Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from [Mary] Rich, [1766–1769]

From [Mary] Rich

AL: American Philosophical Society

Grosvenor Square fryday [1766–1769]7

As Miss Rich finds her Servant deliverd the money and Reciept to a Little Girl, She is desirous to know that Dr. Franklin recievd it, therefore begs he will just write her a line by the penny Post. She will also be obligd to him for the Direction to the man that made the Spindle &ca in Case She Should at any time want his Assistance. She finds so much difficulty in keeping the Glasses turning the right way, that She has some thoughts of having a handle made by which it may be turnd by another person while She plays.8

Addressed: To / Doctor Franklin / in Craven Street / near the / Strand.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7If the writer of this note is indeed Mary Rich, the daughter and sister of distinguished soldiers (both named Sir Robert Rich), a friend of Horace Walpole, and, as this note reveals, a player of the armonica, then it can not have been written later than July 18, 1769, the date of her death. London Chron., July 20–22, 1769. One reason for placing this note here is the reference to the “Little Girl” at Craven Street, to whom Miss Rich’s servant delivered money; this was probably Sally Franklin, BF’s second cousin once removed (A., who came to stay with Mrs. Stevenson in the spring of 1766. See above, p. 446.

8Some armonicas were indeed made to be turned by a handle in this manner instead of by a foot treadle. One such, privately owned, is illustrated in R.T.H. Halsey et al, compilers, Benjamin Franklin and His Circle A Catalogue of an Exhibition (N.Y., Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 11–Sept. 13, 1936), p. 133.

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