Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson, 4 August 1762

To Peter Collinson

ALS: Pierpont Morgan Library

Wednesday, Augt 4. 1762

I did not receive my Dear Friend’s Letter of yesterday5 till I came home late in the Evening. I have this Morning wrote the Directions you desired, and sent them to your Friend.6 If you should hear that they are not quite clear in any particular, let me know that I may explain what is doubtful.

My Son presents his Respects. We intend our selves the Pleasure of Waiting on you to-morrow and taking a Dinner with you, if we do not hear that it will be an inconvenient Day for you. As the Ship is so near Sailing, I shall not have time to visit Mill Hill7 and enjoy its Pleasures any more. I am, Dear Friend, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Not found.

6Collinson’s friend may have been Henry Fox, first Baron Holland (1705–1774), paymaster general, 1757–65, and leader of the House of Commons, October 1762–April 1763, during which time he secured the votes, often through the “grossest bribery,” to pass the peace treaty with France which concluded the Seven Years’ War. DNB. Collinson frequently dined with Fox at Holland House and corresponded with him about a lightning rod which he had installed on his seaside home at Kingsgate, Kent, near the North Foreland. Therefore, if it was Fox to whom Franklin sent “Directions,” they may have concerned the installation of a lightning rod. On Oct. 21, 1762, Collinson wrote Franklin that “Mr. Fox thinks himself extreemly obliged for your Letter,” which may have covered the directions mentioned here. See below, p. 151; Norman G. Brett-James, The Life of Peter Collinson F.R.S., F.S.A. (London, [1926]), pp. 94–6.

7Collinson’s house near Hendon outside of London.

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