[ Archibald Hair of the Royal Horse Guards, doctor to the Duke of Richmond. ] Five Autograph Letters Signed, with part of a sixth, to Sir John Phillipart, on a range of subjects; with printed circular on the War Medal Testimonial to the Duke.
ONE: Hair's six letters to 'My Dear Sir John [Phillipart]', editor of the Naval and Military Gazette. (One of the letters has 'Sir John Phillipart' named as the addressee.) In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The five complete letters total 15pp., 12mo. Only the first part of the incomplete letter is present, and it is 4pp., 4to, on a bifolium. The letters mostly concern the Duke of Richmond, and Hair's position within the Duke's household is described in his obituary in the Dumfries Courier, reprinted in the Glasgow Daily Herald, 22 December 1869: 'After his retirement from the army [in 1843], Dr Hair became a resident in the family of his attached friend the late Duke of Richmond, acting as the Duke's medical attendant and confidential adviser. About three years ago, while still in good health, but urged by the infirmities of age, he retired from the position he had so long occupied in the Richmond family – by all members of which he was very cordially and affectionately esteemed – to his own residence in his native town of Sanquhar'. In the first dated letter, 10 June 1848, Hair expresses a desire to put himself 'in a Piccadilly Bus' and visit Phillipart at College House, in order to 'talk matters over'. He also refers to Lord Londonderry's 'most disgusting' conduct in the House of Lords, described to him over breakfast that morning by the Duke. On 23 July 1851 Hair expresses his regret that Lord Salisbury has not 'at once met your offer of your Services for the Commission of the Peace; - but, it appears to me that he evidently will do so'. On 3 March 1852 he states that he has handed Phillipart's letter to the Duke that morning, and quotes his response: 'If I recollect right – when I spoke to Lord Salisbury – His Lordship had some objections not only to increasing the Number of Magistrates but also to that of the Division or Benches; - However tell Sir John that, as I am likely to meet Lord Salisbury very soon I will take the first opportunity of again speaking to Him, not only on the subject of the Magistracy, but also on tat of the Deputy Lieutenancy.' In one of the undated letters Hair reminds Phillipart that the Duke will be 'more than occupied with the Duties devolving on him as President of the Great Cattle Show of the Royal Agricultural Society of England'. He ends the letter with an appeal for Phillipart's 'Kind Assistance in the Way of Money from 8 or 900 friends of the War Medal whose names do not, as yet, grace the Subscription List'. The other undated letter is the incomplete one, and it describes the War Medal Testimonial dinner given in honour of the Duke. In it Hair writes that, having been at Goodwood, he has since 'passed a Considerable portion of Thursday with our mutual friend Capt. Scott'. - Preparatory to his giving you tomorrow afternoon, or evening, the results of our this day's Concoction, on all matters connected with our really brilliant and most enthusiastic Dinner Party of last Saturday. We talked every thing over, and over again, and agreed in all that he was to lay before you, for the Naval and Military Gazette of next Saturday […] the Duke and Duchess are more delighted – more gratified – than any language can express. - His Grace said it certainly was the proudest day of his life, and, while life remains in him, his gratitude would know no bounds. - To see upwards of 200 Warriors of both Services from all quarters of the United Kingdom gathered together to do homage to Him was almost more than manly courage, and fortitude of the highest order, could bear without being moved. The Duchess – being in the Gallery – on Lord Salisbury's proposing the Duke's health, together with the enthusiastic burst of Applause which instantly followed, was, I am given to understand, fairly & completely upset.' The Duke has gone to Goodwood, but is anxious that his speech praising members of the armed forces 'should be detailed & done justice to (all the Reporters having left when the Toast was given)'. The Duke 'intended to devote part of the day to putting the leading features of it on paper', and 'promised to Scott to send it to his Lodgings in Brompton, tomorrow morning, the moment it comes into my hands'. He is glad Phillipart intends to do something 'to induce those Recipients whose addresses we have not been able to procure, and who have not yet subscribed, to come forward with their Subscriptions – of this Class there are still at least from 8 to 9 Hundred, or more. The letter ends with promise of an anecdote regarding the Duke's treatment of '2 or 3 Blind Veterans' at the dinner. TWO: Printed circular. 3pp., 4to. Bifolium. With two closed tears, otherwise in fair condition, on lightly aged paper. First page carries a letter from Honorary Secretaries Captain John Robb and Major J. H. Cooke, regarding the 'desire […] generally expressed by the recipients of the War Medal to present to the DUKE OF RICHMOND some Testimonial to mark their sense of gratitude for the unwearied zeal, perseverance, and ability with which his GRACE devoted his energies to their service, and brought their claims to a successful issue'. On the second page and the top part of the third page is a long list of the 'Members forming the General Committee', and its sub-committees in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. The remaining part of the third page reproduces propositions made at the meeting by seven individuals beginning with Rear-Admiral Sir William Henry Dillon. No other copy traced on COPAC.