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ADAM William (1751–1839), politician and advocate. Autograph letter signed to John Adam Esq, Patna, care of Henry Trail Esq Calcutta, folio, 4 sides including an address panel (with several interesting postal franks), East Grinstead Assizes, 18th March 1798, reporting on family affairs beginning with John's brother Charles "I cannot let the event of Charles’s arrival pass over wh'out notice.  You may easily conceive our surprise & Delight at seeing him – and seeing him in size, look, manner, & intellect, quite a Captain – When He arrived Lord Spencer seemed very unmanageable, and I own I never in my life have felt more uneasiness & vexation than at the thoughts of his being thrown back.  The Duke of York interfered with a Degree of Zeal & Friendship which I never can forget.  And I have now the pleasure to learn than his interference will be effectual:  And that in a very short time Chas will be again Master & Commander .......... [he] returned to this situation of Lt. with an attention to his duty wch shows him fit for great things" and explaining the "flaw in his original commission". Of John's brother William he says "Wm leaves Charter House at Easter – and will go to Edinburgh for a year at least I think.  I took Mama & Tat to Maidstone assizes with him .........He told, when he came home, that Papa had sent a man to Jail for two years for saying the Soldiers were Rascals – The fact being that I prosecuted a man for circulating a Hand Bill among the Soldiers desiring them to imitate the Sailors – He was convicted, & Buller sentenced him to two years imprisonment", and of his brother Frederick "Fredk. has got 6 months leave of absence we shall get him off from joining till  next year – By that time he will be able Bodied & well educated.  He is a very fine fellow astonishingly amusing but a little volatile". William also reports on matters relating to the family's Blair Adam estates, and various plantings that have been undertaken. The letter has multiple folds; a small piece of paper torn from the first page border (affects about 3 words); a hole from the broken seal (2 words affected); and a piece of paper torn from the second page border where the seal was once affixed (affects a few words on side 3). See PHOTO


William Adam (1751–1839) was the son of the Scottish architect John Adam (1721–1792) and Jean Ramsay (1721–1795), and was the nephew of the architects Robert and James Adam. He became an advocate in Scotland in 1773 and was called to the English bar in 1782. In 1777 he married Eleanora  Elphinstone (1749–1808) with whom he had a daughter and five sons, the first of whom was John, the recipient of this letter.

Adam represented a number of constituencies in Parliament throughout his life. In his early political career he took a very hard line on American issues, criticizing Lord North for being too conciliatory before the outbreak of fighting (but was later to support him). Adam particularly disliked Charles James Fox, attacking him verbally in Parliament, and even fighting him in a duel (in 1779). Adam was appointed to the political office of Treasurer of the Ordnance in the period 1780 to 1783. In February 1783 he spoke and voted against peace with the United States. After that, despite his past animosity to Charles James Fox, Adam supported the Fox-North Coalition as the only way to stop Lord North's party becoming politically irrelevant.

Adam was out of parliament between 1794 and 1806 during which time he sought to advance his legal career, was appointed King’s Counsel in 1796, and developed a lucrative practice, specializing at the bar of the Commons and also the Lords. His need for money was considerable because of inherited debts from his father who died in 1792, and by 1808 was forced to borrow money to pay the debts of his eldest son, John, in India.

William’s eldest son John Adam (1779–1825) became an administrator in India, while other siblings mentioned in the letter are Charles Adam (1780-1853) who entered the navy, became an Admiral and First Sea Lord; William George Adam (1781-1839) who became a lawyer; and Frederick William Adam (1784-1853) who served in the army, became a General (he fought at Waterloo), and served as Governor of Madras.

John was educated at Charterhouse School and, following his nomination to a writership in Bengal in 1794, spent a year at Edinburgh University. He arrived in Calcutta in 1796 and spent the greater part of his career there in military and political administration. He was private as well as political secretary to the marquess of Hastings, whom he accompanied in the field during the Anglo-Maratha War of 1817–18. In 1819 Adam took up a seat on the governor-general's council and from January to August 1823 he served as acting governor-general during the interregnum between the administrations of Lord Hastings and Lord Amherst. (ODNB)



ANNESLEY, Francis (1663–1750) lawyer and politician. Autograph letter signed to the Rt Hon Edward Southwell, 2 sides of a 4to bifolium with address panel (to Southwell “at Kings Weston near Bristoll”), October 19 1721, with Bishop Mark on reverse (partly torn away by opened seal), acknowledging receipt of items sent him, and informing him that he has sent drafts of purchase deeds relating to Sir John Locke’s estate, adding at the footAre not all Locks lands wth in ye Tything of Lawrence Weston yt are now to be sold”. He goes on to detail the administration of various documents relating to the Lafferre family, and closes with observations upon the Treaty signed with Spain “The Kg has ys day told his P. ye Great things he has done in concluding ye Peace with Spain, in ye North, & with ye Moors defies his people to take ye opportunity of Peace to improve Trade, to provide -?-  fumigators to prevent ye Plague, & will dispatch to give ye necessary supplys. An Address voted to thank him for his - ?- endeavrs for ye good safety of his people, for ye great things he has done for them, & to offer him that they will give ye necessary supplys with all cheerfulness & gratitude”.  Creases to head and foot, and a hole to the blank edge where the seal was broken. PHOTO


Francis Annesley was the first son of Hon. Francis Annesley of Castlewellan, He was called to the bar in 1690 and became a bencher in 1713. A successful lawyer he also entered politics and served as MP for Preston 1705–1708, and Westbury (Wiltshire) 1708–1715. He married firstly Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Joseph Martin in 1695; secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of John Cropley of Rochester in 1732; and thirdly Sarah, daughter of William Sloane in 1737 (brother of Sir Hans Sloane). Annesley’s correspondent was the politician and government official Edward Southwell (1671–1730), amongst whose offices held was the prestigious post of secretary of state for Ireland (1703-1730).

Reference to Locke is John Locke FRS (1632 –1704), the famous English philosopher and physician, who was born and brought up in Somerset. At the time of his death he owned freehold land in Somerset which was subsequently sold.

The “Peace with Spain” referred to, was a temporary peace treaty entered into by Britain, France and Spain in June 1721, the terms of which were laid before parliament in October.



ARNOT, William (1808–1875), Free Church of Scotland minister. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 4 sides, 8vo, Glasgow, 14 November [no year, but pre-1863]. Regarding a lecture he is to give in Carlisle, commenting “I know nobody there, but I love the Dean for lecturing against tobacco”.


Arnot became associated with several nationwide evangelical causes, and lectured widely. In his autobiography he vividly recalled his first hangover, prompting no doubt his almost fanatical commitment to temperance. He probably refers in the letter to the “teetotal dean”, Francis Close, who was appointed dean of Carlisle in 1856. ODNB


BEATTY family of Lisburn, Co. Antrim. A family archive of genealogical documents and ambrotype photographs relating to the Beatty family and connected families in Northern Ireland, comprising:

  1. A fine quarter plate tinted ambrotype of an army officer, in a full leather case (hinge repaired) bearing on the bottom edge the photographer’s mark “GLYDE 12 Bridge Street” [Samuel Glyde a Belfast photographer in the 1850s]. With the ambrotype is a paper note reading “Major-General Robert Beatty Madras Native Infantry. Late 10th Native Infantry”.
  2. A 1/6 plate tinted ambrotype of a gentleman, in a decorative thermoplastic case (top lid with chipped edges). The interior brass matt has a few corrosion spots on the edge (not affecting the image). [David Beatty]
  3. A 1/6 plate tinted ambrotype of a woman, in a thermoplastic case with a shell motif (top lid with a repaired break). The interior brass matt has corrosion spots on the edge (not affecting the image). With the ambrotype is a paper note reading “? Margaret Beatty née Bell wife of David Beatty J.P.”
  4. Manuscript pedigree of Savage – Cunningham, folio bifolium
  5. Manuscript pedigree of Savage – Cunningham, (with additions) folio bifolium
  6. Manuscript pedigree of Beatty family, folio bifolium
  7. Manuscript pedigree of John Pounden of Liege 1727, folio bifolium
  8. Manuscript pedigree of Cunningham, Peers, Higginson, Beatty, on sheet 32 x 13 inches
  9. Manuscript pedigree of Beatty, Bingham, Higginson, folio bifolium
  10. Manuscript pedigree of Kings of Connaught & Ireland, folio
  11. Manuscript Story of some old Lisburn Houses during two centuries (inc family tree of Bingham & Beatty) 4 sides folio
  12. Typescript “Mrs Pounden’s experiences in the Rebellion of 1798”, 10 sides
  13. Typescript memoirs “Fighting the Boycott”, 2 sides + 6 sides
  14. Typescript “Wreck of the Palma”, 6 sides
  15. Printed Pedigree of Col James Graham & Louisa Maria Joy his wife, with manuscript insertions, on sheet 30 x 19 inches
  16. Printed Pedigree of Dawson of Kilmore Co. Monaghan 1880, folio sheet
  17. Printed Dickson Genealogy, Dublin 1868, on sheet 32 x 14 inches
  18. 9 miscellaneous single page genealogical notes (on Beatty, Pounden, Colley families)
  19. 5 letters on family history dated between 1902-1995

Several of the larger paper documents have splits along the paper folds.
To view images click on PHOTOS


The Beatty family line is the focus of this collection which includes the ambrotype photographs featuring David Beatty (1805-1884) of Lisburn and his wife Margaret née Bell (1806-1871). His father, Thomas Beatty, was a tanner, served as 1st Lieutenant in the Lisburn Yeomanry Cavalry, and was engaged in the Battle of Antrim in 1798. David Beatty followed his father’s trade as a tanner and currier in Bow Street, Lisburn, later becoming a J. P. and vice chairman of the Union Workhouse. David and Margaret Beatty’s son Robert Beatty (subject of the quarter plate ambrotype) was born in 1836, and entered the Madras Native Infantry - the ambrotype photograph was probably taken soon after he entered the regiment. Robert Beatty was promoted to Major in 1873, and rose through the ranks (see London Gazette) to Major-General, finally being transferred to the Unemployed Supernumerary List in 1893. Robert married Alice Betanna Catharine Pounden (b.1854) of Ballywalter Co. Wexford in 1875 by whom he had five sons. Robert died in 1909. The paper archive provides a wealth of genealogical information on the extended Beatty family line, and also contains some interesting reminiscences of life and events in Northern Ireland.



BERTIE, Lord Robert (1721-1782). Small archive of five Chancery documents in the case between Lord Robert Bertie and his wife Mary Lady Bertie by Bills of Revivor and Supplement, against Wyndham et al, folio, 19 sides in total, with embossed tax stamps, variously dated during 1766. Amongst the list of plaintiffs in the document of 14th July 1766, are David Garrick and Benjamin Stillingfleet, plus a wealth of other names throughout the documents, including the families of Blacknell, Blundell, Bracebridge, Huddleston, Chetwynd, Dampier, Lindon, Perrott, Ryder, Standish, Wilmot, etc. PHOTO


Lord Robert Bertie, son of Robert, first Duke of Ancaster, married the Rt Hon. Mary Baroness Dowager Raymond in 1762. He was Lord of the Bedchamber, colonel of the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusileers), and defended Admiral Byng during his trial in 1757. The impending marriage of Lord Bertie and Lady Mary Raymond, is touched upon in a letter from Horace Walpole to George Montagu, written in 1762 "We had a tempest of wind and snow for two hours beyond any thing I remember ..... Lady Raymond's house in Berkeley-square is totally unroofed; and Lord Robert Bertie, who is going to marry her, may descend into it like a Jupiter Pluvius".


Blair, John (d. 1782), Church of England clergyman and chronologist. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, 4to, Burton Coygles, Nr. Coultersworth, Lincs. September 18th 1768. Regarding a book for Dr Robertson:  "I am very sorry I have looked up in my library my copy of Nostradamus’s History of Provence which I promised to lend Dr. Robertson if he wanted it, of which he was to have acquainted with me immediately upon his going to Scotland whether he could find it in any library in Edinburgh and as he did not write me for 6 weeks after he went down, I concluded he had got it there and so did not have it out – I wrote him of this about a fortnight ago in answer to letter I had from him about it – perhaps you may find it in some of the booksellers sales which you should buy and send down to him as I believe it will be of some service to him before he prints his Introductory Volume which I think he told me he was to revise and print last. I should be glad to know from time to time how the sale of my new Edition goes on & whether the Demand continues principally for the Small Paper in which case I must come to town a little the sooner in order to have a fresh number printed off."  Narrow strip of paper adhering to back edge indicating removal from an album. The letter comes with a separate sheet of paper with four 18th century printed journal cuttings relating to Blair.


Blair was famous for his "Chronology and History of the World" first published in 1754 (leading to his election as an FRS), and a new and enlarged edition ("my new Edition") was published in 1768. The historian William Robertson spent ten years amassing his "History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth" which appeared in three quarto volumes in 1769, and as this letter refers, he was trying to locate a copy of  Histoire et chronique de Provence by Caesar de Nostradamus.(Lyon 1614), in order to complete the introduction.



Board of Trade and the Plantations. Letter signed Stamford, Ph.Meadows, J.Pulteney and Cha.Turner to the Earl of Sunderland, 2 sides folio plus integral blank, docketed on reverse, Whitehall, January 24th 1708/9, informing Sunderland that since their letter to him of the 21st they have received a letter from Mr Crow, Governor of Barbados “wherein he aquaints us that upon his Suspending Col. Sharp, Mr Walker, and Mr Beresford from the Council, there were then but 5 of the Council resident upon the Island for whch reason he had sworn in Mr Berwick and Mr Aynsworth, so that in that respect he has pursued his Instructions ……. by the same Packet we have received the Governor’s reasons for his Suspending the said three Councillors, which reason we shall consider …. had we received this Packet sooner we had not troubled you with our Last letter”. Signs of mounting to rear blank edge. An attractive document. PHOTO


A letter from Sharp, Walker and Beresford, dated 2 November 1708 giving an account of their suspension came before the Board of Trade and the Plantations on January 19th 1708/9, and the following day the Earl of Stamford communicated another letter to the Board 'from Major John Pilgrim, one of the members of Councill in Barbadoes, to his lordship, of the 2nd of November, 1708, complaining of Mr. Crow's proceeding, which was read, and directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to the Earl of Sunderland, relating to the suspension of Colonel Sharp, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Beresford, from the Council in that island’' [from ‘Journal, January 1709: Journal Book M’, Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations] . The resulting letter to the Earl of Sunderland was signed on January 21st. The Board met again on January 24th to consider a letter received from Governor Crow dated 23 September, together with a packet of related documents in Crow’s defence, and as a result drew up this letter.

Mitford Crow (1669-1719) was appointed governor of Barbados in 1706, arriving on 8 May 1707 finding the island's government ‘in the last distraction, nothing but corruption and parties’. His high-handed treatment (and eventual suspension) of several of his councillors, his dismissal of several justices and militia officers, and his attempts to end the monopoly of a small group of barristers made him many enemies, who accused him of siding with factions, possessing an arbitrary attitude, and acting as the supreme legal authority of the island. The council of trade reprimanded him twice in 1708, and in July 1709 Queen Anne sent him a letter stating her resentment of his disrespect in disobeying her order to restore the councillors. In October 1709 he was ordered to return to England to defend himself before the privy council, and left Barbados in May 1710.(ODNB)

Charles Spencer, third earl of Sunderland (1675–1722), was appointed to the cabinet as Secretary of State for the Southern Department holding office from 1706-1710. The signatories of the letter were:

Thomas Grey, second earl of Stamford (1653/4–1720), conspirator and politician. Queen Anne dismissed Stamford from his offices in 1702, but he returned to serve as first lord of the Board of Trade from 1707 to June 1711.

Sir Philip Meadows (1626-1718), diplomat. Meadows was a skilled and experienced diplomat under Cromwell’s Protectorate. He became a commissioner for the Board of Trade in 1695 and remained in office to1715 in his eighties.

John Pulteney (d.1726), politician. MP for Hastings, commissioner of customs, and member of the Board of Trade from 1706 until 1710.

Sir Charles Turner (1666-1738), politician. Teller of the Exchequer, and Member of the Board of Trade from 1708 to 1712.




BOWDITCH, Thomas Edward (1791?–1824), writer and traveller in Africa. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed lady, 1 side of a folded 4to sheet, ‘Thursday morng.’, no date or place [probably Paris 1820-1822], sending her 3 tickets for a performance or event, and 3 more for “Mrs Lefan [?] or Miss Ainslee to present to her friend Miss Sims for me with my compliments, as I have never yet been able to pay the family any of those little attentions which were due from me for their polite attention to Mrs Bowditch last year, owing to the great distance and my constant occupations”, adding that if he can procure more tickets he will send them,  “but, to tell you the truth, 6 centre tickets were more than I had a right to expect, considering the large family demands on M Cuvier’s condescension; and Gallery tickets are of no use but to simple Gentlemen and deaf ladies”. Left hand margin rather ragged with a paper backing strip on left side; head and foot of paper grubby. PHOTO


Thomas Edward Bowditch (1791?–1824), was born in Bristol, probably in 1791, the son of Thomas Bowdich, a hat manufacturer and merchant. He was educated at Bristol grammar school, and at Corsham grammar school, Wiltshire, and although intended for the bar, his father bought him into the family business. Following his marriage in 1813 to Sarah Wallis, of Colchester, his uncle secured a writership in the Royal African Company service. Stationed in Cape Coast Castle he joined an expedition to the Asante, and formed a treaty with the king of the Asante, which promised peace to the British settlements on the Gold Coast in return for commercial and political co-operation. Following his return to England in 1818 he published a detailed account of his expedition.

In 1819 he published an attack on the corruption and inefficiency of the African Company, and the ensuing controversy resulted in the transfer of the company's forts to the crown. Disappointed by his reception in London, Bowdich left for Paris, where he studied mathematics, physical science, and natural history. In Paris, eminent savants gave him a generous reception, in particular Georges Cuvier who introduced Bowditch and his wife to his circle, and gave them unlimited access to his extensive library and collections. Bowditch published extensively whilst in Paris on African travels, customs, geography and natural history, several of which works  included fine illustrations by his wife, herself an accomplished natural historian. The success of these publications enabled Bowdich and his wife to embark upon a second African expedition in 1822 via Lisbon, but after a short period of travels Bowditch succumbed to a fever whilst in Gambia, and died there in January 1824 at the early age of 33.
The published account of his last expedition was edited and illustrated by his wife (ODNB).



BRAND, John (1744–1806), antiquary and topographer. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 4to, 1 side plus integral blank (cut at the base, probably removing correspondent's name), Somerset Place, January 13th 1797, reporting that he has "obeyed your anonymous commands in offering your apology to the Society of Antiquaries of London, who ...... desire to return the unknown author their best thanks ........  my most respectful acknowledgements for the other copy presented to myself ....... which I have read with great avidity and from which I am proud to own that I have received very copious and most curious information relating to our divine poet and the state of our infant drama etc." 


Brand is best known for his Observations on the popular antiquities of Great Britain first published in 1777. He was appointed Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries in 1784, and was annually re-elected until his death in 1806.


BRAYLEY, Edward Wedlake (1773–1854), topographer and archaeologist. Autograph letter signed to his son Edward [William Brayley], 4 sides of an 8vo bifolium, Russell Institution, January 10th 1853, regarding lectures “I shall be glad to have a detailed Syllabus of your lectures - divided in accordance with the times of delivering, into your parts ……. The accompanying packet from Capt. Smyth came here about the middle of last week ……… I shall print the brief Syllabus of Dr Browne’s Lectures on Phrenology, on the same paper as yours and I shall endeavour to see him shortly in order to get him to deliver his first lecture in place of your last ………. You have seen our Advertisement in the Athenaeum re this I imagine. It was in the Daily News this day, and will be in The Times tomorrow ……. The charges are curiously variable: Athenaeum 10/-  Daily N. 16/6  Times 1 – 5.” PHOTO


Edward Wedlake Brayley was born in in 1773 in Lambeth, London. During his apprenticeship to a London enameller, he met John Britton, formed a close friendship which lasted for sixty-five years, and collaborated with him to produce illustrated volumes on topographical subjects. In 1800 Britton and Brayley became joint editors of The Beauties of England and Wales, which ran to twenty-five volumes, completed in 1816. Following his apprenticeship Brayley worked for the enameller Henry Bone, but he continued to write topographical works, and also turned his hand to fiction, poetry, geology, natural history, and other subjects, often writing with co-authors. His most important work was probably a History of Surrey (5 vols., 1841–8). He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1823, and in 1825 he was appointed librarian and secretary of the Russell Institution at 55 Great Coram Street, London, which offices he held until his death.

The Russell Institution was founded by private subscription in 1808, taking as models the Royal Institution and the London Institution, and its objects were the formation of a library and providing lectures on literary and scientific subjects. The Institution survived until the 1890s.

Dr William Browne (1805–1885) a leading advocate of phrenology, was one of the most significant asylum doctors of the nineteenth century, and was an important influence on the young Charles Darwin as a medical student in Edinburgh in 1826-1827.



BRIGHT, John (1811–1889), Radical Liberal politician and orator. Autograph letter signed by John Bright to Sir Louis Mallet, 4 sides of a bifolium, 8vo, Board of Trade, Rochdale, September 4th 1869, regarding button manufacturers’ rights ‘The “button” question is sufficiently annoying.  The act can surely only have been intended to interfere with importations which invaded individual rights of names and trade marks. I observe that the ‘opinion’ on which these rules & proceedings are based was given in the year 1843, in the times of acknowledged Protection & I suspect that our present law officers would not be disposed to give a similar opinion.’, commenting with his constituency in mind ‘I should be surprised at the memorials of the Birmingham button manufacrs., did I not know how incapable men usually are of seeing the truth when it seems to run contrary to their own interests’, and saying that the ‘question should again be brought before the Treasury & am I not without hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will reverse the decision of those who have gone before him.’ He also raises ‘the Portuguese Mine question’ saying he understands that ‘Lord Clarendon has already sent a reply both to Spain & Portugal, but one rather of postponement than of a final character.  The whole subject will necessarily come up for discussion when the Budget is under consideration.’ An interesting letter written during Bright’s brief cabinet position as President of the Board of Trade.


The subject of trade marks in the mid-19th century was fiercely debated as there were no coherent trade mark laws, resulting in many abuses of manufacturers’ rights and many legal challenges. The Merchandise Marks Act 1862 improved matters to only a limited extent, and lobbying for a registration system led to a Bill being introduced in May 1869 by John Bright, only to be withdrawn in July. An Act was eventually passed in 1875 successfully establishing a registration system for trade marks.

John Bright was born into a Quaker family at Green Bank, Rochdale, Lancashire, in 1811, the second son of Jacob Bright (1775–1851) and Martha Bright, née Wood (1788/9–1830). A skilled orator, Bright became MP for Durham in 1843, and made an immediate impact in parliament, working closely with Richard Cobden with whom he founded the Ant-Corn Law League. He was a strong advocate of many reform issues, including parliamentary reform, and went on to serve as MP for Manchester (1847-1857), then Birmingham from 1858 until his death in 1889. In 1868 Gladstone offered him the cabinet position as President of the Board of Trade, but he had to resign by December 1870 through ill health. He served twice again in Gladstone cabinets as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1873–74 and 1880–82).

Bright’s correspondent Sir Louis Mallet (1823 –1890) was a civil servant and economist who was a strong advocate of free trade. After eight years in the Audit Office he transferred in 1847 to the Board of Trade where he became private secretary to the President of the Board. An assistant commissioner under Richard Cobden in 1860, he became an enthusiastic proponent of Cobden's ideas and was launched into diplomatic work, resulting in some sixty commercial treaties in Europe. Cobden's death in 1865 left him the principal authority on commercial policy, and the chief official representative of free-trade opinion. (ODNB)


BRITTON, John (1771–1857), antiquary and topographer. Autograph letter signed in third person to Miss Innes, 8vo, 1 side of a bifolium with blank addressed to “Miss Innes  Gt Queen St”, April 2 1829, apologising that he has not yet had time “to devote to her essay; & from the pressure of his engagements will not be able to read it in less than 2 or 3 weeks” but adds that he is anxious to do something to forward her views and promote her interest when he can. On the address panel a pencil written list of 9 place names. Piece of paper torn from the integral blank from the broken seal, and two mounting marks on the blank.


John Britton is best known for his topographical publications, not least The Beauties of England and Wales written with Edward Brayley and others, which ran to twenty-seven bound volumes and took twenty years to complete. Other major undertakings include his Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain (9 vols., 1805–1814) and Cathedral Antiquities of England (14 vols., 1814–1835), amongst many other fine works. In 1845 a Britton Club was formed, and a sum of £1000 was subscribed and given to Britton, who was subsequently granted a civil list pension by Disraeli, then chancellor of the exchequer.

There is just a chance that Britton’s correspondent was Miss Maria Innes (1795-1880) who with her sisters Anne and Eliza produced in 1827-1829 The Annual Peerage under the name of the herald Edmund Lodge (1756-1839).


BRYANT, Jacob (bap. 1717, d. 1804), antiquary and classical scholar. Autograph letter signed to Jacob Bryant, 3 sides, with address panel with armorial wax seal and interesting postal franks (inc. Windsor mileage handstamp), 4to, Windsor, 23 August 1804. Commenting upon his nephew’s plans and prospects; giving news of (royal) neighbours and friends; and reflecting upon his advanced years: “I grow weaker continually, so that I am not able to dine out, when requested by my noble neighbours …….. It was not in my power to attend the celebrity in my neihbourhood at the Elections which I never before neglected for sixty years ……. I must now quit the stage, which I shall do with proper gratitude, and without any apprehension or reluctance.” Piece of paper torn away by seal (not affecting text), and fold repaired (where removed from an album?).


Following work as a private tutor, Bryant was appointed in 1756 secretary to Charles Spencer, third duke of Marlborough, accompanying him to Germany in 1758, where the duke died suddenly. On his return to England, the Marlborough family generously provided Bryant with a sizeable income, living quarters at Blenheim, and use of their famous library. Having attained financial independence, Bryant devoted the rest of his long life to arcane researches, book collecting, and authorship. In his later years Bryant lived at Cypenham in Farnham Royal, near Windsor, where George III often visited him for the sake of his conversation, which was said to be pleasing, instructive, and slyly humorous. Some eleven weeks after writing this letter, Bryant injured a leg while reaching for a book in his library, developed an unstoppable infection, and died of gangrene on 14 November 1804. ODNB


Burdett-Coutts, Angela Georgina  (1814–1906), philanthropist. Autograph letter signed to Mr. Dalton, 3 sides, 16mo, Stratton St., May 22 1871. Regarding Queen Victoria's intention to confer a peerage upon her : "I was very sensible of your sincere and friendly feelings on hearing the Queen’s intention to confer a Peerage and know the testimonial inscription will link my title with an heredity endowed to me by long association & the ever ready and unfailing kindness of my neighbours amongst whom I hope very shortly to find myself ", and closes sending Mrs Brown's regards (her former governess, companion and friend Hannah Brown).


A close friend of Dickens and Wellington, Angela Burdett-Coutts spent much of her life distributing her fortune to good causes and projects, in which she maintained a deep interest. The good work that she achieved as a philanthropist was acknowledged when on 26 May 1871 she formally became Baroness Burdett-Coutts of Highgate and Brookfield, Middlesex, the first woman to be raised to the peerage in her own right. The letter is probably to the Rev. Charles Browne Dalton (1811-1893), who was the vicar of Highgate Church from 1854 to1878.


Burke, John (1786–1848), author and genealogist. Autograph letter, signature cut out, to Sir Samuel Edgerton-Brydges at Geneva. 4 sides, 4to, with integral franked address panel, New Burlington St, 8th March 1830. Regarding genealogy, and news of state and literary matters. "I am proceeding with the Extinct Peerage and hope to have it ready for the press within a few months ...... In reference to the last edition of my Peerage and Baronetage, I must throw myself entirely upon your mercy, for I am quite aware that it falls infinitely short of my sting like perfection ...... I shall feel myself much benefited by your judicious suggestions, and I beg that your observations may be free, for I have none of the irritability of authorship about me, and I court criticism because I am anxious to profit by it ...... In Ireland Lord George Beresford has just been returned for the County of Waterford upon the Catholic interest, in opposition to a Catholic candidate ....... Moore’s Byron is the only work of consequence which has appeared ........ The genius of a lyric poet is seldom of that nervous character required to develop the deeds of a great mind or of a great nation: and Moore’s Sheridan too clearly evinced how little he was qualified for this species of writing." The cut signature affects 3 lines of text on the reverse side, and a small piece of paper has been detached by the broken seal.


Burke is noted for his "General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom" first published in 1826, and a series of other classic works, many prepared with his son. In the letter he refers to the 3rd edition of 1830, and to his forthcoming "General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland and Scotland, Extinct, Dormant and in Abeyance", which was published in 1831. His correspondent Sir Samuel Edgerton-Brydges (1762-1837), was an author, literary editor and genealogist, who from 1818 resided on the European mainland. Something of an eccentric, he was known to Jane Austen, whose brother James had courted Brydges' younger sister. Sir Samuel and Jane had little respect for one another, and she said of one of his novels “Never did any book carry more internal evidence of its author.”



BURTON, Catherine née BAXTER (c1725-1782). Autograph letter signed to her brother Robert Baxter Esq, Furnival’s Inn, London, 4to, 2 sides (portion of blank second leaf missing) with seal and Bishop marks, Tuam [Co. Galway] August 16 1776, admonishing her brother for not having heard from him or her nephew  "we have never had a letter from any of you or the Family at Atherstone a long time. Mr Burton & I are very uneasy & take it very ill, it is 8 or 9 months since we had the favour of a letter from any of our Relations.  Sure you have forgot we are in the land of the living.  I sopose you thought we was numberd with the Dead & their was an end of us". On local matters she reports that "the Arch Bishop has been hear 5 weeks he has shone us every civility in his power & has given us the most affect & Frendly invitation to stay in his palace till our new House is Dry & fit for me to live in ...... Dean Ryder is to be in Ireland before the 29 of September Captain Dobs being chose the chief magistrate at Carrackfergus ...." and says that "Mr. Burton will be vastly obliged to you to order 3 Hogsheads of porter for him this is the time of the year for the vessels to come from London to Galway".


Catherine Baxter of Atherstone, Warwickshire married in 1763 Edmund Burton (1737-1817), curate of Toddingham, Bedfordshire. In the late 1760s Catherine, Edmund and his brother Edward moved to the west of Ireland, where Edmund was made curate of Kiltullagh Parish, which was in the patronage of Catherine's uncle John Ryder (of Nuneaton, Warwickshire), the archbishop of Tuam, Co Galway. In 1771 Edmund became archdeacon of St Mary's Cathedral, Tuam, a position he held until 1805. John Ryder died in 1775, and the archbishop was replaced by Dr Browne. The Burtons remained residents in the archbishop's Palace until their new house was completed in 1782. Catherin'e brother-in-law Edward Burton became vicar of Annaghdown, and it was his son Joseph Netterville Burton who was the father of the explorer Sir Richard Burton - past historians incorrectly cited Edmund as Sir Richard Burton's grandfather (in fact his great-uncle).



BUTCHER, Samuel Henry (1850–1910), classical scholar and politician. Two autograph letters signed to ‘Sir Robert’, on headed 8vo paper, 6 Tavistock Squere, W.C., the first 4 sides of a bifolium, 6th August 1907, and the second 3 sides of a bifolium, 10th August 1907. In the first letter Butcher refers to Sir Robert’s views concerning proposed Irish land reforms saying his only criticisms are that:

“1. Any terms for compulsory purchase that one could conceive of as being embodied in precise legislative enactment (This House of Commons would be ruinous) unfair to landlords.  I honestly think that bad as it is to be placed at the mercy of the estates Commissioners, this Parliament would be still more inequitable. 

 2. Would all round compulsion be in any case a feasible policy just now - whatever the terms, good or bad -  looking to the financial situation & the enormous arrears to be  made up in issuing of applications wh. have been sent in.  Ahead of the willingness help to sell has immensely outrun the power of providing funds.

........ the moment is, I fear, too late to consider any alternative methods of dealing with the Bill in the H. of L.  Certain amendments have been decided on after Considerable Consultation; only after, if I rightly understand, but on these few the lords intend to take a firm stand.  The two main ones are the right of Appeal & the protection of the 'planters'.  If I were to venture on a forecast it wd be that the Govt. may give way on the Appeal question, but that their pledges to the nationalists make it impossible for them to yield on the other point.”

In the second letter Butcher thanks Sir Robert for his explanatory remarks on his earlier letter which “go far to meet my difficulties, & I much regret that The Times did not see fit to give publicity to the suggestion”, and on the subject of “The next general Election” comments  Truly, as you say, everything wd depend upon the result of that.  I own I view it with deep misgivings.  The Govt., I imagine, intend to appeal to the Country next year, probably in the late autumn.  There are as yet no signs of any effective Conservative reaction, for we can't take comfort from Socialist victories.  But even if we were to win 100 seats - which is a stretch of imagination - the Govt. (or Govt. + Labour + Irish, all equally hostile to the Irish Unionists) wd still have a majority of some 160, which wd give them ample power for evil.

 The two letters £50

Samuel Henry Butcher was born in Dublin in 1850, the son of Samuel Butcher (1811–1876), professor of ecclesiastical history at Trinity College, and later bishop of Meath. Butcher studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a lecturer for a short period before moving to Oxford University, after which he obtained the chair of Greek at Edinburgh University where he became drawn into politics. He resigned from Edinburgh in 1903, moved to London and in 1906 became Conservative MP for Cambridge University. As an MP, Butcher expended much effort on educational and Irish questions.

The Conservatives had brought in a land purchase act in 1903 to help Irish tenants purchase land (the so called Wyndham Land Purchase Act), but there remained the need to address the question of the compulsory purchase of tenanted land which had to await the passing of the Land Purchase (Ireland) Act 1909, carried by Augustine Birrell under the Liberal government of H.H. Asquith.


Caledon,  Du Pre Alexander, second earl of (1777–1839), politician and colonial administrator. Autograph letter (third person) signed to Mr.Harrison, 2 sides, 8vo, St. James’ Square, 21st February 1823. Returning papers on the state of slavery at the Cape of Good Hope. "He is not aware of being able to offer the Committee any information of assistance but he can not avoid feeling some distrust of Mr. Parker as he knows that there is a strong impression on his part that he has been ill used by the individual to whom he alludes and this has evidently had its influence in the representation that has been made." Second page has an old glue line, indicating removal from an album.


Caledon obtained a seat in the House of Lords in 1804 as one of the twenty-eight Irish representative peers. He was successful in 1806 in his application to the Prime Minister in obtaining the post of Governor of Cape Colony, which he occupied until 1811, and where he introduced controversial measures in attempts to pacify relations between colonists and native black Africans. He afterwards returned to his seat in Westminster. Despite the Slave Trade Act of 1807, slaves continued to be held, although were not sold within the British Empire. The abolitionist movement became active again in the 1820s, leading to the foundation of the Anti-Slavery Society in 1827, and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, outlawing all slavery in the British Colonies.


CAMPBELL, Hugh Hume, third earl of Marchmont (1708–1794), politician. Autograph letter signed 'Marchmont' to an unnamed correspondent, 1 side 4to, London 24 Decr 1777, explaining that a sever illness has kept him in London all summer,  "I have heard nothing from Mr. Cockburn concerning your pedigree .............. Sir Geo. Home is a Leiutenant in a man of war in America.  Others may entertain jealousies, but Mr. Cockburn ought to inform you how things stand.  I believe whatever pedigree may be made nothing lucrative can follow after so long a time in neglect". Light browning to areas of text, and the reverse with old mounting marks.


Marchmont was one of the leading agricultural improvers of his time, who devoted considerable energies in developing his Berwickshire estates. He was widely read, an expert on horsemanship, and was an intimate of Alexander Pope and Sarah, duchess of Marlborough (ODNB).



CHEDWORTH  -  Howe, John, fourth Baron Chedworth (1754–1804), eccentric. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent ‘Dear Madam’, 4 sides 4to, no date [1802], apologizing for his late reply having been away from home, and responding to questions she raised; commenting upon recent elections in Norfolk; and detailing a visit to the Earl of Bristol’s mansion Ickworth House:-

“I do not know that I am able to give an account of the Turk's Tribute which you will think satisfactory.  Mahomet laid it down as a Fundamental of his law that all the World sh'd pay him Tribute: this, I suppose, was exacted by his successors & was paid with the utmost scrupulosity by the Musselmen from religious Motives.  This w'd I think suffic tly explain the performance: but I confess I never thought much about the Passage & if this be not the true Explanation to give one.  & I have had no Opportunity of consulting any body on this Point & the Books are silent.”……… 

“Sir Frs. Burdett's triumph seems to have been a very formidable one.  I am however inclin'd to believe that it will not be lasting, as from what I understand it seems probable that he will be disseated ………. He is, I believe a very violent visionary Gentleman, & more likely to hurt than to serve the side he espouses …..…  You know probably that the scrutiny for the county of Norfolk is still going on at Norwich …. The last Acct. I had was that Sir J. Astley's Majority over Col Wodehouse was considerably increas'd ……..  I had yesterday a visit from Mr. Smith the new Member for Norwich [1802] when pass'd through in his way from that City.  I confess I rejoic'd much at the exclusion of Mr. Windham, whose Apostacy & excessive Violence I abhor”.

While I was from home I visited Ld Bristol's new Erection at Ickworth …….I was much pleas'd with the Paintings in the old House & you will believe that I was particularly gratified by finding in one Apartment Portraits of Milton, Addison, Arbuthnot, Congreve, Prior, Voltaire, & Rousseau, which the Housekeeper said were Originals, whether truly or not I doubt.  There were 2 very old heads which She said were Petrarch & Laura …….. Ld. Hervey's Picture was among those of the family: I mean the famous ld. Hervey who was Pope's Sporus …… There was a Picture of which I much wish'd from an Explanation: it was a group of Statesmen, in the Dress of the early Part of the last Century  (I mean the Time of Q. Anne or George 1st) who are amusing themselves with looking at Plans of Architecture &d while a Clergyman in full Canonicals is standing on a chair behind them & looking over their Heads through a spying glass: one of the company who sits before him is slily pushing behind him his with his Cane at the Chair on which the Clergyman stands & has already tilted it, so that his reverence is in Danger of falling.  The Figures are manifestly portraits.  The housekeeper pretended to give an Explanation of it, but it was manifestly so erroneous that I was convinc'd she knew nothing at all about the Matter”.


John Howe, fourth Baron Chedworth, was born in 1754, the second and only surviving child of the Revd Thomas Howe (1716–1776), rector of Great Wishford and Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire, and his wife, Frances White. Educated at Harrow School, he matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford in 1772 and left after three years' residence without taking a degree. Upon the death of his uncle in 1781 he succeeded to the title and estates, but continued to live in Suffolk and took no interest in Stowell Park, the family seat in Gloucestershire. Of peculiar appearance and negligent in his dress, Chedworth was singled out as an eccentric, and rejected fashionable society, frequenting theatres and racecourses. He never married but had many women friends.(ODNB)

Chedworth’s comments upon the elections allows us to date this letter to 1802. ‘Mr. Smith the new Member for Norwich’ was the politician William Smith (1756 – 1835), who in 1802 successfully stood as MP for Norwich, defeating the Whig politician William Windham (1750 –1810). Furthermore, Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) won a seat for the county of Middlesex in 1802, although this was short-lived (as predicted by Chedworth) as the election was subsequently voided.

The reference to the ‘Turk’s Tribute’ possibly alludes to the subject found in Shakespeare's Othello, whose works Chedworth took a special interest in, leaving behind Notes upon some of the Obscure Passages in Shakespeare's Plays, published posthumously in 1805. Chedworth was in regular correspondence with the actress Elizabeth Edmead on the subject of plays at this time (1802). She had performed for some years in Norwich in the 1790s (Chedworth was a benefactor of the Norwich Theatre), and it is quite likely that this letter is to her. Chedworth left Elizabeth Mead £1,300 in his will.

Chedworth’s visit to Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds the home of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), is interesting for the commentary upon the pictures he saw on his visit. At the time of Chedworth’s visit the collections were still in the old house, but major new additions to the earl’s designs were begun in 1795. The earl died in 1803, just a year after Chedworth’s visit, and the house was completed by his successors. The collections in the house included some very fine works by the old masters, and some particularly fine 18th century portraits of the family. The painting of the group of Statesmen that Chedworth took a special interest in was in fact William Hogarth’s famous conversation piece The Holland House Group painted in 1738 which features the fourth earl.


CLARKE, Edward Daniel (1769–1822), antiquary and mineralogist. Three autograph letters from Edward Daniel Clarke, plus a note, to Clarke’s publishers Cadell & Davies as follows:

1. Edward Daniel Clarke, autograph letter signed addressed “Gentlemen”, one side, 4to, Cambridge, April 21st 1816, saying that he had “mentioned to Mr Watts that we have never received Mrs Clarke’s copy of the last Volume of my Travels: the only one to which I am intitled; but having no news of it, I have thought it best to write to you.” He adds that he has “two small Paper copies, which Mr Mathew[?] sent previously to publication, and which belong to you”. Paper edges browned and partly frayed, with a stab hole to centre.

2. Edward Daniel Clarke, autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, 4to, Cambridge, January 22nd 1821, bearing instructions “to forward the copies which accompany this, of my “Address” etc, to the following Persons. One to each”, in which he lists the King “to be delivered at Carlton Palace, to my brother the Librarian to his Majesty”; the Archbishop of Canterbury; Lord Liverpool; the Lord Chancellor; Lord Palmerston and Mr Smyth, Member for the University. He adds “What has become of Mr Watts? No Proof has been sent for a long time.” Top of page slightly cut down, with circular stain, paper edges browned and partly frayed, with a stab hole to centre.

3. Edward Daniel Clarke, autograph letter in third person, no date, asking Mr Cadell & Davies to send “to the Revd Mr Kaye[?] at his son’s a Grocer in Ralph[?] St Covent Garden the Copy of the last Vol. of the Travels which Dr Clarke intended for his brother.” Stab hole to centre.

4. Wm.[?] Clarke, autograph note signed to Messrs Cadell & Davies, N.Bond St, January 25th [no year] requesting delivery of “one copy small paper of Clarke’s Travels vol. 4”. Stab hole to centre. [Possibly the New Bond Street bookseller William Clarke d 1820].

Click here to see PHOTO


Upon graduating MA from Cambridge in 1794 Edward Daniel Clarke travelled widely in Europe, Russia and the Near East where he engaged in collecting minerals, antiquities and coins. He was appointed as the first professor of mineralogy at Cambridge in 1809, and he spent much time in his remaining years working with his collections and upon his Travels, published by Cadell & Davies in 6 volumes between 1810 and 1823.

A prolific author, he also published various other books and pamphlets, and some twenty-eight papers in learned journals, dealing with antiquities, chemistry and mineralogy. Clarke was a co-founder of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (founded 1819), and was invited by its Council to write an Address to be read at its first meeting, which was published and circulated with the first volume of its Transactions. This publication and instructions for its circulation are the subject of the letter (item 2) above.



CRAGGS, James, the younger (1686–1721), diplomatist and politician. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, small 4to, Thursday April 11th 1717, regarding a position as Commissioner in the Treasury: "The very extraordinary manner in wch so many of ye King’s servants have abandoned his service make it necessary for him to employ men of ye best characters & principles he can meet wth. As he can never choose better than in pitching upon you & yt he intends to put Mr Stanhope at ye head of ye Treasury, I am commissioned to offer you a place in ye new patent". He expresses the hope that "ye distress of affairs from ye divisions among us will rather incite than discourage you from entering into ye M’s service, since no necessity can make him think of changing those measures wch have hitherto been agreeable to ye Whigs" and begs his correspondent "to look on this as a private letter as a mark of my real value for you & yt you would show it to nobody." Neat paper repairs to vertical creases on reverse.


James Craggs the younger was the son of the politician and government official James Craggs (bap. 1657, d. 1721). In 1713 he became member of parliament for Tregony, and on 15th April 1717 Secretary of State at War (2 days after this letter was written). The letter is associated with critical changes in the ministry which George I found necessary having a cabinet deeply divided on foreign policy, with Robert Walpole (1676–1745) and Lord Townsend (1674–1738) on one side, and James Stanhope (1673–1721) and Lord Sunderland (1675–1722) on the other. Townshend occupied the post of Northern Secretary, but was forced at the end of 1716 to give this up for the lesser appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Townshend was dismissed from the latter post on 9th April 1717 upon voting against the Mutiny Bill, following which Robert Walpole resigned as First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer on 10th April 1717. This led to the formation of a new cabinet created on 15th April 1717, dominated by Stanhope who replaced Walpole, and Sunderland who succeeded Townshend as secretary of state for the north. The present letter sought to fill a Treasury Commissioner post under Stanhope, of which the new appointees were the politicians John Wallop (1690–1762), George Baillie, George (1664–1738), and Thomas Micklethwaite (1678-1718), one of whom is likely to be Craggs' correspondent. (see ODNB)


DENMAN, Thomas, first Baron Denman (1779–1854), lawyer, judge and politician. Autograph letter in third person to Mr [Edmund] Lodge, no place, no date [1832-39], 8vo, 4 sides of a bifolium, apologising for not having answered his letter earlier regarding the pedigree and arms of the Denman family which “is to be found in Thornton’s History of Notts - one branch of which (connecting them with high personages) was lost in females about the middle of the 17th century .” He writes that he believes that he probably descends “from some other branch, though the descent cannot be traced, for his grandfather came from that county & neighbourhood (near Retford) & settled as an apothecary at Bakewell in Derbyshire, & was the father of Joseph, MD, who practiced at Buxton ….. died JP in his 83rd yr in 1812, & of Thos. MD, many years well known in London, the C[hief] J[ustice]’s father. He married Elizth Brodie (sister of the Rev Peter Bellinger Brodie, whose 3rd son, the eminent surgeon has just been made a Bart., had 2 daughters (twins, Margaret, married to Sir Rd Croft, Bart. & Sophia, married to Matthew Baillie MD) & one son, the C.J. born Feb 23, 1779. Dr Thomas D died in his 83rd year 25 Nov 1815.”


Thomas Denman was born on 23 February 1779 in London, the only son and youngest of the three children of Thomas Denman (1733–1815), a distinguished physician whose textbook on midwifery was an eighteenth-century best-seller, and his wife, Elizabeth (1747–1833), daughter of Alexander Brodie, an army accoutrement maker (ODNB). Denman was a distinguished barrister; was MP for Wareham and Nottingham; was made Common Serjeant of London in 1822; became Attorney General in 1830; and was made Lord Chief Justice of England of the King’s Bench in 1832. In 1834 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Denman, of Dovedale in the County of Derby.

Edmund Lodge (1756–1839) was a herald and biographer. He obtained in 1782 the post of Bluemantle pursuivant-at-arms in the College of Arms, and was to spend the rest of his career as a herald and a genealogist. He rose through the ranks of the College of Arms, becoming Lancaster herald in 1793 and Norroy king of arms in 1822. His career as a herald was crowned when he was promoted to Clarenceux king of arms, the second in command at the College of Arms, in 1838. (ODNB).



DUNDAS, Henry, first Viscount Melville (1742–1811), politician. Letter signed to Chas. W. Dilke, Navy Pay Office, 22nd May 1797, 3 sides folio, heavily criticizing Dilke for not attending properly to matters in the Pay Office "I find my Paymaster has written repeatedly to you respecting the delay in dispatching the Business sent to you from the Inspectors Branch of my Office. I beg to acquaint you that I have requested the Navy Board to write upon this subject to Commissioner Saxton and to recommend that no Claim shall be solved at any time or paid to any Agent until all Claims are finished which you may then have in your hands from the Inspectors Branch ............... I now inform you of the necessity of exerting your Authority over the junior Clerks whom you shall appoint to make out the Remittance Bills, as I shall not admit any excuse whatever on your part - you may remove any of them from their Situation if you find it necessary ................... I shall hold you responsible to me for the due execution of this particular Business and will not allow the necessity of retaining you in your present Situation if the Claims from the Inspectors Branch shall not be duly cleared off and dispatched previous to any payment being made to any Agent or Officers or others......". Docketed on the reverse. Top (blank) areas of paper soiled with small tears.


Dundas served as treasurer of the Admiralty between 1782-1800, and was also Secretary of State for War. The Paymaster referred to was Alexander Trotter, who Dundas had appointed in 1785, and the recipient of this letter was Charles Wentworth Dilke (1742/3–1826) a chief clerk in the paymaster branch of the Admiralty (and a literary critic).

In 1802 a commission of inquiry into the Navy's finances was appointed, following which suspicion arose as to the financial management of the Admiralty during Dundas's term as treasurer. The commission reported its findings in 1805, resulting in 1806 in the impeachment of Dundas, now Viscount Melville, for the misappropriation of public money. It found out in particular that Melville had not, as required, kept at the Bank of England official disbursements allocated to him though not yet spent. Since he refused to co-operate in showing where else they had gone, the focus of the investigation switched to his subordinate, Alexander Trotter, paymaster of the navy. Trotter eventually admitted to having drawn money from the bank and laid it out in investments of his own, a practice by no means uncommon among public servants at the time, if in this case expressly prohibited by law. Though it ended in an acquittal for Melville, and nothing more than formal negligence lay against him, he never again held office. This was the last impeachment trial ever held in the House of Lords. (ODNB)


Eardley [formerly Smith], Sir Culling, third baronet (1805–1863), religious campaigner. Autograph letter signed to Rev W. Bevan", 4 sides, 4to, including integral address panel, on a sheet of paper part printed, entitled "Opinions of Public Men on National Support to Roman Catholic Schools" (with 5 quoted paragraphs in small print), Aix-les-Bains, France, August 16th 1847. Letting Bevan know about his movements, and discussing church affairs on the Continent and in Britain. "You have my warmest and most affectionate wishes for your success in your new post. I think I don’t exaggerate when I say that there is none in Europe more likely to be influential in the destinies of the Church. With His divine blessings and wise councils I believe you may be the means of reforming Christendom. One great thing needed is that the the Continent should be helped to help itself." Integral address panel with interesting postal marks. Strip of old gummed paper on reverse edge, indicating removal from an album.


After a short period in politics, Eardley found his calling as a lay leader of interdenominational and international evangelicalism. His conviction that all true Christians should be united led him in 1845–6 to be a prime mover in the foundation of the Evangelical Alliance, becoming chairman of its council.


ELDON, John Scott, second earl (1805-1854) grandson of Lord Chancellor Eldon (1751–1838). Autograph letter signed to Dr.Bliss, Oxford,  4to, 3 sides plus address panel (with interesting postal marks) and seal, Shirley, Croydon, March 18th 1839. Seeking Dr Bliss's advice on the office of "High Steward" conferred to his grandfather by Oxford University, for his monument and publication of his life. "I am not a little surprised to find that the Office commonly called that of “High Steward” of the University of Oxford is strictly “Steward” .......... I trouble you with these observations to enquire whether the name of the office has been altered in there modern days .......... Had Lord Eldon .. the right of voting as a Doctor (I know he was a Master also), & is this what is called a Degree by diploma or not". Small piece of paper cut from edge to open seal, and remains of paper adhering to back edge indicating removal from an album pagePHOTO


The monument of Lord Chancellor Eldon which his grandson refers to was designed by Sir Francis Chantrey and erected in 1839 at Kingston Chapel, Corfe Castle, Dorset. Dr Philip Bliss (1787–1857), antiquary and book collector, was registrar of Oxford university, and keeper of the archives, "a post in which his penchant for accumulation seems to have impeded administrative efficiency" (ODNB).


ELLENBOROUGH, Edward Law, first earl of (1790–1871), politician and governor-general of India. Autograph letter signed, to Major General Sir Philip M. Melville, 2 sides, 8vo, Southam Delabere, Cheltenham, January 4th 1866. Thanking him for his "Memorials from the Officers of the Indian Army", adding "There is another subject which ought to occupy the -?- attention of the Govr. that of facilitating and inducing the transfer of officers from the Queen’s to the Indian Service this a matter of vital importance." Narrow strip of paper adhering to reverse edge indicating removal from an album page


Prior to the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Ellenborough had urged Canning not to reduce the strength of European troops in India, which were being reduced to support the Crimea campaign. He sacrificed his own post in government in urging restraint after the Mutiny, but it paid off in the passing of a royal proclamation of November 1858, with its offer of a wide-ranging amnesty and promises to respect the rights and beliefs of Indians.



FALLOWES, Thomas (fl 1700-1714) quack and madhouse proprietor. Autograph letter signed from Thomas Fallowes to his uncle Benja[min] Trigg, ‘at Mr John Hardings at his house called Needles at Horsham Townes end Sussex’, Lambeth Marsh 9th July 1706, 1 side folio (12 inches high) bifolium with (soiled) address panel bearing a Dockwra post mark. A few small holes to paper cross-folds, and a piece of paper torn from integral blank opposite the seal. In reply to a letter from his uncle Fallowes writes a defensive diatribe in relation to his actions “How many miles have I rode, and what expense have I been at, to serve a people so base in principle, without faith, or good works, whose Religeon is only Smoking, and Sleeping and then Rising, to see how they can redicule even their best friends ………….. as for my part, I have no Sinister end, nor design but purely to Serve my friends, and Relations, howsoever to be thus treated, is the highest piece of ingratitude, now what charge I have put your Relations to, I cannot tell, but it hath cost me Six pence, to their Two pence, and I am no way Interessed in the affair, and you all know better, than to murmur, for you to charge the best of Lawyers with ill management, I think not prudent; for in short he is a friend to all, and an Enemy to none, however he will answer for himself”. The exact matter in question is not clear, but he adds “I Pray call on Robert Parsons next week, and he will answer your Necessity.  I was obliged to wait on the Queen that day, I should have mett you at Frunsum [Fensham, Surrey?]”. PHOTO


Thomas Fallowes, a self appointed ‘M.D’, was famously the proprietor of the private madhouse at Lambeth Marsh during the reign of Queen Anne. In 1705 he published The Best Method for the Cure of Lunaticks, with Some Account of the Incomparable Oleum Cephalicum Used in the Same, Prepared and Administered by Tho. Fallowes, at His House in Lambeth-Marsh. Fallowes professed to be an advocate of non-restraint, stating "all the gentleness and and kindness is absolutely necessary, even in all the cases I have seen ……. I have never us’d any violence to any patient”, and at the same time ‘cashed in’ by advocating his Oleum Cepalicum (‘at four Pound a quart’) which was applied to blisters raised on the scalp. Despite his advocacy of non-restraint Fallowes was the first mad-doctor to be convicted for illegal confinement. The following announcement was published in the London Gazette 24 January 1712:

Whereas it was advertised in the Gazette of the 23d of August last (and in several other Papers) that whoever should Apprehend Thomas Fallows, late of Lambeth Marsh in the County of Surry, with a Woman a Boy as therein described, so as to deliver them to John Plumeridge, Shipwright, or John. Alderman, at Queenhith, Cheesemonger, should have 10l, Reward, since which time the Woman and Boy being returned, the said John Alderman doth hereby advertise that he will not pay any Reward for Apprehending the said Fallows.

Fallowes’ uncle Benjamin Trigg may possibly be related to the infamous William Trigg (fl.1630-1656) and his son Stephen Trigg (fl. 1660-1690), both of whom were unlicensed medical practitioners in London.


FISHER, Thomas (1772–1836), artist and antiquary. Autograph letter signed to ‘My Dear Friend’ [John Gough Nichols], 4 sides of a bifolium, 8vo, Glos’ter Terrace., Nov 21 1835, informing him that “the most alarming symptoms in my sister’s illness are considerably abated” and reporting on antiquarian projects “I have been looking through my Stratford papers & found that I have a copy of the Charter of Henry 6th, & the inventory of the Gild property of that date, as well as the indenture about the coals ……these with Myngham the first Mayor of Rochester  will nearly make you a number of the Collectanea; & if you think you should like to use them , let me know & I will bring them all to Parliament Street ……. While I was in Kent I made drawings of Sutton Castle, & of Motynden & brought with me an impression of the seal of the sub conservator …… these may be of use to you for the Magazine ….. I hope to get forward with the services & to give you Martins Colonies; Missions; & China & other Foreign Policies for next month ….[plus reference to writing another article, not easily readable]. Couple of small losses to paper edges.


Fisher is best-known for drawings recording interior church monuments, while most of his literary work was published in the Gentleman's Magazine. His account of the Stratford guild appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1835, and a reprint by John Gough Nichols of his Stratford illustrations with some additional plates was published the following year, after his death. He was a regular contributor until his death but many of his book reviews and memoirs were published anonymously and can only be identified from the publisher's files. He wrote several memoirs of Anglo-Indians and missionaries, and was said to have been a frequent contributor to the Asiatic Journal, and the European Magazine occasionally published items from him.

Fisher never married and lived for most of his life with his sister Jane in the Hoxton district of Shoreditch, London, from at least 1804 until about 1820, and then at 6 Gloucester Terrace. Fisher died at Stoke Newington, Middlesex. His extensive collection of drawings, prints, and books was sold by auction (at Southgates on 15 March and from 31 August, and by Evans from 30 May 1837) and dispersed. (ODNB)

Fisher’s correspondent was John Gough Nichols (1806–1873), a printer and antiquary, and a member of a family of printers and publishers known for their books on local history and antiquarian scholarship. Nichols was at this time a joint editor of the Gentleman's Magazine, and was founding editor of the Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica 1834–43 (the Collectanea are mentioned in the letter).  He was himself a prolific author of antiquarian publications. (ODNB)


FITTON, William Henry (1780-1861), physician and geologist. Autograph letter signed to Hutton, 53 Upper Harley St., 30th December 1841, 4 sides, small 8vo (9 x 11 cm), telling him that he has “ventured to detain the very interesting papers about Wolfe’s glorious lines – till Tuesday evening when I will return them in person at Putney Park. - & with them I will bring also your Phillips the wandering of which I cannot account for. – It is several weeks now since I left the book for you, at the Geological Society……. I wished to show ….. the Poem to Mr J. Carrick Moore (a nephew of Sir John’s) to whom you will imagine that they - & the facsimile – are of the highest interest . They will be carefully returned to me. I am about to write to Mr (or Dr) Lloyd – see R.T.A. – to ask whether a copy can be obtained for the family.” The letter closes with a P.S. of  six lines to Miss Hutton. Slight traces of mounting on folded edge.


Possibly written to the geologist William Hutton (1796-1860), who never married but had several sisters (ie possibly “Miss Hutton”), the subject of the letter is mainly devoted to Charles Wolfe’s elegiac ode, ‘The Burial of Sir John Moore’, which became immensely popular throughout the early to mid-nineteenth century. James Moore Carrick-Moore (1762–1860) was famous for his 1833 biography of his elder brother, Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, who died at the battle of Corunna in 1809.


GREEN, John Richard (1837-1883) historian. Autograph letter signed to J.S.Brewer, 4 sides of an 8vo bifolium, 4 Beaumont St. W., January 28 1876, thanking him for his book “I hardly know how to pardon myself for not at once thanking you for the gift of your “Introduction”.  Still the delay has let me run through the book from the Divorce to its close; and so given me a pleasure which I get from few books of history now-a-days.  I had always longed that the world should open its eyes to your power – using a power almost unique amongst our historical authors, of cautioning the most minute & accurate research with a rare literary ability and skill in parsing and presentment, as well as of holding together what I may call the external & internal news of public affairs”. PHOTO


Green’s correspondent was the historian John Sherren Brewer (1809-1879) who is remembered for his monumental work in editing and publishing the first 4 volumes of Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII : preserved in the Public Record Office, The British Museum and elsewhere in England between 1862-1875. Volume 4 had a very substantial “Introduction” written by Brewer published separately in 1875, which is undoubtedly the subject of the present letter. Green wrote this letter just over a year after the publication of his enormously well received work A Short History of the English People which rapidly passed through many editions.


Godolphin, Francis, second earl of Godolphin (1678–1766), politician and officer of the royal household.  Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, 4to, Baylies near Windsor, June 17th 1756. Commenting upon the opera in London and social matters. "..... you may have heard of her formerly as daughter of Ld Bingley and wife to Mr. George Fox who has changed his name to Lane, she is a great patroness of Signor de Giardini and has procured him the large Opera House in the Hay Market, in the room of Signor Vanneschi who proposes having an opera in some other place, and they are both endeavouring to get as many subscriptions as they can in hopes of ruining each other......... Ld. Berkeley is very well and enjoying his summer retreat in his own Square in London ".


Harriet Benson, daughter of Robert Benson, Baron Bingley & Lady Elizabeth Finch, married George Fox-Lane, bringing him estates worth £100,000.


Gordon [née Brodie], Elizabeth, duchess of Gordon (1794–1864), evangelical patron. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, on black edged paper, 3 sides, 8vo, Huntly Lodge, November 19th 1849. Regarding church matters, and her inability to visit Edinburgh schools because of illness. "I have written to the Duke of Hamilton & Ld. Breadalbane regarding Miss Johnstone’s appts. but as I have very little acquaintance with those Lords, or indeed with any persons in power now, I know not what influence my letters may have". With folds, and a thin stained edge on the reverse where removed from an album. Comes with an engraved portrait of the duchess. PHOTO


Elizabeth became duchess of Gordon in 1827, and was to devote herself to the furtherance of evangelical Christianity, especially after her husband's death in 1836. Although an Episcopalian, she sympathized with the opponents of patronage, and after considerable heart searching in 1846 she joined the Free Church of Scotland, convinced that the established church had wrongly surrendered its disciplinary powers to the state.

GOWER, Elizabeth Leveson- [née Lady Elizabeth Sutherland], duchess of Sutherland and suo jure countess of Sutherland (1765–1839), landowner. Autograph letter signed to “My Dear Lord” , 4 sides, small 8vo, Sunday morning, 1807, thanking her correspondent for sending some etchings which “are an encitement to me to continue a work which is at present a great amusement to me, in the hope of being able to make some return to you in kind, though the subjects of mine are of a very different nature, being portraits of places in Orkney & in the north of Scotland generally devoid of trees & which will besides the other disadvantages under which they suffer have the additional one, of being executed by a far less masterly hand. Indeed their only merit will be that of singularity, as the places they represent have hitherto been undescribed by any pencil whatever & can have no value except what curiosity may give to them from the remote situation & difficulty of approaching the scenes they attempt to represent”. Marks on rear edge indicating removal from an album, and a discrete repair to the folded paper.


Lady Sutherland accompanied her husband to Paris at the height of the French Revolution, where she wrote descriptions of the political turbulence, and sent clothing to the imprisoned Marie Antoinette, an act reputed to be the last gesture of kindness shown to the doomed queen. She became a leading hostess in London, where she gave sumptuous dinners attended by royalty, aristocrats, and statesmen from Britain and abroad. She owned huge estates in Scotland, and in actively supporting the new philosophy of modernization and improvement became the target of great hatred in the northern highlands. She endeavoured to counteract the adverse publicity surrounding the highland clearances, but with little success.

Lady Sutherland spent much of her time raising her four children, sketching (she was a gifted watercolourist, and was especially accomplished in her landscapes of the Sutherland coast and of Dunrobin Castle), corresponding with Sir Walter Scott, and consuming snuff. ODNB


Greville [née Macartney], Frances (1727?–1789), poet. Autograph letter, missing last page, 4 sides, 4to, to "My Lord" [George Townsend, Viceroy of Ireland], Wilbury, August 26th 1771. A long (and in part, flirtaceous) letter touching upon friends, family and politics, etc "I received your letter with infinite pleasure but since I can't cure you of Philandering me I wish I could at least cure myself of the strong propensity I have to think you mean to laugh a little at your humble servant, my vanity would find it's account in such a want of modesty, for if flattery is palatable even from different persons how grateful must it be from those on whose opinion one sets a high value"............"As to what you ask concerning Lord S[uffolk ?]. I am told he makes only two Members and his secretary Mr. W. has a seat which he bought. I did hear, but with what truth I know not, that Lord N[orth]. seemed to incline most to that set of people that belonged to G. G. [George Grenville?] I do not believe that ever was a syllable of truth in any of the reports of this going out and this I am sure of from people very nearly connected with him; that he was remarkably satisfied his M's favour and protection even at a time when some who should have known much better looked upon him as on the eve of being dismissed" .......... "Everyone here is astonished at your success, and I think my Lord since you have so good a hand at these matters you had better come over to help us, but I don't believe you wish, therefore I shall, one of these days go and claim your promise of visiting the lake of Kilarney." ......... "Before I conclude I must remind you of the obligation you said you would confer on me in the person of my unfortunate cousin; when you can without inconvenience to your own plans grant him the little thing I requested you will make a brave and worthy man very happy". Despite the missing end of this letter, the opening of the last paragraph suggests that most of the matters are dealt with. Split along fold. PHOTO


Probably born in Ireland, the daughter of James Macartney (1692–1770), Irish MP, and Catherine Coote (d. 1731), Frances Macartney was beautiful, spirited, and celebrated for her clever verses. In 1747 she met the popular socialite and man of fashion Fulke Greville (1717–1806), of Wilbury in Wiltshire, who she eloped with and married. The writer Fanny Burney described her as ‘pedantic, sarcastic, and supercilious’, but to the few who possessed her favour, ‘she was a treasure of ideas and of variety’. Her husband gambled away his fortune, and following the death of their son Robert in 1768, he returned to England from his diplomatic post in Munich, in a state of collapse, and ruin ensued in 1782, when Wilbury was sold. Fances took refuge in Ireland, and by 1788 a legal separation was effected. ODNB


GREY, Charles (1804–1870), army officer and courtier. Autograph letter in third person, 1 side, 8vo,Windsor Castle, Oct 17th 1851, on black edged mourning paper, “Colonel Grey has received the Command of His Royal Highness Prince Albert to return the Collection of Ceylon precious stones sent for his inspection by Mr. Purdue, with the expression of His Royal Highness’ best thanks”.


Grey was an equerry to the queen from 1837 to 1867, and private secretary to Prince Albert from 1849 to 1861. After Albert's death he became private secretary to Queen Victoria (ODNB). This letter was written two days after the Great Exhibition closed to the public, a project masterminded by Prince Albert, and it quite possible that the gem collection referred to might have some connection through one of the exhibitors.


GREY, Sir George (1812–1898), colonial governor and premier of New Zealand. Autograph letter signed to the Rev.V.Hadley, 2 sides plus integral blank, 8vo, Oct 28th 1859, Howchin’s Hotel, 57 & 58. St. James’s Street, London, in response to his “letter of the 25th on behalf of the Cambridge Committee of the Oxford and Cambridge Mission to Central Africa, I will to the best of my ability second the motion a copy of which you have transmitted to me, at the meeting which is to be held at Cambridge upon Tuesday next”. Strip of adhering paper on rear edge indicating removal from an album.


In 1854 Grey became governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner for South Africa, but in 1859, when Grey promoted a South African federation, incorporating the Afrikaner republics of Orange Free State and the Transvaal, London had to sack him to get its way. A change of government led to his immediate reinstatement. On the voyage back from England to South Africa in 1860, his wife Eliza ‘formed a romantic attachment’ to the ship's commander, Admiral Sir Henry Keppel. Grey discovered it, threatened to ‘either commit suicide or murder his wife’ and had her put ashore at Rio de Janeiro. Grey swore Keppel to secrecy and did not speak to Eliza again for thirty-six years. He spent another year in South Africa, embittered and increasingly reserved, then volunteered to be posted to New Zealand, where war with the Taranaki Maori had broken out in 1860. ODNB


Grey, Henry George, third Earl Grey (1802–1894), politician. Autograph letter signed to George Eden, earl of Auckland, 3 sides, 8vo, Howich, September 25th, 1847.  Enclosing letters from the Duke of Wellington (not present) regarding the defence of Alderney, and discussing the appointment of Knight Commanders of the Bath. "Sending 5000 men to Alderney is of course altogether out of the question, but I agree with the Duke that it is a point to be carefully looked to, and that our neighbours are not for a moment to be trusted - the defence of this port must I think be trusted for the present at least almost entirely to you." Damage to inner edge of second leaf around fold, from removal from an album.


In 1846, Grey was made colonial, and Auckland was appointed first lord of the Admiralty. The Alderney affair related to a Government initiative to fortify the Channel ports to create "harbours of refuge" to deter attacks from the French. In Alderney a massive defence programme started in 1846 and continued to 1870. The scale of the work brought considerable prosperity for the island.



GRIGBY, George (1772-1811), army officer. Autograph leter signed, addresed to John Ireland Blackburne MP, No.40 Bond Street, London (with oval Weymouth frank, and seal), 4 sides of a 4to bifolium, Island of Alderney, 23 June 1810, thanking him for the introduction provided to General Heron ‘He arrived at Guernsey 2 days before me.  I got there on the 10th just in time to be included in the returns.  My stay was very short in that Island, having been ordered to proceed hither on the 13th.  From General H I received the greatest attention & civility’, and  graphically describing life on Alderney ‘Sir John Doyle informed me that he did not consider ours as a permanent banishment to Siberia -  Alderney, the secluded, but but in some parts, interesting Alderney is so denominated , by the Cocknies of Port de St. Pierre in Guernsey.  One of our officers, writing from hence, signed himself, I understand, "the unfortunate officer, on the island of Sombrero." It is not so bad as that; but here certainly there is a trial of what resources a man possesses within himself. In summer it will do very well for those who like myself, admire bold & romantic prospects.  A part only of the island is cultivated - the rest is in common, but the soil where it is broken up is very rich & productive; altho' sandy.  There is no medium between that & the rock.  Property is divided infinitely; the law of Gavelkind as they tell me being here being enforced. There are no squalid poor, or beggars, every cottage has a piece of land, a cow or two & a serviceable horse that grazes upon the common, when not employed in agriculture or the conveyance of Gin, or other comfortable productions.  What think you of the virtue of sobriety, when the best brandy is to be bought for 4/6d, or 5/ a gallon!  Gin to be infinitely cheaper.  Our "Irish-Boys" therefore feel themselves perfectly at home in that respect’.  With vertical and horizontal folds, and a fragment of the margin of leaf two torn away by the seal affecting two words of the text.


George Grigby (1772-1811) was the youngest son of the lawyer Joshua Grigby (c1731-1798, whose portrait was painted by Thomas Gainsborough) and Jane Bird (1736-1789) of Drinkstone, Suffolk. Educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, George Grigby proceeded to BA in 1793, MA in 1797, and was ordained a deacon but soon elected to follow a military career. He became a captain in the Suffolk Militia in 1803, lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of Dragoons in 1806, and in 1808 became captain. By 1811 Grigby had obtained a captaincy in the 11th Regiment of Foot, when he became victim to a fatal disaster. On the night of 21st February Grigby was on board the transport ship John & Jane in charge of a contingent of the 11th Regiment bound for Cadiz when in stormy weather off Falmouth they were hit by the frigate Franchise. The damage to the transport was so severe that most 197 of the troops including Grigby died, as well as 15 women, six children, and six seamen; leaving just 20 soldiers and eight seamen who survived.

Grigby published in 1807 a book entitled: A Memoir containing a Description of the Construction and Use of some Instruments designed to ascertain the Heights and Distances of inaccessible Objects without the Necessity of Reference to logarithmic Tables By George Grigby Lieutenant in his Majesty's first Regiment of Dragoons.

Grigby’s correspondent John Ireland Blackburne, was MP for Newton from 1807-1818, and MP for Warrington 1835-1847, was a strong defender of the established church, and supported the improvement of working conditions. His silhouette portrait can be found amongst a collection of family portraits for sale in the Miniatures section of this website.

The reference to General Heron is probably Lt-general Peter Heron (1770-1848) of Moor Hall, Warrington. Sir John Doyle(1756-1834) mentioned in the letter was an army officer who served with distinction in the American War of Independence and in the French Revolutionary Wars, and was Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey from 1803 to1813.


HALLAM, Henry (1777–1859), historian. Autograph letter signed [to John Charles Herries] , 4 closely written sides of a 4to bifolium, Wimpole Street, London,  13 June 1827, regarding his letter of 9th September 1826 being laid before the House of Commons to clear his name following his removal from the Stamp Office in that year, “It is very satisfactory to myself, that, of late, this exculpation of my own conduct, as well as of the Stamp department in general should meet the eye of the public ……… the 13th & 14th reports of the commissioners are, in the far greater part, founded in prejudice & incorrect apprehension, & even when resting upon some basis of truth, very greatly exaggerated through the same causes; that the examinations of witnesses have been conducted partially, with a pre-determination (at least in appearance) to listen only to what might be unfavourable to the office ……… the board of stamps were put on their trial, in their absence, & with no knowledge or suspicion of the accusations; & that they were never permitted to exculpate themselves as a proof of which it may be mentioned, that I never examined but once, & that in the outset, before any of the criminating & disparaging evidence had been publicly given.  It may be thought unusual to speak in such language, though much less strong than what I should use in private, of those who have filled so considerable a station; but I also have some name in the world, &, now that all official deference is at an end, I know not why I should wholly suppress the sentiments which I must naturally feel ……… I call the pretext of my dismissal slight, because the signature of the blank warrants, though an irregularity, was owing to peculiar circumstances not depending on those concerned in it, &, far more, because by no possibility could the revenue have been injured thereby to the value of a shilling.  I have talked with many on this subject, & have found none who look on it in a heinous light. But I must add that I never felt for a moment the least disposition to complain of Lord Liverpool, who, from reading the 13th & 14th reports could not avoid regarding the late board of stamps in the most unfavourable point of view”. Docketed on the 4th side in the hand of John Charles Herries “13 June 1827 Mr Hallam. Subject of his removal from the Stamp Office & his letter on that subject”. Paper with multi-folds.


Henry Hallam began his career in the law, practicing as a barrister on the Oxford circuit, but in 1806 accepted, through the patronage of his whig friends, a sinecure as a commissioner in the Stamp Office which he occupied until 1826. Affairs regarding the management and efficiency of the stamp office became a matter of considerable concern in the mid 1820s, and an inquiry was set up by parliament to investigate the matter. In the 13th Report of the Commissioners of 1825 Hallam’s difficulties begin to surface: “[Mr Addington] does not think it likely that the business of the board can be conducted without embarrassment while Mr Sedgwick and Mr Hallam remain together at it; that it is the misfortune in this case, as it is in others, that neither party will make an effort at self command, which if made, might remove that difficulty which the board is under……… Mr Hallam states his opinion that “the present mode of conducting business is not at all correct, that it is done in a very dilatory manner, and that these delays cannot be attributed to a pressure of business …….. there is at present a considerable disagreement between Mr Sedgwick and himself which he conceives must obstruct the business and that in consequence of this disagreement letters do not always receive an answer and treasury letters are necessarily delayed”. By the middle of 1826 Hallam’s position became untenable and he was removed from his post as a Commissioner of stamps.

The present lengthy letter is evidently written to add weight and context to Hallam’s letter of 9th September 1826 submitted at the time of his dismissal which he says was “written in great haste, at your suggestion that no delay could be admitted by the board of Treasury”.  His opportunity to clear his name in public is through the good offices of John Charles Herries (1778 -1855), Secretary to the Treasury, who intended to lay the issues before the House of Commons.

Hallam is best remembered for his considerable contributions to history in many classic published works, and he contributed widely in other spheres of Victorian intellectual and cultural life. His eldest son Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833) was a close friend of the poet Alfred Tennyson, who he met at Cambridge in 1828. Tennyson commemorated Arthur’s premature death in his famous poem In Memoriam A.H.H.



HARVEY of ROLLS PARK, CHIGWELL. Autograph letter signed by Eliab Harvey to his mother [Mary], 4 sides, 4to, London January 22nd, 1742/3. A lengthy and detailed letter regarding financial affairs connected with his late father's estate, including their interests and work being undertaken in South Sea House: "The Gentleman that is about the new Apartment happened to be at the South Sea House at the same time that I was, with a workman to make an estimate of what is to be done with the apartment ........ The South Sea House of Sir John Chapman’s  £350:0:0 ........ I thought the house where Mr. De Gols lived had been included in the 360 p.ann but find that the South Sea Company paid £40 p.ann for that besides, now let (as appears by Peacocks rental) to Mr. Astley at £75 p.ann so that is not included in your Jointure".


Eliab Harvey was the son of William Harvey (1689-1742) and his wife Mary née Williamson, of Rolls Park, Chigwell, Essex (a group portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller of the family, including Eliab and his mother, is in the Tate Gallery collection). William Harvey died on 24th December 1742, so Eliab's letter regarding the family's financial affairs was written a month later. Conrade de Gols was a bank official appointed as the South Sea Company Cashier to tidy up the chaos left by Robert Knight. Eliab Harvey's ancestor Eliab Harvey (b.1590), was the brother of the famous physician Dr William Harvey, and his nephew Sir Eliab Harvey (1758-1830) was the admiral who commanded the Temeraire at Trafalgar.


HEATHCOTE, Sir Gilbert, 4th Baronet ( 1773-1851), politician. Autograph letter signed to "Drummond", 4 sides, 4to, Brick Hill House, Monday 28th [no date - 1793?], apologising for the lapse of time in replying to his letter, explaining he has "been at Luffenham for three weeks recreating myself with the pleasures of the chase", and relating how he became married, concluding "I cannot finish the subject without assuring you that I consider that Lady Mary Milsington did me the greatest favor she possibly could; as it enabled me to cultivate my acquaintance with the then Miss Manners, an acquaintance that has been productive of more real happiness to me then my most sanguine expectations could have induced me to credit". He also writes of his correspondent's interest in horse racing, and on affairs abroad "You know I am a bit of a Politician, think then I am in great anxiety to know whether the Accounts of the great defeat of the French before Maubeuge is confirmed". Edges of paper rather grubby.


Sir Gilbert Heathcote  was elected MP for Lincolnshire in 1796, a seat he held until 1806, after which he represented Rutland from 1812 to 1841. He married on 16th August 1793 Katherine Sophia Manners (who died in 1825), by whom he had a son, Gilbert John Heathcote, 5th Baronet (1795-1867), who was created Baron Aveland. The mention of the battle of Maubeuge suggests that this letter may date to October 1793, when the siege of Maubeuge was lifted due to the French victory at Wattignies.


HOOK, Theodore Edward (1788–1841), writer and hoaxer. Autograph letter signed to a Miss Hutton, 8vo, 2 sides of a bifolium with integral blank, Athenaeum Feb 4th 1837, thanking her for her “very flattering letter and kind present of a purse”, and saying he has “just finished another book called Jack Brag which I hope will amuse you as much as you are good enough to say Gilbert Gurney did – nothing can be more agreeable for an author than such encouragement as you have been pleased to give me”.


Theodore Hooke was, according to his own account, principally distinguished at school for mischief, deceitfulness, and a lack of serious application, but his talents began to show through an early introduction to the theatrical world as author of the lyrics of his father's comic operas. His achievements as a writer were at least matched by his penchant for clever practical jokes and, in particular, by his skill in perpetrating hoaxes, of which the most celebrated was the Berners Street hoax of 1809. He later obtained the post of accountant-general and treasurer at Mauritius, but after four years in post an examination into the state of the treasury revealed a shortfall of $62,000 for which Hook could offer no explanation. His property was seized and upon his return to England he was imprisoned from 1823 to 1825. (ODNB)

In troubled times he maintained himself in writing, compiling 9 volumes of stories during his confinement, and launching the newspaper John Bull in 1820. He had 38 volumes of writings published, including novels amongst which he mentions two in this letter - Gilbert Gurney (published 1836) a semi-autobiographical work, and Jack Brag (published 1837) a satire on freeloading.

Upon his death his effects were seized by the crown, but his family were provided for by subscription. John Gibson Lockhart, editor of the Quarterly Review, wrote of him as ‘human, charitable, generous. … and there was that about him which made it hard to be often in his society without regarding him with as much of fondness as of admiration’, Coleridge described him as being ‘as true a genius as Dante’ (ODNB).


HUNTINGFORD, George Isaac (1748–1832), college head and bishop of Hereford. Autograph letter signed, addressed ‘Gentlemen’, 1 side quarto, Winchester College, April 17th 1796, acknowledging their communication of the 15th and discussing a publishing project “It will certainly be more eligible to me, that the Second Volume should be undertaken by you on the same conditions as the first, as the business will be more simplified. Since then you are pleased to make me that offer, I shall be glad to accept it; and of course think no more of the proposals I had made, before I could hope you would engage again as in the former Work ”. Written in a very neat readable hand.


The work referred to in the letter is Huntingford’s sermons entitled Twelve discourses on different subjects published by T. Cadell junior and W. Davies in two volumes in 1795 and 1797, and the letter is clearly addressed to the publishers. Not for the first time in his career, the critics were not kind about his published work.

George Huntingford was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, where he became a Fellow in 1770, graduating M.A., 1776 and D.D. in 1793. He was ordained curate of Compton, Winchester, and became a master at Winchester College, where he was also warden from 1789 until his death. He set out to be an active warden attempting to restore discipline, but gained a reputation for lack of imagination and severity that has become part of Winchester College legend. In 1793, faced with a rising in college, he reasserted order with the help of a deputation of gentlemen from the town and the threat of intervention by the Buckinghamshire militia. Thirty-five members of college were expelled.

Huntingford was a close friend of Henry Addington (prime minister 1801-1804), who he had taught at Winchester, and his patronage brought Huntingford opportunities to preach official sermons. He preached before the House of Commons on the occasion of the general fast on Good Friday 1793, when he was forthright about the expected fate of the French revolutionary government: ‘National iniquity shall lead on to national ruin’. In 1797 he gave the annual sermon to the charity school children of London and Westminster at St Paul's Cathedral, on the subject of ‘Education, as necessary and beneficial to man’. Huntingford was ordained Bishop of Gloucester, 1802–1815, and of Hereford, 1815–32.(ODNB).


Jackson, Francis James (1770–1814), diplomatist. Manuscript receipt signed by Francis James Jackson, Berlin, 8th January 1803, 200 x 100 mm with embossed tax stamp, "Received of the Right Honourable Lord Hawkesbury, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Sum of Three Hundred Pounds, issued to his Lordship in pursuance of the Civil List Act".


Francis James Jackson  was sent to Berlin as minister-plenipotentiary in 1802, where he married, and later, in 1809, he was sent as minister-plenipotentiary to Washington, where he remained until the breakdown in relations between Great Britain and the United States in 1811. Lord Hawkesbury was the courtesy title of Robert Banks Jenkinson (1770–1828), who became second earl of Liverpool upon his father's death in 1808. He held the office of Foreign Secretary 1801–1804, and became Prime Minister in 1812.


[JEFFREYS, Lady Anne (1657–1703)] Autograph letter signed from Thomas Williams to Lady Anne Jeffreys, 1 side plus integral blank with address panel, 8vo, Cardiff, 9th July 1680, asking for a debt to be settled "that is to order ye paymt of fifteen pounds fifteen shillings being ye full Balance of all Accompts to this day, I would not press Sr George with it when I was in London, but Rather make my Application to your Ladyshipp, as knowing that your Ladyshipp will bee very kinde and just toward mee", and including a postscript "My humble and harty thanks to your Ladyshipp for ye great ffavor Reced when I was at your Ladyshipps table." Part of integral blank torn off, but not affecting the address panel. PHOTO


Lady Anne Jeffreys was the second wife of the judge, Sir George Jeffreys, first Baron Jeffreys (1645–1689). They married on 10 June 1679 at St Mary Aldermanbury, where his first wife had been buried the year before. His new wife Anne, was the widow of Sir John Jones of Glamorgan, and the daughter of Sir Thomas Bludworth, a wealthy merchant and friend of Jeffreys. The marriage was mocked by the press, who attacked Ann Jeffreys for her alleged dalliances. Jeffreys was particularly busy in 1680 adjudicating in a series of troublesome seditious libel cases, so one can perhaps sympathise with Williams choosing to approach Lady Jeffreys over the settlement of the debt.


JONES, Henry Bence (1813–1873), physician and chemist. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent [Dawson Turner], 1 side octavo, 30 Grosvenor St., 15th December, 1842, “I am very glad that I am at length able to send you a letter of Liebig’s [not present]. I should have done this long ago if it had been in my power” and expresses the hope that he has recovered from his lameness, closing “Lady Millicent joins with me in remembrances to Mrs Turner”. A few pin holes to upper blank area. PHOTO


Born 1813 at Thorington Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk,  Henry Bence Jones became an accomplished physician and chemist. In 1842 Bence Jones married his cousin, Lady Millicent Acheson (d. 1887), daughter of the second earl of Gosford. He studied medicine at Cambridge and  St George's Hospital, London, and chemistry as a private pupil at University College, London. In 1841 he went to Giessen to work at chemistry under the famous Justus von Liebig, and in 1846 became a physician to St George's Hospital. He was keenly interested in the advancement of science, and while secretary of the Royal Institution (1860–72), devoted himself to making the newest scientific discoveries known to the public. As physician to many prominent Victorians, he assisted Florence Nightingale in her efforts to improve standards of public and hospital hygiene, and Charles West in founding the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

Jones’ correspondent was almost certainly Dawson Turner (1775–1858), a banker, botanist, and antiquary, born in Great Yarmouth. Turner’s interest in botany was gradually supplanted by a passion for antiquities, pictures, books and manuscripts. His manuscript collection grew to 34,000 manuscripts and letters, including historical documents, travel journals, and literary and scientific correspondence of many eminent people. (ODNB)



KING, Charles William (1818-1888) writer and collector. Autograph letter signed to Thomas Woolner, 2 sides 8vo, Trinity College Cambridge, March 10 1878, thanking him for an antiquity (description not deciphered) adding “Lately I obtained a good Chinese bronze of Pou-Tai, god of contentment; so that now having Wealth and Contentment ever present with me, what can I wish for more?”. PHOTO


King was a scholar and graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, who was elected a fellow in 1842 and ordained deacon in 1845. He resided at Rome and Florence 1845–50 where he studied Italian language and literature, and assembled a fine collection of antique gems. He afterwards expanded his collections of gems buying several important collections, and acquired other antiquities. At Cambridge, King devoted himself to writing books on carved gems, notably his two-volume Antique Gems and Rings (1872) and a Handbook of Engraved Gems (1866; 2nd edn, 1885). He also produced a study of Graeco-Egyptian amulets in The Gnostics and their Remains, Ancient and Medieval (1864; 2nd edn, 1887). His correspondent was Thomas Woolner (1825–1892), sculptor, and a founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood.


KINGLAKE, Alexander William (1809–1891), historian and travel writer. Autograph letter signed to Mr Maurice, 3 sides of an 8vo bifolium, 17 Bayswater Terrace, Kensington Gardens, W., March 22 1889, explaining his absence from London being in retirement and invalided, and was consequently in arrears in reading the “Balance of Military Power in Europe” sent him. “Meanwhile, I have sent for the current number of the Fortnightly & shall address myself to the articles you speak of ……….. Since 1871 I have been accustomed to say that the more France thinks of a conflict with Germany, the more she will dread it, & would be glad to recover her self-respect by action of some kind directed against an unprepared country like England”. PHOTO


Kinglake’s correspondent was John Frederick Maurice (1841–1912), an army officer and military writer. Although frustrated at not obtaining a senior command, his literary and historical publications established his reputation as a writer, and by 1900 he was made KCB. In 1883 he published Hostilities without Declaration of War, a scholarly polemic against the projected channel tunnel, showing that from 1700 to 1871 there had been fewer than ten formal declarations prior to hostilities, implying a tunnel would make Britain vulnerable to surprise invasion. His Balance of Military Power in Europe (1888) was a masterly survey which anticipated modern strategic studies, while his essay ‘War’ for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1891) remains valuable. (ODNB).


LEGGE, William, first earl of Dartmouth (1672–1750), politician. Letter signed Dartmouth, to the Earl of Northampton Constable of the Tower, Whitehall, 25 June 1713, 1 side 4to,  conveying that "Her Maty. commands me to acquaint your Lordship that when the French Ambassador makes his public Entry, it is her pleasure he should be treated with all the marks of respect that are usually shewn to persons of his Character on the like occasion". Manuscript endorsement on integral blank leaf 'June 25th 1713. Ld Dartmouth's letter concerning ye reception of the French Ambassador at ye Tower when he made his Public Entry'.


On 5 September 1711 William Legge 2nd Baron Dartmouth and secretary of state for the southern department, was created Viscount Lewisham and earl of Dartmouth, and later that month signed the preliminary articles of peace with France. Prince Eugene (François Eugène 1663 –1736) visited England in 1712 hoping to divert the government away from its peace policy but, despite the social success, the visit was a political failure. The Prince found Dartmouth ‘very pliable, a great stickler for the tory party, but not much bred to business, of a tolerable sense, and easily led’ (ODNB). The treaties which helped end the War of the Spanish Succession were concluded between the representatives of Louis XIV of France and Philip V of Spain on the one hand, and representatives of Queen Anne of Great Britain, the Duke of Savoy, the King of Portugal and the United Provinces on the other. The main treaties (Treaty of Utrecht) were finally signed on 11 April 1713, although the French continued to be at war with the Emperor Charles VI and with the Holy Roman Empire itself until 1714.

The Constable of the Tower was George Compton, 4th Earl of Northampton (1664-1727), who served as Constable of the Tower of London from 1712 to 1715. The French ambassador evidently was landed by boat at the Tower of London.


LoNSDALE, James Lowther, earl of (1736–1802), politician and landowner. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent [Henry Dundas],  2 sides plus integral blank with docket, folio, February 16th 1793, thanking him for his letter, but expressing frustration at not having received a positive answer, which prevents him "from making the necessary Returns", and pursuing his request "Notwithstanding Lord Amhurst's unjustifiable conduct towards me in the last War, of which you yourself were a Witness ............ I would .... talk to him upon the subject of the letter I troubled you with, could I think it of any avail ..............  as my Commission as Brigadr. General was acknowledged at the War Office ...... during the German War, & also in the American War, ...... thro' the Secretary of States Office, signed by Mr. Pitt ........  I am led to suppose that the Secretary of State is the person I am to apply to upon the present occasion", and in closing  "I shall be much obliged to you if you will let me have an answer as soon as possible, for I desirous of shewing myself forward in His Majesty's Service". Ex collection Sir Thomas Phillips. Three of the four margins grubby.


Lonsdale inherited vast estates, especially in Cumberland and Westmorland, and throughout his life lavished money on elections, in an attempt to exercise political control. Always seeking preferment, he hounded the government for a peerage (eventually granted by William Pitt in 1784), but was refused a dukedom in 1792.

From internal evidence, Lonsdale's letter is directed to the Secretary of State, Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville (1742–1811), a longstanding ally of Pitt. The letter is written a fortnight after France declared war upon Britain (on 1st February,1793), and although Lord Amherst had been brought out of retirement at the end of January as General in command the army in Great Britain, Lonsdale clearly saw little point in pressing the matter with him. Application to the Secretary of State had, on the other hand, evidently been successful in obtaining a military position in the past. A year later, on 14th March 1794, Lonsdale was appointed colonel in the army during service.

Disliked by many, critics such as Horace Walpole, considered Lonsdale to be ‘equally unamiable in public and private’, while at the stronger end of the scale, the Rev.Alexander Carlyle believed him to be ‘more detested than any man alive as a shameless political sharper, a domestic bashaw, and an intolerant tyrant over his tenants and dependents’.


MALLET, Sir Louis (1823–1890), civil servant and economist. Autograph letter signed to a Mr Coles, 2 sides of a single 8vo sheet, 15 September [no year, but watermark 1855], sending a copy of a letter (not present) from Lady Georgia Fane to Spencer Ponsonby regarding “young Carew” - "I don't know whether anything can be done or whether what is asked is proper, but I promised to send you the letter & ask you to do anything which comes in your way without trouble".


Sir Louis Mallet was a civil servant and economist who was an advocate of free trade and served on the Council of India. He spent eight years in the Audit Office and in 1847 transferred to the Board of Trade where he became private secretary to the President of the Board. In 1860 Mallet was appointed an assistant commissioner under Richard Cobden for drawing up detailed tariffs under the Anglo-French Treaty of Commerce. Mallet became a strong advocate of free trade, and a founder member of the Cobden Club after Cobden's death. In 1865 Mallet was sent to Vienna to take a leading part in organising an Anglo-Austrian commercial treaty, which was signed in December 1865. In 1872 the Duke of Argyll, nominated Mallet to the Council of India. In 1874 he was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India until his retirement in 1883. Mallet served on a royal commission on the laws relating to copyright in 1876.(ODNB)


MARSHALL, Edward (1815-1899), clergyman. Engagements diary in ‘The Universal Remembrancer An Almanack and Diary for the Year 1850’, containing manuscript entries for most days of the year, plus brief monthly cash accounts, bound in contemporary red morocco (85 x 120 mm). Inscribed by his wife on the free endpaper “E.J.Marshall 1849” [Eliza Julia Marshall]. Containing many entries relating to church matters and engagements with family and friends in and around Oxford, but also interesting references to his interests including several visits to the Archaeological Society, the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian, and meetings including “Prof. Willis lecture in The Theatre” and “Dr Mantell’s Geological lecture”. On 28th August he travels to Dover crossing to Calais for a week’s excursion visiting various sites of ecclesiastical interest in Bruges, Antwerp (also visits the Museum and Zoological Gardens), Malines [Mechelen], Brussels, Waterloo, and Amiens.
Also included is a 19th century photographic copy of a silhouette of Edward Marshall (‘1830 aged 15’) in an oval frame (193 x 225mm), and a carte-de-visite portrait photograph (by H.J.Godbold of St Leonards-on-Sea) of Edward’s son Edward Henry Marshall. PHOTOS


Edward Marshall F.S.A was born at Ardley, Oxfordshire in 1815, the son of the Rev. Edward Marshall Hacker (1774-1839) Rector of Ardley and Mary Anne née Burton, his second wife who he married in 1814. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and took his B.A. degree in 1838, and proceeded to that of M.A. in 1840. He was ordained deacon in 1839 and appointed curate of Enstone, and in 1840 was transferred to the curacy of Somerton which he held for four years. He was appointed Curate of St Mary Magdalen parish in 1845, and in 1846 married Eliza Julia Burton (c.1825-1856), by whom he had four children: Julia Elizabeth Marshall (1848- 1913); Edward Marshall (born and died 1850); Edward Henry Marshall (1851-1909); and William Charles Marshall (born and died 1853). In his various appointments to Oxfordshire parishes Edward Marshall immersed himself in local history, publishing histories including those of  Enstone (1868), Sandford St. Martin (1866), Iffley (1870), Woodstock (1873) and Deddington (1879); and also published A history of the diocese of Oxford in 1882.


MARTINEAU, Harriet (1802–1876), writer, journalist and sociologist. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent (“Dear Friend”) in light blue ink, 8vo., no place, no date (headed “saty morng”), inviting a friend to dine “Mrs Porter will be most happy to see you, they bid me say come early & we will have a walk on the Heath”, and closes giving directions to the Porters’ house on Putney Heath. Gum line mark on reverse just showing through left front margin, and later ink inscription by a collector (?) “Miss Harriet Martineau” at the letter head.


Harriet Martineau wrote 35 books and a multitude of articles from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and a feminine perspective and translated various works from Auguste Comte, making a living supported entirely by her writing. Martineau introduced feminist sociological perspectives in her writing on issues such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations. The novelist Margaret Oliphant said "as a born lecturer and politician she was less distinctively affected by her sex than perhaps any other, male or female, of her generation." (Wikipedia).

Her friends the Porters were George Richardson Porter (1792–1852), civil servant and statistician, and his wife Sarah Ricardo Porter (1790–1862) a writer on education, who lived for a time on Putney Heath. (See ODNB).


MITCHELL, Sir Andrew (1708–1771), diplomatist. Manuscript Bill submitted and signed by Sir Andrew Mitchell, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the King of Prussia, detailing expenses of £150, countersigned Rochford, 1 side folio, Whitehall 19th May 1769.


Sir Andrew Mitchell (1708–1771) was the most successful British representative in Berlin during the eighteenth century, notable in particular for developing a friendship with Frederick the Great, and cementing the Anglo-Prussian partnership during the early years of the Seven Years' War. Relations deteriorated in the 1760s, and during this final decade of his life, Mitchell enjoyed the company of the wide circle of academic and literary friends he had built up in Berlin, and retained the respect and grudging friendship of the king. (ODNB)

William Henry van Nassau van Zuylestein,, fourth earl of Rochford (1717–1781), was an effective diplomatist and politician. Following appointments as ambassador to Spain 1763-1766 and ambassador to Paris 1766-1768, he was named secretary of state for the northern department on 21 October 1768. Foreign diplomats in London found Rochford more accessible and better informed than his predecessors, while British diplomats abroad were relieved and delighted to be instructed by an experienced former ambassador. As northern secretary (1768–70) Rochford was particularly scrupulous in his conduct of the routine correspondence and gave more coherence to British foreign policy than had been evident during the Chatham administration. (ODNB).


Monsey, Messenger (1694 -1788), physician. Autograph letter signed to the Duke of Leeds, one side, with address panel on reverse, 4to, 15th August 3 o'clock [1761], plus enclosure [below] regarding the death of the son of the Duke and Duchess : "I was going to send this to her Grace but upon second thoughts I thought it better to submit it to Yr. Grace’s determination whether she should see it or no........ I sent for a Draught to have tried what effect it might have had, but alas He expired before it came. I am much obliged to yr. Grace for your kind enquiry after my Health amidst yr. own unutterable affliction ........ For my sake as well as yr own never think of replying one word to all this......". Docket on the reverse in the Duke’s hand "Dr Monsey 15th August 1761. Fatal". Small piece of paper removed from margin by the seal.

Together with the autograph letter signed cited above, addressed to the Duchess of Leeds from Monsey, but sent to the Duke, 2 sides of a 4to bifolium, St James’s, Aug. 14th 1761, 11 at night, comprising a long homily of one and a half sides upon the loss of her son. At the foot is a post script dated August 15th in which he adds “I wrote this last night when I came up from my Ld. G[odolphin] whose Heart I found sorely oppressed indeed & I cou’d not forbear giving vent to my own sorrows for you. I have seen the poor Child this morning, the rest yr. Grace will know too soon.  Do madam bear up for your own, the Duke of Leeds & your dear old fathers sake who is most grievously afflicted, & remember also your Sad distressed sister the D. of Newcastle”. See PHOTOS


Messenger Monsey was the eldest son of Robert Monsey, rector of Bawdeswell, Norfolk, and Mary Clopton. He attended Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1714; studied medicine at Norwich under Sir Benjamin Wrench; and set up in practice at Bury St Edmunds. By chance he was called to attend Francis 2nd earl of Godolphin, who had been taken ill on a journey, and made such an impression that Godolphin persuaded him to go to London where he later obtained for him the appointment of physician to Chelsea Hospital. Through their friendship, Monsey met and married Godolphin’s daughter Mary, and he was introduced to many leading noblemen and politicians of the day including Sir Robert Walpole. Eccentric and coarse-mannered, Monsey treated his noble patrons with ostentatious familiarity. He also acquired literary connections including Mrs Elizabeth Montagu, and David Garrick

Thomas Osborne, 4th Duke of Leeds, politician and judge, succeeded as Duke of Leeds upon the death of his father in 1731. In 1740 he married Lady Mary Godolphin, daughter of Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, who bore him four children, of whom only one survived. Their first child, a son, died in infancy; their second, Thomas, the subject of these letters, was born in 1747 and died 1761; the third, Francis Godolphin (1751-1799) survived to succeed his father as 5th Duke of Leeds; and a daughter, Harriet, died when young. Their mother the Duchess died in 1764, aged 41.



MURRAY, David Christie (1847–1907), novelist and journalist. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent [Grant Richards], 1 side, 8vo, January 26 1899, 114 Drakefield Road, Balham, S.W., regarding the novels of his “valued friend” Richard Whiteing ‘ ‘The Island’ – is a work of sterling genius. I shall be pleased to have a chance of saying what I think of his next work, and if you will send me an advance ….. before binding I will make a labour of love of my review. Anything Whiteing writes is worth soaking in.


The novel The Island published in 1888 by Murray’s friend Richard Whiteing (1840 -1928) was about a utopian life on Pitcairn Island, but it was Whiteing’s next novel No. 5 John Street published in1899 (and alluded to in this letter) which made him famous, and led to the republication of The Island. The letter is clearly to Whiteing’s London publisher, Grant Richards.

David Murray travelled widely and wrote extensively on foreign affairs, with articles appearing in newspapers and journals including The Times, The Scotsman, Mayfair, and the Contemporary Review, and he was also a successful lecturer. His first novel, A Life's Atonement, was published in 1879, after which he wrote novels nearly every year up to 1898.


NASMYTH, James Hall (1808–1890), mechanical engineer. Autograph letter signed to Cundell, 8vo, 1 side plus integral blank, Penhurst, Kent, Oct 31st 1882, expressing his grief that he is "not to be able to be present and pay my last sad tribute to the remains of the Dear departed "most worthy Master"! It must be some consolation to all whom he was so Dear that he departed without Pain after his long and happy and admirable life. We shall never meet with his like again".


Nasmyth's letter refers to the death of George Cundell (1798-1882), a scientist, pioneering photographer and politician, and is possibly addressed to one of Cundell's surviving brothers. Nasmyth refers fondly to Cundell in his 'autobiography' compiled by Samuel Smiles in 1883: 'Among my most intelligent private friends in London were George Cundell and his two brothers. They resided near my lodgings, and I often visited them on Saturday evenings. They were most kind, gentle, and genial ....... George was agent for Mr. Patrick Maxwell Stuart in connection with his West India estates ........ My special friend George was known amongst us as "the worthy master." He was thoroughly versed in general science, and was moreover a keen politician. He had the most happy faculty of treating complex subjects, both in science and politics, in a thoroughly common-sense manner ........ With companions such as these, gi ith a variety of tastes, I spent many of my Saturday evenings most pleasantly and profitably. They were generally concluded with a glass of beer of "the worthy master's" own brewing.'

Norton, Caroline Elizabeth Sarah (1808–1877), author and law reform campaigner. Autograph letter signed to Mrs. Hyford Burr, 3 sides, 8vo, no place, no date [1864?], accepting an invitation, and mentioning her meeting with Garibaldi “a man more like an ideal hero than most of those one is compelled to admit are “famous” – and whose sweet clear animated utterance seems the very voice he ought to have to speak with. I wonder if he will be killed & suffocated by the warm drawing room full of compliments like the people who go into untried catacombs & dried up wells!”. Corners browned and thinned on reverse of last (blank) page from removal from an album.


A prolific author, Caroline Norton suffered a disastrous marriage to George Norton, the outcome of which led Caroline to force a debate and reform legislation in relation to child custody, divorce and property rights. Her mention of having met Garibaldi, the popular hero of the age of Italian unification, almost certainly places this letter in 1864, when Garibaldi visited London.


ONSLOW, Mary, Lady [née Elwill]. Manuscript bill of account, entitled "Lady Elwills Bill about Lady Onslows Marriage settlement" dated 1741, 3 sides of folded large folio, with a note at the foot "14th June 1743 Recd of the right honorable the Lord Onslow by ye hands of Barwell Smith Esq the full .....bill by me   Joseph Ashton". Listing various interesting matters with itemised costs against each eg:

"Attending several times by Lady Elwell's directions on the speaker of the
House of Commons  ................. 1:1:0"

"For copy of the Petition that the portion of 6000£ and 2000£ might be paid to Lord Onslow the marriage having been solemnized .............. 0:6:8"

"Attending at the South Sea House along with Mr. Jacoub[?] Lord Onslow's
Solicitor to accept the South Sea annuities that were bought with the 2000£ ................  0:10:6"

Paper split along two folds, with repairs with document tape and old paper. PHOTO


Mary Elwill was christened 7 December 1720 at St. James’, Westminster, London, the daughter of Sir Edmund Elwill, 3rd Baronet and Ann (née Speke, born 1696) his wife. She married on 16 May 1741 at St. James’ Westminster, Richard 3rd Baron Onslow, (born 1715) KB., LLD, High Steward of Guildford, Lord Lieutenant for Surrey, and MP Guildford 1734-40. The Lady Elwill in the document is Lady Onslow's mother, Lady Mary Elwill.


PALMERSTON, Henry John Temple, third Viscount (1784–1865), prime minister. Letter signed "Palmerston" to H L Lee Esq.,13 Burlington Street, Bath, 1 side, fo., War Office, 11th January 1811, docketed on the reverse, acknowledging receipt of a letter of the 2nd on the subject of "the Loss sustained by Jane Richards, by the ill conduct of a Party of the 39th and 71st Regiments on their March from Bridgeworth to Kidderminster in October last" which "having taken into consideration the circumstances represented by you, I have now to acquaint you, that an authority has been given to the District Paymaster at Shrewsbury to pay to the Woman the Sum of One Pound, as a Compensation for the said Loss". Several old paper repairs to reverse.


Palmerston accepted Spencer Perceval's offer of the secretaryship at war in 1809, which he was to retain under five prime ministers outside the cabinet until 1827. The incident behind this order for compensation would be most interesting to research further in local sources.



[PAVYER, Benjamin (1794-1871) type founder]. Two manuscript notebooks detailing expenditure and income in Benjamin Pavyer’s type founding business (‘Expenditure by me B.Pavyer’). The first notebook (c 4 ½  x 7 inches) contains 15 close-written sides of expenditure dating from June 1822 to March 1823, plus a further 7 sides of  entries for orders placed in 1822, 1823 and 1825. The first entry in the notebook dates to June 1822 for a stone furnace with an ironwork compartment, following which are many entries for equipment and materials, with an interesting entry for 23 July 1822 noting “Paid Stephen Bluck junr for purchase of his foundry” which amounted to £85, the largest outgoing item of expenditure in the early months of 1822. Between January and March 1823 several entries occur involving advances of substantial sums of money to a Mr T.King connected with “work for the business”, indicating a partnership in the early years of Pavyer’s  business.

The second notebook (c 6 ½ x 7 ½ inches) entitled “Day Book or Waste Book” contains 31 sides of manuscript entries of income from printers for type fonts, dating from May 17 1824 to April 13 1825. Some 50 named clients are given, 41 of whom are London based, and the other 9 are printers in Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge, Chepstow. For each client Pavyer records the printer’s name and address, the type font purchased, their sizes, weight, and the price charged. The notebooks come with copies of relevant census returns and a list of printers found in the income notebook checked against Todd’s Directory of Printers for London & vicinity. PHOTOS


Benjamin Pavyer (1794-1871), the son of  Thomas and Mary Pavyer, established his type foundry in London in 1822 as recorded in detail in these accounts. His business was based in Bartholemew Close in the City of London, and his son Benjamin (1827-1897) continued the business following his father’s death in 1871 as Benjamin Pavyer & Son. Benjamin Pavyer junior had a son James (1861-1925) who in turn was engaged in the family business which in 1904 merged with George Bullen & Co. to form Pavyer & Bullens Ltd.

Benjamin Pavyer senior was indicted on 23rd February 1846 for feloniously receiving 3 moulds for casting types, value 6l., the goods of Vincent Figgins; well knowing them to have been stolen’, but was found not guilty. The interesting case can be found on-line by clicking: Proceedings of the Old Bailey



PEDDIE, John (d.1817), African explorer. A collection of 16 manuscript letters and documents concerning Major John Peddie’s proposed expedition of 1816 to chart the River Niger (see PHOTO) as follows:

1. Autograph letter in third person from John Peddie to Mr Kommer [misspelled throughout], Senegal, 27th August 1816, 1 side, 4to, inviting him to join him at an evening piano recital. On the reverse are 12 lines of notes in French in Kummer’s hand in which he makes several calculations of expected payments from the British and French authorities.

2. Letter signed from John Peddie to Mr Kommer, Senegal, 1st September 1816, 4 sides, folio, regarding the employment of his correspondent on his expedition  "In consequence of the wish you some time ago expressed, to proceed with me into the Interior of Africa I lately addressed His Excellency Colonel Schmalz  on the subject, and having received from him the most satisfactory answer, accompanied at the same time with favourable recommendations;  I have decided with the Opinion of Captain Campbell, to accept of your Services, and will attach you to the Expedition, should the terms I now offer you be accepted" followed by several pages of detailed requirements, including: "As your great Forte seems to be Natural History I will expect that during our Journey you will collect as often as you can, such specimens, as may appear to be unknown in Europe, and worthy of Notice, giving the preference to those of most utility, whether of the Vegetable or Animal Creation ........... Drawings of such as cannot be preserved, must be made, accompanied, with a detailed description .......You will be expected to keep a regular Journal which,  as well as your Drawings, Sketches, and Observations, must be considered as Public property .......... I am not aware if you are acquainted with Astronomy but as that branch is particularly under the direction of Captn. Campbell, it would only be necessary for you, to assist in taking the observations .........your rank among the Gentlemen proceeding with me, will be assigned to you;  the men will have orders to obey you .......... I will allow you a yearly salary during the time you are attached to the Expedition, but I feel unwilling to name it, as you must be the best judge how your own time and Talents ought to be rewarded". The top edge slightly grubby and frayed.

3. Autograph letter signed from John Peddie to Mr Kommer, (marked ‘Private’), Senegal, 1st September 1816, 1 side of a bifolium, 4to, with address panel on second leaf, sent as an addendum to his previous letter [item 2] “I have declined in my Public letter to you mentioning the emolument I will grant to you as Captain Campbell and myself wish particularly in the first instance to come from yourself …… rest assured I shall act as liberal to you as I can”. Top right corner damaged (not affecting text).

4. Autograph letter in third person from John Peddie to Mr Kommer, Senegal, 7th September 1816, 2 sides of a bifolium, 8vo, enclosing letters [not present] received from Colonel Schmaltz, adding that he has not had the pleasure of seeing Kummer lately and hopes it is not due to any indisposition.

5. Autograph letter signed from John Peddie to J. Kommer Esq, Senegal, 9th September 1816, 4 sides of a bifolium, 4to, acknowledging his letter of the 7th stating his terms  "I beg to say that they appear to me so very extravagant that I can not possibly agree to them – when I assure you it is my opinion that the first Professor of Natural History in England would not have made such demands you will not I trust conceive I decline your Services from any other reason, than being unable to comply with the terms submitted to me ..........In order that His Excellency Colonel Schmaltz may know my reasons for declining your Services, I will address him by the first opportunity and enclose him your letter ".

6. Autograph letter in third person from John Peddie to Kommer, 27th September 1816, 8vo, 1 side of a bifolium with address panel, requesting the company of Mr Kommer at dinner ‘to day’at 4 o'clock.

7. Draft/copy letter unsigned to Kummer [from internal evidence] Senegal 28th September 1816, 2 sides, folio, apologising for not replying to his letter earlier, informing him that “Doctor Hall does not receive from the British Government near the sum you demand, your good sense will tell you how impossible it is for me to agree to the terms you now submit to me ……. I shall grant to give you the same as this Gentleman receives ...”. Docketed on the reverse “Pay of Staff Surgeon. Allowance of 500 Pounds half now & half when the journey is finished”. Top edge ragged.

8. Autograph draft letter in Kummer’s hand in French, Senegal le 4 Oct 1816, with interesting detail of the scope of the collecting and recording he will be undertaking as naturalist attached to the expedition, and in the final part of the letter setting out the remuneration from Peddie of £250 upon departure from Senegal, and £250 to be forwarded to France upon news from Peddie having reached the Interior. Foot of paper ragged.

9. Letter signed from John Peddie to “Mr Kommer - Naturalist”, 3 sides of a bifolium, 4to, Senegal October 4th 1816, in a neat formal hand setting out the terms of the agreement with details of remuneration, and asking that he returns “the letter I sometime ago submitted to you, as to the nature of your appointment, and the duties required of you, in order that I may have a copy made; signed by you to forward to England …... that my Government may be acquainted wit your being attached to my Mission”.

10. Copy agreement set out in a neat formal hand [by Peddie] on 2 sides of a bifolium, Senegal 24th October 1816, with a pencil annotation “recue le 16 Nov 1816, opening “I Mr Kommer, Naturalist, proceed into the Interior of Africa, with Major Peddies Expedition, on the following terms:” following which are details of the two payments to be made to him, plus “To receive on leaving Senegal the Daily Pay of a Staff Surgeon; (Fourteen shillings and three Pence) per day, until my services are dispensed with by those in Command of the Expedition”.

11. Letter signed from John Peddie to Thomas Harrison Esq, of Treasury Chambers, London, 4to, 1 side of a bifolium, Senegal, 24th October 1816, informing Harrison that "Having found it necessary to appoint Mr. Kummer, a German Naturalist, to proceed with me into the Interior of Africa, to supply the place of Doctor Hall (who has returned to England in consequence of bad health) appointed to succeed Staff Surgeon Cowdry, I have found it necessary to Draw on the Lords Commissioners of His Majestys Treasury, for the Sum of Two Hundred and fifty Pounds Sterling, being for the amount of His Expenses and outfit;-  previous to proceeding with me into the Interior. ...........I have also entered into an agreement with Mr. Kummer which I have submitted to Earl Bathurst and in consequence I have left a Bill behind me in his favor". Small tears top right.

12. Agreement in French signed Adolphe Kummer, 4to, 1 side of a bifolium, Senegal, 16th November 1816, regarding joining the expedition being led by Major John Peddie into the Interior of Africa on terms set out in the agreement of 4th October 1816, and in accordance with arrangements made with Mr Auguste Doumerc (of the French government) on Kummer’s behalf.

13. Autograph letter signed from John Peddie to J. Kommer Esq, 4 o'clock Sunday Morning (added in pencil probably by Kummer "le16 Nov: 1816") , folio, 1 side of a bifolium with address panel, with a few ink marks and 2 seal marks, regarding urgent travel arrangements "The vessel appointed for you to proceed by sails at day light this morning – it is absolutely necessary that you proceed by her – if any of your affairs remain here unsettled  have the goodness to leave directions with me how you wish them arranged and I will do any thing for you with pleasure".

14. Autograph letter signed from John Peddie, to Mr Kommer, 17th November 1816, 8vo, 1 side of a bifolium with address panel, with 2 seal marks, in reply "I have read your note and wish arrange every thing to your satisfaction on my arrival at Goree if any thing is wanted to be done for you here I will settle it for you".

15. Manuscript treasury order signed by John Peddie to pay Adolphe Kummer or order £250, Goree 20th November 1816, on 1 side (25 x 14cm), docketed on the reverse in Kummer’s hand “Pay to Mr August Doumerc or order Adolphe Kummer”.

16. Draft letter in French, probably from Auguste Doumerc to Gotthelf Kummer (brother of Adolphe), 2 sides, 4to. Paris 1st August 1821, referring to “votre frere”, regarding the fate of individuals on the Peddie expedition insofar as matters can be ascertained. Paper water stained.


John Peddie's expedition originated in a government sponsored plan to explore and chart the River Niger and clarify the circumstances of the death of Mungo Park. It was also felt that Britain should establish interests along the African coast ahead of the French re-establishing their interests following the end of the European war. Peddie, temporarily assigned to the British Royal African Corps, arrived in Saint-Louis, Senegal, with his second in command Captain Thomas Campbell in November 1815. Peddie and Campbell began gathering intelligence in the region in order to consider their options, alongside which they recruited personnel and secured provisions. In mid 1816 Peddie decided to reach the Niger via the Rio Nunez on the Guinea coast, crossing Fuuta Jaloo and the Fula empire. Peddie reached the Rio Nunez in early December 1817 but died of fever within a month of his arrival. Campbell continued with the expedition but encountered numerous problems, and he too died of fever in June 1817.

The naturalist and explorer Adolf [Adolphe] Kummer (1786-1817) was a native of Saxony  who Peddie in the end recruited for the expedition as naturalist after an extended exchange of letters regarding his pay. The documents include (nb item 8) some interesting detail about his plans to collect and record animals, plants and minerals on the expedition. In the event, Kummer suffered the same fate as others in the expedition in being overcome by fever in 1817. Whilst on the expedition Kummer’s financial affairs were in the care of Auguste Doumerc, French Commissary General, in Paris.

Colonel Julien Schmaltz (1771-1826) who is mentioned in the letters was a French colonial administrator and governor of Senegal from 1816 to 1820. On 17 June 1816 he had departed for Saint-Louis, Senegal  (with Adolphe Kummer) on board the frigate La Méduse to take up his position as governor when it ran aground.

See Mouser, Bruce L. "Forgotten Expedition into Guinea, West Africa, 1815–17: An Editor’s Comments." History in Africa 35.1 (2008): 481-489.



PERCY, Hugh, third duke of Northumberland (1785–1847), politician and landowner. Letter signed Northumberland, to William Leake, Hon. Sec., 2 sides of a bifolium, 4vo, Alnwick Castle, October 27, 1824, declining a place on the Committee “convened to take into consideration a Plan proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Trench M.P. for building a Quay on the north Bank of the River Thames from London Bridge to Scotland Yard and for making other improvements in the Navigation of the River”, repeating “what I stated to Lieut. Col. Trench when he first explained his speculation that I should certainly oppose this scheme if it in any way interfered with my wharfs at the end of Northumberland Street”. Docketed on the reverse “Duke of Northumberland. Will oppose if it interferes with his Wharfs”. With multiple folds and small nicks to fold edges.


An MP for Cambridge (1819-1832), Lt. Col. Frederick William Trench (c1777-1859) made his mark, as a self-appointed expert on public architecture in several schemes, one of which was for a quay or embankment on the north side of the Thames from Westminster to Blackfriars, drawn up by Philip Wyatt, and launched in July 1824. Trench introduced a bill in March 1825 to authorize its construction, but it was abandoned in the face of strong opposition by riverine interests such as that of Northumberland. In 1841, when metropolitan improvement was again being debated, he revived his Thames Quay scheme, including a proposal for a railway, and again urged it on the royal commission, but without success (ODNB).


PORTEN, Sir Stanier (bap. 1716, d. 1789), government official. Autograph letter signed to Sir Grey Cooper, 1 side 4to, St James's 13 May 1777, acknowledging receipt of Sir Grey's letter with "the draught Petition of Dr Layard to the House of Commons", returning it enclosed (not present) "and for Lord North's information transmit the copy of a letter from Lord Rochford when he was Secretary of State for the Northern Department to the Lord President of the Council, by which you will see from whence originates Dr Layard's Correspondence in Holland", concluding that "What may have followed in Flanders, France and with Baron Noleken has probably been in consequence of the Drs corresponding with Dr Petrus Camper in Holland".


Porten was appointed under-secretary to Lord Rochford in 1768, then secretary of state for the northern department, and in 1770 he followed Rochford to the southern department, where he remained under-secretary until 1782. He was also keeper of the state papers at Whitehall from 1774, and was uncle of the historian Edward Gibbon (ODNB).

His correspondent Sir Grey Cooper (c.1726–1801) was a successful lawyer and politician, and from 1765 to 1782 was secretary to the Treasury. The subject of the letter was Dr Daniel Peter Layard (1721–1802), man-midwife, obstetrician and physician. Dr Petrus Camper FRS (1722-1789) was a highly respected Dutch physician, anatomist, man-midwife, and naturalist.


RIVERS, Richard Savage, fourth Earl (c.1654–1712), army officer and politician. Autograph letter in third person, signed, 2 sides, with integral blank with address panel and docket, 8vo, "For Mr Black, Mercht. in Rotterdam", February 5th 1711/12, regarding supplies of Champaign and china. "The champain you mention is not yet cleard all the Custome Hous yet I can give you noe account of it. Ye 6 Hogsheads I got off in a day and could have done as much more if you had sent it, consider, and if you find it turns better to account wth the risks you run, to send it over then sell it ther .............. pray send me on dozen of blew china cups wth handles and sawcers, and on dozen of Jappan china cups wth sawcers". Two stab-holes through both leaves; small tears on integral blank where seal broken, and traces of two paper hinges.


Rivers became colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards on 4 January 1712, and on 18 January was appointed general and commander-in-chief of the army in Great Britain. Shortly after receiving these appointments, he became seriously ill and went to Bath. He died at his home at Ealing Grove, Middlesex on 18 August 1712.


ROBINSON, John (1650-1723), bishop of London and diplomatist. Parchment document signed "Joh: London", 345 x 355 mm, with bishop of London's wafer seal, and tax seals, countersigned by (his secretary) Ed.Alexander, December 8th 1714, in Latin, appointing Robert Moss to the Rectory of Gilston, Hertford. Three dockets on the reverse, one recording that "Dr Robert Moss was this day instituted to the Rectory of Gilston alias Gedlestone in the County of Hertford in the presence of us .... J.Gibbon .... Tho:Winton". Folded on right side, light staining, and the episcopal seal crumpled and with cracks.


Following significant diplomatic service in Sweden and Northern Europe, Robinson was in 1710 consecrated bishop of Bristol, and the following year was appointed as lord privy seal and a privy councillor. His experience as mediator and position as Bishop, were a perfect combination in him becoming Britain's first plenipotentiary for the peace negotiations at Utrecht. He proposed the final cease-fire of the war on 27 June 1713 and was the first to sign the peace of Utrecht, that ended the War of the Spanish Succession. He returned to London in August 1713, and on 13 March 1714, was consecrated bishop of London. His support of the Whigs earlier in 1714 in respect of the protestant succession, was rewarded upon the accession of George I, who reappointed him privy councillor in September (Queen Anne had died 1st August).

The subject of the document was Robert Moss (c1666-1729), who had been installed as dean of Ely in 1713, and by this document was given the rectory of Gilston. Moss, a high-churchman and Tory, had supported the controversial clergyman Henry Sacheverell throughout his trail in 1710. When Sacheverell began to re-emerge in 1714 (his bar from preaching having been lifted), it was John Robinson who ordered him to return to his parish and stop meddling in politics. The death of Anne, and a triumphant Whig government under George I, brought the end of preferment for high-church clergymen, and perhaps also curtailed Moss in ambitions beyond the Ely deanery, and Gilston rectory.



Robinson, Thomas, first Baron Grantham (1695–1770), diplomatist and politician. Affadavit signed by Thomas Robinson and witnessed by Wm Thomson,  with seal, 1 side, on cut down 4to sheet, 23rd April, 1729, certifying that "His Excellency Cornelius Hop, Sherif and Counselor of the City of Amsterdam, and now Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Provinces at the Congress of  Soissons is alive at Paris this present twelfth day of April.....". One corner cut away (not affecting text), and corners dog-eared.


Horace Walpole appointed Robinson as secretary to the embassy in Paris in 1724, and in a short space of time he found himself chargé d'affaires in Walpole’s absence. In this role, Robinson was highly conscientious, the embassy being anxious to counter the influences of the Jacobite court. Elected MP for Thirsk in 1727, he continued serving abroad, and in 1728 and 1729 was one of three English representatives at the Congress of Soissons, set up to try and secure peace across Europe. In 1730, he was transferred to Vienna, where he remained until returning to England in 1748, to take up politics at home.


ROSE, Hugh James (1795–1838), Church of England clergyman. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, 4to, Hadleigh, March 9, 1833, extending his thanks to the Ipswich Literary Society for electing him an Honorary Member, “I can say with great truth that no one can hear with greater pleasure than myself of Institutions for the purpose of extending a knowledge of real and sound Literature”. Small blemish to right margin.


Rose was a popular preacher, and of his writings, “Discourses on the State of the Protestant Religion in Germany” (1825), firmly established his reputation as an eminent high-church divine. He held office as select preacher in the University of Cambridge in 1825 to 1834. Ill health forced Rose to make a series of changes of residence in his later years - he was dean of Bocking and rector of Hadleigh, Suffolk (1830–34). In 1833 he was appointed the first regius professor of divinity at the new University of Durham, but ill health forced him to resign his post within a year.



RUSSELL, John (1786–1863), clergyman and headmaster. Autograph letter signed to Sir Proby Thomas Cautley, 3 sides of an 8vo bifolium, Devonshire Square, June 1 1855, thanking Cautley for a book sent to him and for his “very kind and affectionate note …… I have only one correction which I would offer. I never thought you a good for nothing Boy. I always thought and hoped well of you. Whether you should arrive at high honour I could not venture to prophesy. But I was fully assured that I was working where profit would come of the working …….. may you continue to go on as you have begun, adding to your honor, and reflecting it on the School which nurtured you”. PHOTO


John Russell graduated from Christ Church Oxford, and was assistant master of Charterhouse from 1806-1811, and master from 1811 to 1832. His correspondent was Russell’s former pupil Sir Proby Thomas Cautley (1802–1871), a civil engineer and palaeontologist who made his name in India, notably in the construction of the Ganges Canal (one of the largest irrigation canals ever built) which was opened in 1854.  He was actively involved in Hugh Falconer's fossil expeditions in the Siwalik Hills, publishing major works on the fossil fauna recovered, which finds he presented the British Museum (214 cases full of fossils were shipped back to England). Cautley was knighted for his services in India in 1854 and back in England was in 1858 appointed to the newly formed Council of India, which ruled in place of the East India Company after the Indian Mutiny of 1857.


RUSSELL, William (1746–1793), historian. Autograph letter signed to George Robinson, 1 side 4to plus integral blank, Knottyholm, January 25 1791, sympathizing with Robinson's complaints at not having received copy, but informing him that "I have now finished my views of the early progress of Idolatory; a subject that has filled volumes, but which I have comprehended with a few pages" and that "In this paquet I have sent three sheets of copy, and shall send other three sometime next week.  On this you may depend". In a post script he adds "The whole introduction, as far as I can judge, will make nine sheets.  At least I will endeavor that it shall not exceed that quantity.  You will now have copy for near seven".


Russell was able to earn a living from his literary work from 1770 onwards, producing works on history (notably The History of America, from the First Discovery by Columbus to the Conclusion of the Late War completed in 1779) and other subjects including poetry, essays, an unsuccessful play, and a tribute to Sarah Siddons, the actress. In 1787 he married a Miss Scott, and settled at Knottyholm, a farm near Langholm, Dumfriesshire, belonging to the duke of Buccleuch. In 1792 he received the honorary degree of LLD from St Andrews University. His health was poor, and this was made worse by constant arguments with booksellers. His correspondent George Robinson was a member of a successful family of booksellers who traded at Addison's Head, 25 Paternoster Row, London, from 1764 until 1822, and for many years were the greatest trading booksellers and publishers in England. (ODNB).


Sams, Joseph (1784–1860), bookseller and dealer in antiquities. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 2 sides, 4to, Darlington 26th May 1825, acknowledging the receipt of a bill for "55£ 2/- being the amnt. for a collection of books, purchased by the late Sir. M. Sykes in the year 1822", and complaining that where a bill has not settled for several years "Interest ought to be paid ........ particularly, as in this case, when the books bought of me by Sir M. Sykes, have been about a year since resold, to such great advantage to the executors, a number of the said works having actually brought treble, & even fourfold, the sums I charged them ...... I can most readily prove by a specific reference to ...... Sir M. S’s sale catalogue, (priced) now, before me  ....... 5£, at least, Interest, ought to be sent, being justly due, & is only about 3 pr. cent, on the debt". Couple of contemporary highlights in red ink, and the top of the page trimmed, removing some unwanted (?) words on the reverse - the text is contiguous from the recto to the verso.


In 1824 Sams closed a school he had been running, to open a bookseller's shop in Darlington, from which he published A descriptive catalogue of a valuable collection of books etc. (1822–6), containing 8071 entries. The books referred to in his letter, had been bought by Sir Mark Sykes (1771–1823), who assembled an extremely fine collection, strong in Elizabethan literature and in fifteenth-century editions of the classics. Sykes died on 16 February 1823 and his books were sold at auction in 3700 lots over a twenty-five day period, producing nearly £18,000.


SCOTT, William (died 1802?), naval captain. Manuscript receipt signed by Captain William Scott, 1 side (16 lines) on a half folio sheet (about 6.5 x 8 inches), Montrose 26th September 1786, with embossed Four Pence duty stamp, recording the receipt from "Colonel Robert Douglas of Strathendry & Lieut. Colonel William Ann Douglas of the third Regiment of Foot Guards, the sum of Ten Pounds Sterling, being one year's interest ............ of the principal sum of two hundred pounds .......". With a manuscript docket and ink 'Tenn Pence Quire' stamp on the reverse.


Scott's debtors, Robert Douglas (1716-1803) and his son William Ann Douglas (1753-1803) are interesting by virtue of their family connection to the famous moral philosopher and political economist Adam Smith (1723-1790). Colonel Robert Douglas was Adam Smith's uncle, his sister Margaret (1694-1784) having married Smith's father in 1720. William Ann Douglas (1753-1803) was the eldest of five sons of Col. Robert Douglas and his wife Cecilia. His brother David Douglas (1769-1819) spent his later childhood in the home of Adam Smith, who left David his library in his will.

Captain William Scott RN of Montrose is possibly the Captain William Scott whose death is recorded on 29 April 1802 "late of Bombay" at Chessel's Court, Edinburgh . His son David Scott Esq was attached to the Bengal Civil Service, whose daughter Dorothea Helen Scott married William Piper Esq in 1864 in New South Wales, Australia.


SHARPE, Lieutenant-General Matthew (1774-1846), army officer and landowner. Autograph letter signed to John Hope Johnstone Esq of Annandale, Rachills, Moffat, 3 sides plus address panel (with postmark and part bof seal), 4to, Hoddom Castle [Dumfries], 26th July [postmark 1826], . Accepting an invitation to dine, but circumspect about joining a shooting party since fracturing his leg, and commenting upon absentee landowners: “Ireland itself scarcely exceed this Country in Absenteeism, nor do I see how a sufficient number of respectable Country gentlemen can be got together as will impress his Grace with that opinion of the Country, we would wish to be first on his mind. Then, that distinction, Gentleman, in these times of liberation has got so extended that unless curbed by the distraction of Freeholder, or some other which would vastly compress, its limits, would send forth specimens in my humble opinion not likely to give him very high notions of the Aristocracy of the Country.” Address panel soiled, and hole next to seal and paper torn from edge by seal (affects a few words).


Lieutenant-General Matthew Sharpe (1774-1846) took over the estate at Hoddom, upon the death of his father Charles Sharpe in 1813. He commissioned in 1826 the Edinburgh architect William Burn, to design extensive additions to the old castle, which were completed about 1832. Sharpe became Liberal M.P. for the Dumfries burghs from 1832 to 1841. His correspondent John James Hope-Johnstone (1796- 1876) held the office of Hereditary Steward of Annandale & Hereditary Keeper of Lochmaben Palace.


SHERLOCK, William (1639/40–1707), Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist. Affadavit signed by William Sherlock, 1 side on paper 4 x 7 ins., 10th January 1703: “I Willm Sherlock Doctor of Divinity; Dean of Ye Cathedral Church of St. Pauls London, & Mtr of Ye Temples in London aforesaid do hereby Certify that Mrs. Charity Woodruffe Ye Daughter & Nominee of Unton Croke late of Ye Inner Temple London aforesaid Esqr deceased, in a certain Order No.419 is living. Witness my hand this tenth day of January Ano’ Dni’ 1703”. Repair to reverse, and left margin heavily browned and nibbled.


Sherlock was a staunch supporter of Church of England orthodoxy, who defended in print and in the pulpit, the Church of England against Catholicism and dissenters, often courting widespread controversy.

Unton Croke was a parliamentarian army officer and lawyer who died in 1694. In his will he gave only token sums to his daughters Drury and Bridgett, and divided most of the remainder of his estate between his other daughters Charity, Gratious, and Eleanor Snow. ODNB



SIMPSON, Sir James Young, first baronet (1811–1870), physician and obstetrician. Autograph letter signed to Mr Keith Johnstone, March Hall, 2 sides, 8vo, no date [1850s], 52 Queen’s St, Edinburgh, thanking him for an invitation which he was unable to accept as he was dining with the Belgian Consul, and informing him that a Dr Smith from Lima living at 2 Manor Place “has bought over a large collection of Peruvian Antiquities and Pictures which perhaps would interest Mr Pentland, as if I remember rightly some of his first Minerological investigations were made in that part of the world”.


Sir James Young Simpson was an important Scottish figure in the history of medicine famous for his discovery of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and for its successful general medical use. He also had a great interest in archaeological and historical subjects, and in 1861 was elected professor of antiquities by the Royal Scottish Academy. His correspondent was the geographer and cartographer (Alexander) Keith Johnston  (1804–1871), geographer at Edinburgh in ordinary to the queen, fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and honorary doctor of the University of Edinburgh.

In suggesting to Johnston that ‘Mr Pentland’ might be interested in Dr Smith’s collection of Peruvian antiquities, Johnston as a geographer was doubtless well acquainted with the naturalist and explorer Joseph Barclay Pentland (1797–1873). Pentland undertook extensive explorations in Peru and Bolivia, where he collected many plant, animal and fossil specimens as well as archaeological remains. He helped Mary Somerville in the preparation for publication of maps of Peru and Bolivia for her Physical Geography (1848),  An undescribed nickel–iron mineral he found from Craigmure, Argyll, came to be named ‘pentlandite’ after him.



SINCLAIR, Sir John, first baronet (1754–1835), agricultural improver, politician, and codifier of ‘useful knowledge’. Autograph letter signed in third person, to Mr Wedgwood, Greek Street, Soho, 1 side, folio, with address panel and endorsement overleaf, plus broken seal, Whitehall, Friday March 19th 1790. “Sir John Sinclair wishes to have the inclosed account [not present] settled and paid But he thinks that there are two or three Articles, which he brought with him from Abroad, which were sent to Mr. Wedgewood, and which he should be glad to have returned. The Bearer will settle the account, that has been delivered”. Address panel soiled, and seal has torn a section of paper, since repaired.


After the death of his first wife in 1785, Sinclair was appointed by William Pitt commercial negotiator to the northern courts. He went through Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Prussia, Austria, Hanover, the Netherlands, Flanders, and France, meeting the leading political figures and making links that he was to use later with the network of scientific contacts built up by Sir Joseph Banks. Upon his return, he launched in 1790 the idea of a survey of the state of the country, which was to become the twenty-one volumes of the Statistical Account of Scotland. ODNB

Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795), master potter, had his London showrooms at numbers 12-13 Greek St from 1774-1797.


Sinclair, Sir John, first baronet (1754–1835), agricultural improver, politician, and codifier of ‘useful knowledge’. Autograph letter signed to Mr McLeod of the [Glasgow] Courier, 5 sides plus address panel on integral blank, 8vo, 133 George St. Edinburgh 24th February 1827, speculating on the removal of Lord Liverpool "There is a chance, by the removal of Lord Liverpool, of our returning to the ancient policy of this country; for his private character gave him great influence in bringing about the mischievous public projects which he recommended", and appending a list of  four queries for McLeod on trade with America. Glued rear edge indicating removal from an album, and base of letter nibbled affecting a few words of text.


Sinclair developed his enthusiasm for “useful knowledge” after travelling abroad in 1785, and in 1790  launched the idea of a survey of the state of Scotland, which was to materialise as the twenty-one volume Statistical Account of Scotland. In 1793 Pitt supported him in the formation of a Board of Agriculture, through which Sinclair gave birth to an important series of county agricultural reports for Britain. He stepped down from politics in 1811 in the face of bankruptcy, but secured his Caithness parliamentary seat for his son.

On 17 February 1827 the Prime Minister Lord Liverpool suffered a stroke, and in April the King appointed George Canning to replace him (although Canning died in August the same year).



SPENCER, Almeric John Churchill (1834-1864). Ordination document for Almeric John Churchill Spencer as Deacon to Bishopthorpe Parish Church, North Yorkshire, part printed on vellum (9 1/2 x 7 inches) with manuscript entries and the signature and seal of Thomas Musgrave, Archbishop of York, dated 7th June 1857. PHOTO


Almeric John Churchill Spencer was born in Buxton, Derbyshire, the son of the Rt Rev George John Trevor Spencer (1799 –1866) and Harriet Theodora, daughter of Sir Benjamin Hobhouse. Almeric was the great grandson of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough. He married Isabella Elizabeth Fane (1835-1924) in 1857 by whom he had two daughters, Henriette and Adelaide.

Almeric Spenser’s father George John Trevor Spencer held the perpetual curacy of Buxton, Derbyshire, until his appointment as the Bishop of Madras in 1837. Suffering from ill health in India, he resigned his see in 1849, and was afterwards minister of the Marbœuf Chapel (English Protestant) in Paris, and then chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral. His last post was as Rector of Walton on the Wolds, Leicestershire. In the 1861 census, the extended Spencer family of George and Harriet Spencer are recorded at their home at Edge Moor, Hartington Upper Quarter, near Buxton, Derbyshire (including Almeric, his wife Isabella and two children Harriette and Adelaide).



STUART, John, first marquess of Bute (1744–1814), diplomatist. Two autograph letters, signed Mountstuart to Sir William Musgrave, both 3 sides 4to, with old mount marks to verso.

The first letter Hallinbury 31st May 1785, informing Sir William that he has an interview with Mr Pitt the following day, saying “I have perfect confidence in Mr. Pitts handsome intentions relative to the quantum of the compensation but which I entirely attribute to your friendly exertions.  I confess at the same time I dread the violence of the Chancellor; so much so, that I thought it a matter of prudence to use some endeavours to stop his mouth.  I have accordingly written to Lord Weymouth pressing him in the strongest manner to bring that about; and in order to have two strings to my Bow, I have prevailed with Lady Bute to make a point with Lord Gower to exert himself”, and suggests “An easier method that all this is to back the bill to the supply, as Lord Rockingham did in the case of the reforms of the Civil list; and then the Chancellor may growl and bellow as much as he pleases”. Pasted onto the blank foot of the letter is a supplementary note to Sir William dated ‘Wednesday [1st June] auditor’s office ½ past four’ saying he urgently needs to see Sir William that afternoon. Both pieces are docketed as received 1st June 1785.

The second letter headed and dated Auditor’s Office. 7th June 1785, informing Sir William that “£7000 still remains the compensation of the Auditor.  Mr. Pitt behaved to me with great openness and civility; and appeared desirous of finding an excuse for agreeing to the original proposal.  I immediately produced the little scrap of paper I prepared yesterday at your house, which he approved of and put in his pocket.  I touched also on the opposition in the house of Lords; but he has entirely quieted my apprehensions by an assurance that he meant the bill to pass as Minister; nor should he look upon any alteration in the sum given to us, as the fair equivalent; he was pledged to stand by the bargain he had made ………..  I must tell you a good one of Lord Sondes who came with Mr. Pitt whilst I was there.  When the clause enacting the annuity should be paid clear of all deduction was talked of, Mr. Pitt said, certainly, for there are no outgoings in this, you pay no land tax – I replied no.  When we were in the street Lord Sondes frightened to death said my Lord we are in another scrape, you have assured Mr. Pitt we have no outgoings when we both pay the Land tax for our respective offices – meaning the houses we hire.” Docketed at the head of the letter “Recd. 7 June.  Answd. 8 June”. PHOTO

The two items £300

John Stuart, first marquess of Bute (1744–1814) was the eldest surviving child of John Stuart, third earl of Bute, prime minister, and his wife Mary Wortley Montagu, and was styled Lord Mount Stuart (or Mountstuart) from birth until his father's death in 1792. He was a Tory Member of Parliament for Bossiney from 1766 to 1776 and was subsequently elevated to the Peerage as Baron Cardiff, of Cardiff Castle, though he was still often known by his title of Lord Mountstuart. In 1781 he was appointed to the sinecure of Auditor of the Imprests alongside Lewis Watson, 1st Baron Sondes. It was a profitable office of the Exchequer established in 1559, responsible for auditing the accounts of officers of the English crown to whom money was issued for government expenditure. During the American War of Independence, the government came under great pressure to ensure that its revenue was properly spent, which led to a number of acts abolishing many sinecures. This movement ended with the abolition of the Auditors of the Imprests in 1785 and their replacement by five Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accounts. These letters are written at the exact time of the abolition of the sinecure, and provide an insight into the process of compensation when Mountstuart was awarded the huge sum of £7,000.

Sir William Musgrave, sixth baronet (1735–1800), was an administrator, print collector, and antiquary. A notably effective customs commissioner, he became in 1785 one of the five members of the new Commission for Auditing the Public Accounts, taking over the duties of Mountstuart and Sondes who had allowed serious arrears to build up and were suppressed. The commission answered directly to William Pitt, who served as chancellor of the exchequer as well as first lord of the Treasury.


TAIT, Archibald Campbell (1811–1882), archbishop of Canterbury. Autograph letter signed A.C.London [as Bishop of London], incomplete letter 4 sides, 8vo, [to Lord Palmerston, 1862] , declining the appointment to the archbishopric of York "I have to consider that a very great assistance to me in the performance of my present duties is derived from that complete knowledge of the details of my work in London which six years experience of the Diocese has secured - that I might find the distant and untried work of York less congenial, and, though less pressing, more difficult for me - that, without some very strong counterbalancing reason, it is not desirable that I should leave plans which I have begun but scarcely matured in London .................. I am sure, when your Lordship reads this, you will not think that I have lightly set aside the very tempting offer made and renewed to me, or that I should be justified in now altering my decision".


In 1856 Lord Palmerston offered Tait the bishopric of London, which he gladly accepted and where he made his greatest contribution to the ministry of the Church of England. The demands of his office took a toll on his health, evident to himself from fainting spells and to the public from cancelled appointments. This prompted Lord Palmerston in 1862 to offer him the more prestigious but less demanding archbishopric of York, which he declined [as set out in this letter]. Appreciation of Tait's leadership prompted Queen Victoria to insist on his appointment to the archbishopric of Canterbury when it fell vacant in October 1868. Disraeli, who faced a general election in which he needed to harvest votes from supporters of the established church, wanted to appoint a bishop whose doctrinal orthodoxy was above suspicion, and he gave way to the queen reluctantly. ODNB


TAIT, Archibald Campbell (1811–1882), archbishop of Canterbury. Autograph letter on mourning paper signed A.C.Canterbury [as Archbishop of Canterbury], 3 sides, 8vo, Addington Park, Croydon, Dec 19th 1879, to The Rev. The Secretary Anglo-Oriental Socy. for Suppression of the Opium Trade, thanking him for his letter of the 18th "enclosing a copy of an Address to the Electors of the United Kingdom on the subject of the Opium Trade "which you asked me to sign ........ This however, I think it would hardly be becoming in me to do. Much as I regret the evil which the opium trade causes, I do not feel that I ought to come forward, in the way you propose, in a matter connected with the approaching election". Fragments of red paper seal at two corners.


The Anglo-Oriental Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade was founded in London in November 1874, and quickly attracted the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Society's request referred to in this letter was apparently however, a step too far. In the following spring (1880) Disraeli and the Conservatives lost the general election, and the Liberals returned under Gladstone, giving the reformers (most of whom were Liberal supporters) hope for their campaign. Tait re-affirmed his support, but died in 1882. Ten years later, Gladstone, faced with growing pressure for reform, agreed to a public inquiry, but it was not until 1905 that parliament, under another Liberal government, finally and overwhelmingly supported the abolition of the opium trade.



TAYLOR, Simon (c1765-1848), sugar tycoon of Jamaica. Duplicate letter signed to Stephen Fuller, 1 side, 4to, Kingston, Jamaica 13th December 1794, with address panel on integral blank bearing straight line JAMAICA stamp and Inland Office Bishop mark dated 18 March 1795. Informing Fuller that he had written to him by the last Packet "that the House of Assembly had chose Mr Robert Sewell the Agent" and that he should expect to receive from the Speaker a letter with the Vote of the House thanking him for his "long, faithful and meretorious service, which was carried N: C: and they have further voted you a Sum of £500 Guineas, to be paid out in any way you may think proper ........... By this you will perceive that it has not been from any dissatisfaction with your Conduct that they have not appointed you, but to prevent Mr.Edwards's Friends bringing in him, in case of any accident happening to you, and which they would have certainly attempted ......... He has not by any means added to his Popularity from his Southampton Attempt. And however People may be dissatisfied with Mr Pitts conduct, Every Man that has anything he can call his own by no means wish that the constitution should be overthrown nor England and the Colonies in the same state of Anarchy as France and her Colonies are in". Right hand margin frayed affecting text, and with piece of paper missing from integral blank where the seal was broken. The letter comes with a full typescript transcription. PHOTO


Simon Taylor was born in Jamaica, the eldest son of Patrick Taylor, a merchant in Kingston, Jamaica. He became an attorney for absentee planters which brought in a substantial income enabling him to purchase many sugar plantations, and he played a significant role in Jamaican politics. Lady Maria Nugent, wife of the Governor of Jamaica, describes him in her Journal in 1806 as “ much the richest proprietor in the island, and in the habit of accumulating money so as to make his nephew and heir one of the most wealthy subjects of His Majesty. In strong opposition to Government at present and violent in his language against the King’s Ministers, for their conduct towards Jamaica. He has great influence in the Assembly...”.

Taylor's correspondent Stephen Fuller was from 1764 English agent for the Jamaica Assembly and with his brother did much to further the Jamaica interest, being the author of several pamphlets, notably on slavery. This letter evidently relates to Robert Sewell being been voted onto the Assembly in place of Fuller, although other sources (see ODNB) suggest that Fuller remained on the Assembly until his death in 1799. Robert Sewell (1751-1828) was (from 1780) Attorney General of Jamaica and was a pro-slavery member of the Parliament. He returned to England in 1795 and became in 1796 member of parliament for Grampound. He spoke in the House of Commons on behalf of the West Indian Planters interest, and 1797 argued that it would be economically impossible to abolish slavery.

The reference to Mr Edwards refers to Bryan Edwards (1743–1800), planter and politician, and author of The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, published in 1793. In his early years in Jamaica Edwards learned about the sugar plantation business and was made a partner in managing his uncle's large holdings, and became heavily involved in Jamaican politics. Edwards and his fellow planters engaged in debates and enacted legislation to protest against restrictions imposed on trade and shipping between the British West Indies and the United States, supporting reform of the Atlantic slave trade, but opposing its abolition. In 1792 he left Jamaica and settled in Southampton, becoming a highly successful West India merchant and the founder of a bank. (ODNB)

It was the practice, as in this case, for duplicate copies of transatlantic letters to be sent by different packets in case of shipwreck.



THORNTON, Ann. Autograph letter signed to Edward Mosley Esq, Newcastle, 2 sides, folio, Sunderland, February 12th 1790, with address panel bearing a Sunderland hand stamp, broken seal (piece of paper detached), and in which Edward Mosley has written and signed a reply dated Newcastle 17th February 1790 on a blank space. Ann Thornton writes informing Mosley of the loss of her son on board the Edward "which ship was run on board by the Grafton of your port the 19th of Decr last off Robin Hood's Bay ............ My husband & I flatter'd ourselves of our Son's being a Support to us ........ it was the first voyage for himself after serving his time ........ My husband is lamed in one of his hands by a misfortune he met with by a Gun during the late War which prevents him often getting a birth" and appends a copy of a letter received from Mr Jackson owner of the Edward on 19th January, and asks that an answer is addressed to Robert Thornton in Sunderland. In Edward Mosley's reply dated 17th February he sympathises with the loss of their son but states that "upon the strictest enquiry find there is not the least ground from Mr Jacksons report of ye Grafton running on board the Edward".

Together with

JACKSON, Thomas. Autograph letter signed ('for my Father in his absence') to Messrs Mosley & Airey, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2 sides, 4to, London April 17th 1790, with address panel bearing a circular date stamp, broken seal (piece of paper detached). Saying that his father has "made himself perfectly satisfied that it was your ship the Grafton which run foul of his Brig Edward and was the cause of her being sunk ....... one Man being drowned ......... having suffered a sufficient time to elapse for you to make every Enquiry about the fact.....and treat with him [his father] about the damage.............. if no reply is recd from you in due course, you will think my Father (under whose Direction I act) justifiable in forthwith communicating an Action to recover the Loss".

The two items £75

The family concerned may possibly be Robert and Ann Thornton of Sunderland who are found in the IGI having had four children, Thomas christened 24th April 1768; Robert born 1st March 1772; Matthias christened 28th August 1774 and Elizabeth christened 15th September 1776. Thomas Thornton's dates would fit with the son who was drowned as he is referred to in the letter as having reached 22 years. Local research would be interesting in following up the outcome of this case.



THORP, Robert (1771-1843), attorney. Incoming correspondence and associated documents of the attorney Robert Thorp of Alnwick, Northumberland, comprising 100 items dating from 1799 to 1809 regarding various legacies, concerning in particular the estates of Colonel and Mrs Swinburn of Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as those of Mrs Jane Mills of Monkseaton, Mr Wren and Mr Ellison. Amongst the collection are 24 autograph letters signed from William Ingham surgeon of Newcastle upon Tyne; and 17 from the Rev. John Bacon of Bishop Auckland, Durham. Condition is generally good, but many with tears to folds and small losses, and 3 items are fragments of letters/documents. PHOTO


Robert Thorp was the second son of Robert Thorp (1736-1812), Archdeacon of Northumberland and Rector of Ryton, co. Durham. He married Mary Ann Alder, and became an attorney in Alnwick, Northumberland. The family business of solicitors of which Robert was a founder, Dickson, Archer & Thorp, operated in Alnwick from the early 19th century until 2003.

Probably the most interesting group of letters to Thorp are those of the surgeon and apothecary William Ingham (1753-1817) of Newcastle upon Tyne. Ingham was the son of a Whitby surgeon and was apprenticed to Richard Lambert of the Newcastle Infirmary, where he was appointed a physician in 1778. He served the Infirmary as physician for 33 years. Another interesting correspondent is the Rev John Bacon (1754-1827) who was Headmaster of Bishop Auckland Grammar School from 1779-1801.

Much business contained in the correspondence and documents concerns the estate of “Colonel Swinburn” – this is William Swinburn, at the time of his death in 1806 Lieutenant Colonel to the Fifth Royal Garrison Battalion and Colonel by Brevet in the Army of Folkestone, Kent.



TOWNSHEND, George Ferrars [alias George Compton], third Marquess Townshend (1778–1855), disinherited aristocrat. Autograph letter in the third person to Mr G. Doo, Engraver, 10 Adams Terrace, Kentish Town, 1 side plus integral blank with address panel with seal and postal franks, 4to, 58 Portland Place, Thursday 3d July 1834, enquiring “The Engraving of the “2 Boys Heads” he supposes is not forward enough yet to be seen ……….. Should Mr. Doo be passing Portland Place some morning the ensuing week or following one L T has a Head by B-----andt He thinks Mr. Doo would be gratified in seeing”. Small piece of paper removed from blank edge by seal, and remains of paper along blank edge indicating removal from an album. PHOTO


Townshend was known as Lord Chartley and Lord Leicester before succeeding as marquess in 1811, but he had a serious dispute with his father over the use of the title of earl of Leicester, and was subsequently disinherited by him in favour of his younger brother, Charles. Reasons for the rupture were not made explicit. His marriage in 1807 to Sarah Chatteris was a disaster and they separated in 1808, following which he lived chiefly at Genoa, where he was known as Mr Compton. His correspondent George Thomas Doo (1800–1886) was an engraver, appointed in 1836 historical engraver-in-ordinary to William IV. ODNB


Waldegrave, James, first Earl Waldegrave (1684–1741), diplomatist and politician. Affadavit signed by Waldegrave, countersigned  J.Burnaby, and witnessed by Ja: Reynolds, 17th January 1737 [1738], with a fine black armorial wax seal, 1 side, on cut down folio sheet, certifying that "Mrs. Elizabeth Ogleby is alive at Paris this eleventh day of January – one thousand seven hundred and thirty eight". PHOTO


Waldegrave was appointed to the prestigious Paris embassy in April 1730, following Charles Townshend's resignation from the ministry. Paris was a vital diplomatic centre for the exiled Stuart court, and from the outset Waldegrave closely followed Jacobite affairs, cultivating spies and diplomatic contacts. From February to late April 1738 Waldegrave was on leave in England, and received the blue ribbon of a knight of the Garter.

The subject of the affadavit might possibly be Elizabeth Ogilby, formerly companion of Madame de Gouvernet (Esther d' Hervart c.1636–1722), and one of only two beneficiaries of Madame de Gouvernet's will, other than her family and the refugee hospital.


WALPOLE, Robert, first earl of Orford (1676–1745), prime minister. Autograph letter signed to Mr Dodington, 1 side 4to with integral blank, docketed, Whitehall October 10th 1723, telling his correspondent that “although the new vacancy, that has happen’d, may contribute to make us easy with regard to other people what concerns you was before as much determin’d as ‘tis my power to determine it, & I question not but upon ye King’s return you will immediately find ye good effects of it and addingI suppose Paul is with you, & as he is stout, I beg he will be merciful, & whatever havock he makes with yr game abroad I hope he will not be unconscionable in his recreations with in doors”. Paper with folds and creases.


Robert Walpole’s correspondent was the politician and diarist George Bubb Dodington (1690/91–1762), whose political career was on the ascendant in the early 1720s. Walpole’s own standing at the end of 1723 had never been higher with the Townshend–Walpole ministry being firmly established, and he saw in Dodington an useful ally with his recent appointments  as lord lieutenant of Somerset and the clerkship of the pells in Ireland, plus a successful election campaign at Bridgwater. In April 1724 Walpole selected Dodington to join him at the Treasury board as a lord commissioner, succeeding Henry Pelham, the new secretary at war.



WEBB, George of Lowestoft. Manuscript notebook of George Webb, variously describing himself as Officer of Excise, Constable and Surveyor of the Highways for the Parish of Lowestoft, with 174 pages of close-written manuscript (5 leaves with no MS entries) bearing dates ranging from 1785 to 1805. The contents cover notes and tables relevant to Webb's duties under subjects including window taxes; turnpike trustees; repair of roads; accessories; shop tax; male and female servants; carriages; search warrants; seized goods; proclamations; selling beer without a licence; bread assizes; auction duties; justice's clerks fees; pawning; duties on spirits; militia; surveyor of highways matters; hawkers & pedlars; stamps on receipts, and more. He includes many sample forms of legal documents, judgements etc mostly actual cases including the names of the individuals involved. A highly interesting working notebook relevant to Lowestoft and the wider county of Suffolk, citing a very large number of names of local people. Bound in contemporary full leather (neatly rebacked), with one of two brass clasps still preserved. PHOTO


George Webb identifies himself as an Officer of Excise in several of the earlier entries bearing a date of 1785. In entries dated 1789 he is identified as a constable and a Surveyor of the Highways, evidently performing two or more parish officer roles. Constables were elected by the parish and had a wide range of duties including the levying of taxes. The Surveyor of Highways was an unpaid officer chosen by Justices from a list of landowners in the parish, who was obliged to survey the highways three times a year and organise road repairs. It is very interesting to find Webb occupying appointments as Excise officer, constable and Surveyor of Highways, apparently concurrently.

This may be the George Webb found in the IGI, born in Lowestoft in 1727, who died 27th May 1812. He married Hannah Taylor, and had at least two children, Lewis (born about 1752, died 1 April 1790) and Charles (born 12 January 1771, died 1 October 1771).


WEMYSS, Baronets of Bogie, Fyfe Scotland. Manuscript inventory of documents relating to the Wemyss family, Baronets of Bogie, Fyfe, Scotland, consisting of 18 pages of entries on bound folio sheets, listing some 256 deeds, bonds etc dating from 1500 to 1719, with the heading “Inventer of the writs found in the Caboynet in the lower bed chamber of Boggie. Takeing up the eight day of Aprile [1700] and nineteen years. In presence of Dam Anna Lockhart, Lady Boggie, Mr Thomas Hoop of Kinkeila and Mr Robert Ponton minister of the Gospell at Kennoway”.  Creases, and fore-edges frayed in places. A considerable amount of the family’s dealings and history can be reconstructed from the numerous entries in the inventory. PHOTO


Sir James Wemyss of Bogie (c1645-1707), First Baronet of Bogie and Third Baronet of Wemyss, lived in Fife, Scotland. He married twice – his second wife being Lady Elizabeth Loch (Lady Boggie in the document) who died c1721.




WILBERFORCE, William (1759–1833), politician, philanthropist, and slavery abolitionist. Autograph letter signed to Rt Hon Henry Dundas, 2 sides of an 8vo bifolium, plus address panel docketed, Clapham 19th May 1794, regarding the arming of the Volunteer Corps “I wish you would talk with Nepean for 3 minutes abt my idea of Governments not giving Pikes but Muskets etc to the Volunteer Corps. He is in some degree in Possession of my Apprehensions on that subject & I cannot but think them of the utmost importance. My eyes hurt me so. I cannot write & I despair of being able to get to speak to you this morning”. The blank corners of the address leaf with two sections torn and cut (probably to open the sealed letter). A scarce item from Wilberforce’s earlier political career. PHOTO


In March 1794 parliament responded to the invasion threat posed by revolutionary France in passing a Militia Act that called upon ‘gentlemen of weight or property’ throughout the realm to initiate local defence plans that included the establishment of volunteer military formations. Evidently there was some concern by Wilberforce and others about arming the rank and file given the upsurge of the radical movement in Britain at outbreak of the French Revolution on England’s doorstep.

Wilberforce’s correspondent Henry Dundas (1742–1811), was from 1791 home secretary, and amongst other things was responsible for suppressing popular unrest sparked off by the French Revolution, starting with the Birmingham riots of 1791. Dundas’s colleague in the Home Office was under-secretary of state Evan Nepean (1752–1822) and both men were transferred to the War Office in July 1794, Nepean becoming under-secretary for war, and Dundas secretary of state for war.

Wilberforce was in 1793-94 heavily engaged in promoting the abolition of the slave trade, but the outbreak of the French Revolution created a major diversion in parliamentary time and focus towards the threat of invasion. A vote to abolish the slave trade was narrowly defeated by eight votes in 1793 and in 1793 and 1794, Wilberforce unsuccessfully brought before Parliament a bill to outlaw British ships from supplying slaves to foreign colonies (the Foreign Slave Bill). His fame ultimately rested in the successful passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807 abolishing the British slave trade, and the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire.



WILLOUGHBY, Francis, fifth Baron Willoughby of Parham (bap. 1614, d. 1666), colonial governor. Indenture on parchment (22 x 24 inches) dated 27th March 1645, between Rt Hon. Francis Willoughby, his wife Lady Elizabeth Willoughby, Henry Eltoft of London, gent, Christopher Seymour of London, gent, George Wragge of London, gent, Richard Stretton of London, taylor, and Henry Portman of Putney, gent, relating to the conveyance of property in Putney Heath and the parish of Wimbledon, including a windmill (in the tenure of Anthony Godson, miller) and a bowling green. Bearing the intact seals and signatures of Francis Willoughby, Elizabeth Willoughby, Henry Eltoft, Christopher Seymour and Richard Stretton. Folded horizontally and vertically. PHOTO


Francis Willoughby was the son of William Willoughby, 3rd Baron Willoughby of Parham and Frances Manners, daughter of John Manners, 4th Earl of Rutland. Upon the death of his father in 1617, the barony passed to his older brother Henry for one year until he too died, at which point Francis inherited the barony. In 1628 Willoughby married Elizabeth Cecil (1606–1661), the daughter of Edward Cecil, 1st Viscount Wimbledon.

During the 1630s Willoughby became opposed to Charles I over corruption and the levying of ship money, and in 1642 took command of a horse regiment under the Parliamentary commander, the Earl of Essex, and became commander-in-chief of Lincolnshire. On 16 July 1643 he led an attack on Gainsborough seizing the town, and subsequently fought alongside Oliver Cromwell against the Royalist counterattack, but had to withdraw to Boston. He fought later at the Battle of Winceby and accepted the surrender of Bolingbroke Castle in November 1643. In March 1644 he joined the assault upon Newark under Sir John Meldrum, but the failure of the attack was partially attributed to Willoughby's supposed unwillingness to take orders from Meldrum. From this point onwards his relations with the Parliamentarians began to deteriorate, and by 1647 he espoused the Royalist cause. When Parliament confiscated his estates in 1649, he travelled to the Caribbean, and in 1650 took up the governorship of Barbados.

The conveyance of a windmill and a bowling green are of special interest. Bowling-Green House on Putney Heath (home of Prime Minister William Pitt) was named after the famous bowling green on the heath which may be one and the same as this green in the indenture. The windmill mentioned may possibly be Wimbledon’s first known windmill erected in 1614.



Charlotte Brontë’s Headmaster in Jane Eyre

WILSON, William Carus (1791–1859), Church of England clergyman and founder of charity schools. Autograph letter signed to Charles Baker, Deaf & Dumb Institute, Doncaster, 1 side 8vo, with address overleaf and penny red stamp and frank mark September 10th 1845, acknowledging the receipt of his correspondent’s letter and of a package (probably of publications) “I feel exceedingly obliged to you for your kindness in sending them but really should feel ashamed to accept them even for my schools without paying for them”. Right hand edge with creases and top edge slightly cut down.


William Carus Wilson, a Church of England clergyman, was the founder of several charity schools for girls and was a prolific author of accessible religious literature, mainly aimed at children. The Clergy Daughters' School which he founded at Cowan Bridge, Lancashire in 1824, became notorious as the original of Lowood Institution in Jane Eyre (1847). Charlotte Brontë entered the school in 1824 with her sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, and Emily, and always blamed the school's harsh regime and punitive religious discipline for the deaths of her two eldest sisters. When Mrs Gaskell identified the school and Carus Wilson by name in her Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) she was threatened with a libel action.

By 1845 when this letter was written Wilson’s ill health had forced him to cease the active editorship of his periodicals, and he resigned the management of his schools handing over to his son and sons-in-law.

His correspondent Charles Baker (1803–1874) was a teacher of deaf people, who in 1829 established a deaf and dumb institution at Doncaster. Lacking suitable books, he wrote a graded reading and comprehension course, The Circle of Knowledge; as well as a graded series of books about Bible characters, events, and history; and many other works of special relevance to the teaching of deaf and deaf mute people. (ODNB)


Charlotte Brontë’s Headmaster in Jane Eyre

WILSON, William Carus (1791–1859), Church of England clergyman and founder of charity schools. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent, 4 sides (4 x 5 inches), Casterton Hall, September 10th 1847, reporting that “Mr Holmes does not seem to be able to give any more satisfactory account of this disagreeable business, so I suppose there is nothing to be done but to pay the money” and sending his correspondent a cheque, assuming that his opinion remains the same.


William Carus Wilson, a Church of England clergyman, was the founder of several charity schools for girls and was a prolific author of accessible religious literature, mainly aimed at children. The Clergy Daughters' School which he founded at Cowan Bridge, Lancashire in 1824, became notorious as the original of Lowood Institution in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre published in 1847 (the year of this letter). Charlotte Brontë entered the school in 1824 with her sisters, Maria, Elizabeth, and Emily, and always blamed the school's harsh regime and punitive religious discipline for the deaths of her two eldest sisters. When Mrs Gaskell identified the school and Carus Wilson by name in her Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) she was threatened with a libel action.

The Mr Holmes referred to is possibly the Rev. Holmes, a fellow graduate of Trinity College Cambridge who also set up School for the Daughters of Clergy (in Gloucester in 1831).

By 1847 when this letter was written Wilson had ceased the active editorship of his periodicals, and handed over the management of his schools to his son and sons-in-law.


WORONZOW, Count Simon (1744-1832), Russian diplomat. Autograph letter signed to ‘My Lord’[George John, 2nd Earl Spencer, First Lord of the Admiralty], 2 sides 4to, with integral blank, Richmond, 10th July 1798, in French, with translation into English written in pencil on the integral inside blank, thanking him for his letter informing him of the promotion of Lieutenant Michael Halliday as commander of the Woolwich, who Woronzow has recommended in profuse terms. He reports (translated) that ‘old Admiral Makazoff wrote me on the 21st of last month from Copenhagen, that he arrived there 2 days before, that he is occupied in providing himself with water, that the pilots have not arrived, but that if they do not arrive in 2 days, he will not wait for them and will leave without them, directing his course to the Nore’.


Count Woronzow resided in Britain from 1785 until his death in 1832, occupying the position of Russian ambassador to Great Britain between1785-1806. He was elevated to the rank of ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary in 1796, at an important time when Britain’s Navy was heavily involved in the French Revolution. Woronzow played an important diplomatic role in supporting the British Navy with assistance from the Imperial Russian Navy, a role which was rekindled following Nelson’s action at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798 (a few weeks after this letter was written). The French defeat opened the door to the formation of a Second Coalition in Europe, which Russia promptly signed up to, followed by England in 1799. Vice-Admiral Mikhail Makarov (Makazoff) had operated in conjunction with the British in the North Sea during the First Coalition (1793-1797).

 Michael Halliday (1757-1829) was born in St Petersburg where his father practiced as a physician. He entered the Royal Navy in 1782, and later obtained a Lieutenancy on a Russian first-rate. Upon the outbreak of war with the French he returned to service in the Royal Navy, saw action at sea, and as this letter testifies was promoted as Commander of the Woolwich in 1798, a 44 gun fifth rate, armed en flûte.


WRIGHT, Thomas (1810–1877), historian and antiquary. Autograph letter signed to "My Dear Smith" [Charles Roach Smith], 1 side, 8vo, 24 Sydney Street, Brompton, Wednesday [no date], regarding archaeological matters "I believe you have found the Portus Adurni, but you must have a quiet fine day at it. The next thing to be inquired is, whether coins or other Roman antiquities have been found there. The opinion of a good geologist will be of use with regard to the reason for using the flints. Is the Norman tower faced with Flints?", and on other matters, including an enclosure from "Guest"; proofs to look over for a book; and offering to give him a duplicate book.


From about 1837 until his death Wright lived in London, residing for thirty or so years at 14 Sydney Street, Brompton. He published a huge volume of work on antiquarian, historical, literary and artistic subjects. A close friend was the antiquary Charles Roach Smith (to whom this letter is almost certainly written) who together founded the the British Archaeological Association in 1843. Smith was especially active in the excavation and study of Roman archaeology and Roman coins.



[YELVERTON, Sir Christopher (1536/7–1612), judge and speaker of the House of Commons]. Indented vellum quitclaim document in a fine hand in English between Paul Streteley of Strixton, Northampton, and Christopher Yelverton of Easton Maudit, Northampton, in respect of land between Strixton and Bozeat parish, dated 15th April, 30th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth [1588], signed by Paul Streteley, 21 x 8 ½ inches, seal missing from tag, endorsed on the reverse with the signature of Richard Smith. PHOTO


Paul Streteley owned Chibenhurst manor, Oxfordshire until 1562-3, and from this date appears to have acquired land in and around Strixton, Northamptonshire. Of special interest is the grantee of the land in this quitclaim Christopher Yelverton (1536/7–1612) who was born in Norfolk, was a wealthy lawyer, M.P., J.P., queen's serjeant, judge and speaker of the House of Commons, and was knighted by James I. Yelverton had four sons and eight daughters, and although he complained about the expense of providing for such a large family, he was very active in the purchase of land in his adopted county of Northamptonshire, spending over £5,000 on properties in his lifetime (ODNB).

The document was drawn up on the eve of the Spanish Armada, when in April 1588 the final preparations were being made for the Armada to sail – a blessing was made to the Armada banner on 25th April, and a first attempt to sail took place on 28th May from Lisbon.