[American Revolution;George III, Lord North, Chas. Townshend and Sir Francis Dashwood (Hell-Fire Club).] Autograph Signatures ('George R', 'North', 'C Townshend' and 'F Dashwood'), with those of Sir John Turner and Thomas Fisher, on Treasury warramt.

Author: 
King George III; Sir Francis Dashwood [Lord le Despencer] of the Hell-fire Club ('Monks of Medmenham'); Lord North, Prime Minister; Charles Townshend; Sir John Turner [Major. General John Barrington]
Publication details: 
'Given at Our Court at St. James's this 17th. Day of November 1762 In the Third Year of Our Reign.'
£4,000.00
SKU: 21441

2pp, foolscap 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with strip of paper from mount adhering to one edge. The document has three horizontal fold lines, one of which has led to wear at along the foot of Dashwood's signature. An interesting assemblage of individuals. Of the six signatories three played a significant part in the American Revolution: King George III and his Prime Minister Lord North, with Charles Townshend, who was responsible for the unpopular 'Townshend Acts', taxing the colonies and leading to the Boston Massacre. Of the others Sir Francis Dashwood ( a very scarce signature) is notorious as the debauchee who organised 'the Monks of Medmenham Abbey' at the 'Hell-Fire Club'. The subject of the document, as the endorsement at the foot of the verso explains, is a payment for 'Major Genl: Barrington's Regt: of Foot £399 . 1s . 8d for Camp Necessaries'. (Barrington (d.1764) served with distinction in the West Indies.) The text of the document is written in a secretarial hand on the recto, with King George III's signature ('George R'), firm and clear, in the customary position at top left. The Secretary at War, Charles Townshend (1725-1767) signs ('C Townshend') at bottom right. The document instructs 'Henry Fox, Paymaster General of Our Guards, Garrisons and Land Forces' to pay out of the money he holds 'for the Contingent Uses of Our Land Forces' the stated sum to 'Our Trusty and Wellbeloved Major General John Barrington', 'in full satisfaction of the like sum expended by him in providing divers Camp Necessaries for Our Eight Regiment of Foot under his command'. Endorsement on reverse: 'We have been made acquainted with the foregoing Warrant Whitehall Treasury Chambers the 1st. Day of December 1762'. Beneath this are the signatures: 'F Dashwood | North | John Turner | Tho Fisher'. Fisher's signature is set apart. Dashwood, North and Turner sign as Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, Lord North [Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford] (1732-1792) would serve as Prime Minister from 1770-1782. Dashwood (1708-1781) being also Chancellor of the Exchequer, having been appointed to the post by Lord Bute in June 1762. (Dashwood lacked even the rudiments of financial knowledge, and his budget speech was met with derision. He departed with the rest of the Bute ministry in 1763, succeeding to the le Despencer title in the same year.) For Sir John Turner (1712-1780), Member of Parliament for King's Lynn, as for Townshend, see History of Parliament. From the distinguished autograph collection of Richard Hunter, son of Ida Macalpine, whose collection of 7000 books relating to psychiatry is in Cambridge University Library. Macalpine and Hunter had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.