Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Count of Belgioioso: Two Letters, 30 September 1772

From the Count of Belgioioso:4 Two Letters

AL: American Philosophical Society

Portmansquare Septr the 30th [17725]

The Count of Belgioioso presents His best Compliments to Dr. Franklin and would take it as a particular Favour if He’d please to inform Him where the Person lives who makes the Glasses for the Harmonica according to His Invention: as the French Embassadour6 who is a great Lover of Musick and is desireous of having One enquired to The Count about this said Person; but he not being able to satisfy him in this particular, has recourse to Dr. Franklin’s Goodness for an Information.

Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin / in / Cecil Street / near the Strand

Portman Square Sepr the 30th. [1772]

The Count of Belgioioso presents His best Compliments to Dr. Franklin with many thanks for the new Token of Friendship He is pleased to give him in His obliging offer:7 but the French Embassador being at present in Scotland whence He will not return till the latter end of next November; the Count is obliged to differ [defer] giving Dr. Franklin a particular Answer in this Respect.

Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin / in Craven Street / Strand

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Count Ludovico Barbiano de Belgioioso (1728–1803) had recently turned from a military to a diplomatic career. He was Ambassador to St. James’s from the court of Vienna, 1769–83, and during his stay in London developed a wide circle of acquaintances, from the King to scientists and writers. He was subsequently the instrument for putting into effect in the Low Countries the disastrous reforms of Joseph II. Dizionario biografico degli Italiani (15 vols., to date, Rome, [1960–]), VI, 211–13.

5This and the following document were clearly written on the same day and on the same business, a favor requested by the French Ambassador. The second note speaks of the Frenchman’s being in Scotland, and his tour of the British Isles was in 1772: London Chron., Sept. 17–19, Nov. 17–19, 1772.

6For Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, comte de Guines (1735–1805), the French Ambassador to St. James’s from 1770 to 1776, see Larousse, Dictionnaire universel, under Guines.

7BF had clearly replied to Belgioioso’s written inquiry, perhaps by giving the bearer an oral message; in all likelihood he had offered to order the armonica.

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