[George III and Richard Ryder, Home Secretary.] 'Blind signature' and seal of George III, to vellum commission appointing Sir Thomas Brisbane a 'Colonel in Our Army', with signatures of Home Secretary Richard Ryder, Thomas Butts and Robert Lukin.

George III, King of Great Britain; Richard Ryder, Home Secretary; Robert Lukin; Thomas Butts (patron of William Blake); Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane
Publication details: 
Given at Our Court at Saint James's the Twenty fifth Day of July 1810 In the Fiftieth Year of our Reign.
SKU: 21556

The document relates to Major General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane (1773-1860), Governor of New South Wales 1821-1825, after whom the city of Brisbane is named. On one side of 40 x 29 cm piece of vellum, with thin strip cut away from top right-hand corner. In good condition, with light discoloration of ageing in the vellum. Folded three times. The king's 'blind signature' ('George R') is in the customary place at top left, with the royal seal in red wax under paper below it, and a tax stamp embossed on blue paper beneath that, with corresponding printed label on reverse. The document is a printed form, filled out in manuscript, beginning: 'George the Third by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith &c. To Our [Trusty & Wellbeloved Lieutenant Thomas Brisbane on Half Pay of Our late York Rangers] Greeting:'. The document appoints Brisbane a 'Colonel in Our Army'. At bottom right is the signature ('R Ryder') of the Home Secretary Richard Ryder. At foot of text, towards the left, is the signature of William Blake's patron, Thomas Butts, Assistant Commissary of Musters: 'Entered with the Comsry General of Musters | Tho: Butts'. At foot of text, in left-hand margin: 'Entered with the Secretary at War | [signed] Robt Lukin' (i.e. Robert Lukin (1772-1835), First Clerk at the War Office). The Prince of Wales would become Prince Regent on 5 February 1811. 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'.