[King George V of Hanover.] Secretarial Letter Signed ('George R'), in English, to the dancing partner of his youth Lady Ann Cullum, giving news of his family and court. With two letters to Lady Cullum from Count Linsingen, and royal seal in red wax.

George V [Georg V] (1819-1878), last king of Hanover, cousin of Queen Victoria; Carl Baron von Linsingen (1822-1872) [Lady Ann Cullum, widow of Sir Thomas Gery Cullum of Hardwick House]
Publication details: 
King George V's letter: 28 November [1865]; Herrenhausen. Count Linsingen's two letters: 12 November and 18 December 1865; both from Hanover.
SKU: 22427

Four items, all in good condition, lightly aged, the three letters with stubs and labels used in mounting in an album. In addition to the pleasant picture they paint of the court gathered around the blind king in the last year of his kingdom's existence (with an interesting reference to the new palace he had built his wife at Marienburg), the three letters indicate a surprisingly cordial state in nineteenth-century Anglo-German relations. The recipient was Lady Ann Cullum (1807-1875), widow of Sir Thomas Gery Cullum (1777-1855) of Hardwick House, and the correspondence indicates that in her youth Lady Cullum, as 'Miss Loyd', had taken dancing letters with George when he was a young prince in London. ONE: Letter, from George V to Lady Cullum, in a secretarial hand, with the untidy signature of the blind king, and a postscript in a second secretarial hand. 28 November [1865]; Herrenhausen. 7pp, 12mo. On two bifoliums. Signed 'Georg R'. A warm and good-natured letter, giving no indication of the political trouble that would follow within months, with the Austro-Prussian War seeing the annexation of Hanover by Prussia and the unification of Germany. Addressed to 'My dear Lady Cullum'. He thanks her for her letter of 18 November, delivered to him by Count Linsingen. 'I indeed cannot sufficiently assure you how gratified I am to hear from you again & to learn from yourself that you, thank God, can look back with gratitude & happiness to your past life.' He fully understands 'how severe the loss of Sir Thomas must have been to you, & how you only can find consolation in the zealous & conscientious fulfilment of the duties devolved upon you since he was called to a better home.' The recollection of the 'happy days' the Cullums passed with him at Kew 'will ever remain dear' to him: 'I remember every minute detail with the greatest accuracy & delight.' He reports the visit to Hanover of their 'old acquaintance of those times' Colonel Mc.Donnell, who informed him that 'on his return from Marechal Mc.Donnell's funeral at Paris some years before, he had the pleasure of meeting you on the steamer crossing the channel.' Not having heard news of them he was delighted by this news, and also 'on being informed by Count Linsingen that he had had the pleasure of meeting you on his visit to England last year, on which occasion you had spoken of me with so kind & warm interest, which I am glad to find you extend to my angelic Queen & my dear children.' He is grateful to God 'for the great blessing He has bestowed upon me in my domestic happiness added to so many other mercies'. He reports that the 'dear Prince Royal attained his 20th. year on the 21st. of September last & has been doing duty with his regiment upwards of 6 weeks.' He gives news of his daughters the Princesses Frederike and Mary. Should they visit the continent, he invites them to 'come to Hanover', where he would be 'too happy to welcome you at my Court & present you to the Queen & my children'. In the meantime he is sending 'five photographs, so that we may not be quite strange to you when you see us in person'. He ends by expressing pleasure that 'our old friend Sir Charles Wyke has yesterday been named minister at Hanover': 'there never could be a better diplomatic agent between two cousins and two courts & countries so closely connected'. The seven-line postscript concerns the photographs he is sending. TWO and THREE: Two Autograph Letters Signed to Lady Cullum from Carl Baron von Linsingen (1822-1872), both signed 'Ad[itor]s. Count Linsingen'. Both 4pp, 8vo. Bifoliums. TWO: 12 November 1865; Hanover. He is writing 'at the express desire of His Majesty the King', and informs her that for the previous four months 'the royal family have been chiefly residing at a new Palace the King has lately erected for Her Majesty the Queen about 40 english miles distant from Hanover, and intended to become the future dowager residence of the Queen. It is called the "Marienburg" and is a very fine spacious building, in the ancient Gothic style, situated on a well wooded eminence commanding a splendid view of the surrounding country.' The king has conferred on Linsingen 'the honourable office of "Marechall de la Cour" during the séjour of the Court' at Marienburg, and the king has asked him 'about my last year's visit to England, and of course, - as one of its brightest reminiscences, - I mentioned the truly kind reception I had met with under your so hospitable roof, [i.e. Hardwick Hall] adding the fact, which you then stated to me, of your having formerly taken dancing lessons together with his Majesty, when a young Prince in England. The King immediately remembered the "handsome Miss Loyd" as he was pleased to term you, and the recollection evidently afforded him so much satisfaction, that he requested me to relate to him, all I could communicate concerning you'. The king responds with animation, stating that he has 'made frequent, but hitherto unsuccessful enquiries' after Lady Cullum, 'the last tidings he had received were several years ago, through a colonel MacDaniel, (if I rightly remember the name) who had met you on board a steamer bound for some Italian port or other, of which I regret to say I have forgotten the name.' He hopes she will not consider him 'too indiscreet' if he suggests that 'it would give the king much pleasure, if you favoured him with a line from your hand, referring to old times, and thanking him for his remembrance, as I have always observed that he retains a great affection for all those, to whom he was attached previou to the loss of his eye sight.' He reports that he has received a letter from his 'brother in law Collett, [...] full of your kindness towards him and my young nieces'. The letter ends with a lengthy expression of thanks. The letter's envelope, with seal in red wax, is Item Four below. THREE: 18 December 1865; Hanover. When her 'truly amiable letter' arrived he was 'absent from home on a week's wild boar shooting excursion in company of hte young Crown Prince at one of our royal Sporting Chateaux called the "Göhrde" situated near the celebrated battle field of the same name', 'and he explains what happened to the letter after his wife forwarded it to him there: 'it was placed into my hands one morning when on the point of starting for the chase, and thus your entertaining epistle, written by you only four days previously, whilst probably seated in your delightful drawing room, and surrounded by all the numerous luxurious and elegant comforts, a refined taste can devise, - was perused by me in the midst of one of our wild northern forests, having just come off victorious after a severe contest, with a first rate wild boar!' The following morning he went to the palace at Herrenhausen, 'and not only placed your letter into the King's hands myself, but had also the honour of being desired to read its contents to him'. He describes the king's rapturous response to the letter ('Charming! charming! how beautifully the dear Lady expresses herself!') and the accompanying floral gift ('His Majesty then delicately touched the Geranium blossom [...], following its outlines with his finger to judge of its size and shape'). The blossom has been given to the queen, who is 'so fond of flowers and has just sustained a painful loss of several of the floral favourites in consequence of a fire breaking out a few nights ago in her conservatory at the Marienburg'. The letter ends with Linsingen urging Lady Cullum to visit Hanover, and with voluble renewed thanks. FOUR: Envelope to Item Two above, bearing on reverse good impression of royal seal in red wax and Bury St Edmunds postmark, 14 November 1865; addressed to 'Lady Cullum | Hardwick | near Bury St Edmunds | Suffolk | England'. At bottom left of address: 'Service of His Majesty | the King of Hanover'.