[Robert Fulke Greville, Equerry to George III.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Robt: F: Greville') [to Richard Ford?], respecting the 'appointment on trial' of the Bow Street Runner William Anthony as a member of the king's retinue, stationed at Windsor.

Author: 
Lieut-Col. Robert Fulke Greville (1751-1824), Equerry to George III, 1781-1797, and MP [Richard Ford (1758-1806), London police magistrate; Bow Street Runners; Duke of Portland, Home Secretary]
Publication details: 
The Queen's Lodge [Windsor]. 1 April 1796.
£500.00
SKU: 21484

For the context of this letter see David J. Cox, 'A Certain Share of Low Cunning: A History of the Bow Street Runners, 1792-1839' (2010): 'From 1792 at least two Principal Officers were also permanently stationed at Windsor after the King had received several death threats. These Officers were considered to be part of the royal retinue […] William Anthony, who became an active Principal Officer by 1800, had originally launched his career by attending the King at St James and was transferred to Windsor in 1796.' The unnamed recipient is probably Richard Ford (1758-1806), the London police magistrate acting for the Home Office, the Duke of Portland being Home Secretary at the time. (Cox supports the view that Ford 'could in some ways be regarded as a “quasi” permanent Under-Secretary, coordinating Bow Street's assistance to the Home Department in its investigative work'.) 1p, 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded three times and endorsed on reverse of second leaf. Having received that morning the unnamed recipient's letter, 'respecting the appointment on trial of William Anthony of the Bow Street Office, in the room of Samuel Mayner lately deceased', he can report that 'Anthony is arrived, & officiated this Morning, & by the character given of Him, & from His appearance, He seems likely to do very well in his new situation'. He 'took an early opportunity' of mentioning to the king 'that the Duke of Portland had appointed William Anthony to be stationed at Windsor, & also that I had received this communication thro' You, all which arrangement His Majesty seem'd to approve of –'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine 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'.