[Sir Anthony Carlisle, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Surgeon Extraordinary to George IV.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Anthy Carlisle') to Roger Wilbraham, on presenting him with a copy of his 1820 Hunterian Oration.

Sir Anthony Carlisle (1768-1840), President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Professor of Anatomy of the Royal Society, Surgeon Extraordinary to George IV [Roger Wilbraham; John Hunter]
Publication details: 
3 Langham Place [London]; 18 January 1822.
SKU: 21569

The recipient Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829) was a Member of Parliament, Fellow of the Royal Society, antiquary, dilettante and member of the bibliophile Roxburghe Club. 1p, 4to. On bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to the blank second leaf. Folded three times. The letter begins: 'Very dear Sir, | If I do not err in recollection I have to reproach myself with not having sent you my little encomium on the Character of Your old Friend Mr. John Hunter – Should I have discharged this obligation already you will I trust have the kindness to impute my present obtrusion to a desire not to be wanting in respects to so estimable a Gentleman.' He explains that many of his 'plans & pursuits' have been 'deranged' by the 'confusion of a removal from an habituated local of 23 years continuance', but trusts that this is in 'no degree so as to make me forget my Friends'. A pencil note states that the item is a 'letter accompanying inscribed presentation copy of his Hunterian oration 1820'. 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'.