Jeremy Bentham

T. L. S. Sprigge (ed.), The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 1: 1752–76

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pg 75Editor’s Note52To Jeremiah Bentham2 June 1763 (Aet 15)

Hond. Sir

Since my last I have had an extraordinary piece of news from Winchester, which was communicated to me by my friend Ralfe, who is lately recovered from the Small-Pox, which he took from Inoculation, and has had it as favourably as he could possibly wish. it is that Carew Gauntlett2 will soon be married to Miss Ralfe, a match which her friends do not greatly approve of, especially as the Old Lady3 will not give them a single farthing, tho' she cannot but be sensible it is a very advantageous match for her Son in point of Fortune, but she never liked him. they are to have the house Mrs. Saunders4 lives in, and intend setting up the Wine-Trade5: they have had already great promises from severall quarters: so that it is to be hoped they may do very well, as Mr. Gauntlett is very diligent and clever at his business. this Ralfe had not directly from Winchester but from a Guardian of his that lives in Town: another thing is, that Miss Louisa Gauntlett is married to one Mr. Kirby,6 a Clergyman with a good living, and severall thousand pounds besides : so that I am now deprived of both my Wives.

I am this day become Senior Commoner, by the Person next above me putting on a Civilian's Gown. the privileges of the Senior Commoner, if they can be called so, are the dinner when there is a Gaudy, and the taking cognizance of any faults the College Servants may be committ, or any neglect they may be guilty of; such as sending in bad commons, a deficiency of Knives and Forks etc., which it is the business of the Senior to complain of to the Fellows, pg 76or lay a fine on them, which we call sconsing. I mention'd in my letter which did not come to hand how kind I took it of Sammy, his writing; and how much pleased I was to see the proficiency he has made: as for his playing on the Fiddle, I lately made a copy of verses which bear some relation to it, which I will send you by my next, and hope he may not be affronted upon hearing the contents, as I can 〈ass〉ure him they were made, before I knew any thing at all of his learning.—I hope it will not be long before I send you my Verses for the Theatre, and in the mean time am

  • Your dutiful               
  • and affectionate Son         
  • Jeremy Bentham           

  • Thursday June 2nd
  • 1763

I have no more Franks.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
52. 1 B.M. I: 172–173. Autograph. Docketed by Mary Bentham[?]: '1763 June / Jy Bentham.'
Addressed: 'To / Jeremiah Bentham Esqr. / at Queen's Square / near St. James's Park / Westminster.' Stamped: Thame. Postmark: […] IV'.
Editor’s Note
2 A brother of Samuel Gauntlett (cf. letter 41, n. 5). The Carew Gauntlett who matriculated at Oxford in March 1790 aged 23 was presumably a son of this marriage, his father being described as Carew Gauntlett of Winchester.
Editor’s Note
3 Mrs Mary Gauntlett, the widowed mother of Carew and Samuel.
Editor’s Note
4 Unidentified.
Editor’s Note
5 John Gauntlett the father had kept the George Inn at Winchester.
Editor’s Note
6 A license for the marriage of Lancelot Kerby, aged 24, and Louisa Gauntlett, aged 24, was obtained on 24 April 1763. The bridegroom was the son of Cranley Thomas Kerby of Winchester and matriculated at Trinity, Oxford in April 1753.
Bentham's joke about losing his two wives suggest some degree of intimacy between the Benthams and these Winchester families.
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