Internal ID: 1160 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: NLW 5500C, no. 110
Editors: Transcribed by Ffion Mair Jones; edited by Ffion Mair Jones; encoded by Vivien Williams. (2019)

Dear Sir

That many many happy returns of this season may attend miss Bulls1 & yourself is the sincere wish of this house.

Your favor bore a most melancholy complection. The relation of the Birmingham ass is truely affecting but nothing to what happened within a short time past at Holywell. The rumour of a mob prevaling I mounted my steed, & rode rashly into the midst of the market place. I scarce had time to speak but I was knocked off my horse dragged to a butchers blood, & off went my head, before I cd emit one Ave maria. The bloody minded vill[...]ains ripped open my breast, && at my right kidney & were beginning on the left, when an irish gentleman most fortunate cried out, arrah,2 the Rascal, drown him the well. soone went I in, head & tail, when wondrous to say, I had no sooner touched the holy hair of our blessed winefrid:3 but my viscera were restored & my head as nicely united to my body as if nothing had happen’d. I then sprung upon the bank. The ruffians took to their heels, & by this miraculous intervention of our blessed Saint, Loyalty & peace was restored to the country: I have been more than rewarded for my pain, having been unanimously chose chairman to the committee of the eleven associated parish[...]es. [...] [...] we are, (most seriously) wild with loyalty: not a collier or miner in this very populous Country but understands the business & is most sincerely attached to the cause of good order. I inclose two papers.4 for the third, I fear I must wait another post. The welsh one is a translation of judge ashursts speech.

At length I have got Moses to set down to yr work. The subjects will not be so numerous as I thought: so I trust you will have them at the promised time. I still hold my pen. I saw it necessary to tack to China, Japan for the sake of making both ends meet.5 i.e China with the part of Asia described in the arctic zoology. pasting is also much in vogue so my XIV volumes of M.S. will be amazingly rich.

Thanks for your enquiry after our little girl: she is perfectly recoverd from a very painful illness which she bore with heroism.

I am
Dear Sir
most affectly &
truely yrs

Tho. Pennant.

Editorial notes

1. Elizabeth and Catherine Bull.
2. 'Arrah' is an 'expletive expressing emotion or excitement, common in Anglo-Irish speech'. OED.
3. Gwenfrewi or Winifred (fl. early 7th century) was closely associated with the cult of Beuno in north-east Wales. Twelfth-century vitae dedicated to her recount how she was miraculously restored to life at Holywell, where her sanctuary remains to this day. DWB. For current work on Gwenfrewi, see here [external link] [accessed 30 April 2019].
4. The enclosures have not survived with the letter.
5. Pennant's treatment of China was followed by attention to Japan in volume XVII of 'Outlines of the Globe'.

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