1. Robert Bloomfield to William Austin, 11 April 1788


1. Robert Bloomfield to William Austin, 11 April 1788* 

London, April 11th 1788

To Mr Wm Austin

It is so long since I wrote to you that I ought to begin with half a sheet full of apoligys, but I intend to persue quite a different plan and begin bluntly thus,

I am inform'd that you have seen Cambridge, Norwich, &c. now I think the same desire that led you to see Norwich, would make you wish to see London, and if you have a friends house to come to where you might be used just as if you was at home, it would doubtless be most agreeable to you, but if you are not provided in this respect and have any inclination to see the town, I should be most heartily rejoiced if you and your Brother will accept my invitation, here you will begin to think how I can entertain you, Ill tell you how exactly; and if you think it will not do you can tell me so and there will be no harm done — In the first place, I will provide you a genteel private lodging for as long a time as you intend to stay, and when you are at my lodging you must expect such treatment as is in my power to give, and when we are out you must have no objection to dine at a decent Cook-shop, where there is good choice, and if you dont like porter we can get good ale, in short, London is like other great places, allmost any thing may be had for money and when we are out, whatever the expence may be for living or for seeing the public buildings, &c, my scheme is, that each bear his own charges, you know how George and others of our trade live, but George have the honour of living in a street, but I cannot Get into a street from my lodgings without going through some such crook of a hole as between your near-barn and the hay-house, but take notice you are not to lodge in such a place as this, you have boath had the small-pox and I think I remember that your sister Judith have had it too, here is a letter enclosed from my sister to Judith and I hope to see you all soon, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful for me to mention only you and your brother, the reason is, I could not procure a suitable accomodation for any woman whatever, a single man have no chance to do it half so well as my sister have, if you all come (as I hope you will) you and your brother must lodge near me, and the street where your sister will live, lead into Berkley Square, just by where my sister live, and we are about three miles apart, so you will have a good chance to see the town in going backwards and forwards, I shall be allways with you and we must be very particular and not be out late of night, nor frequent any low lived places, and as long as we do so, there is no danger to be feard, if you consider the whole expense I belive it will be found a cheap way of seeing London, you may all come by the Bury Stage, and if either of you chuse to ride in the dust outside it will cost only 9.s each, inside double, and you will be here by breakfast if you come in the night, or by two o clock if you start in the morning, I think my Unkle can have no objection to such a Scheme, as the time is short, and you know your company — If you will promise to come, I promise on my part to do all in my power to spend the time agreeably and to the best advantage, and secondly, not to pretend to do any work while you are hear; and lastly, I dont intend to quit your company till we are all safly landed at Sapiston; this is what I have often thought of, but I should not have declared myself so soon if George had not wrote to know whether I would come this Sumer or not, as to the time of your coming you must go by what my sister have write, and I shall expect you in June. —

But be so kind as to write soon and let us know whether you will come or not, and if you do I should like to hear from you just before you set out, to know what inn you will come to, and at what time, and I will be there to meet you, give my duty and respects to all the family, I am very thankful for the great favours and respect shown me by my Unkle and all of you, and will endeavour still to deserve them, we are all well, and desire to be remembered to all frends,

Rt. Bloomfield

Address: Mr Wm Austin

* BL Add. MS 28268, f. 15 BACK