24, Providence Row, June 23
My Dear Charles,
You are aware, from my former letters, that Messrs. Baldwin and Co. were so kind as to
advance a bill for one hundred pounds at twelve months, to enable us to come to
some settlement with our creditors, and that Mr. Weston induced them to accept a
composition of seven shillings in the pound,* and promising to divide amongst
them the proceeds from the sale of the cottage at Honington, though the delay which had
hitherto existed made this a forlorn hope. This arrangement relieved us from
some anxiety for our personal safety; and we sold our little property (books and
furniture), to enable us to come to London to seek our living. Still, we did not
consider ourselves out of debt; and the settlement for the
cottage being still delayed, we left Shefford with a determination to pay them whenever it might be in our
power, and a hope that it might be soon. This you already know; and I have now the
pleasure of informing you, that we have obtained seventy pounds for the cottage,
and Mr. Weston sent it to Shefford yesterday, making up the whole
amount from the produce of our sale; so that we are now completely free from
debt, and have somewhere about forty pounds to divide amongst five of us for two
years. But who of our family does not agree with Mr. Weston, that the unspotted
character which our dear father maintained should remain unblemished by his
family? which could not have been, had we suffered his creditors to lose any
part of their debts while it was possible for us to pay
them. Let me hear from you soon.
Your affectionate sister,
P. S. Our friends, or rather the friends of our father, have
instituted a subscription for our benefit, which Mr. Weston thinks has commenced
auspiciously; but you must be aware that it is a very uncertain resource; but be its produce what it may, I hope, with
the aid of our own exertions, we shall make it do.
* The Editor of
this work, having been generally blamed, (as a friend of the family) for not
advising them to remove their little property to London for sale, begs leave
to assign the following reasons for the advice which he gave:–
1st, The inconsiderable value of the property, which,
according to the best estimates, did not exceed seventy pounds, including
2nd, The difficulty of proving in London that the articles
were genuine, i.e. that they were actually the property of the deceased.
3rd, The general uncertainty of sales in
London, and the certain expense of conveyance thither.
4th, The propriety of convincing the creditors (who had
agreed, conditionally, to take a moderate composition) that the whole
property was really offered for sale.
5th, To afford the creditors themselves an opportunity of
preventing any article from being sold for less than its value.
6th, The inconvenience it would have been to the Editor to superintend the
sale in London; and at the same time arrange the writings of the deceased,
and settle his affairs in the country.
7th, His reliance on public sympathy and benevolence to
supply for the family the imperfections of his own arrangements.