[SCOTT, Sir Walter (1771-1832)]. A collection of 18 letters and documents addressed to Scott, and 14 relating to him, by various correspondents including Robert Cadell, James Ballantyne, John Gibson and others, mostly 1818-1832, altogether approximately 32 items, in a red morocco box.
A collection referring particularly to the arrangements to pay off Scott's debts after the failure of Constable, his publishers, including: letters by Robert Cadell (Constable's partner), referring to the cost of printing and illustrations, Scott's entitlement to retain his rights, and a memorandum about their agreement on purchasing the copyrights, now deemed to be worth £8,000; John Gibson (Writer to the Signet): memoranda and letters in appreciation of Scott's efforts to repay his debts, on a repayment, Longman's offer for The Life of Napoleon, and a statement of advances paid on Scott's behalf; James Ballantyne: on forthcoming editions and publishing expenses, and the repayment of a loan; 3 documents, one a report of the hearing before the Lords Advocate about the ownership of the 'Waverley' manuscripts, reports of Scott's trustees and Messrs James Ballantyne to the creditors, mentioning 'a subject of considerable delicacy' (Scott's intention of keeping Tales of a Grandfather to pay the expenses of his 'very expensive domestic establishment') and another report; documents referring to domestic expenses including a bill for wine with advice on 'fining the wine' by putting 'the whites and shells of ten fresh eggs into the Hogshead', 2 invoices for provisions, and a bill for dressmaking, 3 invoices for trees and flowering shrubs at Abbotsford, and 2 letters by his close friend Colin MacKenzie with long lists of recommendations for 'a plantation in an ornamental situation' at Ashestiel. A letter of 19 March [1812?] makes recommendations for improvements at Abbotsford, including 'to push the whole building lengthwise some 20 or 30 feet towards the S. West', and for excluding the public. Other letters refer to his mother's bequests, to Scott's pedigree, and various family matters.
Constable and Cadell were ruined in the speculative fever of 1825/26, leaving Scott, whose financial arrangements were intertwined with theirs, owing £40,000. The publishers had advanced large sums to him for the rebuilding of Abbotsford, where his expenditure was said to have been over £76,000. After the failure of the firm, Robert Cadell remained as sole publisher of Scott's novels, and Scott made heroic efforts to repay his debts. In 1833 Cadell settled the outstanding sum in return for the profits from Scott's literary estate, and issued two editions of the Waverley Novels with great success.