217. Robert Bloomfield to Thomas John Lloyd Baker, 18 November 1807


217. Robert Bloomfield to Thomas John Lloyd Baker, 18 November 1807* 

City Road. Nov 18. 1807.

To Mr Ll Baker

Dear Sir

Your right wellcome letter came to hand yesterday, And the inteligence it contains is every way agreable as to what relates to Mrs B.. And I beg to intrude amongst your friends and relatives, my particular respects and congratulations.—May your Boy live to climb the Sugar-loaf when the bones of his parents are stiffen'd by age, and their minds feeding upon the retrospect of 'past pleasures and truth'.

I made it my business to see Mr Britton this morning. And amongst other conversation learn'd that his next Number will contain very interesting matter respecting Heny VII's Chapel, some of the engravings for which appear to be admirable indeed. He complains that other matter has unavoidably defer'd the account of St Albans, and adds, that after Henry ye Seventh's Chappel he is bringing forward some interesting matter as to Old Mannor Houses, and has a fine drawing of Holland House &c. &c. And should you be able to communicate any particulars as to such buildings, he should feel greatly oblidged, And as to your list of English Antiquities thinks himself much honourd by the offer, and bids me say that he should recieve that, or any information with thanks.

Poor Madcap! I feel an affection for him now, because he was one of the party. You know, perhaps, that Mr Cooper call'd on me when in town,— Hercules in a Hovel! [1] Mrs Baker's letter by him inform'd me that you had found the stray plates belonging to the Architectural Work, about which you had written to me. Mr C. introduced me to his brother in Town, from whom I had in a few days a note of invitation to dine; but I was force'd to say no, being previously engaged out, this I esteem unfortunate; for if the Surgeon is but half as good a man as his brother I should like to talk with him.

If Mrs B is well enough to read see this I should be glad, and if not, be as good as to inform her that her sketch book has given me very unusual pleasure, for though I commonly drive hard along when I get a Hobby to please me, I dont know of any circumstance or occurrence in my life that has renderd more real pleasure than this fit of drawing, which attacked me after my late tour. Say that, I have done eighteen of the drawings, and that I shall get through them, and return the book by January. I have succeeded beyond the former estimate of my own self approving vanity, and the proof that I posess that latter article, is my telling you so. They are all done by Candle light! These long winter evenings are all in my favour, and you may figure to yourself the solid oak of my old Table bearing on his back half the Castles in Wales, besides my two elbows, and all the paraphernalia of drawing! Remember that though I am in general pleased with my own performances I percieve that some of my trees are amazingly like a pile of Cheshire Cheeses. And one in particular, I was hamper'd with, it seem'd to have a determination to resemble a large Oil Jar with a handle, but I cut the handle off, and, it became as good a tree as the rest, aye and as good as some that I have seen at Sadler's Wells. [2] 

With my poetical Journal, I have proceeded so as to please my self as much as with my drawings. Yet the lopping, and drilling such a new regiment of rhimes fit for your amusement, will take me some months, but I have gone much too far to recede receed. Please to remember me and mine (all in health) to your parents, and to Mrs Baker and the twigs I am a never ceasing wellwisher, and to whom, with yourself, I tender my true esteem and affection

Your's, Sir, Truly

Rob Bloomfield

My poor dumb visitor who wrote

'5 months I will getting she married.' has call'd since, and has written the following 'Last Tuesday my wife ran away. I must lost my wife'" [3] 

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 244–45 BACK

[1] T. J. Lloyd Baker has later put square brackets round this phrase and written 'x2. Omit these words? T J Ll B'. BACK

[2] That is, as drawn on the backdrop at Sadlers' Wells, a theatre then known for scenic effects because dedicated to pantomime, harlequinade and non-verbal theatrical performances. BACK

[3] See Letter 220. BACK