Letter from John Alefounder to Philip Havens, 1793

Among letters "Photographed from Originals in posession of Wm Wright" sent by Mr R.T. Alefounder to John Bensusan-Butt, now in the Essex Record Office, Colchester, reference C905. That collection includes Mr Bensusan-Butt's transcript of the letter, which differs slightly from that below.

Calcutta Novr 1st 1793

Dear Cousin Havens

Yrs written in Apl last I have reced, and return you many thanks for your good wishes, Fortunes in this part of ye World are not made rapidly as heretofore, although my works (which chiefly is Miniature) are approved, & I have the pleasure to tell you are highly spoken ^of. The chief part of the inhabitants are poor, and any price is thought too high for the times, 20 Gold Mohurs for a Bracelet or Ring, 25 Do for a large Locket, & 50 for a Child's whole length o[r] larger size, had I plenty of employment I should undoubtedly save money, a Gold Mohur is near 2£s english. But expences here are very high, and ye number of Servants every Gentleman is obliged to keep soon devour ye profits of my labour, when encouragement slackens.

I return you many thanks for yr kindness to my Dear George, and for yr liberality in declining to receive from me ^an expence you may have been at on his accot

I rejoiced to hear such good accounts of him, I sincerely hope he will ever conduct himself with ye propriety he has hitherto which will retain him the friends he has already gain'd, and insure him many more. I am sorry to find many of my relations have not shewn that attention to my Dear Mrs Alefounder that her goodness & Virtues merit your family excepted. I shall ever consider myself much indebted to my Aunt, You and family for not deserting her in adversity, it points out to me what relations I ought to have the greatest Value for. Had I made a fortune & Mrs A- had been supported in ye stile she merits, then others would have shewn her more respect.

I am extremely happy my sweet Boy is fond of Agriculture, at Wenham he will be preserved from ye follies & Vices of large Cities. I know not any Life more happy than a Farmers if a Man is provident and has a good Farm. I am glad my Bror & Sister are fond of him, with them he will have protectors.

I hope in ye course of time Captn Bass will recover his misfortunes, and return with Riches to render My Aunt, and all of you happy.

In a former letter I have mention'd the concern the loss of my cousin Lucy gave me it must have been a severe stroke upon you all.

Whenever my cousin Ann, enters into wedlock I hope it will be with a Man that will ever make her happy. It gives me pleasure you both are well. I hope long ere this arrives my Aunt will be restored to perfect health & spirits.

My love to my Aunt & Cousins.

I hope my Aunt & Uncle Kendall have a fortune sufft to render them both happy. I beg my Love to them. - My best Compts to Mr Isaac Boggis and all inquiring friends at Colchester.

If I can get matters settled I expect to see England ye latter end of ye Year 1784[sic] to see the blessed Land of Britain once ^again which I shall be, as rejoiced to see as Moses was ye promised Land of Canaan. - Not all ye Lacks of Rupees that could be offer'd me, would make me quit that land of happiness again-

Yours Dear Cousin Havens most sincerely

J. Alefounder.

John Alefounder, his cousin Philip Havens and the other relatives mentioned are all on the Colchester pedigree. Lucy Havens was buried at St James', Colchester.


Last updated 26th November 2000 by Peter Alefounder