Jane Duff

Like that of William Arbuthnot, the preable to Jane's will belies the Victorian perception that their Georgian predecessors were less pious than they, and reflects the warm piety of the Rector of Charlotte Chapel Daniel Sandford. All three died at the end of an old era, the era of the first New Town where Jane lived all her adult life, and of the ideal of the Protestant Constitution which Catholic Emancipation, Evangelical Revival and the Oxford Movement had hardly yet had time to disrupt.

Lived
1765-1839
Origin
Fetteresso
Father
Robert Duff of Logie and Fetteresso, Vice Admiral of the Red. He purchased Feteresso Castle from the York Building Company in 1782, five years before his death. He was one of the youngest of the enormous family of Patrick Duff of Craigston, and his father didn't know him by sight. (9 p.309)
Mother
Lady Helen Duff daughter of William, Earl of Fife d.1778.
Address
In 1793 in George Square. Moved to 53 Princes Street in 1795 and 92 Princes Street in 1805. At her death she lived at 105 Princes Street.
Religious views
Whereas most testators are most concerned either with their family or their material possessions, Jane sees the purpose of her will as the means to rid her mind of these worldly concerns:
'Whereas the hour of death is so uncertain & trusting in the mercies of my Blessed Redeemer that when I am drawing near to my great change I will be supported by him & that my mind may be free from worldly anxiety and that I may rest in him I Jane Clerk Rattray formerly Jane Duff ... do wish to settle my small worldly effects.'
It is the strongest expression of personal piety amongst the wills of this group. Its almost evangelical fervour is reminiscent of the preaching of Daniel Sandford, which it is likely Jane listened to for almost forty years.
Wealth at death
£712
Story
When as a young clergyman in Edinburgh Daniel Sandford took in pupils, he corresponded with Jane about the family of her cousin, also Jane, who had married Sir James Grant of Grant, and who intended to send her son to Sandford. On 15 September 1798 Sandford wrote to Jane, 'my vacation expires this month and that if Sir Jas. Grant commits his Son to my Care, I shd wish to know soon when I may expect him, as the Course of reading in which my young people are to be engaged wth myself will begin on the 8th of October'. On the 18th Jane wrote to her cousin,
I have often since we meet had the happiness of hearing of you and your family both from Lady Anne and your Friends at Auchindinny. The reason of my writing you at present is to enclose a letter I received yesterday from Mr Sandford who wishes to know when he may expect Mr Robert south - he only takes a certain number of young gentlemen as his house will not contain many, and in consequence of your Ladyships desire last winter he has kept a room unoccupied.
This must have prompted a letter from James Grant to Sandford saying that his son would arrive late, and hoping for a reduction in the fees. 'I am sorry to find that I am not to hope for the pleasure of seeing your Son by that time. I trust however it will not be long before he joins us and I will endeavour to make up for him anything he may lose by his Absence,' replied Sandford, taking no nonsense from the baronet on the fees question:
A deduction from my Terms for the Session from October to August, has never been yet offered from me and could I with my propriety accede to it I certainly should do so in the present circumstance but whenever I keep an opening for a pupil, I consider it but reasonable that any loss of time occasioned by himself should be placed to his own Account: and you will forgive, Sir, my remarking that it is not the Board, but the Instruction which my pupils rerceive from me that their friends are to pay for, for my time is almost wholly given up to the improvement of the young persons committed to my care. (3)
Chapel connection
1798 (Correspondance with Sandford)
Married on
3 January 1791
Spouse
James Clerk Rattray
Children
David Kennedy (1792) Midshipman RN drowned 14 Feb 1807 while esaping from HMS Ajax (burned in the Dardanelles); Robert (1795) heir; Jane (1794) m.1844 William Waring Hay-Newton of Newton and dsp 1860.
Related to
Adam Duff's sister

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Correspondance of Sir James Grant, National Archives of Scotland, GD248/671/5
  4. Jane's Inventory National Archives of Scotland SC70/1/58/701

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