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Elizabeth 'Betsy' Reading; 1748-1815; Norwich, Norfolk, and Sundridge, Kent
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Miscellaneous correspondence

James Reading and his wife; Betsy and her parents, mostly re family news and Betsy's social life; James and his brothers, including letters from Philip, a missionary in Pennsylvania concerning his feelings as he sets off 1746, slaves, 1748, the war against the French in America and a description of Pennsylvania, 1759.

2/1/1 19 Jul 1740, Thomas Reading, Gold Street, to his brother James Reading [1721-1790] [at Oxford]: his capacity and diligence are such that in time he may arrive 'at a Superiour Station in Life'.
2/1/2 7 May 1746, Revd Philip Reading, Antelope at Spithead, to brother Revd James Reading, Woodstock: has been appointed missionary in lower parts of Pennsylvania near Maryland at a salary of £60p.a.; chooses to cross seas a third time as prefers western world to Europe - fruit is so plentiful that farmers fatten hogs on peaches, and the better sort of people are of an affable humane disposition.
2/1/3 10 Oct 1748, Revd Philip Reading, Apoquiniminck [Appoquinimink, Delaware], to brother Thomas Reading, East India House, London: delighted with wig 'Alamode Paris'; has married a Dutchwoman, widow of a Frenchman, and now has three slaves; although he can live in a plentiful, genteel manner, his health is poor and he lives a lonesome retired life; asks for frequent letters, the latest London Magazine, and recent newspapers.
2/1/4 21 Feb 1753, Revd James Reading, Woodstock, to brother Thomas Reading, Sion College, near Cripple Gate, London: sends gift of a hare; is rendered a mere skeleton & cripple by the rheumatism but praises his wife's care.
2/1/5 29 Dec 1758, Revd James Reading, Sion College, to his wife Mrs [Elizabeth] Reading: his brother's house is fitted up in a most elegant manner; Betsy is delighted with London. With letter from Betsy to her grandfather [William Hoare; written by father].
2/1/6 1 Jan 1759 Revd Philip Reading, Apoquiniminck [Appoquinimink, Delaware], to brother Revd James Reading, Woodstock: his family; fellow Oxonians in America; defeat of General Braddock and subsequent course of the war; describes Pennsylvania and Philadelphia - has 200 acres, of which he farms 50, and is building a brick house.
2/1/7 31 Mar 1759, Thomas Reading, Sion House, to brother Revd Philip Reading, Apoquiniminck [Appoquinimink, Delaware]: laments that the family is scattered; brother Will now a physician at St Kitts; sister has married Mr Nelson, rector of Eriswell, Suffolk, whose relations are people of considerable fortune - they have near £200 p.a.; glad Philip is remote from scene of war with French.
2/1/8-9 4, 11 Dec 1761, Revd James Reading, Woodstock, to daughter Betsy Reading, at Mrs Wheatly's, Oxford.
2/1/10-11, 1765, 1766, Revd James Reading, Sion College, to Mrs Reading, Woodstock: his journeys, incl. detailed account of journey by stagecoach.
2/1/12 6 May 1768, Lewis Pryse, New Palace Yard, Westminster, to Miss [Betsy] Reading, Woodstock: instructions from his sister, who is ill, about furnishing a room.
2/1/13 Friday morning, nd, T. Townshend, Buscott, to Miss [Betsy] Reading, Woodstock: asks her to deliver enclosed letter to Miss Pryse. [Betsy's friend Margaret Pryse married Edward, son of Thomas Townsend of Buscot, on 15 July 1773, Edward having taken the name of Loveden the year previously.]
2/1/14-20, Jul-Sep 1768, Betsy Reading to her parents from Sarsden, Hampton Gay, Swalcliffe, Sion College: describes visits, purchase of mourning for her uncle Thomas Reading; will not send contents of his will but is very well contented with her share.
2/1/21-27 Sep 1768, Revd James Reading, Sion College, to Mrs Reading at Woodstock: his brother's funeral at Mortlake; settling of his affairs as executor; arrangements for services to be taken in his absence.
2/1/28 10 Oct 1768, Revd James Reading, Woodstock, to Betsy Reading, Sion College: it is rumoured that she has a large fortune and is even married - advises her to be cautious in her correspondence with Miss Bradley.
2/1/29-33 Oct-Nov 1768, Betsy Reading, Sion College, to Revd James Reading, Woodstock: her uncle's affairs - money owing to Sion College; went to theatre and saw their Majesties; packing books and china to send helped by Mr Peach's servant; social engagements; does not expect to hear from Miss Bradley who is 'violently huff'd'; wishes to borrow £20 from her grandfather to buy lottery ticket requested by Miss Pryse.
2/1/34-5 Nov 1768, Revd James Reading, Sion College, to Mrs Reading, Woodstock: social events; Betsy wedded to London life.
2/1/36 30 Nov 1768, Betsy Reading, Woodstock, to Revd James Reading, Sion College: social events; wishes she were at Sion College to join a party to the theatre.
2/1/37 30 Nov 1768, Revd James Reading, Cheapside, to Betsy Reading, Woodstock: her commissions in London, etc.

Daughter, Elizabeth Peach and granddaughter, Elizabeth Leathes, from Sandwich (Kent), London and Bromley, (Kent) concerning social life including visit to cricket match at Sevenoaks

2/10/1,6,9,13,15 Elizabeth Peach [daughter, formerly Leathes], Sundridge, Kent [home of her second husband, Edward Peach], and London: investments, social engagements, they are going into mourning for her cousin William Nelson; including letters to her son Edward Leathes, Norwich [10,12,16]
2/10/3-5,7-8 Elizabeth Leathes [granddaughter], Sundridge: family and social news, visit to cricket match at Sevenoaks [5], extraction of teeth [7] including letters to her brother Edward Leathes [2,11]; saw 'the Rivals' with Miss Farren, Mrs Jordan, and Dodd; will not to go to another assembly at Sevenoaks - once was enough [14].

23 letters

Concerning financial affairs, death of Mr Reading and congratulations on her marriage to Mr Peach, one letter on reverse side of letter from Miss A. Ramsay, Lowestoft concerning Mary's school progress.

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