[ Sir John Gordon Nairne, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. ] Two Typed Letters Signed ('J. G. Nairne'), one to the wife and the other to the daughter ('Mrs. Magraw') of his disgraced predecessor Frank May, to whom he refers poignantly.

Sir John Gordon Nairne, 1st Baronet [ J. G. Nairne ] (1861-1945), Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, 1902-1918 [ Beatrice Irene Magraw, daughter of Frank May (1832-1897), disgraced Chief Cashier ]
Publication details: 
The first on letterhead of Bank of England; 9 June 1917. The second on letterhead of Furlongs, Tring, Hertfordshire; 28 August 1935.
SKU: 19713

Two items with a poignant subtext. In 1893 Nairne's predecessor as Cashier Frank May had 'suddenly resigned', as the New York Times reported on his death (10 February 1897), 'after a mysterious meeting of the Board of Directors, and for several days exciting rumours circulated in London that something was wrong with the finances. The real facts came out slowly, and they showed that May had induced the officers of the bank to lend money on doubtful securities, the collapse of which caused a loss to the institution of about £50,000'. Both items in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. ONE: TLS from 'J G. Nairne' to 'Mrs. Magraw' (Frank May's daughter, born Beatrice Irene May), 9 June 1917. 1p., 12mo. He begins by thanking her for her congratulations (on his being awarded a baronetcy). 'Although you ask me not to answer your letter, I feel that I must do so. I owe several of the first steps on the ladder of advancement to your dear Father, and I am not likely to forget the great kindness which he always showed me, nor the many pleasant week-ends which I spent at Elstree.' (Until his disgrace May resided at The Grange, Elstree.) TWO: TLS from 'J. G. Nairne' to 'My dear Mrs. May', 28 August 1935. 2pp., 8vo. He begins by explaining why his visit 'was such a hurried one'. He 'wanted to see Mr. May's grave so paid a visit to the Churchyard nearby but I was not fortunate enough to find it. Perhaps he was buried in another Churchyard near to Rockwells?' Having sent 'Phoebe' the 'promised chocolates' he offers to send a replacement prayer book, to replace the one he gave her once which is 'now worn out'. He adds: 'Any little thing which I may be able to do for her happiness will be but poor acknowledgment of Mr. May's kindness to me in days gone by. I always remember him with respect and affection and often wish that I could begin my service under him again.' A postscript, signed 'J. G N', reads: 'I hope you will kindly forgive typewritten letter. I cannot see to write at any length satisfactorily and I cannot see what I have written.'