Rev. James Turnbull
13 Roxburgh Street
Bridgeton 9th Jan'y 1830
My dear son and daughter
With all the feelings of a father I receive both your letters by Mr. Bell and Mr. White and learning by them the happiness and comfortable state you are in since you were joined in the marriage state and I hope also in the Lord. and may your happiness continue and increase all the days of your lives. mother Betty and Alex is all well at this time. I thank God that I can inform that I am some better since Betty wrote to you, my trouble is body-weakness along with a cough and some time a great trouble in breathing. but it gives me great happiness that you remember me in your prayers to our God for me o that my trouble may be sanctified to me and that the fruit of it may be to take away sin and that I may learn to keep Gods Laws and to know that in truth and faithfulness he hath afflicted me
it is a great blessing and comfort to us that Betty is returned to us in this time to watch over us when we stand so much in need of her help many ways at such a time as the present both your goodness and hers softens our sores (?) and comforts our hearts. may the Lord reward you all for your goodness to us.
I am sorry to inform you that Mr. Burnet(?) has been obliged to pay Miller in Bridgeton the sum of eighty pounds for not taking Mary Miller to his wife. the Ministers in this place are very sorry for him!!!
You will remember us to Mrs. and Mrs. Weddle and son and all that ask for us. expecting to hear from you soon I remain your
James Turnbull married Margaret Weddell, the youngest daughter of Edinburgh confectioner James Weddell on December 1 1829. Family lore has it that these Weddells are related to the famous explorer of the same name but I have yet to find a link. The Register of Marriages records the information as follows:
The Reverend James Turnbull, Minister of the Relief Congregation, Brighton Street, Residing in No. 13 Roxburgh Street, in this parish, and Miss Margaret Weddell, Residing in No. 10 South Hanover Street in the Parish of St. George's in Edinburgh, Daughter of Mr. James Weddell, Confectioner and Grocer in Edinburgh have been three times proclaimed in order to Marriage in the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert's and no objections have been offered. Married on the First Day of December thereafter by the Rev. William Limont Minister of the Relief Congregation, South College StreetA similar entry is found in the register at St. Cuthbert's. The Rev. James and the Rev. Limont were both ministers in the Relief Church, which had broken away from the Church of Scotland in 1761 and would later merge back to form the United Presbyterian Church in 1847. The Rev. Limont was married to Sarah Weddell, Margaret's older sister, and was much beloved by his congregation. His portrait hangs at the Turnbull family home on Hope Street.
This letter also provides a little information about the Weddell family as there is a mention of a son. I also get the impression that perhaps Robert had lived in Edinburgh because he does ask to be remembered to all who ask after him. At this point I know very little about Robert's life prior to this. I have the marriage record from Smailholm and Stitchel and I know that James was born in Stitchel but how, why and when they moved I have no clue. One hint that these Weddells might be related to the famous explorer James Weddell, is that he is reported to have lived at no 8 Hanover Street in Edinburgh at some point, virtually next door to Margaret at the time of her marriage.