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A request from the Archbishop…

Found by relentless jotter RR, this rare manuscript scrap from his collection.

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes that Mr Brodie left a prescription yesterday at Mr Godfrey’s shop directing a medicine to be prepared for ye Archbishop’s use. If so, Mr Godfrey will please to send it by ye Servant who delivereth this note.

Lambeth Palace Nov: 27th 1827

RR writes:- The Archbishop in question was Charles Manner-Sutton—by all accounts a rather conservative prelate who led the Church for 23 years at a time of great social and political upheaval. As someone who claimed direct descent from King Edward III, and therefore from William the Conqueror, it has been said that he is arguably the most aristocratic of England’s Archbishops of Canterbury, and therefore quite likely the sort of posh cleric who might use a word like ‘delivereth ‘in a letter to a tradesman. However, an analysis of the handwriting suggests  that he would have dictated his request to a flunkey.

At the time, the Archbishop’s health was not good and he died eight months later, in July 1828 aged 73.

Note: written requests for medicine from Archbishops of Canterbury to ordinary shopkeepers  are extremely rare.