From Lewis Fevre
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Craven-Street, August 5, 1773.
Mr. Hay desires to be informed, as soon as possible, if there are to be any Additions to the Psalms, as they have but six Pages more to do, to finish the whole.1
This Day Dr. Sheppherd, accompanied by Professor Allamand, called; The latter Gentleman desired me to acquaint you that he should stay three weeks in Town, and that Count Bentwick was arrived.2 I am, Honoured Sir, with great Respect Your Dutiful Servant,
P.S. By last night’s Post I sent you two Letters; The one inclosed here, from Mr. Temple, came last night, but too late for the post, as it was past eleven when the Servant brought it.3
Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin, Esq;
1. Hay, whoever he was, came from the printer who was completing Le Despencer’s revised version of the Prayer Book, to which BF had contributed; see the preceding document.
2. Jean Allamand was a professor at the University of Leyden, and Count Bentinck was an Anglo-Dutch aristocrat who was a prominent figure in the States General; both were old acquaintances of BF. See above, respectively, XVIII, 106 n; IX, 367 n. Their companion was Antony Shepherd (1721–96), F.R.S., Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge. DNB.
3. The conjecture is tempting, but implausible, that the writer was John Temple. If he was involved with the Hutchinson letters, he had good cause to get in touch with BF; for news that they had been published in Boston had just arrived, and rumors were rife of how they had been obtained: London Chron., July 29–31, Aug. 3–5, 1773. We are virtually convinced, however, that the letter was from WTF. After spending his vacation with his grandfather he had just returned to school: BF to WF above, Aug. 3.