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.