Letter Home from London

Author(s): Ruat, William


Novbre. 7th 1754

Dr Sir

I received yrs last night upon my arrival in
town from Warwick. The Commiſsion was opened on
Monday ye 28th Octbre about 4 O Clock afternoon & was Closed on
Saturday ye 2d of Novbre about 12 O Clock at night, the
Commiſsioners during all that time Sitting above
Eleven hours every day. Both Mr. Harris Sollicitr
in London, & his Br Extraordinary Mater in Chancery, &
Stewart upon ye Charity [Estate] attended all ye time, &
from ye first to ye last play'd off all ye artillery of ye
Law against us, & used all the Low dirty practices
which an Infamous Cause made Neceſsary. Contrary
to Custom, & ye method we followed during ye last Commiſsion,
Hay refused to putt up at ye house [¿] we had fix'd for
the Commiſsioners to meet at, & to which place all the
witneſses were Summon'd to attend by reason of our
Carrying of Commiſsion. But they took up their Lodgings
at Another house, & keep'd all their witneſses with them
till ye moment they were to come to our house for
examination. This appear'd to all the Commiſsrs.
as an Insidious piece of conduct, & therefore we sett out
& continued to act in [ye] most hostile manner we could.
We have examined nine witneſses on each side, & I
hope have gott things sett upon a true & favourable footing

though it is impoſsible for me at present to acquaint you
wt particulars. For ye Commiſsioners & Clerks are Sworn
to Secrecy, & none of ye Parties being present, we cannot
know any part of our Adversary's proof, & can only know
our own from ye Conversation we have with ye witneſses
before & after they are examined, so that if they are
Rogues they may tell us no part of the truth.
But as four of our Evidences are Gentlemen, I beleive
I may almost aſsure you that upon ye whole, it will
turn out that about [¿] has been paid for
ye Inclosures, but that about 1/3 of all ye Inclosures was
made by ye Under tennants for their own Conveniences
& at their own expence, of Landlord only allowing them
to take what Materials they could find upon
their farms proper to make ye deal hedges to
protect ye Quick, wt article of wood alone they made
amound to above 2000 pounds by the artfull proofs
they brought in ye 1748 Under ye last Commiſsion.
Our Witneſses [¿] ye tyths at 3 Shs in ye pound as ye
utmost value, & condescend upon several parishes in
the Neighbourhood of Uffton when only 2 Shs is paid.
this will make ye reduction of tythes from ye Rentall td
be about 123 pounds, whereas Mr Harris & I gave
affidavits before this Commiſsion that they were worth
£220 pounds. this difference is very Considerable

About 4 hours before ye Commiſion was Closed, Mr
Harris sent a Meſsage to me by one of his Commiſsioners
that he found I had Limited him too much in time for
examining witneſses, the Commiſsion being returnable
next morning, for that he had 8 or 9 witneſses still
to be examined, & therefore he would prevent
ye publication of ye Depositions now taken, & would
apply to ye Court for another Commiſsion. Upon which
I stop'd ye examination of our last witneſs, & sent him
information by the Clerk, that we declined examining
any more witneſses, & that he was at Liberty to send
in one being quite certain he had not another in
town, wt I had accidentally Learn'd from one of his
Commiſsioners in ye morning. this vex'd him a
good deal & he return'd for answer that they were
all gone back to ye Country, as he was to have a
new Commiſsion in a months time. Our two Commiſsrs
Meſsrs Inge & Cater were of opinion that they had a
power to sitt & examine all Monday at 12 O Clock
& I offered to Consult Councellor Hewitt upon ye point
who was accidentally at Warwick, but Harris absolutely
refused to stand to his opinion, though his own Commiſsioners
offered to Continue sitting. In this manner was ye Commiſsion
closed by them all, Sign'd & Scal'd up, & delivered into my


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Letter Home from London

Document Information

Document ID 613
Title Letter Home from London
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1754
Place of publication London, England
Wordcount 699

Author information: Ruat, William

Author ID 193
Forenames William
Surname Ruat
AKA William Rouat, William Rouet
Gender Male
Year of birth 1712
Occupation Academic, clergyman, tutor
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow, London