Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Quinton, 4 January 1759

From Richard Quinton2

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Wellingb[orough] 4th. Janry. 59


Your Relation Mrs. Fisher was Bury’d last week, and Mr. Fisher about A Week before,3 of which I should certainly have given You advice, had I suppos’d You yet in Town. I went last night to the Executors4 who inform’d me they had wrote to the person You mention and was surpris’d they had not had an Answer (therefore would write again this post both to Her and You which I presume will be Satisfactory).5 Our Ministers Name is Thos. Holmes6 who I am inform’d made Mr. Fisher’s Will, wherein I am informed He left only one Hundred pound at Her disposall,7 out of which His Heirs insist upon the funerall Charges being paid, and also Her being buryd in the same manner as Her Husband, at Her desire, [I] fear it will not amount to fourscore to be divided between the person You mention and another relation who was sent for on the occasion and is still here.8 You cannot oblige me more than by comanding me, who am with the Compliments of the Season to Your Son and Self Your Most Obedient Servant

Richd. Quinton

Addressed: To / Mr. Francklin at Mrs. / Stevensons in Craven Street / Strand / London

Endorsed: Mr Quinton. Jan 4. 59

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Described as “gentleman” of Wellingborough in Joseph Foster, ed., Alumni Oxonienses, 1715–1886 (London, 1888), III, 1168. This letter appears to have been written in answer to one of BF’s (not found) about Mary Fisher’s estate, in which he particularly mentioned Eleanor Morris (A., a first cousin of BF and Mary Fisher and so another heir-at-law. For BF’s and his Uncle Benjamin’s impression of Miss Morris, see above, p. 135 n. The genealogy of the English Franklins (above, I, l–liii, lxviii–lxix) will be found helpful to an understanding of this and later letters concerning the settlement of Mrs. Fisher’s estate.

3Mary Franklin Fisher (A., BF’s first cousin, died at Wellingborough on Christmas Day, 1758, at the age of 85. Her husband, Richard Fisher, had died thirteen days earlier. BF made their acquaintance on his “Ramble” through the English Midlands in the summer of 1758 and afterwards corresponded with his cousin Mary. See above, pp. 117 n, 120–1, 134–5.

4Rev. William Fisher (d. 1778), rector of Newton Bromswold and nephew of Richard Fisher, was executor of his will. Mary Fisher died intestate and Anne Franklin Farrow (A., a first cousin of hers and BF’s, was appointed administratrix of her estate. See below, pp. 224, 239. But because Mrs. Farrow was 73 years of age and lived at some distance from Wellingborough, William Fisher assumed in large part the work of settling Mary Fisher’s estate as well as that of her husband. For William Fisher, see Henry I. Longden, Northamptonshire and Rutland Clergy from 1500, V (Northampton, 1940), 47–9.

5No letter from William Fisher has been found.

6Rev. Thomas Holme (above, p. 121 n), vicar of Wellingborough and master of the school there, assisted William Fisher in administering Mrs. Fisher’s estate.

7On the terms of Richard Fisher’s will, see below, p. 224.

8Anne Farrow, the administratrix. For the final distribution of Mrs. Fisher’s estate, see below, pp. 288–9, 302.

Index Entries