From William Davies Shipley
Llanerch Park near St Asaph [Wales] May 23d 1792
I hope you will forgive the Liberty I take in transmitting to you my late Father’s works, which I have been induced lately to publish.1
The high Esteem & Veneration I well know the Author entertained for both your private & public Character, added to the near Relation which much of the Contents bears to that glorious Cause which had ever his warmest Wishes, And which he lived to see so nobly vindicated (principally thro’ your Exertions) will I trust excuse my Presumption.
That you may long enjoy the Fruits of your honorable & honest Labours, & live to see your Country attain that complete State of National Prosperity & Happiness to which she seems so rapidly approaching, is the sincere Wish of, Sir, Your most faithful & Obedt humble Servt
W. D. Shipley
P.S: I am sorry to observe the Printing is shamefully incorrect—but the mistakes are in general so glaring that the Reader will immediately rectify them.
The Rev. William Davies Shipley (1745–1826), dean of St. Asaph, was the eldest son of the Rev. Jonathan Shipley (1714–1788), bishop of St. Asaph, a longtime friend of Benjamin Franklin and the Adamses, who in June 1786 had performed the marriage of Abigail Adams (1765–1813) and William Stephens Smith. Before the Revolutionary War, Jonathan Shipley had gained popularity in the colonies for his vigorous denunciation in the House of Lords of England’s American policies. GW owned a copy of Shipley’s much-cited pamphlet A Speech Intended to Have Been Spoken on the Bill for Altering the Charters of the Colony of Massachusett’s Bay, which was published in London in 1774 (Griffin, Boston Athenæum Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 182).
1. Jonathan Shipley’s Works (London, 1792) was in GW’s library at the time of his death (ibid., 500).