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


Letter from Robert Carter to William Robertson, June 2, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to William Robertson, June 2, 1727, clerk of the Council, asking him to review a letter and give "Mr. Cary" advice "in the Duty of his Office" as a friend because Cary "Seems not yet well to understand." He sends Robertson all the news he has received from letters and gazettes just arrived concerning the siege of Gibraltar and concerns in Britain.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Robertson, June 2, 1727

-1 -

Rappahannock [Lancaster County, Virginia]   
June 2d: 1727

Mr. Wm: Robertson

Sir --

     The Enclosed will inform you of the business
the Bearer comes upon I have advised him to call upon
you in his way that you may give Mr. Cary your advice
as a friend in the Duty of his Office which as to me he Seems not yet well
to understand The Bearer will show you Mr. Carys Permit
however I have Sent you a Copy of it and in what you Say
to him I hope you will lay aside all private Views. after you
have perused my Letter I desire you'll Seal it up and deliver
it to the Master.

     A Ship from Bristol arrived here this day
brings to me Several Letters from London of the 15 & 16 of Ma [r] ch
Also Some prints I mean Gazettes to the 4th: of March and a Vote
of the Commons of the 13th: of March The nation is a fire, At the

-2 -

Memorial of Monsieur De Palm the Commons address [illegible]
so do Several of the great bodies of the nation and no doubt addresses
will fly from all parts The royal Boroughs of Scotland have
Addressed The Deputy Lieutenants and the Justices of the Peace for the County
of Middlesex The President Vice President and the whole
body of Artillery of the City of London The Mayor &c: of Devon
of Leeds, of Worsham in Dorset. of Thetford. of Kingstone up
on Thames, of Lewis in Sussex as to the Seige of Gibralter there
is nothing new about it The Master who left Bristol the 1st
of April Says there is no manner of fear of the fate of that place
Mr. Bradley Says they are in daily Expectation the war
will be declared against the Emperor In which he reckons will
most of the powers in Europe will be Engaged on one Side
or the other, Mr. Perry is afraid if the blaze break out if will not
be Easily Extinguished, Mr. Cary of the 22d: of March Says there
is little likelihood of the Spaniards taking Gibraltar and so hopes
matters will Soon come to an Accommodation for general
peace thus you have the Chief of my public news I am

Yor: most humble Servt:


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

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 Mr. Cary to whom Carter refers may have been Wilson Cary who had been appointed naval officer of the lower district of James River on April 28, 1726, but there were several men of the name at this time. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:99-100. )

[2] Monsieur De Palm apparently was the representative of the ruler of Austria, Charles VI (Holy Roman Emperor [1711-1740] ) in Great Britain at the time. "Count Sinzendorf, Chancellor of the Court of his Imperial and Catholic Majesty" wrote to the envoy February 20, 1727, "His Imperial and Catholick Majestie judges it indispensably necessary, upon the step which has been lately taken in the country where you are, to send you, in the dispatch here annexed, a memorial which you are to present to the King of Great Britain, and to publish afterwards, that the whole nation may be acquainted with it, whilst answers are preparing to certain pamphlets, published before the opening of the Parliament." De Palm complied with these instructions and published the letter and the memorial. The problem for DePalm was that the assertions in the memorial contradicted those made by the King of England to Parliament in January. "In his speech from the throne, he affirmed the existence of a secret treaty between the courts of Vienna and Madrid, and specified the leading articles, -- the recovery of Gigraltar, and the re-establishment of the Pretender." De Palm was sent home immediately for his impertinence. ( George Moore. Lives of Cardinal Alberoni, and the Duke of Ripperda. . . . [London: L R. Faulder, 1806], I, 86-87 ; A Letter from the Count Sinzendorf, Chancellor of the Court to His Imperial and Catholick Majesty sent to Monsieur de Palm the Emperor's Resident at the Court of Great-Britain Dated from Vienna the 20th of February 1727. [London: 1727] ; The Manuscripts of Lord Kenyon. [London: Her Majecsty's Stationery Office, 1804.] 468 ; and Journals of the House of Commons. Vol. 20, 800 .)

[3] Britain had seized Gibraltar from Spain during a war in 1704, and had been given it permanently by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. However, Spain was never happy with the loss, and had threatened, and then laid siege to Gibraltar in March 1727. The effort was unsuccessful and abandoned in June of that year. The treaty of Seville of 1729 ceded Gibraltar to Britain. ( "Gibraltar" 5/28/2003 ; and George C. Kohn. Dictionary of Wards. [Inforbase Publishing, 2006]. 24 .)

[3] James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of May 17, 1727, Bradley owned the Welcome, but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. [London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740]. p. 39. Online, examined 8/12/2005 and 6/14/2012. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised September 23, 2012, to strengthen the modern language version text and the footnotes.