17. Job Orton, Salop [Shrewsbury], to Mercy Doddridge, Northampton, “to be left at Revd Mr Ashworth’s in Daventry,” June 1765.1
Salop June 1765
I am glad to hear you had the wheels safe. The Box & Carr to Coventry cost 1s. When Conveniency offers, please to send the money to my Cousin Steele, & accept my thanks for your late kindness to ye Family, of which she has informed me. – I am sorry Mr Isted shd make such a Parade to Dr S. abt continuing his Aunt’s Allowance to Mr Steele’s Family & then not do it. However great People must be taken in their own Way. I am more & more confirmed in the Wisdom of a Remark of my Grandfather, who was a kind of Oracle in this Town ‘I always keep the Gentry at Arm’s Length.’
My Work is in the Press.2 We are now upon the 5th Sheet. As I compute it will make 20 or 24; & thro’ ye Printer’s necessary Avocations & my Infirmities, we cannot do more than one Sheet a Week, you may guess abt what Time it will be finished – As the Bp of Man was so obliging as to write again & again to me to inquire abt some particulars in the Drs Life (& indeed it was in part his Enquiry, which led me to resume the Work) I intended presenting him with one, which I can easily send to a friend at Liverpool, who has Connections in the Isle of Man. I know nothing of Dr Hunt, but have no Objection to your presenting him one, with which I will furnish you – I must not, you are sensible, do much of that kind, for tho I am not ambitious to get by ye Work, I wd not willingly lose by it. – and I must be cautious, that I do not offend by shewing Respect to some & not to others, who may think they have an equal claim to it. – You must also be cautious on this Head. I know you will pray for me and my work.
I am sorry Miss D cannot read the Poem. I thought I had wrote it very correctly, but she will have an opportunity of seeing Mr Ashworth or some other who will assist her.
The long continuance of dry Weather & cold N & E winds have greatly hurt me. I have been worse than common for a Week past, but I hope my Disorder is in some measure going off with a Purging, which has brought me very low – I will tire you with my Complaints. My worst are a confusd Head and a sad roving Heart, that will not fix on wt it shod. But I rejoice in him, who knoweth our Frame & considereth yt we are Dust: – Writing is painful to me, therefore I will only add, my respects to Miss D’s & that I am
Your affectionate humble Servant
I must ask your Pardon for not sending the Books you desired: But I had destroyed your Letter, as I keep as few by me as possible & had forgot both the Books & the Number – but will send them when & how you desire – tho’ I think you had better have them from Buckland.
Address: To | Mrs Doddridge | in | Northampton | to be left at Revd Mr Ashworth’s | in Daventry
Note on address page (in Mercy Doddridge’s hand): Mr Orton [?] | receivd June 24 | 1765
1 Ferdinand J. Dreer Autograph Collection, English Clergymen, Vol. III, Box 267, Folder 20, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Due to its date, the letter does not appear in Nuttall's Calendar (1979) or his Philip Doddridge: Additional Letters (2001).
2 The work mentioned here is Orton's Memoirs of the Life, Character, and Writings of the late Reverend Philip Doddridge (Salop: printed by J. Eddowes, and sold by J. Buckland, London, 1766).