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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 2


To Eunice Paine

1 December 1758

From Richard Cranch

7 December 1758
From Benjamin Church
Church, Benjamin RTP
London Decr: 3. 1758 Dear Unaccountable!

I1 have taken a World of Pains to get a gilt sheet to answer You in Coin, and intended as unmerciful Treatmant to it's Virgin White, but tho I have practisd this half Hour with the feeble feather of a green Goose on the well-worn Glove of a snuff-Seller I cannot rival thy ragged Regiment of Letters; Confusion! The Sheet was certainly expos'd to a Storm at Sea & blown into this topsy-turvy Condition—what! Mr. Brown,2—Croke's Reports3—odd—can hist him—favours, Heavens! What wd. the Man—don't write poetical too! A sweet harmonious Temper of Mind after reading or rathur attempting to spell out such a Hodge-Podge, an alphabetical Medley, thy own Offspring Thou Gallypot of Andromachi Composita. But to be serious I have elaborated sufficient to enquire of Brown what Books you wanted, and can serve You as I am well acquainted with a large Whole-sail Bookseller provided he let's me have the Catalogue, which he has yet neglected to do. I am glad to find you think of me, and esteem it doubly kind of Mr. Paine to write me as he is gloriously avaritious of his Moments. But you want facts; I long to see Boston that's fact, & will see it soon that's another, and shall bring a Wife over wt. me, that a'nt another—O You Dog You was galloping to Belchers4 open Mouth'd wt. the Cry Ha, Ha, Ha—a fine black Eye, Pain! Cherry Lip, wounds5 I shall feel Poetical by & by—O this Cough! Ill go & take my Linctus—Now Boy! News—the King of Prussia in full chace of Count Daun6 who retires into Bohemia—the Prussian Army much superiour—Commodore Keppel7 gone on a private Expedition suppos'd to attack Martinique A Fleet sail'd from Brest supposed to relieve them, a Cutter sent to give Admiral Saunders8 an Acct. of it wt. orders to pursue them—His Majesty been ill of the Gout, better, I have been ill of a Sore-Throat, better likewise—much better—what News! Is Fort du Quesne taken?9 Is Hannah Hill taken yet, O I had forgot Poor Sam10 is turn'd123off—I thought to have seen Ned11 here possitively before this—what his Resolution fail'd at last Ha!—Ask Sam: if he'll go to the Oratorio to Morrow Night Attalo12 is to be perform'd a new thing, tell him likewise I had much rather come & smoak a Pipe with him than be there—Cranch!13 O Monstrous! A Girl of Fourteen—you Court too, a pretty Poetical Thought faith! I wrote to no Girls in Boston by my Troth—Sam: has been the kind remembring Friend, Ned & Belcher have been negligent—Paine I love You, so shall say no more about it, only secundium Morem subscribe to it—by saying I am Yr. Affectnate. Friend & Humble Servt.,


RC ; addressed: "To Mr. Robert Treat Paine in Boston"; endorsed.


Dr. Benjamin Church (1734–1778) attended Harvard College where he became known for his satiric verse. After three years in London studying medicine under Dr. Charles Pynchon, Church returned to Boston to practice medicine and took part in town affairs and liberal politics. He quickly became prominent both in his profession and as an influential Son of Liberty. Appointed a delegrate delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1774, Church was sent in May 1775 to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia to consult with its members about the defense of the province. On July 25, 1775 Dr. Church was elected director and chief physician of the first Army Hospital at Cambridge. As early as 1774 certain of his Whig associates began to suspect Church of leaking secret Whig proceedings to General Gage in Boston. On Oct. 4, 1775 he was court-martialled and found guilty of "holding criminal correspondence with the enemy." Dishonorably discharged from the service on Nov. 7, he was imprisoned for a time in Norwich, Conn., and then in Boston jail. The Massachusetts General Court voted on Jan. 9, 1778 to allow him to take passage on the "Sloop Welcome Capt. James Smitharick Master bound for the Island of Martinico." Shortly after sailing the Welcome is believed to have disappeared with all hands in a violent coastal storm (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:380–397; Allen French, General Gage's Informers [Ann Arbor, 1932], 147–200; DAB).


Gawen Brown.


Sir George Croke (1560–1642), Reports of Select Cases in the Courts of K.B. and C.P., during the Reigns of Eliz., James I., and Charles I., revised and published in English by Sir Harbottle Grimston. London, 1683 or 1685 and later editions.


Perhaps Belcher Noyes (1709–1785), a Boston gentleman and frontier land speculator (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 8:235–239).


Short for God's wounds.


Count Philip Daun, commander of the Austrian army, had defeated Frederick the Great's army at the battle of Hochbirch in October 1758 (Ernest F. Henderson, A Short History of Germany, 2 vols. [New York, 1916], 2:169–170).


Augustus Keppel, Viscount Keppel (1725–1786), admiral, was actually headed for West Africa. 1n September 1758 he commanded a squadron of ships of war and transports sent out to reduce the French settlement of Goree in Senegal. The mission was accomplished on Dec. 29 (DNB).


Sir Charles Saunders (1713?–1775), admiral, who commanded the British fleet at the taking of Quebec in 1759 (DNB).


Fort Duquesne, erected in 1754 by the French on the site of the present city of Pittsburgh,124Pa., was destroyed by them on Nov. 24, 1758 to prevent its falling into the hands of the British forces under Gen. John Forbes (DAH ).


Samuel Quincy (1734–1789), the Boston loyalist, married Hannah Hill of Boston (1734–1782), on June 16, 1761. She died in Saint John, Antigua on Nov. 2, 1782 (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:478– 488).


Edmund Quincy (1733–1768), son of Col. Josiah and Hannah (Sturgis) Quincy and brother of Samuel. He graduated from Harvard in 1752 and engaged in business and Boston politics before his early death in Bermuda (Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 13:285–289).


Attalo, re di Bittinia, an opera rather than an oratorio, was a pasticcio with libretto by Antonio Salvi and music by Auresichio, Coffarello, Perez, Potenza, and Cocchi, which opened in London on Nov. 11, 1758 (Franz Steiger, Opernlexikon [1975]).


Richard Cranch.