MAHDIST

[William Ewart Gladstone, as Prime Minister, to Lord Crewe, following the death of Gordon of Khartoum.] Autograph Letter Signed ('W E Gladstone'), on how he is prevented from 'fulfilling the engagement', due to 'the state of affairs in the Soudan'.

Author: 
William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), Liberal Prime Minister [Robert Crewe-Milnes (1858-1945), 1st Marquess of Crewe; Charles George Gordon (Gordon of Khartoum)]
Publication details: 
On cancelled letterhead of 10 Downing Street. [Holborn? Holby?] 5 February 1885.
£180.00

1p, 12mo. In good condition, folded four times. The Downing Street letterhead has been struck through, and place and date added in manuscript, possibly not by Gladstone himself, the place indistinct ('Holborn' or 'Holby'?). The letter reads: 'My dear Lord Crewe | With the greatest regret I have to inform you that an imperative call to London caused by the state of affairs in the Soudan will prevent us, to our great disappointment, from fulfilling the engagement which you had so kindly accepted. | Yours sincerely | W E Gladstone'. Gordon had died in the fall of Khartoum on 26 January.

[Louisa, Duchess of Buccleuch, regarding charity work for the Mahdist War.] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Miss Christison', asking on behalf of the Princess of Wales for her assistance in relation to a charity for British troops in Egypt and the Sudan.

Author: 
Louisa, Duchess of Buccleuch [Louisa Montagu Douglas Scott; previously Lady Louisa Jane Hamilton] (1836-1912), wife of William Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch and 8th Duke of Queensberry (1831-1914)
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Dalkeith House, Dalkeith [Scotland]. 6 April 1885.
£45.00

3pp., 12mo. Bifolium with mourning border. Writing with regard to the Mahdist War, she has been asked by the Princess of Wales to 'start a Sub-Committee to H. R. H's. Branch of the National Aid Society (Soudan & Egypt)', and is 'anxious to know' whether the recipient can help her 'by allowing your name to be placed on the General Committee the object of which is to collect funds to secure some further provisions for the health & comfort of the British Troops, more especially the Sick & Wounded, in that trying climate'.

[ The Battle of Omdurman, 1898. ] Unknown printed transcription of vivid and detailed letter written on the spot [ by Major Lord Edward Cecil? ], titled 'An Account of the Battle of Omdurman. By one who was present.'

Author: 
[ Major Lord Edward Cecil[?] [Edward Herbert Gascoyne-Cecil] (1867-1918) of the Grenadier Guards, ADC to the Sirdar [ General Kitchener ]; Battle of Omdurman, 1898; Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth ]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. Transcription dated from 'Omdurman, 3rd Septr., 1898.' Item dating from around the same time.
£450.00

1p., folio. In three columns of small print, on a sheet of 37.5 x 23 cm paper. With three manuscript emendations. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper, with a couple of short closed tears at margins along folds. The present item is excessively scarce. There is no record of its existence on either OCLC WorldCat or COPAC, nor does it feature in Harold E. Raugh Jr's 'British Military Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Selected Bibliography' (2008). The document is anonymous, but its author is clearly an ADC, and there is a strong possibility that it was Lord Edward Cecil.

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