Edward Clarke to

M Laroque

London 9th February 1699

Mr Laroque

I recd yrs by the last post and am sorry to find that those few I have left in my family have not government enough of their pasions to live quiett together for their own sakes as well as mine; I confess letters of this nature I have not been used to meet with from home, to interrupt my business there, and there fore am at a loss how to give you better satisfaction in any thing that I have done already; as for the order of my family I have put them in the best method I could dispose to myself and am sorry that you and John Spreat who I hoped would have set all good examples of quietness and everything else should show so much the contrary, and that he should take upon him to lend my horsses without my leave or knowledge and having no authority to lend them to any body, I haveing left now but what is barely sufficient for my own affairs. To prevent any trouble of this kind for the future (which I could not foresee) I have written to John Spreat by this post to make up yr acct and a particular of what money has been laid out for you or you have already had and have ordered him to pay no more of my money nor lend my horses or any other of my goods to anybody without my direction and therefore where there is any now of yr sallary due to you, if you have any occasion to have it paid here in town, if you please to write yr orders in English I will take care it shall be done without your troubling or endangering you self to ride to Taunton or any where else; and if you want any of yr money in the countrey or a horse upon any reasonable occations, if you write to me for it, I shall give my orders accordingly, but I dont allow John Spreat to lend my horses without my knowledge or to pay my money without my particular order and therefore I think he ought to beg my pardon for that as well as God for any insolent expressions that may be taken from him in passion. What you meant by his ordering you to eat yr supper in the kitchen of the house with the servants I do not understand, for when I and my wife are in the countrey, we eat the same with the servants, indeed we eat first and they eat what is left and I supposed you have the same and if you are not in the way at that time Ellen has my order to sett by what she thought convenient for your supper without any confining you to the kitchen and therefore that which they formerly called Isaacs room, or the little Hall which are the rooms we use ourselfs when at home, and certainly you do not expect a cloth laid and a hot supper to be ordered on purpose for one person, and if you do, tis what I never did nor will; I thought yr business was to take care of and to improve my children, as I doubt not but you have and will do as you say like an honest gentleman, according to the carectter that induced me to take you into my family; at first I thought upon all duties you were very easy and well satisfied, and if you make yourself proficient in English for nothing else but to carry on quarrells, I think you had been better not to have made progress but I hope you are one of better principles than to lett the sun go down upon yr wrath, and by this time you are all friends again, and that you will live in love and charity one with another that you may be the better able to do your duty towards God and Man. In the meantime pray lett me hear now more of cutting throats in my family, it being what is very uneasy and unacceptable, and will be the highest disobligation you can put upon yr friend and servant

Edw Clarke

This was actually written by Mary Clarke ‘though penned by Edward.