Autograph Letter Signed ('Samuel Hey') to Twining, giving details of an arson attack [on his church?].

Samuel Hey (1739-1828), eccentric bibliophile vicar of Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, known as 'The Hermit' [Richard Twining (1749-1824), tea and coffee merchant]
Publication details: 
17 January 1822; 'Steeple-Ashton near Trowbridge | Wiltshire'.
SKU: 9175

12mo, 3 pp. Bifolium. Forty-nine lines of text, clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. In a neat, childish hand. Begins by asking for ten pounds to be paid to the bearer, Thomas Fairfax Carlile, on Hey's account. A 'hand bill' has been 'published on the occasion - but without effect', and fifteen of his 'near neighbours' have - 'without consulting me' - subscribed ten pounds each. 'A man was apprehended - but for want of sufficient evidence he was liberated to appear before the magistrate when called for, upon penalty of 40£. This man is generally - if not universally - believed to be the incendiary'. The man, to whom Hey had shown 'more than common kindness' over a period of 'more than thirty years - in youth & manhood - in sickness and in health', took against Hey on account of his displeasure at 'his very improper conduct towards his Wife'. '[D]uring the conflagration he was laughing and exclaiming "it is brought home to 'em now". According to the Victoria County History for Wiltshire Hey 'left 1,139 books and some articles of furniture for the use of future vicars. Most of the volumes were destroyed for salvage during the Second World War, but the works of Chrysostom and about 250 volumes of Hey's books survive.' From the Twining family archive.