Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Conte Giovanni Baptista Carburi, 27 March 1765

From Conte Giovanni Baptista Carburi1

AL: American Philosophical Society

Mercredi matin 27 Mars in Stanhope Street [1765]2

Le Comte Carburi fait mille compliments à Mr. le Doc[teu]r Franklin, et lui fait savoir que le Duc de Marlborough3 seroit charmé de l’avoir chez lui à Marlborough house vendredi prochain, environ à midi, et de le voir faire les experiences Electriques. Ainsi le Dr. Franklin est prié de dire s’il pourra y être, et s’il à besoin de voir auparavant la machine electrique dont il se servira.

Addressed: To Docteur Franklin / in the Strand.

1Conte Giovanni Baptista Carburi (d. 1801), physician, one of three distinguished brothers, was born on the island of Cephalonia and educated in Italy. He was professor of medicine at Turin, 1750–70; physician to the royal family in France, 1770; and later returned to Italy as professor of physiology at Padua. Emilio de Tipaldo, ed., Biografia degli Italiani Illustri, IX (Venice, 1844), 106–9; Pierre Larousse, Grand Dictionnaire Universel.

2During BF’s two missions to England, March 27 fell on a Wednesday only in 1765 and 1771. Carburi visited England and Scotland in 1764–65 and was elected F.R.S., March 21, 1765. He also visited London in 1771, but the earlier year seems the more probable for the dating of this note. See below, p. 198, and Sir Archibald Geikie, Annals of the Royal Society Club (London, 1917), pp. 90, 91.

3George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1739–1817), succeeded to the title in 1758. In the Grenville ministry he was lord privy seal, April 1763 to July 1765. Oxford University conferred the degree of D.C.L. on him in 1763 and he became high steward in 1779. Among his gifts to the university was a large telescope, but what interest he may have had in electricity is not known. DNB.

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