Autograph letter signed to his cousin, James Brander, Merchant Ins., London, dated Lisbon 14 November 1772
and marked as having been received on 2 December, stating that chests of China oranges have been shipped to him on the Frances. A copy of his account is being sent on the Diana, which will carry a further 70 chests of oranges, with another 50 chests of oranges later being carried on the Liberty, plus 50 boxes of chestnuts for his cousin’s firm and 50 of oranges and 30 of lemons for his own account, and others from other merchants. 2 pages, 4to., with integral address leaf. Together with:-
Idem, also to James Brander, dated 4 March 1775, received 21 March, now complaining of the scarcity of China oranges and other legal and financial problems. He refers to friendly correspondence with another cousin in Thames Street (probably what is now Lower Thames Street). He has purchased “several gardens of fruit” which he hopes will supply him with 260 chests of fruit for future shipment. He asks his cousin to forward letters to his relatives in Elgin and requests news of them. 3 pages, 4to, with address on page 4.
Alexander (1731-1794) and James (?1732-1781), the two eldest sons of John Brander of Bogsie, a merchant in Elgin in Scotland, had made their fortune shipping oranges, lemons and wine from Lisbon to London. Alexander was living in London and had been appointed a sheriff of Middlesex. In April 1765 James, resident in Lisbon, purchased the lands of Pitgaveny near Elgin and constructed Pitgaveny House, completed in 1776. "Imports of oranges and lemons for example averaging only £9,000 annually in the late 1750s, although in volume terms their trade was not negligible . . In 1756-60 imports of oranges and lemons averaged some 14,300 thousand annually . . ." (H.E.S. Fisher, The Portugal Trade, p. 19). Other correspondence documenting the transactions of the firm of Brander and Co. is held in the National Register of Archives for Scotland.