[Richard Carlile, leader of the Rotunda Radicals.] Two Autograph Letters Signed to 'Mr. Teague', i.e. John Teague, Keeper of the Giltspur Street Compter where Carlile was incarcerated, regarding editing proofs and having his head cast by phrenolog

Author: 
Richard Carlile (1790-1843), publisher and writer, leader of the Rotunda Radicals, lover of Elizabeth Sharples (1803-1852), suffragist [John Teague (1779-1841), Keeper of the Giltspur Street Compter
Publication details: 
'Compter Decr. 29. 1834'. [Giltspurt Street Compter, London]
£950.00
SKU: 22781

For information on Carlile - described by E. P. Thompson as a 'Showman of Free Thought' - and his 'moral wife' the suffragist Eliza Sharples, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. At the time of writing Carlile was in prison for refusal to pay the church rates. The proofs Carlile asks to be allowed to receive in the first letter are presumably those of his journal 'The Gauntlet'. The phrenologist 'Mr. Hohn' referred to in the second of the letters - the 'Mr. Holme' of the accompanying slip - is the German-born physician and phrenologist John Diederick Holm (d.1856). Carlile's relationship with Teague appears to have been unorthodox: see the letter from Carlile to Teague, dated 'Compter, July 3, 1832', published in 'The Isis', 7 July 1832. ONE: 1p, 8vo. Aged and worn, with closed tears and chips to edges. Folded three times. Addressed at foot to 'Mr. Teague'. He begins: 'Sir | To-morrow being Christmas Day and no business day, putting our regular week's business in advance a day; will you be so good to let my son or servant come to me and wait for a proof sheet this evening | respectfully | Richd: Carlile'. TWO: On bifolium. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'Mr. Teague'. In poor condition, aged and worn, on brittle discoloured paper with chipping, closed tears, and slight discoloration at head of first page. Folded several times. The letter reads: 'Sir, | I was under engagement with Mr. Hohn the Phrenologist to let him have a cast of my head before I came to this place again. I am the more anxious about it now; because I want to see what improvement I can make in it by three years prison discipline (self imposed.) He wishes to come to day and if you have no objection and if it be required I will take him and his two assistants instead of other visitors. And if you have curiosity you are welcome to see the process. | Respectfully | R. Carlile'. Accompanying the second letter is a 5.5 x 15.5 cm slip of paper cut from a contemporaneous letter, reading: '[...] Please also to let Mr. Carlile Know that a little after One or perhaps about 2 in the afternoon Mr. Holme myself and an Italian Moulderer will go to the Compter to take his Cast and bring his Wigg [...]'.