A Letter from Samuel Little to Walter Boa, his son-in-law.

This letter was written from Campshead in March 1859. Samuel was then 83, Mary was 82. She lived on for another three years, he for another five.

Samuel is writing to Walter Boa, his daughter Cathrine's husband. The Samuel refered to in the letter is their son, who died aged 24 in 1864.
The letter is transcribed below.

Campshead 22 March 1859

Dear Walter
I send you this saying Beatrice got a letter from her brother Samuel saying he had given up his place. I wrote him saying would he accept of the place hear as our young herd is leaving us at Whitsunday. I made application to a friend to assist in paying the Pack of Sheep which he agreed to do but I find I cannot do any longer with the place I have which is only the Boys. I am altogether unfit for it - I am greatly fallen off. I am greatly afraid Samuel may not have many Friends if his Grandmother and I am removed from him which

by the Course of nature may not be long. He cannot keep up with everything that others can. There may be reflections on both him and me as we have to check(?) and do every thing with Mr Vassie Normangill, and our master wrote me to hire none but a stout active lad. It's expected sheep being very high this year. If they were to be parted with, there might be money lost - I don't know what the lad we have will be asking. You must consider what you think about it. Every thing is greatly changed with us by what they were formerly.

I am sorry to say your Mother in Law is still making no better and our Daughter, poor Grizel, is sised with a sore complaint. No hopes of her recovery. It's a sore cancer on her breast. Robert and their oldest son were at Edinburgh last week with her at the doctor's. 2 or 3 of the head professors examined her but can give her no relief. (They) did not make any operation nor prescribe any medicine. I suppose they can do nothing for her, which is heart rending to us all, but she seems fully resigned to the will of the Lord. Our son George's youngest daughter but 2, Ketty (Katie?) died in a fever. (She) was buried Wednesday last

Be sure to write on receipt of this and put off no time what you think we should do. For my part, I know not what to do - I am getting stupid, always a pain in my head. I think I can say little more. Beatrice is waiting to go to the Post Office.
But be sure to write the first post.
Yours tru(e)ly
Samuel Little.