The oldest of James' daughters, married in 1771, Thomas Hutton, a young surgeon, born in 1744, a medical officer at the Honourable East India Company Factory, Canton.
The marriage was ideal, as a letter from the Lidderdale to the Hutton father proves. This letter, in the opinion of the writer, is full of human interest. It is obvious the old man yearned for a grandson and the eagerly awaited child was a boy.
The copy of the letter is prefaced by an account from the Scots Magazine of 1812, of which this is an extract, about a Mr. William Hutton, a centenarian, who retained his faculties to the end, except for some deafness. He had lived a life of the utmost temperance and regularity. He had made three voyages to the East Indies, then (in the sailing ship days) proverbially inimical to Europeans. The extract was probably saved, like the letter, by Eleanora, for on it is endorsed this amusing trifle:
"Grandfather's maternal grandmother lived to the age of 90 and never went so far out of Lanark as to see the Bridge."
Now for the letter which is from Mrs. Wienholt's great, great, Lidderdale grandfather to her great, great, grandfather Hutton. The centenarian, Mrs. Lawrence stated, was Dr. Thomas's grandfather.
Kelso 31st May 1772.
I was favoured with your most obliging letter of the 10th ult, but almost ever since I received it I have been greatly distressed with my old complaint, a flying gout, which has been much in my head and stomach, so that I have not been able to take a pen in my hand, it is as yet far from gone but I thank God I am much easier. Poor Mrs. Lidderdale continues in a most piteous situation and but small hope of a recovery, and the faculty gentry may adopt your son's motto 'Si Deus vult quis contra' - (who can prevent what God wills?)
I had a letter Wednesday last frown our dear Nell, she is holding on purely [whatever that may mean the rest of the copiers writing is clear] so I hope in God in a couple of months to hear of a young grandson to us, the care of nursing and tending will, I flatter myself, wean her from that natural scheme of going out to Macao - When she hinted the thing first to me I approved of it in general terms as I thought it needless to be too particular when it was at such a distant period of taking place, but if she should persist in it, I shall join myself heartily with you in showing her the danger and impropriety of her going to live amongst such rascally people as the Portuguese are, but I dare say Tom only seemed to approve of the thing in order to moderate her grief, and that when he writes her upon the subject he will tell her the impractibility of its taking place. I am sure it must be very shocking for two such congenial souls, as they are, to be so long separated from each other, but the frequent opportunities they have of hearing from one another and the well grounded hope of meeting not to part again, ought to drive away melancholy thoughts from them. Two better creatures never breathed than they are, and I trust in God's goodness for their preservation and happiness.
What a pity it is that you and I should be so frail and at such a distance from one another that we cannot meet sometimes and have the pleasure of running over the many good qualities of our dear Tom and Nell.
Mrs. L. and Jane join me in our best wishes to you and good Mrs. Hutton and I am, with the greatest sincerity,
Your most obedient humble servant
The letter is addressed to
Mr. William Hutton at Lanark
Note by the copier of the original letter
"My grandmother joined my grandfather at Macao as soon as my father was old enough to be left in charge of my grandfather and mother. She returned to England a few years before my grandfather, who returned in August 1782, left the following March 1783, and was lost in the same night 4th March 1783. My father was ten years old before he saw his father."
"This copy of a copy was made from old papers by Mrs. Martin-Adkins, my husband's sister, then of 52 Cambridge Terrace, Hyde Park, on October 7th 1921, she was a cousin of Mrs. Wienholt's."
Thomas Hutton of the letter was drowned off Ireland, 4th March 1783, the day after leaving Liverpool. Thomas and Eleanora's son, also named Thomas, was a merchant in Calcutta who married there on 22nd July 1802, Janet, born 1780, a daughter of William Robertson, a cadet of the Struan family. She died in Bath, 21st October 1853; her mother having been Jean Urquhart. Their son Thomas Hutton of the 37 Bengal Native Infantry had a daughter Elizabeth Charlotte, who married Arthur Wienholt and their daughter, Ellen Elizabeth, married Lieutenant Colonel George Henniker Lawrence, C.M.G., of the E.Lancs., born 1868, who did so much good work on the Lidderdale and other "Trees". The Huttons, of that Ilk, were like the Lidderdales, before going to Galloway, an old Berwickshire family. Colonel Lawrence was of the Lawrence of India family.
Source: Robert Halliday Lidderdale, An Account of the Lowland Scots Family of Lidderdale, 1950.