Sir Michael Clapham (1912-2002), printer and industrialist; his sister Christiana Muriel Clapham (d.1967), engraver; children of Sir John Harold Clapham (1873-1946) [Cloanthus Press, Cambridge]
Items dating from between 1932 and 1937; many from the Clapham family home, Storey's End, Cambridge.
The 40 items range in size from 25 x 19cm to 5 x 4.5cm. All in good condition, lightly-aged, and all but five laid down on the grey paper leaves of a heavily-worn album, with back cover loose, and with ownership signature of Sir Michael's wife Elisabeth Clapham at head of first page. The couple married in 1935, and one of the 40 items is a card with text in red featuring Elisabeth's maiden name. It conveys 'Good wishes for Christmas & the New Year from Elisabeth Rea | 6 Barton Street, S.W.1'.
Nicholas Vansittart, 1st Baron Bexley (1766-1851), Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer [William Smith (1730-1819), Whig abolitionist; James Walker, Commissioner for Crown Estates in Berbice, Guyana]
Downing Street [London]; 16 February 1818.
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. An important letter, in which the serving Chancellor of the Exchequer puts his position concerning slavery (a subject of extreme importance to the British Treasury), siding with a prominent apologist for the practice, James Walker, one of the commissioners managing the Crown Estates at Berbice.
Catharine Cecil, writer, daughter of Rev. Richard Cecil (1748-1810), member with William Wilberforce of the Clapham Sect and founding member of the Eclectic Society [Joseph Whetham of Philadelphia]
5 Little James Street, Bedford Row, Holborn; March 1837.
3pp., 4to. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with minor traces of previous mounting on reverse of second leaf. She writes 'as a stranger' to the recipient: 'the person who now addresses you is a Daughter of the late Revd. Richd. Cecil, whose works you are probably well acquainted with'. She is about to publish a book which she is 'induced to think would have a very good sale in America' and has been recommended to apply to the recipient 'as a Person likely to be willing to enter into negociation with me on the subject'.
Thomas Gisborne (1758-1846), Prebendary of Durham, theologian and poet, member of the Clapham Sect [Cadell & Davies, booksellers, Strand, London]
24 December 1817; Yoxall Lodge.
8vo, 2 pp. Bifolium. Thirty-four lines of text. Clear and complete. Good, on aged and lightly-stained paper. An informative letter, casting light on the relation between publisher and author in Georgian England. Gisborne's aim is to give 'information respecting some employment which, if it please God, I shall have for one of your Presses'. He has in mind 'a little Volume [...] in large 8vo. like my works in general [...] such a book as Mr. Coopers letters [...] Its Title is, "The testimony of natural Theology to Christianity'.
Robert Buchanan [Robert Williams Buchanan] (1841-1901), English playwright, poet and novelist [George Manville Fenn (1831-1909), English novelist; Harriett Jay (1863-1932), Scottish actress and write]
18 December [no year]; 5 Larkhill Rise, Clapham.
12mo, 1 p. Text clear and entire, on lightly creased blue paper, with a thin docketed strip neatly cut away at the foot of the letter. Traces of cream paper mount adhering to the blank reverse. Presumably refers to the play 'Alone in London', which debuted at the Olympic Theatre in 1885. Buchanan trusts that Fenn 'will be present in production of my new play & Miss Jay's debut on Wednesday next'. He asks whether to send the stalls, 'or do you get them from the Office? It will be indeed disappointing if you do not come, this time.'
Vulliamy (1780-1854) was a London clockmaker. Allnutt (1773-1863) was a wealthy wine merchant, a patron of Constable and Turner with a noted collection of paintings. Reads 'B L Vulliamy | Jn Allnutt, Clapham | 28 Nov. 1843'. From a collection of material relating to the Artists' General Benevolent Fund.