KATHARINE INGLIS (MRS. WILLIAM CADELL)
KATHARINE INGLIS, second daughter and co-heiress of Archibald Inglis of Auchindinny and Jean Philp, was born in 1744 or 1745, and married on August 23, 1773 William, elder son of William Cadell of Banton, Stirlingshire.
William Cadell the father (1708-77) was a pioneer of mining and engineering enterprise in Scotland,1 and is best known as one of the founders in 1759 of the Carron Ironworks,2 which were long famous for the manufacture of the short-range cannon called Carronades, and all kinds of hardware.
William Cadell the son (1737-1819) was appointed original managing partner of the firm at the age of twenty-two, and on his father’s death inherited the mining properties of Banton and Carron Park in Stirlingshire, and Grange in Linlithgowshire. He was most active in pushing his various businesses, and had the full sympathy and support of his wife, who was a clever and energetic woman.
A great many of her letters, written both before and after marriage, survive, owing to the methodical habits of her husband, who kept the correspondence with drafts of his replies.
The earlier letters cover the period of courtship, which must have been an uphill matter for Mr. Cadell, as the lady approached the question from a practical and unromantic standpoint—in fact, to use a. phrase of the period, she was
1Edinburqli C1ourant, April 2, 1777.
2Story of the Forth, H. M. Cadell, p. 143 seq.
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guided by sense rather than sensibility. She collected the opinions of her relations and friends as to Mr. Cadell’s qualifications, and she was quite frank in telling him that ‘a genteel and proper settlement’ was one of the factors to be considered.
She conducted the correspondence with a severe restraint of language, and never went beyond signing herself ‘your sincere and ever-faithful friend,’ or ‘your well-wisher and friend, Katharine Inglis’ Mr. Cadell, who would have shown fervour if he had been encouraged, made bold a month before the marriage to call himself ‘your affectionate admirer and sincere friend.’
The earliest letter is one from Miss Inglis, written about six months before the marriage:
‘Sir,—I received your letter; your agreeing with me in sentiment gave me pleasure, but am affraid you deem me selfish and mercenary, when in talking of fortune I only meant my having what as an individual would secure independence, but were I ever to meet with that union of mind absolutely necessary in forming so lasting a connexion, it would not be then myself alone being secure that would give peace of mind, for an equal anxiety I am convinced I should feel for the whole. I have a very exalted idea of the inseparable interest of such a connexion.
‘After writing these few lines I was in doubt whether to trouble you with them or not, but as an acknowledgement of the receipt of your very civil letter I thought I would, and to assure you that I shall always continue,—Your well-wisher and friend,
FebY. 1St, 1773.’
Mr. Cadell replied:
‘I have the pleasure of Miss Inglis’s Letter, and consider myself much obliged for favouring me with your sentiments. However true, it may look like flattering myself to say that they correspond intirely with my own, and that it was in the hope and confidence of meeting
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with that union of Mind, which you justly observe is so essential, that made me wish for so indearing a connection with you. I have too much knowledge of your worth and goodness to have any idea of your being in the least mercenary. If I wrote anything that conveyed a meaning so contrary to my thought I am sorry for it and hope for your Pardon, my Intention only was and is to express what was proper for me to do, in case of being favoured in my addresses to you—in which event I hope you will have no occasion for any anxiety upon my account. . . . Your satisfaction and happiness are very dear to me, I have no wish inconsistent with them.
‘If you will allow a Friend to look at our affairs so as to form your judgment it will be very obliging, and if my dear Miss —— sees it consistant wt her happiness to favour me wt her hand and heart she will make happy her ever-faithfull admirer and friend.’
Mr. Cadell had by this time been reduced to a state of abject submission. He wrote on February 9:
‘I have the greatest regard for Miss Inglis, and only wish this most endearing connection in life to take place in the event of its being in every way agreeable to her.’
There is a gap in the correspondence, but when it begins again the lady is still negotiating on business lines.
She writes on June 23:
‘I beg that you will defer asking a conversation with me till this day fortnight, in which time I will know my friends’ sentiments upon the matter, and you shall then see them all. I am only sorry that 1 keep you from your business and in a state of suspence, when you might have met with one much more deserving with much less trouble, but as my wishes are confined to independence, ease of mind, and security, I can make no change without much consideration, so I still hope you will not blame—Your sincere friend,
Next day she wrote:
‘I have no reason to doubt your father’s proper behaviour on such an occasion, as I have ever heard him spoke of as a very worthy man,
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nor far less to think but your way of thinking and acting will be consistent with the generosity and friendship which you have expressed in your sentiments to—Your sincere and ever faithful friend.
‘Auchin: 1 24th June 1773.’
Mr. Cadell in his reply says:
‘As my dear Miss Inglis’s very obliging Letter appears to me to require an answer I hope she will forgive my troubling her with these few lines. I mean not to hurry or be in any ways troublesome to you. I return you Mr. Monro’s letter with particular thanks for your confidence and good opinion, which it shall ever be my endeavour to deserve. . . . Your conduct in my opinion has been unexceptionable. I shall be sorry indeed if mine has been in any ways Nameable towards you. it is my sincere wish to promote your Independence, Ease of Mind, and Security, it being in the Confidence of doing so that I have made free to request your alliance to—Dear Mn, yr affectte Admirer and Sincere friend.’
A week later the lady’s defences show signs of breaking down:
‘Auchin: 1st July 1773.
‘Sir,——1 just now receive your Letter with Mr. Monro’s inclosed all I have to say is that you positively must make no alteration upon any of your matters, for altho’ I have not the vanity to think it would be done upon my account, yet I could not help blaming myself greatly: at all events every scheme you undertake shall have my best wishes: I hope this meeting will put you to no trouble, as to what you say of having it first upon Tuesday on account of your being to come here on Wednesday, you need not hurry yourself, for it is quite the same to me any day after, my principal reason for writing just now was to tell you so, for I have no commands to trouble you with.—I remain your most sincere friend.’
After this the courtship must have progressed rapidly, for they were married at Auchinbowie on August 23.2
This series of love-letters, if such they can be called, leaves one with the impression that Katharine Inglis was a pedantic,
2Edinburgh Courant, August 28, 1773.
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matter-of-fact woman, even when allowance is made for the formal language of the times; but her later letters entirely counteract this judgment. They show that marriage awakened her dormant sentiment, and they reveal her in an attractive light as a most affectionate wife and mother.
These letters were writteim to her husband between 1783 and 1785 from Greenlaw House, which he had bought in 1782 from the representatives of her uncle, Judge Philp. She and the family, five boys and a girl, lived there, while her husband travelled between his various businesses. One reason for the purchase was that the house was near Auchindinny Paper Mill, which he also bought in 1782, and Mrs. Cadell was able to supervise the work there. It was the earliest paper mill on the North Esk, and dated from about 1716. In 1745 Archibald Inglis feued the site and the buildings to the tenant, William Annandale, who sold the business to Mr. CadelI, Annandale’s son, William, continuing to act as manager. The mill never paid, and on December 20, 1785 it was burnt down.1 It was rebuilt, and remained in the Cadell family for many years: ultimately it was sold by James John Cadell’s trustees, and was then turned into a steam laundry.
Mrs. Cadell’s letters are long reports about time children, household matters generally, and the business of the paper mill. She always addresses him as ‘My dear Sir,’ and signs herself with the initials of her maiden name—’ K. I.’
A few characteristic extracts may be quoted.
15 and 16 March 1783.
‘Mv Dear SIR,—I take the opportunity of the two eldest boys playing with J. Cookson, and James at his afternoon nap to begin a letter to you, which however I do not propose sending off till Monday, when I am to go to Edinburgh with our friend William Archibald,2 who (thank God) I think very well just now : sometimes he gives a
1 Edinburgh (courant, December 21, 1785. 2 The eldest boy.
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kind of noisy cough that at times I say, will that be the chincough ? 1 but I do not think there is any symtomes that can make one seriously think he has it: and George is gradually getting better and coming to his appetite evidently these two days past. When talking to W. Archibald about going to Carronpark he very reasonably said he would like it very well, but better in a little, when he thinks he would be better at his different parts of education. Now this was my opinion, but I did not dictate to him in the least degree, he really is a rational creature. At the vacation (occasioned by the preachings) he brought me a line of his writing that is surprisely well for being only 2 months at school, and the master says he promises to be an exceeding fine scholar: that indeed is my opinion, but no doubt I have more partiality and less judgment. I keep it preciously, and he is keen to show it to you.’
‘GREENLAW, 4 May /83.
‘Mv DEAR Sir,—I had the pleasure of your two kind and agreeable letters, and in that I got yesterday you are particularly good in admitting my apology, and saying you was glad always to see my pen on paper again. I grasp at every opportunity of acknowledgeing your distinct letters, amid just now my little charge 2 is asleep, James and Alex. out in the fields and George accepted of an invitation to drink tea at Auchindinny, which Willm Ad refused, preferring (I alleged) rambling in the fields to any company, very natural at his time of life.
‘But he, as they did all, behaved extremely reasonably to Uncle George Inglis, who was here this forenoon. He was very kind to the young folks, and said he would wish to spend a day here first time you was at home, so if you continue to chuse it as I think you once proposed, you may ask him the end of this week when you goodly purpose coming here. .
‘I was sorry to hear that Mr. Monro was complaining. Inclosed is a line of each of our young scholars. They wrote them with many disadvantages, an unsteady table, little ink and not good pens, but they are not amiss; I hope you will think they merit some degree of praise, the copys were their choice. If you please, tell Marion to send a bottle of rennet; it will carry well enough. Oh! do be careful of yourself in riding, for fear your horse slips. I hope I will hear of you to-morrow; you are so good and punctual a correspondent.’
1Whooping-cough. 2Philip, born April 14, 1782,
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‘18 .June 1783.
‘My DEAR STR,—I have had the pleasure to receive both yr kind letters and hope you are quite well, but you never mention yourself. I see you have been visiting the new neighbours and approve of them as agreeable familys. The weather has been very bad here ; I have not but once been out, and then only the length of the pond with Philip in my arms, who, sweet creature, seemed to enjoy the air much and looked about finely. He continues to thrive extremely well, thank God, and all time rest of the young folks are very well. W. A. was out as usual looking very happy and really brought some pretty drawings. He seems to enjoy the thoughts of going to Stirlingshire.
He, George and me did all we could to make J. McNab write while here, we gave him ink, &c. But he said he would do it in town for certain with the account of both weeks. To do Wm Annandale junr justice, he has sent the accounts always to me, wh. I have to show you. ‘The sacraments in two parishes, William said, had made less work done. I gave him both your letters.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Hope and Doctor Monro called here on Friday. I regretted them missing you and asked if they cd. dine here on Saturday first, and I said I would send to-day and ask, so whether they will come I am not sure, but I know your social turn will make them welcome.
‘If there are any garden things nice William might bring them, and I think in the light closet in the entry to the housekeeper’s room there are yet some of the tongues, if yr servant cd carry one of them in case these company come. . . . Having nothing new to entertain you with and hoping so soon to see you I will add no more. I wish you may get a good day on Friday. I remain yours most affectionately,
‘GREENLAW House, Sunday
‘4th April 1784.
‘My DEAR SIR,—I reed yr kind letter yesdY when I was in Edin. as usual and we brought out W. A. who is quite well (thank God), for he is a charming boy. I bought him Gay’s Fables amid lie is just now reading them and it is wonderful how so young a creature enters into the spirit and full sense of them. They are indeed very excellent.
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On this paper you will see a letter from our friend George. It is more to be regarded as from the heart than for its correctness, but I really have no time to him to try a fairer copy, so please accept of it such as it is. He truly is surprising at the pen for so young, and in many things is a fine innocent creature, but I cannot help being astonished at a certain teacher, who makes the smallest comparison between these two boys at present. What the youngest may brighten up to be I shall not say, but think there is room to hope he may do well, but this night, fond as I am of filthy lucre, I think it would be little risk to give that said teacher £100 to find me one of his 100 boys who compose his class so correct, clever, modest and universally sensible at the early age of 8 3/4 years. But it is an actual fact that some have eyes and see not, though Presbeterians and endowed with inward light. You will think, as sometimes I give you reason, that I am a wd be wit, so I will tell you that W. Annandale is just now come in and tells me that the wheel is in and that this week it will be fit for work. I am to read him yr letter and note of yesterday, for, do you know, harness for the plough and no good weather for walking joined with attendance here has made me never been there. I wish you saw them yourself, so I hope you will be here the end of next week, wh. will answer to keeping sweet Philip’s birth on Saturday nearest the 14th, when our scholars will be here. We heard G. Peebles bungle the proclamation of the election to-day. Thursday 8th I with difficulty made out.—Your most sjny affte
‘Tuesday 13 April 1785.
‘My DEAR Sir,—I had the pleasure of yr kind letter with the carrier and canister of fine tea, parcel of tongues and the newspapers. I got them that day I came to attend the young folks to Laurie’s publick, where W. A. and George danced each minuet, 2 cotillons, and their high dance or jigg, all extremely easily and well. I go the length to say that George and the youngest Miss Hunter danced the justest time of any in that school. But W. A. keeps always ahead (rightly) of his youngest brother at the more essential parts of education, and is still always about 6th, often higher, in the Latin class, where George too is rising, as you will see by the inclosed from himself. I think he is a more willing letter-writer than his brother, for I read what you
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said to him, but he has not wrote. Perhaps he thinks he is not perfect enough in language yet, for I help little George. James and Alex. danced a reel at the publick, but were too far on their journey to the land of Nod to do it with much spirit, though they were both willing to do their best.’
Wednesday‘29 June 1785.
‘My DEAR Sir,—Your messenger is just now arrived (and safely) with a superabundance of good and nice things, all quite right, as your kind letter distinctly mentions all the different articles.
To-day our dinner is a very fine dish of trout brought last night by your paper-maker, H. Smith, and caught between and the mill just with his hands, a method it seems practised with success both by men and boys. At the mill they are throng [busy] making bank paper, but I really cannot say I have been there; I must plead my close attention to little James (as you think my going of some use). I think James’s complaint is removed now, if it please God that it does not recur. He is much weakened, but his strength I hope he will soon regain. He is much pleased with your fine cherries, which indeed are very fine: he had been out gathering some strawberrys just when Peter came, but the garden with you is much earlier than that here. .
‘I do not think of anything new or entertaining to write, so will stop with again repeating my wish for seeing you here again, if it is not fatiguing to you. Do take it into consideration, and make it very soon amid give most sincere pleasure to your most truely
The series ends with a sensible letter from Mr. Cadell to his wife:
Upon account of our young folks and many particulars, I am desirous to continue upon good terms with all our friends and connections. Our concerns are various and extensive, and their advice and assistance may at times be useful. I therefore wish that any little dryness with our friends at Auchindinny may be totally got time better of.’
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The ‘dryness’ in question had arisen over the division of Auchindinny among the co-heiresses. Captain Inglis was inclined to be stubborn in insisting on what he conceived to be his rights, and ‘dryness’ always occurred when any one ventured to dispute them.
Mrs. Cadell died at Greenlaw on January 18, 1797, when she was little more than fifty. Her husband survived till September 17, 1819.
Of their family William Archibald, George, and Alexander did not marry; Philip and Jean Sophia (Mrs. Simpson of Plean) each had a son who died unmarried, so the only descendants of Katharine Cadell are the family of James John, the third son. 1
William Archibald was a man of note in his day.2 He was born at Carron Park on June 27, 1775, and became eminent as a scientist, antiquarian, and traveller. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on June 28, 1810. During time Napoleonic war he was made prisoner in France while travelling on the Continent, and escaped after some years by pretending to be a Frenchman. He died at Edinburgh on February 19, 1855.
Greenlaw House was taken by Government in 1804 to accommodate French prisoners, and in 1813 new barracks for them and their guard were begun, but the war ended before the buildings were ready, and they were afterwards used as a depot for the Royal Scots regiment.
Mrs. Cadell’s share of Auchindinny, the Firth, was sold by Mr. Cadehl to a Mr. Robert Hill in 1801.
1 Burke’s Landed Gentry—Cadell of Grange.
2 Dictionary of National Biography.