885 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 56

    Hampstead Mar 28 1771

    Dear Sr

    As I understand that there is a Ship to sail for Boston the end of this week, I have endeavoured to send you a design for the porch of your house: and a difficult work I have had of it.1 But the enclosed design is so contrived as [to lo]ok2 well & to obviate all the difficulties arising from the old house to which [it]3 is to be connected. The great Extent of the length & the Want of highth obliged me to make it an Arcade instead of a Colonnade, by which means I have been enabled to carry the whole frontispiece up to a decent highth. For you will observe that the pilasters alone rise to the highth of the ceiling of the hall; & all above them, that is the intablature & the ballustrade is a skreen in the Nature of a parapet, which must be returned at the corners till it meets the roof. This will help greatly ^to hide^ the enormity of the roof, which I have drawn from Memory assisted by one measure taken on the inside. The portico may be roofed in the way of a pediment carried on to the old roof, which will be hid by the parapet.

    I have given a new cornice to the house on each s[i]de the portico, in the room of the heavy [_ _n] the original, with a small parapet over it: And the water must be carried of in gutters which will also take the water of the portico. You must also have new Architraves to the doors & windows which ^at present^ I dare say are unfit to be joined with the New Work. There is a small inequality in the distances of the windows on each side the door from the center of the door, which I have set down in the old plan, & have humoured in the plan of the portico, so that the difference shall not be discernible.

    This Design will admit of the portico being closed in the winter: this may be done by having folding doors (which in the front must be glazed above the highth of the window stool) which may be taken off their hinges or be removed by unscrewing the hinges & fitted to a rabbit4 within the portico.

    If you think this design is too expensively ornamented, consider that the materials are only [_]. But you may have it by leaving out the pilasters & the ornamental part of the intablature: tho’ I would not advise it. I shall not have time to draw the mouldings; but must leave them to your workman to pick them out of a good book, which will be easily done as the order is fixed. But I shall add a rough drawing to shew the exact measures.

    I am Sr Your most faithful humble Servt

    Fra Bernard

    His Excellency Govr Hutchinson.

    ALS, RC      NHI: MSS Collection.