Letter to Richard Cosway


Francis Towne, Letter to Richard Cosway : Exeter, 21 December 1800

This sheet has been folded into an envelope and closed with a seal; to the left of the seal is a printed postmark, in a circle: "A / DEC23 / 1800"; to its right is the name "F.Towne", not in Towne's hand.

side one, left

Richard Cosway Esq
Stratford Place
Oxford Street [to the right of 'Street' is stamped "EXETER"]

side one, right

St Peters Church Yard2
Dear Cosway               Exeter Decr. 21st. 1800
I hope you have enjoyed your health since
I last saw you, & that you availed yourself with
a change of Scene, the last summer, which was
certainly a fine one, I have done myself the plea
-sure of sending you a Turkey, & pot of Devonshire
cream, this morning by the Balloon Coach, which
goes from the Hotel Exeter, & Inn's at the Saracens-
Head, Snow hill, & should be delivered at your
House tomorrow, I hope that you will receive
'em safe, & that they will prove to be of the very best.
I shall be glad to hear from you as soon as
you can, & likewise to hear from you the
present state of the Arts, & Artists, in these
times as tis but too true that I never saw or
knew such before, every necessary article of
Life is so raised here, that its not to be be-
-lieved but by those only who know the fact,
& where it will end God knows)3 I came down
to Exeter the latter end of last July - and

side two, left

& excepting one day, have remained here ever since,
but I want a change of scene, I intend being in
London sometime in March next, I desire to
be remembered to Mrs. Cosway in the kindest
manner, & wish you both a happy new year
when it comes, remaining your sincere


Francis Towne


  1. 1 The sheet is folded into an envelope
  2. 2 The cathedral close, Exeter's prime residential address.
  3. 3 Restricted supply of goods during the Napoleonic wars caused inflation in 1800; although modest when compared to later inflation, it caused alarm in a society accustomed to relatively stable prices.