Home > History of Wine, Image > Anatomy of a Madeira Letter – Receipt Docketing

Anatomy of a Madeira Letter – Receipt Docketing


A related pair of letters received by Messrs Newton Gordon Murdoch & Scott, Madeira on 30 May 1817. Author’s collection.

On the back of an individual Madeira letter you will find its history docketed. This information includes who sent the letter and from where, when it was written, when it was received, and when it was answered.

The first image featured in this post illustrates the receipt docketing of two letters of introduction sent to Messrs Newton Gordon Murdoch & Scott of Madeira. The letters concern two men each making the journey from London to Calcutta via Madeira. Written one day apart, the letters were received at Madeira on 30 May 1817. They were promptly answered the following day, perhaps because the gentleman themselves were on the very same ship that the letters were sent on.

A letter received by Messrs Newton Gordon Murdoch & Scott, Madeira on 29 Nov 1809. Author’s collection.

Not all letters were answered in a timely manner. One such letter sent by packet, took only 11 days to travel from London to Madeira. However, it took nearly four months to be answered! The letter concerns an order for 10 pipes of Madeira to be sent first to the Brazils before making their way back to London. It is possible the reply was not written until the pipes had made their journey back from Brazil hence the long delay.

A letter received by Messrs Newton Gordon Murdoch & Scott, Madeira on 22 Feb 1791. Author’s collection.

The final cover featured in this post, indicates that two letters bearing different dates from Francis Newton were received. Though written on one sheet, Francis Newton first provides an extract from his previously sent letter dated 30 November 1790, which is followed by his current letter dated 6 December 1790. The extract of the previous letter is marked “copy” which is perhaps why it is docketed with “Duplicates”. The letters were received on 22 February 1791 and marked “ans’d formerly”. It could be that the first letter was received and answered before this latest copy arrived.

  1. Barry Wiggins
    October 12, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Cool!

    Best regards, Robert B. “Barry” Wiggins 1728 Varnum St., NW Washington, DC 20011 202.294.2401

    >

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