Scope and Content

From Dingestow Court, Monmouthshire, to Madeley, Shropshire. He was obliged for the letter which he received via London. [Eleanor] has been feeling much better since leaving Cheltenham. The weather has been unusually good since their arrival here in the first week in August. The temperatures have been very hot, although it has not disagreed with her as has sometimes been the case. The weather has had a good effect on the harvest which has been very fine in these parts.

Samuel would not have troubled Mary with a letter at this time, were it not for the fact that he has contracted a debt for £1.9.10 with a blacksmith called Samuel Lawrence at Shiffnal [near Madeley] for some irons that he sent to Samuel for gate hangings and fastenings. Lawrence has written to say that he will go to Madeley on the 29th and call on Mary for the money. Samuel has therefore enclosed a £2 note - Mary should keep the surplus until the next time that she and Samuel settle their accounts.

They intend leaving this place to return to Leytonstone towards the end of this week or the beginning of the next. Samuel was in London last week for three days and found the whole family well - Samuel junior's wife [Letitia] has three little ones and is expecting another in January and Charles's wife [Frances] has four and is due to give birth to another next month.

[John] Bernard has been with them at Dingestow for a month during his long vacation. Samuel does not know if he told Mary of the great disappointment which Bernard suffered this summer. He stood as a candidate for appointment as Counsel to the East India Company which is a post of great importance and profit. His rival for the post was one Mr Adam, an eminent lawyer who has been a King's Counsel for many years. Despite the fact that Adam enjoyed the personal support of the Prince of Wales and others of the Royal Family, Bernard's reputation within his profession is so high that the court was spilt down the middle with nine votes for each of the candidates. The decision was finally settled by the drawing of lots which turned out in favour of Adam. Samuel believes that things have turned out for the best as Bernard is certainly very young to have occupied such an important position although he was obviously considered able to have undertaken the duties. Bernard has done himself much good and made his name well-known.

Financial details are discussed with regard to Mary's income from the French annuity.