George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Willcocks, 3 September 1793

From William Willcocks

Cork [Ireland] 3d Septemr 1793


Having had the honour of being introduced to Your Excellency by Mr Purvyance at Baltimore last March, and being Elected Mayor of this City Since my return, but do not come into Office till the 30th of the present Month; In that Situation it occurs to me that I may be useful, particularly to Your new City, which I hinted to Col: Deakins, who I had the pleasure to see at George Town, I therefore take the liberty to make a tender of my best Services, As I will be happy to serve America in every matter that does no injury to Great Britain, Ireland, or their dependencies.1

Inclosed I send You Two Cork, & One Waterford, Newspapers, there is from London this day a Gazette Extraordinary arrived dated the 28th Ult: which gives an Accot of a battle between the Ally’d Army, & French, near Lefferinks Hook, in which the former were Victorious, but Suffered very Considerably. The Austrian Genl Dalton was Killed, likewise Col: Eld of the Coldstream Regt, with many other Officers, The Duke of Yorks head Quarters was about a League from Dunkirk.2 With the Utmost respect, I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient, Humble Servant,

Will: Willcocks


1GW stopped at Baltimore on 30 March, en route from Philadelphia to Mount Vernon, but other than this letter, no written evidence has been identified pertaining to Willcocks’s meeting with GW. Willcocks’s contacts probably were Robert Purviance, who served as naval officer of Baltimore, 1789–94, and William Deakins, Jr., treasurer for the District of Columbia. Willcocks served one year as mayor of Cork. During that term he twice wrote GW. In his letter of 23 Oct., he confirmed the “tender of my best Services for the good of the United States, & particularly of Your New City,” and added, “for Your Amusement I send a few Newspapers by this opportunity” (DLC:GW). His letter of 29 April 1794 again enclosed newspapers (DLC:GW). No reply to any of the letters from Willcocks has been found.

2The enclosed newspapers have not been identified. Lt. Col. George Eld of the Coldstream Guards and Austrian Lt. Gen. Edward D’Alton were killed on 24 Aug. in an action near the canal of Furnes (Times [London], 2 Sept.). Furnes (Veurne) is in West Flanders province, West Belgium, six miles west-southwest of Nieuport. The British commander, Frederick Augustus, Duke of York, sent his report of the action to George III on 26 Aug. from Leffrinckoucke, a village four miles east of Dunkirk (Arthur Aspinall, ed., The Later Correspondence of George III [5 vols., Cambridge, England, 1962–70], 2:79–80).

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