Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Edward Penington, 5 August 1767

To Edward Penington

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

London, Augt. 5. 1767


I received yours of May 21. and 25. with a Letter and Papers enclos’d for Mrs. Penn, which I forwarded. Yours of June 8. is since come to hand, with one for her by the Name of Durdin.3 She will now change neither her Name nor her Mind any more, for I hear she is dead.4 I have nevertheless seal’d and forwarded the Letter to Ireland. They were strange fickle People, and I think you have been very ill used by them. Whether you will ever obtain any Recompence for the Trouble you have taken in their Affairs, is very uncertain. Possibly as you are now so well acquainted with all Circumstances relating to the Lands, Lots, &c. those whose Right they now are may find it their Interest to apply to and consider you. If they should, you may get some Satisfaction. I do not know Major Fell or Springett’s Sister.5 I fancy they live in Ireland, out of my Way. I am sorry this Affair has not turned out of some Advantage to you; and hope you will excuse any Share I had in recommending you, as it was well intended tho’ unsuccessful. I am, with sincere Regard, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

P.S. Augt. 8. I have just heard that Major Fell is in Town and very much at the Proprietor’s.6

Mr. Pennington

Endorsed: Augt. 5th. 1767 from B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3None of the letters BF mentions has been found.

4Springett Penn’s mother, Ann Penn, married Alexander Durdin, a Dublin barrister, probably in late February or early March 1767. Her will, dated March 11, 1767, named Durdin as “devisee and residuary legatee”; she died April 13, 1767. Howard M. Jenkins, “The Family of William Penn,” PMHB, XXII (1898), 183–4.

5Robert Edward Fell (d. 1787) was the son of Gulielma Maria Penn (daughter of William Penn, Jr., and sister of William Penn, 3d) and her second husband, Charles Fell; he was therefore a first cousin of Springett Penn and his nearest surviving male relative in the senior line of the Penn family. Springett’s half-sister was Christiana Gulielma, daughter of William Penn 3d by his first wife. She had married Peter Gaskell of Bath, England in 1761. Ibid., XXI (1897), 158; XXII (1898), 185–6.

6In 1770 Fell had advanced to lieutenant colonel in the Army and procured a confirmation of arms in the Herald’s Office; he was then described as resident at St. Martin’s in the Fields, Middlesex. Ibid., XXI, 158.

Index Entries