Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Francis Eyre, 20 January 1761

From Francis Eyre9

AL: Library Company of Philadelphia

Tuesday 20th Jan 1761
Surry Street, Strand

Mr. Eyre’s Compliments to Mr. Franklin, and Mr. Moore’s Act1 was this Day referred by the Committee of the Privy Council to the Lords of Trade.

Mr. Bunce2 brot it in only the 15th. as he had promised Mr. Eyre sometime before.

Addressed: To / Benj. / Franklyn Esq

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9For Francis Eyre, BF’s attorney since the beginning of 1760, see above, p. 22 n.

1On Sept. 27, 1757, Gov. William Denny signed a bill empowering Samuel Preston Moore (above, IV, 295 n), his wife Hannah Hill Moore, and his father-in-law Dr. Richard Hill (1698–1762) “to comply with, establish, ratify and confirm” land sales which Moore and his brother-in-law, Richard Hill, Jr. (1722–1754), had previously made. Hill, Jr., sometimes acting singly and sometimes in conjunction with Moore, had sold land in and around Philadelphia on the condition that a purchaser would receive a “good and sufficient title” only after agreeing to pay a yearly ground-rent in perpetuity and erecting a certain number of buildings within a specified time. Young Hill died in 1754, devising his property to Moore, to his sister Hannah Moore, and to his father to act as trustees for his younger brothers and sisters, some of whom were living in Madeira, others of whom were quite young. Since these children were either physically or legally incapable of conveying land titles to purchasers who had fulfilled the terms of their contracts with Richard Hill, Jr., the Pa. Assembly, in its act of Sept. 27, 1757, empowered the trustees to grant titles in their stead. This act was presented to the King in Council on Jan. 15, 1761, and was referred to the Council’s Committee for Plantation Affairs the next day. Statutes at Large, Pa., V, 315–19, 647–8. For the Hill family, see John Jay Smith, ed., Letters of Dr. Richard Hill and his Children (Phila., 1854). Although this was a private act and should have contained a suspending clause, it did not; nevertheless it was confirmed, June 25, 1761. For further correspondence on this matter, see below, pp. 278, 279, 333, 340–1. The Market Street lot BF had bought from Samuel Preston Moore and his wife Hannah in 1752 (above, IV, 295–6) had at one time been involved in the tangled Hill-Moore real-estate transactions but does not appear to have been one of those with which this act was concerned.

2Probably an employee of Thomas Penn’s agent Henry Wilmot.

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