Autograph letter signed ("Adam Smith").
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To the 1st Earl of Shelburne, regarding the health of his son Thomas, then Smith's student and lodger: "My Lord / I expected that Mr. Fitzmaurice would have been able to have acquainted your Lordship by this post of the entire reestablishment of his health. An accident, however, has prevented this from taking place as soon as I expected. I never saw any body appear to recover faster than he did on Friday and Saturday last. On Saturday, particularly, he was surprisingly well and went to bed about 8 o'clock, in appearance, in as good health as it is possible for anybody to have, who had so lately recovered of a fever. On Sunday morning he was seized with a purging which continued all that day, raised his pulse and seemed to threaten a return of his fever. The Doctor assured me that this would in all probe[bility] prove a final crisis, that his former bleeding at the nose had not been so plentiful as he could have wished and that he had always suspected that something of the kind might happen [...]". Written in ink in a neat cursive hand, approximately 23 lines to a page, with a few corrections in the text, addressed on the verso of the second sheet, annotated: "Mr. Smith with acct. of my son Thomas his having a slight relapse of his fever". Sometime folded for posting, lightly soiled along the folds, short tear at the foot along fold. - Adam Smith was appointed professor of logic, and then of moral philosophy at Glasgow in 1751 and 1752 respectively. As a professor, Smith took students into his house, offering both supervision in studies and board and lodging. Of these students, the names of only two have come down to us: Henry Herbert, later Lord Porchester, and Thomas Petty-Fitzmaurice. In 1758 Gilbert Elliot, later Lord Minto, recommended Glasgow University rather than Oxford for the education of the younger son of the 1st Earl of Shelburne (the maternal grandson of the economist William Petty). Petty-Fitzmaurice (1742-93) had earlier been educated at Eton. For two years from 1759, Thomas Petty-Fitzmaurice lived with Adam Smith. After Glasgow he went to St Mary's Hall, Oxford, in 1761, was called to the English Bar in 1768 and became a Member of Parliament in 1762. In 1779 he set up as a linen merchant and established a bleaching factory at Llewenny in Wales, as his Irish estates were unproductive. He was reported to have lived on “the most intimate terms with Johnson, Hawkesworth and Garrick”. - The total number of recorded letters written by Adam Smith is surprisingly small - about 200, of which at least 24 are only known from published sources, which leaves about 176 letters surviving, virtually all in public collections. There are only 11 surviving letters of Adam Smith's predating his correspondence with Lord Shelburne. - Provenance: Bowood, home of the Earls of Shelburne.