This captain in the Royal Scots was multi-talented: amateur archaeologist, musician, composer, editor ("A Collection of Scotch, Galwegian and Border Tunes for Violin and Pianoforte," 1794). A close friend of the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns, who once wrote of Riddell: "At their fire-side I have enjoyed more pleasant evenings than at all the houses of fashionable people in this country put together: and to their kindness and hospitality, I am indebted for many of the happiest hours of my life." Burns' poem "Extempore to Captain Riddell on Returning a Newspaper" aptly depicts their camaraderie, while his poem "Sonnet on the Death of Robert Riddell of Glenriddell and Friars' Carse" shows his deep sense of loss at Riddell's early death. Item #15051
ALS, 1p, 7" X 9", Felton Park [Scotland?], n.y. March 16. Very good. Minor age toning to edges. Cryptic, reading in part: "You are perfectly at liberty to put my name to the Petition and address to the P.R. I fear it will be of no avail at the present. We must wait some years as yet before we obtain our wishes...." "P.R." presumably means Prince Regent, but the nature of this group's grievance remains unknown. Riddell declines to attend their meetings, noting that "It is not at all likely I should attend being at the distance of 300 miles...." Interesting and unusual.