Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 26-09-1799
Correspondent : Lady Elizabeth CunninghamCorrespondent Location : Coates
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : Lady Cunningham thanks Currie for respecting her wishes and invites him to seek information for his edition from her cousin, Jane Carr.

[MS missing]

[MS missing] [MS torn: _ffer] You my Most sincere Thanks, for [MS torn: your] Letter, & its Contents – And to [assure] You, I shall Ever feel Grateful, for Your Emmediate & Entire Compliance with my request – But allow me to justify Myself from the Idea You entertain of Me, in imagining me capable of taking precautions against the [?possibility] of ↑your↓ evading it – Believe me, nothing was Ever further from my Thoughts – And allow me to say in my turn, that if you knew me, you wou’d be [?assured] of this – But I now beg leave to put myself entirely in your Hands: To [?assure] You, I rely implicitly on You, for the trouble of destroying these Sheets: And to beg that You will give yourself no more, than that of doing it Yourself.
      [MS torn: Since You] are able to enter into the Feelings which have [MS torn: obliged] me to refuse your [MS torn: request], You will not be surprized that I am unable to Enter on the Subject of Your Enquiry – But I [?confess] it is gratifying to us to think, that a Character so beloved & respected as the one You are about to delineate, a Mind so Exalted & Enlarged, & a Heart so upright, will be mentioned by one who seems capable to do it Justice - Perhaps You may have already received Informat[MS torn] [MS missing] [:] [____] You, on the points You wished to know – If [MS missing] I have reflected since receiving Your Letter, [MS torn: that in these,][MS missing] Every other You may desire to know, You can receive the fullest Satisfaction by applying to a Cousin & Dear Friend of ours, who resides in Leeds – She is married to a Mr Carr, East Parade – If You incline to take the trouble of applying to her, she can tell You Every thing You wish to know – And can do it, with [?less] painful Emotions, than I can do –
      I beg leave to offer You my best wishes for the [?success] of Your Publication – To be [?assured] it will answer the end You propose, will be a sufficient reward for all Your trouble – I shou’d be sorry You seriously imagined that ↑I thought You↓ required any [?Forgiveness] from me, for Your [MS torn: conduct toward me I am on the contrary] Most sensible of, & truly grateful, for its Delicacy & Feeling – And beg you to believe, that in accepting a Copy of this Book, which I shall do with pleasure, if it is to recall to my Mind, how much I have been obliged by it –

           I am Sir, Your Most Obedt Servt,

                E. Cunningham


Notes :

Lady Elizabeth Cunningham (d.1804): younger sister of James, 14th Earl of Glencairn.

back to search