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I nearly didn't put this letter on the site because it was undated and weird, but it has a couple of attractive features, so here it is.
The letter is from J Galway to Pendlebury at Elland Yorkshire where his father was minister at the Dob Lane chapel from 1771-1782 and he was a minister from . The letter mentions leaving the Academy which I assume to be the Warrington academy where Houghton was a student 1773 and later tutor 1778-79.
Two nice touches in the this letter. Firstly the description of the journey from Liverpool to Belfast, five days! Secondly, an attempt at defrauding the post, I think. The sender asks for future mail to be sent to "Robert Ross Esq MP to be forwarded by Ann Galway". MP's got received and sent mail for free so this looks like a scam in the making.
Nothing on J or Ann Galway.
To see the front click on the thumbnail.
The spelling is as per the letter. Note the arcane use of the f style s where there is a double ss as in addrefs. I cannot replicate this on the computer.
I return you thanks for your kind, and obliging letter I was beginning to fear you had forgot your former connection and promised correspondence, but I am very happy at finding myself mistaken I should have been very well pleased to have made on of the little party in your late excursion thro Yorkshire yet Dont know upon second thought I am as well without it From your live description I can enjoy all the pleasure of the extensive prospect, and all of the country beauty without putting myself to the least inconvenience or fatigue, clambering (perhaps at the risk of my neck) over those craggy rocks, and desert wilds I have always thought such scenes (at leastto travellers of my indolent cast) please most in description.
I consider it as a particular instance of your sincerity, that you could think of writing to your friend under such complicated distrefses viz (?)adrefs of pen & ink table & c & c. But I by no means approve of the neddlefs apologies you make for the supposed inaccuracy of your letter I have always my dear Houghon been an enemy to apologies, but they are particularly odious when made (as in your case) without any apparent cause In general I always regard them as meer words of course That I may not fall into this fault myself, I am resolved to make but one apology for all the nonsense I shall trouble you with in the course of our correspondence This tho I may not in every letter write it at full length, yet it will thro the whole, appear so very plain, that you must be blind if you miffs it. You partly urged the self same apology in your letter, but as it was entirely uselefs, I desire you may allow me to consider it as my own.
I dare say you know what I mean, but lest you should not I will give you it at length The known dulnefs of the writer This must be considered as an exception to my general rule That apologies are mere words of course I had almost forgotten to answer your kind inquiries about my a(rrival) in Ireland A few days after you, I left the academy and came to Liverpool, where I was obliged to wait some time for a fair wind at length after a tedious passage of five days I arrived in Belfast distant from Portaferry about 20 miles were it not for my aversion to apologies, I should certainly offer some for this stupid but I will not be the first to break thro my own rules Write very soon if this letter does not entirely frighten you God be with you J Galway.
I have not franks to send. If you could get a few yourself you may inclose them in your next. If you take the trouble of directing to me in this I shall mention it will save the trouble of Franks
Robert Rofs Esq MP
Robert Rofs Esq MP
To be forwarded by Ann Galway