Townshend, Charles (1725-1767)
Autograph Letter Signed to Lady Charlotte Ferrers wife of his older brother George Townshend, September 19, 1759

quarto, one page of a bi-folium, formerly folded, in very good and clean legible condition.

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Letter from Charles Townshend to his sister-in-law relating the latest news from Quebec. Unbeknownst to either of them Quebec had surrendered two days earlier, and Brigadier General George Townshend had been placed in command of the forces surrounding Quebec after the death of General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham.

"Privy garden Sp. The 19th 1759.

My Dear Lady Ferrers,

As you may possibly read in the prints that two ships are arrived in the River from New York, and might be alarmed for that reason if you do not hear from us, I beg leave to assure you that both the American ships sailed from new York many days after the last Packet Boat came away nothing new therefore is come by these ships.

Upon reasoning with some persons of rank & intelligence in this administration upon the accounts we have, I find it is the general opinion that Quebec will fall without any action, as it is now so invested, no provisions can be carried into it, and the army of the enemy, with the citadel, will it is believed, be forced to capitulate or starve. This, I am sure, is a prospect you will be pleased with, and I hope you will every day have fresh reasons to rely upon the speedy and safe return of my Brother.

Lady Townshend desires her Love: We beg our compliments to Lady Elisabeth Compton. I am you most affectionate

Ch Townshend"

Charles Townshend (1725-1767) second son of Charles Townshend (1700-1764, M.P.; 3rd Viscount Townshend).  He was a member of the Board of Trade and Plantations, 1749-1754; a member of the Admiralty Board, 1754-1755; privy councilor from 1757; and secretary at war, 1761-62. He voted against Bute's peace preliminaries in December, 1762, and resigned, but was brought back into the Grenville administration to serve as president of the Board of Trade, March 1, 1763 - September 9, 1765. In 1764 he opposed Grenville when he spoke brilliantly against general warrants. He was paymaster under Rockingham, 1765-66, and was chancellor of the exchequer in the Grafton-Chatham ministry from 1766 until his sudden death in 1767, when he was succeeded by Lord North.  In his last year he was at odds with Chatham over East India policies and further angered Chatham by suddenly and casually promising the House of Commons that he would take immediate steps to secure greater revenue from the colonies. He tightened the enforcement of colonial customs and excise payments in ways that increased American resentment and helped lead to the American Revolution. The infamous Townshend Acts take their name from Townshend. At the time of his death Chatham had already demanded that Grafton dismiss him.

George Townshend (1724-1807) succeeded his father as 4th Viscount Townshend, in 1787 created Marquess Townshend. 1in 1751 he married Charlotte, daughter of James Compton (5th Earl of Northampton). He fought at Dettingen in 1743, Fontenoy in 1745, Laufelt in 1747, and retired in 1750, when lieutenant colonel, because of a difference with his commanding officer, the Duke of Cumberland. He brought in the militia bill in 1757, returned to the army to serve under Wolfe in Canada as brigadier general, and succeeded Wolfe in 1759 as commanding officer at Quebec after the death of Wolfe. Quebec surrendered on September 17, 1759. He served in Portugal in 1762; was master general of ordnance, 1763-67; and was lord lieutenant of Ireland from October 1767 to October 1772. He was recalled from Ireland because his policies, which were those of the court he represented, had caused great resentment. He was made lieutenant general in 1770 and was again master general or ordnance, 1772-1782. He was made general in 1782.