Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, 3 February 1772

To William Franklin

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Feb. 3. 1772

Dear Son,

This will be delivered to you by the Revd. Mr. Coombe, whom I recommend to your Friendship as a young Gentleman of great Merit, Integrity, and Abilities. He has acquir’d the Esteem of all that knew him here, not as an excellent Preacher only, but as practising the Morality he preaches. I wish him a good Settlement in his Native Country, but I think he would better have found his Interest in remaining here.6

I continue in Health since my Return from my Journey, and I hope yours is fully established. The Parliament has open’d with a Calm in Party Affairs, and Peace seems about to be restor’d between the Turks and Russians.7 I write fully to you per Falconer who sails in a few Days. At present can only add my Love to Betsy, and that I am, as ever, Your affectionate Father

B Franklin

Per Sparks
Memo Wrote also per Sparks a few Lines to Mrs. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6For Thomas Coombe’s journey to England for ordination see above, XV, 286 n. He had taken holy orders in 1769 and become chaplain to Lord Rockingham in 1771, and had finally been ordained to the priesthood just before his return to America. He would have fully endorsed BF’s good opinion of him. His ripening friendship with the older man he took as a tribute to his own success: “at my first coming here,” he wrote of BF, “he appeared shy and cautious, but this wore away gradually, and upon observing the Attention which my Preaching gained me, and the Notice which was taken of me by some Men of Letters, he received me upon the Footing of a Friend.” Coombe to his father, Aug. 4, 1770; Hist. Soc. of Pa. BF had repeatedly urged him to remain in England (see for example ibid., Oct. 3, 1769; June 6, 1770), but Coombe decided after considerable hesitation that the future looked more promising in Philadelphia. After his arrival there he became assistant minister of Christ Church and St. Peter’s; in 1779, however, he returned to England, where he spent the remainder of his long career. DAB.

7The London Chron. reported on Feb. 4–6 a rumor from Warsaw that preliminaries of peace had been signed between Russia and the Porte. The war actually continued for another two years.

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