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Handwritten letter - page 1
First page of letter from John and Ursilla Thompson [Thomason] of Fetlar, written from Melbourne, Australia. For remainder of letter, see next image. Transcription: Mr. James Williamson, Linkshouse, Midyell, Shetland, Scotland. Hillside Cot[t]ages north Melburn [Melbourne] Agt [August] 26. 1850. Dear friend. I [w]rite this few lines to let you know that weare [we're] here still and in our ordinary way. Ursilla has been badly with a cold for some time but I trust in providence she is getting better of it. I [w]rote you some time ago and sent an order for 20 the second of the same tenor in this and I shall keep the third till I get word if it is the will of the most high to spear [spare] both. I told you all about it in the last but you might not get it so I must tell you again. There is 15 for you with what int[e]rest you pleas[e] and the Drs [doctor's] bill what ever it is and Charles Scollay 28 or 29 shillings I forget which now and then the rest for the old man for what you have or may sup[p]ly him with and I hope you will [w]rite as soon as you can get the first one and let me know how you are and how our accounts stands and then if cam[e] any wages fortunate I shall send you the other 5. I can[n]ot tell you how much obliged [continued]
Click here for a larger image (large download).
26th August 1858
Original letter: 23cm x 18.5cm
James Williamson was a merchant in Mid Yell, and seems to have differed from the stereotypical merchant in that he was prepared to loan money to people at high risk of not being able to get it back. He is known to have loaned money to people who found themselves in danger of eviction from non-payment of rent. John and Ursilla Thomason were able to borrow money to start a new life in Australia at a time of general evictions in Fetlar.

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