Ruth E. Messenger [ Ruth Ellis Messenger ] (1896-1993), American hymnologist [ Frederick Allan Wilshire (1868-1944), Recorder of Bridgwater ]
On letterhead of the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London W1. Undated, but marked as 'Rec[eive]d 17 . 7. 39. [ 17 July 1939 ]'
4pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper, with minor rust marking from a paperclip. She writes that she and her sister have that day 'worshipped at the Temple Church and enjoyed to the full all the delights that were spread before us, in that rare environment'. His cards have 'proved an "open sesame" wherever we went', and they have 'enoyed the Hall with its associations, and indeed, every bit of the section. Just to look at the courts and walls was an experience not to be forgotten'.
Sir Edward Clarke [ Sir Edward George Clarke ] (1841-1931), Conservative Solicitor-General who represented Oscar Wilde against the Marquis of Queensbury [ William Francis Clarke (1883-1961) ]
On letterhead of Peterhouse, Staines [ Middlesex ]. 22 December 1927.
1p., 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. He begins by expressing pleasure at having been asked to write his name in Tyrrell's copy of his book (probably 'Benjamin Disraeli', published in 1926). He also thanks him for 'the kind things said about me in your letter'. He has 'tried to be useful in various ways', and remembers 'the case you mention.
Major-General H. J. Elles [ Lieutenant General Sir Hugh Jamieson Elles ] (1880-1945), first commander of the Tank Corps [ First World War; Battle of Amiens, August 1918 ]
'Tank Corps in the Field. [ Battle of Amiens] | 13th August, 1918'
From the papers of Lieutenant Colonel William Otter Gibbs (1883-1960), Sixth Tank Battalion. Duplicated Typed Circular headed 'SPECIAL ORDER No. 15 | by | Major-Genl. H. J. ELLES, CB, DSO, Comdg. Tank Corps in the Field. | 13th August, 1918.' With facsimile signature of 'H. J. Elles. | Major-General, | Commanding Tank Corps in the Field.' 1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper.
Raymond Asquith (1878-1916), son of British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, barrister and member of 'The Corrupt Coterie' [ Sir Robert Ernest Dummett (1872-1941) ]
The first on letterhead of 1 Paper Buildings, Temple, EC [ London ]. 14 December 1908. The second (with mourning border) on letterhead of 49 Bedford Square, WC [ London ]. 8 January 1909.
Both items in fair condition, with light signs of age and wear. ONE: 2pp., 12mo. He complains of having done 'no political speaking for 2 or 3 years now', and of being 'a poor hand at it even when in practice'. Dummett is nevertheless invited to 'command' him on 29 January. TWO: 3pp., 12mo. Circumstances having arisen, he has to apologise for 'crying off'. He is certain that 'in the 3 weeks which remain' Dummett will have 'no difficulty in securing a substitute who will be much more effective'. From the papers of Sir R. E. Dummett.
J. F. C. Fuller [ Major General John Frederick Charles Fuller (1878-1966) ], military historian and strategist [ Royal Field Artillery; First World War; Second Battle of the Somme, 1918 ]
Fuller's circular and the 'Battle Note' both from Headquarters, Tank Corps ('HJB'), and both dated 23 July 1918.
From the papers of Lieutenant Colonel William Otter Gibbs (1883-1960), Sixth Tank Battalion. Both items in fair condition, on aged and worn paper, with minor rusting from pin used to attach them. ITEM ONE: Duplicated Typed Circular by 'J. F. C. Fuller [ facsimile signature ] | Lieut.-Colonel, | General Staff.' 23 July 1918, headed 'G. T. 29/3/3', from 'Headquarters, | TANK CORPS. | 23, 7, 1918., | HJB.' 1p., folio. Small hole at top left, not affecting text.
Goldwin Smith (1823-1910), Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, opponent of American slavery
On letterhead of Parks End, Oxford. 6 February [ no year ].
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly aged paper, laid down on part of a leaf from an album. A bracing insight into the realities of Victorian domestic service. The letter reads: 'Dear Mr. Patterson, | Having found my slippers where they ought not to have been, I have dismissed the housemaid on the spot and seriously reprimanded the Cook. Tomorrow I shall turn off the Baker. That is what I call a well regulated household. | Yours sincerely | Goldwin Smith.' (Note that the literal meaning of 'turning off' was the pushing of a condemned person off the scaffold during execution by hanging.)
George Hudson (1800-1871), 'The Railway King', railway promoter and fraudster
Kirkham Station [ Yorkshire ]. 9 October 1871.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly aged paper, tipped in onto part of a leaf from an album. The main body of the letter reads: 'I am sorry to say the portmanteau has not arrived - will you enquire about it - I hope you addressed it to the Kirkahm Station on the North Eastern railway.' In a postscript he gives the full address as 'Mr Hudson Kirkham Station on the North Eastern railway York', adding that he will pick it up 'in a few Days when we return'. The letter may result from a mix-up with Kirkham Station in Lancashire.
Sir George Otto Trevelyan (1838-1928), historian and liberal politician [ Sir Robert Herbert (1831-1905), Premier of Queensland ]
On letterhead of the Central Station Hotel, Glasgow. 5 July 1892.
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, on aged and lightly-ruckled paper. The letter begins: 'Dear Herbert, | My address will show you why I cannot have the pleasure of breakfasting with you. My poll is tomorrow [Trevelyan was MP for Glasgow Bridgeton], and the evening of the 7th. I am to speak in Inverness, and then have to come South to take part in our two South Northern Ireland contests'. He will be 'from 3 to 600 miles from London for some time to come', and will 'miss the sort of society of which the breakfast club is the quintessence'. From the papers of Sir Robert Herbert.
Marquis of Salisbury, British prime minister [ Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (1830-1903) ]
On letterhead of Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. 31 December 1886.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper, with light traces of mount adhering at head of second page. In returning documents to MacColl, he makes observations regarding 'The landlord's right to have his land back if the conditions on which it is leased are not performed', with relation to the 'Act of 1861' and 'the old law' which it 'only modified in specified matters'. He concludes with the observation that 'It is a curious piece of casuistry.'
Richard Redgrave (1804-1888), RA, Victorian landscape painter, designer and first Keeper of Paintings at the South Kensington Museum [ now Victoria and Albert ] [ Robert William Mylne (1817-1890 ]
18 Hyde Park Gate South [ London ]. 11 May 1871.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. He explains that he has 'enquired of various of the authorities' about Mylne's offer to send his map, but he 'cannot find any section that is not so overwhelmed with objects as to have no absolutely they say - no space at command'. He ends by expressing the fear that Mylne 'will think I have been neglecting my promise'.
Eric Gill; The Spoil Bank Association Limited; Ditchling; H. J. Cribb [ Herbert Joseph Cribb ]; Hilary Pepler; Charles L. Waters; Valentine KilBride [ John Valentine Denis KilBride ]; Edgar Holloway
Both items: The Spoil Bank Association Limited, 'Registered Office S. Dominic's Press, Ditchling Common, Hassocks, Sussex.' Both dated 23 February 1922, the first printed and second in manuscript.
The Spoil Bank Association was the limited company which acted on behalf of the Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominic, the group of Roman Catholic craftworkers centred on Gill and based on Ditchling Common in Sussex. Each of the present two items in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. Both bifoliums on good deckled-edge paper, and both 3pp., folio, with the customary covering information on the reverse of the second leaf. Attractive typographic productions, printed in black and red on deckled-edge watermarked laid paper. Both with tax stamps and the Association's seal.
Florence Warden [ 'Mrs. G. E. James', née Florence Alice Price ](1857-1929), novelist
On letterhead of 21 Addison Road North, Kensington, W. [ London. ] 26 March 1889.
On one side of a 9 x 11 cm piece of grey paper. In a minuscule hand, with the recipient's name has been scored through: 'Dear Mr. <?>, | Will you come to supper on Thursday? | Yours sincerely, | Florence James'.
On his embossed letterhead, 2 Frederick Place, Old Jewry. 27 June 1869.
1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The note reads: 'This is to certify that Mr. Turner has been under my care; and will be unable to return to business for the next ten days. | Walter J Coulson | Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.' For more on Coulson, see his obituary in the British Medical Journal, 14 September 1889.
William Griffin (d.1827), Secretary to the Board of Ordnance, London [ John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, near Rochdale, Lancashire, collector; Napoleonic Wars ]
Office of Ordnance [ London ]. 10 April 1816.
1p., folio. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper, with some chipping and a few closed tears to edges. Addressed 'To | The Officer Commanding | the Oldham Regiment of Local Militia. | Oldham Lancashire' (i.e. John Crossley of Scaitcliffe near Rochdale, who built up a notable collection of military memorabilia, dispersed after his death). Attached to a leaf of paper with a note by the recipient concerning the permission he has been granted to retain a 'Musquet and Set of Accoutrements'.
Sylvia Lynd [ née Dryhurst ] (1888-1952), poet and Irish Nationalist, wife of journalist and essayist Robert Lynd (1879-1949) [ E. C. Bentley [ Edmund Clerihew Bentley ] (1875-1956), author ]
14 Devonshire Hill, Hampstead. 19 June 1913.
4pp., 4to. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. A magnificently impassioned letter, written to a family friend, a colleague of her husband's on the Daily News. The letter begins in stirring style: 'I propose to sulk till Home Rule is passed. I have set my heart on that Bill. It isn't a particularly good Bill, but it is called "Home Rule" & I would put my right - no - at any rate my left hand into a fire to see that catch-cry cleared out of the world forever. It is the only thing that will cure the Unionists of their cowardice.
Sir G. W. Dasent [ Sir George Webbe Dasent ] (1817-1896), folklorist, professor at King's College London, and contributor to The Times [ Sir Robert Herbert (1831-1905), Premier of Queensland ]
On embossed letterhead of the Civil Service Commission, Westminster. 31 July 1889.
3pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. The letter begins: 'Some friends of mine, & special friends of my daughter, have taken Chesterford Hall for a term their name is Tomkinson, & both husband & wife come from old Cheshire families'. As Chesterford Hall is close to Herbert's 'abode at Ickleton', he asks him to 'take notice of the new comers who are both very agreeable people'. He is writing to him at the Colonial Office, 'because I know that Meade is going off to the Dolomite Country, & I conclude that you will not both be away together'.
Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905), eminent Victorian actor-manager
On letterhead of 15A, Grafton Street, Bond Street, W. [ London ] 15 February [ no year ].
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. In a difficult hand. He hopes there is 'no misunderstanding about the box for tonight', which is reserved in the recipient's name at the theatre: '& you have only to ask for your box'. He ends: 'We shall meet tonight I hope after the play.'
Sir Nikolaus Pevsner [ Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner ] (1902-1983), architectural historian, editor of Penguin Books series 'The Buildings of England' [ Christopher Stell (1929-2014) ]
Both on Penguin Book 'Buildings of England' letterheads. 7 and 14 May 1968.
Both items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The letter (7 May 1968) is an eloquent expression of concern: 'Dear Mr. Stell, | You put your finger on the great snag about my second editions. Such a sentence as the one which you are dealing with in your letter sounds perfectly harmless if it is suggested to me. Of course I should have put it into brackets, but would that have helped? I simply cannot retravel counties because I must still go on travelling new ones. I cannot ask Mrs. Radcliffe to travel the county because she would not have the time, and I would not have the money.
Robert Scott Moncrieff (1793-1869) of Fossaway, Perth, advocate, illustrator and caricaturist, grandfather of General John Archibald Ballard (1829-1880)
'Dalkeith | Saty Morning 27 July [ 1833 ].
3pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with slight damage to second leaf from breaking of wafer. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'Mrs. Scott Moncrieff | 7 Fores Stt. | Edinb.' Docketted on same page: '27 July 1833 | R S M | announcing Joanna's birth'. The letter begins: 'My dearest Mother | I beg that you wd.
Sir Allen Lane [ Allen Lane Williams ] (1902-1970), founder of Penguin Books
On letterhead of 'El Fenix . Carvajal . Malaga . Spain'. 31 March 1969.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. The letterhead, printed in red and black, features the illustration of a phoenix in fire which featured on the covers of some Penguin Books publications of works by D. H. Lawrence. He begins by stating that Malcolm Kelly has sent him Bailey's letter 'with its very flattering reference to me'. He explains that he has 'always regarded the book business as a whole & not as two camps as it were, book-sellers & publishers'.
Pauline Niven [ born Mary Pauline Thorne-Quelch (d.1968) ], wife of the Scots-Canadian novelist Frederick Niven [ Frederick John Niven ] (1878-1944) [ Sylvia Lynd [ née Dryhurst ] (1888-1952), poet ]
202B Victoria Street, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. 23 September 1943.
8pp., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. An interesting letter, written four months before the death of her husband. She begins: 'Dearest Sylvia - | I meant to write to you last month because I am one of those tiresome people who remember anniversaries & it was in August that you both came down to the Windermere to see us.
Renn Dickson Hampden (1793-1868), Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford and Bishop of Hereford, subject of the Hampden Controversy of 1836 [ Sir Travers Twiss (1809-1897), jurist ]
The first from 'The Palace' [ Hereford ], 3 November 1856. The second from Eaton Place [ London ], 15 March 1865.
The first letter 4pp., 12mo, with cross writing on frist page, and the second 3pp., 12mo. Both bifoliums. The second letter with its envelope, with penny red and postmarks, addressed by Dickson to 'Travers Twiss Esq D. C. L. | No. 19 Park Lane | London'. Both items in good condition, lightly aged and worn. The first letter concerns Dr Edward Thompson, Vicar of Kington, who has been complained about by his curate 'Mr. Clelan', resulting in a report in a newspaper. Dickson writes: 'Kington, you may remember, rejoices in the notorious Dr.
Robert Lowth (1710-1787), Bishop of Oxford, Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford [ Robert Dodsley (1704-1764) and James Dodsley (1724-1797), London booksellers ]
No place. 9 April [ 1762 ].
1p., 8vo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed on reverse of second leaf, with remains of red wax seal, The letter clearly dates from 1762, the year of the publication of Lowth's great grammar which, according to his entry in the Oxford DNB, 'proved immensely popular in both Britain and America and was republished dozens of times during the eighteenth century alone'. 'To | Mr. Dodsley'. The letter begins: 'The Grammar, wch. was brought to me yesterday in the Evening, I suppose, is what was designed for Sr. Ch. Mordaunt. I want it for another purpose.
John Caley (1760-1834), Secretary to the Record Commission, antiquary and archivist [ Joseph Planta (1744-1827), Principal Librarian at the British Museum ]
'Folkstone. | 5 Septr. 1802.'
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, on lightly aged and worn paper, with slight damage to corners from removal from mount. 20 lines of text. Regarding 'a Dr[af]t. on Snow & Co for twenty five pounds', he would 'willingly have put down the little trouble I had to the account of our mutual friendship in which I stand considerably your debtor but as you will have it otherwise I beg you will accept my sincere thanks for the inclosure, assuring you I consider it far beyond what I ought to have had'.
Henry Grattan (c.1746-1820), Irish nationalist politician
No place. 1 April [ 1815 ].
1p., 12mo. In good condition, laid down on part of a leaf from an album. Headed in a contemporary hand 'Read', with the date '1815'. The note reads: 'Dear Sir | I beg to return you my warm thanks for your very kind & obliging letter which has made me very happy & conferd [sic] on me a great favor | I Have Dear Sir | the honour to | be with great | thanks your | faithful humble srvt | Henry Grattan'.
Henry Larkin (1820-1899), friend and biographer of Thomas Carlyle [ Frederick Chapman of Chapman and Hall, London publishers ]
Both items from 6 Farriano Cottages, Leighton Road, NW. [ London. ] 23 January and 1 February 1865.
Both letters are 3pp., 12mo, and both bifoliums. In good condition, on lightly aged paper. An interesting couple of letters, with Larkin advising the engraver on how to extract payment from the publishers, while stressing in both letters that he does not wish his own name mentioned. The first letter begins: 'The Printer has had the Woodcut and printed it, so you can go ahead!
James Spencer Northcote, Roman Catholic convert, President of Oscott College [ Richard Simpson (1820-1876); Daniel William Cahill (1796-1864); Oxford Movement ]
The Oratory, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Undated [ 1854 ].
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium with mourning border. In good condition, on lightly aged paper. The Rambler was hugely unpopular with the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England for its liberal attitude and satirical emphasis. According to his entry in the ODNB, Northcote edited the journal between June 1852 and September 1854. Simpson (whose ODNB entry also see), under co-proprietor Sir John Dalberg Acton, would take over the editorship before turning it over to John Henry Newman, who would resign after a few months due to pressure from the hierarchy, and the magazine would be discontinued in 1864.
George Isaac Huntingford (1748-1832), Warden of Winchester College, and successively Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop of Hereford
Winchester College. 6 January 1830.
1p., 4to. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. He is 'greatly obliged [...] for the purpose' with which he has been 'favour'd [...] with intimation', but it 'never was in my thoughts to be an Annual Subscriber to the Pension Fund'. He will pay any expense 'the Conductors of the Institution have incurred in expectation of his being a subscriber.
David Roberts (1796-1864), RA, Scottish artist [ Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867), artist ]
Fitzroy Square [ London ]. 16 January 1856.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, laid down on leaf removed from album. The recipient's name is unclear. The letter begins: 'I wrote to Henry yesterday, that I should have a Fly here Tomorrow, Thursday, at 4 OClock to take & bring you back from Stanfields - and last night I recd yours stating - you would take a Fly to bring you here'. He discusses the alternatives, commenting 'Had it not better remain as arranged?'
Captain J. Thompson, 'late Capt. 4th East York L[ocal]. M[ilitia].' [ John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, near Rochdale, Lancashire; Napoleon Bonaparte ]
Manchester. 12 December 1822.
1p., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. The reverse of the second leaf, with seal in black wax, is addressed to 'Capt Crossley | &c &c &c | O L M', and the foot of the letter to 'John Crossley Esqre | Capt: Oldham L: M:' (Crossley, the commanding officer of the Oldham Regiment of Local Militia, built up a notable collection of military memorabilia, which was dispersed after his death.) The letter begins: 'With this you will receive the interesting little "Bijou" - Bonaparte's Star of the Legion of Honour for which I beg a place in your curious Collection.