From John Hawkesworth2
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bromley Kent 5th Jan 1771
My dear Sir
The Bearer, Mr. Ackland, is a Candidate for the Afternoon Preacher-ship at the Foundling Hospital:3 and I earnestly recommend him to your Assistance; in this I am not only countenanced by your Friendship, but prompted by Duty. Mr. Ackland is a worthy and ingenious Man, and a most excellent Preacher, and to serve him in his profession is to promote rational Christianity, favour Merit, and do credit to the Institution to which, if this Application succeeds, he will belong. I know not if you are a Governor, but I am sure you know many who are, and I am sure that with all who know you, the same Qualities for which I love and honour you, give you a powerfull Interest.
If I thought this Letter required an apology I would not have written it. I shall only add that any favour conferred on Mr. Ackland will be considered as an Obligation upon Dear Sir Your ever faithfull affectionate
P.S. If you should give Mr. Ackland a Letter for Dr. Moreton, do not mention me, because I was examined to prove the Sanity of his wife’s Mother, Mrs. Pratt, whose will it was much his Interest to set aside.4 I hope the End of the Month will bring us together.
Addressed: To / Benja. Franklin Esqr / at Mrs Stevenson’s Craven Street / Charing Cross
Endorsed: Dr Hawkesworth
2. BF’s friend, the essayist, editor, and playwright; see above, IX, 265 n, and subsequent volumes.
3. He was probably the Rev. Thomas Ackland (1743–1808), who had been ordained only three years before. John A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses... (10 vols., Cambridge, 1922–54), pt. 2, 1, 5. For the Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children, known as the Foundling Hospital, see above, VIII, 286 n.
4. For Dr. Morton, the physician at the Foundling Hospital, see above, X, 71 n. He had married a widow, Lady Savile; she was the daughter of Honoretta Pratt, the wife of John Pratt of Dublin. Mrs. Pratt had died in September, 1769. [Thomas Wotton,] The Baronetage of England... (Edward Kimber and Richard Johnson, eds; 3 vols., London, 1771), I, 71; London Chron., Sept. 26–28, 1769. The DNB, under Morton, mistakes the date of his marriage.