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2-092 (Original)

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author,male,Burton, W.H., Supreme Court Judge,un addressee,male
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Burton, 1838
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18th January, 1834
My Dear Edmund,
I wrote to you on the 29th of November and to Robert on the 5th December thanking you for the kind exertions you have made for me. I am now about again to draw upon your zeal as I think an opportunity offers for doing so effectually. I told you in the two above mentioned letters that the Chief Justice (Forbes) was apparently unresolved upon his plans connected with visiting England. He has now informed me (confidentially and therefore I must bet you to treat it as such) that he has determined to ask for leave of absence to visit England and his application either has already gone home or will go about this time. He has formed this resolution because Mrs. Forbes health requires her to visit England and she is too ill to part with her two boys who are also going for their education - and he is also desirous of renewing some of his old acquaintances. His intention is to return and settle himself as Chief Justice for as long as his bodily strength will admit of his performing his duty then to retire to his country property. But he will be absent for eighteen months or two years during which time if I am appointed Chief Justice pro tempore something more permanent may offer for me but at all counts the addition of five hundred pounds per annum to my income for that period will make up for my losses at the Cape and enable me to pay all I owe, and by that time my ten years will nearly have expired and I shall be anxious to revisit England. The Governor here has not the power to grant leave to so important a function and as the Chief Justice accordingly his application must go home to the Secretary of State and arrangement will be made of the sending out someone either as acting Chief Justice during his absence or as acting puisne Judge during the time that one of us holds the Chief's appointment. Of course it would be unjust to us that a new man should be put over both of us but someone must be sent for it will never do to throw the whole burden upon two Judges; as it is the weak state of both Dowling and Forbes is such that I have scarcely ever more than one of them acting with me at the same time and if one is removed even temporarily the other cannot take the additional labour and I shall not choose to take the whole - indeed I should fall ........ it. If therefore there be any trust to be placed in our expectation arising from the expressions used to you in Downing Street, Mr. Kay will have an opportunity of forefilling them by sending out an acting P. Judge and sending out an order to the Governor to appoint me Chief during Forbes' absence.
My request to you now is that you would take the opportunity of seeing Mr. Kay and state to him that I am not yet promoted and displeased at being kept here as a Puisne Judge that in fact it is not worth my holding and urge that no opportunity may be lost of appointing me. Do not mention that Forbes intended asking for leave but make him promise if you can that if he should ask for and obtain it I will be promoted and interim. Urge my claims rising from my hopes show him how I thus be reimbursed without additional expense to the treasury; it is probably I think that the object will be gained.
I continue well in health Margret very ailing as usual it could be a comfort to me if I could have afforded to visit England with her but circumstances put that out of my power. I find my income worse here than at the Cape in every way - all I have not spent in actual housekeeping and current expenses during the year I have been here has been one hundred and fifty pounds for furniture and two hundred and ten pounds reimbursed to England so that the appointment literally affords only a simple maintenance whilst the sacrifice of all my friends is to be endured for it.
We have at present no Clerks allowed to us as at the Cape but we have made a strong remonstrance on the subject which is going home to the Secretary of State and there is little doubt that next year we shall have them allowed - If we so long live - The Governor has offered me an appointment for Harry of a Clerkship in the surveyor general's office, one hundred and twenty pounds a year which I shall probably accept for him but at present I hesitate for some reasons. If he showed any predelection for a country life I would rather put him with a grazier and let him work his way to opulance? Or if for accounts - with a bench - as presenting the most independent modes of life. But he does neither and I fear whether a government clerkship is not most adapted to his views. I have indeed lately been trying without success to get some of the merchants? to take him in a counting house. But none with whom I would trust him are willing to do so unless as a learned without salary of any kind and scarcely that ....... Also ...... he is willing poor boy to do anything I recommend to him. I will write more fully in a day or two as there are several vessels now about to sail and tell you what I resolve upon.
In the meantime adieu. Believe me to by my Dear Edmund, your ever affectionate brother.