No 39, pg 11: Fri 2nd Aug 1771Rawling[son] & Chorley, [Liverpool]
By last post I recd yr much esteemed fav of the 21st inst. The character my provisions have obtained afford me great pleasure as it results from my constant care and diligence in inspecting my business for above 30 years past and always esteeming the interest of my friends the surest method of promoting my own. If you are pleased to fav me with yr commands I shall charge you as low as possible but not withstanding I foresee it will raise such an opposition with your old friend that he will probably under ship me as he did some time since when I first had orders for Lancaster. I could make it appear he gave a higher price per barrel Beef by 18d pr barrel more than he charg’d. I only premise this that you may not conceive a bad opinion of me.
If this shd be the case & if it shd I will only desire to demonstrate the impropriety of such proceedings by giving you an opportunity of comparing the prices I charged my friends in yr place at other times with his charge but I must request that you will not mention the contents of this letter to him, unless such an event shd happen. In general I give my friends 6 months credit & as much longer as I can with any convenience to myself, but always look on my – to have a liberty to draw after 6 months but in case the quantity of Butter shipp’d is out of proportion with the beef etc I shall expect to draw for such overplus proportions in 3 months as I charge only the cost of the butter for wch I always pay ready money & frequently pay more than those who buy on credit, tho’ indeed tis not always that Butter can be bought on credit.
I have within these few days bought 2000 firks butter 1st quality @ 48/2d, 2nd 45/6d & 3rd 43/6d. There are not 1000 barrels Beef in this city for sale of wch I have about 400. I sold 200 barrels of Cargo Beef last week to a merct here at 40/ a barrel cash & cd sell the whole at the same price but I chuse to keep them for my friends alto’ I don’t charge them so much notwithstandg the time of payment.Pork is very scarce, best Cargo @ 49/ to 50/. No good Herrings here for sale. I shall only add that if you fav me with yr commands, I shall endeavour to merit the continuance thereof & esteem you among the number of my best friends.
PS. As a proof of the quality of my provisions by the inclosed - - you will see what advantage has been attempted against me.
(Courtesy of Mr. James O’Shea)