[Richard Porson, Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge.] Autograph jeu d'esprit by Porson, purporting to be a letter from John Villette, Ordinary of Newgate, to Sir Busick Harwood, Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge. With leaf of autograph Latin text

Richard Porson (1759-1808), Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge [Rev. John Villette (c.1749-1799), Ordinary of Newgate Prison; Sir Busick Harwood (c.1750-1814), Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge]
Publication details: 
Letter dated from Newgate Street, 21 March 1787. Latin text without place or date.

Two items. ONE: Ostensible letter from John Villette, Ordinary of Newgate, to Sir Busick Harwood, Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge. Like Porson, Villette was a Cambridge man (St John's, BA 1771). He was Ordinary of Newgate between 1774 and 1799, the position being a lucrative one, and Porson's satire would in part appear to be directed against his cupidity in attempting to make money out of the cadaver of an executed man.

[ John Latchford and Thomas Meates, King's Messengers in the foreign service. ] Material relating to them and their families, mainly transcriptions by C. E. Meates, but with some originals. With other material including a memorandum by Lewis Hertslet

John Latchford (1778-1833) and Thomas Meates (1768-1836), King's Messengers; Lewis Hertslet (1787-1870) of the Foreign Office [ The King's Messenger Service; C. E. Meates of the Pioneer Corps ]
Publication details: 
[ The King's Messenger Service, London. ] Original documents from the 1820s and 1830s from Paris, Brussels and the Hague;, and C. E. Meates's writing from the 1930s to 1960s.

For an overview of the post of King's Messenger, see 'The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy', ed. Ward and Gooch, vol.3 (1923), which states that during the two men's time in the post (i.e. in 1822) 'the number of the corps was raised to thirty-eight. Eighteen of these were placed under the immediate orders of the Foreign Office for foreign service only. They were required to be British subjects, not over thirty-five years of age, good linguists and good horsemen; and the choosing of them rested in turn with each of the three Secretaries of State'.

Collection of 25 newspaper cuttings from Fleet Street newspapers relating to the final illness of King George V, collected and presented on letterheads for Lord Dawson of Penn, who attended on the king, by the advertising agency G. Street & Co.

Bertrand Edward Dawson, Lord Dawson of Penn (1864-1945), President, Royal College of Physicians; attended dying King George V [G. Street & Co., 6 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3, advertising agency]
Publication details: 
Mounted on letterheads of G. Street & Co., Ltd., 6, Gracechurch Street, EC3. London: April and May 1931.

An interesting collection, casting light on media attitudes to the British Royal family and news management in the interwar years. Dawson was clearly mindful of publicity. As his entry in the Oxford DNB explains: 'It was Dawson who composed on a menu card the celebrated lines, ‘the King's life is moving peacefully towards its close’, having modified this from what he described as "a very commonplace" final bulletin used for Edward VII.' Penn's attendance during the King's final illness was controversial: it was later revealed that he hastened his end with morphine and cocaine.

Autograph Letter Signed ('B. B. Woodward') to 'Dr Reynolds'.

Bernard Bolingbroke Woodward (1816-1869), Librarian in Ordinary to the Queen, Windsor Castle
Publication details: 
2 June 1869; on embossed Buckingham Palace letterhead.

12mo, 3 pp. Bifolium. Thirty-three lines of text. Good, on aged paper, with slight traces of glue from mount on blank reverse of second leaf. Apologising for not being able to join Reynolds' party, because of the visit of 'a gentleman' who 'is coming from the country to me on business of importance to me'. This is also disappointing to his daughter, who would have accompanied him. He hopes his 'excellent friends', Reynold's 'colleagues', will not suppose him 'indffierent to their invitation! Especially now that my renewed health has permitted me to accept <?>'.

Autograph Letter Signed ('H S Cotton') to William Upcott (1779-1845), Secretary of the London Institution and autograph collector.

Rev. Horace Salusbury Cotton (c.1774-1846), Ordinary of Newgate Prison and autograph collector
Publication details: 
20 August 1830; place not stated.

One page, octavo. Very good. Docketed at head 'Ordinary of Newgate', and with small fragment of printed slip laid down in top left-hand corner (not affecting text). Reads 'My dear Sir, | A friend of mine lays claim to the Arrandale Peerage & estates - do you happen to possess any documents of any kind which can throw light upon the subject & assist him in the prosecution of his claims - He claims I believe from Lord John Johnstone who was in Newgate for Treason about the year 1700, but was never convicted - Yrs. very truly | H S Cotton'. Addressed to 'William Upcott Esq.

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