Letter from William Brent to Priscilla Peirce, Dec 1821

at Margate Street, Dover, 22/12/1821 : Dec 22

Kent Water Works & Mill, Saturday Morn

My Dear Madam,

I did not receive your letter till after time to answer it by return of post which otherwise I should have done - If I had any friends that could assist me, I should not have written to trouble you, but that not being the case I had no other alternative & I trust it did not displease you- In regard to my speculating, I assure you , it is farthest from my thoughts for I have seen but little advantage accrue from it, but on the contrary, much anxiety and vexation which I think will sufficiently deter me from treading the path my predecessors trod, which caused their ruin and a great deal of grief to the whole family- You say you like to go to the Fountainhead for the best information but I am fearful that you have lately been drinking in the muddy water half way down the stream which had run over many unclean places. If there is anything in my conduct which requires explanation, I will readily clear it in the best manner possible if you will name it for I am not conscious of having done anything willingly which would cause your displeasure - I am young and everyday have something fresh to learn but as I grow older I hope to gain more experience, yet the wisest of us is very far from perfection. Had I not wanted the money I should not have written for it, for I would much rather give than ask a favor of anyone but necessity makes us bold. Perhaps you think I have already enough money to carry on the business but if you consider I had but LI,800 in the business at all for L200 was spent before I begun owing to my not having interest paid me from the time I came of age till last June which was nearly a twelvemonth[.] L45 Jones cheated me out of & L60 was spent in riding about after Mills at different places - within the last two months the business has gone very much against me as I had a tolerable stock when markets were high & not sufficient power to manufacture it before the fall & since that time the [torn] was so dull that I could not get [rid of?] my goods but at a great loss - so you see, my dearest Madam, I have had great disadvantages - high rent, everything new to buy & a most deceitful landlord but I trust when I get into my new concern, I shall do better. Jane desires her love & believe me to remain

Your Dutiful Son,

Wm Brent

If you write to me by return please direct to Mm As[?] 32 Cornhill London. The reason why I want to have the money before Christmas day is because the Bankers balance their books on that day & it seemed more creditable to have money here at that time.

Note from Priscilla Peirce on the flap of the letter:

D[?] I have not accuse you of any thing What I have ask you you have acknowledge I wrote the enclose letter to Jane yesterday which you will please to read you have [?] one past what remains for me to know is how much is already sunk & how much money you take into this new concern and what will be sufficient to carry it on with care & industry I have written to Mr Barber by this post to let you have L300. John Igglesdon was your way looking for business last week.

Yours P.Peirce