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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 21: 1842-50
John Gibson Lockhart to Maria Edgeworth, 15 May 1847

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Produced by CATH
Sussex Place, May 15, 1847.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—I said I would tell you the upshot of my endeavours to arrange the worldly business I had to grapple with in Scotland. It comes to this. I found that the Colonel had entailed not the house, library, and immediate grounds alone (as I had supposed), but the whole lands at Abbotsford, on his brother, and then on my son, &c., but that there remained a debt of £8500, secured on these lands in his father’s time of trouble, and £24,000 more of old bookselling debt—besides an odd £1000 of claims against the founder—with all which I must deal as my father-in-law’s sole surviving executor. The only funds were the remaining copyrights of his works—now much diminished, and every three months diminishing in number. Cadell offered, as he had done some time ago to the Colonel, to obliterate the £8500 and the £24,000, on receiving the remaining share of the copyrights in Scott’s works, and in my Life of him, and to take an abridged edition of the Life in payment of the other £1000; and being wholly at a loss how to meet demands for interest (at this Whitsuntide even), and really believing that no one else could or would offer so much for what I had to dis-
pose of, I have signed the agreement above indicated. Abbotsford, therefore, is free as respects the debts of the founder, and so far, at all events, a great object of my ambition is accomplished. Whether my boy is to receive any income from his succession will depend on the state of his uncle’s own matters, which cannot be ascertained till we hear from agents in Madras. . . . .

“The entail requires my son to add the name and arms of Scott to his own, and this will be done at the convenience of the Heralds’ College, of course.

Lady Scott will have a tolerable income now, and a much larger one if she outlives her mother. Her plans are as yet quite unfixed, but I much doubt if she will live at Abbotsford (which would be the most desirable thing for my son), or even in Scotland. Her mother, in anticipation of their return, had taken Huntly Burn, to be near them—you remember the house above Chiefswood, where the Fergusons used to be. Both it and my little glen are just what they were, only the woods on the skirts of the Eildons so grown that I could hardly see the summits from my garden. Lady Scott continued wonderfully tranquil, and Sir Adam is quite paternal in his treatment of her—in short, she is as well, and as well placed, as one could wish her to be for the present. My youth has rejoined his corps at Canterbury, and Missy and I have resumed our usual quiet habits here.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”