Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Lord Le Despencer, 3 September 1775

To Lord Le Despencer

ALS: Mr. Ben Hibbs, Philadelphia (1956)

Philada. Sept. 3. 1775.

I hope my dear Friend continues well and happy, with good Mrs. Barry and the little ones.3 I had a short Passage hither, arrived safe, was made very welcome by my old Friends and Countryfolks, and have constantly enjoyed my usual Health and Spirits. As I flatter myself you still retain your former Regard for me, I suppose this small News concerning me, will not be unpleasing to you.

We have here a little musical Club at which Catches are sometimes sung, and heard with great Pleasure: But the Performers have only a few old Ones. May I take the Liberty of requesting your Lordship to send me half a Dozen of those you think best among the modern? It would add to the Happiness of a Set of very honest Fellows. With sincere Respect and Affection, I am ever, my dear Lord, Your Lordship’s most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Lord LeDespencer

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Little seems to be known about Mrs. Barry. She presided over Le Despencer’s household for almost eleven years before his death in 1781. Some of his relatives believed that there had been a secret marriage, and he supposedly intended to acknowledge their children when they grew up. The couple had at least two: a son, for whom the Baron provided handsomely in his will, and a daughter, for whom he did not. [Rachel Fanny Antonina Dashwood Lee,] A Vindication of Mrs. Lee’s Conduct towards the Gordons Written by Herself (2nd ed., London, 1807), pp. 11–12, 15.

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