From Alexander Colden
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<General Post Office, January 7, 1773: Has received Franklin’s letter of October 7 acknowledging receipt of several bills, and of Nov. 3 enclosing Mackie’s bill on Molleson for £294 5s. 2d.1 with the protest, which Colden will transmit to him. Encloses the second bill for £150 sterling by John Hancock on Haley & Hopkins in favor of Tuthill Hubbart;2 the first was sent on Dec. 2 by the Halifax, packet. Encloses a first bill for £100 sterling by Archibald Ritchie on Hyndman, Lancaster & Co. in favor of Joseph Williamson, postmaster at Hobbs Hole.3 Will send by the next packet the printed advertisement about Mrs. Elizabeth Holland and an account of what he has done about it.4>
1. BF’s letters are above, XIX, 318, 359.
2. George Hayley (1723–81), the London merchant, alderman, and subsequently M.P., had been John Hancock’s agent since 1767; his wife was the sister of John Wilkes and the widow of another Hancock agent, Samuel Storke (d. 1753). Hayley’s mother was a Hopkins, and his partner, Edmund Hopkins (d. 1786), was probably a relative. See William T. Baxter, The House of Hancock … (Cambridge, Mass., 1945), pp. 47, 251–3 (where Hopkins is misnamed), 272–4, 279–87; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, II, 602–3 (where Storke is misnamed); Gent. Mag., LXVI (1786), 1001; 7 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., IX (1914), 251–3; Horace Bleackley, Life of John Wilkes (London, 1917), pp. 21, 292, and the geneal. table facing p. 448. Tuthill Hubbart, the Boston postmaster and BF’s stepnephew, has often appeared in previous volumes.
3. Ritchie (d. c. 1784) was a Scot who settled as a merchant in Tappahannock, Va., then known as Hobbs Hole; Hyndman & Lancaster was a mercantile firm in Gould Square, Crutched Friars. Charles H. Ambler, Thomas Ritchie … (Richmond, Va., 1913), pp. 9–11; Kent’s Directory … (London, 1770).
4. For the missing heiress see above, XVIII, 157; XIX, 318–19. BF appended a note in the third person, dated March 3, asking Mr. Jesser to read and return the letter, and adding that the February packet was due in a week or two. Jesser was the agent of the London Hospital who was concerned with the Holland mystery.