Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Anne Farrow, 8 January 1759

From Anne Farrow9

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Castle Thorp, January the 8 1759

Dear Sir

I hope you will not think it bold though I Present you with a few Lines being So near a Relation. Hearing you was not gone out of England1 I thought I could do no less When I was informed in Summer2 you was come over into England to see all your Relations I fanced my Self with great Pleasures of seeing you and your offspring. Which Pleasure would have been the greatest I could have had in this world to think that I had lived to see my Dear Uncle Josiahs Son and his offspring3 as was my Dear Fathers first Prentence.4 If I had not been of low Circumstance I would have gone to New England many years agone to have seen my Relations and what a Pleasent Place it was for my good Uncle Benjman sent me the heads of it and if my age and circumstance would Answer I would see you still before you went out of England but I am a Poor Widow being now in my Seventy four. But Dear Sir I hope you will be so good as to grant a Poor widows request as to Answer my Letter5 but I Should have joy without measure to see you I having Neither Brother nor Sisters alive only a Daughter.6 I thank God I have a good Bed to Lodge you if you was to come that is all my comfort I live wihin two Miles of Stony Strafford. My Daughters complements and mine wait on you and your son though unknown so I remain your ever affectionate and Loving Coussin to Command

Anne Farrow

Direct for me at Castle Thorp near Stoney Strafford

Addressed: To Mr / Franklin in Craven / Street Strand / London

Endorsed: Ann Farrow Jan. 8. 1759

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s first cousin (A.; see the preceding document. Mrs. Farrow used no punctuation in this letter or that of Jan. 19, 1759 (below, pp. 237–9). Periods and capitals have been added sparingly where the sense seems absolutely to require.

1Mrs. Farrow was in Wellingborough during the last week of December 1758, and for a few days at the beginning of January 1759, serving as the administratrix of Mary Fisher’s estate. She probably learned that BF was still residing in London from his letter (not found) to Richard Quinton. See the preceding document.

2Possibly by Mary Fisher, whom Mrs. Farrow visited on occasion (below, p. 237); possibly by Mrs. Farrow’s brother-in-law, Robert Page, whom BF visited at Banbury in the summer of 1758. See above, p. 118.

3Although Mrs. Farrow’s home at Castlethorpe near Stony Stratford, Bucks, was only about twenty miles from Banbury, through which BF and WF passed on the last leg of their Midlands journey in the summer of 1758, it was on a different road to London and they did not go to visit her. The cousins did see each other, however, before she died. BF to Jane Mecom, July 17, 1771.

4Josiah Franklin was apprenticed to his brother John (A.5.2.3), a silk dyer, when they both lived at Banbury. For their brother Benjamin’s comments on John, see above, p. 153 n.

5BF lost no time in granting this request; see below, p. 237.

6Hannah Farrow Walker (A. of Westbury, Northamptonshire.

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