Elizabth (Betty) Clarke to

John Spreat

London 9th August 1698

Mr Spreat

I have not news enough to make a long letter therefore I make this bargain, before I write a line more, that if this proves very shorte you should not take it as a peece of unkindness but purely for want of a subject but however I will indeavour to make it as long as I can possible. Two days agoe, I was at Kensington to see the Kings and late Queens House, every thing is certainly as fine as can bee imagined, the rooms lofty and statly, the furniture magnificent and the gardens a perfect paradice, and amongst the rest of the fine things there is a noble present from the King of France, (since the peace) to King Wm, it is the largest looking-glass that ever was seen, wth a frame of glass inlay'd with blew and gold, and alsoe a table to stand under it, suteable to the frame of ye glass, the conveniency of the table is to read or write on, but as it is impossible for me to discribe ye fineness of every thing there, soe it is impossible for me to tell you, how dismall the poor Queens apartment looked for want of her to grace it, and by his Majesty's order (since her death) the house has been all turned and his coach goes in by another court, he not being able to bear the sight of any thing that belong'd to her lat Majesty. Above stairs alsoe a dore is nailed up between his and her apartment (that was). I believe I have tired you but I must tell you that Mrs Burgess Mr Grassemare and Margret are still discontented and roving. A punishment for people that wont know when they are well. Adieu I am Pom your reall friend

E Clarke

Pray give my duty to my father and my true love and service to my brothers and sister and alsoe to all those in our neighbourhood whom you thinke my friends. Pray remember me kindly to all the servants at Chipley but in perticular to Mrs Ellin. My service to M La Roque, not forgetten Punch, Treloy and Kity. When you see your father and mother remember me most kindly to them.

I must add that every thing in the Queens apartment stands just as it did, and as she her self placed it and for fear their should bee any mistake, as soon as she dyed, it was all sett down in a book, where and in what manner it stood; the thoughts and consideration of which has make my mother soe melancholy that I believe nothing but the sight of my father can remove it. I hope Gabrill does well in his new office which he had soe much sett his heart upon, when you see him, pray tell him I wish him health and that hee may goe on and prosper etc. My mother had a letter from him but he did not say how she should derect to him.

Since this is to bee inclosed in a letter of my mothers I do not (as you may perceive) mind in what form it is writt. I shall therefore tell you that this summer has been the most cold and raw one that ever was known, lett me heare whether the farmers in the country have been able to pick out such weather as to make a tolerable harvest. My brother and sister in town give you their service and my brother and sister at Chealsey are mighty well and I thinke love each other as well as ever, I believe Jack is very good natured for he is more kind to me then any of the rest. I am sure according to our country compliment tis more his goodness.