TAMH: Source Material
Letters from David Kidd in India and China to his sister in Dundee, 1818/1819 - 1| 2

Prince of Wales Island (Penang)

6th May, 1818

My dear sister, I now embrace the opportunity of sending you a few lines from this place. I am quite in good health as ever I have been since I have been in India and hope these few lines will meet you all the same. I have now got the command of a fine new ship called the Juliana, belonging to E. Brightman and myself and bound on another voyage to China with the cargo on our account; but I am sorry to say we have not much chance of a voyage home at the present although I assure you, dear Margaret, I shall consider it one of the happiest days of my life when I see you in Dundee again. Little did I think when I left you that it was to have been such a long time before I should see you again: and never to see dear Mother and sister Helen again, but I live in great hopes of enjoying the pleasure of being with you all in a few years more and spending the best part of my life among you all in happiness for I assure you there is no temptation to me to remain in this country longer than I possibly can; but I shall not like now to leave it untill I come home for good unless of a voyage home which there is no likelyhood of at present.

I received your letter dated 18th July about six weeks ago and am happy to find you are in good health but very sorry to know of my sister Isabella being in so bad health. However, I hope she is quite recovered long before this and what she mentioned about her coming to India, we will as well drop all idea of this, for this is not a country for one in delicate health as she is.... You wish me to come home and see the young ladies of Dundee and are of the opinion that I shall lose my heart to some of them which I very likely should. But, however, I must remain a little longer here to make more money, so as to make a wife comfortable when I do get one. You may depend that Dundee is where I will make my choice. That is to say if any of the young ladies will accept an old "Indian" so dark am I now. However, I look forward to all those pleasures to come one happy day. I hope before long as I am now worth three thousand pounds which would give me better than two hundred a year income having it in this country, but if ever it is my luck to double that I shall then, I hope, think of coming home, as I am still of the opinion that I should live comfortable on five hundred a year in my own native country for I begin to tire of India. I feel extremely obliged to Thomas Kidd for his kind attention to you all and you may depend I shall always keep up correspondence with him.

John Kidd wrote his brother in January last. I bid him mention in that I was quite well. I left him in good health about a month ago and he has command of a ship called the Morning Star going on a voyage Eastward, would leave Calcutta about a month after me. I am at present at Prince of Wales, completing my cargo for China which place I shall write you from by some of the Indiamen.

My kind compliments to Thomas Kidd, his father and all his family, I hope are quite well, and to my aunt and uncle of Houghheads, I mean Courthill, and their family for their kind attention to you and to my cousin, David Patullo at Baldragon as I shall never forget his kindness to my mother and you and my compliments to all my other relations that show any kindness to you. I would have sent you home a little money but I did not receive your letter untill I was just leaving Calcutta and had no time to get a Bill of Exchange. I have received the bills of the fifty pounds amount again but have not as yet been able to recover the money for them or get them endorsed over, but I hope you have received what my grandfather left you long before this.

I must bid you adieu, wishing you all every health and happiness is the sincere wish of your affectionate brother,

David Kidd