282. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 14 May 1813


282. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 14 May 1813* 

London. May 14. 1813.

Friends at Shefford.

Now then for a bit more gossip.

And first I send you a £5 Note. Stop the old Baker's mouth till I can return. I mean to leave town on Monday evening for Clare Hall, where I propose to stay two days, and come to Shefford on Wednesday or thursday next. Hannah's letter of this morning, gave me real uneasiness, but it servd me right, for I had given uneasiness to all that love me, and could not well avoid it. I hope this will make amends. I have seen Bullock's Museum, [1]  in company with Isaac and bet Hawyes, I never wishd for Hannah and Charles so much in my life, and I wanted Charlotte to go for pens and paper and tobacco. Charles would most likely have swallowd the stuffd Elephant, the Lion and the Cameleopard, the latter of which could easily have eaten out of your hand at the top of the one pr stairs window. The collection contains allmost every kind of bird from the Humming bird, the length of your thumb nail, to the Ostritch, whose shoulders, (besides his immense neck) is just the height of my head. What unpardonable fools we have been to live so long in London without seeing such worthy, such rational, and astonishing productions of nature! However, I hope you are all young enough to look for such gratifications in days to come. I have not been to a Theatre, I have lost my relish.

The late Betsey Binley is perhaps at this hour in the straw, she was ill last night.

I write now to Unkle George, having recieved a long and interesting letter. I am sending to Gloucestershire, and to Kent &c, &c, I wish it was over, for I long to be home to finish Jennet [2]  &c. for I am determined to get more money for my rhymes. I have seen Mrs Philips, the same kind soul as ever. Sir Charles is at Newmarket. I send Mr Weston's oranges, and this is enclosed.

Betsey talks of coming in the Waggon for cheapness, and because she cannot ride outside a Coach. If you have any thing to communicate I should recieve it by directing to Mrs Sharp's Clare Hall (to be received) near Barnett on tuesday or Wednesday at furthest, for I shall make the best of my way home, The enclosed newfashiond Shirting is one Shilling per yard. Love, for ever, yours

R Bloomfield

Nat pays 6 Guineas a year for Window tax only!—Dorrington's old fish-shop in Does yard, down a step, lets to a Cobler for 10s per week! Which said Cobler lives in our old workshop where his wife lay-in last week.!

Binley says that the Author of the Rejected Addresses [3]  is the paramour of his niece, Mrs Onger.

The other Irish child (6 years) died half an hour ago.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 332–33 BACK

[1] William Bullock's Museum, known as the London or Egyptian Museum, opened at 22 Piccadilly in 1812. It featured 15000 items of natural history and art, including some from ancient Egypt and others brought from the Pacific by Captain Cook's expeditions. BACK

[2] 'Alfred and Jennet' was published in May Day with the Muses (pp. 73–93). BACK

[3] Rejected Addresses, or, The New Theatrum Poetarum (London, 1812) was the work of brothers Horatio and James Smith. BACK