injurious to the class for whose benefit it processes to be established. I am too well acquainted with the notorious spirit of litigation which characterizes the inhabitants of Dundee – not to be convinced that legal proceedings would be endless – and I could not conscientiously connect myself with an association which cannot fail to provoke this vicious taste – I quite agree with you that the operatives of Dundee are deserving[?] of everything that can be done for them – and I would gladly[?] see the energies of their friends[?] turned into a channel which[?] we might reasonably hope would be productive of benefit[?] to this most meritorious class, for instance providing for the more commodious and better ventilated dwellings. Means of innocent recreation and instruction – opportunities of enjoying the fresh air by the provision of open spaces – & Parks – similar[?] to the one which is the liberality of Mr. Baxter is about to present to the Town – these in my opinion[?] would more effectively benefit the working classes than the attempts to protect footpaths, especially in a place which has greater capabilities than other manufacturing Towns for the enjoyment of good air, from its fresh sea breezes – & its arising grounds in the immediate vicinity which are within the reach of all – I regret not being able to cooperate with you in this matter.

Yrs faithfully
(S[igne]d) Kinnaird

Page created: 9 February 2019
Last modified: 9 February 2019

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