[Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, son George III, brother of George IV and father of Queen Victoria.] Secretarial Letter, Signed ('Edward'), requesting Sir Francis Freeling to take particular pains in sending a letter to Germany.

Author: 
Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820), fourth son of George III, brother of George IV, father of Queen Victoria [Sir Francis Freeling (1764-1836), Secretary, General Post Office]
Publication details: 
'Castle hill Lodge [Ealing] | 30th. June 1803'.
£350.00
SKU: 21748

3pp, 4to. Bifolium. Signature ('Edward') in the prince's hand, the rest of the letter by a secretary. In good condition, lightly aged, with slight damage to one corner of first leaf, and thin strip of paper from mount adhering to reverse of second leaf, which is franked 'Kent & Strathearn', with postmark, and addressed to 'Francis Freeling Esquire | &c &c &c | Genl. Post Office | Lombard Street | London'. Folded four times. The letter begins: 'Dear Sir | It being of some consequence that the enclosed should reach Germany in safety, as it contains the notification of a young M an's appointment to a Commission in the British Service, whose unfortunate parents are very little able to maintain him, I shall esteem it a very particular favor if through your good offices, and the medium of our Agent at Toninghen this can be accomplished'. He knows Freeling will do his 'best endeavours to effect the thing if it is possible', and adds, 'that the letter is written as ever if opened not to be of any consequence, and therefore if sent by a private hand not liable to expose the Bearer to anything unpleasant in consequence'. 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'.