Charles Kemble (1775-1854), English actor [ C. R. Smith [ Charles Roach Smith ] (1807-1890), antiquary and archaeologist; British Archaeological Association ]
Athenaeum Club [ London ]. 27 August 1847.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with slight rust spotting around date at head. He explains that it is 'under a mistake' that he has been 'proposed as an Associate of the Central Committee of the British Archaeological Association', and he declines the 'honor intended' with 'sincere thanks'.
Sir Henry Ellis (1777-1869), Principal Librarian of the British Museum [ Edward Magrath, founder member and secretary of the Athenaeum club, London ]
No place. [ 3 December 1834. ]
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. He thanks him for 'the promptness with which you placed my request on behalf of Mr. Tennent before the Library Committee'. Tennent will himself thank Magrath 'for the obliging offer of the use of your private Room'. In another hand at bottom right: 'Librarian British Museum'.
Robert Chambers (1802-1871), Scottish publisher and geologist, brother and business partner of William Chambers (1800-1883)
On letterhead of the Athenaeum [ London ]. 30 October 1861.
1p., 12mo. Mourning border. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. He writes that his 'visit to the Gallery' has to be on the following Friday, but asks the recipient not to 'in the least inconvenience yourself on my account, though I certainly should consider it a great pleasure to see you on the occasion'. According to his entry in the Oxford DNB: 'In 1860 William Chambers returned to Edinburgh and the firm. Robert Chambers and his wife travelled to America before he and his family moved to London so that he could oversee the firm's new London offices.
William Black (1841-1898), Scottish journalist and novelist [ Thomas Faed (1826-1900), RA, Scottish artist ]
On letterhead of the Reform Club, Pall Mall, S.W. [ London ] 26 July [no year].
1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly-aged, and laid down on a piece of card. Reads: 'July 26 | My dear Faed, | Would you mind seconding me at the Athenaeum? I believe Tom Hughes has put down my name. | Yours faithfully | William Black.' According to Black's entry in the Oxford DNB, he 'studied landscape painting for a short time in the Glasgow School of Art, but, becoming connected with the Glasgow Citizen, gradually exchanged art for journalism'.
Edward William Cooke (1811-1880), artist and geologist, member of the Royal Academy and fellow of the Royal Society [ Miss Macerone, pianist and composer ]
On letterhead of the Athenaeum, London. 29 April 1862.
1p., 16mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. He thanks her 'for the opportunity she has afforded him of attending her concert, which he trusts to do accompanied by his mother'. He also 'acknowledges Miss Macirone's graceful compliments to the Art which he professes'. Little is known of Miss Macerone, but on 26 October 1846 the Boston 'Musical Gazette' reported: 'A young lady, Miss Macerone, who excels as a pianist and composer ! recently gave her first concert in London. She performed Mendelssohn's trio in D, ( in which Messrs.
William Skelton (1763-1848), English engraver [William Aynton; the Athenaeum, London club]
1 Stafford Place, Pimlico. 3 September 1831.
1p., 12mo. In fair condition, on aged paper, with traces of mount adhering to the blank reverse. In an apparent attempt to drum up business, Skelton writes:: 'In consequence of your suggestion I presume to request the favor of you to receive a few of my engraved Portraits, to present to the Noblemen & Gentlemen, Members of the Athenaeum Club, and shall be gratified if the enclosed may prove acceptable.'
Mackenzie Bell [Henry Thomas Mackenzie Bell] (1856-1930), English poet, writer and literary critic
On letterhead of 11 Buckingham Gate, S.W. [London]. 23 May 1911.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, on aged and worn paper. The letter reads: 'Dear Prof. Candy, | I think you would wish to see enclosed which please return after perusal. | If you hear of anything kindly let me know. It is the most pressing difficulty we have and we see no present way of surmounting it. | With renewed thanks, | always sincerely yours, | Mackenzie Bell'.
John Aikin (1747-1822), editor of The Athenaeum magazine, 1807-1809 [Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, Paternoster-row; Cadell and Davies, Strand, London]
London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, Paternoster-row; and Cadell and Davies, Strand.
2pp., 12mo. Stabbed as issued. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with wear to two edges. The first page reads: 'This day is published, price 12s. 6d. in extra boards, | The First Volume of the Athenaeum, A Magazine of Literary and Miscellaneous Information. (Published Monthly) containing, [there follows a list of eighteen topics, in two columns] | Conducted by J. Aikin, M.D. | London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, Paternoster-row; and Cadell and Davies, Strand.' In bottom right-hand corner of page: '(Turn over)'.
Abraham Hayward (1801-1884), English essayist and translator [Charles Wentworth Dilke (1789-1864), editor of the Athenaeum]
Place not stated. 'Monday' [no date].
1p., 4to. Addressed on reverse, with red wax seal, to 'C. W. Dilke Esq:'. Hayward writes that he is enclosing a note (not present), which was sent to him 'in one to me received only today though apparently written on Wednesday last. A d - d foreigner kept it in his pocket in the interim.' Clearly referring to a fee for an article, he continues: 'The lady will be quite satisfied with what you name, but I suppose it may stand over till she does something else'.
Samuel Prout (1783-1852), English watercolour artist [Edward Magrath (1799-1856), Secretary, Athenaeum, Pall Mall; Dominic Charles Colnaghi (1790-1879), London printseller]
Bedford Terrace, Clapham Rise. Postmarked 29 April 1836.
2pp., 4to. 29 lines of text. Bifolium. In very good condition, on lightly-aged mourning paper, with broken black wax seal. Reverse of second leaf addressed to 'E Magrath Esq | Athenaeum | Pall Mall'. The letter begins: 'Yes, Truth, (as you say) is better than a thousand apologies. | From the Evng I was last in town (when I met your respected & kind friend Mr. J.
Sir John Conroy (1845-1900), 3rd Bart, chemist, Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford [Athenaeum, London; Sclater]
On letterhead of Balliol College, Oxford. 7 June 1899.
2pp., 16mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Docketed at head of first page: 'Sir John Conroy Bt | Fellow Balliol Coll.' He regrets that he cannot 'do London either on the 12: or before that day', and so will not be able to 'help in any way about your Son's election at the Athenaeum'. He concludes: 'I trust it will go all right.'
Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke (1843-1911), 2nd Baronet, editor of 'The Athenaeum' [Hyde Clarke (1815-1895), civil engineer, banker, polyglot]
26 October 1869; on letterhead of 76 Sloane Street, S.W. [London]
12mo, 1 p. Mourning border. Nine lines. Text clear and complete. Fair, on worn and lightly-aged paper. Asks if Clarke knows 'Dutch, or Danish or both enough - to give us in the Christmas number of the Athenaeum a column upon each or one or either of those countries under a general group of "Literature of Foreign Countries in 1869"?' Requests an answer by return.
Spencer Hall (1806-1875), Irish-born librarian of the Athenaeum Club, London, 1833-1875 [Philip Henry Howard; Thomas Fell (c.1599-1658), judge and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster]
15 and 26 October 1842; both from Athenaeum Club, Waterloo Place, London.
Both items good, on lightly-aged paper. ONE. 15 October 1842. 4to, 3 pp. Philip Henry Howard has placed in Hall's hands 'a memorandum relative to some questions proposed by you, with regard to Thomas Fell of Lancaster', and he provides information which he considers shows that Fell 'disapproved of the course of events, in 1547 - absented himself & never appeared in public life again - but a private memoir would tend to verify this suspicion'. TWO. 26 October 1842. 12mo, 3 pp.
Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818), English politician and writer, the leading candidate for the authorship of the Letters of Junius
Without date or place.
On piece of laid paper, 5.5 x 8 cm. Clear signature on lightly-aged and spotted paper. From the collection of James C. Webster, Secretary, Athenaeum Club, London, who has written, above the signature, 'Royal Society of L<...>', and beneath it, 'Sir Philip Francis | author of "Junius"'.
Admiral William Henry Smyth (1788-1865), Royal Navy, English sailor and astronomer [J. C. Webster, Secretary, Athenaeum Club, London]
[24 December 1856.]
On rectangle cut from letter, 7 x 11 cm. On dusty paper. Laid down on page removed from autograph album. Reads 'Wishing you the joys & compliments of the Season, believe me | Your's faithfully, | W. H. Smyth. -' Docketed by Webster at foot: '24/12/56. Admiral Smyth Vice President Royal Society a learned Pundit.' From Webster's autograph collection.
John Peter Gassiot (1797-1877), electrician [James C. Webster, Secretary, the Athenaeum Club, London]
28 February 1857; on letterhead of 77 Mark Lane, E.C.
On piece of paper cut from letter, 4.5 x 10.5. With both sides lightly-sprinkled with ink dots. Reads 'Believe me | Yours | John P Gassiot'. Reverse, with printed letterhead, gives the beginning of the letter: 'Sir | I was informed Yday Evg. that <...>'. Docketed by Webster 'Sent List | 28/2/57'. From Webster's autograph collection.
Sir Henry Ellis (1777-1869), Principal Librarian, the British Museum [James C. Webster, Secretary, Athenaeum Club, London]
No place or date.
On rectangle cut from letter, 3.5 x 11 cm. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper, with neat vertical crease at one edge (away from signature) and minor traces of previous mounting on reverse. Reads '<...> to his Admission. | Believe me very faithfully Yours, | Henry Ellis', with reverse reading '<...> now with my Successor, Antonio Panizzi Esq | James C. Webster Esq'. From Webster's autograph collection.
Percy Fitzgerald [Percy Hethrington Fitzgerald] (1834-1925), Anglo-Irish author, critic, sculptor and artist
Undated. On letterhead of the Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. Good, on aged paper. He has been 'hunting among papers, & found a great quantity of notable letters from notable people but they are mostly confidential - or dealing with some private matters'. He would have liked to gratify her wishes 'in a more liberal fashion, 'but I hope the enclosed may serve'. He wonders whether she is 'packing up for India - - perhaps for Worthing'. The valediction on the final page ('Believe me | sincerely') is followed by a large bold signature which with its underlinings covers an area 11 cm square.
Charles Kean [Charles John Kean] (1811-1868), Anglo-Irish actor, son of Edmund Kean [James Claude Webster; the Athenaeum Club, London]
Docketed 'Decr. 1857.'
The dimensions of the envelope are roughly 6.5 x 12 cm. The flap has been gummed down and the reverse bears traces of glue from previous mounting. The front of the envelope is good, though slightly grubby. Reads 'James Claude Webster Esqe. | Secretary | Athenaeum Club | Pall Mall'. Docketed in a contemporary hand, in the top left corner, 'Charles Kean the Actor. | Decr. 1857.'
Part of a letter, 11 x 5.5cm, stained but surviving text clear,as follows: (recto) "of the Athenaeum [Club] for a period of two months. | J.E. Webster Esq.". (verso) I have the honor to be, | Sir, | Your obedient servant, | Charles Sumner."
Alexander William Kinglake [Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan]
28, Hyde Park Place | Marble Arch | March 19.' [no year, but post 1875].
English historian (1809-91), author of a celebrated account of the Crimean War, and of the book 'Eothen' (1844). The recipient Trevelyan (1807-86) was another historian, and Macaulay's brother-in-law. Three pages, 12mo. With mourning border. Good, but on discoloured paper, and with traces of glue from previous mounting adhering to blank verso of second leaf of bifoliate. Date on watermark 1875. Interesting assessment of one celebrated historian by another.
13 Great Marlborough Street, London, 10 June 1867.
Publisher ("Hurst & Blackett"). Two pages, 8vo, conjoint blank leaf, verso with remnants of laying down process, mourning black edge, text clear and complete, saying that he'll call on Dixon the following morning at the Athenaeum Office "to settle the acc[oun]t for the last issue of New America and also to consult y[ou]r wishes as to the new volume wh[ich] is to be prepared for the Autumn" [ "Spiritual Wives (pubd 1868]) which led to him being accused of indecency.]
John Reginald Homer Weaver [DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY]
7 September 1955; on letterhead of the Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall.
One of the editors of the Dictionary of National Biography (born 1882). The recipient (1886-1957) was a noted archaeologist. Two pages, 12mo. In poor condition: creased, grubby, worn, stained and repaired. Weaver has just been reading Crawford's 'extremely interesting autobiography with its most original title' ('Said and done.
Sloane St - Sunday'; on paper with embossed crest.
One page, 12mo. Very good. Neatly mounted on piece of orange paper. In Dilke's difficult hand. Concerns a 'Report': 'The only specific fact is that the misprints <?> cost to each of one shilling. [...] The enormous cost of about £12 per draft is to the Fund. How much the <?> cost to the <?> is not stated - <?> as 'almost too small to be noticed' - which is <?>. Why do they not publish the <?> expenditure. Then we should know what is the amount of an 'almost too small'. If you ever get an Acct with that fact set forth I should be glad to look at it.' Signed 'C W Dilke'.?>
Antiquary and critic (1789-1864), editor of the 'Athenaeum'. Cawood was a musician and composer. Two pages, 12mo. Black bordered. Verso of second leaf of bifoliate laid down onto larger piece of docketed grey paper. In good condition apart from some glue damage to right-hand margin of recto of first leaf (not affecting text). Difficult handwriting. 'I am much obliged to you for the "Notes on the Woollen Hair" which I have just found.
10 June 1860; on letterhead '76, Sloane Street SW.'
Antiquary and critic (1789-1864), editor of the 'Athenaeum'. For Lankester (1814-74) see the Dictionary of National Biography. One page, 12mo. In good condition, mounted on a larger piece of docketed pink card. Difficult handwriting, presumably making payment for magazine contributions. 'On looking over your account I find that you have run off & that there is a balance due to you I therefore present a cheque for Ten Pounds by way of winding up the old year.' Signed 'C Wentworth Dilke'.
Antiquary (1803-85), first editor of Notes and Queries. Sepia. Dimensions roughly 2 1/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Faded image of a bespectacled Thoms knees upward, seated in profile at a table examining a small book on top of another book and leaning against a pile of six others. The oval is in a frame beneath which, in copper-plate letters (in the photograph and not manuscript), 'William J Thoms'. Stuck to a piece of card on the reverse of which is a grubby, foxed, nineteenth-century plate of William Cowper the poet.
Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse (DNB), astronomer
12 June 1890, on House of Lords paper, with blind stamp scored through and address given as 23 Hans Place, S.W.
Gives details of where he is to be found in the coming week ("from 4 to 5 on each of those days at the Athenaeum club, I think at any rate by appointment, or I could call on you at the Temple at 4-15 on one of those days"). With marks and remains of gummed paper on reverse of otherwise-blank second leaf.
9 September 1942; on letterhead of the Athenaeum, Pall Mall, S.W.1.
British Labour politician (1865-1944), leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords, 1935-40. 1 page, 16mo. In good condition, although creased and a little worn at head. 'I am sorry that you found it difficult to reach me. I leave here fairly early on the days that the House is in session & I must be there practically all the time.