I should be reluctant at any time to intrude upon your Grace, but feel most particularly so at the present, when, I apprehend, indisposition may render my application doubly inconvenient; but as it is probably very material changes will shortly be made in the regiment, the necessity of addressing your Grace, I trust, will be accepted as may apology.
Near three months ago, I wrote to Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, stating to him the difficulties under which I laboured, in consequence of my last year’s expenditure greatly exceeding my income. In the first instance, on account of the public, and from an unfortunate engagement I am under for Major _____, which, from his absence and subsequent death, has fallen entirely upon me. Since writing the letter alluded to, to Colonel Russell, I have reason to think, by balances already transferred to my private accompt, that I shall have much loss to sustain from my company, incurred during the eleven months I was absent.—This, my Lord, is easily accounted for, from the divided state of it, my total inability to attend myself to the disbursements, and the many hands the payments went through. I should not have presumed to trouble your Grace with these statement, had you not done me the honor to express an interest in my obtaining what General Maitland was pleased to think my services deserved; not do I, my Lord, wish now to be urgent on that subject; but merely to gain temporary assistance, to release me from involvements principally caused by the public service. Again entreating your Grace’s pardon for the liberty I have taken,
I have [etc]
Capt. Stirlingshire, &c. Militia.
[To] His Grace the Duke of Montrose, &c.
This is from Raynes (1817, pp.143-144). Raynes does not give a precise date for the letter.