James Caldwell of Nantwich
(originally of Scotland)
Lived at Hospital Street, Nantwich, Cheshire
Born: Possibly 11 Dec 1720 and christened 18 Dec 1720 in Irvine, Ayrshire.
Died July 1791, buried in Nantwich, Cheshire, 15 July 1791.
Son of: Possibly William Caldwell and Agnes Miller of Kilwinning, Ayrshire (if he was born 11 Dec 1720).
1. Possibly William Caldwell (1715-17??).
2. Possibly Robert Caldwell (1717-17??) who married Anne Allen (1709?-17??).
3. Possibly Margaret Caldwell (1718-17??).
4. Possibly George Caldwell (1722-died young?).
5. Possibly George Caldwell (1726-17??).
6. Possibly John Caldwell (1728-17??).
James married: Hannah Armstrong.
James and Hannah had 13 children, 4 of whom survived into adulthood:
1. Margaret Skerrett (Peggy, nee Caldwell, 1749?-1805?) who married Joseph Skerrett (1745?-1832).
2 . Ann Caldwell (1758?-1826).
3. James Caldwell (1759-1838) of Linley Wood who married Elizabeth Stamford (1755-1831).
4. Elizabeth Caldwell, (Bessy, Betty, 1766?-1842).
5. Thomas Caldwell, died 8 Oct 1760.
6. Other children, possibly another 8 children who all died young.
James Caldwell of Scotland appears to
be related to James Caldwell of Manchester. Perhaps they were distant
In 1808 James Caldwell of Linley Wood was involved in administering payments relating to Jean Cochran, which in turn were relating to the will of James Caldwell of Manchester.
James Caldwell of Manchester appears to have died before 1808. James Caldwell of Manchester did not have any children and when he died he left his estate to his six brothers and sisters.
1. Thomas Caldwell (possibly died before 1775).
2. John Caldwell (born 1749?).
3. William Caldwell (born 1748? or 1751?, possibly died in 1822 in Beith).
4. Susanna Humble nee Caldwell who married Mark Humble.
5. Margaret Gibson nee Caldwell (born 1747? or 1752?) who married Alexander Gibson around 1769.
6. Agnes Kirkwood nee Caldwell (born 1754?) who married William Kirkwood. They had a daughter Jean Cochran nee Kirkwood who married Robert Cochran of Beith (son of Patrick Cochran). Jane and Robert appear to have lived in Beith, Scotland. There is also another person getting money and his name is John Boyle of Cubeside in the Parish of Dalry near Beith.
The parents of James Caldwell of
Manchester appear to have been Thomas Caldwell (1724?-17??) and Mary
Caldwell (1725?-17??) of Beith in Scotland.
James Caldwell of Scotland: An Overview
We know of James from the following sources:
1. An official document on vellum confirming James Caldwell 'of Nantwich' being elected a Burger of Paisley, 1747 (see below).
2. A short diary written by James in the years 1759-60 (see below).
3. A brief mention in the book 'A History of Nantwich' by James Hall, pub 1883 (see below).
4. A brief mention in Joseph Priestly's autobiography (see below).
5. A letter written by James to his son James congratulating him on the birth of a daughter (see below).
6. Notes regarding the execution of the will of James Caldwell 'of Manchester' (see below).
7. Anne Marsh-Caldwell's diary (his grandaughter).
8. Burnawn family history website: http://www.burnawn.co.uk/rc/rc_1716.html
His Burger ticket on Vellum reads as follows:
James Caldwell His Barges Ticket, Paisley, 1747.
At Paisley the twenty six day of August Fajoy and fourty seven years The which day James Caldwell merchant in Namptwich
for his good Deeds done and to be done for the Utility of the Burge of Paisley was by the Majestrates and Council there of Made and Created a free Burger of the Said Burgh And Admitted to the whole priveledges of the Same as a free Burges there of in all time comeing Who made faith as of is One therentered.
Instruments Estracted By
Thomas Simpson Clerk
A short diary written by James Caldwell of Scotland about family life 1759-60
Special & Particular Mercys of the Lord Towards me 1759 & 1760.
Special & particular Merceys, of God Towards me in 1759 August. When in Scotland Being threatened with a fever, Exceeding bad all one Night, at Beith, at a Time When a Very Bad Fever Generaly Prevailed all Over the Nightboarhod and many People was Carried off, the Lord in is great Goodness Recovered me the Next day, & Preserved me in Health, & safely Brought me; Home to my Family For Which I Desire to Sincerely Retain a Most Gratefull sense Upon my Heart, & pray God would Enable me to do it as I ought.
Feb 1760. The Lord Restored me to Health from a very Extraordinary Cold & Violent Pain, Settled in my head For Upwards of Fifteen days and I Trust a most Gratefull sense of it As well as all his great Goodness to me, Will be For Ever Deeply Impressed Upon my Heart Which pray God Enable me to Retain.
April 1760. The Lord Preserved me from all Misfortunes on my way to & in London & Safely Brought me home to my Family and Preserved also my Wife & Family in health During my Absence; Not withstanding I left her but Very Weak and only a Month of the Child Bed. For Which Great Mercie I hope a Greatfull Sence of it will be for Ever Impressed on my mind and Pray God to Inable me to Retain.
In April & part of May the Lord Preserved me From some Other
Particular Misfortunes, that Threatened me with Regards to my Worthy
Affairs; & safely Delivered me from them; God Grant I may be
Dearly Thankful for the same.
Viz. Two of my Best Customers Beeing very ill at Chester & one in Particular R G Likely to Died But Both Recovered & now Well.
In June my dear Wife Being Very Ill Threatened Very much in Tending to A Weakness is Now Blessed be God Recovered and in Good health this June the 18th 1760. For Which Great Mercie and the many fold Goodnesses of God toward Us. Lord grant wee may be Duly Thankful, through Christ.
Oct 25, 1760. The Lord preserved us all in my Family from a Dreadfull Calamity Befalling Us, when Our whole wall of Our House Thratened Falling Upon Us, which In all Humane Likelihood had it Fallen would have Destroyed most of Us for Which great Merciee In preventing it, I desire to Humbel my self Before the Lord, and do hope I Shall Never Forgett the great Merciee and Interpositions of his Providence; in preserving Us all from Death & Ruin and I do most Earnestly Beg our Lord my God. That this great Mercie and all the by past merseas of my Soul, may be so deeply Stampd upon my mind so as to be a great means of Regulating my Conduct in Love so long as I shall Love this would I most Earnestly Begg for Jesus Christ's sake to whom with thy self & Ever Blessed spirit be glory for Ever Amen.
Vesatations of the almighty To us Poor unworthy Creatures.
Saturday 8 Oct 1760 half an hour after 3 oClock it pleased the Almighty to take from us poor Tomey Sine Child of a partial sore throat.
Decem 29 same year my dear good child Peggy seeased with the same disorder and Poor little Bettey also and on the 30 Dear Jamey of same two days after Poor Nanney seeased also all four confined the Lord God only Know the unspeak be the sobs of grief that self and Dear wife underwent as wee gave Poor Bettey up for lost to this world.
January 20 1769 our Dear Lad Jammy and our dear child Peggy ceeased
with a relapse of the same disorder we in the utmost distress Dr
Penlington being out of Town our good child Peggy complained of a
Difaculty of Breathing came to a Restoration of sending for Dr
Wickstead when he came found Jammy in a smart fever Ordered
immediately a Bleeding continued several day in & the fever the
ulcers same time came . . . O Lord Good. Thow &
Thee only Knows the the fear & Pangs of grief was thy Poor
unworthy creatures felt at that time every hour of their
illness. Thursday the 26 Jamey seiesed by a considerable
hoareness & cough and as wee thought a Dificulty of Breathing
after going to Bed in the utmost distress of mind concluding he was
going in the same manner as our Tommy he having been seeased in the
same way two days & before his death at Eleven oClock at night I
arose from Bed & went for Dr Wickstead came immediately &
sett by him & for some time while asleep he observed to us that
he Breathed easier and in some days we Removed our inexpressible
fears for that night what wee held for him the greatest Part of the
night God only alone Knoweth. Contented hoarse for near a
fourthnights term offered heal & is Pleased God to Recover him
& for which and the many great merices thou oGod have Restored
upon us Grant we may be truely Thankful and that these Vesetations
may have their dead weight and Influence upon us so as to Remind us
of our Latter End. This grant othou Father of mercies Through
Jesus Christ & Amen.
[The Dr Wickstead referred to would probably be Richard or John Wickstead]
The book 'A History of Nantwich' by James Hall, pub 1883.
James Caldwell (the elder) gets several mentions and on p.228 he is recorded as 'linen draper' and a shareholder in the new workhouse which was built 1779-80. Joseph Skerrett, who married his daughter Margaret Caldwell is mentioned on p.53 as an upholsterer. The same book also lists James Caldwell as living in John Crewe's house in Hospital Street in Nantwich. Before the Caldwell family lived there the house was occupied by the Goldsmith family. After James Caldwell had died his daughter and son in law Margarett and Joseph Skerrett lived there until 1832 after which it was lived in by Thomas Bower.
Joseph Priestly's autobiography
There is a quotation from Joseph Priestly's autobiography - he was Unitarian minister in Nantwich 1759-61 and ran a school there p.390 'In my congregation there was --- hardly more than one family in which I could spend a leisure hour with much satisfaction, and that was Mr James Caldwell, a Scotchman. Indeed, several of the travelling Scotchmen who frequented the place, but made no long stay at any one time, were men of very good sense. There are various footnotes that make it clear that this is James Caldwell of Scotland. There are other odd references and a transcription of the inscription on the family tombstone. It would appear that 'Travelling Scotchmen' were known for selling drapery goods. It seems likely that James started off as a traveller and then married and settled down in Nantwich. It sounds as if he kept open house for his ex-colleagues. An endorsement of his good sense and intelligence from Joseph Priestly.
It is believed that James Caldwell lived at 140 Hospital Street in Nantwich. The house still stands and is a well known building in the town . A plaque on the front records:
140 Hospital Street
After James Caldwell died in 1791 the house passed into the ownership of his son in law Joseph Skerrett Husband of Margaret Caldwell. Margaret's two unmarried sisters moved to Dysart Buildings also in Nantwich and also still standing.
Note by James Caldwell of Scotland
I never in my life was joyntley Bound in a Bond but once with M . . .
[Sprout?] and . . . [Andres? Onderson?] upwards now of Thirty
years which was cancelled soon after by Onderson . .
. . . . . . . Mr Egerton of
Ollon[?] I never borrowed any money in my life for which I give
a Bond - or note of hand as Thanks to a good and Kind Providence I
never had occasion, only some few times in my . . . life
time have Borrowed from him . . . only Thirty or some
little many Pounds, but for which he never Regained my note as I
always Paid him . . . This I thought Proper to Attest
this 4th day of August 1784.
Received June of 1775 of the James Caldwell
[The Mr Sprout could be William Sprout, a well known Linen Draper and 'Gent'. In later life William Sprout was, amongst other things, an Overseer of the Poor and Captain of the Nantwich Volunteer Force. In 1808, he opened a bank in the centre of Nantwich although this venture subsequently failed.]
Receipt in the hand of James Caldwell of Scotland and signed by his daughter Margaret
Receipt from Peggy Caldwell
for 800 Paid him her share of . . . Effects Included
Received June of 1775 of Mr James Caldwell Estr of the late Mr Thomas Caldwell the Sum of One Hundred and thirty nine Pounds, three Shillings and three Pence, being my share of the Residue of the Effects of the said Mr Thomas Caldwell with the Accumulating Interest of the Same being left me by the said Mr Caldwell, by Will, I say Received by me
[Thomas Caldwell may have been a brother of James Caldwell of Manchester].
Letter from James Caldwell of Scotland to his son James Caldwell. No date but probably written 11 September 1785 on the birth of his first Child Hannah.
Mr James Caldwell, Newcastle
Your . . . [news] has made us all inexpressable happy in informing us of that dear girl of yours giving you a Daughter and that she is so well. God grant a Continuena of it, and that she may by a good Providence be Restored to her former state of health. I am at a loss to express my gratitude to a Kind Providence for a Blessing that I never expected to lived to see, a gravel held; I am at a loss to express my gratitude to a kind Providence in what I hardly Know what to say or how to express my Gratitude; therefore I at present shall say no more, but this one thing that you will in the most affectionate way you can tell her how we Rejoice in the Event and need not add that every thing in your Power we doubt not will be done to make her happy in her present situation, and that we all Join in the most affectionate wishes for her safety & Recovery, your dear mother I think will not sleep this night her Joy I can truly Say so also. God Bless you Both, I answer the messenger is impatient to be Gone.
Your affectionate Father
We have paid the messenger 2/6
Sunday evening 10oClock
An extract from Anne Marsh Caldwell's diary reads as follows:
'To return to my brief but vivid recollections of those early days: I
used to sit on a little stool at Grand Mamma's feet. I remember
her sending me across the room one day "to tell that girl"
-meaning Aunt Bessy- "to uncross her legs!". I
remember following her (Grand-Mamma) into the back kitchen often...
(she had the 'gravel', I believe - and I heard her father suffered
dreadfully from it in his old age.) Her maiden name was
Armstrong; her father was, I believe, a stay-maker; a very remarkable
man he was thought for sense and love of literature - She had been
very handsome - they say she and my Grand-Papa Caldwell were the
handsomest couple almost ever seen in Nantwich. I never saw
him; he died after suffering two years from a dreadful nervous
complaint aggravated I suspect from the harsh treatment adopted in
those days as the proper method with these. My Grand-Mamma had
been the mother of 13 children, of which four only grew up; my Aunt
Skerrett, the eldest, my Aunt Ann, my father, and my Aunt Bessy,
seven years younger than, was the youngest child. Of these
children three, I think, died of putrid throat. It must have
been ill understood in those days. Most of the others appear to
have died as infants. There were I think three Jameses before
my father - who had been a most beautiful child with long curling
flaxen hair and was a perfect idol by his mother.'
For further notes about Nantwich recollections see diary of Anne Marsh-Caldwell.
Also of their daughter's Margaret Skerrett who died 12th March 1805 age 56. Anne Caldwell who died 6th February 1826 aged 68. Elizabeth Caldwell died 10th January 1842 age 76.
Also of Joseph Skerrett Husband of Margaret Skerrett January 18th
1832 age 87 years.
In the book 'History of Nantwich' this tomb is mentioned as being enclosed within iron railings in the Churchyard. All the tombs have now been removed from the Church yard and the slab from this tomb can be found next to the north side wall of the Church.
A series of notes
written in the early 1800s relate to the will of James Caldwell of Manchester
and the fact that when he died his estate was split into six equal shares
between his three sisters and three brothers. These siblings were as
Agnes Kirkwood, wife of William Kirkwood.
Susannah Humble, wife of Mark Humble.
Margaret Gibson, wife of Alexander Gibson.
This James Caldwell of Manchester appears to have been closely related to James Caldwell of Scotland. James Caldwell of Linley Wood is involved later in 1809 administering some of the money derived from this estate relating to Jean Cochran daugter of Anges Kirkwood. Jean appears to be living in the Beith area.
A letter from Elizabeth Caldwell to her
husband James Caldwell of Linley Wood, dated 7 March 1822, mentions the
"A letter came from Beith on Saturday to inform you of the death of Mr William Caldwell, father in law of the writer, Mr John [Fuller?]. Nothing more in the letter." Presumably William Caldwell was a cousin?
There is a Thomas Caldwell of Roebank who was listed as a "Thread Manufacturer" in Pigots Directory of Beith 1837. Is he related?
A portrait of James Caldwell of Linley Wood records on the back that the family originated from Beith near Glasgow and moved down to the Cheshire/Staffordshire area in the early 1700s. There is on scottishdocuments.com a record of the will of a John Caldwell, Innkeeper in Beith, who died in 1755 and left everything to his relick Elizabeth King (presumably his wife), but no mention of a James Caldwell.
There is to the east of Beith an area called Caldwell near the village of Lugton. Presumably this is where the Caldwell name originated from and meant "Cold Well". No village exists at Caldwell but there is an old house called "Caldwell House" and I understand that this was once lived in by the Mure family. I understand that nearby there is the Hall of Little Caldwell which belonged to some Caldwells up untill about 1668 when the holder fled abroad after the Pentland Hills Rising of 1666. I understand that various Caldwells appear in the "Cairn of Lochwinnoch" by Andro Craufurd written in the 1700's (kept in the Paisley Library).
I have received the following notes from Peter Caldwell
Caldwells are mentioned in the 1100s, already 'of that ilk', an honorary title perhaps given them by the Stewarts. The title usually implied that the holder had lands of the same name. It also included the right to have supporters bearing arms. The Caldwell lands are part of the larger Montgomery holdings in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire in early maps. A William Caldwell of that ilk was a Chancellor from Renfrewshire from 1350-52 and his daughter married Gilchrist Mure (also More) and took with her into the marriage most of the lands of Caldwell in Beith (in Ayrshire). That family then became Mures of Caldwell and survived until 1918. Younger Caldwell men (cadets) retained part of the original Caldwell lands. See History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton Volume 111, Part 1, pp 89-95, by James Paterson, Published by James Stillie, 79 Prince Street, Edinburgh 1866.
In Ayrshire Its History and Historic Families by William Roberston.
(Vol 1, p. 177 ff, Kilmarnock and Ayr, 1908) there is an account of the murder of Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean in 1602. John Mure of Auchendrane was involved in the plot. He imprisoned the only potential witness to his involvement and then resolved to march to Edinburgh to confront his accusers. The story reads: '. . . ;he persuaded a number of lairds . . . to ride with him to Edinburgh. These included Lainshaw, Rowallan, Auchinleck, Blair, Caldwell, Bombie, Hazelhead and Blair younger, and these represented not only a considerable force in influence and in striking power themselves, but also, in several instances, the greater influence of important families and feudal combinations that were behind them. They made a brave show as they set out from Ayr to the Metropolis. They were all well armed, and powerfully escorted, and they rode as men who felt they would have to be reckoned with before misfortune should be permitted to befall John Mure. When the case was called, Auchendrane (John Mure) boldly protested his innocence, and demanded of the Lord Advocate that he should give proof of the charge which he had brought against him. This, as Mure well knew, was what Lord Advocate could not do; for he had the one and only witness who was essential, safely confined in his own tower on Doonside . . . The group of Western Lairds added their protests to those of Mure, and clamoured loudly for his release . . . The Court, accustomed to such scenes, but realising that nothing more could meantime be done, ordered Mure to find caution in a thousand pounds Scots for his subsequent appearance; and this having been done, he and friends trooped out into the High Street of Edinburgh and returned to Ayrshire.'
Subsequently, a John Caldwell of that ilk forfeited Caldwell lands in 1685 as punishment for his participation in the Pentland uprising in 1666 (See below). This Caldwell died in 1700 and his son had no children, and thus ended the Caldwells of that ilk. “The Caldwells of that ilk & Associated branches” by Mrs. L.A. Gordon in The Scottish Genealogist Vol. 28, p.185, 1982.
In Woodrow's History of the Church , Book II, Chps. 1&2: 'The Caldwell estates had been forfeited in 1666, in consequence of the laird (William Mure) having appeared in arms, at the head of his tenantry and some neighboring gentlemen, in support of the 'Rising of Pentland'. The Caldwell estates were gifted to the celebrated General Dalziel of Binns, but restored in full to the Mures at the Revolution in 1688.' See also the account in Parish of Beith by the Reverend George Colville, pp.584 ff
Finally, I read in Glasgow Past and Present of a John Caldwell, who was a prominent Glasgow merchant, distiller and Dean of the Guild in the 1660's. He and others built a distillery there. He was appointed Councillor of Ayr by the crown in the 1680's.
We haven't been able to link Charles (1690-1765), our direct ancestor) and John (1688-1734) who came to Boston in 1718 to these earlier Caldwells. We had a search done of the muster rolls (records of military service) at Kew which did not come up with anything for John and Charles Caldwell for the period.
From the Scottish Church Records in the Mormon library file I find
Charles Caldwell christened 13 Oct 1697 in the Parish Church (Church of Scotland), Riccarton, Ayr. Father William Caldwell.
John Caldwell christened 23 Feb 1690 in High Church (Church of Scotland), Glasgow. Father William Caldwell. Mother Isobel Drew.
John Caldwell christened Sept 1694 in Parish Church (Church of Scotland), Dundonald, Ayr. Father William Caldwell.
We do not know if these christenings are for our Charles and John.
The baptism records from 27 May 1694 to 12 September 1701 are missing from the records of the parish of Beith (or thereabouts) at Kilmarnock's Dick Institute, but other records there are:
1693 William son lawfull to John Caldwell and Joan Carr in Newtown born April 24 baptized 26.
1692 Feb 28 Robert lawful son to John Caldwell and Joan Stewart in Whitpoint was baptized and born Feb 26 did die Feb 28.
1691 Nov 11 Robert lawful son to William Caldwell and Margaret Gann in Engglod was baptized publically before the congregation.
1694 Joan lawfull daughter to John Caldwell and Joan Kerr was born in Newtown Oct 7 and baptized on the llth.
1694 William Caldwell son to William Caldwell Feb 18
1691 Oct 24 William son of Pembroke Caldwell gave up his name to be married and solemnized
1692 Oct William Caldwell in this parish and Janet Caldwell in this parish gave up their names to be proclaimed in order of marriage.
The Parish records of Renfrewshire at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow
have the following entries for births of John Caldwells, but there
were no entries for Charles Caldwell:
1683 Feb 16 Parents John Caldwell/Jean Boyll Kilbarchen.
1683 May 6 Parents John Caldwell/Margaret Arthur Kilbarchen.
1699 Feb 16 Parents Patrick Caldwell/Katherine Hanable Abbey (Paisley).1699 Mar 9 Parents Robert Caldwell/Janet Orr Abbey (Paisley).
1694 Nov 4 Parents John Caldwell/no mother listed Abbey (Paisley)
Records from Neilston are only fragmentary before 1700.
Note from Sandra McCallum
I had just been looking at the Matriculation Rolls of Glasgow University and saw a Caldwell nearby. When I checked this student came from Ireland, but in 1763 there was a student James Caldwell from Lochwinnoch which is very close to Beith. I have no idea if there is any link, but it may be of interest as another 'link' in your research . 1763 refers to the year James Caldwell matriculated at the University of Glasgow. He enrolled in the Greek class, which means it was probably his second year at University. He graduated in 1768.
Source: W. Innes Anderson Matriculation Rolls of Glasgow University
Matriculation Number 2232
1763; James son of John, surgeon Lochwinnoch, possibly minister of Dondonald, Belfast 1772 - 1814 d.1814 (M.A.1768)
The inscription reads 'Jacobus Caldwell, filius natu max. Joannis, Chirurgi in parochia Lochwinnoch.
Note from Michelle McLean. There was a William Caldwell born to a James in Beith 1754 at a place called Nellehirft.
Note from Peter Caldwell, New York, USA.
From: CATALOGUE OF THE NAMES OF THE FIRST
PURITAN SETTLERS OF THE COLONY OF CONNECTICUT; WITH THE TIME OF THEIR ARRIVAL IN
THE COLONY, AND THEIR STANDING IN SOCIETY, TOGETHER WITH THEIR PLACE OF
RESIDENCE, AS FAR AS CAN BE DISCOVERED BY THE RECORDS. COLLECTED FROM THE STATE
AND TOWN RECORDS, BY R. R. HINMAN. No. I. HARTFORD: PRINTED BY E. GLEASON. 1846.
By Royal Ralph Hinman p.439
'NOTE.-I insert this notice of the Caldwells, once of Hartford, at the suggestion of a descendant, anxious to preserve to posterity the respectable standing of his ancestors. John Caldwell, a Scotch gentleman, was from the county of Ayer, of an ancient and highly respectable family now represented in Ireland by the 'Barronet's Caldwell' of 'Caldwell Castle', and in England by the 'Stamford Caldwells of Linlaywood' , Staffordshire. John Caldwell was born in Scotland in 1688, came to this country and settled in Hartford, Conn. He married Hannah, daughter of George Stillman, of Wethersfield and Hadley, who was member of the General Court of Mass. John and Hannah had children, viz., James, William, John, Mary, George, and Charles; Charles, born 1732, married Mary, daughter of the 3d Richard Lord, and great granddaughter of the 1st Richard, the 1st Captain of the first Company of Cavalry in Conn., and one to whom the old charter of Connecticut, wag granted. She was also great granddaughter of Gov. Wyllys, and of Gov. Haynes. Charles was a gentleman of large estate in Hartford, and great worth. During the Revolution, at the evacuation of Boston by the British, he was present, and knew many of the trying scenes of that war, and was a paymaster and commissary with the rank of Major. The mansion ¬house, where he and the family once resided, was nearly opposite the present State House. He left one son, Henry, and several daughters.'
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