Lewis Goodin Senior to his sister Letitia Maria Senior
26 Park Street, Bristol
Oxford Coffee House, Strand
1st Dec 1820
I arrived here by the mail yesterday morning as I had planned & it is really very lucky that I made up my mind to take the Journey - it is also most fortunate that both you and GM are so much better than you were. - as we shall perhaps be under the necessity of having GM’s testimony. - without further preface then this is the burthen of my Song. On my arrival here I found that the old gentleman (Mr. Royall) whose examination was considered as so essential to us, inasmuch as he knew a good deal of the Gale family, is dead. It immediately occurred to us that GM could possibly prove a good deal, or perhaps part, or perhaps more than Mr. Royall himself - & if this should prove to be the case, as she can’t come to us, we must come to her - Mr. Bullock is now preparing (to be inclosed with this) a statement of what Mr. R did on oath prove - now all I want is, for GM to look at that paper & see whether she can of her own knowledge assert on oath or from common report can say she believes to have been the case, any of the facts there sworn to by Mr. Royall - for instance, if she was asked “Did you know Henry Gale, the father of William Gale?” she would perhaps say No (if that is the fact of course she would) then if she was asked- “Altho’ you did not know Henry Gale personally, do you not (from all you ever heard respecting that family) believe that he was the father of William, & then again in respect to Jonathan & the old Jonathan, altho’ Mr. R does not there appear to have known the old man - yet it is possible G.M. might tho’ not at all probable. That these people were all related as they are there stated to be, there is no doubt whatever, but we must prove it by the best evidence we can get. If she should recollect so much of the circumstances required by the paper Mr. B. will give me, as to make it proper to take her examination, Mr. Robertson being the only Commissioner competent to do it, must accompany me to Bristol to do it. Tell her it will be nothing terrific merely a conversation to the best of her recollection but necessarily on oath with Mr. R. Mind she must not suppose that all she asserts as remembering will be put down as sworn to by her - she will swear positively perhaps to one fact - such as saying she knew James Gale Senior our father - & she will swear perhaps (if she did not know him personally) that from all she ever heard she believes Jonathan Gale who died 1739 was the father of Henry who died 1767 & that Henry was father to William & so on - at any rate she need not feel the least uncomfortable I will take care nothing that she really cannot swear to shall be inserted as sworn to. Mr. R has power to swear her. So we want no mayors or anything that would be likely to annoy or vex her - you see having her, we want to put ourselves in possession now, of as much of the story as she knows, which we lose the power of again procuring in consequence of Mr. Royall’s death - perhaps she knew Mr. Royall.
You will see the necessity she should have a little time to consider of what part of the questions contained in the paper I shall send she can prove in any way - because it will be a very great expense to take Mr. R down & after all her testimony may not be essential - I mention this that you may have an opportunity of talking it over carefully with her. & mind I must have your answer on Monday morning - so don’t fail & write as fully as you can because we can then better judge whether or not it is worth while to trouble her & incur the expense - direct here. I have been to the Herald’s office today & ordered another copy of the pedigree as registered by Wm Gale in 1783 - but beyond that we cannot move till we get your answer to this - your letter will not be shewn to any body. I shall merely say what you say you think GM can prove & then let Mr. R judge of the propriety of going down - You will be surprized when I tell you that the arms sent home by Bern for us to change to are perfectly right - but of this I will convince you (now perfectly convinced myself) at some future day - This is a secondary question & one only between ourselves - I have seen the original grant allowing us to wear any arms. I shall have a copy of it & the whole pedigree prepared for me before I go home - but all this is foreign to my present errand.
I have just got the paper from Bullock – Vassall GM has nothing to do with, so don’t let her bother herself about him. I have given the persons letters of reference to assist you in explaining to GM who you mean when you ask of somebody very far back - I do not expect that she can remember all about all the people - but only wish her to tell us what (if any thing) she can remember of any of them - Don’t fail to let me have such answers as you can furnish by Monday morning’s post here, - as you can see if we are to come down by Wednesday (Packet Day) & get all done we have not much time to spare - if any thing should occur after you have written tip me another stave it’s worth making an effort for & we must not mind the expense tho’ it might certainly have happened at a more convenient moment - I hope you will be able to manage without teazing GM much - we only want now to see, if what she does know, is of sufficient importance to go down for - Uncle Henry knows very little & remembers none but the last Wm Gale. I think you had better look carefully at the thing before you talk much to her about it. I dined with Uncle Henry yesterday & shall again on Sunday - I dine in Bloomsbury Sq. tomorrow - couldn’t go today, too busy - I will do our business at the Herald’s office effectually before I leave it. Can you tell me Aunt Senior’s maiden name? - don’t forget. [No] time for any news only best loves to GM. You saw the Morrison’s today of course - If I was to send you a barrel of Oysters perhaps you could place them to advantage eh!! Let me hear this.