From Anthony Todd
ALS: American Philosophical Society
General Post Office October 31, 1768.
As Lord Le Despencer cannot get at his Oats, being under a Stack of Wheat, 7 in time for your sending them to America for the next Season, I herewith send you my last Years produce as His Lordship will supply me with some. I have also added a little more of the Swiss Barley and am very truly Dear Sir Your most obedient humble Servant
Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin
7. Francis Dashwood, Baron Le Despencer (1708–81), had been one of the notorious rakes of the period, in the company of Wilkes and Sandwich. After the fall of Bute he retired into comparative obscurity and respectability, became joint postmaster general under Chatham, and continued to be until his death. Why the office was clogged with wheat and oats is anyone’s guess; but the context suggests that Le Despencer was engaged in the gentlemanly pastime of improving crops, and wanted to have his oats and barley tried in America. He contributed a substantial amount of each, which BF sent to Philadelphia to be divided among his friends; see BF to DF below, Dec. 21, 1768.