Historical information

This letter describes a business transaction of an item essential to conducting a mill in the days of the pioneers. The horse was purchased from Francis Jones at Grasmere some 45 kilometres distant. Francis Jones and descendants were closely associated with the settlement of Grasmere (district) and 'The Union', a well-known pastoral property still in existence today.


The conduct of business in the 19th century could be slow and arduous. Horses were an essential component of business and communication. Their labour was pivotal to success and so their physical soundness (or otherwise) was vital. The horse trade was open to manipulation by the unscrupulous, selling unfit animals. Veterinary care and treatment was primitive, so a buyer could not be confident of a positive result, despite (as in this case) Jones' assurances of the triviality of the injury and Knights' capabilities.

Physical description

Handwritten letter on paper folden in half - water stained.

Inscriptions & markings

Grasmere. April 4th 1864. Messrs. Hamilton & Co. I beg to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 29th March enclosing a cheque for [pound sign] balance of the price of the bay mare for which I am much obliged to you for your punctuality in sending it. I enclose you a receipt for the the (sic) same. With reference to the swelling on the mares leg it could only have been there a very short time before you purchased her. It can easily be removed if the proper remedies are applied. M. Knights the veterinary surgeon will give you medicine that will remove it for a trifle. Hoping the mare will give you ample satisfaction. I am scy. (sic) [sincerely] yours respecfully Francis Jones.