18th Century Tea Smuggling

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A letter, sent by Lady Naomi Ross, giving instructions regarding the purchase of Tea in 1758.

Copy Letter to – Ross
19th Decr. 1758.


            Johnston told me he brought up 13 pounds of Tea from your friend Mr Robertson to different People there and that on his return home Mr Stephen is to come here by whom send three pd. of your finest Green & three pd. of the Soyson, this parcel is for one Lady, for another send six pounds of the Soyson, the price, I told the Lady is 7 sh. the Soyson & 12 the Green.   The money will be sent by Mr Stephen or paid into your order here as most agreeable to you.   Pray put up the Tea in white paper, in a long carriage course brown paper spoils the Tea.  It loses its own flavour & takes that of the paper which is very disagreeable, this I know by experience. Enjoin Mr Stephen to come by the Queen's Ferry and to take care that he falls not in the way of Custom House or Excise Officers.  Johnston will tell him the way that he takes to come safe, he says he has carried Tea several times here.   I know Mr Stephen is very imposing therefore please make a price with him.   If he demands more than sixpence the pound, which is what Johnston says he gets, it will be very extravagant and more should not be allowed him.