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Letters of a Badsey Family, the Sewards, 1735-36

Articles by Peter Braby

These articles first appeared in The Vale of Evesham Historical Society Research Papers. Permission to reproduce the articles has been granted by The Vale of Evesham Historical Society. The author of the articles, the Reverend Peter Braby, a former Vicar of Badsey, died in 1994. His son, Jonathan, has also given permission for the articles to be reproduced.

Maureen Spinks, November 2003

Vale of Evesham Historical Society Research Papers, 1971, 111, pages 66 - 73.

 

LETTERS OF A BADSEY FAMILY 1735-36
By the REV. PETER BRABY, M.A.

"Sr. Williams family din'd here yesterday we had a Turkey and Chine from Badsey drank all your healths and were very merry". Written from London, Christmas 1735, the original is in Cardiff Central Library. It is one of a batch of thirty-four documents in the Bute collection of estate papers. Indexed as Bute XIX 66, they form part of the correspondence of John Seward of Badsey, steward for Lord Windsor's estates in South Wales, during the Winter of 1735-36.1

The Windsor family had two branches, springing from the two marriages of Thomas Hickman (1637-87), Baron Windsor and 1st Earl of Plymouth. His earldom and Worcestershire estates, including the family seat of Hewell Grange, Tardebigge, passed to his descendants by his first wife. Thomas, eldest son of his second marriage, was created Viscount Windsor; in 1704 he married Lady Charlotte Herbert, only child of the 7th Earl of Pembroke. As dowry he received Cardiff Castle and all the Pembroke manors in Glamorgan.2

About six years later he appointed John Sheward his agent (Bute XIX 66. 14, 22). The latter had come, about 1691, with his wife Mary from Tardebigge to the house and estate which his father had bought in Badsey.3 It was "for ye house at ye well" that he served as overseeer of the highways in 1694.4 At this period 'Seward House' was converted from a farmhouse into a gentleman's residence, and given a handsome front with classical window architraves. The name was not spelt 'Seward' in John's early years at Badsey. When in 1702 (aged 35) as churchwarden he endorsed the overseer's accounts, he was trying a new pen, and boyishly wrote out his name several times, adding a number of 'squiggles' and the old copybook jingle:

John Sheward is my name
and with my pen I wrote the same
But if my pen it had been better
I might have mended every letter

concluding with the tag, "Nemo vivet sine crimine".5 From about the time he became Viscount Windsor's steward, he dropped the 'h' in 'Sheward'. This may have been to avoid confusion with another John Sheward, also of Tardebigge, who by strange coincidence was steward to Baron Windsor (the Earl of Plymouth).6 A levy roll of 1711 assesses John Seward as the biggest landowner in Badsey.7 An account among the Cardiff papers shows his salary as no more than £12 per annum (Bute XIX 66. 1). Presumably there were considerable 'perks', but there are hints in the correspondence that the family wealth derived mainly from speculation in real estate (Bute XIX 66. 12, 20, 27).

Unfortunately the file not only covers a brief period, but is selective. Seward seems to have kept only those letters on which action had to be taken. On the back he would write a note of the contents. Thus an entertaining letter from Thomas Seward about his affairs in general is marked, "2d Nov. 1735 Son Ts to buy him a Hors which I have" (Bute XIX 66. 11): Tom had an acquaintance who wanted a Welsh pony. Sometimes only part of a letter is preserved. One torn half-sheet is tantalizing: both sides of the missing half appear to have contained interesting family news (Bute XIX 66. 8).

At this time John Seward seems to have spent most of his time in Wales or London, with short periods at home in Badsey. His Badsey estate was being run by his second and third sons Henry and Edward, both unmarried and living at home. Henry was the heir, an older son John having died in 1728 (Nash, Worcestershire, I (1781), 53). Edward seems to have married and lived elsewhere after 1738;8 Henry did not take a wife till his sixtieth year: he married Mary White of Wickhamford in 1755. Francis, the fourth son, had died in 1732 as Rector of Sandringham.9 Next came William, a married man living in the City, "a broker in Exchange Alley";10 either now or earlier he had a post in the treasury at South Sea House.11 The sixth son was Benjamin, "hosier, of the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Felds",12 a widower living in King's Bench Walk, having inherited through his wife the estate of her brother George Knapp, a barrister of the Inner Temple. The youngest of the brothers was Thomas (b. 1708), a clergyman. Both Benjamin and Thomas had been to Westminster School and St. John's College, Cambridge. (Venn, Alumni Cantab., pt. 1, IV, 25).

It was at William's house in Cloak Lane that Mr. Seward used to stay when in London. Early in November 1735 he planned to leave London for Wales. This brought a reproof from the Hon. Herbert Windsor, Lord Windsor's heir, who seems not to have had much confidence in his father's steward. He wrote from Newcastle of being not a little astonished "that you should think of going out of town when you must be a little time so much wanted" (Bute XIX 66. 10). So it is not until 27 November that news reaches Badsey from Oxford of Mr. Seward's imminent homecoming on his way to Wales. Writing at "six a Cloack Evening", Edward tells his father:

I have just Reed my Brs Letter which brings us ye good news of your Comming, Wee had noe thoughts this morning of Receiving so agreeable a letter, or else wee should have sent for it, notwithstanding ye great Flood which Sam will give you an acct. of ... I hope that we shall have ye Pleasure of your good company in good Time on Saturday. My dear Mother is in ye little Room with me, and I have just asked her if I should tell you if wee would Stay dinner for you till three or four a Cloack, but she tells me you had not best fatigue your Self but take your own Time, but I hope you'l get out in ye Morning for If you come only from Woodstock it is a good way these Short days. I hope you'l get Something on ye Road proper to stay your Stomach and then my dear Mother will have A young fowl and Bacon ready for ye Pot which She Sais will be boyled for Half an hour. She joins with me in our hearty wishes for your good Journey, with her true love to you. (Bute XIX 66. 13).

Meanwhile a rather disturbing letter had been despatched from London to Mr. Seward at Badsey. It did not reach him there, and it was not till many weeks later that he received it in Glamorganshire (Bute XIX 66. 14). The writer was a Mr. George Wilson on behalf of his "ffriend at New Castle", expressing dissatisfaction at the way the rentals had been calculated. "My ffriend desires to know . . . how you can with any certainty as you seem to do value them at the Sums charged officially when you was not upon the Estate but at London at the time" (Bute XIX 66. 16). John Seward kept a copy of his dignified reply:

I must in the first place acquaint you that I have had the inspection of my Lords affairs in these Country's abt. five and twenty year, and Survayd the estates several times in Order to get the best knowledge I could of it, so that it is not a Random computacion made at London, but resulting from a constant and diligent enquiry that I have always kept by me in writeing . . . in the knowledg of Lands I flatter my self to have some Judgmt. and I am sure a long experience, but should that fayl me, there are Coppy's of All the ancient Leases . . . this I take to be as clear an answer as I or any Steward can possibly give. (Bute XIX 66. 14).

The delay, in Mr. Wilson's letter via Badsey reaching Mr. Seward at Cardiff, throws some light on the postal system of the time. Services to and from London were fairly speedy, and in London there was a delivery to private addresses, though it was cheaper and more usual to have your mail sent to a coffee house and collect it there. In the Seward correspondence, letters are rarely sent from Badsey to Wales or vice versa. The father receives the Badsey news from the sons in London, and writes to Badsey or Newcastle via London. Cross-country posts were unreliable and expensive. William Seward writes from London to his father in Wales about some lampreys ordered from a Mr. Weal of Worcester:

Mr. Lodge (the Master of Georges Chocolt. House) desir'd me to Inquire if you had wrote for the 6 pots of Lampreys he desired ... I suppose there is a Cross post to Worcester but if you choose I should write 1 will—tho' as my Lord can frank your Lre if you send it by way of London 'tis equal ye same and will save me a frank which are low with me at present. (Bute XIX 66. 6).13

Privileged franking was a recognized way of avoiding postal charges. Government officials, and members of both Houses of Parliament, might send letters free, by putting their signatures on a corner of the envelope. This right was much abused: members used to frank large numbers of blank envelopes, which they issued to friends for their use. The Sewards did fairly well: besides Lord Windsor, there were his son and brother, both M.P.s. Nevertheless supplies were limited. Thomas Seward writes to his father, "I beg you'd never let me have the pleasure of a letter for want of a Frank; I pay no money with so much pleasure as for letters" (Bute XIX 66. 9).

To return to Edward Seward's letter of 27 November, the "great Flood' may have been caused by a breach in the river Avon such as occurred at Stratford in 1970. In a letter to his father at Usk, Benjamin Seward wrote (from London) on 13 December:

I have Inclos'd part of my Br. Henrys letter to Us concerning the Navigation, the stoppage whereof I find is the source of great Uneasiness in Evesham, from whence 1 saw a Letter of Mr. Cooks's14 to Mr. Rudge—wherein he says that the Poor threathen to Rise and take wt. they can find, that there was not a Sheep or Cow in the Market and very little Corn, that Coles had been at 20sh pr Ton and the Town in the greatest Confusion for want of Trade— which now centers chiefly at Pershore. (Bute XIX 66. 19).

Later, 27 December:

By my Brs. last Account there is a prospect of the Breach in the River's being soon made up, which I heartily wish may be done for my Lords sake and that of his Tenant as well as the Town in general. (Bute XIX 66. 23).

The incident seems to have brought to a head a number of grievances about the tolls, which belonged to Lord Windsor, and were leased to a Mr. Biddle, probably William Biddle (1681-1738), mayor of Evesham that year (1735). William Seward writes, 13 December:

I had a Lre. yesterday from my dear Br. Henry—who says that Mr. Biddle having refused (as he had others) to sell Mr. Seamore Coales without ready Money—Mr. Seymore, Mr. Archer, Mr. Sambach of Snowshill, Mr. Charlet of Fladbury, Mr. Hazlewood and Sevll. of the Town have sign'd a Petition to my Lord to have the Tonnage settled and have Employd Mr. Phillipps and Mr. Lawrence (2 Lawyers) to present the Petition to my Ld. and intend to apply to the Member for the County as well as Town to get the affair Settled in Parliament but my dear Br. hopes my Ld. will give them such Satisfaction as will prevent farther trouble. (Bute XIX 66, 20).

In this collection of letters there is one addressed to Lord Windsor by Thomas Ashfield, Evesham Borough Chamberlain,15 21 February 1735/6;

This waits on your Lordship at the request of yor. Tennant Mr. Biddle to inform your Lordship that a great many of the Inhabitants of the Borough of Evesham (with Mr. Seymour at their head) have Sign'd a paper directed to Sir John Rushout and Mr. Taylor (their Representatives).

They claim, he writes, that commissioners were appointed in Charles II's reign to settle the rates of tonnage, but never acted, and are now dead; the proprietors of the Navigation and their tenants are exacting whatever rates they please. He gives his opinion that

there's no colour or reason for any complaint now in respect of the price of the Tonage (but onely some of the Borough are willing to be vexatious and troublesome and a certaine Gentleman make himself popular) there being no more paid for Tonage at this time, than what has been always accustomed to be paid to wit 3s. for coals and 3s. 4d. for Merchants goods. But what they aim at is to have new Comrs. appointed to fix (if they can) a lower rate on yor. Lordships Tonage and to reduce it (as they give out) to 9d- or the most to 12d. ye Ton.

He hopes Lofd Windsor will soon be in London to deal with the matter, as it is urgent (Bute XIX 66, 4). The last we hear of the affair is in a letter from William Seward. 6 March: "My Dear Br. Edwds. Lre by this Post confirms my last that nothing can be done in the Navigation this Sessions—their Petition coming too late—which is what my Br. heard at Evesham" (Bute XIX 66, 6). The petitioners had to wait till 1751, when an Act was passed for regulating the navigation of the Avon and the rates of water-carriage thereon (May, Evesham (1845), 356-358).

William was regarded as the financial expert of the family. He dealt with its property negotiations, and rendered such services to the Windsors as discounting bills and sending them bank notes and cash (Bute XIX 66, 15, 24). Later he was to acknowledge that he had received no academic training, other than seven years at a grammar school, "my talent lying another way, as most of my old Acquaintance know"."16

Not surprizingly it is to William that Mr. John Seward refers a letter from Edward about marketing (Bute XIX 66. 5): He and Henry were planning to turn most of their barley crop into malt,

thinking yt. there is a pretty good prospect of its being dear next year tho wee have not much encouragmt. from yt. wee made before ... if you think as wee doe then I believe wee shall make some Malt to sell I being to goe halves with my Br In It so you'l please to let us know your thoughts by ye 1st Post.

Over a month later William returns the letter to his father with his comments:

Hond. Sr., In answer to ye above 1 send my dear Brs. my humble Opinion that I think they'l make Malt this year at a much greater disadvantage than last because I believe Barley is near 6d. p. Bushel dearer than twas this time 12 Month if so ye Malt when tis sold must fetch a price in proportion to make it worth while which is very hazardous especially considering that as this Snow has fall so Seasonably it will probably do the land good and bring it in order for Barly. Then you know the hazard of damage in keeping and of bad debts when sold p. Commission, the Expences of going to Teuxberry to sell &ca. -and as the Peace17 is like to be soon quite settled—I think it best to sell Wheat also as fast as you well can as it bears so good a price and you have so good a Stock.

William's ambition at this time was to obtain a directorship in the South Sea Company. His chances seem to have been somewhat remote. The first thing was to appear sufficiently opulent. He writes to his father, "I beg the favour of you to bespeak a full size Wigg for me of Mr. Lewis of Cardiff—to be sent with my Br. Toms" (Bute XIX 66. II). Later:

I thank you for bespeaking my Wiggs—but if he has not made or begun both—I think one will be enough because I have bespoke me a Tie Wigg of Mr. Oldham—desiring if 1 can to get into a List to stand for Director of the So: Sea Comp:— ... if he has begun I will take both and I pray charge him to make them full and large in the head. As to my Standing for Director my friends are so kind as to make Intst. for me unask'd—for I don't think it proper to ask for Votes till I know if I shall be in any List which is the main Step to be taken. (Bute XIX 66. 15).

Evidently William got himself on the wrong 'ticket'. Two months later he wrote:

Mr. Bristow is chose Depy. Govr. of the S. Sea 693—Mr. Wiike but 440—as Mr. Bristow has carried it by so great a Majority 'tis probable most of the Fleece List will loose it which being the side I applied to—it has probably saved me much trouble (by being left out) wh. would have been to no purpose—but as to their Serving for nothing that was only a Joke. (Bute XIX 66. 3).18

His real interest was in philanthropy. The London Charity Schools, mostly founded in the reign of Queen Anne, had lost a good deal of support in the period of the Whig ascendancy, as being politically suspect. William Seward seems to have played no small part in their revival. According to Whitefield's journal, he was concerned with above twenty of these schools.19 Thus William, in a postscript to a letter to his father, February 1735/6 (Bute XIX 66. 5):

I send you the Inclos'd Daily Post because of the Paragraph relating to the Charity School—I having the Honour to be Sectry. to those of Hackney and Langbourn Ward and to be one of the Stewards of the feast that is to be as is therein mention'd—believing you'l be pleased to see me Concernd where publick thanks was given not sought by me I will assure you.

In his journal of 1740 he was to write:

It is well known how the Lord . . . rais'd up others to assist me in reviving Hackney Charity-School, and in less than Three Years to raise a Fund of 300 I. Sterling, upwards of 100 1. per Annum annual Subscriptions, and about 50 I. per Annum by Charity Sermons: and all this in opposition to the Minister, Churchwardens, and Vestry Men of the Parish ... in Langbourn Ward where is the like Fund and Provision, or better than at Hackney.20

The minutes of the trustees of St. John-at-Hackney school are unfortunately incomplete for this period, and the Vestry minutes bear no trace of a controversy over the school.21 But the annual printed reports of the S.P.C.K. show that the Hackney School, founded in 1714. had been "laid down Lady Day 1735", but "Reviv'd Midsummer following": in that year also the school set up in 1702 in the name of All Hallows, Lombard Street, was made the Ward School for Langbourn Ward.22

At this time William was churchwarden in the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle.23 Two and a half years later his conversion by Charles Wesley, followed by his ardent discipleship of George Whitefield, changed the whole course of his life, and divided the Seward family.24 He died after being hit by a stone on the back of the head, while preaching to a crowd at Hay-on-Wye, on 22 October 1740.25

In this year (1735) Benjamin Seward bought the Mansion House, Benge-worth, with 160 acres, for £1.750.26 He seems to have intended to let the house at this time. "We hear", writes William in April 1736,

that Mr. Hazlewood27 and his Mother are parted that she is married to Mr. Arret a Clergyman, yt. she ... have a mind to take my Brs. House at Bengeworth—We are sorry for a difference between such near Relans. tho pleas'd to think of my Br. having such good Tenants for his house (Bute XIX 66. 25).

Benjamin was at this time looking round for another wife. His attitude, distasteful as it may seem to us, was not unusual for the period. "The Affair of the Bread Street Lady", he wrote to his father, is quite drop'd without an Interview, 'tis no disappointment to me because I have heard some things of Mr. W—. wch must make him not a very desirable Partner, and if the Daughter is like the Father (unless the World is too censorious) I should not be extremely happy in such a Companion, and I am determin'd not to take one to my Bosom on any Consideration unless I am perswaded it will be for the Mutual happiness of both.—Mr. W—told my Br.28 he must marry his oldest daughter first, and I very much question by wt. I have heard if he could wel spare the fortunes he talk'd of giving them, but I wish the Lady's well, tho I am not like to see them, which If I had done I should scarce have been desperately in Love at the first view.—I have spent the evening twice at Mr. Calverts with Mr. Peter and Mr. Will Seward29 the former ask'd me to goe with him as yesterday into Hartfordshire, which I excus'd, he then invited me to dine with him at his Return and told me his sister would be in town the latter end of this month for the winter, and yt. he hop'd I would come and play a game at Cards with them often of an Evening &ca, with a sort of merry hint that he'd excuse me if I run away with her.—I have not mention'd this to any one but yourself, nor doe I design it, but have Reasons to believe I should be an acceptable partner in the Brewhouse, if I am to the Lady, but if any opportunity of that sort should occur, you shall know farther. I rather think these will be matters of mere Speculation for I look upon Matrimony to be an affair of the utmost Concern, and therefore hope to Act with great Caution in propositions of that Nature, but 'tis a thing that often affords a merry Topick of Conversation amongst Batchelors Widowers &ca. (Bute XIX 66. 18).

Benjamin had two young daughters, Frances and Eleanor. They lived mostly with their grandmother and uncles in Badsey. William and his wife Grace, whose frequent ailments feature largely in his letters, also had a little daughter Grace, born in 1732.'" The serious-minded Sewards occasionally spice their letters with little anecdotes about the children. Edward, writing from Badsey, has told his father a saying of "petty Cousin Gracys":

You shall hear one of pretty Cousin Fannys. She was with me by ye little Parlour Fire yesterday I was going to give her a Rosted apple She desir'd me to clean it I desir'd Her to take it in ye Kitchen and give it one of the Servants to clean No Says She I will fetch you a Knife to Clean It for If I take it there Miss Nelly will Cry for It and then Susan will give it Her. (Bute XIX 66. 8).

William writes, "My dear Br. (Henry) says there being a Snow there on Sunday— Miss Fanny Observ'd that it was God Almighty that sent it—which observation pleasd all ye family much especially my Dear Mother who I don't hear but is pure well" (Bute XIX 66. 20). At a Christmas dinner party at Cloak Lane "to Eat part of a Spanb and Fowls from Badsey", Benjamin noted, "Pretty Miss Gracey being dress'd, Curl'd, &ca. look'd very charmingly, and I think is grown quite a little Beauty. I have just been giving my Dear Mother an Account of her Gayety" (Bute XIX 66. 24).

John Seward's seventh son Thomas is the only one with a mention in the Dictionary of National Biography (XXVII. 1220). He had aspirations to literary distinction which never quite came off," and in later life was ridiculed urbanely by Horace Walpole, less gently by Dr. Johnson, and vicariously in a fictitious character by Richard Graves.32 Chagrined at first by Erasmus Darwin's comment that his daughter Anna, the 'Swan of Lichfield", wrote better poetry than his own.33 he was later content to bask in her reflected glory. From all accounts he was a great talker—an ineffectual, but amiable man. About eighteen months before this correspondence Mrs. Pendarves (later Mrs. Delany) wrote of him:

Young Mr. Seward . . . came and made me a visit, I like him well, as he is civil and sensible, but a little affected in his expressions, which is the University air, and will probably wear off with seeing more of the world and of good company.34

To see more of the world and of good company was Tom's great ambition at this time. He had been ordained in 1731: two years later Lord Windsor gave him the rectory of Llanmaes in Glamorganshire.35' Such an exile from polite society could not long be endured. He left a curate in charge, and sought a tutorship to the Duke of Grafton's second son Lord Charles Fitzroy. In the Autumn of 1735 we find him at Euston, the Duke's mansion in Suffolk, ingratiating himself with the family. His letters are carefully written, and more mannered than his brothers'. This extract from a long letter to William is suggestive of Mr. Collins:

If you see or have seen Mr. Hughs he'll tell you, how obliging the Duke is to me. My Lord Charles when I first came down inform'd me wrong that the Duke would never desire to see me in a gown and cassock. I therefore did not put one on the times he came down before, but I have found out since that he once gave a hint to the Minister of the Parish of his desire of seeing him always properly dressed when he came to dine with him. I was yesterday seated by accident (no other place being left and the Duke commanding me to take it) at the upper end of the Table between my Lord Duke, Lord Burlington the Duke of Devonshire Lord Lifford &c: I had two or three times retired after I had said Grace without the Duke's ordering me to stay, but he took notice of my doing it so quick that he had not seen me and was pleased to dignify me with the honour of his left hand as well after as before dinner. Today both the Dukes Lords and Mr. Pelham dined at Lord Corn-wallis's. I hope I have had tolerable success in procuring the favour of the Dukes and all the family except the Person whom I most wished to be a favourite with viz my Lord Charles, but I'm afraid it is almost impracticable without flattery and accompanying him in all his vices I am exceedingly well with him and have no reason to think he dislikes me, but I'm no favourite. The Person who seems to share most of his good Graces next to his Horses and Hounds, is one whose chief merit seems to consist in abusing cursing and damning everybody that he perceives my Lord dislikes, according to whom any one that is the least suspected not to be full in the Duke's Interest is a d-d Jacobite Rascal. My Lord has got this polite Phrase of him. which I have more than once heard him bestow upon a Man that was accidentaly mentioned for no other reason upon Earth but that he had never seen nor heard of him before. You may guess that the whole I may hope for from a temper nursed up with such Rudiments as these is not to make him my Enemy. (Bute XIX 66. 12).

Moving in such circles, Thomas gets up-to-date political news. The Duke had read out to his guests the Articles of peace concluded between the Emperor and France (see n. 17 below); as they were not yet in the newspapers, Tom thought his family would like to hear them (Bute XIX 66, II). Another kind of information might also interest them:

I was last night chatting with the Clerk of the Kitchin, and had an account of the meat expended here since the Duke came down, which is not full three weeks . . . viz. twelve or thirteen bullocks, twelve Does, one and twenty sheep, thirteen or fourteen hogs, between thirty and forty dozen of Fowls, Geese, Turkeys, Pheasants, Ducks, Partridge, Woodcocks Snipes and Larks in proportion or rather out of all proportion. By what I see and can find the Duke keeps the third Table in England whilst at Euston, the King's and Sr. Robert's36 alone excelling him.

Meanwhile affairs at Llanmaes were reaching a crisis. There were dissensions in the parish, for which it seems the curate was largely to blame. Benjamin, in London, collects at Nando's Coffee House a letter addressed to Thomas, reads its contents, and sends it off immediately to their father at Cardiff:

Being a matter of Moment I beg you will goe over as soon as possible to Lanmace, where if you cannot otherwise make peace, it will be proper to discharge the Curate and endeavour to find out some other more proper person, for if complaint should be made to the Bishop, as tis so long since my Br. was there, it may be of ill Consequence to him. (Bute XIX 66. 18).

We hear nothing of Thomas's reactions. By Christmas he is in London, staying with Benjamin. He accepts invitations to dinner from Lord Charles and others, and to country dancing (Bute XIX 66, 23, 24). In February Ben writes:

Br. Thos. . . . tells me my Lord Charles is to travel the latter End of next Summer and he believes he shall attend him; he is now with him almost every day, and says he begins to take some pleasure in his Studys. (Bute XIX 66. 5).

So Thomas got what he wanted. He set out with his pupil on the Grand Tour, and was able to acquire the reputation of a travelled man. They were still abroad in the Spring of 1739 when Lord Charles was taken ill and died at Genoa. After a short inglorious career as a naval chaplain, during which he never set foot on a ship,37 Thomas was presented by Lord Burlington to the £400 per annum living of Eyam in Derbyshire. William, returning from America, heard of this from a naval officer who had boarded his ship with a press-gang. "There was a time", he commented, "when such News as this would have rejoiced my heart". Now it would rejoice him infinitely more "to hear that my Brother had suffered the Loss of all Things, that he might win Christ, than that he was made Archbishop of Canterbury".38

Neither fate was to befall Thomas. For the last forty years of his life he resided comfortably in the Bishop's Palace at Lichfield, where he held a canonry. He was the longest lived of the brothers, dying in 1790.

References:

  1. For the discovery of this correspondence the writer is indebted to Mr. A. H. Williams.
    Editor of the Journal of the Historical Society of the Methodist Church in Wales. They
    were produced for Mr. Williams by Mr. T. J. Hopkins, Keeper of MSS. at Cardiff
    library.
  2. "A Monograph of the Windsor Family". W. P. Williams. Cardiff 1879. The Windsor
    estates in Glamorganshire passed to the Bute family on the death of the 2nd Viscount
    Windsor in 1758. His eldest daughter had married John. 4th Earl of Bute.
  3. Will of John Sheward of Stony Land in the parish of Tardebigge. proved Jan. 1704/5.
    Ref. to Indenture of Nov. 10. 1691 with Giles Pigeon and Joseph Smith. Worcestershire
    County Record Office 008.7 PR.
  4. Badsey Churchwardens' A/cs and Vestry Minute Book 1525-1821. Worcs. County
    Record Office 851.1 BA 5013.
  5. Badsey Overseers' A/cs. Worcs. County Record Office 645. BA 1905 (ii).
  6. His commonplace book is in Worcs. County Record Office. BA 5365. 899. 471. The writer
    has been unable to trace the relationship between these two John Shewards. On the
    pronunciation of Seward, see Letters of Anna Seward, ed. Constable. Edinburgh 1811.
    Vol. 3 p. 211. Letter I.XXII.
  7. Badsey Constables' A/cs. Worcs.. County Record Office 645 BA 1905.
  8. In or near Evesham? Wm. Seward. Journal (Bangor MS. see n. 48) Aug. 14 and 26, 1740.
  9. Venn. Alumni Cantab Pt. I Vol. IV 25; Welch. List of the Queen's Scholars of St.
    Peter's College. Westminister 1852; Bloomfield. Norfolk. IV 684.
  10. Diary of 1st Earl of Egmont (Hist. MSS. Commission 1923) III 64.
  11. London Magazine 1740 p. 510; Gentleman's Mag. 1740 p. 571.

(We regret the full list of references were not available when the paper was scanned.)


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