Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to Lewis Burwell, June 26, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to his grandson, Lewis Burwell, June 26, 1729, then at Eton, to chide him for his infrequent and short letters and inform him that he has approved Micajah Perry's choice of tutor at Cambridge; he adds that Lewis's expenses must be reduced, and that his family is well.

Letter from Robert Carter to Lewis Burwell, June 26, 1729

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Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]   
June 26. 1729

My Dear Lewis Burwell,

     I receiv'd your short letter of the 9th of Decr:
how you send yor letters I do not know but those I receive
are not only very Short but very few in Number too I
I hope the University will Qualify you not only for a
more Correct stile but with matter for a larger Entertain-

     I am Pleas'd at Mr Perrys Choice in Putting
you under the care of Dr. Gooch our Governours brother
supposing him to be endowed with the same noble Qualitys
that our Governour is whose temperate & Gentlemenly behav:
iour among us worthly render him a fit Pattern to us all to square
our Morals by who have the honour to be frequently in his con:

     Mr Perry will tell you how miserable low
the Price of Tobo is at this day the only Commodity
we have to rais money by and will Also acquaint you wth
the Strict orders he is Under to Abridge you in your Expe=
nces and to Allow you no more than what will be Absolutely
necessary to Support you in keeping the most impproving
Compa: in the time of yr being at the Colledge that you

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may return from thence with the Qualitys of good learning
as well as good breeding

     Your mother is a very Crazy and ailing Pers
on. Your brothers And Sister for what I know are well
your Uncles & Aunts that are with me I thank god
are so and I are hope are all those that are Absent And send
you their loves & respects My daily Prayers shall not
be wanting for yr well doing I am



Source copy consulted: Letter book, 1728 August-1731 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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 persons abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

[1] Lewis Burwell (1711 or 1712-1756), Carter's grandson by Elizabeth Carter Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721) for whom Carter was guardian. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and inherited considerable property, living at "Fairfield," Gloucester County. He would be president of the Council in 1750-1751. (Kneebone et al. , Dictionary of Virginia Biography. 2:434-5. and Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 114. )

[2] Lewis was about to enter Cambridge University.

[3] Sir Thomas Gooch, (1675-1754), distinguished cleric, bishop of Ely, fellow of Caius College (and later master), Cambridge. "In 1748 he was appointed bishop of Ely, and in 1751 he succeeded to the baronetcy of his deceased brother, Sir William Gooch, lieutenant-governor of Virginia." (Colin Haydon, "Gooch, Sir Thomas , second baronet (1675-1754)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , [Oxford University Press, 2004.] accessed 27 March 2015.)

[4] Elizabeth Burwell (1718-?) was Carter's grandaughter by his daughter, Elizabeth, and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell. She married in 1738 William Nelson of Yorktown.(Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 143. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised April 2, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.