Herbert Mills Birdwood (1837-1907), Anglo-Indian botanist and jurist [ H. B. Wheatley [ Henry Benjamin Wheatley ] (1838-1917), Assistant Secretary, Royal Society of Arts ]
Both from Dalkeith House, Cambridge Park, Twickenham (one on letterhead). 25 January and 12 June 1901.
Both items in good condition, on grey-paper bifoliums, the first with the Society's stamp and both docketed. ONE: 25 January 1901. 1p., 12mo. Concerning the binding up of his copies of the Society's journal, and the supply of missing parts. TWO: 12 June 1901. 3pp., 12mo. Concerning his 'promised letter' for 'Friday's Journal': 'I cannot hope to have a proof sent me, but if you accept the letter & should be correcting a proof yourself & would, when ordering a proof, order a spare copy for me to see at your office, I shd. be greatly obliged & wd. call in tomorrow afternoon to look through it'.
P. C. Joshi [ Puran Chand Joshi ] (1907-1980), General Secretary, Communist Party of India; Ben Bradley [ Benjamin Francis Bradley ] (1898-1957); Mohan Kumaranangalam [ Jimmy Shields (1900-1949) ]
Duplicated typescript headed: 'From Airgraph to Ben Bradley from Mohan Kumaranangalam. 18th January. [ no year ]'. The article said to be from 'People's War [ magazine of the Communist Party of India ], Vol. iii, No. 30, Sunday, 21st. Jan. 194'.
12pp., folio. On twelve leaves of air mail paper. In fair condition, aged and worn. The piece begins with a discussion of 'Two big events' that have occurred during the previous year, 'when it appeared as if the period of deadlock was about to end and a new era to begin. | The first was Gandhiji's release [...] Soon after came the second big event; the Gandhi-Jinnah meeting'.
Cecilia Crisp [ Cecilia Charlotte Crisp, later Carey ] (b.1811), actress, daughter of actor-manager, Charles Sherwin Crisp (c.1790-1832) [Benjamin Webster [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster ] (1797-1882) ]
34 Gydes Terrace, Cheltenham. 27 October 1832.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. Addressed on reverse of second leaf, with seal of a harp in green wax, 'To | - Webster Esqre. | Theatre Royal Haymarket'. Writing two days before her father's death, she explains that she commissioned a friend to offer a guinea for his 'Interlude of "Pay for Peeping"', but finds that 'in return you expect one pound eleven for it'. She points out that she was 'the original (at the Strand Theatre) in the piece', and that she is offering the same terms accepted from her by 'Mr Selby for his "Day in Paris"'.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British Conservative Prime Minister
Place and date not stated.
On 3 x 12.5 cm. slip of paper, cut from a document. In fair condition, on aged paper with light signs of damp. At bottom left and underlined, reading: 'B. Disraeli'. At top right is part of what appears to be the word 'Thos.' (for 'Thomas').
Ronald Duncan (1914-1982), poet, playwright and author, collaborator with Benjamin Britten
On letterhead of Welcombe, near Bideford, North Devon. 20 December 1950.
1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with slight rusting at head from paperclip. He writes that there is 'no relationship between myself and any of the people you mention. I have no antecedents such as you suggest and I cannot recall having received a copy of your catalogue.' Turning to the character 'Horace' in his play 'Nothing Up My Sleeve' he writes: 'he's just a figment of my imagination and the whole play is just a piece of work without any intended resemblance to anyone, only types.' The carbon copy of Barry Duncan's letter is somewhat aged and worn around the edges.
Paul Robeson [ Paul Leroy Robeson ] (1898-1976), African-American singer and actor associated with the Civil Rights Movement; Lawrence Benjamin Brown (1893-1972), African-American pianist and arranger
[ On Robeson's concert tour of the British Isles with Lawrence, 1934. ]
The two signatures are on a reproduction of a drawing of Robeson, on a 15 x 11 cm piece of shiny art paper, cut from a programme from Robeson's 1934 tour of Britain. In good condition, lightly-aged. The head and shoulders portrait shows a moody Robeson in collar and tie. The two signature are at the foot of the image, with Robeson's, in blue ink, slanting downwards, and Brown's, in green ink, slanting upwards, around the line of Robeson's lapels.
[ The Old Drury Club, 'a Social Circle round the Shrine of Shakspeare' in Regency London] Benjamin Oakley of Tavistock House, stockbroker and editor of Shakespeare
Tavistock Place [ London ]. 4 April 1815.
1p., 4to. Bifolium. Addressed on reverse of second leaf, with postmarks, to 'Thomas Hill Esq | New Inn'. In good condition, lightly-aged. Headed by Oakley 'Circular' and entirely written out in his own hand. The letter begins: 'In consequence of the embarrassing finances of the Old Drury Club, and its being uncertain whether, or no, it can any longer hold its deliberative meetings at its accustomed place of redevous [sic] - it has been determined by a majority of its members - to resolve themselves into a committee of ways and means'.
Benjamin Webster [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster ] (1797-1882), English actor-manager and dramatist
'T. R. H.' [ i.e. Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London ]. Undated [ 1840 ].
68pp., 4to. In fair condition on lightly aged and worn watermarked laid paper. Sewn into brown paper wraps with 'The Unfortunate Youth. | T. R. H.' on cover. The title on the title-page is retitled in pencil 'The Unfortunate Boy! or Always in for it.' Possibly in Webster's hand, but with what may be the initials of the transcriber following the 'FINIS' on the final page. The text of the play is on the rectos, with occasional writing on versos. Emendations in ink and pencil, including additional dialogue.
Sir William Martins (c.1787-1874), Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State [ Benjamin Webster [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster ] (1797-1882), actor-manager; Adelphi Theatre, London ]
St James's Palace [ London ]. 16 February [ no year, but on paper watermarked 1844 ].
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condiion, on aged and worn paper. Marked 'Private', and written with an urgency suggesting the involvement of royalty behind the request. The letter begins: 'Sir William Martins presents his Compliments to Mr Webster and at theh rather earnest wish of a former Lord Chamberlain entreats Mr Webster, if it be practicable to allow the Farce of "Powder & Ball" to be played at the Adelphi one evening this Week either Wednesday Thursday or Friday'. He will 'explain further' and writes 'in case he should not be fortunate enough to meet Mr Webster at the Theatre'.
George William Lovell (1804-1878), playwright and novelist [ Benjamin Webster [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster ], English actor-manager, lessee of the London theatres the Haymarket and the Adelphi ]
6 Mornington Crescent [ London ]. 'Thursday Morning' and 'Friday Eveng' [neither with date, but both circa 1846].
Both items in good condition, on aged paper. Lovell begins the first letter (3pp., 12mo) by expressing disappointment at not having heard from Webster yet 'with the M.S.', and offers to 'save [him] any trouble in explanations' by calling on him. If that is not acceptable he asks him to 'let me have the copy with your notes upon it & I will work at once. And if you have any thing more agreeable in the way of criticism to communicate it will put me in better spirits'.
Benjamin D'Israeli (1730-1816), Italian-born London merchant, grandfather of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield; Francis Bradley Brodie of Dublin, George Hughes; Richard Bayly ]
No place. 17 April 1784.
1p., folio. In good condition, on lightly aged and creased paper with slight loss to top left-hand corner. Laid out in the typical fashion of the period, with embossed tax stamp in top left-hand corner, and Bayly's stamp as notary public on square of paper over wafer.
Alfred Benjamin Wyon (1837-1884), sculptor and medallist, with shop at 287 Regent St, London
With stamp of 'WYON | REGENT ST' [ Alfred Benjamin Wyon, 287 Regent St, London ].Undated.
On one side of a 12 x 13 cm piece of paper. On aged paper with four folds. The crown is drawn in pencil, and is 2.5 x 2.75 cm. The caption, in ink, is below, and reads: 'Scottish crown. | Drawing to be returned.' Between the two lines of text is the firm's stamp, made up of perforated lettering. Presumably a design for a letterhead, or other engraving.
Benjamin Whitworth (1815-1893), Liberal and Home Rule politician, born in Manchester, who served as an Irish Member in the British Parliament [ Rev. Charles James Wilding (1824-1908) of Bewdley ]
22 Daleham Gardens, Hampstead, N.W. [ London ]. 11 April 1885.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Addressed to 'Rev. C. J. Wilding | Hartley Vicarage, | Bewdley.' Setting out his view that 'any property belonging to the Church in Edward the Fourth's timee became public property on the transfer to the nation by Henry the Eighth at the Reformation', with reference to the 'Gift or Settlement of 1675'. He concludes: 'I should reply to your question "Would you disendow a living thus endowed"? - No.'
Major-General Sir Benjamin Charles Stephenson (c.1766-1839), G.C.H., Surveyor-General of the Office of Works
Office of Works [London]. 19 March 1823.
1p., 4to. In good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper, with a short closed tear along a crease and slight loss to one corner. He regrets that 'it is not in my power to afford any Official Assistance, in promoting the use of your very Ingenious, & Valuable Invention; as the Business of this Department is exclusively confined to the Building, & <?>, belonging either to His Majesty, or the Public, such as Palaces, Public Offices &c.' He suggests a number of organisations to which Lawrence should apply., 'as the Departments most likely to encourage your useful Undertaking'.
Henry Stevens (1819-1886) of Vermont, American bibliographer based in London, brother of the London bookseller Benjamin Franklin Stevens (1833-1902) [ Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London auctioneers ]
Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, W.C., London. On 11 July 1881 and four following days. [ J. Davy & Sons (The Dryden Press), 137 Long Acre, London. ]
vi + 229 + pp., 8vo. Frontispiece facsimile letter from Benjamin Franklin. In original printed wraps. In blue cloth binding with title in gilt on front cover and spine. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, in worn binding. Full title: 'Stevens' Historical Collections.
[ Benjamin Franklin Stevens (1833-1902) of Vermont, American bookseller in London ]
Without place [ B. F. Stevens, 4 Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London ] or date [ 1887 ].
18 + pp., 8vo. In red cloth half-binding, with brown marbled boards. Stamp of the Royal Historical Society on endpaper, and pencil shelfmarks. In fair condition, aged and worn. A curious production. The intent of the author (certainly Stevens) is to facilitate 'definite and permanent organisation', by his 'preparation of an Index of all the documents of American concern in private or public Archives of Great Britain, Holland, France and Spain that accumulated between the years 1763 and 1783'.
Sir H. C. Englefield, Secretary, Society of Dilettanti, London [ William Bulmer (1757-1830), Shakspeare Press, London ]
London: Printed by Order of the Society for the use of the Members, By W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland-Row, St. James's. 1814.
Full title: 'Report of the Committee of the Society of Dilettanti, appointed by the Society to superintend the expedition lately sent by them to Greece and Ionia; containing an Abstract of the Voyage of the Mission, a List of the Materials collected by them, and a Plan to facilitate the Publication of those Materials.' At end of last page: 'Signed, by order of the Committee, | H. C. ENGLEFIELD, | Secretary.'  + 18pp., 4to. Stabbed, but with stitching gone.
[ Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey; William Wyon (1795-1851) of the Royal Mint; William Bain; numismatic; coins and medals; anglyptography; the Art Union of London ]
The Watt medal dating from London, 1843. The Wren medal (1846) and Hogarth medal (1848), both by the Art Union of London.
Each of the sets of two engravings on a separate strip of paper, each roughly 7 x 15.5 cm. Printed in black. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. The three strips laid down on the same side of a 35.5 x 26 cm leaf removed from an album. In pencil in a contemporary hand at head of page: 'Anaglyptographic Engravings', and beneath the second strip, 'William Hogarth 1697-1764', and beneath the third, 'Christopher Wren Born 1632. Died 1723'.
[Arthur Tooth, vicar of St James's, Hatcham; 'Lewis Carroll' [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], author of the 'Alice in Wonderland' books; Benjamin Dale; English Church Union; Tractarianism; Oxford Movement]
Without date or place, but concerning events at St James's Church, Hatcham [New Cross, London], on Good Friday [30 March], 1877.
2pp., 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged and creased. On ruled wove paper with Monckton watermark. Sixty-line poem in ten six-line stanzas. An early parody of Lewis Carroll's 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'; the original was published in 'Alice Through the Looking-Glass' in 1871. The first stanza reads: 'The Prelate & the Protestants | Were walking to and fro. | They wept to see the Altar Screen | Their tears began to flow. | Tis very sad the Prelate said.
128pp., 16mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, in shiny yellow printed wraps with slight staining at head of front cover. The twelve-page 'Biographical Sketch' covers pp.3-16. It quotes the Rev. Baptist W. Noel as saying that Weaver 'has been preaching at Sheffield, and other towns, to multitudes of working men [...] he was, at one time, addicted to prize-fighting, and that he was never beaten in his life.
[Rev. Benjamin Ruggles, First Pastor of the First Congregational Church, Suffield; Henry A. Sykes; Daniel W. Norton; Byron Loomis; Rev. Joel Mann; Rev. A. C. Washburn; Springfield, Massachusetts]
Springfield, Mass. Samuel Bowles and Company, Printers. 1859.
118pp., 8vo. Two engravings, both with tissue guards: frontispiece of the 'First Church erected in Suffield. About 1680.'; and 'The Ruggles Monument'. In cream printed wraps. Errata slip at rear. The item begins: 'A Hundred and fifty years had nearly expired since the decease of the first Pastor of the First Congregational Church, and no monument or stone had been set to indicate to the passer-by his last resting-place. The idea was conceived of erecting a suitable monument to his memory; and on the 24th of May, 1858, the Church appointed Dea. Henry A. Sykes, Daniel W.
[Henry Benjamin Wheatley (1838-1917), author and editor; Samuel Pepys]
Without place or date. [London, 1880s?]
Unattributed, but in Wheatley's hand. The 'List of Plays seen by Pepys from 1660 to 1669' is 5pp., foolscap 8vo, on loose leaves of unwatermarked ruled paper. In fair condition, aged and worn. It is neatly written out in ink, with occasional pencil emendations, giving dates, theatres and titles. A few comments on the theatres are included, for example on 'Davenant's New Theatre in Lincolns Inn Fields'.
Janet Leeper, writer on ballet [E. Martin Browne (1900-1980), English theatre director; Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), English composer; the Aldeburgh Festival]
On letterhead of 30 Bramham Gardens, [London] S.W.5. 15 January 1959.
4pp., 8vo. 102 lines of neatly and closely written text. With original envelope addressed by Leeper to 'E. Martin Browne Esq | 99 Claremont Avenue | New York 27 | U.S.A.' Leeper begins by expressing her pleasure that Browne is 'going to do the first American performance of Noye's Fludde', which she describes as 'a great work - big & simple & satisfying, & very moving'.
B. F. Stevens [Benjamin Franklin Stevens] of Vermont, London-based American bookseller, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden [The Chiswick Press, Whittingham and Willkins, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane]
B. F. Stevens, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, England. [1874.] [Chiswick Press: Printed by Whittingham and Wilkins, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London, England.]
Not paginated. pp., 16mo. Internally good and tight, elegantly printed in red and black. In original heavily-worn green leather binding. Small leaf, printed on both sides, advertising the book, loosely inserted. In the twenty-two lines on the reverse Stevens states that 'The price of all these books in substantial andn ornamental bindings of great variety, with leather, calf, morocco or russia backs and corners, and muslin on paper sides, is Four Hundred Guineas (420l.) If with full leather backs and sides, very handsome, the price is Four Hundred and Fifty Guineas (472l. 10s.)'.
89 Albany Street, Regents Park [London]. 17 November 1841.
1p., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He reports that he shared the 'bounty' of the recipient's 'delicious present' with his brother, who has been 'confined to the house for a month'. He reports that 'Mr Watts and family are well', and hopes that 'Mr Stack is so'.
William Benjamin Carpenter (1813-1885), English physician, zoologist, physiologist, and Registrar of the University of London from 1856 to 1879 [Rev. John Page Hopps (1834-1911), spiritualist]
On letterhead of the University of London, Burlington Gardens, W. 17 February 1875.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, on aged paper, tipped in onto a card mount. He explains that he is 'obliged to return to London immediately after the delivery of my Lecture in Glasgow', and so will not be able 'to address the audience you bring together'. If he is 'asked to take part in the Glasgow Science Lectures' the following year, he will bear Hopps's wish in mind. Hopps was both an evolutionist and spiritualist, while Carpenter considered the claims of spiritualism 'epidemic delusions'.
[Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Conservative Prime Minister; Taunton By-Election, 1835]
'MARRIOTT, Printer, Taunton Courier Office, East Street, TAUNTON.'
Printed on one side of a piece of 38.5 x 23.5 cm wove paper. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. An attractive political artefact and example of provincial printing, with the title on four lines as follows: 'EXTRACT | FROM THE | SUN, London Paper, | FRIDAY, 24th April, 1835.' The thirty-three lines of text, enclosed in quotation marks and with the first line in bold, begins: 'WE understand that Mr. D'ISRAELI, junior, has just set off post-haste for TAUNTON, in order to oppose Mr. LABOUCHERE'S RE-ELECTION for that Borough. A richer joke than this we have not heard for many a day.
[Mrs L. Vernon Sparrow, Hon. Sec., Finsbury Habitation 596, Primrose League (organisation promoting the British Conservative Party,1883-2004)]
The circular: Primrose League, Finsbury Habitation 596; 7 May 1930. The other items undated, but from around the same period, and all from the Head Offices of The Primrose League, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1.
From the papers of the Honorary Secretary of Finsbury Habitation 596, Mrs L. Vernon Sparrow, 20 Wharton Street, WC1, who has annotated the mimeographed circular relating to her branch, and jotted a few notes on the back of the third booklet. The four booklets are all scarce, with no copies of any of them on COPAC. They are printed on aged high-acidity paper, with light creasing and wear; the mimeographed circular is on aged and lightly-worn paper. First booklet: 'Are you a Patriot?' 4pp., 16mo. Bifolium.
Henry Leslie (1830-1881), English actor and playwright [John Clark, actor; Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928), actress; Benjamin Webster (1798-1882), actor-manager]
36 Queens Crescent, Haverstock Hill, NW [London]. 25 March 1867.
2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with small hole through both leaves. He will be too busy over the following days to visit Clark in person, 'and so I send you the first act of the MSS I talked to you about - I may say I read the 1st. act one afternoon to Miss Terry who wanted to take it to Webster - but I was disinclined'. If Clark 'had anything to do with it - the Blacksmith would be the [last word underlined] part'. He asks Clark to return it as soon as he can: 'as this is the American copy - and they expect it (but of course won't get it) by next mail'.
Benjamin and Elizabeth Adams of Northumberland [Eighteenth-century inventory; Georgian fashion; Hanoverian clothes]
[Northumberland, England.] 25 September 1732.
1p., 12mo. On laid paper with 'Pro Patria' watermark. In good condition, lightly-aged and dusty. Headed 'September 25th 1732' and docketed on reverse 'Account of Linen in 1732 of Bn. & Eliz. Adams.' Thirteen items, beginning with 'There is eleven pair of Linneng [sic] sheets' and ending with 'There is 1/2 a dozen of Dypers naptkin for night Caps'. The Northumberland origins of the Adamses is not referred to in the document, but is clear from one which accompanied it. The document derives from the papers of Benjamin Adams's descendant, the Alnwick solicitor Thomas Adams.