Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


December 20, 1707
Letter from Robert Carter to Thomas Corbin, December 20, 1707

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Thomas Corbin, December 20, 1707, that Ralph Wormeley's sons have arrived safely in Virginia and that some reports of sales of tobacco belonging to their father's estate will hardly [c] loa[th] them with Silken Suits." He continues that Virginia has had "melancholy" news through the governor of Bermuda that contradicted earlier news of the fall of Toulon and Marseilles; the news had come to Bermuda on a sloop that had sailed from Portsmouth with a fleet of 130 vessels that was attacked the day after it sailed with the loss of many ships including the Ruby which was carrying the colony's new governor [Robert Hunter].

Letter from Robert Carter to Thomas Corbin, December 20, 1707

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

December 20: 1707

Mr. Thomas Corbin

     I have already advised you of the safe Arrival of the young W [or=]
to the welcome Joy of their relations wth them came [news]
of the Sales of some of their Tobacco , such prices will hardly [c] loa [the]
them with Silken Suits but I will make no further observations, [No]
News here but melancholy, a Letter from the Governor of Bermu [da]
of the 14th of November tells us That by a Sloop from Ports [mouth]
in 5 weeks to that time the news we had of the
taking of Toulon & Surrender of Marseilles was contradic [ted]
the former escaping only wth a very detrimental bombardmen [t]
that this Sloop came out in company of 130 Sail of Transports & other
vessels under Convoy of 5 men of war bound for Lisbon
among wch was the Ruby aboard whom our Governor was supposed [to be. They]

-2 -

were attacked the day after they put to sea by 14 Sail of French
men of war & privateers who took 4 of our men of war
& burned the other & he saw as he was making the best of his
way several of the Merchant men taken the particulars I
need not enumerate to you who have them no doubt long
since but thus stands the news with us at this day Pray God Send our next be better I conclude

Sir Yor Affectionate Countryman
and Humble Servant


Source copy consulted: Christ Church Parish, Lancaster County, Processioners' Returns, 1711-1783,and Wormeley Estate Papers, 1701-1710, 1716, Acc. 30126, Archives Research Services, Library of Virginia, Richmond. Extract printed William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 17(1909): 263.

Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than "Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to merchants abroad. The return address, county and colony have been added for clarity on this unheaded letter.

[1] Carter often referred to in their youth as his "Cozns." Ralph Wormeley (ca. 1681-1714), Ralph Wormeley's (d.1701) oldest son; and John Wormeley (1689-1727) because their parents were his brother-and sister-in-law. He was one of the boys' trustees under their father's will.

[2] Toulon was unsuccessfully beseiged by the British and their allies in August 1707.

[3] Robert Hunter (d. 1734) was appointed governor of Virginia in April 1707, probably through the influence of the Earl of Orkney, who was to become governor himself in 1710. Hunter sailed for Virginia in May 1707, and was captured by the French in the attack of which Carter writes; he never came to Virginia, but later served as governor of New York. (See Mary Lou Lustig, Robert Hunter 1666-1734: New York's Augustan Statesman [Syracuse, N.Y., Syracuse University Press, 1983] )

This text revised August 6, 2008.