[Lord Robson [William Snowden Robson, Baron Robson], English judge and Liberal MP, Solicitor General and Attorney General.] Two Autograph Letters Signed to 'B Piffard Esq', regarding his possible candidacy in the coming general election.

Lord Robson [William Snowden Robson, Baron Robson] (1852-1918), English judge, Liberal MP, Solicitor General and Attorney General [Bernard Piffard (1833-1916), microscopist and entomologist]
Publication details: 
ONE: 26 May 1885. On letterhead of 45, Curzon Street, Mayfair. W. [London] TWO: 15 June 1885. On letterhead of 3, Plowden Buildings, Temple. E.C. [London]
SKU: 25542

Interesting items, casting light on the nitty-gritty of Victorian constituency politics. Both are signed 'W. S. Robson' and addressed to 'B. Piffard Esq'. Both in good condition, lightly aged, with the second a little spotted. Each on a bifolium. ONE (26 May 1885): 3pp, 12mo. He has been informed 'that it is now the wish of the Watford (or Divisional) Association that I should visit the Division & address meetings there. In fact they have asked me to speak at a meeting at Watford next Saturday evening & I have consented.' He will be happy to 'deliver my address at Hemel Hempstead on the Saturday following 2.5. Saturday week.' He stresses that he is not visiting the division as a candidate. 'I was asked to meet the Committee of the Divisional Association at Watford with the view of becoming a Candidate but declined to do so on grounds stated in a letter to them & which I shall be happy to explain to you when we have the pleasure of meeting.' He agrees with Piffard 'that it is the new voters who have mainly to be considered in the coming fight. They are at present outside the organisation of either party & must be won to Liberalism'. TWO (15 June 1885): 4pp, 12mo. In much the same tone as One. Discusses his 'Watford Speech', which was not intended as ?a declaration of political views?, but rather as 'a controversial skirmish against the inconsistent & dishonest attitude of the Tories in modern politics'. His address 'might be entitled 'How shall we use our vote' He is still being cagey: 'I would rather not appear definitely as a Candidate'. In the remainder of the letter - more than half - he describes how he believes the candidates should conduct themselves. For all his talk of dishonesty it was Robson who was hedging his bets; he never did stand for Piffard's district, being elected to Bow and Bromley, 1885-1885, and to South Shields, 1895-1910.