[ Sir Charles Archibald Nicholson, church architect, ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Charles A. Nicholson'), with printed circular by his mother, both regarding the fire at the family home, The Grange, Totteridge, Hertfordshire.

Author: 
Sir Charles Archibald Nicholson, 2nd Baronet (1867-1949), English church architect; his mother Lady Sarah Elizabeth Nicholson (born Keightley), wife of Sir Charles Nicholson, 1st Baronet (1808-1903)
Publication details: 
His autograph letter dated 26 February 1899; no place. Her printed circular from 'Totteridge, Herts.'; undated.
£45.00
SKU: 20771

See the entries on the two baronets in the Oxford DNB. For the context of this item see Times, 23 February 1899, reported: 'A MANSION BURNT. - Early yesterday morning the mansion of Sir Charles Nicholson, of Totteridge, three miles from Barnet, caught fire, and before effective help could be rendered from Barnet, Edgware, or Hendon it was entirely burned out. The mansion destroyed, The mansion destroyed, The Grange, was the residence for many years of Bulwer Lytton, who wrote there “The Last of the Barons.”' (See also the correction of the last statement in Times, 24 February 1899, 'The Fire At Totteridge'.) Both items on the same bifolium. Sir C. A. Nicholson's letter is 3pp., 12mo. It is addressed to 'My dear Hayes'. He begins by stating: 'The house was burnt down entirely, only a few scorched brick walls & the cellars remaining. But the Library books mss. &c. saved, also the Drawing Room furniture & pictures & the Tapestry in Dining Room, the plate, & some jewellery & papers. Loss to a great extent covered by insurance, but of course some things cannot be replaced & others were in a sense unique & could not be valued.' The only injury was the sprained foot of a neighbour, and his father has responded well: 'he has gone to stay with my aunts at Kensington & is quite enjoying it. The other family members (named) have 'taken a house just built opposite the Grange for the temporary family residence'. He is 'dreadfully sorry' for his mother, 'who has lost more than anybody I think, but she is very brave about it – and after all how very much worse it might have been'. The printed circular is on recto of first leaf: 'TOTTERIDGE, HERTS. | Dear Friend, | It is impossible to continue answering the immense numbers of letters and enquiries, but pray accept our grateful thanks for your sympathy in our misfortune. With thankfulness, I am able to assure you that all have been preserved from personal injury. | Believe me, | Your sincere friend, | SARAH E. NICHOLSON.'