From Leslie Grove5
ALS: American Philosophical Society
London. 1st. Augt. 1778
From the honor I had of your acquaintance at My Lord Le Despencers at W. Wycomb in 73,6 I am Induced to flatter myself the request I have to make for the Enlargement of a particular Friends Brother now a Prisoner onboard an American Vessel in Brest Road will be comply’d with, the person solicited for is a Brother of Mr. John Trumans an Irish Factor in this City. He was a Passinger on board the Lord Chatham a Merchant Vessel from hence to Dublin, that was taken off Wicklow the 16th April last by the Revenge Privateer belonging to Piscataway.7 You will I am satisfied be more readily be led to comply with this request when I tell you the young man Mr. Thos. Truman has a wife and three young Children much distressed and Unhappy at his Absence and Unpleasent Situation. I shall therefore hold myself Exceedingly Obliged If you will as soon as possible give the Necessary orders for his being set at liberty to return to his Family as I am much Interested for him on his Brothers account.
I resigned the Command of the Thynne Packet, (which you did me the honor to see Launched) about a year ago and have Commenced a manner(?) of business in partnership with my late most worthy Father in laws partner Mr. Knox in this City.8 And when our Unhappy disputes with America are at an end, which I hope will be the case Er’e long, I hope I shall have the honor of seeing you here in the mean time Mrs. Grove begs to Join me in best Compliments to you, I am with great Regard and Esteem Dear Sir Your Most Obedient Humble Servant
If I am to Expect the honor of a line please to direct to No: 4 Crosby Square
Addressed: Doctor Franklin
Endorsed: Capt Grove about an Eng. Prisoner London 1. aout 1778.
Notation: recd. Sunday and opened according to Dr Franklins Desire.
5. Formerly the captain, as he says here, of the Thynne. An article in The Public Advertiser, Aug. 14, 1776, spells his name “Groves,” and his ship Tyne.
6. BF was a frequent visitor to Lord Le Despencer’s West Wycombe home during the summer and fall of 1773; see XX, passim. No evidence of an acquaintance with the Groves has survived.
7. For the Lord Chatham’s capture by the Revenge, see XXVI, 321–2 et seq.
8. The father-in-law was probably Mercer. Ralph Knox was director of the Royal Exchange Assurance, and the firm of Knox & Mercer was located at the address Grove provides below, 4 Crosby Place: Kent’s Directory for 1778, p. 103.