Autograph letter signed (“Jonath: Swift”) to [Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland].
Swift asks the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland that Michael Aldrich, a relation of his friends the Grattans, be made master of a barrack at Kinsale. The letter is written in a characteristically witty, teasing tone, showing Swift’s easy intimacy with the man he declared one of the most agreeable and well- informed men, and best conversationalists, he had ever met. The letter opens by recalling their recently dining together with Swift’s friends, Rev Patrick Delany (1685?–1768), at Delville, Delany’s villa outside Dublin, and Dr Richard Helsham (1683–1738), Swift’s physician. “Now, this same Dr. Helsham hath ordred me to write to Your Grace in behalf of one Alderman Aldrich; who is master of the Dublin Barrack, and is as high a Whig, and more at your Devotion than I could perhaps wish him to be. And yet he is a very honest Gentleman, and which is more important, a near Relation of the Grattans, who, in Your Grace’s absence are governors of all Ireland, and your Vicegerents when you are here, as I have often told you. They consist of an Alderman – whom you are to find Lord Mayor at Michaelmas next; of a Doctor who kills or cures half the City, of two Parsons my subjects as Prebendaryes, who rule the other half, and of a vagrant Brother who governs the North. They are all Brethren, and your Army of twelve thousand soldiers are not able to stand against them. Now, Your Grace is to understand, that these Grattans will stickle to death for all their Cousins to the five and fiftieth degree; and consequently this same Alderman Aldrich being onely removed two degrees of Kindred, and having a Son as great a Whig as the Father, hath prevayled with Dr. Helsham to make me write to Your Grace”. Having proceeded to make the case for Michael Aldrich, Swift adds that “you will have several Requests this Post with the same Request, perhaps for different Persons, but you are to observe only mine, because it will come three minutes before any other. I think this is the third request I have made to Your Grace. You have granted the two first, and therefore must grant the third. For, when I knew Courts, those who had received a dozen favors, were utterly disobliged if they were denyed the thirteenth. Besides, if this be not granted the Grattans will rise in rebellion, which I tremble to think of.” Swift also makes a complaint about Dorset’s cousin Lady Elizabeth (“Betty”) Germain of Drayton House, Swift’s old friend and constant correspondent: “My Lady Eliz. Germain uses me very ill in her Letters. I want a Present from her, and desire you will please to order, that it may be a seal. Mine are too small for the fashion; and I would have a large one, worth forty shillings at least.”
Quarto folded to form a bifolium (224 181 mm), two pages, docketed on terminal blank. Paper repairs to folds in terminal blank, minor soiling.
Bibliography: Provenance: by descent, published in 1904 as in the collection of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton House.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary