Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Elizabeth Montagu, [January?] 16, [1772?]

From Elizabeth Montagu8

AL: American Philosophical Society

Hillstreet Thursday [January?] the 16th [1772?9]

Mrs. Montagu presents her compliments to Dr. Franklyn, and is afraid he will think her troublesome in desiring the favour of his company on Sunday next the 19th, as well as on this day sennight. Mr. Bolton, who has promised to dine with Mrs. Montagu on sunday, will be best rewarded for his civility by meeting Dr. Franklyn, and so great an Artist as Mr. Bolton makes a grateful return to Philosophy by presenting it in forms and substances to the Beau monde which they are capable of admiring,1 and therefore she flatters herself Dr. Franklyn will indulge him with his conversation.

Addressed: To / Dr Franklyn / at Mrs Stephensons / Craven street / In the Strand

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8See above, XIV, 70 n.

9BF’s acquaintance with Mrs. Montagu, aside from a few casual meetings during his first English mission, began in 1767 at earliest (ibid., pp. 70–1); and this invitation could have been issued at any time from then until his return to America in 1775. But the first evidence we have found of his visiting her is in 1772, an entry in his cash book (1772, 1778–80; APS) under Feb. 15. We are assuming, on no tenable grounds whatever, that she extended these invitations to him the month before.

1Presumably James Bolton (fl. 1775–95), a self-taught Yorkshire naturalist and artist. DNB. He would have been a natural protégé for Mrs. Montagu, with her extensive Yorkshire connections.

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