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 James Bradley, December 12, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant James Bradley, December 12, 1727, to report the arrival of Bradley's letter of September 13th and that he forwarded all the letters enclosed with it. He notes the merchant's gloomy news about the market for tobacco, sends a bill of exchange, reports Nathaniel Harrison's death, and that his post of deputy auditor will fall to the patronage of Horace Walpole.

Letter from Robert Carter to James Bradley, December 12, 1727

-1 -

Mr. James Bradley     Rappa:[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Decemr 12th: 1727


     This is a short line to own the receipt of yours of th[e]
13th of Sepr: signifying the Arrival of the Welcome & Providence
yo: give a very discouraging Accot. of the Market of tobbo I know som[e]
of my Neighbours that have had 9 1/2 round who I have reason to thin[k]
Do not make better Tobbo than myself

     Here in I send you Franck Lightfoots Excha[ge]
on your self for £33:2:8 which Desire credit for I disperst your
letters came under my Cover with so much care that I beleive none of
them will Miscarry most of your first Fleet are arrived if Capt Trice
comes not Away before Christmass he will be no very Early ship
it is generally reckoned our crops this Year are much short of what
they were the last It will be no news to tell yo: of the Sudden Death
of Collo Harrison by whose decease the D. Auditors place is bec=
ome Vacant who Our Govr: hath puts in his room for the present
I don't yet hear he that Can rais up the best friends with Mr Horace
'tis reckoned will Carry it my wishes are that merit may
take place

                   I shall give yo no further trouble at present from

                    Yor: most humble servt

per Christian
to be copyed


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] 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. )

[2] The 140 ton Welcome was owned by London merchant James Bradley to whom Carter would write about her on May 17, 1727 . John Trice (Frice) was her captain, 1723-1727. ( Adm 68/195, 154r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[3] Thomas Woodward commanded the Providence, a ship owned by Captain John Hyde & Company, during a number of voyages to the colony, 1723-1729. ( Survey Report 6800 summarizing Adm. 68/194 and Survey Report 6801 summarizing Adm 68/195, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, and Carter's letter to the firm, September 17, 1723. )

[4] "The auditor was unquestionably a royal appointee, and held his commission under the great seal. He was, after 1680, upon the appointment of the auditor-general of the colonies, the deputy of that official. When the auditorship was established, it was stated that only councillors and those who had long resided in the colony were eligible to this office, and it seems that this principle was generally observed. . . . As the name of the office indicates, the auditor examined all the revenue accounts of the colony, except a few purely local ones under the supervision of the treasurer. Among these accounts were those of the royal collectors and naval officers, the quit-rents, the public claims, the fines and forfeitures. He swore to his accounts before the governor and the Council in April and October, and forwarded them through the auditor general to the lords of the treasury. . . . For a few years after the establishment of the office, the auditor received a salary from the Assembly; later, he was paid a salary as a royal official of £100 a year out of the British treasury. His compensation was, however, largely in the form of a fee, which was gradually increased from three to seven and a half per cent of the revenue accounts audited, and amounted to about £400 a year." ( Percy Scott Flippin. The Financial Administration of the Colony of Virginia [Johns Hopkins Press, 1915.] 38-39. )

[5] Horace Walpole was the brother of Robert Walpole, the chief minister of England. Horace held the posts of "auditor general and surveyor general of the royal revenue in the colonies." (Billings. et al. Colonial Virginia: A History. )

[6] James Christian was captain of the Rose, a vessel owned by merchant John Pemberton of Liverpool. (See Carter to Pemberton, April 15, 1730.)4

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised June 9, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.