Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Price, 15 May 1767

From Richard Price

ALS (mutilated): American Philosophical Society

May 15th. 1767

Dear Sir

I was in some expectation of seeing you last night in Crane-Court;1 but not having had this Pleasure I take the liberty to write this to you to put you in [mind] of doing me a favour which I think you gave me Some [reason?] to hope for the last time I Saw you, I mean dining [torn] on Holy-thursday, or next thursday Sennight.2 [Dr. Hawk]esworth, Mr. Canton and Mr. Densham3 are then to dine with me, and we shall be greatly disappointed should any thing happen to deprive us of your company. Our dining [time?] will be about three. We meet next thursday the last [time before?] the Summer at St. Paul’s Coffee-House, and I hope then [to see?] you.4 I am, Dear Sir, with great respect Your most obedient and humble Servant

Richd: Price

1Off of Fleet Street, where the Royal Society had held its meetings regularly since 1710.

2In the Anglican Communion Holy Thursday is Ascension Day, which in 1767 fell on May 28. Price was writing on a Friday, thirteen days before the proposed dinner.

3These guests were: John Hawkesworth (presumably), of Bromley, friend of BF and Polly Stevenson; John Canton, electrician, who with Price and BF had been helping Priestley in his History of Electricity the year before; and either Joseph Densham (1711–1792), a dissenting minister and a former tutor of Price, known as a mathematician and classical scholar, or James Densham, identified by Verner W. Crane as a member of the Club of Honest Whigs. 3 Wm. and Mary Quar., XXIII (1966), 219–20.

4The Club of Honest Whigs, of which both BF and Price were members, met on alternate Thursdays at St. Paul’s Coffeehouse, near the entrance to St. Paul’s Churchyard; above, XI, 98 n.

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