Letter from DR. CHRISTOPHER NUGENT to JAMES BARRY, written 15 September 1769 , at Gregories

Source: Fryer,Works of Barry, i.145-46.

Burke's father-in-law Dr. Christopher Nugent (1698-1775) was an Irish physician and Catholic who had formerly practised in Bath. He now lived in the house formerly occupied by the Burkes in Queen Ann Street (Burke to Barry, 16 July 1769) and usually joined them when they spent time at their country house, 'Gregories' near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. Barry did a portrait of him in 1772. [img]

Nugent says this undated letter, 'goes to you in very good company', which suggests it goes along with a letter by Edmund Burke; the close similarity between Nugent's phrasing, 'we are all very well, and as much yours, as you yourself can wish' and the ending of Burke's letter to Barry, 15 September 1769, 'We are, thank God, all well and all most truly and sincerely yours' suggests the letter probably accompanied Burke's letter of that date.

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I have not, it is true, wrote to my dear and worthy friend Mr. Barry but once since he left us; 1and yet I can truly say that it was not from forgetfulness, nor from any variation in the course, or interruption in the continuity of the affection and esteem which I entertain for that gentleman; whose own good heart I shall leave to make partial allowances for certain fits of laziness, a disposition to procrastinate, and various other weaknesses, which very often tend to generate blameable appearances, whilst the things they would represent, may in their reality be irreprehensible, or at least excusable.

This goes to you in very good company.2 Mr. Burke tells you, what we are sure will please you much, that we are all very well, and as much yours, as you yourself can wish. After3 what he says, I need not assure you, that nothing can be more entertaining, or more welcome to us, than your letters. Proceed, my dear Mr. Barry, and prosper in every thing. As to my own particular, I shall inform you that my health is, I think, rather better than it has been for many years. I am now in the country at Mr. Burke's,4 and most sincerely and affectionately


Christopher Nugent.