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Thorpe Lea April 7 1804 Dear Brother I am much obliged to you for your kind letter, w[hi]ch should not have been so long unanswered, but really my spirits are so low, I am incapable of doing anything as I ought to do. I had a very kind letter from Admiral Collingwood, w[hi]ch I did not Answer as I soon after saw by the papers that his ship had sailed, I will beg of you to make my excuses when you write to him for my neglect. I hope Mr Bates has waited on you before this time, to beg your acceptance of a frill for mourning, as I know that, and many other things woud have been done, had not the contents of the will been forgot, as it had been made so many years. I am sure if I coud guess, at anything that was intended to be done, I woud doe it immediately. I look upon it very unfortunate my Daughter being Absent at this time, and I see not the least likelyhood of her return at present, she must come by Hamburgh, a long Journey for her and her Daughters without anyone to protect them, as she cannot have a man Servant come with her, tho she has two English Servants there, who are both with Gen. Scott. he has been making applycations for leave to go to Versail[l]es to console his wife in her affliction. but he coud not obtain it, nor coud he get leave to come upon his Parole, to see his family safe in England, and return immediately. I think this is very hard considering her situation, we had a letter from him at Verdun, the other day with this account, we have had no letter from her these six weeks, it is very hard to have only our Daughter, and be deprived of any comfort from her, in my situation. she was very much [word missing] to stay after Lord Whitworth left Paris, they all ought to have return’d at that time. I hope Mrs. Collingwood and the young Ladys [are] well, I beg to be remembered to them. I am sorry to hear that Mr Stead is ill at Bath, <pitty> but she was with him, I think it woud be a satisfaction to them both. My Son & Daughter & the little Boy are come to stay a little time with me, I think I never saw a finer child. my Son & Daughter unite with me in Loving affection, believe me, Dear Brother your affectionate unhappy Sister, Ann Blackett [on verso:] John E. Blackett Esq / Newcastle [annotated in JEB’s hand:] Dow[age]r Lady Blackett / April 7th 1804 [Staines postmark]
Anne, nee Douglas, was the widow of the recently deceased Sir Edward Blackett. JEB was her brother-in-law.