General Patrick Duff (1742-1803), commander of the East India Company’s Artillery in the 1790s, left behind no great mansion. However, he did however leave an impressive set of farm buildings on his home farm and extensive letters which enable us to examine the domestic concerns of a returned East India Company official in two key ways. First, Duff’s correspondence shows how he sought to create domestic comfort during his lengthy stay in India and provide details of the country estate he aspired to when he returned home to Britain. Second, these letters also highlight the importance of Madeira as a key link in the chain connecting Britain to India, enabling the development of a trade in desirable artefacts from Asia and generating wealth for those involved. Significantly, it was this wealth which aided Duff in his aspiration to a country estate.
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