Matthew to the 9th Lord Kinnaird, 15 June 1860
(MS100/2/bundle574/2, pdf image)
Matthew congratulates Kinnaird for his support of Italian Independence and Garibaldi’s Mille expedition. Then, in an interesting display of familiarity, he seeks to console and advise Kinnaird regarding his recent bereavement (of his son Charles Fox Kinnaird – see below). Some advice that is clearly close to Matthew’s own heart is: “Life is always most interesting when we have a strong motive for exertion – a high purpose in view, connected with our natural affections”. Matthew ends by advising Kinnaird not to get embroiled in further railway business (the Perth & Dundee Railway Co.).
Charles Fox Kinnaird died of an illness in Naples on Friday 30 March 1860, aged 18. His elder brother Victor Alexander had died 9 years earlier in 1851, aged only 11, leaving their sister Olivia Barbara as the only surviving child (she died in 1871). Charles’ death is recorded in “Death of the Hon. the Master of Kinnaird” The Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser, 3 April 1860, p.3 col.3 (pdf image).
Gourdiehill, June 15/60.
I am truly happy to see your name in the list of subscribers for the Garibaldi or Italian cause. This is our duty in humanity as well as in national policy. A free Italy under a constitutional Government similar to the British would be the natural ally of Britain. Would it not be proper to have some funds immediately forwarded to be employed in procuring proper surgical treatment & necessary appliances to the wounded & maimed by the cowardly & brutal shelling of the open unprotected city by the Tyrant of Naples & his miscreant supporters. Had I had the directing I would have placed the British fleet between the City of Palermo & the Naples War Steamers, at whatever result. Our conduct here has left a stain upon the British flag.
Your coming forward in the cause of humanity & of Italy, may be, I hope is, looked upon with pleasure by those who have left us. Need I say I greatly sympathize with you & your Lady in what is past. My own loss remembers me of yours. Yet we ought to look to the future – to what remains to us here. How much your condition is still superior to that of numbers of neighbours of the same rank – Lord Panmure, Lord Braedalbane, Wm Stirling M.P., Sir Patrick M. Thriepland – who have comparatively none on whom their affections can rest, no family for whom they may fondly strive to provide. Your position is incomparably superior. You have a Wife, a daughter, & in hope a large family of grandchildren – as dear to you & your Lady as your first-step children, & for whom you will have a high pleasure – a highly important task & purpose for living & for exertion, to provide. You have also a Brother of whom you may be proud. Life is always most interesting when we have a strong motive for exertion – a high purpose in view, connected with our natural affections. To devote your time to this high purpose & other important matters I think your Lordship would be better clear of any railway labor or trouble. The Perth & Dundee Railway Co. are now able to conduct their own affairs, & for any assistance you could give very little gratitude or thanks will be forthcoming. I remain,
your most ob[edien]t servant
[To] The Right Hon. Lord Kinnaird.
P.S. Please put me down for two pounds to the Garibaldi subscription. I regret my power to subscribe is not greater. Pat. Matthew
Page created: 30 January 2019
Last modified: 1 February 2019