Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Robert Strange, 29 March 1783

From Robert Strange

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Hotel d’Espagne rue Guenegaud 29th. March 1783


A succession of hurry and business for some months past have prevented me the honour of paying my respects to you, or even congratulating you upon the success of your late glorious and indefatical labours, in having accomplished the independancy of your country—1 May health and every other blissing yet prolong your days to witness its rising grandour. I had a few weeks since a letter from Mrs. Strange wherein she mention’d her having had a visit of your Son—2 I long much on his fathers account to pay my respects to him, which I shall certainly do soon after my arrival in London— My health is but at present indifferent which accelerates my leaving Paris, I must therefor in this manner ask your commands as I shall set out about thursday next. I take the liberty of committing to your care the inclosed letters, and am most respectfully Sir Your obedt. humb. Servt.

Robt Strange

1Strange, now graveur du roi, had just issued his celebrated engraving of Van Dyck’s portrait of Charles I, owned by the French royal family. (He announced on Jan. 17 that it would be available in ten days, but it evidently took longer than anticipated.) On April 4 it was announced that he would engrave Van Dyck’s portrait of Charles’ wife, Henrietta Maria of France, which was in the British royal collection. These engravings were exhibited at the Salons of 1783 and 1785, respectively; Strange was presented to the king and queen of France in 1784, and was knighted three years later: Jour. de Paris, issues of Jan. 17, March 28, and April 4, 1783; ODNB; Collection des livrets des anciennes expositions (42 vols., Paris, 1673–1880), XXXII, 57; XXXIII, 53.

2Isabella Strange had remained in London; see XXXVI, 627.

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