[Thomas Denman [Lord Denman], judge and Lord Chief Justice.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Tho Denman'), expressing a strong desire to dine with a man of whose 'person' he is not 'sure'.

Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman [Lord Denman] (1779-1854), judge, Lord Chief Justice 1832-1850
Publication details: 
Queen Square [London]. 'Sunday' [no date, but endorsed '14 Feb. 1811'].
SKU: 21744

2pp, 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to edge on reverse, which is endorsed '14 Febr. 1811 | T Denman'. Folded several times. The recipient is not named, but was clearly an individual of some standing, as Denman appears keen to dine with him. The letter begins: 'Dear Sir | Though I did not feel sufficiently sure of your person to venture upon accosting you this morning at the Tavistock, I much regretted my want of confidence, when on enquiring of one of the gentlemen with whom I had seen you converse, I found myself right in my conjecture.' He begs the recipient's favour of his company at dinner the following day, 'or on any other day (except Friday or Saturday next) & at any other hour that may be more convenient to you during your stay in London'. 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'.