[Thomas Gisborne, Anglican cleric and author, leading member of the abolitionist Clapham Sect.] Three Autograph Letters Signed to Archdeacon John Woodhouse, praising his edition of the Apocalypse, and discussing his own on 'Sunday Drilling'.

Thomas Gisborne (1758-1846), Anglican cleric, leading member with William Wilberforce and Thomas Babington of abolitionist Clapham Sect [John Chappel Woodhouse (1749-1833), Archdeacon of Salop]
Publication details: 
All three from Yoxall Lodge. 24 February and 2 May 1806; and 25 June 1828.
SKU: 23477

The three letters are in good condition, lightly aged and worn, with minor evidence of previous mounting in an album. ONE: 24 February 1806. 1p, 4to. Signed 'Thomas Gisborne.' The subject of the letter is Woodhouse's translation of the Apocalypse, prefixed by 'a dissertation on the divine origin of the book', published the previous year. Gisborne writes that on his 'return from Leicestershire' the previous Friday, he found Woodhouse's 'very obliging present'. He has 'only read the Introduction, & rather more than a third of the Dissertation', but 'the former is so sound & scriptural, & the latter, as far as I have proceeded, so decidedly conclusive', that Gisborne's 'expectations respecting the remainder of the volume are raised very high'. The 'inspired book' on which Woodhouse comments is 'particularly interesting' to Gisborne, and he hopes that 'under the divine blessing, the labour which you have bestowed upon it will not be without some fruit to myself'. TWO: 2 May 1806. 2pp, 4to. Signed 'Thos. Gisborne.' Bifolium, addressed, with two postmarks, on reverse of second leaf, to 'The Revd. Mr. Archdeacon Woodhouse, | Swinnerton, | near | Newcastle under Line. [sic]' Gisborne has sent Woodhouse a copy of his 'Observations on the Plan for Training the People to the Use of Arms, with Reference to the Subject of Sunday Drilling', and he writes that Woodhouse is 'very good in accepting the little Pamphlet so favorably'. On the question of the 'circulation' of the pamphlet he states that he 'merely sent copies to some few friends. But the Bishop of London (who is exerting himself with extreme earnestness, as well as many other Prelates, against Sunday Drilling,) has desired that it may be distributed widely among the Members of the Legislature: & that measure is in consequence adopted.' He has 'cordial satisfaction' in Woodhouse's 'concurrence of sentiment on this whole subject.' Returning to Woodhouse's edition of the Apocalypse he writes that he has 'continued with attention the perusal of your important Volume', although circumstances have prevented him from reaching the conclusion. 'In me you found a reader encumbered with many prejudices. Some of them you have shaken to their foundations. In other points you have filled me with doubt: & have at least taught me that much ground which I regarded as solid require new & close examination.' He hopes after finishing the book to reread it. 'At present I am embarrassed by finding so much new matter brought before me.' He suggests the addition of a 'short analysis' to subsequent editions, 'giving a summary of your interpretation of all the leading parts of the Prophecy'. Woodhouse does him 'too much honor', in thinking him 'likely to suggest material corrections'. On the question of 'unfulfilled Prophecies, prophecies too which appear to be so constructed that the accomplishment of the latter parts shall reflect light on the import of the former, room for various doubts seem likely to remain'. In a postscript he suggests the making of a manuscript correction to a misprint in his own pamphlet. THREE: 25 June 1828. Signed 'T: Gisborne.' 1p, 4to. Clearly referring to Woodhouse's 'Annotations on the Apocalypse', published that year, Gisborne writes: 'I can have no doubt that it is to your kindness that I am indebted for a copy of your new publication, which has recently come to my hands.' He is 'sincerely glad that it has pleased God to continue to [Woodhouse] the health & strength requisite for completing a work seldom parallelled [sic] by an individual at so advanced a season of life'. He hopes that the book 'will be made very useful to Biblical students of whatever age.'