392. Hannah Bloomfield to Charles Bloomfield, 23 June 1824*
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 everything.
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.