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Book Description
Autograph letter unsigned, but very probably from the English agent in Paris at the time of the Revolution, William Augustus Miles [1753-1817]. 1 page quarto, dated 20 Feb 1791. Integral address panel reveals his correspondent to be Thomas Somers Cocks of Downing Street b. 1769, a banker. The letter gives Miles' account of the situation in France. "Do me the favor to forward the enclosed my Dear Sir by your servant & to acknowledge the receipt of this letter, A discovery has been made that this metropolis contains 37,000 men and women without any visible means of support & who live by rapine and murder. They are in correspondence with each other, and so great is the panic of the consequence of the denunciation that was made this evening that every section has resolved to appoint comissaries to examine every house & the inhabitants without reserve, as Paris is actually menaced with a massacre more bloody than that of St Bartholomew. [the letter may be referring to the unrest caused by the departure from Paris of Louis VI's aunts Adelaide and Victoire on the 19th which led to a mob marching on the Tuileries a few days later] The Priests have already drawn the sword in Brittany - some lives have been lost but owing to the bravery of Walsh's Brigade [an Irish regiment in the French military service garrisoned in Brittany] it is hoped that the calm will be restored. The Clergy in Flanders are also at work & Bethune has petitioned the N[ational] Assembly for assistance - An Englishman in Toulouse has taken a part against the actual government & has been denounced. No taxes are to be paid on entering Paris after the first of next May nor in any town in France -only the frontiers - all the barriers are to be destroyed - Compls to Mrs C & the family God bless you all - are any of my numbers drawn? Let me know their fate. In a postscript written contra at the top of the page he writes the Invalides will be converted into a Hotel Dieu. The old soldiers have pensions & in future each department will have its hospital for invalids. The address panel marked 'Paye Paris'. The red wax seal bears an image of a woman and an anchor [Miles served in a civil position in the Royal Navy under Rodney in the West Indies]. Good condition, areas of paper loss to blank areas of address panel, short, closed tear to RH edge of text pages affecting text but without loss.
Author William Augustus Miles
Date 1791
Binding no binding
Condition Very good
Pages 1

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