[ The Indian Famine, 1896-1897. ] Programme for 'Famine Relief Meeting by the Dalhousie Institute, Calcutta, with printed sheet list of executive committee; ALS from Lord MacDonnell to Sir J. D. Rees; newspaper cuttings on the famine gathered by Rees

[ The Indian Famine, 1896-1897 ] Antony Patrick MacDonnell, 1st Baron MacDonnell of Swinford (1844-1925), Lieut-Gov. of the N. W. Provinces; Sir John David Rees (1854-1922); Dalhousie Institute
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[ Dalhousie Institute, Calcutta, India. ] All items from 1897.

The Indian Famine of 1896-1897 began in Bundelkhand early in 1896, and quickly spread to other areas including the United and Central Provinces, and the Bombay and Madras Presidencies. Over two years the famine affected an area of 307,000 square miles, and the mortality, both from starvation and accompanying epidemics, was very high, with around one million people dying as a result. The eighteen items in the present collection are from the papers of the Indian civil servant and author J. D. Rees, and are tipped-in and laid down on leaves from one of his albums.

Autograph Letter Signed ('Dalhousie') from George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie, on going to India, to Mr Forbes of 76 Queen St, Edinburgh, giving character references of three of his servants (Wood, Thomas Robertson and Robert Combe).

George Ramsay (1770-1838), 9th Earl of Dalhousie, Governor-in-Chief of British North America,
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Dalhousie Castle [Midlothian, Scotland]. 16 April 1829.

3pp., 4to. Bifolium. In original envelope, with black wax armorial seal, addressed by Dalhousie to 'Mr. Forbes | 76 Queen Street | Edinr.' Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Dealing with his 'own Servant' Wood, first, he states that he has been with him for five years, 'in keeping my Cloaths, and my Butler latterly altogether; I have found him at all times sober, attentive active, and I believe him perfectly honest, & trustworthy. He has kept my house accounts, my Cellar Books, & all house matters regarding the men Servants, & that both at home and abroad to my satisfaction.

Seven letters to Lord Dalhousie, as Lord in Waiting [whip] in the House of Lords, from peers, regarding the second reading of a bill entitled 'Marriage with the Sister of a Deceased Wife'.

[John William Ramsay (1847-1887), 13th Earl of Dalhousie, Lord in Waiting in Gladstone's Liberal Government, 1880-1885] [Farrer; Kilmorey; Kinnaird; Kinnoull; Montrose; Strafford; Wharncliffe]
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May, June and July 1885. From various locations (see below).

According to the diarist Sir Edward Walter Hamilton, the second reading of the Divorced Wife's Sister Bill caused 'great excitement'. Due to clerical opposition, the Bill did not reach the statute book until 1907, and even then in a limited form. These seven items provide an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of the Victorian legislative process. All are clear and complete, and docketed by Dalhousie in red. All in fair condition, with various degrees of aging.

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