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27.: From 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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From GILBERT ELLIOT
MS., GUL Gen. 1035/136; Scott 239–40.
London, 14 Nov. 1758
I have of late had a good deal of conversation with Lord Fitsmorris1 about the education of his Brother2 who is now at Eaton, and I believe about fifteen or sixteen years of age: He thinks his Brother too young to go abroad, and as he left Oxford himself about two years ago, has no sort of inclination to send him to that University: After stating to him as well as I coud the nature of our Universitys and the advantage I thought his Brother might draw from being put under your direction, he came to a resolution of adviscing his Father Lord Shelburn3 to follow that course: his Lordship has agreed to it, and I have undertaken to open it to you, and to learn as soon as possible whether it be agreeable to you to undertake the charge: Lord Shelburn has an immence estate, and can afford if he pleases to settle ten thousand a year upon his second Son without at all hurting Lord Fitsmorris, he tells me he will not spare money, but did not wish the boy shoud be indulged in too great an expence, which I am afraid has hitherto been the case: He proposes that he shoud be in your house and intirely under your direction, and to give you for his board and the inspection of his education a hundred pound a year, or more if it shoud be thought proper. I understand he is a very good school Scholar, very lively, and tolerably ungovernable, but probably will not give you much trouble, as you will have the total charge and direction without any controul. If you have no objection to taking him into your house, he will come to you immediately, as Lord Fitsmorris tells me he may probably take that opportunity of runing over Scotland, paying a visit to Lord Dunmore,4 and puting his Brother upon a proper foot: I think myself that a young man of this rank coming to your University may of be of advantage to it, especially as I find every thinking man here begins to discover the very absurd constitution of the English Universitys, without knowing what to do better: It is indeed possible, that Oxford may a little recover itself, by having lately established there, a Professor for the common, constitutional law of the Kingdom,5 and also admitted Masters for some of the exercises, which two last articles have some connection at least with the occupations of ordinary life, and I can hardly say so much for the usual academical Institutions; little adapted for the improvement of young men either of rank or liberal views: I have very little doubt, but you might even draw a good many of the youth of this part of the world to pass a winter or two at Glasgow, notwithstanding the distance and disadvantage of the dialect, provided that to your real advantages you were to add the best Masters for the exercises, and also for acquiring the french language; an accomplishment indispensably necessary, and which cannot be acquired either at Eaton or Westminster, tho’ all children male and female bred in their Fathers houses are regularly taught both to speak and write french with tolerable facility. Pray let me have your answer as soon as possible; is your book in the press, or will it be there soon?6 belive Dear Sir
Yours very faithfully
[1 ]Sir William Petty, Viscount Fitzmaurice (1737–1805), 2nd Earl of Shelburne (from 1761) and 1st Marquess of Lansdowne (from 1784); soldier and statesman; educ. Oxford; fought at Minden, 1759 (rose to General, 1783); M.P. 1760–1; succeeded his father, 1701, and took his seat in the House of Lords: 1st Lord of Trade, 1763; Secretary of State, Southern Dept., 1766–8; opposed government policy towards the Americans, 1768–82; Secretary of State for Home affairs, 1782; 1st Lord of Treasury, 1782–3, when independence was conceded to the Americans. A man of great intelligence, he was an aristocratic forerunner of the ‘philosophical radicals’ and the patron of Priestley, Bentham, and Price.
[2 ]Hon. Thomas Petty–Fitzmaurice (1742–93) of Llewenny Hall, Denb., Wales; educ. Eton; matriculated at Glasgow, 1759; St. Mary Hall, Oxford, 1761; called to the English Bar, 1768; M.P. 1762–80. In 1779, he set up as a linen merchant and established a bleaching factory at Llewenny, Wales, because his Irish estates were unproductive. He was reported to have lived on ‘the most intimate terms with Johnson, Hawkesworth and Garrick’ (Gentleman’s Magazine, 1793, 1053).
[3 ]John Petty (1706–61), 1st Earl of Shelburne.
[4 ]John Murray (1730–1809) 4th Earl of Dunmore; soldier, administrator. and politician; page of honour to Prince Charles 1745; British army career 1753–8; Governor of New York 1769, of Virginia 1774–6, of the Bahamas 1787–96; representative peer of Scotland 1761–8, 1776, 1780, 1784.
[5 ]By a will dated 29 Dec. 1755, Charles Viner left his money to endow a Professor, Fellows, and Scholars in English Common Law at Oxford. The first Vinerian Professor was William Blackstone (1723–80), whose lectures between 1758 and 1766 attracted widespread attention and formed the basis for his Commentaries on the Law of England (1st edn., 1765–9).
[6 ]The reference is to TMS. The book was in circulation by 12 Apr. 1759, when Hume thanked Smith for a copy (see Letter No. 31), and by 26 Apr. the London publisher had ‘no Sort of doubt of this Impression being gone tho’ it will not be published till next Week’ (see Letter 33 from Andrew Millar).