[Sir William Stirling Maxwell, art historian and book collector.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Mr. Dean’ (i.e. Henry Hart Milman, Dean of Saint Paul’s), regarding the drafting of their dissent to the parliamentary ‘Report of the Oaths Commission’.

Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-78), 9th Baronet of Pollok, Scottish author, art historian, book collector [Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868), Dean of St Paul’s; Edward Pleydell Bouverie; Lord Lyveden]
Publication details: 
6 June 1867. On embossed letterhead of the House of Commons Library.
SKU: 23865

See the entries on the two men in the Oxford DNB. The document to which Stirling Maxwell refers in this letter can be read as ‘Dissent (No. III.)’ on pp.xiii to xxii of the parliamentary ‘Report of the Oaths Commission. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.’ (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1867). There were five dissenters to the report: alongside Stirling Maxwell and Milman were Robert Lowe, Lord Lyveden, and Edward Pleydell Bouverie. 3pp, 12mo. On bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with traces of glue from mounting to blank reverse of second leaf. Signed ‘William Stirling Maxwell’. He begins: ‘My dear Mr. Dean / I was very glad to learn from Lord Lyveden that we were to have the great advantage of your name, in our Dissent from the Oath’s Report. / No doubt it is longer than might be wished; but it is much more easy to suggest the modification of an abuse (which is all the Report does) briefly; than to condense into a very compact form reasons for the abandonment of a vicious system.’ He explains that he supplied ‘examples in which Oaths & Declarations had been found nugatory’, expecting a choice to be made of them, but that none of them ‘have been scored out by any of our friends - & I see no harm in letting them remain.’ He and Bouverie ask Dean to strike out examples relating to Jeremy Bentham and Sydney Smith, ‘if you consider them beneath the dignity of the Blue book style’.