[Thomas Hughes, author of 'Tom Brown's School Days'.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'Tho. Hughes') to 'Mr. Kynnersley', discussing: meeting Rugby schoolfellow 'Blandford', educating an abandoned boy, his co-operative beliefs, Joseph Chamberlain.

Thomas Hughes (1822-1896), politician and judge, author of 'Tom Brown's School Days'
Publication details: 
ONE: 3 March 1884; 52 Promenade, Southport, Lancashire, on letterhead of the County Courts, Circuit No. 9, Chester. TWO: 30 November 1885. On letterhead of Uffington House, Chester.
SKU: 22423

Both items in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: 3 March 1884. 1p, 12mo. Addressed to 'Dear Mr. Kynnersley'. Having received Kynnersley's undated letter he writes: 'I shall meet Blandford as you propose on the 11th. with very great pleasure. He was one of the heroes on whom I used to look with awe as a 3rd. form boy in 1834 in which year I joined & he I think left Rugby.' He is sitting at Congleton on the day of the meeting, and 'there is just a chance that some perverse suitor may be in full blast at my train time in which case (as I never leave a cause part heard) I may be late'. He ends by urging him not to wait, 'as we can sit into the short hours at the other end of the symposium if we are not talked out'. TWO: 30 November 1885. 2pp 12mo. Begins: 'Dear Kynnersley | Can you help me, or tell me how to help myself? We have taken as housemaid an excellent woman deserted by a rascal husband, who has left her with one child a boy of 10 to support. We can't keep her permanently unless this boy can leave school, & are quite ready to take him on at once & train him if he can be let come to us - He can read & write quite fairly, but having been moved from pillar to post since the escapade of his sire, is only in the 2nd. standard. If he has to stop till he is 13, or in the 4th standard, of course it will be out of the question & they must be thrown on the world again, but won't this do?' He continues with a proposal to take on the boy's schooling, 'as our youngest girl of 18 who has just left Holland's Ch. of England High School in Marylebone, where she was in whatever answers there to the sixth, is yearning for some pupil to perform upon, & is a thoroughly trustworthy young person'. He continues with plans for the boy's education, before asking: 'Have you jurisdiction, or to whom should I apply for the necessary leave?' He now gives a very clear exposition of his political views, in the light of the demise of the 'Three Acres and a Cow' land reform 'Radical Programme' of the MP for Birmingham Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914): 'I don't know how you feel but I am not sorry that Chamberlain & Co. are getting a lesson. They were on the high road to attempt to undo all that we Cooperators have been laboriously building up amongst the working classes for these 30 years - self reliance, & abstention from state aid of all shapes, now that at last the Law allows them a perfectly fair field to work out their own well being - just as the proof of their power to do this is established, & they are ready to use their large accumulations in productive works, & investments in land for cooperative farming, come your unspeakable fellow townsmen (or are you not a Birmingham man?) preaching state aid, & ransom by the rich of their prosperity! But I begin to hope they are dished for my time.'