National Archives, Kew CO48/42, 633
County of Stirling
29th July 1819
To the Right Honourable Mr. VANSITTERT
I hope you will excuse my presumption who am not only a poor man but a stranger to you yet from the Honourable Station you occupy your principles and character must be known. Having read some of your speeches in Bible Societies I have taken upon me to address your Honour asking a favour for one of my sons. He is my oldest now about 28 years of age. When he was young I sent him to the clock and watch maker business but before he was perfect of it he enlisted into the 73rd Regt of Foot and went to New South Wales, where he remained some years and then went to the Island of Ceylon where he was made Sergant and continued so till he was discharged in the year 1817 at his own desire being only engaged for a limited time. He then thought to have followed out his business of clock & watchmaker but when he came home he could get no work either at that branch or any other no not at labouring work and he brought no money with him and I was unable to advance him any. I then let him go to School for five months giving him his meal which was all I could do. He then got through to follow some labouring work which he has lately continued with when it could be obtained but he is far from being satisfied owing to his wages being small and not sufficient to support him in food and raiment. Having heard that Government was proposing to send some settlers to the Cape of Good Hope he wished me to write you or some Honorable Member about Government to see if he could get out. He would much rather return to New South Wales than the Cape and if not to New South Wales he would prefer Canada & North America to the Cape but he has no money of his own and I have none to give him.
I have had a large family of nine children which I have brought up without any help but what has been obtained by my own [efforts] and though by a kind providence I have food and raiment in a very moderate manner and I hope I have been enabled [obscured] murmuring against a kind providence who has given me Wisdom has been best for me. I confess I am not willing [that] William DUNBAR should go either of the above places [as] to have him near me that he might be useful to me [obscured] after he came home. I spoke to some Gentleman on this, viz George McCALLUM Esq of Thornhill, John CAMPBELL Esq, Robert WARDAN Esq of Park Hill who were willing on my [request] to give me their letter or recommendation in whatever way might be best. It was then purposed by them to see and get him on to the [obscured] and Mr. WARDAN was to speak for him but he turned unwell and [did not] get done what he intended and I being a poor man did not [obscured] them though I know they are ready to do still what they can though no ways connected with me but that they believe me to be of upright character and one that fears the Lord. There was another Gentleman in this neighbourhood for whom I taught a Sabbath [school] 12 years above 20 years ago. His name was William MURRAY of [obscured] but he is Dead some years ago and I have no acquaintance for [obscured] come to this place about nine years ago where I teach the school in a small village in the neighbourhood of Falkirk, County of Stirling.
If it shall please your Honour to do anything for my son William [obscured] him into the Customs & Excise or any other way your Wisdom pleases you will be obliging me more than I can describe and failing in the granting [obscured] with which I must be content as the will of my God who does all things [obscured]. I can give you every evidence of my own character your Honour
[image of final short third page out of focus and illegible but the letter is signed Daniel DUNBAR]