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 Francis Lee, July 6, 1705

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Francis Lee, July 6, 1705, that he has received a letter from Lee in which Lee had written that the late Ralph Wormeley's sons, then in England at school, want to return to Virginia. Their mother favors their return, Carter reports, but add that he wants to be sure that all of the trustees of Wormeley's sons agree to this step that will so profoundly affect their futures. He states that Lee should send them home if all agree, and that it probably will be best for them because the estates that will come to them will allow only a living in Virginia business which will not satisfy them if they remain in England until they are men. Lee should equip them properly, but not too richly, for their station in Virginia when sending them.

Robert Carter to Francis Lee, July 6, 1705

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 6th. 1705

Mr. Fra: Lee


     My Last to you went by the Eagle Galley Acknowledging the receit of
your Letters & Accounts to that time I have Since recd a letter from
you wch. have mislaid & cannot at present possibly find the dat[e I]
have forgott but in the Close remember you tell me the Youths have a
desire to come home & seem to give your opinion 'twould be be[st]
for them Their Mother urges Strongly to have thm . sent for, ha[s]
undertaken to put her Brother [Henry] Armistead and mr. [Gawin]
Corbin upon writing for them I have writt to mr. [Thomas] Corbin in
England & I would have all consenting to a thing tht will soe [con]
siderably affect their future welfare If others agr[ee]
it very advisable & accordingly direct you to sen[d them]
by the first good Shipp after the receit hereof for [ . . . ]
their fortune promises thm no other but a Virga . L[ife & therefore]
an Insight into Virga Business will be of consi[derable value to]
thm. when they come to be men on the other Side [keeping them too]
long in Engld. will give thm a disrelish to their [positions]
all their Lifes after & make the Drudgery of Vi[rginia]
a trade too mean for their thoughts & the rem[embrance of]
pleasures they have left behind them lye too [heavily]
ever after This what I have allways observe[d of]
those have been kept in England till their manhood [ . . . ]
when you send them Let thm. be Equipt Suitable to their [station]
& Circumstances not too gaudy or rich yet Genteel & in such a manner [you]
think they may fairly be maintained in without deb[it]
to their Estates pray give my kind Love & Service to [them]
& accept the Same Yor. Self as from one tht is Sr

Your hearty well wisher
Affectionate Countryman
and humble Servant

per the Corbin


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, 165. Extract printed William and Mary Quarterly , 1st. ser., 17(1909): 258-259.

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] RC was among the trustees for the young sons, Ralph (ca. 1681-1714) and John (1689-1727), of Ralph Wormeley after their father's death. They were at school in England when this letter was written.

[2] Their mother was Elizabeth Armistead Wormeley, RC's sister-in-law through his first wife, Judith Armistead. She was the widow of Ralph Wormeley, and mother of Ralph (ca. 1681-1714) and John (1689-1727).

This text revised July 7, 2008.