Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 25 May 1768

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Pensilvania Coffee House London, May 25. 1768

My dear Child,

I thought Capt. Budden had been gone some Weeks since, but calling here just now, I find he is not sail’d but goes this Evening; so I write this Line to let you know that I continue well. I forget whether I told you in any preceding Letter that I have been at Bath and Bristol. At the latter Place I met Mr. Richardson, junr. who had Letters for me.8 I saw there our old Ac[quaintan]ce Mr. Beddome, 9 who enquired kindly [after] you and Sally. He seems to live very well. I was glad to find by my Letters that you were all well. I wish I could go in this Ship, or Capt. Leach, but must stay a few Weeks longer. I am impatient to be with you, being ever Your affectionate Husband

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / Philadelphia / per favour of / Capt. Bud [den] / QD [C]

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Almost unquestionably Francis Richardson, known as Frank. He was born in 1746, the son of Francis and Mary Richardson, a well known Philadelphia Quaker family. Despite his heritage Frank decided on a military life; he went to England (presumably carrying the letters to BF), was commissioned in the Foot Guards in 1772, and eventually rose to lieutenant-colonel. In 1775 he was involved as an informer in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap the King. William W. Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (6 vols., Ann Arbor, 1936–50), II, 412; John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia … (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1844), 1, 560; Samuel Hazard, ed., The Register of Pennsylvania …, VI, no. 11 (Sept. 11, 1830), 167–8; British War Office, A List of Officers of the Army …, 1772 (p. 49) and 1795 (p. 16); Annual Register, XVIII (1775), 239–43.

9Probably the Rev. Benjamin Beddome (c. 1717–96), the Baptist minister of Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos. There is no evidence that he was ever in America; but he was widely loved and respected by Baptists on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1770 he was awarded an honorary M.A. from the College of Rhode Island, later Brown University. Gent. Mag., LXV, Pt. II (1795), 795; William Cathcart, ed., The Baptist Encyclopaedia (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1883), I, 92–3; Harry Clifford, History of Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire (Stow-on-the-Wold, 1916), pp. 89–92.

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