’Knowing that you was my old Master’s good Friend, I could not forbear sending you the melancholy News of his Death, which has afflicted the whole Country, as well as his poor Servants, who loved him, I may say, better than we did our Lives. I am afraid he caught his Death the last County Sessions, where he would go to see Justice done to a poor Widow Woman, and her Fatherless Children, that had been wronged by a neighbouring Gentleman; for you know, Sir, my good Master was always the poor Man’s Friend. Upon his coming home, the first Complaint he made was, that he had lost his Roast-Beef Stomach, not being able to touch a Sirloin, which was served up according to Custom; and you know he used to take great Delight in it. From that time forward he grew worse and worse, but still kept a good Heart to the last. Indeed we were once in great [Hope ] of his Recovery, upon a kind Message that was sent him from the Widow Lady whom he had made love to the Forty last Years of his Life; but this only proved a Light’ning before Death. He has bequeathed to this Lady, as a token of his Love, a great Pearl Necklace, and a Couple of Silver Bracelets set with Jewels, which belonged to my good old Lady his Mother: He has bequeathed the fine white Gelding, that he used to ride a hunting upon, to his Chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him, and has left you all his Books. He has, moreover, bequeathed to the Chaplain a very pretty Tenement with good Lands about it. It being a very cold Day when he made his Will, he left for Mourning, to every Man in the Parish, a great Frize-Coat, and to every Woman a black Riding-hood. It was a most moving Sight to see him take leave of his poor Servants, commending us all for our Fidelity, whilst we were not able to speak a Word for weeping. As we most of us are grown Gray-headed in our Dear Master’s Service, he has left us Pensions and Legacies, which we may live very comfortably upon, the remaining part of our Days.
He has bequeath’d a great deal more in Charity, which is not yet come to my Knowledge, and it is peremptorily said in the Parish, that he has left Mony to build a Steeple to the Church; for he was heard to say some time ago, that if he lived two Years longer, Coverly Church should have a Steeple to it. The Chaplain tells every body that he made a very good End, and never speaks of him without Tears. He was buried according to his own Directions, among the Family of the Coverly’s, on the Left Hand of his Father Sir Arthur. The Coffin was carried by Six of his Tenants, and the Pall held up by Six of the Quorum: The whole Parish follow’d the Corps with heavy Hearts, and in their Mourning Suits, the Men in Frize, and the Women in Riding-Hoods. Captain SENTRY, my Master’s Nephew, has taken Possession of the Hall-House, and the whole Estate. When my old Master saw him a little before his Death,