24 April 1749
10. Philip Doddridge, Northampton, to the Isteds, 24 April 1749.1
Northampton April 24. 1749
As neither I nor Mrs Doddridge had heard one Word of the Illness of your amiable Child you may be sure that the news of his Death which we had the Affliction to receive last Night was a great Surprize & Grief to us. We beg that you & your good Lady would be assured that it is impossible for us to be unaffected with any thing in which the Happiness of many of our Friends is so tenderly interesting. Most sincerely do we wish to you & to the whole Family which suffers with you on this Occasion the best Supports under such a Calamity. You need not Sir I am sure be taught from me whence & how they are to be sought nor is it from any Suspicion of your Ladys needing my Instructions that I beg her acceptance of a Sermon I preachd under a similar Distress of my own. But the Representation of religious Truths forever & familiar to our mind draws a new strength from the suitableness of them to present Circumstances & it would be the Joy of my Heart in any Degree to promote the Serenity of hers. I only add that I am with the Sympathy of a Parent who has lost five Children & of a Friend most thoroughly Sensible of the worth of your Characters & of the obligations I am under to your Goodness
Your & your Ladies most faithful
affectionate & obedient humble Servant
My Wife & Polly join their Compliments & Condolences to your Self Lady ^& Miss Isted I cannot express the vexation with which I think of the ill tim’d whim of my last. It reminds me of a much gayer Letter which I wrote to a young Lady near thirty years ago who was laid in her Coffin just as it reach’d the House.
1 Collection MSG 1215, ALS Collection, Special Collections, McGill University Library, Montreal, Canada. Letter does not appear in Geoffrey F. Nuttall, Calendar of the Correspondence of Philip Doddridge (1979) but it does appear in his Philip Doddridge: Additional Letters (2001). This letter belongs between Doddridge's letter to George Lyttelton on 26 March 1749 and one to Samuel Wood on 2 May 1749 (Calendar, letters 1462 and 1472), providing the only reference by Doddridge to the death of the Isted's child.