Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to [Governor William Gooch,] October 14, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to [Governor William Gooch,] October 14, 1727, to inform him that severe illness has prevented his coming to Williamsburg for the meeting of the General Court. He also forwards a packet sent to him by Peter Leheup, the colony's agent in England.

Letter from Robert Carter to [Governor William Gooch ,] October 14, 1727

-1 -

Corotom [a] n, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Octbr: 14h. 1727

May it please your Honour

     I had fixed my resolution to wait upon Your
honour on the first day of the General Court but it has pleased God to vi=
sit me with a severe affliction in my bowels & side that pursues me
night & day with intolerable pains & has kept me Confined to my
house all this week & this last night was as violent as ever I know your
honours innate goodness will incline you to pitty Compassion rather than resen=
tment for my Absence

     My Own affairs to be at town are so very
pressing that nothing less than an insuperable incapacity will
delay my attendance in paying my duty to your honour & to the

     Sir the enclosed packet came to me late=
ly under a Merchant's Cover by the direction of Mr Leheup who
tells me it is from the Lords of trade I transmit it to your honor
with out opening I heartily pray for your honours health &
prosperity being with the Greatest truth

Corotoman October 14h. 1727              yours [sic ] honours
                  Most obedient
                      & 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.

The county and colony have been added for clarity to Corotoman, the name of Carter's home.

[1] "The governor's Council, also known as the Council of State or simply the Council, consisted of about a dozen of colonial Virginia's wealthiest and most prominent men. Beginning in the 1630s the Crown appointed Council members. . . . Crown appointments were lifetime appointments. From 1625, when Virginia became a royal colony, until the outbreak of the American Revolution (1775-1783), the Council members advised the royal governor or his deputy, the lieutenant governor, on all executive matters. The Council and the governor together constituted the highest court in the colony, known initially as the Quarter Court and later as the General Court. The Council members also served as members of the General Assembly; from the first meeting of the assembly in 1619 until 1643 the governor, Council members, and burgesses all met in unicameral session. After 1643 the Council members met separately as the upper House of the General Assembly." ("The Governor's Council" in Encyclopedia Virginia )

[2] Williamsburg

[3] Peter Leheup, an English Treasury clerk, was Virginia's (1722-1754) and other colonies' agent in England for many years. "Peter Leheup was one of those almost invisible behind-the scenes personalities whose exsposure reveals so much about the character of eighteenth-century society and administration." He became underclerk (later, chief clerk) at the Treasury in 1721, and married that year "Clara the daughter of William Lowndes, secretary of the treasury. . . . Very early his father-in-law . . . made him a comptroller of exchequer bills. In addition, he served for decades (c. 1721-1742) as deputy to Horatio Walpole in his capacity as Auditor-General of Plantation Revenues." ( Jacob M. Price, "The Excise Affair Revisited: Administrative and Colonial Dimensions of a Parliamentary Crisis" in Stephen Barlow Baxter, ed. England's Rise to Greatness, 1660-1763. [Los Angles: University of California Press, 1983] 274-5 ; and (Price. Perry of London. . . . pp. 75-77, 80, 83. )

[4] Established in 1696 as successor to a similar body, the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations was "an advisory group, subordinate to king and Privy Council, and with no executive, financial, or penalizing powers, the Board of Trade was nevertheless able . . . to exert a far reaching and often determining influence in colonial matters. . . . It prepared the royal instructions for the governors overseas. . . ." ( Henry Hartwell, James Blair, and Edward Chilton. Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. The Present State of Virginia, and the College. [First published, 1940, by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and reprinted Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1964.] pp. xvi-xvii. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised May 13, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.