RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/27
Former ReferenceD3311/8/3/23
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Porden to John Franklin, on her selling her property at Berners Street, seeing to the executorship of her father and on her having little time left to house-hunt
Date13 Jun 1823
DescriptionShe has not received letters from him. Sale of Berners Street went tolerably well, although not knowing any of the particulars all likely to be useful to them was kept back, including wine; apart from a few items, all of the property on her parents' estate belongs to her, but she feels a conmunity of interest between them. She fear his reproach at her neglect as to house hunting, but she has done all she could given other pressures on her: she has done nearly everything with regard to her property, and once she has settled affairs with her father's executors, she will be at his disposal. Intends to return to town to see Mr. Millington's next lecture. Had a good day looking at a house in Greenwich, but cannot look at a building without being over-critical due to her father; she hopes her sister will be comfortable there, and hopes that she will like her better in the future. Met a Reverend Mr. Callaghan at the Phillips's, who spoke very highly of John having met him at Cambridge: the other guests hoped John would join them soon. She is uneasy at her not his writing to her more frequently.
Extent1 sheet
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SenderEleanor Anne Porden
Sender Location6 Upper Portland Place
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient LocationMrs Burnside's, Castle Gate, Nottingham
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or Index6 Upper Portland Place. June 13 1823

My Dear Sir
Were it not that this may be the only opportunity I have for writing before I leave town this afternoon, I would defer my letter till after the Post comes in, as I hope for one from you. Indeed I was disappointed at not hearing from you yesterday, and should have written had I known where I was to address, but you are so erratic, and your movements apparently so uncertain that I know not how to calculate on you, and doubt much whether my Anglo Gallican Epistle, directed to Matlock will ever have the honour of kissing your hands. I have taken a large sheet of paper, because I have more to say than will fill it, though I fear my time will fall short before I come to the end either of matter or space. With regard to Berners Street, the Sale I understand went off tolerably well, but I have not yet received any account of particulars. All which I thought likely to be useful to us, or to save our buying its inferiors at a higher price I either kept back or bought in. Among these was the wine, about which you kindly enquired. <There was but very little.> I believe the whole may amount to near half a Pipe of Port with two or three odds and ends of Claret Beaune and Spirits. As to white wine, it consists by chance of only a few bottles for I of course got none in after my father’s death, and we happened to be just out. I never had any idea of selling it, and I must say the proposal of your being the purchaser somewhat startled me. I certainly know nothing of these things as matters of business, but everything in the house being with one or two exceptions absolutely mine I can feel nothing but a community of interest between us, and therefore, as I before apprized you, I have retained all that I thought might be of use to either. Should we find some articles that we do not hereafter want, it will surely be easy to dispose of them at as much advantage as by public Sale. I fear that on your return you will reproach me with having rather neglected your wishes as to house hunting, but indeed I have done all which was allowed by the pressure of matter which could not be deferred, and I believe my wisest plan was that which I have followed. I expect that by the time you arrive, I shall have done <nearly> all which properly belongs to me for the settlement of affairs with my father’s Executors, and when that is finished, my time will be at your disposal, to employ as may best advance our mutual prospects. Mr Oviatt has been prevented by a severe illness from doing all he wished or intended, but I trust that during the Week I am with them at Mill Hill, he may be able to hear of something. I shall return to town on Thursday morning next, for Mr Millington’s Lecture. That of yesterday was highly interesting, and I have taken copious notes for you, which I meant to have written out in this letter but find I shall not be able.
I had a delightful day at Greenwich on Wednesday. The House does not seem to me a bad one, though planned as if the Architect had thrown the different rooms he wanted into a box, and shaken them till they fell into such space as would allow him to shut down the lid – in such cases commonly called a roof. Do not say I am very severe. I have been accustomed to hear such things critically canvassed from my Cradle, and cannot look at a Building without something like a Professional feeling, though I have no longer any one to whom I am bound to give a report of all I see, in that way. Papa used sometimes to say I was a better Architect than himself, which was nonsense for I know nothing whatever of the subject constructively, to use one of Spurzheim’s affectations, but I believe I surprized him now and then by a clearer and more technical account than he expected, and I hope you will not be annoyed if I cannot get out of old habits of description. The approach, and all about <it> you know, and I hope you will agree that it is pleasant, at least in the summer. I do sincerely hope my sister will be comfortable there, and in truth I cannot see why she should not, but she sometimes allows a degree of fretfulness to overcast a thousand really estimable qualities, and to exalt molehills into mountains. I speak the more of her, because <I know> you had some cause not to feel altogether pleased with her, but I am confident you will like her better some years hence. They have agreed to take so much of Mr Seward’s furniture, and so many other articles are provided for by Hospital allowance that I hope she will not have any great fatigue to encounter at present. They have given your name to the spare room, which I say is very impertinent!
Yesterday I went to the Lecture and afterwards dined at the Philllips’s, where I met a Reverend Mr Callaghan who in the middle of dinner began talking about you and was so exceedingly full of his subject, that I could not help being amused at having to listen to the detail of all your opinions about Captn Parry, and a great deal besides that I had heard you say an hundred times. I found at last that he had been one of your Ciceronis at Cambridge, and you seem quite to have won his heart. I happened to say something of your & Dr Richardson’s present movements, in which he was for setting me right or rather wrong, if Mrs Phillips had not said she would trust my intelligence, when it came out that I had the honour of your acquaintance, which he did not know [be]fore. By the bye Mrs Phillips thought it nec[essary] to make an apology <to me privately> for not having invited you when she as[ked] me, and hoped it would not prevent my eating my dinner, but if Mr Phillips had known where to find you, he would have called. I did wonder she said nothing about you, but supposed she had known you were out of town. Miss Turner to whom I made your apology will not allow that you gave the slightest occasion for it.
The Post is come in, and no letter. It is not longer than the interval between your letters has frequently been, yet I cannot help some degree of uneasiness, and a fancy that you are not altogether comfortable – especially since you know I am at hawk and buzzard about directing to you.
I have absolutely not time for a word more, but however hurried I am not the less affectionately yours Eleanor Anne Porden.

[Addressed to]
Captn Franklin, R.N.
Mrs Burnside’s
Castle Gate
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