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


Draft Letter from William Cage to Robert Carter, February 13, [1722]

     William Cage, trustee of Lady Fairfax's estate, drafts a letter to Robert Carter, February 13, [1722], concerning the affairs of the Northern Neck proprietary in Virginia, and especially the debts due the estate from Edmund Jenings, the leaseholder who preceded Carter. He authorizes Carter "to Act as you think fit" in attempting to collect the debts. He hopes Carter will be able to make improvements in the lease which he will share with Cage and Fairfax, and notes that they stand ready to negotiate a new lease with Carter for whatever length Carter may propose. He sees Lord Fairfax rarely because of the latter's army service, but sends Carter Fairfax's "humble service" and reminds Carter's of Fairfax's influence with the Board of Trade.

Draft Letter from William Cage to Robert Carter, February 13, [1722]

-1 -

[Milgate, County Kent, England ?]

Febr. the 13: 1711

      [ . . . ] so much in your Honour Integrity & ability that we [ . . . our]
selves happy at being in your Hands. I am sorry Colonel Jening ['s]
Circumstances are so bad that he [. . . ] endeavours to make an Ac [coun] t [ . . . ]
that is so plain & pleads a Paragraph in my Letter to his Son
transposes the words (at least) wch were meant that there was ow ing
at least two years Rent wch he knew or his Father misinformed
him so. I do assure you when I wrote to the Boy I did not know what was due but Lord Fairfax
said my Lady told him There was above 2 years Rent due
His first payment of 1907 pounds wch he makes as paid by him to Lady Fairfax w [he] n
he was in England was £103 S1 P4 3/4 paid by Adamson for Mr. Thomas
wch Voucher was mislaid therefore not then allowed but my
Ladys Receipt for 100£ being found I for her allowed it to Mr
Lee long before Jenings [ . . . ] for the Estate paid me part of the two years Arrears then due and
afterwards sold to Colonel Jenings and this is the 100£ that Jenings charged me
wth that had never seen one penny of my Ladys money suppose
any account whatsoever [ . . . ] but this 103 must be allowed as only
as part of 2400£ and whatever vouchers he can produce
dated since must be also allowed and the Ballance we hope
you'll take all the care possible to get for us & whatever
measures you take to get it you have our Authority to Act as
you think fit. I am glad you will not be frightened wth the
threats of Young Brent & Mother nor any others ; but proceed to improve y [our]
Estate to the utmost, I say yours because we have no [ . . . ]
design but that you shall have the Fruits of the improv [ments]
but hope you'll allow us an equal share of it and we are
ready to Treat wth you for a farther Lease of w [ha] t time you
shall propose. I am sorry for the death of old Mr. Perry
but I think the young one an honest Good man and he can
inform you we are not very pressing for money from
him not that we do it upon the Ac [coun] t of the hard Bargain &
dead time of Trade you mention but that we know we are safe & in the Hands
of a Man [ . . . ] & therefore shew it [ . . . ]

-2 -

[ . . . ] Is of every [t] hing that rel [ . . . ]
[ . . . ] does promise these shall be nothing [ . . . ]
our sides to support your pretentions but we are both Ignor [ant]
how you proceed in y [ou] r Court but if you send the Case [ . . . ]
& Atorney & Solicitor general's Opinion as was mentioned to you as soon [as you] can I shall
be glad to hear from you and am

Your Most obliged and Obedient
humble Servt

W [illiam] C [age]

My Lord Fairfax who I see but
seldom by reason of his small post
[in] the Army desired me to give you his humble service
and I beg mine to your Son who I
hope got safe to you & if any Favour is required from the
Board of Trade he has so good an
Interest there that he does not [expect?]
but to be gratified in any rea [sonable]


Source copy consulted: Fairfax Papers, Box 1, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California.

This letter is a draft; the top of the sheet has been extensively damaged with much loss of text. A date is written in the margin apparently by Cage, probably at a later date; it reads "Febry. the 13th: 1711" with the last figure very faint. The reference to the death of "old Mr. Perry" in the text means, however, that this draft cannot be earlier than 1721 October 1 when Micajah Perry, Sr., died. Louis Wright, in a list of the Fairfax Papers appended to his Letters of Robert Carter dates this draft as 1718. The Huntington Library's file folder, during the editor's visit there in 1983, bore the date 1723[/24]. However, by the way in which Cage refers to the death of Perry, it seems that the death was recent, and the draft has, accordingly, been dated 1722. (Price. Perry of London. . . . p. 26 ; and Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . p. 109. )

[1] Fairfax refers to his mother, Catherine Culpeper, widow of the fifth Lord Fairfax (d. 1710); from her father, the 2nd Lord Culpeper, she had inherited about 1689 his five-sixths interest in the Northern Neck Proprietary in Virginia. When she died in 1719, she bequeathed her Virginia property to her young son Tom, and made Wiliam Cage and Edward Filmer trustees of the proprietary. Filmer soon died, and Cage, a kinsman of the 6th Lord Fairfax, became the sole trustee. From his grandmother, Margaret Lady Culpeper, the 6th Lord Fairfax inherited the other one-sixth of the Proprietary.

[2] Thomas Lee (1690-1750) of Westmoreland County was the son of Richard Lee II, and nephew of Edmund Jenings; he would build "Stratford," and succeed Carter on the Council. For a good article on Thomas Lee, see "Thomas Lee of Stratford 1690-1750" by Jeanne A. Calhoun on Stratford plantation's website. ( Burton J. Hendrick. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. [Boston: Little Brown, 1935]. pp. 48, 51, etc. )

[3] George Brent inherited from his grandfather (George Brent [d. 1699], of "Woodstock," Stafford County, was the "resident partner in Virginia" for the development of the Brent Town grant by Nicholas Hayward) the family's claim to a portion of the Brent Town grant.

This text revised July 23, 2009, and again January 26, 2015.