351. Thomas John Lloyd Baker to Robert Bloomfield, 23 May 1821*
Since we were here last I have occasionally heard from our mutual friends of the progress of your work, which I understand is likely soon to appear. I have heard lately too with regret, that your health is not so good as we could wish it to be, & also that the failure of trade has been felt, & I fear is still felt by some parts of your family in common with many others. Allow me to request your acceptance of the enclosed note for your use or theirs as you may think right.
We arrived here on Saturday last all well excepting myself. I am recovering from rather a severe attack of Gout & Deficiency of bile which has confined me for several weeks. I am not able to get both my shoes up at heel even yet, & the subsequent tenderness which goes off very slowly, keeps me very lame, so that I am not able to walk or to get on horseback without a good deal of difficulty. I hope before we go to be well enough to see you at Shefford, in the mean time favor me with a line.
Amongst other things which I have heard there is a report which nothing but a sincere wish for your welfare should induce me to take the liberty of mentioning to you. I have too high an opinion of you to give it credit, & therefore I have every hope that your answer will be full & clear, & such as may enable me openly to contradict it. It has already occasioned you the loss of some valuable friends; & if not stopped, it will cause you to lose the friendship of every man whose friendship is worth your preserving.
We have long been aware of the unfortunate tendency of Mrs Bloomfield's religious opinions & have lamented it,  but it has been remarked that for some time past neither yourself nor any of your family have been in the habit of attending any place of worship whatsoever. It has also been observed that you are in the habit of reading some periodical works which are very hostile to the government of this country. Perhaps from these two circumstances coupled together has originated the idea that you have imbibed both Deistical & Republican principles. The latter tending to the subversion of that Government under which we have all lived so long free from those calamities which have befallen almost every other part of Europe—The former tending to the destruction of Christianity, & herein of every thing most valuable to us all (but most of all endangering the eternal welfare of those who are unhappy enough to become its Dupes) and both being so frequently united in the same persons—These considerations have induced many of your friends & patrons upon principle to withhold from you their accustomed protection & assistance, thinking that by doing as they had done, & as they still wish to do, they should be giving countenance to a dangerous man. I cannot think they are right. I cannot adopt such an opinion of you. In full hope that all may be explained away, & that you may again stand as high in the esteem of your friends as the religious and moral tendency of your former life & works had placed you, I take advantage of being in your neighbourhood to give you this information, & to assure you that I shall have much pleasure in making known to your former friends any answer to this letter which you may think it right to favor me with for this purpose.
I remain Dear Sir with all good wishes
Yours &c &c
Maulden near Ampthill May 23 1821
Address: Mr Robert Bloomfield / Shefford