209. Robert Bloomfield to Isaac Bloomfield, 16 July 1807


209. Robert Bloomfield to Isaac Bloomfield, 16 July 1807* 

City Road, London

July 16th 1807

Dear Isaac,

I begin a longer Sheet because I hope to follow your example and fill it. Before I enter into the particulars that have occured since your departure I must remind you that at parting I hinted that I must now closely attend to my own affairs which had run behind and you on your part proposed to have the produce of the subscription 'in a lump', whenever I could get it together, and meant probably to forward therewith your mechanism as to the Dibbles for peas &c. On both of those subjects it happens that I can give you information but I will first inform you that I have unfortunately for me been suffering in mind, and consequently in body, in an unusual manner. It will not bear explanation, and if it would, as I hope it is now over, there would be no pleasure, nor wisdom in saying any thing about it. Nearly in that state of mind and frame I accepted reluctantly an invitation to Hertfordshire where I rested myself about four days, and then return'd to my accumulating plagues which arise from my Harp trade all run behind and from the unseasonable and impudend visits of the vain, and the interested, and the curious, taking up my time, inviting me to Dinner &c &c, Add to these that I have had agency business for Isaac Bloomfield [1]  respecting his mother, Money drawn upon a Man whom I have not yet found; a journey to the London Docks to learn where he lives, &c. to go to the Borough to enquire after Mrs Mason's Money (I mean Sister George) [2]  for she wrote to me, (mind she wrote) to say that she should be forced to take a journey to Tunbridge if sombody did not send her money, I have sent money to Bury without authority! and last week came as unknown and as unexpectedly as was young George's visit the Boy Tom Mason, to Nat's, on his way to Pembury! 'where he is to stop as long as they will be troubled with him', This is what the boy says himself.—With all these little troubles round me and an unhealthy frame, with dreams that might appall the Devil, I have been as we say 'finally helpd up'. I am by no means out of it all, but I can now conquer it, and if it should happen that I cannot; perhaps I may accept an invitation to Gloucestershire and South Wales next month.—

£ s
Longman's Bill is paid long ago 19. 11 —
Total copies subscribed ____________________ 164_____ 41.  0S
Produce (besides exclusive of extra payments) 21.  9 — (profit)
Disposed of as under ——
(copies) £ s
To Suffolk subscribed copies 22 _____    5. __ 10
In London (or within my own delivery) 82 _____    8. __    0
Mrs Baker_______________________________ 18 _____    4. 10 paid
Dr Drake _______________________________    7 _____    1. 15
Mr Shey ________________________________   7 _____    1. 15 paid
Miss Sharp______________________________ 11 _____    2. 15 paid
Mr Gilchrist _____________________________ 22 _____    5. 10
Mr Plumptre ____________________________ 45 _____ 11.   5 paid
_______ ________
164 £41.  0 —
________ ________

I do not account for your Suffolk copies, and I only recon £3. 10s. which you have recieved besides when here; so that I am accountable to you for £2. 9s out of the £21. 11s—Of which I have recieved——— I have recieved £23.— 10s out of which I have paid Longman, and have the small remainder in hand, or rather in Belly and I think I have £10. 5s—to recieve. These together, with a little allowance for my amazed head, will bring the matter pretty nearly to a close.

Mr Gilchrist and Dr Drake have not paid, the rest of the Defaulters are here, and I hope will come in soon; when I will give you the finish of the job. To have a connected view of the whole, take the £21. 9s. only into account, and say, of that sum you yourself recieve of the Suffolk Subscribers £5.10s. Consequently leave me accountable for £15. 19s—Then again deducting three pound ten, (I mean no more for what you recieved when here) I remain accountable for the Sum of £12.—7s— which you will percieve is very nearly due to me from the outstanding account. — I have sold 4 copies to friends who have calld, or wrote exclusive of the subscription, call it one pound; and I have received extra from the underwritten names in the way of payment, G Sharp one Shilling: Wm Sharp —do— Mr Park —do—Miss Pettiward 2—do— Mrs Bockel 2. do From Dr Drake (extra) (when it comes) 11 Shill in all 18s—Add this one pound eighteen to the £12. 9s, you will have to recieve of me just £14— 5s,——Mr Plumptre took 50 copies being 5 more than he engaged for, and for which 5 he is accountable to me. I have left 2 at the Duke of G— s—, But I have not seen him. You mentiond, I remember in your last, that the thing you wishd me most to attend to in my intended last sight of the proofs, was the error mark'd at the words 'so will we say' at page 7, but you will percieve by the receipt of your MSS, tho' that was not one of the errors which you left mark'd for my attention, I however corrected all the copies I had then in hand, and most of them before delivery to the parties. As you mentioned your thoughts about Dibbles I send you a Newspaper that contains under the head 'Holcomb Sheep Shearing' some interesting intelligence not indeed of a nature to induce you to go on in speculation—I rejoice that you have at last some knowledge of so excelent a woman as Mrs Phillips. I have found some others nearly equal to her, but they are like white-Black Birds, plaguy rare.—Old Sir Charles is a good man, and I think has as much sound sense as he has condescention. I have a letter from Mr Mills of Bury, but none from the other parties.—

You mention somthing of painting the old house, I can truly tell you that had I been askd whither it was painted, or ever begun, I could have told nothing about it, I only know that I have no inclination, nor no money now, to think about such a job. If the fence is whole it is a good safeguard for the winter, and I wish you health to enjoy it. Give our best respects to Sister Bet, we are glad she is got through the hour of trepidation, and that her boy happen'd to come on my Mary's 14th birthday. How will you find names for them all, at this rate! Mr Plumptre is a man about 33 or 4, rather taller and perhaps thinner than Mr Fellows, very serious in his manners, a great walker, very widely connected with the world, though he lives in a Colledge, and is so far as I can learn, single. I Breakfasted with him twice, and the last time went on Friday and thought it had been Thursday!! Yesterday I had an impudent Lawyer calld on me, (never saw him but once before) who rummaged over all my Books without bidding, askd a thousand questions, the answers to which I am sure he would not remember; and concluded by proposing to give me a suit of close, observing that he had a great stock, and we were both of a size!!! How does a Gnat effect you when he sings in your ear on a Summer's night, when you are just going to sleep?

This will come through George to whom I write now, though I am soundly tired. Remember me to Father-in-Law, and your Daughter, and all friends. Boney has beaten all his opponents, and my predictions are all more than fulfill'd, I dread the hour of his renew'd threats, for I doubt that our governors will be paralized, or lash'd into a fume that will be if possible, worse, and more unfit to meet the truly wonderful concentration of power and of talents that they have to cope with. Hey for volunteering! Levies 'en Masse' Triple Taxes &c.

I have sometimes thought for half an hour at a time that I must ride to you and to Sapiston before I can settle the affairs connected with John Glover, (I mention'd it) and Mr Gaston &c, for I confess that I have had so murky and such various things through my brain, that the old, and that which I have not been in the habit of attending to, has faded allmost into oblivion. Should I take it in my head I should avoid Bury, and probably Troston, and make no stay. I should take advantage of the road and see Mr Burk of Barton Mills with whom an interview is allmost necissary &c. But this is only talking. Farewell at present.

Yours affectionately

R Bloomfield

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 230–31 BACK

[1] This Isaac was a relation in America—possibly Elizabeth Hingston's son, and therefore Bloomfield's nephew. BACK

[2] Perhaps George Bloomfield's sister-in-law? BACK