Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Robertson, 30 January 1770

From William Robertson4

ALS5: Princeton University Library

College of Edinburgh Janry 30th 1770

Dear Sir

By some unlucky accident I could find no person to take the charge of Dr. Haven’s Diploma.6 I have therefore got my Brother to put it into a box which he was sending by the waggon to his correspondents Messrs. Poole & Buckenton Jewellers in Bartholemew Closs.7 I suppose it will be in London by the time you receive this letter, and if you take the trouble of sending for it to those Gentlemen, they will deliver it to your servant. Do me the justice to believe that I am, at all times, very happy in obeying your commands, for I am with great sincerity and respect Dear Sir your affectionate and most humble Servant

William Robertson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The famous historian and principal of Edinburgh, for whom see above, IX, 220 n.

5The MS bears a later and revealing annotation: “Note to Dr. Franklin from Dr. Robertson the author of the History of America, and Charles 5, given me by Jared Sparks Esq. in 1837. R. Gilmor.”

6Samuel Haven (1727–1806), minister of the Second or South Congregational Church in Portsmouth, N.H., received his S.T.D. from Edinburgh on Dec. 24, 1769. Catalogue of the Graduates … of the University of Edinburgh since Its Foundation (Edinburgh, 1868), p. 244. BF was induced to obtain the degree for him, the story goes, by Col. Samuel Sherburne of Portsmouth, to repay Haven for preaching the funeral sermon of Sherburne’s father. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, XII, 385.

7The brother was Patrick Robertson, a prosperous Edinburgh jeweler, and his London correspondents were Poole & Bickerton. DNB under William Robertson; Kent’s Directory … (London, 1770), p. 141.

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