3 | From John Pownall

    Dear Sir,

    The Letter from Lord Halifax & that from the Board which accompany this will I hope contain a better answer to your last kind letter to me & better reasons for my not answering sevl former ones I had received from you, than I am able to give, let me however add with respect to the last, that, I think the points touched upon in sevl. of your Letters to me, would in the prosecution of them have been attended with so many obstacles, & difficultys & so much expence & perplexity, that admitting All the Success you could have wish’d, which is admitting a great deal more than was likely to happen, they would in the end have been Objects in no degree worth the pursuit.__ and I really think a patent for the Govt. of Massachusets Bay, which I hope soon to send you, a better thing than a Grant of the Delawar Islands60 or Ld. Melforts Estate, entangled as both are with such variety of Claims.

    I have desired your ffriend Blackbourne61 to write to Mrs. Beresford62 & whom else he thinks proper concerning the prefering your Commissn. & Instructions, so that no difficulty or delay may arise as to that matter,—from Blackbourns state of matters I think there can be none:—nay I am determined there shall be none for I will be myself answerable for whatever may be necessary on that Score. I am

    Dear Sir Your most Afft. Freind

    J Pownall.63

    [London] Novr. 14. 1759.

    ALS, RC BP, 9: 76 c-d.

    FB’s interests in the Delaware Islands and the Melfort estates are not raised in any of his extant correspondence with John Pownall. (His reply to the letter printed here has not been found.) “Ld. Melfort” is likely Lord John Drummond (1682-1754), an unsuccessful claimant to the titles of his father John Drummond (1649-1714), the first earl and viscount Melfort. John and his brother James (1648-1716), the fourth earl (and first titular duke) of Perth, were among the original proprietors of East Jersey. The Drummonds were Roman Catholics and ardent Jacobites, and were attainted after the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, losing both their Scottish and American estates. Their lands in New Jersey were among some one-half million acres of land whose ownership was contested after 1745. See DNB, 4: 35-36; Ned C. Landsman, Scotland and Its First American Colony, 1683-1765 (Princeton, N.J, 1985), 175, 275-78; Thomas L. Purvis, “Origins and Patterns of Agrarian Unrest in New Jersey, 1735 to 1754,” WMQ 39 (1982): 600-27, at 610.