Letters – Godfrey Bosville to John Wentworth – 23 Aug 1768

Document Type: Letters
Date: 23 Aug 1768
Correspondent: Godfrey Bosville
Recipient: John Wentworth
Archive Source: AE Wentworth letters
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Dear Sir,

      Your letter gave me great pleasure and flatter’d my Vanity very much to find that I was remember’d at so great a distance, and especially by a Gentleman in your Station, and that your letter by the length of it is not merely a complimentary one, but I have really been some hours in your thoughts, notwithstanding the multiplicity of business that a person of your rank must be perpetually involved in. You should have heard from me sooner if I could have got what you wanted, for when I was in London it was out of my power to enquire after hounds; Since I came into the country I have endeavour’d to get some: if Foxhounds would be acceptable should hope to procure some young ones that might prove good: There are no Stag hounds but what belong to the King, they are in Nottinghamshire, and I think Lord Byron is master of the Stag hounds, a Gentleman with whom I have no sort of acquaintance nor with anybody that knows him, but I have wrote to a friend of mine in Nottinghamshire to try what he can do to come at a whelp or two: Sir Thomas and I are using our best endeavours to get some, but Sportsmen will never part with their best dogs and we should be sorry to send such as do not deserve so long a carriage and would disgrace their country when they came there. You have probably heard that my daughter is married to Sir Alexander Macdonald, so that one of my family is very well disposed of. I was the other day at Lord Rockingham’s where I met with a very agreeable reception: I am very sorry to say that matters are still in the same way between him and Sir Thomas Wentworth. Things are not worse and time may bring matters about. I think as it is that in a contested election Sir Thomas would not oppose my Lord. The Racoon is alive and hearty at Bretton, he is very tame. The monkey is dead. We now and then see some of your countrymen. Mr. Rogers has been in Yorkshire, Mr. Palmer is in Yorkshire, and we expect to see Mr. P. Wentworth, for Sr. Alexander Macdonald wrote me word from Edinburgh that he had had a letter from him and that he proposed being here. My son has been in Africk for his diversion in the King of Morocco’s dominions he says he has been in the two most absolute countrys in the world, That, and the King of Prussias; but he thinks the Moors have more liberty, for though the King will massacre a whole village witht. distinction, they can go at liberty from one town to another whenever they please; but in Prussia they cannot stir from one town to another, scarce from one street to another without a pass. He says the multitude of inhabitants is amazing, and the ground produces two crops in a year, and wou’d supply all Europe, as Mr. Popham the consul informed him, with corn if there was property, but besides the Emperor’s Troops Hords of Arabs come with th(ei)r horses and camels and stay upon a place without asking leave till they have eat up every thing: they live in tents made of camels hair, William says he saw above twenty thousand of them; one of their captains show’d him a great deal of civility: they have no other name for their Officers but Captain, of ten, fifty, or five hundred, the title is the same. The country is amazingly populous greatly beyond England, and by never killing lambs or calves they not only supply themselves but Spain with provisions, their fruit of all sorts is the finest in the world, but they make no other use of their grapes but to eat them as they make no wine, and when they shoot a wild boar, they leave him there: Their Partridges are much larger than ours, have red legs, are in great plenty and sit in palm trees. – William went with his old friend Major Hawke the Admirals son they were above a month in the country and went up till they saw the people go naked: They had some Soldiers of the Black Army for the Emperor does not trust the natives, and an Interpreter with them, except when they wou’d go to where the people are now in rebellion, they said they woud [sic] go if the King woud send 10,000 more, but not otherwise for the Rebells had but just massacred Bassa Hamet and his whole family and burnt his house. Yet they have such a respect to improvements that they wou’d not destroy his fine gardens. Here they had like to have suffered Martyrdom w(he)n they had no instructor, they knew the respect due to a Mosch [sic] and the ground about it, but they happen’d to get upon the ground of a Saint wch. is likewise so sacred that the Moors walk barefoot upon it. Mr. Hawke walk’d over in his boots wch. produced such a shower of stones, that had it not been for thr. nimbleness in mounting and the swiftness of their mules they had undergone the fate of St. Stephen, or if they had been cach’d perhaps worse. They claim no merit for their religious sufferings, but they are very angry at the Saint, they say he was a fool! So most Saints are; some indeed are knaves. A caravan from the inner parts of Africa had brought some Girls to be sold, they had Braceletts about thr. necks and arms wch. William lik’d and wanted to buy some, they ask’d a great price, but he wd. have pay’d it, had he not luckily espyd. Birmingham upon them. They had I suppose been exchang’d on the coast and then traffick’d farther up unto the country. At Lisbon Count La Lippe invited William to dinner upon seeing his Coldstream regimentals at a Review, he had formerly been in that regimt himself, Hawk was ill, he much entertain’d with his scheme of going to Morocco, and sd. he believ’d no body ever went there for their diversion before, that he knew Lord <....awley> and was sure he wou’d give him leave. They recd. many Civilitys too at Gibraltar both from the Governor and Garrison & made an excursion into Spain. They intended to have gone with the Tripoli Embassador in the Aeolus frigate, Capt. Bennet, and at Portsmouth they met with many Civilitys from Commissioner Hughs and the officers there on Account of Sir Edward Hawke, but Trip. stayd so long till their Patience was tried and they went from Falmouth in the Packet and made the rock of Lisbon the 6th day and got in the 7th the shortest passage the Capt. Ever knew. But William pay’d for it in his return for when he left Mr. Hawke at Gibraltar he went in a leaky bad built ship, they were above 5 weeks at sea; Coll. Maxwell who set out 25 days after them got here long enough before them & reported they were lost. They were reduced to short allowance of water, first a quart, then a pint a day, and to mend the matter the crew mutinyd. and sometimes would not work the ship. The Capt. said that if it had not been for the passengers he verily believ’d they would have murdered him. The first news I heard of William was seeing him in a Post Chaise at the door. We have had prodigious floods in this country this summer. The water rose at Bradford three yards perpendicular in a very short time with but little rain there. It had fallen higher in the hills, it swept the streets and sev[era]l people walking there were drown’d and likewise in their houses: last week there was the same at Sheffield with the same effect. The Hospital is swept away entirely and ye old women in it are drown’d, sev[era]l houses too and sev[era]l persons: a Child was carry’d down in a cradle above six miles to Conningsborough, and taken out alive and well – My house has stood the winds, as to Rains, nothing but Noah’s flood can reach us. We have finished our Kitchen Garden, we have lengthen’d our long walk, made a shady straight walk in the Oaks, let in the low lodging room window into the garden by removing the wall close above the back stairs and made a little terras from that window to the Oaks and we are now making a fish pond at the upper end of the <Jug> next the lane, we shall make another below the Alcove seat in the long walk. You desir’d to know what we were doing we intended to do. Sir Thomas Wentworth had got Wentworth of the Guards Ld. Straffords relation and his sister at Bretton, Wentworth is mightily taken with Prince and Billy Wood, he went with Prince to Harrowgate and is gone with Billy Wood upon Hepen Stall Moors beyond Hallifax. Mr. Spencer, Mr. Walker, Mr. Phipps, Mr. West and the rest of your neighbours are just in statu Quo as you left them; but poor Mrs. Wentworth at Bath is dead and we are now in mourning for her; she had a second stroke of the palsey one morning after a good nights rest and died the next; her loss tho’ it is what might very well be expected, is nevertheless lamented by all her acquaintance. Lord and Lady Strafford and Genl. Howard din’d here the other day: Perry Wentworth I met at Ld. Rockinghams. I thought you would like to hear what became of your acquaintance though I have no news to send them. Mrs. Bosville desires her best respects to you, as do’s likewise Miss Julia who is the only chicken I have left here, for William is in London entertaining himself with Coalheavers, he has been quartered twice in an empty house in Wapping where Officers and Soldiers were lodg’d together in Straw; some of the Rioters are hang’d for the murders they have committed; Tommy is at Cheam School, and has just got over the Meazles which I am very glad of: Di is in Scotland much to the satisfaction of her friends; Sir Alexander Macdonald was in the Guards, he is a well made young man, taller and larger than William, very likely you may have seen him, for they were much acquainted, were in the same Regimt and he was sometimes at my house; his income is better than most private gentlemens in that kingdom and his Estates very improvable: his power is very great, for he is chief of one of the largest clans in Scotland, and his Ancestors were Kings of the Isles, but that I need not mention for Historys have told you of that: His brother Sir James died in Italy, and was buried in the Porch of St. Peters Church at Rome, a very unusual compliment to a Protestant, but he had a most unusual Character. I have just received a letter from Billy he says he was upon Guard when the King of Denmark arrived, and that he is very lively, boyish looking man. We have neither of the Miss Wentworths in Yorkshire, Miss Annabelle may be at Bretton the latter end of the year. Miss Wentworth wou’d have been here before this time had it not been for the death of her Aunt. The floods have entirely destroy’d the Navigation from Wakefield to Hallifax and I question whether the Proprietors will begin it again or no. You know Horbury Bridge that is taken down. My friends rise in the world. One a Governor and another Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Doctor Cornwallis I have been acquainted with ever since I had connexions in Staffordshire, and I much esteem him when he was Bishop of Lichfield his moderation to those he had power over, his generosity and many other good qualitys made his Public day a very very Public one indeed, and I make no question but in his present high station he will give as much satisfaction as any Arch Bishop that ever went before him. The seeds you was so kind as to send me are now fine plants, they will be a great ornament to the Oaks, I shall value them much both on account of their own beauty and likewise for the sake of the donor. We often drink your health and we are going to a place tomorrow where we shall be sure to remember you, to Bretton races.

      I wonder whether you have the same alteration in your weather In America that we have in ours, it rains every day almost and we have no hot days, no summer feel, yet the crops are as good as they us’d to be and at the same time of the year. We have been so very fashionable as to have Oratorios in the West Riding, there was one at Hallifax on opening their new Organ. One afterwards at Wakefield, then one at Hanley, and this year one at Permiston, and those that understood music said that considering the disadvantages they had it was very well perform’d. It has had such an effect on them that the Parish have subscribed and bought an Organ, perhaps you may think it was my influence, but I assure you it was not, I neither made interest about it , nor was I the first that subscribed by a great many. Mr Allot was there I believe he has <sought> most of them, they had some hands from Manchester that they pay’d. Dick Allot his youngest son who used to sing so well has got a living of £300 a year wch. was given him by the Arch Bishop of Tuam who says he will provide still farther for him. The storm of Wilks & Liberty is greatly abated & fair weather seems to be coming on. People seem to be much more united than they us’d to be. I reflect upon our Acquaintance with great satisfaction and shall always esteem a letter from you as a singular favour to, Dear Sir

      Your most Obedient Servant

      Godfrey Bosville

Gunthwaite, August 23rd 1768

Coln bridge, Cooper bridge, Salter hibble bridge, almost all the bridges are, a loaded cart was carry’d under Sheffield bridge and found standing under it w[he]n the waters settled. The Arch stood and ye abutments gave way. We have a Mr. Shaw from America at Mr. Cockshutts. 

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467