Matthew to the 9th Lord Kinnaird, early 1864
(MS100/2/bundle525/1, pdf image)
Matthew petitions Kinnaird regarding one of Kinnaird’s tenant farmers, Mr Gardiner. Matthew asks that Kinnaird supply Gardiner with 500 tons of manure a year for 5 or 6 years, to allow Gardiner to maintain a productive farm. Doubtless, Matthew would have seen this as part of the problem of the “exhaustion of the vegetable mould”, which he wrote about extensively in the agricultural press (for example, see Ag Journal Articles > 1863-64 Vegetable Mould).
The letter is undated, but from its subject matter it is presumed to shortly predate Kinnaird’s letter of 6 February 1864.
Private & Confidential
In passing alongside of the Railway yesterday to Errol I met Mr. Gardiner & speaking a few moments with him on the value of land he maintained that should your Lordship give him 500 tons of manure each year for 5 or 6 years to come he would lack no deduction of rent. This I think a reasonable & wise plan. The plain truth is he cannot go on to pay the rent without such a quantity of manure & he cannot procure it & pay the promised rent himself. Under good management afterwards, this would not be lost to the proprietor, but have a lasting impression upon the land. The best means of doing this would be for you to write a note to him that you were to call upon him at an appointed time & for you & your Lady to call upon him & give him a written promise you would do this. This would have a strong impression upon the neighbourhood & show that your Lordship was as much inclined to do good to the farmer as you are to the people of Dundee & the Ploughmen of the Carse of Gowrie, when the farmer merited it. It would be much better to do this personally then by agent. I remain,
[To] The Right Hon. Lord Kinnaird.
I have no personal acquaintance with Mr. Gardener, farther than meeting him out of doors, he never having been in my house nor I in his, & he does not know of me interfering any way in the affair. P.M.
Page created: 12 February 2019
Last modified: 12 February 2019