John Thomas Batt papers, 1772-1808 (majority within 1780-1788)
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Batt, John Thomas, 1746-1831
- This collection is made up of 49 letters and 11 documents and other items, consisting primarily of the incoming correspondence of barrister John Thomas Batt from English and Irish aristocrats, politicians, and state figures. The letters pertain to the end of the American Revolution, the Franco-American alliance, political turmoil in Ireland from the 1780s through the early 1800s, and matters relating to English politics.
- 60 items
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Corey Schmidt, May 2019
- Scope and Content:
This collection is made up of 49 letters and 11 documents and other items, consisting primarily of the incoming correspondence of barrister John Thomas Batt from English and Irish aristocrats, politicians, and state figures. John Thomas Batt received 48 letters from many associates, including John Pennington, 1st Baron Muncaster (14 letters. 1785-1788); George Spencer, 4th duke of Marlborough (1 letter, 1780); John Charles Villiers, 3rd earl of Clarendon (1 letter, 1784); Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton (2 letters, 1784-1785); Thomas Villiers, 1st earl of Clarendon (4 letters, 1776-1784); Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (2 letters, 1801-1805); Rev. Thomas Jeans (2 letters, 1777); Frederick Robinson (3 letters, 1772-1773); Robert Henley, 2nd earl of Northington (13 letters, 1774-1785); John Russell, Duke of Bedford (3 letters, 1783); John Freeman-Mitford, 1st baron Redesdale (2 letters, 1806-1808); and William Pitt the Younger (1 letter, undated).
John Pennington was Batt's most frequent correspondent. The baron's 14 letters mostly pertain to financial and business dealings, including the falling out of partnership between Muncaster and Batt. In 13 letters from the 2nd earl of Northington, he discussed many topics, including the possibly of a treaty as signed between the French and Americans through Benjamin Franklin (Undated), the fourth Anglo-Dutch war (January 1, 1781), and, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, his attempts to secure better food bonds for the Irish people (June 14, 1783). Thomas Villiers, 1st earl of Clarendon, sent Batt four letters, congratulating him on becoming a "brother officer," eliciting meetings between the two, congratulating Batt upon his position of Clerk of the Crown at Lancaster, and assuring Batt that people have a high regard for him.
Batt's other correspondents shed light on English political jousting, the American alliance with France and war with England, and turmoil occurring in Ireland. In John Russell's three letters, he discussed the passage of the Sugar Duty in 1783 (November 23, 1783), an attempt to buy a Bishopship in Ireland (December 15, 1783), and the "late Revolution in the political world" as was occurring in England, Ireland, and America in 1783 (December 23, 1783). Frederick Robinson's three letters between 1772 and 1773 detail his life in Spain in Madrid and "Escurial" (El Escorial), working for the English embassy. In the three letters of Henry Addington, he discussed an unnamed position and invited Batt to Downing Street. In 1777, the Reverend Thomas Jeans wrote about the purchase of clothing, the Franco-American alliance, and his work at the British Embassy in Paris as a chaplain to the Viscount Stormont. John Freedman-Mittford, Lord Redesdale's correspondence with Batt respects Redesdale's opinions of the Irish people in 1806, as well as his opinion of the Irish House of Commons (June 14, 1806). Thomas Orde warned in one letter that a change in the English government would be "ruinous" (June 23, 1785). One note from William Pitt the Younger, written in the 3rd person, extends an invitation to dine at Downing Street (Undated).
The remaining 11 items include drafts, documents, appointments, a recipe for cleaning stone walls, and unattached covers. The drafts regard Parliamentary matters; two vellum documents certify Batt to practice in the court of law (April 6, 1776) and appoint him Clerk of the Crown at Lancaster (June 29, 1780). Two documents from George Townsend concern financial matters (June 21, 1786; April 6 1786) and two others from the Whitehall Treasury Chambers relate to a loan of 10 million pounds to fund the Navy, Victualing, and Ordinance (November 18, 1785; January 18; 1786). The three unattached covers are from letters to Batt by Robert Henley, 2nd earl of Northington.
- Biographical / Historical:
John Thomas Batt was born in 1746 to John Thomas Batt, M.D., and Martha Clarke of Nunton-House, Wiltshire. He received his education at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, earning his license to practice law in 1776. He worked at the Lincoln Inn of Court in London as a barrister. In 1780, King George III appointed Batt Clerk of the Crown at Lancaster. According to The Gentleman's Magazine (January-June 1831, v. 101, no. 1, p. 274), he received an appointment as an Auditor for the Irish Accounts from William Pitt. In 1794, he married Susan Neave of Nunton. John Thomas Batt was well connected, he was an intimate friend of Horace Walpole, and corresponded regularly with prominent men such as the Earl of Northington, the Earl of Muncaster, and the Earl of Clarendon. John Thomas Batt died on March 8, 1831.
John Pennington, 1st Baron Muncaster was baptized in 1741 in Bath, Somerset. He was educated at Winchester School, and then served in the military from 1758 to 1775, earning the rank of lieutenant colonel. He married Penelope Compton in 1778. He became engaged in politics soon after, becoming a Member of Parliament for Milborne Point (1781-1796), Colchester (1796-1802), and Westmoreland (1806-1813). He became an Irish Baron in 1783 and died on October 8, 1813, at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria.
Robert Henley, 2nd earl of Northington was born in 1747 in Holborn, London. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. After his father's death in 1772, he ascended to become the 2nd earl of Northington and took his seat in the House of Lords, after which he became a Knight of the Thistle. In 1777, he was elected as a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Northington became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, serving from June 3, 1783, to February 26, 1784. His short tenure was due to his lack of ability to guide the Irish parliament in a manner acceptable to the English government and to appease the Irish Volunteers and other political factions in Ireland. He died in Paris on July 5, 1786.
- Acquisition Information:
- 2016. M-6011 .
The collection is arranged chronologically.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Barker, G. F. R. "Henley, Robert, second earl of Northington." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 21 May 2009. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/12932.
"John Thomas Batt, Esq." The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle 101, no. 1 (January-June 1831): 274.
"Rev. Thomas Jeans." The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle 3, (January-June 1835): 441.
Thorne, Roland. "Pennington, John, first Baron Muncaster." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 3 January 2008. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/21876.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Anglo-Dutch War, 1780-1784.
Dublin Castle (Dublin, Ireland)
Grange, The (Northington, England)
Great Britain. Privy Council--History--18th century.
Malmesbury, James Harris, earl of, 1746-1820.
Muncaster, Sir Joseph Pennington, 4th Baronet of, 1718-1793.
Sydney, Thomas Townshend, Viscount, 1733-1800.
Bedford, John Russell, Duke of, 1766-1839.
Clarendon, Thomas Villiers, Earl of, 1709-1786.
Jeans, Thomas, 1748 or 1749-1835.
Marlborough, George Spencer, Duke of, 1739-1817.
Muncaster, John Pennington, Baron, 1737-1813.
Northington, Robert Henley, Earl of, 1747-1786.
Orde, Thomas, Baron Bolton, 1746-1807.
Pitt, William, 1759-1806.
Redesdale, John Mitford, Baron, 1748-1830.
Robinson, Frederick, 1746-1792.
Sidmouth, Henry Addington, Viscount, 1757-1844.
Townshend, George Townshend, Marquess, 1755-1811.
Villiers, John Charles, 1757-1838.
Great Britain--Politics and government--History--18th century.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
John Thomas Batt Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan