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23.: To [GILBERT ELLIOT] - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
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To [GILBERT ELLIOT]
MS., Kress Libr., Harvard University; unpubl.
Glasgow College, 7 Sept. 1757
I take the liberty to write to you at the desire of a very old friend to sollicit a favour of you which I am by no means sure but it may be improper for you to grant, and which I am afraid it is still more improper for me to ask. Mr. John Currie,1 a Gentleman who I understand has been recommended to you by John Hume, is an old Schoolfellow of mine and a very worthy Clergyman of more learning than is common. He has had the imprudence to make a love marriage with a young Lady, a cousin of mine for whom I have always had a very high regard, but who had not a single shilling to her fortune. He is at present only helper to his father and as their family is encreasing you may believe their circumstances are far from being easy. One Preston2 the Minister of Mankinch dyed about ten days ago; The presentation is in the Gift of the Crown. Could you with any propriety apply for it to this worthy man? I am sensible how little title I have to ask anything of this kind of you, but the urgency of this Gentlemans situation has forced me to get over all scruples. I am sure if I could tell his case fully to Mrs. Murray3 she would heartily join me in the Application.
I have no news of any consequence with regard to your friends in this country. Your English friends are here in the highest degree of Popularity and reputation. The Lincolnshire mobs provoke our severest indignation for opposing the militia, and we hope to hear that the ringleaders are all to be hanged.4 I heartily beg your Pardon for my forwardness in making this application and am notwithstanding with the greatest respect as well as affection your most Obedient
[1 ]William Currie (1722–70), ordained 1750, son of John Currie (d. 1765), whom he succeeded as Minister of Kinglassie, Fife. He married Jean Douglas (d. 1768) on 9 May 1755.
[2 ]George Preston, Minister of Markinch, Fife, d. 24 Aug. 1757.
[3 ]Elliot md. on 15 Dec. 1746 Agnes, dau. and heiress of Hugh Dalrymple Murray Kynynmound of Melgund, Forfar, and Lochgelly and Kynynmound, Fife.
[4 ]The Militia Act, effective 1 May 1757, authorized raising militia in the English countries, also training on Sundays, but made no provision for funds. In August a mob rose at Stowe, Lincs., and demanded money and a barrel of ale from an aged clergyman. On being refused they broke his windows and demonstrated in Lincoln, asking for the return of the militia lists and money from each constable. Participants said they would sacrifice their lives for King and country but ‘would not be obliged to quit home for sixpence a day to serve in the militia’ (Scots Mag., xix, 1757, 430). Scotland was not allowed to have a militia after the ’45 Rising, and patriotic Scots seeking to change this state of affairs were indignant at anti–militia feeling in England. Together with most of the literati, Smith was a member of the Poker Club formed in 1762 to stir up the question of a Scottish militia, the country having been aroused about its defenceless state in 1759 on the appearance of Thurot off the Scottish coast (Rae 135–6).