[ Joseph Skelton and Rev. W. M. Kinsey's 'Portugal Illustrated'. ] Two Autograph Letters Signed from Skelton to Kinsey, with detailed response by Kinsey, regarding disputed accounts for work on the book. With itemised account and memoranda by Kinsey.

Joseph Skelton [ Joseph John Skelton ] (1783-1871), engraver [ William Morgan Kinsey (1788-1851) of Trinity College, Oxford, clergyman and traveller in Portugal ]
Publication details: 
Oxford. 1829 and 1831.
SKU: 19529

For information on Kinsey and Skelton, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. The five items in the present collection are in fair condition, on aged and worn paper, but with chipping and wear to the extremities of Item One resulting in minor loss of text at head. The collection comprises two letters from Skelton to Kinsey regarding the substantial account between them, a detailed reply by Kinsey disputing Skelton's account, an itemised account by Kinsey of the account between him and Skelton; and memoranda by Kinsey relating to the second edition of the book. The relationship between the two men is clearly more than a business one: in the first letter Skelton refers to their 'friendship', and expresses shame at approaching Kinsey to settle the account. The material casts an interesting light on the production of luxury illustrated volumes in Georgian England. Both editions of Kinsey's book were published in London by Treuttel & Würtz; the first in 1828, the second a year later. Printed by Valpy, with illustrations by Gibbs and Pugin engraved by Cooke and Skelton, it is a product of an interesting period of English exploration of the Iberian Peninsular (Beckford's impressions of Spain and Portugal appearing in 1834). ONE: ALS from Skelton [to Kinsey]. Oxford, 12 January 1831. 2pp., 8vo. 2pp., 8vo. The letter begins: 'My dear Sir | From the many instances I have received of your friendship I am led to hope you will [forgive] my troubling you with this. The fact is I am so short of cash just at this moment & being on the point of taking my journey to Bristol I am led to subjoin a statement of the small balance due to me. If you could send me over by post your cheque on Walker & Cos. it I [sic] shall esteem it a particular favour'. He had previously called at Trinity 'in hopes of inducing' Kinsey to come and dine with him at home. A brief account of his work on the 'Portugal Plates' follows, ending in a credit to him of £9 13s 8d. In a postscript he writes: 'I am ashamed to write to [you] upon such a trifling affair, but ever nine or ten pounds is an object to me just at this moment | Adieu! God bless you!' TWO: Autograph Letter Signed from Kinsey to Skelton. Abingdon, 13 January 1831. 3pp., 4to. Bifolium. A small rectangular panel at the foot of the second leaf is lacking, having been removed (see text of letter) because it carried a banker's draft by Kinsey. Addressed, with Abingdon postmark, on reverse of second leaf to 'Joseph Skelton Esqre | Magdalene Bridge | Oxford'. The letter describes, in great detail, 'from my private Memoranda, & from your own account in pencil, on the back of the last account, which you presented me with, how matters stood between us, on the afternoon of June 15th. 1829. That same account included all your charges for the illustrations & Costumes complete, for 400 Copies of my work, one hundred of which I had out in India Paper proof & two hundred, on Common Paper, for my publishers, their leaving me a credit upon you for the illustrations of one hundred Common paper Copies, to complete the 400, & which is still, I believe, due to me, Messrs Treuttel not being required that number of plates from you?' Two pages of calculations follow, beginning with an itemised account of four payments, including ones made 'At Clifton', 'In my rooms, on Trinity Monday', 'By dft on Walker from Mr Phillips, from the Bursar of Trinity College'. At the end of the two pages of accounts Kinsey writes: 'Under the certain impression, that this detailed statement will be found by you correct, I add a draft below, on Walker, for £9. 3s 5d, which will be my final payment for 425 copies' illustrations. You owe me still 100 common paper copies illustrations, & I have to pay for 75 copies illustrations, when required by publishers.' He ends in wishing Skelton 'a pleasant & prosperous Journey to Bristol & with kind regards for Mrs S'. Following Kinsey's two pges of calculations Skelton has written: 'Settled. J. Skelton'. THREE: Autograph Letter Signed from Skelton [to Kinsey]. Oxford, 14 January 1831. 2pp., 4to. He begins by thanking him for sending £9 3s 5d, 'the balance for Papers & print 125 Proofs & 305 plain prints Portugal'. It has taken him 'some time to find out how the difference of 10s/3 between our statements could exist, & at last I discovered I had made the mistake in entering the amount of monies you had paid me from the small book to my large one. It is however gratifying to find that our accounts tally to a farthing.' After explaining how the mistake occurred, he turns to 'the number of copies of prints which I have yet to deliver to Messrs. Treuttel & Co', regarding which Kinsey is 'quite mistaken, [Skelton] having only 50 more to send them. Of the 305 they have received 255. That is, 200 in the first instance, 25 more in Octr. 1829, & 30 in May 1830. This is the exact state of the case. And I hope for your sake that they will immediately call upon me for the remaining 50.' He suggests that those left remain with him 'until they are actually wanted. Don't you think an Advertisement or two judiciously thrown out would keep the work alive & be the means of getting off a few copies?' He ends warmly, suggesting that he may soon 'call on Richmond Terrace' (the Kinsey family home in Bristol). FOUR: Autograph itemised account by Kinsey of his financial dealings with Skelton over the plates of the book, between 18 October 1828 and 1 June 1829. 3pp., 4to. Bifolium. Comprising on the first two pages, 44 entries, totalling £245 17s 9d. First entry, for £2 5s 9d: 'Paper & printing 336 various plates to complete over sets, &c'; last entry, for £6 17s 0d: 'Carriage, postage & letters from 1st. Septr. 1828 to 1st June 1829'. The third page, signed and dated at bottom right 'June 15 1829 | WMK', contains a number of calculations, in pencil and ink, and is headed '1829 - | June 7th. - This account includes 400 copies & all the addl. Illustrations –'. FIVE: Autograph account and notes by Kinsey, headed 'Second Edition Portugal Illustrated'. 2pp., 12mo. On leaf with word 'MEMORANDA' printed at head of both sides. First entry on one side dated from 'Cheltenham – June 15th. 1829'; memorandum at foot of page signed and dated 'W M Kinsey | June 16. 1829.' First entry on second page dated 19 June 1829. Second page also carries a list of books sent from 'Oxford – T. C. O. July 21st by van. 1829.' From the papers of the Harington baronets of Ridlington.