July 1750 [1]

9. Mercy “Cleora” Doddridge, St. Albans, to her sister, Mary “Roselinda” Doddridge, at the Revd Mr Floyds in Daventry, [July 1750]. [f. 16]

St Albarns [sic] ThursDay

Morning Post a 11

It is imposible either for me to Express or my Dearest Roselinda to immagin how much your Cleora thinks her self obliged to you my Dr for your last more then Charming Letter indeed my Dr you have hightend my esteem for you very much by your last Favour or in other words made ^me^ more scensible how much I Lov’d you indeed my Dr you have obliged me very much by writing to me so soone & so long a letter & which I looke apon as more then all ye former, before your betsy1 to, this is a favour which I did not expect, I beg when you write to betsy you will give my best respects to her for tho I know but very littel of her yet I Love her for your sake & Im sure my Roselinda being intemate with any person is a sufcient ^reason^ to recomend them to my best regards. I am very glad to hear you gote ^safe^ to Daventry I hope my Dear you did not tarke colld by ye shower you was caught in & now my Dear if a better wish, a wish of More Extensive happiness ^can be form’d^, may indulgent Hev’n grant it to my Dear Roselinda

I think my Dear you Descevd [sic] a particular acount of my journy which I will proceed to give you We Brackfasted at Newport whare Mr Rose left us & wated at Huburn & Dind at Dunstable & arivd at St Albarns betwen two & three whare we found Dr Clark better then I could have expected Mrs Clark is still but very lame tho she is able to come down Ive had a very plesant jorny as ye wather favourd us very much I wold have wrote to you in the Coach but we went so fast that thare was no possiblety of Doeing it indeed my Dear tho I [am] absent from you yet you and My Dear Pappa & Mamma was always in my thoughts & still are more then I could sometims wish & as for your part you are become a perfect intruder & I think on you from Mor’n to noon from noon to Dewye night. Oh my Dear indeed I never knew how much, I Lov’d & nothing but this Cruall absence could have made me sensible of it sure my Dear this is a perversnes in our very natuers to love that best & wish for that most which we cant enjoy. The Miss Clarks are very agreeable Ladyes espasaly Miss Nancy who is a Lady of natral good scence improved by her Knowlidge of ye best orthers [sic] she has read a Gooddall & among the rest Filisha to Charlot2 which she likes very much while she was at the Bath she formd an aquaintance with the Miss Olivers we all agree in our Sentiments with regard to those Ladies & especily Miss Charlott who my Dear I rejoice ^to tell you^ often mencend you with the greatest pleasure & spook of you to Miss Nancy in very High Terms of regard & esteem this My Dear I you [sic] gave me very greate pleasure to hear as I know it would be very Welcome News to My Dear Roselinda Miss Nancy & I had a long chat last Night on various Subjects & both of us very much wish’d for you to jouen the conversacion O my Dear how hapy should I be if I had your Company here but why Doe I wish for that which I can not so much as alow my self to hope for

We went yesterDay to see too very agreeable Ladees which live a littel Mill [mile] out of the town it is a very plesent walk but if it was not the obliging behaviour of the Two Ladyes would more then repay one for a good deal of fatigue The House is an ancient Country ^seat^, and the gardings as plesent as you can immagin the ladys you have often hear our Miss Clark mention who by the way is siting by me wont rest till I have sent her best ragards to you & If it will [not] be to much fatigue for you would be very glad of a Line from your Pen Miss Nancy Desires her most affactinate regards to you I doe asure [you] my Dear that tho she has not seen you she expresses a very greate esteem for you for which you may be sure I love her much the better If Miss Clark was not out this morning she [have] would joynd in the same respects, pray my Dear if you hear from my Dr Pappa first send me word now my Dearest Roselinda if you would oblige and give me the greatest pleasure I can posible [sic] know hear write to me very soon for nothing but your Company can give greate or more royal Delight then your letters adue My Dearest Roselinda May evry Blessing atend you may your good wishes for my happiness be ^if^ possible more than Dubleyed, return to you once more adue my Dearest Roselinda I remain with an uttrable affactenate

esteem & regard your Cleora

pray my Dear make my Compliments to Mr & Mrs Floyd the same to Miss & to Mr & Mrs Ashworth adue my Dear Roselinda.

Address: To | Miss Doddridge | at the Revd Mr Floyds | in | Daventry

Postmark: not readable

Note on Address Page: July “answerd” No. 1 1750

1 The "betsey" is probably a reference to Elizabeth Clark, one of the unmarried daughters of Rev. Clark at St. Albans (see note 2 below).

2 The “Gooddall” is probably William Goodall’s The True Englishman’s Miscellany (1740); the second text is Felicia to Charlotte, Being Letters from a Young Lady in the Country, to Her Friend in Town. Containing a series of the most interesting Events, interspersed with Moral Reflections; chiefly tending to prove, that the Seeds of Virtue are implanted in the Minds of every Reasonable Being, by Mary Collyer (1716/17-1762). It first appeared anonymously in 1744, printed for Jacob Robinson of Ludgate Street (a bookseller with ties to John Wesley) and the author’s husband, Joseph Collyer (d. 1776) of Ivy Lane, near Paternoster Row, a dissenting bookseller who probably attended Caleb Fleming’s nearby congregation in Bartholomew Close. Collyer came to London from Nottingham (he appears on imprints there between 1739 and 1741), where Fleming also originated and where he (and probably Collyer) worshiped in the local Presbyterian congregation at the High Pavement. Collyer married Mary Mitchell, also a Dissenter, in 1738 in London and by 1742 (or earlier) was operating from Shakespeare’s Head, Ivy Lane, Ludgate Street, near Paternoster Row (he later moved to Plough Court, Fetter Lane). He also operated a Circulating Library for many years from his Ivy Lane location. He appeared on some 60 imprints by 1773, often selling alone but on many occasions joined by such Dissenting sellers as John Noon, Richard Hett, John Payne and Thomas Field, all associated mostly with the Independents. He is best known for his publications and translations of numerous literary works, including works by Klopstock, Gessner, and Voltaire. A complete edition of Mary Collyer’s novel was printed in 1755 for Richard Baldwin of 24 Paternoster Row, another Dissenting bookseller who appeared with the Baptist bookseller William Otridge on 14 titles and 29 imprints of works by Philip Doddridge between 1760 and 1788. Mary Collyer’s novel was reprinted in 1749 (again anonymously) for George Woodfall of Charing Cross and Ralph Griffiths (1720-1803), another dissenting bookseller located in St. Paul’s Churchyard and founder of the Monthly Review. Griffiths’s former employer was Jacob Robinson; his second wife was the former Elizabeth Clark, sister to the Ann Clark mentioned above (their son, George Edward Griffiths, was baptized at the Albany Independent congregation in Brentford on October 11, 1771). Volume II of the novel appeared (also anonymously) in 1749, this time printed for J. Bouquet and John Payne of 18 Paternoster Row. Payne was most likely a dissenting bookseller himself, for in the late 1760s he partnered with the Baptist bookseller Joseph Johnson (1738-1809) in Paternoster Row prior to Johnson’s move to St. Paul’s Churchyard and his affiliation with the Unitarians. The Doddridge girls were like many teenagers at that time, fascinated with the imaginative joys and intrigues of fiction. In early fall 1750, during a prolonged stay near London, Mercy informed Mary, now back home in Northampton, that she had finally read “Filisha to Charlott & like it very much,” pronouncing the second volume superior to the first and proceeding to provide her sister with as learned a critique of the novel as any sixteen-year-old could produce. Mercy was convinced that the author “did right” in delineating the character of Lucius as a “moral man” yet lacking “that greatest ornament true religion” (see below, Letter 19), a proper response indeed for the daughter of the author of one of the most popular eighteenth-century works of experiential Christian faith and piety, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (1745).