913 | To the Earl of Dartmouth

    Aylesbury Nov 6 1773

    My Lord,

    I had the honour near nine months ago to present to your Lordship a request in regard to the Naval office at Boston, that you would be pleased to favour me with a grant of it to my two Sons in manner as it had been granted just before my eldest Son died.1 Your Lordship was pleased to say you would take this into consideration, and I have had no doubt, but that upon your being fully made acquainted with ^the^ circumstances of my case, your determination would be in my favour.

    My Lord, I have been a faithfull servant of Government, and have suffered greatly that service. I have acted allways with a strict regard to my duty, and as well as I could judge according to the opinion of my constituents. I have had my conduct approved of by all the Ministers to whom I have been subject, notwithstanding the fluctuation of the Policy of the Department I was under. Upon particular occasions I have been taken notice of in Parliament in a manner that did me much honour. In the course of my service I never was in the way of making money; and from my extreme caution to avoid all suspicion of corruption, I made much less than I might fairly have done. I was designed for further and greater employment, as a reward for past Services: but all my future expectations were at once cut off by a fit of illness, which was the consequence of ^the^ severe service I had been ingaged in. And now I find myself with a wife and eight Children, all in the most expensive time of their life, obliged to look about for ev’ry pittance that can be made to contribute to make out a scanty provision for them.

    In this state it is that I apply to your Lordship, that the office which was originally intented2 as a benefit to my family in general, may be so extended as to make a provision for more than one of my sons. In what manner I intend to pursue that purpose with the best effect, Mr Pownall will inform your Lordship, if it should be desired. The occasion of my moving this business at present is, that my eldest Son is now preparing to return to Boston, and I should be glad before he goes to settle between him and my second Son the manner in which the profits of the office shall be divided between them, in case my second Son shall be joined in the patent.

    I am, with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient and most humble Servant

    Fra, Bernard

    The right Honble The Earl of Dartmouth

    LS, RC      Dartmouth Papers, American Papers: D(W)1778/II/739.

    William Legge, the second Earl of Dartmouth. Line engraving by Charles Warren, published by Thomas Rodd the Elder, 1819. © National Portrait Gallery, London