[R. A. Austen-Leigh.] ALS and TLS to P. C. Vellacott, Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, regarding historical queries; TLS from Austen-Leigh to C. H. K. Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton, with Marten's ALS reply on reverse. With draft of Vellacott letter

R. A. Austen-Leigh [Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh] (1872-1961), Jane Austen scholar and relative [P. C. Vellacott, Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge; Sir Henry Marten (1872-1948), Provost of Eton College]
Publication details: 
One (ALS to Vellacott): As from D2 Albany, Piccadilly W1. 3 May 1942. Two (TLS to Vellacott): on letterhead of 1 New-street Square, London, EC4. 10 June 1942. Three (TLS to Marten): same as Two. Four (Marten to Austen-Leigh): Eton. 11 August 1942.
SKU: 14297

Austen-Leigh's three letters are all signed 'R A Austen Leigh'. ONE: ALS to Vellacott. 3 May 1942; 'as from | D2 Albany | Piccadilly W.1'. 2pp., 12mo. He asks if Vellacott can 'enlighten me on the following point - I am editing some letters of Dr. Goodall, who was Provost of Eton 1809 to 1840. There follows a sixteen-line transcript of a letter written in May 1838 from Goodall to his brother, regarding which he writes: 'Who would Mr. V - have been, if one presumes that Goodall gave his real initial?' (Vellacott has pencilled in the reply 'Thomas Veasey Fellow'.) A paragraph regarding Lawrence Impey and the Beefsteak Club follows, and there is the following postscript: 'I had, in writing the above, overlooked the fact that another Mr. V - did become Master a hundred years later!' TWO: TLS to Vellacott. On letterhead of 1 New-street Square, London, EC4; 10 June 1942. 1p., 12mo. Written in response to a letter from Vellacott of 8 June 1842, a carbon copy of which (1p., 4to) is present, in which Vellacott asks for information concerning any surviving portrait of the Master of Peterhouse from 1699 to 1733, Thomas Richardson, who may be 'the first Master to live in this Lodge. This Lodge only came into our possession about six years before his death and he may not have moved from the rooms in College then occupied by the Master.' Austen-Leigh replies that he does not know of any portrait of Richardson, but that he will 'write to the Vice-Provost [Marten] and also to Wasey Sterry'. In the second paragraph he gives a little biographical information regarding Richardson, and ends with comments on the longevity of the Masters of Peterhouse, Impey, and the new Headmaster of Harrow, adding waspishly: 'not that I ever heard of him. I assume it was not too easy to find the right man.' THREE: TLS to Marten. Place and date as Two. 1p., 12mo. He asks whether it is possible that there is a portrait of Richardson in the Cloisters. Marten's ALS ('C. H. K. M.') in reply is on the reverse, dated from Eton on 11 August 1942. Apologising for his 'scandalously late answer' he writes that he 'can find no trace' of any portrait. At the foot of the page is a note from Austen-Leigh [to Vellacott, to whom he is forwarding the letter]: 'This is not a particularly belated reply for the V. P.! | Sorry it is a blank | RAAL | 13.8.42'.