[Jesse Collings, Liberal politician, advocate of free education and land reform.] Five Autograph Letters Signed to Bernard Piffard, regarding opposition to Lords of the Manor over enclosures, and 'Allotments and Small Holdings Associations'.

Jesse Collings (1831-1920) of Birmingham, Liberal and Liberal Unionist politician, advocate of free education and land reform [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), entomologist]
Publication details: 
Between 27 July 1885 and 22 March 1886. All from Edgbaston, Birmingham (the second a letterhead).
SKU: 25479

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. From the Piffard papers. A total of 9pp, 12mo. The recipient is 'B. Piffard Esq.' and the letters are all signed 'Jesse Collings'. ONE: 27 July 1885. 2pp, 12mo. He apologises for the delay in replying: 'I have been so over-pressed with Parliamentary and other work.' He will go into the matter of Piffard's letter at the 'Committee meeting of our Allotments & Small Holdings Association' that very day. 'We are waking up the Charity Commissioners to a great extent, but it will be utterly impossible to do full justice to the rights of the people until the management of these charities, and other mattes connected with the poor are placed in the hands of the new rural municipalities which I hope will be created as soon as a Liberal Government returns to power'. TWO: 10 December 1885. 3pp, 12mo. The subject of the letter is 'the enclosures contemplated by Earl Brownlow', about which Piffard has sent him a newspaper cutting. 'If I could get a brief shortly stating the case I would see if there was any possibility of bringing the matter before Parliament': 'I do not know how I should raise the question, but I would watch for some opening if I knew all the particulars of the case'. He informs him that 'The county elections are turning out exceedingly well, and this means the beginning of the end of the power of the territorial Party. The action of our Allotments and Small Holdings Association is getting more and more powerful in the rural districts, and we shall push it forward to the utmost extent.' THREE: 8 January 1886. 1p, 12mo. Further thoughts on the subject of Letter Two. FOUR: 24 January 1886. 2pp, 12mo. 'The matter seems a very unsatisfactory one, and I should like to do anything within my power towards securing the popular rights if you could suggest anything. I have such an enormous amount of work on hand that it would be impossible for me to go through the matter and prepare a brief, but if any short statement can be formulated bringing out the points, I will ask some questions in Parliament on the subject. It seems monstrous that Lrods of the Manor should retain such powers while they have shuffled off all the obligations in which their supposed rights over land are founded.' FIVE: 22 March 1886. 1p, 12mo. He is pleased to hear of the success which has attended [Piffard's] efforts, both with regard to the Charity Commissioners and the enclosures.' He is returning Piffard's 'plan', and regrets that he is 'so fully occupied just now that I am sorry I am not able to take any special action in the matter'.