Monday, April 26, 2010

Bogg, 21 August 1873

This letter is to James Bryden, still not quite married to Marion Glencross. More on the aftermath of Tam Scott's jail time--"a queer time about the Bogg." Tam is still not well, and "I think Aunt will never get over it." Marion cites the "ado" as her reason for not writing in a while. Are there many letters telling the family's story of a jailing? If not, this correspondence is rare in another dimension!

The reference to James Bryden having his back "painted" must be about a medical treatment--painted with a topical medication, I assume. Any idea what the phrase "he never liked the dodders" means? I've looked in a few dialect dictionaries, and dodders has several given meanings, but none of them really fits this context.

The Bogg
August 21st 1873

My Dear Friend

You will be thinking me long in writting but you will likely have heard the great ado that has been about Tom and if you have you will think I was not in very good trim for writting for I can tell you it was a queer time about the Bogg when Tom was away at the Jail but Tom was like you he never liked the dodders and I am sure he will think less of them now as ever he did and no wonder for it was such an ado to make about nothing I think Aunt will never get over it and for Tom he cannot think to see a person. you may tell Marion from me that John Hunter was not such a great man about the bogg as he talks about but it is best just to hear them and never speek

My Dear Friend I must say that I am very much obliged to you for your kind offer and I have no doubht but I will execpt of it if spared and well till the spring but it is getting to far in the season now for me to set out but I will change my mind greatly or some thing come in my way that I dont know of if I don't come out in the spring but you need not say anything about it to make a great talk so long before the time and if you and Marion waits till then I may have a dance at your wedding and tell Marion that she is to write me a long letter and tell me all about her new house Aunt sends her kind love to you and wishes you had been here to cheer her up since Tom was away Anthony sends his kind love to you but he has not been well but is on the way of recovering I hope your back is got quite better now I know what your back would be like when they were painting it we are busy with the hay but it has been very bad weather for it and Tom is wearing to get it past now I must come to a close hopping this will find you well and all the rest of our friends well and be sure and write soon and execpt of kind love to you and all friends from your loving friend Marion Brown
Ps be sure and write soon

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bogg, 31 July 1873

Now this is a letter full of news--bad news. Tam Scott got in legal trouble for giving a girl "a tousel"--hard to say exactly what was involved but it sounds like some degree of unwanted advance made by Tam on a Miss Wilson. To make matters worse, Miss Wilson is kin by marriage (Joseph Glencross married Marion Wilson before they emigrated to Pennsylvania); but her father James Wilson still brought the full force of the law against Tam. Tam Scott spent some time in the Dumfries Jail until better-placed friends, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop, were able to arrange his bail and a fine paid in settlement.

This letter contains many more misspellings than Marion Brown usually commits--the stress of the situation or the unusual vocabulary or both may explain that. She sounds a note of concern--Aunt Agnes's place at Brandley's may be in jeopardy. And Tam Scott is definitely the worse for wear after his stay in jail.

The Bogg
July 31st 1873

Dear Uncle

I again take my pen to write you a few lines to let you know how we are getting on. I hope this will find you well and I am glad to be able to tell you that we are all in moderate health and in better spirits as when I wrote last for we got Tom home last week and all settled up with a fine of two pounds you would see by my last letter that Mr. Kennedy signed the bails for him and he was at home a week before it was settled Tom got a letter from his lawyer saying that he was either to write to him and let him know how matters stood or to go down and see him so we thought it best for Tom to go himself so it was settled that day without any more ado. Mr. Kennedy gave him a good character and said it was not ill to do for they were the first that had ever tried to break it and he would have thought nothing if them that tried to break his had a good one and the sherif told Tom that he know it was quite a common thing in the country to give a girl a tousel and he could see nothing more in it but it was put down to him as an assult and he had to act accordingly and if he had taken a kiss without the girls permition it would have been the same and his adivce to him was the next time he took the notion to give a girl a tousel he was to take one that had more sense for Miss Wilson had neither sense nor shame about her. both Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop Tower says that Tom never ought to have been in Dumfries Jail and if they had known in time he would not have been for they are both Justice of the peace and could have setteled it without any furthur ado and Mr. Hyslop says that if James Wilson does not keep himself quite he will put him in the Jail and make the police loss his place for being so very officiating in the matter for his has gone far above his commission.

I don't know how it may turn out for Aunt is going to do no more in it but Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop Tower is not going to let Tom be scandled for nothing so it will depend on what they do.
I suppose James Wilson can be put in the Jail if they like. and you are to tell uncle Joseph from Aunt that he is to be aware of them that he is connected with for they have done all in there power to ruin her both to put her out of the place she is in and to take all from her she had but they have not managed it.

I don't know what word may come from the Wilsons to uncle Joseph's wife but I have told you the truth be sure and write soon for I think will never get the better of this for Tom is so dull he is ashamed to see any one he says that he is sure he would not have felt half so bad if he had been put in the jail for an offence, but to think that he lay there for nothing.

we have commenced our hay but it is very bad weather as yet scarce a dry day. give my kind regards to Marion and execpt of the same to yourself from your affectionate neice Marion Brown

be sure to write soon