Scope and Content

From Mary Whittingham at Potten vicarage to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. She should have written to her dear aunt before this time, but many things have conspired to take up her time. Whittingham supposes that Fletcher will have received the account of the death of Whittingham's dear uncle William Bosanquet. 'Your dream was very striking and affords much consolation. I cannot but hope it had some reference in the first part to my dear brother also.' Her mind has now been set at liberty concerning her brother's spiritual state about 5 or 6 weeks after he died. Spiritual matters are discussed.

Her dear uncle was long confined to his room. 'He had every possible attention, and he was amiable, patient and resigned, so also my aunt B[osanquet] seemed to be, for she wrote to me when I enquired after him, in a very Christian spirit.'

Her uncle William Bosanquet left £200 to Whittingham; 'and he being the last surviving trustee for two of the Leyton estates, others must be appointed, and the fines for the copyhold of those must be repaid. These circumstances he very kindly thought of and in September last after my brother's death, being through loss of his sight unable to write, got Mr Charles Bosanquet to write a codicil giving two hundred pounds to Mr [Richard] Whittingham besides, towards paying the fines.'

Mr Spilsbury is dead. They found no accounts in his papers concerning the poortrait of Fletcher ordered for Whittingham. 'I have reserved the pound note you sent me to pay for Mr [John] Fletcher's [portrait] and put the rest into the penny collections for the Jews.' She also understands that Fletcher has a portrait of Whittingham's uncle Samuel Bosanquet - if Whittingham should outlive Fletcher, she would be very grateful to have the picture left to her.

Whittingham recently saw Mr Gilbert's son, who is married to [Melville] Horn's daughter. He told her that he had seen Fletcher about a year ago. He came here about a curacy in this neighbourhood. If he takes it, they intend to reside here in Potten and she will attend Whittingham's church.

Her brother's legacy has proved a blessing to Whittingham's daughter Marianne. She is doing well and has taken on a a few young ladies to instruct in geography and other things for a few hours each day. It is her own idea and it gives her some satisfaction and gainful employment. Her son Samuel is doing well, while John is a 'fine youth and very steady'



  • William Bosanquet (1747-1813) was the son of the wealthy Hugeunot merchant Samuel Bosanquet of Forest House in Essex. His sister was the noted Methodist preacher Mary Bosanquet and wife of the evangelical clergyman John Fletcher of Madeley. Bosanquet was a member of a successful commercial family. His brother Samuel was Governor of the Bank of England while William was for many years a governor of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company. He was unmarried and little more is known about him. He died at Forest House on 3 March 1813. Source: Gentleman's Magazine 1813 (113), 388 and Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC)
  • Charles Bosanquet (1769-1850) was the second son of Samuel Bosanquet junior of Forest House, Leytonstone, and a nephew of Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher. Bosanquet was a successful businesman who served as sub-governor and then governor of the South Sea Company (1808-50) and from 1823 to 1836 as chairman of the exchequer bill office. He also wrote a series of influential treatises on commercial themes. In his later years he moved to Rock Hall near Alnwick in Northumberland, which he inherited from his wife's brother. He served as a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant and was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1828. Source: Dictionary of National Biography, Burke's Landed Gentry, volume 1 (1898) and Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC)
  • Samuel Bosanquet junior (1744-1806) was the son of the wealthy Hugeunot merchant Samuel Bosanquet senior of Forest House in Essex. His sister was the pioneering Methodist female preacher Mary Bosanquet and wife of the noted clergyman John Fletcher of Madeley. Bosanquet was a wealthy landowner and banker, serving as Governor of the Bank of England in 1792. He was also a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of Essex and served as High Sheriff in 1770. In addition to estates in Essex, Bosanquet had considerable landed interests in Monmouthshire. Source: Burke's Landed Gentry 1853, 1:119 and Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC)