To Philip Ludwell Grymes
Monticello July 24. 1800
Your father & the late Peyton Randolph, as securities for John Randolph were answerable to mrs Ariana Randolph for an annuity of an hundred & fifty pounds sterling a year from the death of her husband as long as she should survive him. John Randolph having died insolvent the debt falls on the representatives of your father & on mr E. Randolph as representative of Peyton Randolph, each being answerable for the other. £100. curry. is all which mrs Randolph has recieved of near 20. years arrearages now due. she desired me some years ago to act for her in this business; and mr E. Randolph engaging from time to time to make her remittances you were never troubled on the subject. but at length his failures, & her distresses obliged her to desire that coercive measures might be resorted to against the securities. the case being hard enough on them, even if responsible each for his own moiety only, I proposed to mrs Randolph, and she has authorised me, on either security’s paying up his moiety of the arrearages, & securing her for the moiety still to accrue while she lives, to release him from responsability for his co-security. I act in this matter merely on principles of friendship & justice, and these dictate an equal regard to all the parties interested. you probably know that mr E. Randolph might be at a loss to pay his moiety; and can best judge for yourself whether it might not be for the interest of yourself & your family, by complying with mrs Randolph’s conditions as to your moiety, to be released from the responsibility for the other. I submit this matter to your consideration, and assure you I shall have great pleasure in rendering this hard burthen as easy as the actual circumstances of all the parties will admit, and in exercising the powers committed to me towards relieving you as far as justice admits. mr J. B. Boardeley of Philadelphia is joined with me in the power of attorney, but it is several as well as joint and the desperate state of his health, will hardly permit his participation in the duties of the business. I am with great & constant esteem Dear Sir
Your most obedt. humble servt.
RC (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond; photostat in Vi); addressed: “Philip L. Grymes esq. at Brandon near Urbanna”; franked; endorsed.
Philip Ludwell Grymes (1746–1805), a native of Middlesex County, Virginia, received his education in England at Eton School and Balliol College, Oxford. He returned to Virginia, serving in the House of Burgesses and as county sheriff while still in his twenties, and resided at Brandon, the Middlesex County estate he inherited from his father, Philip Grymes, who died in 1762. Philip Ludwell Grymes’s mother, Mary Randolph Grymes, was the sister of John and Peyton Randolph. The two families were linked again by the marriage of Philip L. Grymes’s brother, John Randolph Grymes, to his cousin Susanna, one of John Randolph’s daughters and a sister of Edmund Randolph. At the time of his death Philip Ludwell Grymes owned several properties and held a number of slaves (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1893– description ends , 28 , 91–6, 189–92b; H. J. Eckenrode, The Randolphs: The Story of a Virginia Family [Indianapolis, 1946], 42; Jonathan Daniels, The Randolphs of Virginia [Garden City, N.Y., 1972], xviii; Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh, The Eton College Register, 1753–1790 [Eton, 1921], 236–7; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619-January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 98, 100).
Ariana Jenings Randolph (1729–1801) was the widow of John Randolph, the last colonial attorney general for Virginia. They married about 1752 and lived at Tazewell Hall, his family’s seat in Williamsburg, until 1775, when the breach between the colonies and Britain caused them to depart Virginia. Leaving behind their son Edmund, then in his early twenties, who refused to emigrate with them, they first took their two daughters to Lord Dunmore’s estate in Scotland, then moved to the Brompton section of London. Ariana Randolph continued to reside there after the death of her husband in 1784 (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends , 18:121–2, 128–9; Conway, Omitted Chapters description begins Moncure Daniel Conway, Omitted Chapters of History Disclosed in the Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia; First Attorney-General United States, Secretary of State, New York, 1888 description ends , viii, 11). For her annuity, see also Mortgage of Slaves and Goods from Edmund Randolph, 19 May 1800.
She desired me some years ago: none of the correspondence between Ariana Randolph and TJ has been located. The first letter recorded in SJL is one from her to TJ of 6 Jan. 1797, received on 8 Apr. of that year, TJ replying on 29 May. She wrote from Brompton nine more times between 1 Nov. 1797 and 2 Nov. 1799, as well as letters of 2 and 6 Apr. 1800 that TJ received on 17 July and 12 June 1800, respectively. Her final letter to TJ, according to SJL, was of 8 July 1800 (received 11 Oct.). TJ wrote to her on 26 Jan. 1799, 1 Feb., 9 May, 30 Aug. 1800, and 9 Feb. 1801.
John Beale Bordley and Ariana Jenings Randolph had the same mother, who was born Ariana Vanderheyden, but were children of her second and third marriages, respectively (Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, Biographical Sketches of the Bordley Family, of Maryland, for Their Descendants [Philadelphia, 1865], 21–6; ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends , 3:211; Conway, Omitted Chapters description begins Moncure Daniel Conway, Omitted Chapters of History Disclosed in the Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia; First Attorney-General United States, Secretary of State, New York, 1888 description ends , viii).
A letter to TJ from Edmund Randolph, dated 16 July and received on the 27th, is recorded in SJL but has not been found.