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Background Information

In this second letter, written from Dort shortly after letter 1, William Dunlop reverts mainly to Italic, but there are some Secretary Hand forms, such as the long s.

The main problems for modern readers are phonetic spelling of some words and the writer's idiosyncracies, such as the use of the letter v, where we would use w, for example in the word vhom at the end of line 3. He also uses -ine in words where we would expect -een or -ene, for example in bine at the end of line 1.

Scots English
Dort Dordrecht, a Dutch port
Rotterdam Rotterdam, a Dutch port
Stedable steadfast
Cifering ciphering, in the sense of book-keeping and arithmentic using arabic numerals
Stretnes straitness or tightness (his clothes are becoming too small for him)
Gulders guilders (Dutch currency)

Images reproduced with permission of Glasgow City Council, Mitchell Library (Mitchell Library reference DC14/2).

Take The Test

The document has been divided into 4 sections. Read the section shown in the image and transcribe the word you think is missing from the text below by typing in the appropriate blank space. The text be red as you type and will turn black when you have transcribed the word correctly.

If you would prefer to complete the tutorial on paper go to Print The Test.

Lines 1-8 of a letter written by William Dunlop in 1681, Mitchell Library reference DC14

01. Loving father
02. Having John Stirling who his bine
03. ane to me sinc I cam to this countray
04. I thought it fit to any letter from
05. you as yet at vhich I am thincking that somthing is
06. befallen having tuice vritten once by post vhen ve hire
07. at Rotterdam had landed and once with our
08. Burnsyde vhom I thought should had a good care

Transcription of lines 1-8

Lines 9-17 of a letter written by William Dunlop in 1681, Mitchell Library reference DC14

09. of it to your oun hand I long greatly to hear if ye be all in good
10. health therfor I humbly should a father
11. to lat me knou if ye be all in good helth
12. mind clothes th[a]t I got at my sisters marriage shall soon be skuffed
13. becaus I have not another sout that I can put on for you knou
14. mind other clothes is so short that I cannot put them on vithout
15. mind aboun them & th[a]t I cannot the is so
16. vehement varm & if it please god th[a]t I shall soon be in this countray in
17. the vinter season I shall not be able to vear them for

Transcription of lines 9-17

18. becaus I cannot put on an little cott beneath them, They ar 5 scots-
men hire in dort therfor I cam doun to Rotterdam
20. to advice vith John Stirling & Mr Russell in that case for our
21. Master in dort can teach littel or no book holding he teaches only
22. the language, vritting, & Cifering, cifering & vritting I shall
23. attine unto in on quarter therfor if it be your will I
24. folly to remain hire in Dort halfe a year when the last quarter I
25. shall learn nothing bot the langauge therfor

Transcription of lines 18-25

26. vith John stirling & he me the nixt quarter to com to Rotter-
27. dam to on th[a]t teaches book holding for he says th[a]t ther ar no other
28. about th[a]t can teach it it shall be very dear Mr Russel
29. informs me th[a]t I shall pay 60 gulders in quarter for my bording
30. & 50 gulders mor to th[a]t sam man for & if I shal hire
31. remaine an halfe year I shall cast myself to com hom in the dead of vin-
32. ter for ther dett hire in Holland the 14 of May

Transcription of lines 26-32

33. & you knou mind half year shall be run out in the
34. 14 of Novemb[er] therfor if it pleas god that I shall hire remain half
35. an year I am that the river be & ve shall not
36. wine home till the spring & th[a]t shall be 3 quarters vhich shall be very
37. & I pray you to advice the best & send me word with first
38. occasion befor mind quarter be out in dort I have no mor at this occasi-
39. on but my service presented to you my Loving father I rest
40. your loving son till death
41. William Dunlop

Transcription of lines 33-41

Read the full transcription