305. Robert Bloomfield to Hannah Bloomfield, 27 December 1816


305. Robert Bloomfield to Hannah Bloomfield, 27 December 1816* 

Shefford. Dec 27. 1816

My Dear Girl

When your parcel came to hand we had just devourd a couple of fine Fowles sent us from Stanford Bury, and I rejoiced to hear of your health and peace, and the same of your friends.

As you want news I will now transcribe from a slate where I have kept memorandums, such occurrences as this poor L—y dead place affords.

Mr Long the shopkeeper has faild long ago, his stock and goods sold, himself, I believe, in London, his family dispersed. You know that Mr Weston's Estate was knockd down to Mr Impey who prov'd incapable of holding it; consequently it has been transfer'd to his Wife's Brother, a Mr Demer of Hitchin, a boasting hollow lump of worldly cunning. This is my landlord. At the time our repairs were going on Mr Impey left his former house in the street by Taylor's and came next door to us, which place was vacant by the removal of Wells, this indeed on the part of Wells was rather worse than a removal, for his real wife came here from Brighton and stird him up, till he sold all his goods to Impey and I believe decamp'd for a while but they are still here in town. Having Impey close by us we were for some weeks rejoiced by the sounds of Old Coppers and Sauspans and became sure of a comfortable situation, when all at once Mr Impey became insolvent, and about three weeks ago his sale comprehended his stock and goods! He now makes a workshop of Brigg's thatch'd shed where the tailors used to work.—

I learn that Mr Ibbs of this town has taken Mr Palmers Farm at Rowney—Nightengall has given up his Farm to a Mr Inskip.—Polehanger is in the occupation of a Mr Kirk, or Kirkby—Tom Hoffer and young Steven have had a short lodgement at Bedford Jail for a row with Mr Layman at the Bonfire—I am sorry to say that the Frocks you sent for Charlotte are too short for the great morther: as she has grown an inch and half since last April, and Charles is an inch and half taller than she. They will yet come into use and I thank you for your thoughtfulness and affection in sending them. I am sorry to inform you that we have had a great deal of Fever around us lately, but not very fatal, though of the Typhus kind I believe. Mr Gay's children were nearly all bad with it, and a young woman formerly their servant, but now married and living at Brigg's caught it being their nurse. They are all out of danger.—Our old washwoman Saunders and three children have gone through this visitation successfully, and being so near us we have used some caution.— Last week the other washer Mother Seeny, or Maddie, or Hoffman, or what not, had the misfortune to burn to a cinder your mothers best Gown, together with the chair on which it was left just for a minute of course; a few minutes more would have burnt all the goods she has and perhaps the primises! We had lately a harmless Flood, so that if you put together Flood, Fire, Fever and Bankruptcy you will have at least some of the plagues of life.—I hear of no Widdings and therefore must proceed to other subjects.—

The Subscription—aye, the subscription, goes on very much like a Donkey in a dirty lane with his legs tired—From Miss Sharp I only hear of disappointments as to Robert, [1]  and that Lloyd Baker is busy with his new estate at Hardwick house near Gloucester, and that his neighbour Mr Cooper has spent a great sum of money in an unsuccessful attempt in the folly of electioneering, and means to try again!!! Mr Lofft says he has no success from his friend Mr Palwheel in Cornwall, nor no reply from the Lord Mayor—There is a Miss Cropley of Euston Stt Euston Square who has opend a correspondence with me and who most womanfully takes the part of Little Davy [2]  and offers a direct application to 'The Literary Fund' on my behalf, this is not concluded on—My old friend Mr Hill of Queenhythe has written from Paris to have his name down for ten pounds to the subscription and Mr Williamson of Campton has sent up to Messrs Rogers, five pounds from some gentlemen whom he would not name—I learn from Wass the younger that there is now due to me a small and final Dividend of 9d in the pound! These jolly old Ninepences will amount to about £14.—

Sir George has just sent Mr Coats to ask when it will be convenient for me to accept a Dozn. of Port.—The post hour creeps on—I agree almost entirely with Mr Weston as to the Examiner; if they do not take care it will die like our old Mirror, expiring in a [word cut off] pah, pah.'—I will particularly attend to Mr Wes[word cut off] request, and in due time by writing take down the hump on his back as easily as I would take off my night-cap.—I see no Reviews, no papers, but Hunt and the mild, moderate Cobbett [3]  —I feel lost—

We are all well—and that is a great thing to say, for which I always feel thankfull, as to all the rest it will rub out when it is dry.—I have no Rhumatism////This moment Mrs Flint calld to say that she will send a parcel to Twickenham on Monday or Tuesday—

Best love to Mr & Miss Weston now and for ever

You want none of my love of course, and so I only say


PS We had thoughts of sending Poor Toms Book of plays, perhaps it may not come in Mrs Flints parcel, but we will take care of it.

Address: Miss Bloomfield, / Mr Weston's, / Draper, / Twickenham, / Middx.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 366–68, quoted briefly by Phillips BACK

[1] Catherine Sharp had offered to write to the Trustees of Lord Crewe's charity at Bamborough Castle on behalf of Bloomfield's son (see Letter 303). BACK

[2] As he formerly did by using the name 'Giles', Bloomfield here calls himself by the name of one of his fictional characters. BACK

[3] The Hunt brothers' Examiner and William Cobbett's Political Register led radical opposition to the government during the crisis year of 1816. BACK