Letter dated 1771

Contributed by Diana R

This letter dated 20th July 1771 was written by my great-great-great-great grandfather John Allen to his father William Allen of Ware, Hertfordshire. The family were Quakers. William Allen probably joined the Society of Friends soon after he settled in London. He came to London as a young man from Thorpe Salvin, Yorkshire, where he was born in 1730. After he retired from business he lived at Ware.

John Allen was born in 1757, so he was 13 or 14 years old when he wrote this. It was annotated at the bottom in 1872 by my great-great grandmother Charlotte (Allen) Sturge of Bristol. She kept family records from which I gleaned this information.

The letter is written in beautiful copperplate handwriting and is couched in formal language; it's an expression of filial respect and affection.

For me, it is valuable for the light it sheds on speech of the time, relations between fathers and sons and the contrast with modern idioms - no 'Hi there, Dad' 'Regards, John'.

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