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.