Mary Clarke to

Edward Clarke

May ye 6th 1704
at which time we should have had a sone 28 if he had lived

my deare

I presume you have mine before this time that acquainted you of the 2 Mr Jones being heare wheare they stayed till Thursday in the evening, and then went to Mr Perriams where he sed he had buisness and so desired to go to his own home the next morning, he desired me to give you his service and sed he would second what I had writ soone after his comeing home, which is now att Langford* neare Churchill which is his grandmothers joynture, and his after her death, and he had rented it for her life and desires to live in it. Agen before he went he told me what a great kindness he had for your daughter and how redy he should be to give you any sattisfacktion that lay in his power in order to obtaine your daughter I then desired him to be free and make it plaine to you what his reall and personall estate was, be it more or less he could not make it more then it was, and I presumed he would not make it less, for dealing without reserve where he desired to make himself one of the family was much the best way, all wch he agreed to and told me you should be sattisfied in anything you desired, but what ways and meanes he will find out for it I know not, I think as you do he ought to propose a proper settlement for her joynture and a provision for younger children and to make some certaine provision for his brothers and sisters that they may not come after him for top notts and stokens and shewes when he is married and have children of his owne; and these things ought to be done as soon as may be for you may find by her last letter to you how she is inclined and therefore it had best be settled as soon as may be before she showes to much of her incleynations to him which may be to her disadvantage; I have cationed her all I can and given her the best advice I can, but it is easily to be dissearned that she has a kindness for him; I was surprised to find by your last letter that J Spreat had writted such a letter to you without my knowledg, which I have resen to take a little ill because I have shewed him all that I have writt to you on that subject, but thus you see how all peaple in the countrey with indore and without are byased towards this man, therefore pray dont you dissease your thoughts about it, but be sattisfied and either come in to the countrey soone or order some other persen to settle ye afaire for I thinke it is not fitt it should stay thus, besides the gentleman is very impatient, and was askeing me if by your answare to my last letter to you, you did consent to a proseeding in this matter, how long I thought it might be before it would be accomplished, I told him it was a question impossoble for me to answare for that there was a great many things to be looked into and settled first and when that was done they might soon do that in a quarter of an howere they might repent all theyr lives after, and so we laughed of that matter; and he told me he would send his man to know what answare you do give to my last letter and at this same time I presume will wright to the young lady. Mr Dike happened to come and dine heare the very day Mr Jones went, he sed he beleved the lady was not averse to the gentleman but that he beleved her a persen of that prudence that she would not ingage her affections till everything was made plaine and settled to your sattisfacktion, I sed I hoped not but that very often wise peaple did do foolish things of that kind.

I have had such a violent paine in my teethe of late as I never had since I breed my children, and if I am going to have another now full grone I do not wonder at it, the pains has bin so severe that it has made all my teeth loose and I am in doupt those few I have left will come out therefor if among your acquaintance you could larne what was good to fassen ones teeth it might do me a kindness.

My deare I have bin afraide to inquire what you do with the tutur you had agreed withall for Samm least he should have disapoynted you and by that meanes have given you further troble, and if it be so pray dont lett such little things, or anything indeed, in this world dissease you for we can have but little time to stay in it, therefore lett us injoy the good things God allmighty have blessed us with and be thankfull.

I think Mr Jones has as good a frend in your daughter Ann as if she was a sister of his own, and always had. In discorse with Mr Jones he told me he had proved his granfathers will in the prerogative cort, which I have thought fitt to lett you know that if you had a mind to see it or take a coppy of it or both you might while upon the place.

Mary Clarke

* Langford Court had been bought in 1636 by Francis Creswick, John Jones’ great grandfather and inherited by John Creswick, John's grandfather, who died in 1703.