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The letter is between two brothers who are related to the London Lord Mayor Sir John Moore. Mention of a brother who is dying, a sister in York and Lord Huntingdon. I think the brother who is dying is in fact George! He died in 1684 and I think his brother is writing about him in the third person. In another letter I have from John Moore to Charles, he berates Charles for not learning to write, so I wonder if the letter was written for him.
The Moores were from the village of Appleby Magna and John Moore built the endowed school, see this web page for a family tree and some background.
To see an image of the letter double click the thumbnail.
The spelling is as per the letter.
It is addressed to "These for Mr.George Moore Marcht. At Porters Key near ye Customes House in London"
November 3 1682
I received neither of your Letters before the other day and soon enough to be the unhappy messengers of so much grief and trouble but I became dumb and opened not my mouth because it is the Lords doings, neither can I do any thing but pray for my brother if he be yet alive. Lord hear my prayer and let my tears come before thee either return him to us again or make him meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Are not his days few? Cease then and let him alone that he may take comfort a little before he go, where he shall not wing over to ye land of darkness and ye shadow of death. if not bring him to the beautiful vision of god, ye blessed company of innumerable angells and spirits of just men made perfect, and if the prayer of faith shall save the fire why should we be sorry for his happenings.
I am sensible that his death will be a very great heart breaking to me because it is the first trial of this nature but we should rather magnify his gracious for bearance to us so long than to disconsolate ourselves at his visitation now. I pray God we may patiently submit for he that takes away one, can take away ye rest and then where are we. God remembers where of we are made and is not angry with our love and tears for one another but then we must bring in faith and hope to wipe them off and silence our natural affection. With ye love of god where for my brother let us comfort our selves with these things.
I have not yet acquainted sister Mary till I hear further for I know her passion will add to my trouble, she is now in York and has improved her selfe very much since she came but she has parted with all her money so I must either fetch her home else she must be fresh supplied.
Pray give Brother John to know that my Lord Huntingdon’s steward is with me who acquainted me that his Lord doth very much blame Sir john Moore for his backwardings in preferring me, for he saith he may have any thing for asking and be thought well of for it if he will prosecute his forest. Particularly he make me a provand of Westminster and much more to the same purpose, and that if he miss his opportunity now there may be but little hope here after. Indeed Sir Johns modesty (for I cannot tell how to form it better) is a great wonder both to friends and strangers and it is a blameable humorousness in other relations that doth no putt him on.
If I must not before London very suddenly I desire (according to brother john's promise) to have a good cloth gown, a hat and a wigg immediately sent me for I am in extraordinary great wants and I will pay according to order and if please god to
Take our brother let my gown be in mourning. Pray do not forgett, Good Brother
Your most Loving Brother
P.S. the long thread is ye length of my gown