Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 2: 1777–80

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Editor’s Note319Jeremy and Samuel Bentham to George Woodward Grove17 August 1779

Lincolns Inn Aug. 17 1779

Dear Sir

This waits upon you with my Brother's grateful acknowledgements for the kindness manifested in your letter of the 15th:2 I have taken upon me the office of Secretary upon this occasion, being the person who at present is rather the less occupied of the two. He has this morning received an offer of being convey'd to Helvoetsluys on board a Dutch fishing vessel /now off Billingsgate/ which sails on Friday, and thinks of complying with it: but for greater safety he will send the greater part of his baggage to Hamburgh on board a Hamburgh vessel, vessels from that place having never been so much as stopped. His course will be from Helvoetsluys to the Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Sardam and Gröningen. All that way he will go by water in the Treckshuyts pg 264which are cheap and expeditious. From Gröningen there are a kind of stage-coaches that go twice a week to Hamburgh through Bremen; the distance, about 150 English miles, is performed in about 2 or 3 days. This will be safer than going by the packet-boats from Harwich to Helvoetsluys which have once been taken and several times chaced. The only risk he will run will be that of losing the contents of a small cloak-bag he will take with him. It will likewise save considerably in point of time as there is no Hamburgh Vessel that goes before Sunday se'nnight. He will likewise get the opportunity of taking a view though but a cursory one of the Dutch Dock Yards. At Hamburgh he proposed at any rate to stay a week at least, in order to get information relative to the Timber Trade. From Hamburgh he will go to Lubeck by land: the distance a short days journey less than 40 miles: there are stage-coaches every day. From Lubec by Sea to Copenhagen, from thence to Dantzick: from Dantzick to Lieba in Courland a little place you will hardly find in your maps: from Lieba to Mittau an inland place the capital of Courland where he is expected by the Duke to talk with him about some shipbuilding and mercantile projects, and will probably stay some time. There if you please we will leave him for the present. If you have a mind to know a little about the D. of Courland, consult Wraxal's Tour to the North printed in 1775.3

I have a petition to present to you from Alderman Clark who wishes you to use your interest with Mr. Townsend as one of the Trustees of Bromley College on behalf of a Mrs. Sarah Ellison Widow of the late Rev: Mr. Stanhope Ellison.4 Bromley College is a kind of Almshouse founded for the benefit of Clergymen's Widows. This Lady is related to Mrs. Clark, is left in very low circumstances and (Mr. Clark says) is in every respect a qualified candidate. A vacancy has lately happen'd, and great application is making for two other candidates. I know Mrs. Ellison very well, pg 265having often seen her at the Alderman's, and have every reason to believe she h⟨as⟩ the best of characters. She has lived for this last year ⟨…⟩ chiefly with Mrs. Clark.

  • We are                                                
  • Dear Sir                                          
  • Your much obliged and                  
  • most affectionate Nephews             
  • S. and J. Bentham           

As soon as I hear of Sam's safe arrival across the Sea, I will take the liberty of informing you. My Father etc. were all well at Imley Park on Friday last.5

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Editor’s Note
319. 1 B.M. II: 353–354. In Jeremy Bentham's hand. Docketed (by Mary Bentham?): 'S. and I. Bentham / 17 Augt. 1779.'
Addressed: 'Geo: Woodward Grove Esqr. / Whitchurch / Hants.' Postmark: '17 AU'.
Editor’s Note
2 This letter, not so far as we know extant, was presumably in answer to a letter Samuel wrote to G. W. Grove dated 'Lincoln's Inn Augt. 12th 1779.' (B.M. II: 351, unpublished). In that letter he says that his father, after having originally opposed it, is now quite happy about his expedition 'to visit the several Dock yards and Ports of the Northern Countries', and authorises Samuel to inform his uncle of this. The expedition is relevant to various 'mercantile and other money getting projects upon the anvil'. Its duration is uncertain but will hardly be less than a twelvemonth. It is approved by all his friends, by Mr Mulford so much so that he has promised a present of £100 for it (letter 370 suggests that Mulford kept his promise.) He also mentions a loan of £55 which Mr Mulford made him about a month ago, in order to let him postpone selling out money in the funds. This money is to be paid back to his uncle Grove, to whom it is due from Mulford, and he asks where he should remit it to him. He had hoped to be seeing him in town, but now understands that this is unlikely. Letter 324 at n. 4 suggests that Grove waived repayment of this sum.
Editor’s Note
3 Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, Cursory Remarks made on tour through some of the northern parts of Europe, particularly Copenhagen, Stockholm and Petersburgh, London, 1775. Jeremiah Bentham mentions this book in a letter to Samuel dated 26 July 1779, and recalls Samuel telling him that the author 'had availed himself of your friend Lindegreen in an unworthy manner' (B.M. II: 343, unpublished). We do not know what this was.
Editor’s Note
4 Bromley College was founded by the Bishop of Rochester in 1666 as a home for the poor widows of clergy. Mr Townsend is probably James Townsend, or possibly his brother the Rev. Joseph Townsend (see letter 96, n. 6 also letter 235, n. 1). Stanhope Ellison (1719?–78), son of a Wigan grocer, a member of Brasenose College, Oxford and of St John's College, Cambridge, was Rector of St Benedict's with St Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London, from 1757 to 1774; Vicar of Thorpe, Surrey, from 1765 to 1774; and Rector of Wittersham, Kent, from 1774 to 1778. His wife was Sarah Wilby of Boston, Lincs.
Editor’s Note
5 Jeremiah Bentham had taken a house called Imley Park, near Brackley, Northamptonshire for the summer months.
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