Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Leslie Grove, 1 August 1778

From Leslie Grove5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London. 1st. Augt. 1778

Dear Sir

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

Leslie Grove

If I am to Expect the honor of a line please to direct to No: 4 Crosby Square

Doctor. Franklin

Addressed: Doctor Franklin

Endorsed: Capt Grove about an Eng. Prisoner London 1. aout 1778.

Notation: recd. Sunday and opened according to Dr Franklins Desire.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Formerly 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.

6BF 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.

7For the Lord Chatham’s capture by the Revenge, see XXVI, 321–2 et seq.

8The 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.

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