Letters – Godfrey Bosville to John Wentworth – 1 Feb 1771

Document Type: Letters
Date: 1 Feb 1771
Correspondent: Godfrey Bosville
Recipient: John Wentworth
Archive Source: AE Wentworth letters
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Dear Sir,

      Your servants coming over was a lucky circumstance to me as it eas’d me of all that trouble of getting over [the] Stag hounds w[hic]h has hung so long upon my mind; I have sent you two couple, and I hope they will answer; I coud [sic] have sent them a year ago if I had known of anybody to trust them with. I desire likewise your acceptance of a new invented Machine to bleed horses; it appears to be very well contrived for [the] purpose. I am obliged to you for [the] map of New Hampshire in w[hic]h I soon discovered Gunthwait, it called it good land, it has not that title in Yorkshire; so [that] it has improv’d in its passage. I find by the papers you was so kind as to send me [that the] Anabaptists complain heavily ag[ain]st [the] Presbiterians, which shows [that the] Sectarys on your side of [the] water are not so quiet as they are here, for we have not [the] least complaint ab[ou]t Religion; Established and non-established all sides are easy. I enquired about my friend Mr. Rogers and was heartily sorry w[he]n your servant inform’d me he was dead. I had a letter from him last summer, and I wrote to him again desiring that we might correspond together. Whether he got it before he died is now of little importance. Poor Nathaniel Rogers! He had a very honest look, and was a very honest man. In my last I think I told you of [the] reconciliation between Sir Thomas Wentworth and Lord Rockingham w[hic]h I was sure w[oul]d please you as it did me. The best news I co[ul]d tell you now wo[ul]d be [that] Ld. Rockingham had joynd [the] Ministry; but that at present is not in agitation; I wish it was. The Ministry have gather’d strength continually tho’ [the] Peace has been made as much a handle ag[ain]st them as it co[ul]d be, it has signify’d very little.

      The Opposition are gone together by [the] ears, & are sunk to nothing, they are like losing Gamesters abusing one another, and in so doing they expose their own unwarrantable Actions, th[ei]r Airy Shewes too expensive to be executed, w[hi]ch require Funds to support [that] they are by no means possess’d of. Through all these turbulent times [the] Middling Gentry have uniformly adher’d to what has been reckon’d [the] King’s Opinion; they have been much more unanimous upon these occasions than ever I knew them before. They are not of consequence enough to expect Preferment, and therefore act disinterestedly, w[hi]ch gives them an Interest with [the] Commons, and tho’ they are not equal to Nobles Merchants or Lawyers, yet when united they are a very considerable body. I wo[ul]d willingly give you, w[hic]h I believe [the] rest of your friends here are desirous of doing, as much insight as I co[ul]d into how matters stand on this side of [the] water, more than the common Newspapers inform you of which indeed contradict themselves continually. An Oppostion to [the] Ministry there always was in my time and I believe always will be; but I remember that against Sir Robert Walpole increasing every year, now they visibly decline, and will more so if [the] King lets them have Masquerades and other Expensive entertainments to ease th[ei]r pockets of Election money. It often happens [that] such things are accounted deep strokes of Policy take their rise from nothing else but [the] Passions; that have sometimes by wise men been properly directed and have sometimes succeeded by chance. The vanity of Lewis [sic] 14th performed for him what the profoundest Policy cou’d scarcely have done, as by how much it is more difficult to sustain through [the] length of a mans whole Life an Assumed character than a Real one, The pride and riches of [the] French Nobility involved them in Civil Wars and something very like rebellions in his Minority. His vanity prompted him to make carousals, build Palaces and exhibit [the] utmost Magnificence in every thing round him, it attracted [the] Gay from all Countrys, his Nobility dazzled with his Splendor imitated the Monarch, his very vices assisted his interest, his Mistresses [that] he made Duchesses and his Bastards [that] he made Princes of promoted [the] fashion and added to [the] extravagance of [the] times: The Nobility follow’d [the] Mode, and made themselves as poor as [the] most Politic Prince cou’d have wish’d them. His vanity prompted him to make war upon his neighbours, w[hi]ch cut out work for those turbulent spirits to whom quiet is a punishment and engaged the Nobility in his service greatly to [the] addition of his Power. By these means Lewis became Le Grand. Yet to see his character in private life from Madame <Caylies> and others, he was a Dupe to his Mistresses none of whom lov’d him except Fontange, and govern’d by a Crafty old one who even at last persuaded him to marry her. The very diversions of our Henry 5th while he was Prince were robbery and fighting; when he became King his gang was increased and he conquered France. I can never believe but [that] Oliver Cromwell was a real enthusiast; some people are so discerning as to suppose [that] he even intended being King when he was only a Captain of Horse; whereas he rose gradually by taking such advantages as happen’d to lie in his way w[hic]h a less sensible man w[oul]d have overlook’d as Fairfax did. It is pity Ld. Rockingham shou’d stick by a losing game when Wedderbourn  Ld. Hardwick and so many of his old associates are getting to [the] prevailing side; I dare say he might have a very honourable post among [the] Ministrys. William who has been some time a Lieutenant in [the] Guards w[hic]h gives him [the] rank of Captain is now recruiting at Manchester, his next advance w[oul]d be a Company w[hic]h in the Guards gives [the] rank of Lieut. Coll. But he thinks that will be so long a coming [that] he w[oul]d have been glad to have seen you or any other Country with the denomination of Major to some new rais’d Corps if there had been a War; for my own part as I am perfectly satisfy’d with my Son and Heir, I am not desirous of having him such preferment and renown in such an exotic manner, the Guards have fighting enough, for commonly half their Officers are kill’d. Thomas I propose putting to Mr. Sampson in [the] City a considerable whole sale Upholsterer next year. Lady Macdonald has a second Daughter at th[ei]r House in Cavendish Square. Julio is in Great Russell Street with Mrs. Bosville and me. I thought you might have [the] curiosity to know what was become of us all, we are well and I assure you that every part of [the] family desires th[ei]r best compliments to you and your lady. After [the] last War there was a great many Highlanders settled in America, I know [the] Germans retain their own language, I wonder whether [the] Highlanders do. I wish they did, for otherwise [the] Old Celtic will in time be entirely lost. It remains but in one single town in Cornwall which belongs to Sir John Trevillian. English gains ground in the Highlands in Wales and in Ireland, and the French has drove it out from all but [the] Bas Bretagne. – Diodorus Siculus gives an Acct. of [the] Scythians breaking into [the] Median Empire in the [time] of Cyaxares, those [that] remain’d were destroy’d by a Treacherous Massacre like that of St. Bartholomew, but he says they still left [the] names of many things w[hic]h are yet called after their Language, particularly he mentions knives and other things w[hic]h they us’d in Sacrifice, which names are exactly [the] same they are at this hour call’d by in [the] Highlands w[hic]h proves th[ei]r Language Ersh [sic]. Sir A. Macdonald has got [the] letter of an Appeal against him in [the] House of Lords which was purchased in his minority: It lies between two of his Estates in Skye. You must have heard of Mons[ieu]r D’eon and his quarrel with [the] French Embass[ado]r Count De Guerche. It seems this Mons[ieu]r is a woman: She has been a Minister here , a Captain of the Dragoons, and she wears a <logix> de St Lois: Though this distinction is given as a mark of twenty service; She never serv’d at all, but having a commission young, she was taken out to be Secretary, and being continued in the post from time to time, she had [the] honor given her with [the] rest of [the] Officers whose commissions bore [the] same date, she was bred up as a boy by her Mother. This news I heard today and it is affirm’d to be true from several hands. Mr. Lane of Deans Street said he was afraid it w[oul]d get into [the] papers before he c[oul]d inform his friends and therefore he had wrote two letters last night. This winter has been remarkably severe, we had snow in our country, a deep one [the] beginning of November, the greatest floods ever known and a quantity of rain, and now we have a snow, not very usual at this time of [the] year. I hear but a bad account of Mr. Michael Wentworth, I knew but little of him, having never seen him above two or three times in my life, and never was in his company but once I din’d with him at Lord Straffords. There are some fine streets built from [the] Strand where Durham Yard stood, and there are Warehouses underneath them, there has been a quarrel between [the] City ab[ou]t [the] embanking of [the] Thames, in [the] papers it is called [the] finest River in [the] world; but what is [the] Thames compar’d to [the] Mississippi, [the] River Lawrence or several other Rivers in your Country. As we all speak [the] same language, and are many of mutually acquainted I hope [the] Animosities between the English of Europe and [the] English of America will come to an end. Please be so kind as to present my best respects to your Lady and be assur’d [that] I am, 

      Dear Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

      Godfrey Bosville 
Letter is undated. Assuming the Nathaniel Rogers mentioned here was the Boston merchant victimised for opposing the ‘tea party’ tax revolt, the letter might be dated to 1771, the year after Rogers’ death. This would fit with mention of his son William having been ‘some time a Lieutenant’, a rank he was promoted to in 1769. The following letter of March 1772 refers to the sending of the stag hounds as having been over a year previously, so this letter can perhaps be dated to around February 1771.

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