Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


July 6, 1705
Letter from Robert Carter to Thomas Corbin, 1705 July 6

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Thomas Corbin, 1705 July 6, that he has received several letters from him, and was pleased to learn that there will be a new governor for the colony. He reports that he has drawn a bill of exchange on Corbin for the purchase of slaves for the estate of Ralph Wormeley, that he is sending 20 hogsheads of tobacco from the estate's York River farms, and adds a lenthy remark about loading some 90 hogsheads on board the ship the Corbin and that Corbin should consult Micajah Perry for the details. He notes that Francis Lee has written that Ralph Wormeley's sons, then in England at school, have expressed their desire to return to Virginia which their mother favors and that he accedes to her wishes, but would not act without the approval of the other trustees of which Corbin is also one. He concludes by noting that he has received a pipe of wine from Corbin's brother Gawin and that Thomas Corbin should charge the cost to the Wormeley estate and he will settle with the estate which is indebted to him.

Robert Carter to Thomas Corbin , July 6, 1705

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Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 6th. 1705

Mr. Tho: Corbin


     My Last was of the 26th of February & went by the Eagle Galley Captain
Snelgrave I then advised you of the receipt of your Letters of the 14th of October & the [ . . . ]
of January . I have since received yours of June date sent by the way of Pensylv [ania]
it was near a 12 month on its Voyage I have also yours by the Levett
the postscript the most pleasing part of it wherein you tell me you bel [ieve]
there will be a Change , Your Brother & the rest tht. hold the places of Profitt ha [th]
been &c's. most Zealous Advocates & resolve to Continue so I only wish [that]
they were Carving out their own fate & then I shall say God send them such a
Regimen to their lives end. The Confusions the Country is under at present y [ou]
will hear enough of from other hands which perhaps you'l give more Cre [dit]
to thn. mine but I'l leave this Subject --

     Since the going of the Eagle Galley Your Brother & I have draw [n on]
you for £90 on accot of the Estate of Esquire Wormeley being for Negroes bought for the [estate]
payable to Wm. Churchill which desire you to Answer & place to [that account]
There is now Sent to you per the Levett what Tobacco was in York [k River]
of 20 hogsheads if I forget not I had likewise ordered Cudly [ . . . ]
but he like a sorry mortal as he is for tht. Station hath [drawn]
a bill of Lading for which is inclosed the Impost I have draw [n on you]
I might here entertain you with a Long Story relating to [ . . . ]
befriended her all I could have loaded on her 90 ninety hogsheads with [my]
vessels & people for which I charge but 1/2 a Crown I beli [eve you'll]
find all the rest of his Tobacco Stands him in at Least [ . . . ]
Your Brother may give you an Account I was the Occasion [of]
Letting the freight so Low I therefore think it necessary pla [ . . . ]
deny it to you told him I would have no hand in't he sh [ould]
wholely answer for it himself Only that If I shipt on your shi [p]
should be on those termes I have writt largely to Mr. Perry [ . . . ]
head from whom you may have it --

     Mr. Fra: Lee in his last letter to me intimates the young W [ormeleys]
desire to come in & seems to Advise it himself their Mother is very [much]
for it & hath undertaken to put your Brother & her Brother Armi [stead]
upon writing for them & truly considering that Ralph draws tow [ard]
manhood apace Seeing his fortune promises him no other thn. a Vir [ginia]
Life too long a taste of the town may do him harm & to be somewh [at]
acquainted with plantation Affairs before they come to be men i [s]
of Extraordinary use to thm. I have therefore so far followed [their]
Moth [ers wishes?] to give my Sentiments to Mr. Lee for the send [ing]

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them in I have thought it necessary to acquaint you therewith being
a Joint Guardian to them wth me It is so considerable an act
I would by no means direct it without the consent of the rest of the
Gentlemen therefore pray let Mr. Lee know your opinion I have
no other ends in it but the future wellfare of our wards wch
seems to me will be best advanced by their . speedy coming in for
other news you will have it at large by the masters I have received
of your Brothr. Corbin a pipe of your wine if you will Debit
the young Wormeleys account for it I shall answer it to thm.
they are more in my Debt than . that come to I return you my
thanks for the favour & remain Sir

Your very humble Servant


Source copy consulted: Christ Church Parish, Lancaster County, Processioners' Returns, 1711-1783,and Wormeley Estate Papers, 1701-1710, 1716, Acc. 30126, Archives Research Services, Library of Virginia, Richmond. 163-164. Extract printed William and Mary Quarterly , 1st. ser., 17(1909): 257-258.

Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than "Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to merchants abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

[1] The ship Levet (Level , Levitt , etc.) appears several times in the Executive Journals of the Council. . . in 1705; she was commanded by Captain Thomas Bagwell, and was a 310 ton vessel carrying 22 guns and 40 men. ("List of Ships . . . 1705." )

[2] Carter refers to the replacement of Francis Nicholson as governor. Colonel Edward Nott, lieutenant governor, arrived in Williamsburg August 12, 1705.

[3] Richard Cudlip was mate of the Corbin , and succeeded to the command when Captain Robert Tayloe died after reaching Virginia.

[4] The impost was the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco.

[5] RC had been among the trustees for the young sons, Ralph (ca. 1681-1714) and John (1689-1727), of Ralph Wormeley after their father's death.

This text revised July 1, 2008.