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This letter was transcribed thanks to the considerable efforts of Wendy Jack. The footnotes were prepared by myself and then verified (and corrected or amplified) by Wendy. Many of the letters are the property of Betty Whiteside and/or Wendy Jack. Any researchers who wish to make further use of them should check with them first.
Sharon Oddie Brown, modified June 8, 2005


Castle Park, Belfast
4th. Dec 1903

My Dear Sally [1] ,

             How glad we all were to get your letter and to learn that, with the exception of Mary [2] , you were all well.  I hope she will soon be better.  I was much pleased to know that Mr. Whiteside [3] had the prospect of a settlement.  I send [hither] a Bank order for £48-8-9 - but including in the receipt the £1 given to Cis [4] as you directed.

    The Trustees are going to sell, if they can, [Dungody [5] ] & [Tullyvalley [6] ], and distribute the Capital Sum.  The rents amount to about £12 net annually, giving very little to each annuitant.  I expect the new Land Act will enable the trustees to sell fairly well.  The [Drumault [7] ] [??] tenants are wanting to buy [out] their rents.  I have asked them for an offer, which I have not yet received.  My opinion is it would be better to sell, if we get a fair price. Rents are unpopular, and are getting more so every day.  A landlord is a robber - it amounts to that.  The Land Act gives a scale of reductions on the present rent, and on that reduced rent the Government will advance the purchase money. This scale varies from 10 to 30 per cent.  The difficulty as between landlord and tenant is the amount of the reduction.  If this can be arranged, the rest is easy.  I should state that the Government gives a bonus of 12 per cent in the purchase money, retaining 5 of it for expenses.  There will of course be a loss in selling, as the money would not bear interest equivalent to the annual rent, but the loss would not be very great owing to the bonus.  I may say that if we have a sale you will have to appoint someone to act for you, James [8] or me.  But as I will be carrying the matter through for Mary [9] , I would like one with me on your side, and James would be suitable.  He can't be ineligible, for he acted for you at the time of the conveyance by Hunter [10] .  But until we see a proposal of selling, you need not trouble about the trusteeship.  By the way will I give the tenants some reduction, say 3/- in the   for the past year. It has been the worst year for a long time.  Summer and harvest very wet.  No doubt it has been a very bad year for farmers.  Our tenants have not yet asked for a reduction, but I am sure they will, as others are asking and getting - of course if they do not ask I will not suggest that they should.

    I have no more to write about business at the present, except to ask you to let me know when you change your address, as I may have to consult you about your own interests.

    Mary [11] and I spent some time last month on a visit among some of the Cremore people.  We had rather a pleasant time.  But I came away with the regret intensified that we left the manse.  How I regret it and feel ashamed of its silliness.

    James [12] is in Belfast at present & is well as usual.  He was here about a week ago, looking "fine".  Mary [13] is, like yourself, annoyed with rheumatism a good deal.  The girls are well.  Of course you have ere this heard of the death of Mrs. Jackson [14] .  What a blank it will cause at Urker.  Mary G [15] . will not be disturbed, as Urker goes to Sir Thomas [16] .  All here unite in affectionate regards to you all.

                                      Yours affectionately

                                           W. Reid [17] .

[1] Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside b. 1852

[2] probably Mary Ione Whiteside, daughter of Sarah & William WHITESIDE

[3] William Sherlock Whitesdie, husband of Sarah.

[4] Sally McCullagh Reid, daughter of  William and Mary Reid b. 1870

[5] Dungoody need to follow up here.

[6] Tullyvalley –need to follow up here

[7] Drumault – need to follow up here

[8] probably James McCullagh, brother of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside and of Mary REID

[9] Mary (McCullagh) Reid, sister of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside and wife of  William REID

[10] HUNTER (?)

[11] Mary (McCullagh) Reid, sister of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[12] probably James McCullagh, of William & Mary REID

[13] Mary (McCullagh) Reid, sister of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[14] Elizabeth (Oliver) JACKSON, mother of Sir Thomas JACKSON, died 23 Oct 1903.

[15] Mary (Jackson) Griffin – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] Sir Thomas JACKSON of HSBC

[17] William Reid, husband of Mary (McCullagh) Reid


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