Front Page Titles (by Subject) 258.: To [SIR JOHN SINCLAIR OF ULBSTER] - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
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258.: To [SIR JOHN SINCLAIR OF ULBSTER] - 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 [SIR JOHN SINCLAIR OF ULBSTER]
MS., State Historical Museum, Moscow; Scott 297.
Edinburgh, 11 Apr. 1786
I took the liberty to write you some weeks ago a pretty long letter1 which I should be glad to hear you had received; and that you have, from the bottom of your heart, forgiven the very great freedom which I have used with you.
In that letter I said that I had no particular remark to make upon what you had said concerning sugar. Upon further recollection, however, I suspect you are wrong with regard to the prices of Muscovado Sugar. I never have bought any of that sugar for family use, so that I have no personal experience of the price. I remember, I think, having told you that during the late war I used to pay fourteen and fifteen pence for the same sugar which I now buy for eight pence and nine pence. I wish you would make some further enquiry concerning the prices of Muscovado Sugar. It certainly could never be so low as a penny a pound. When I lived at Glasgow a hoghead of Muscovado Sugar was valued at importation from thirty to thirty six Shillings the hundred weight of 112 lib. The pound could not be sold, at this rate, under four or five pence. I am told that it sells at present for six pence. The sugar which I principally make use of is what good Housewives call breakfast Sugar and which I buy at the price above mentioned eight pence or nine pence a pound.2
I heartily congratulate you upon your late acquisition of Title;3 and hope I may still live to see you arrive at still higher honours.
I ever am My Dear Sir Most faithfully and affectionately Yours
[1 ]Letter 253, dated 30 Jan. 1786.
[2 ]According to Walter Scott, Smith had an inordinate love for lump sugar: ‘We shall never forget one particular evening, when [Smith] put an elderly maiden lady, who presided at the tea–table, to some confusion, by neglecting utterly her invitations to be seated, and walking round and round the circle, stopping ever and anon to steal a lump from the sugar–basin, which the venerable spinster was at length constrained to place on her own knee, as the only method of securing it from his most uneconomical depredations. His appearance, mumping the eternal sugar, was something indescribable’: Scott, rev. of The Works of John Home (1824) in Quarterly Rev. xxxvi (1827), 200.
[3 ]Sinclair was created a baronet on 14 Feb. 1786.