To Duke of Bedford
Note by Editor of "works"
THE following letter of Howe, never before published, (received too late to be inserted in the memoir, which had all been printed off before it reached me,) was courteously sent by Mr. Macray, of Oxford, to Mr. R. Machray, of Sidney College, Cambridge, to be transmitted to me. Two letters of Howe, to the same correspondent - the Rev. Mr. Thornton, Chaplain to the Duke of Bedford - will be found in the memoir. (See Memoir, pp. 282 - 5.) The letter is chiefly of interest as exhibiting in Howes old age, the trait which Cromwell had remarked in him so many years before; namely, that when he preferred requests to the great, it was always for others or for the public, never for himself. (See Memoir, p. 78.) The injunction to his correspondent, in the postscript, seems to have had reference to the inclosed list "of names;" for the suppression of which, (at least of two) it may easily be supposed there might be obvious reasons. If the injunction referred to the entire letter, it is not easy to see why it should have been given. The result, at all events, shows that, in spite of such instructions to correspondents, the adage is apt to prove trueLitera scripta manet. It was copied from a volume of Dr. Rawlinsons Miscellaneous MSS., in the Bodleian Library, lettered Letters to J. Thornton L. L., Jun. 20, 96. (Love Lane, Aldenbury)
"REVEREND SIR, I doubt not you will effectually do your part to obtain from my Lord Duke the grant of Milton Abbot, for Mr. Doidge, which, though it will be a kindness to him, will be a greater service to his Grace himself. Your representation will, I hope, signify more than the importunities of such as less regard the Dukes interest amongst the sober gentry of Devon, than the serving of a private turn.
"There is a society of worthy gentlemen and citizens who, for some years past, have made it their business, with great diligence, expense, and success, to carry on a design for punishing debauchery in London and Middlesex; who have sent the inclosed names of persons that they think very well qualified to be put into the commission of the peace for Middlesex, which they desire may be humbly presented to his Grace for that purpose; as two others, undernamed, they think of as the paper expresses. They well know the men they mention. The measures they judge by, are, - being for the interest of the Government and his Graces interest with zeal to do good, or e contra. The persons that so judge, are well known to
"Your most respectful humble servant,
My son hath attempted (with disappointment) to wait upon you on the behalf of the inhabitants of Chulmeleigh, in Devon. If he find you, and anything be feasible for them, I pray you give your help.
"I pray you burn this when you have communicated the contents. For who knows into what hands it may, by accident, hereafter come
"For the Reverend Mr. John Thornton, Chaplainto his Grace the Duke of Bedford, at Bedfordhouse, in the Strand."
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