Aripo, Ceylon May 14th, 1833
My dear Murdoch,
Tis now I think a period of 7 years since I wrote you, immediately after my arrival in this island. From you I have not received a line . I am not inclined to infer to your silence to want of against every rule of . I have determined again (to) readdress you. My sister Jane ever my kind & . Prudent since I left home in 1817 for Sandhurst. In almost every letter .. to mention how . getting on, - and I feel a . pleasure in thanking you for the . You have paid her & the rest of the family which she never failed to acknowledge. not . how much I feel her loss, the gloom that it has thrown over my mind and the . Happiness that it has appointed generally speaking I should be thankful for the position I at present occupy in the service. It is now upwards of eight years service. I left England & I am in the enjoyment of good health perhaps better than I would have experienced in England. I have got on well in the regiment having I think 5 or 6 .. on the list. I suppose in 8 or 9 years in the ordinary course of promotion purchase I shall be captain.
In August last I got appointed "Field Assist; to the .......... master general" which makes my pay about upto that of a captain. In this island we have allowances under the head on "island allowances" very nearly equal to the King's pay of the respective ranks. I have in starting money about 2350 a year altogether. If I had got this appointment soon after landing I should probably have been enabled to have purchased a company before now. It is an excellent job & hon. For a young man of activity and fond of drawing &c. My .. does not lie this may I confess at what I should prefer would be a . Appointment in the interior. My . Of late years have inclined me to this & as the governour has promised to do something better for me. I may even barely attain my wishes in this respect. I am at present making a road from the coast to the interior. The duties are . At the regiment. There is not a white person within miles of my present position & I have 100 labourers executing my orders - cutting down forests & opening the line of road. I am sitting just now in a hut made of leaves half naked with a pleasant breeze whistling through the room. I have a few books which .. of course my chief comfort & everyday I get four or five papers from India or Europe.
Mr. Tindall Esq.
4 Clements Lane
Colombo May 10th, 50
We are in receipt of yours of the 25th March and glad to hear the Morning Star was off. We are much obliged for your communication respecting the coffee in 1848. It is an omission on our part and shall be rectified in our next account.
We are sorry to inform you Mr. Bird has again been very ill. But is now a little better and gone out to the estate. He had been in Kandy.
Things are progressing satisfactorily at the estate. Our Mr. Smith was there last week and Mr. F Mackwood goes early next month. If anything should happen (to) Mr. Bird we consider Mr. Thomas a very respectable young man, capable of taking charge of it.
Freights shall remain at 4 £. Steam is loading home and will bring the last of our coffee this season.
The next shipment of candles you send please send all sixes, they are for the most salable.
We are yours very
Mackwood & Co.