1827 UK letter engineer Philp Taylor, trip description Paris to London

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Letter written by Philip Taylor engineer, inventor and entrepreneur from London to his wife in Paris, detailing his trip home from Paris. Interesting description of town of Boulogne, departure port for steam Packet to Dover ("Dandies & scamps in abundance")

His wife was then staying at the home of Jean-Baptiste Say, French economist and entrepreneur, making preparations for family to move to France.,

City Road Monday morning Aug 6 1827

My dearest love,
...My journey has been a very pleasant one upon the whole – although my patience was much tried by the tedious conveyance from Paris to Boulogne. You will remember that I left the former place on Thursday last at 3 o’clock and I now tell you that I did not arrive at the latter until 1/.4 past 10 o’clock at night on the Friday; being 31 ¼ hours fir 56 leagues! At Boulogne I found no conveyance ready for Calais. & being assured that a steam packet would start from Boulogne the next morning for Dover I determined to remain where I was and go to bed.
On Friday night there was a thunder storm & the next morn the sea was rather rough- but not so much so as when we came from Holland. The Capt’n made this a reason for not going as he had promised & I found myself obliged to remain at Boulogne all Saturday. As I saw that should be in time if the Packet started on Sunday morning.  I made myself easy and determined to enjoy the present. The pace is neater than most of the French towns and the country & climate more like England  and indeed in walking the streets you d suppose yourself in England - for you have the language in every corner. You meet Pappas & Mammas & Misses you//
See English carriages & horses – with Dandies & scamps in abundance, from all I saw I was convinces that it was not the place to suit you- One does not like to blush for ones countrymen or women either. In the morning I walked to the column built by Napoleon & from the summit of which he was to see his troops land in England. Although it never answered its intended purpose it is a beautiful structure being simple & in good taste. The materiel is a fine limestone, or one may say Marble & the workmanship is very good.  It is a little higher than my chimney & not quite so large in diameter. I went to its summit but it was too hazy & windy to see much .
The beach is an excellent one for walkers , riders, bathers, & idlers and I made one among the many until dinner.at 5 o’clock when I went to the table d’hote  -all English – both food & eaters I may except a young Greek – who was there with an English bride and who was the cleverest man I found at the table.
Yesterday morning (Sunday) I was up at 5 – got some coffee went to the Packet found the steam up but the tide did not  --- until 7 o’clock . We made he passage in 3 ½ hours and a very pleasant one it was. The morning coaches were all gone from Dover & I therefore secured a place in a night one. The day was fine & I retraced the ground we had trod together on those magnificent Chalk Cliffs. With the castle &c. after which I indulged myself with a hot salt water bath. I got my dinner at 4 jumped into the coach at 6 and arrived in Cheapside at 5 o’clock this morning (Monday).....



Addressed to

Mad.me Philip Taylor
A Monsieur J.B. Say
Faubourg St Martin 92

Postmarked in red on front ANGLETERRE and  handwritten postal rate

On back red reception postmark AOUT 9 1827  as well as black 6 8 27

Small tear where seal removed.


Philip Taylor (1786–1870) was an English civil engineer. A significant innovator of the 1820s in steam engine design, he moved abroad to become an industrial leader in France and Italy (Kingdom of Sardinia).

… The City Road business of Taylor & Martineau was a foundry and engineering works. It produced steam engines, gas generators, and pumps.… Philip Taylor invented a method of lighting public and private buildings by oil-gas, in connection with which he took out a patent on 15 June 1824 for an apparatus for producing gas from various substances…

… In 1825 Taylor & Martineau was producing a standard factory stationary steam engine, of a type that would become common… Taylor went in 1828 to Paris, founded engineering works, and patented the hot blast process in the manufacture of iron

In 1813 Taylor married Sarah, daughter of Robert Fitch, surgeon, of Ipswich. He had eight children

Jean-Baptiste Say (1767 – 1832) was a liberal French economist and businessman who argued in favor of competition, free trade and lifting restraints on business. He is best known for Say's law—also known as the law of markets—which he popularized. Moreover, he was one of the first economists to study entrepreneurship and conceptualized entrepreneurs as organizers and leaders of the economy.