Richard Oastler (1789-1861), abolitionist, factory reformer ('The Factory King') and Tory radical
'The Queen's Prison [i.e. the Fleet Prison ] | Jany. 1. 1843.'
1p., 4to. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper, with slight damage to corners caused by removal from album. For the context of the letter, see Oastler's entry in the Oxford DNB, which explains that he was nearing the end of a three and a half year sentence at the Fleet Prison, for 'debts accumulated during his stewardship at Fixby', the charge being a 'Pretext', his 'campaign against the new poor law' having proved 'incendiary'. The letter begins: 'Maria! | This comes from thy own Papa, to wish thee a Happy new Year.
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885), Liberal politician and social reformer [ Emily Faithfull (1835-1895), London publisher and campaigner for women's rights ]
No place. 28 April 1871.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, and slightly creased at foot. He apologises for being unable to attend a meeting, 'which I had given up, hearing that Sir C. Trevelyan had, already, promised to undertake the duty'. As president, he must attend 'an important Lecture' at the Victoria Institute, 'the Committee having fixed the day, supposing me to be free'.
Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), English politician and social reformer, Member of Parliament for Derby, and originator of the celebrated 'Plimsoll Line'
Place and date not stated.
On 4 x 13.5 cm. strip of paper, cut from the front panel of an envelope. In fair condition, lightly aged. Addressed to 'John Head Esq | Ransome Sims & Head | Ipswich', with the underlined signature 'Samuel Plimsoll' at bottom left.
Josephine Butler [ Josephine Elizabeth Butler, née Grey ] (1828-1906), social reformer and women's activist
On letterhead of The Close, Winchester. 13 August [ no year ].
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition. She is writing 'in accordance with a request from Mrs. Warburton', 'concerning Mlle. Schach', whose family the Butlers have known for some time. She would like to find Schach 'such a situation as we believe yours would be'. Butler describes Schach's accomplishments (a good linguist and 'ladylike and lively') but confesses that she does not hold 'strong religious convictions', although she 'is not sceptical', having been 'religiously brought up (her father was almost a saintly man)'.
Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801-1885), 7th Earl of Shaftesbury [ Lord Shaftesbury ] , British politician, philanthropist and social reformer
On letterhead of St Giles's House, Cranbourne, Salisbury. 17 January 1856.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper. He assures de Boinville that he 'much regrets his want of leisure to peruse the MS. that M de Boinville has been so good as to send him'. He concludes with the complaint that he is 'really so occupied that heh has not time for the discharge of the several duties that are imposed upon him'.
Flora Clift Stevenson [Flora C. Stevenson] (1839-1905), Scottish social reformer and educationalist, one of the first women in the United Kingdom to be elected to a school board
On her monogrammed letterhead of 13 Randolph Terrace, Edinburgh. 'Saturday' [no date].
1p., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The letter reads: 'My dear Ella: | It wd be very kind if you cd come to see me as I have never recovered & am downstairs again. - Will you come to tea to-day or tomorrow. I want somebody to play with me!'
Mary Carpenter (1807-1877), English educationist and penal reformer [William Henry Benthall (1837-1909), cricketer and private secretary to Sir Stafford Northcote (1818-1887), Conservative politician]
Red Lodge House, Bristol. 15 October 1867.
1p., 12mo. Good, on aged paper. She states that she will be 'happy to wait on Sir Stafford Northcote at 4 oclock on Wednesday the 30th instant as you mention'. Docketed by Benthall on reverse of second leaf of bifolium, 'Miss Carpenter | Oct: 15. 1867. | Will wait on you on Oct: 30. at 4 o'clock'. Benthall was described in Wisden as batting 'in an exceedingly pretty style, cutting beautifully to the off, and has made some capital scores in the best matches'.
Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890), English social reformer
Without date or place.
Paper dimensions roughly 9 x 11 cm. The lower part of the last leaf of a letter. Good, on lightly discoloured and aged paper. Ten lines of text on reverse, including the comment (apparently referring to 'drainage works') 'Mr. Lawson would do the work very well, and is to be commended as Mr. Rawlinson was for never exceeding his estimates.'
Victorian writer and social reformer (DNB), famous for his book 'Self-Help (1859)'. Inscribed by Smiles on the half-title 'To Dear Georgie | from the Author | S Smiles. | Christmas 1886'. Later ownership inscription on front free endpaper. 8vo, xii + 388 pages, followed by sixteen-page catalogue of publisher's advertisements. Original maroon cloth, with blindstamped bevelled boards. Not in the best of condition: cloth worn, stained and rubbed; spine frayed and faded with long tear along hinge; binding loose; paper somewhat discoloured with some foxing.
19 December 1911; letterhead 'BOURNVILLE. | BIRMINGHAM.'
Quaker confectioner, social reformer and philanthropist (1839-1922). 1 page, 8vo. A little grubby and creased but in good condition overall, with the blank reverse attached to remains of another piece of paper. He thanks his correspondent for his letter and states that 'The Friends' Meeting House at Stirchley has been used for very many years by the Friendly Societies instead of the liquor shop. I believe that one society of 700 members [manuscript addition: 'the largest branch in the Midlands'] and another of 400 members have payments made in one of the rooms connected with it.