Tag Archives: Broadlands Archives

Travel and Voyages: Britain and the Far East

This week, our travels take us to the Far East, where we will be exploring the development of Britain’s relations with the region. Items displayed are from the MS64 Congleton manuscripts and MS62 Broadlands Archives.

Nagasaki, Japan, 1881-2 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

Nagasaki, Japan, 1881-2 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

The Far East is a term used to describe the geographical, economic, and cultural region that encompasses Eastern Russia (Siberia in particular), East Asia, and Southeast Asia, and in some cases, Pacific island nations. Use of this phrase dates back to twelfth-century Europe, when the ruling class, explorers, traders, and travelers took an eastern route to reach this area and so the term the Far East was used to refer to the region because it is the farthest of the 3 Eastern Asian areas, which are the: Near East, the Middle East, and the Far East. The expression became favoured during the reign of the British Empire, and was used to refer to any area east of British India.

The English Quarter, Shanghai, China [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

The English Quarter, Shanghai, China [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Western knowledge of the Far Eastern powers increased markedly. Trade with Japan was opened up, and further ports in China were made accessible: some ninety-two places in China were open for British trade by 1914. British business dominated the trade with China until the 1880s, especially through Shanghai, but was less successful later. In parallel with treaty arrangements guaranteeing access to trade, the British formally acquired territory. From a political point of view, this was a safeguard for British interests in India; and it was also a component in creating further economic growth. Accompanying this came the trappings of empire, especially its military presence. This was critical to ensure the security of trade where more informal relations existed. Territorial acquisition was also driven by rivalry with other Western powers, particularly the French and the Dutch; and it advanced as much by treaty with local rulers as it did by military action and annexation.

Samurai practising with double-handed swords, Japan 1881 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

Samurai practising with double-handed swords, Japan 1881 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/A20]

Singapore was ceded to Britain in 1819 and the Malay archipelago was divided into Dutch and British areas of influence in 1824. The British areas — the future Straits Settlements — were administered as part of British India. Later in the century, Singapore became of central importance in the China trade, as a coaling station. It was a major entrepot in the trade from the Netherlands East Indies, and its strategic position ensured that it was well-garrisoned. Its administration passed from the Indian government to the Colonial Office in 1867. There was then an expansion of British influence in the Malay peninsula through the establishment of a system of residencies — creating the Federated Malay States — and, as elsewhere, a blurring of distinction between those parts that were formally part of a British empire and those outside it. From the close of the nineteenth century, the development of rubber plantations in the Malay States created an additional element in the economy.

Programme for the Singapore Races, Autumn 1880 [MS64/292]

Programme for the Singapore Races, Autumn 1880 [MS64/292]

The image above shows a Singapore Races event programme, which belonged to the servant of the empire, Henry Parnell, fourth Baron Congleton (1839-1906), who was also a member of the Singapore Races organising committee. He had a military career, serving in the Crimea and the Zulu war of 1879. In 1880-3, his battalion of the Buffs (the Third Regiment of Foot) was posted to Singapore, where he was commandant of the garrison and president of the Singapore Defence Committee.

A draft of a report on the defences of Singapore, from Parnell’s papers as president of the Singapore Defence Committee, with his annotations and notes on business [MS 64/291]

A draft of a report on the defences of Singapore, from Parnell’s papers as president of the Singapore Defence Committee, with his annotations and notes on business [MS 64/291]

We also hold the journal of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Parnell. The image below shows a section of the journal describing his trip to Japan in September and October 1883. On 12 September he was at Kyoto, where he visited the imperial palace and, in the evening, had a demonstration of fighting with a two-handed sword.

Section from the Journal of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Parnell, describing is trip to Japan in September 1883 [MS 64/278]

Section from the Journal of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Parnell, describing his trip to Japan in September 1883 [MS 64/278]

The British imperial presence was reinforced by official tours. In August 1880, a detached squadron, led by the iron frigate, HMS Inconstant, embarked on a world cruise to show the flag, in a journey lasting more than two years. On the Inconstant was Prince Louis of Battenberg, who was to become First Sea Lord immediately prior to the First World War and who was to marry a favourite grand-daughter of Queen Victoria; two sons of the Prince of Wales, one of them the future George V, also served with the squadron. In 1921-2 another Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VIII, toured India and Japan, visiting Burma and Singapore en route.

Singapore: the route to Government House lined by head hunters (Dyak tribesmen) from Borneo, March 1922 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/N7, 187]  

Singapore: the route to Government House lined by head hunters (Dyak tribesmen) from Borneo, March 1922 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/N7, 187]

During the same trip, the party was able to visit the Malay-Borneo exhibition as well as unveil the Straits Settlements War Memorial.

Unveiling of the Straits Settlements War Memorial, with the Prince of Wales’ staff on the right, March 1922 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/N7, 189]

Unveiling of the Straits Settlements War Memorial, with the Prince of Wales’ staff on the right, March 1922 [MS 62 Broadlands Archives MB2/N7, 189]

Join us next week for our third travel and voyages themed blog post, which will focus on South America and Central America.

Advertisements

“And so, by God’s blessing, my first effort has been for the advancement of human happiness”: Lord Shaftesbury, Social Reform, and Philanthropy

On 28 April this year, we celebrate what would have been Anthony Ashley-Cooper, seventh Earl of Shaftesbury’s 218th birthday. We mark this occasion by focusing this blog post on Lord Shaftesbury as a social reformer and a philanthropist, and his papers at Southampton.

Lord Shaftesbury [MS 62 SHA/MIS/55]

Lord Shaftesbury [MS 62 SHA/MIS/55]

Born on 28 April in 1801 in Grosvenor Square, London as Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury was the fourth and eldest child of Cropley Ashley-Cooper, who became sixth Earl of Shaftesbury in 1811, and Lady Anne Spencer-Churchill, daughter of the fourth Duke of Marlborough.

Poem written by Lord Shaftesbury’s sister for Lord Shaftesbury for his eight birthday [MS 62 SHA/MIS/62]

Poem written by Anthony Ashley-Cooper’s sister for Anthony’s eighth birthday [MS 62 SHA/MIS/62]

Shaftesbury begun his education at Harrow School from 1813-1816, and afterwards attended Christ Church College at the University of Oxford, graduating with a first-class degree in Classics in 1822, a Master’s Degree in 1832, and becoming a Doctor of Civil Law in 1841.

Lord Shaftesbury, October 1858 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/49]

Lord Shaftesbury, October 1858 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/49]

On 10 June 1830, Shaftesbury married Lady Emily Cowper, daughter of Emily, Countess Cowper, at St George’s Hanover Square in London. The marriage was a steady and ardent one, leading to the birth of sixth boys, which include (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley, politician and biographer, for whom we hold papers, and four girls, born between 1831 and 1849.

Lady Emily Cowper, wife of Lord Shaftesbury [MS 62 SHA/MIS/61]

Lady Emily Cowper, wife of Lord Shaftesbury [MS 62 SHA/MIS/61]

Following his father’s footsteps, who was MP for Dorchester 1791-1811, and Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords from 1814-1851, Shaftesbury was first elected to Parliament in 1826 as MP for Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

A serious-minded and ambitious young man, Shaftesbury made his first notable speech supporting a Bill to amend the Lunacy Laws in 1828. This was a result of there being little legislation in place to regulate asylums and their treatment of the mentally ill. At this time, the safety of communities came first, and the role of asylums was to protect the public from the mentally ill and to keep the mentally ill secure, leading to abuse and neglect of the patients becoming normality.

In June 1827, Robert Gordon brought to the attention of the House of Commons the state of pauper lunatics, which led to a report issued by an appointed Committee of Inquiry, that revealed failings and cruelties. On 19 February 1928, Gordon brought in a Bill to amend the law for the regulation of lunatic asylums. He brought attention to cases of illegal confinement and intimidation of sane persons, as well as neglect and abuse to the mentally ill. He also pointed out how legislation prevented the College of Physicians of acting on discoveries they had made from the inspections on asylums that they were permitted to conduct. Shaftesbury supported Gordon’s motion, and made his first important speech in Parliament, emphasising the necessity that something should be done in relation to the treatment of the mentally ill, citing several instances that had come within his own awareness. Shaftesbury briefly refers to his first speech in his diary:

“Feb 20th-Last night I ventured to speak, and, God be praised, I did not utterly disgrace myself, though the exhibition was far from glorious; but the subject was upon Lunatic Asylums…Gordon had requested me to second his motion… I did not decline, more especially as I had heard that from certain circumstances my support in this affair would render some small service to the cause. And so, by God’s blessing, my first effort has been for the advancement of human happiness. May I improve hourly!” [MS 62 SHA/PD/1, p36]

Lord Shaftesbury's diary entry for February 20th 1828 [MS 62 SHA/PD/1, p.36]

Lord Shaftesbury’s diary entry for February 20th 1828 [MS 62 SHA/PD/1, p.36]

Following this speech, a Bill transferring powers of lunatic asylums from the College of Physicians to fifteen Metropolitan Commissioners appointed by the Home Secretary, and the condition of private patients having two medical certificates, was passed on 15 July 1828. Shaftesbury became one of these commissioners, and went on to become Chairman in 1833.

Taking over Michael Sadler’s seat in the parliamentary leadership for the campaign for factory reforms and shorter hours of work in January 1833, was where Shaftesbury made his greatest achievements.

During the 1820s and 1830s, factory work was prioritised over education for children. In some areas with populations of over 100,000, there was not a single public day school for poor children, leading to parents sending their children to work for more than 12 hours a day in factories and mills. These “apprentices” were worked cruelly in extremely hot conditions, and in the fumes of oil.

Shaftesbury placed great importance on education for moral and spiritual reasons, and so his first motive was to limit the time worked by children and young people in factories to ten hours a day. He was met with strong opposition, but following a Royal Commission completing investigations, the Factory Act of 1833 was passed on 17th July. In many ways, this new government measure represented a great improvement on previous legislation. The new Act applied to not just cotton mills, but to woollen worsted, hemp, flax, tow, linen, and silk mills unlike previous legislation. No person under the age of eighteen was to be employed for more than twelve hours a day, or sixty-nine a week. The regular factory day for all over twelve and under eighteen was fixed at thirteen and a half hours, and these hours were to be taken between 5.30am and 8.30pm. Children of the protected age were to attend school no less than two hours daily.

However, the legislation did not provide the higher limits and measures of regulation that Shaftesbury and the Ten Hours Movement had advocated, much to his disappointment. The shift system could not be adopted by several employers, and registration of births did not begin until 1837. In addition, the schooling element was not practical in many cases, due to there being no schools in many places. Shaftesbury achieved success in 1842 with the passing of the Mines Act. He continued to work tirelessly towards supporting legislation to protect children into the 1870s.

“24 January 1842-Have written twice to Peel to obtain his final decision respecting the Factory Bill. It is manifest how the tide is setting. I must persist, and we shall break asunder. But it is a formidable step. God alone can strengthen me.” [MS 62 SHA/PD/2, p.88]

Speech of the Earl of Shaftesbury on the second reading of the Factories Bill in the House of Lords, July 9th 1874 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/38]

Speech of the Earl of Shaftesbury on the second reading of the Factories Bill (health of women, etc.) in the House of Lords, July 9th 1874 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/38]

In August 1840, Shaftesbury advocated for a Commission to enquire into the employment of the children of the poorer classes in mines and collieries. The first report was issued in May 1842. Most workers underground were aged less than thirteen, with some as young as four or five. Children would work up to twelve or fourteen hours a day in damp, dark and hot conditions, often accompanied by rats, and other vermin. Numerous workers would develop heart and lung disease early on in life, and education was completely neglected. The discoveries voiced in the May 1842 report, which included illustrations, awakened the outrage of the whole country.

On June 7th 1842, Shaftesbury introduced a Bill to exclude all females, boys under thirteen, and all parish apprentices, and to forbid the employment of anyone as an engineman under the age of twenty-one or over fifty. The Mines and Collieries Act was passed on 14 July 1842, prohibiting all underground work for women and girls, and for boys under 10. Shaftesbury went on to secure legislation in 1845 to control the employment of children in cotton printworks.

Lord Shaftesbury’s diary, 1845-47 [MS 62 SHA/PD/4]

Lord Shaftesbury’s diary, 1845-47 [MS 62 SHA/PD/4]

Shaftesbury had also turned his attention to chimney-sweep children, known as “the climbing boys”. Children would be bought and sold to a life of grime and hardship, ending for many either from a form of cancer, or from suffocation in a flue. In 1840 Shaftesbury supported a Bill that prohibited the climbing of chimneys by any person under the age of twenty-one, and the apprenticeship to a sweep of any boy under sixteen. Penalties and fines were also proposed for those who broke these rules. Shaftesbury advocated the Bill in the House of Commons by reporting that the current chimney sweep system had resulted in more deprivation and impoverishment than existed in any other Christian country. He also emphasised that conditions for factory children were currently ten times better than that of chimney sweeps. The Bill was passed and the system was ordered to come into force in July 1842.

In the late 1840s, Shaftesbury soon became a leading figure in Irish church missions to Roman Catholics, and the British and Foreign Bible Society, as well as the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes. He wished to continue to made a difference in improving education opportunities for children. Disappointed at his attempt to legislate for the provision of education in factories in 1843, he became the President of the Ragged School Union in 1844, a post that he was to hold for 39 years. This organisation enabled 300,000 destitute children to be educated for free at what were called ragged schools, or industrial feeding schools. In the late 1840s, Shaftesbury actively promoted schemes for supporting the emigration of young people whose prospects in Britain were poor.

The Ragged School Union Quarterly Record, January 1880 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/43]

The Ragged School Union Quarterly Record, January 1880 [MS 62 SHA/MIS/43]

In 1848 Shaftesbury was appointed as commissioner of the newly formed Board of Health. He used this position to campaign profusely to improve social conditions in Britain, advocating for the closure of overcrowded city burial grounds, and for the improvement of water supplies for the metropolis. In the late 1860s Lord Shaftesbury (of which he became in 1851), also took up the cause of mission to the costermongers (street traders) of London, and promoted the use of ships for housing and training homeless boys.

Lord Shaftesbury cartoon MS 62 BR69

Lord Shaftesbury cartoon [MS 62 BR69]

The Shaftesbury papers form part of the Broadlands Archives. They consist of correspondence, papers, diaries, journals, estate and legal papers, family history papers and various papers on religious reflections of Lord Shaftesbury (of which he became in 1851). Other papers of the 7th Earl remain with Ashley-Cooper family papers at St Giles House, Dorset.

Correspondence from Lord Shaftesbury to his wife Lady Emily Cowper

Correspondence from Lord Shaftesbury to his wife Lady Shaftesbury

 

Farewell to Killarney

After a busy month of travelling, it’s time to say adieu to Ireland. The following verse, by Henry Temple, second Viscount Palmerston, provides an appropriate goodbye. Palmerston visited Ireland several times: his family owned estates in County Sligo but he was also a keen traveller.

Upper Lake of Killarney

Killarney (Irish: Cill Airne, meaning “church of sloes”) is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland.

Old Weir Bridge

The version of the poem held in the Archives is an undated copy in the hand of his son, Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, nineteenth-century Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister.

Glenaa, a mountain in Killarney

Adieu Killarney loved retreat

Where every grace and beauty meet

From thee I part perhaps no more

To view thy wild romantic shore

To float upon the silvery plain

Or thread thy trifled isles again

Along whose haunted margins green

A fairer band of nymphs are seen

Than decked Cythera’s myrtle grove

To beauty sacred and to love

But though a wanderer hence I fly

To realms beneath a distant sky

Yet fancy oft in colours bright

Shall paint the moments of delight

That saw me midst thy social train

A pleased and willing guest remain

Shall oft recall the blushing grace

Of each engaging artless face

That smiled along thine opening glades

Or danced beneath thy checkered shades

And from the crowded scenes of life

The haunts of dullness noise and strife

My wandering thoughts shall oft remove

With fond delight again to rove

Where every grace and beauty meet

In sweet Killarney’s loved retreat

[MS 62 Broadlands Archives BR23AA/2/2]

Map of Killarney showing its hills and lakes

All images taken from John Carr, The Stranger in Ireland, 1806 [Rare Books DA 975]

Christmas wishes

Watercolour from a commonplace book, 1820s, MS 242 A800 p.77r

Watercolour from a commonplace book, c. 1820s,
MS 242 A800 p.77r

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and share a snowy scene from 200 years ago. This little watercolour appears in a lady’s commonplace book, which records the author’s travels to Scotland and the East Indies, c. 1820-1825. It is filled with beautiful sketches and watercolours of places and scenes that she had visited.  Perhaps these children were playing in the Scottish snow at Christmas?

The giving of gifts has always been a priority at this time of year – and not just in modern times – as shown by the following examples from the Broadlands Archives:

BR11/24/6 Mary, Lady Palmerston, to the second Viscount Palmerston, 23 Dec 1797

Mary, Lady Palmerston, to the second Viscount Palmerston, 23 Dec 1797 MS 62 BR11/24/6

In 1797, Mary, Lady Palmerston, wrote a letter from her home at Broadlands to her husband, sending a list of Christmas presents that he might buy for their children in London. The letter is dated “Saturday night, 23 Dec 1797” so this was to be a last-minute shopping spree!!

“With respect to the children’s presents, the things they would like the best I believe would be as viz. – Harry a small tool box, Fanny a small writing box, Willy the same, and Lilly a little gold necklace. If these are too expensive, then Harry a Spanish Don Quixote, Fanny the same, Willy the Preceptor [a book of instruction] and Lilly an atlas …. with a clasp.  They know nothing of your intention but we were supposing that if we were to have the offer of presents, what we should all like.

I will not trouble you to buy any thing for me except some shoes and a book which I shall write to Walsh about – without you see a nice plated nutmeg grater which would be a great treasure.”

The list gives an insight into the characters of Mary and the children. (Was the “nutmeg grater” the fashionable gift of the day?!) And we all know how difficult it is to buy the perfect present – and keep it a secret at the same time!

Twenty years later, the question of Christmas presents was also on the mind of Emily, Countess Cowper, (who later married the third Viscount Palmerston). This time it was her brother, Frederick Lamb, who had been charged with the shopping:

Emily Cowper, Countess Cowper, to her brother Honourable Frederick Lamb, 4 January 1820, MS 62 BR29/3/1

Emily, Countess Cowper, to her brother, the Honourable Frederick Lamb, 4 January 1820, MS 62 BR29/3/1

“My dearest Fred. I got a letter from you today and a large collection of cards, some very pretty, and last week I received a very pretty gold cup, the saucer of which puzzled us a great deal.  We could not think what it was meant to represent till by daylight next day we saw the reflection in the gold. Thank you for all these things. I am sorry George sent my letter of commissions after you and that you should have taken any trouble about it for they were really not things I absolutely wanted but I could not let people go to Paris and return empty handed.  I thought it was too good an opportunity to let escape and was obliged to sit down and think what I could want, however, if they come I shall be very glad to have them and particularly the ormoulu candlestick: three candles is handsomer but I said two because I had just then seen one of two which Lady Jersey generally uses….”

I wonder what he made of that letter from his sister – and how much trouble it had been to buy all the gifts?!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2018.

Jonathan Swift and the Temple family

Today marks the 350th birthday of Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), the Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, pamphleteer, poet, and cleric, best remembered as the author of Gulliver’s Travels (1726). Swift was born in Dublin on 30 November 1667 and was the second child of Jonathan Swift (1640–1667), a steward of the King’s Inns, Dublin, and his wife, Abigail Erick (1640–1710). His father died two months before he was born. Unable to support her son, his mother placed him in the care of his uncle, Godwin Swift. He was enrolled at Kilkenny College in 1674, and in 1682 entered Trinity College Dublin. Having received his bachelor’s degree in 1686, Swift continued at Trinity College to study for a master’s. However, Roman Catholic unrest in Ireland following the Glorious Revolution in 1688 forced him to quit his studies and leave for England.
Embed from Getty Images
In England his mother found him a position as secretary to the English statesman and essayist Sir William Temple (1628-1699) at Moor Park in Surrey. During the subsequent decade, Swift assisted Temple in political errands and research for his essays and memoirs. Under Temple’s guidance, and with a rich library at his disposal, it was at Moor Park that Swift developed his skills as a writer. During this time he wrote a number of essays, including A Tale of a Tub and ‘The Battle of the Books’, published together in 1704 and both touching on the debate surrounding Temple’s essays on ancient and modern learning.

It was also during this time that Swift met Esther Johnson, known by her nickname “Stella”, whose mother was in the service of William Temple. Swift took a keen interest in Stella and acted as her tutor and mentor. The two would maintain a close relationship throughout their lives and a debate continues as to whether they were secretly married in 1716. Swift returned to Ireland twice during the decade he worked for Temple. During one of these visits, in 1695, he took the necessary steps to become an ordained priest in the Church of Ireland. After Temple’s death in 1699, Swift completed the task of editing and publishing his memoirs. This, however, resulted in a clash with members of the Temple family, most notably Lady Gifford (Temple’s sister), who argued against Swift’s inclusion of material against Temple’s wishes.

The works of Sir William Temple, bart. edited by Jonathan Swift [Rare Books quarto PR 3729.T2]

The works of Sir William Temple, bart. edited by Jonathan Swift [Rare Books quarto PR 3729.T2]

Sir William Temple had two sisters, Martha (later Lady Gifford) and Mary, and a brother, John. Sir John Temple (1632-1705) was an Irish lawyer and politician and father of Henry Temple, first Viscount Palmerston (1673-1757), who purchased the Broadlands estate in 1736. It is through this link that the Broadlands archives contain a number of items relating to Swift.

The two earliest items date from 1724. The first of these is a letter to Henry Temple, first Viscount Palmerston, from Lewis Roberts, his lawyer in Dublin, dated 6 October 1724. The letters contains a reference to Swift’s speeches against William Wood’s Irish half penny [MS 62 BR140/4/8], delivered from the pulpit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin where Swift had held the position of dean since 1713. William Wood was an English manufacturer who had been granted a patent to mint copper halfpence for Ireland. The response in Ireland was one of outrage. There was a strong belief that the wishes of the Irish parliament had been bypassed and that the inferior quality of the money would devalue Irish coinage and damage the local economy. Swift was one of the most vocal critics in the campaign against Wood and published several pamphlets containing open letters and poetic broadsides on the subject. The letters, written under the pseudonym M. B. Drapier, were later published collectively as Drapier’s Letters. The opposition to the halfpenny was so strong that it occasionally took on a violent form, with Oliver Ferguson noting that “in Cork a mob prevented a shipment of halfpence from being unloaded, and threatened to burn the ship; and in Dublin Wood was hanged in effigy – an event which Swift celebrated with A Full and True Account of…the Execution of William Wood.”

Among Swift’s poetic broadsides on the subject was ‘Prometheus’, originally published around November 1724. It was retitled ‘Prometheus. On Wood the Patentee’s Irish Half-Pence’ in later collections. A manuscript copy of the poem, dating from 1724, can be found in the Broadlands collection [MS 62 BR3/36].

Prometheus, a Poem by Jonathan Swift [BR3/36]

Prometheus, a Poem by Jonathan Swift [BR3/36]

Another group of items relating to Swift are three letters exchanged between Swift and first Viscount Palmerston from January 1725/6 [MS 62 BR3/63-5]. The two men had known each other since Swift’s time at Moor Park. As with other members of the Temple family, their relationship was strained. Three months earlier, in the fourth of his Drapier’s letters (titled To the Whole People of Ireland), Swift had named Palmerston among the Englishmen who held substantial sinecures paid for out of the Irish treasury.

The short exchange, which can be found among Swift’s published letters, centres on the letting of rooms at Trinity College Dublin to a William Curtis who Swift claims “has been very unjustly and injuriously treated” [MS 62 BR3/63]. Swift is of the understanding that Palmerston had granted the rooms to a John Elwood for life and, as such, Elwood had the right to sublet them to Mr Curtis. In his response, Palmerston informs Swift that the rooms had been granted to Elwood for his personal use, and not for subletting, and that “When he quits, I am att liberty to dispose of the premises again” [MS 62 BR3/64]. In the final letter, Swift acquits Palmerston “of any injury or injustice done to Mr. Curtis”, noting that the “injury and injustice he received were from those who claimed a title to his chambers, took away his key, reviled and threatened to beat him, with a great deal more of the like brutal conduct” [MS 62 BR3/65].

Swift's signature [MS 62 BR3/63]

Swift’s signature [MS 62 BR3/63]

While the matter is ultimately cleared up, the tension in the exchange is palpable. Swift, in his first letter, states that he will refrain from commenting on William Curtis’ character, referencing a Thomas Stauton who he had once recommended to Palmerston but “whom you afterward rejected, expressing your reason for doing so, that I had recommended him.” Concerning the rejection he concedes, with more than a hint of sarcasm, that “these are some of the refinements among you great men, which are above my low understanding” [MS 62 BR3/63]. Palmerston adopts an equally sarcastic tone in the opening of his reply, stating that “I should not give my selfe the trouble to answer your polite letter, were I as unconcerned about character & reputation as some are.” He then proceeds to clarify the conditions under which the rooms had been granted to Mr Eldwood and defend himself concerning his dismissal of Mr Stauton, which was due to “his demand of a large additional salary, more than he had before my time”, noting that “he left the office, and was not turned out” [MS 62 BR3/64].

Palmerston concludes his letter with a powerful statement:

“My desire is to be in charity with all men; could I say as much of you, you had sooner inquired into this matter, or if you had any regard to a family you owe so much to; but I fear you hugged the false report to cancel all feelings of gratitude that must ever glow in a generous breast, and to justify what you had declared, that no regard to the family was any restraint to you. These refinements are past my low understanding, and can only be comprehended by you great wits. I always thought in you I had a friend in Ireland, but find myself mistaken. I am sorry for it; my comfort is, it is none of my fault. If you had taken any thing amiss, you might have known the truth from me. I shall always be as ready to ask pardon when I have offended, as to justify myself when I have not.” [MS 62 BR3/64]

Swift opens the final letter with the line “I desire you will give yourself the last trouble I shall ever put you to; I mean of reading this letter.” Then, in addition to acquitting Palmerston, he acknowledges his indebtedness to the Temple family, and defends himself against any misunderstanding, stating: “My lord, if my letter were polite, it was against my intentions, and I desire your pardon for it” [MS 62 BR3/64]. Palmerston has endorsed the letter as “Not answered”. The matter of the rooms at Trinity College was later taken up by third Viscount Palmerston in a letter written in 1813 to his agent, Graves Swan, in which he requests Swan to pursue his claim to the rooms [MS 62 BR146/10/1].

Jonathan Swift held the position of dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin until his death on 19 October 1745, at the age of 77.

Love stories from the Broadlands Archives

Saint Valentine’s Day, or The Feast of Saint Valentine, has been associated with romantic love since the fourteenth century and the time of Geoffrey Chaucer when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By eighteenth-century England, it had evolved into an occasion which resembled our modern-day celebration where people express their love by sending flowers, chocolate and greetings cards.  To mark Valentine’s Day 2017, we’re going to delve again into the wonderful resource that is the Broadlands Archives.

ms62_br46_133_r

Nineteenth century valentine card from the collection [BR46]

Henry Temple, second Viscount Palmerston, resident of Broadlands house near Romsey wrote on 24 June [1767] to “my dearest Miss Poole”:

I will not attempt to describe how melancholy and uncomfortable I have felt ever since you have been gone. I never in any solitude felt so much alone as I have done in this town these last five days, and most of all as when I have been in company. [BR16/9/1]

The object of his affections, Frances, was the daughter of Sir Francis Poole and his wife, also called Frances. Palmerston felt she had “all the qualities he could wish for in a wife” but did not want to press her for a decision “at this time”: one of Frances’s brothers, Henry, was very ill – and in fact died the following month – which was partly the cause of the delay in their marriage negotiations.  Frances appears more cautious than Henry: “you deserve a woman beautiful & young, & with every quality of the mind that can make her amiable.” [BR16/9/3].

Frances was 34 and six years senior to her suitor, hardly old, but possibly more unusual by eighteenth century standards. Henry attempted to reassure her:

The disproportion of age is nothing: the consideration with me is not about years but qualities and I am fully convinced that no woman in the world but yourself possesses all those that are requisite to my happiness [BR16/9/16]

Frances did marry Henry, the second Viscount, on 6 October 1767 but sadly died, only two years later, in childbirth at his Lordship’s house in the Admiralty on 1 June 1769.

Matrimonial ladder

Matrimonial ladder [BR34/6]

Palmerston was lucky enough to find love a second time, this time with Mary Mee, the daughter of Benjamin Mee, a London merchant living in Dublin.  Towards the end of 1782 he writes to her:

br20-1

Letter from Henry to Mary dating from when they were courting in 1782 [BR20/1/9]

My dearest M:M’s [Miss Mee’s] kind note found me just beginning to write a few lines to her (tho with such a headache I can hardly see) as I could not refrain from telling her how much I think of her and long for her society. [BR20/1/9]

They married on 4 January 1783.  The Broadlands Archives contains extensive correspondence between the couple who were clearly in love and wrote frequently whenever apart. Towards the end of his life, in November 1801, he reflects on his relationship with his first wife to his second:

I cannot conceive why one is never to speak of what one has felt the most; and why the subjects that lie the deepest in one’s heart and are the dearest to one’s remembrance are to be eternally banished from one’s lips [BR20/18/8]

A few days later, 12 November 1801, he comments that he has been going through his deceased wife’s papers. [BR20/18/9]. He passed away less than six months later on 16 April 1802 of “ossification of the throat”.

Mary was clearly distraught at the loss of her soul mate.  She writes from Lavender House, home of her sister and brother-in-law near Henley-on-Thames, in early May 1802 to an unknown recipient:

My heart is so loaded with sorrow that I hardly know how to support myself […] alas if I do not unburthen my sorrow to some friendly bosom my heart with surely break. [BR19/15/3]

Henry and Mary had four surviving children, the eldest being Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, future Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. A week after his father’s death, 23 April 1802, Mary sent her son a long letter full of advice.  Among many things, she advises that he marry “at no very early age”, how he should treat his wife and the qualities he should look for in one, including “to be sure neither madness or evil affects her family”. [BR21/8/19]

Lord Palmerston as an elder statesman, West Front, Broadlands: an albumen print probably from the 1850s [MS 62 Broadlands Archives BR22(i)/17]

Lord Palmerston as an elder statesman, West Front, Broadlands: an albumen print probably from the 1850s [MS 62 Broadlands Archives BR22(i)/17

Palmerston married the widow Emily Cowper, née Lamb in 1839, aged 55, although they had likely been having an affair from around 1808: not sure if this was exactly what his mother had in mind!  If you would like to read an excerpt from a poem Palmerston sent to Emily on their tenth wedding anniversary – as well as other love stories from the Broadlands Archives – take a look at last year’s Valentine’s Day blog post.

If you are interested to know more about the development of Valentines – in the second week of February 1841, for example, an extra half million letters were delivered, one eighth of all the mail, because of the traffic in Valentines – you could take a look at this post from Chris Woolgar from 2015.

Unlocking an archival treasure trove

Catalogues are the key to unlocking the treasure trove of archival material. We are therefore delighted to announce that descriptions for archive collections MS 301-400 now are available on the Special Collections website:
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/archives/cataloguedatabases/webguide1.page

Totalling several thousand boxes of material, the collections MS 301-400 provide an incredibly rich and diverse research resource. A significant proportion of the collections have some Anglo-Jewish focus, complementing the extensive Anglo-Jewish Archives already held at Southampton, but overall they have a broad thematic sweep.

New collections in strongroom

New collections in strongroom

Alongside those of Jewish organisations, such as notable collections for the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (MS 302) or the Leo Baeck College, London (MS 316), are a range of material for individuals and families, such as Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, Sir Robert Waley-Cohen, the Henriques family, Dr Schenier Levenberg and William Frankel, who was editor of the Jewish Chronicle, to name but a few.

It is particularly pleasing to note that there has been a slight increase in the number of collections reflecting the lives and work of Jewish women. These range from the archive of Marianne Ellenbogen (MS 324), a German Jew who escaped incarceration by the Nazis after her family were arrested in Germany in August 1943 and went on the run spending two years travelling across Germany, to Trude Dub, Leicester correspondence of Jewish Chronicle (MS 325), Dr Asenath Petrie, psychologist and poet (MS 349) and papers of Gladys, Lady Swaythling (MS 383).

Photocard of Marianne Ellenbogen

MS 324 A2007/1/9 Photocard of Marianne Ellenbogen

Amongst papers of Lady Swaythling relating to her voluntary and philanthropic work, is material for the Wounded Allied Committee and Belgian refugees at Allington Manor, a home of the Swaythlings that was donated as a military sanitorium during the First World War. The collection also includes much relating to social events, and contains dinner books kept by Lady Swaythling that provide a wonderful insight into the etiquette, diet and arrangement of dinner parties in the interwar years.

Belgian soldiers and staff at Allington Manor

MS 383 A4000/6/1/13 Belgian soldiers and staff at Allington Manor

There are a number of small, but significant, collections that complement the papers of the first Duke of Wellington held by the University. The correspondence of Wellington to Sir John Malcolm (MS 308) was used in the compilation of Wellington’s Dispatches and fits perfectly with a second collection, that of the papers of Lieutenant Colonel John Gurwood (MS 321), who was the editor of the Dispatches.  Gurwood served under Wellington during the Peninsular War and distinguished himself leading the forlorn hopes at the storming at Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo.  His archive includes material on his military service, including letters to his mother, 1810-12, alongside the papers relating to his work for Wellington compiling the Dispatches.  Another interesting Wellington related collection (MS 351/6) contains the scrimshaw nautilus shell, engraved by C.H.Wood, depicting Wellington on one side and St George slaying the dragon on the other, produced in the 1850s, together with a number of Peninsular War and Waterloo related illustrations.

Wellington at Waterloo

MS 351/6 A4170/2 Lithograph of Wellington at Waterloo

The papers of Alan Campbell-Johnson, a public relations specialist, who in February 1947 became the first and only press attaché to a Viceroy of India, represent a significant addition to the material held within the Broadands Archives (MS 62). Campbell-Johnson accompanied Lord Mountbatten for the transfer of power to the newly independent India and Pakistan and remained with Lord Mountbatten, while Mountbatten was the first Governor General of India. Campbell-Johnson sustained a connection with Mountbatten for the remainder of his life and his archive provides an insight into the management of the presentation of partition to the media and, in the long term, in the managing of historical reputation.

Frank Prince

MS 328 A834/1/11//10 Frank Prince

Frank Templeton Prince was at one time a professor of English at the University of Southampton and his archive (MS 328) is just one of a number of collections with connections to the University. Prince was a poet of some renown, probably best remembered for his collection Soldiers Bathing (1954), the title poem of which is one of the most anthologised poems of the Second World War. He was admired by and influenced the New York school, a group of writers that flourished in the 1960s. His work has been somewhat overlooked more recently, however, and the archive has been a major resource in a reassessment of Prince’s poetry and legacy.

Finally, we turn to the Montse Stanley Knitting Collection. Montserrat Bayés Sopena was committed to bringing to a wider audience both creative knitting and the history of knitting. The Montse Stanley Knitting Collection at the Hartley Library comprises her working papers, photographs, postcards and illustrations (MS 331) together with a wide range of over 800 knitted objects and garments and small tools and sample yarns (MS 332): an invaluable resource for all aspects of knitting as well as for social history.

Silk purse shaped as a pineapple

MS 332/50/10/3 Silk purse shaped as a pineapple

Printed material from the Montse Stanley collection now forms part of the Knitting Reference Library at the Winchester School of Art Library.

We hope that you enjoy looking through the catalogue descriptions and perhaps find that serendipity moment when you make a delightful discovery of something unexpected.

User perspective: a postgraduate’s experience in using the Special Collections for the first time

To coincide with Postgraduate Open Day, MA student Jenny Whitaker reflects on her experience of using the Special Collections.

Jenny Whitaker, MA student

Jenny Whitaker

The Hartley Library’s Special Collections are one of the University of Southampton’s greatest assets, but as an undergraduate student studying here I must confess I didn’t fully get to grips with the scale and variety of the resources available. In several recent MA History Research Skills sessions, which have involved examining just a few of the Collection’s myriad resources, I came to appreciate much more fully the richness of the material we are lucky enough to have here at Southampton. Our focus during the classes has been on specific issues, such as the process of documentation or the role of numbers in historical sources. Whilst these criteria helped to focus our academic attention and regard the sources in new ways, for me the most striking aspect of the Collections is the sense of having history at one’s fingertips. Nothing, for me, engages the mind on a historical question, figure, or event, in quite the same way as a primary source in your hands. Deciphering elegant but illegible historical handwriting and tracing life stories through ledgers are activities which can seem to many the preserve of the only most established academics. However, the Special Collections is highly accessible and welcoming. Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the material for me was its incredible liveliness; especially the evocativeness of individual handwriting styles and notes taken in the margins. Moreover, whilst archival research is usually driven by a precise aim or question, it often seems to throw up serendipitous little pieces of information which a researcher would not have anticipated, or amusing snapshots of past lives. One such occurrence, spotted by an eagle-eyed classmate, occurs in an eighteenth-century account book detailing payments made to the servants of one Henry Temple; a payment has been made to a ‘cook maid’ by the eerily appropriate name of Mary Berry.  Strange coincidences aside, interacting with the Special Collections has been an incredibly interesting and insightful experience, and one I’m looking forward to repeating as my postgraduate career continues.

Mary Berry, cook maid

MS 62 BR 10/1/1 Mary Berry, cook maid, listed as staff at Broadlands, 1740

In praise of apples

21 October has become celebrated as Apple Day. Launched in 1990 by Common Ground in Covent Garden, the aspiration for this was to celebrate and demonstrate the variety that is in danger of being lost, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape and ecology.

Golden Pippin and Scarlet Nonpareil from Rare Books Perkins SB 356 Charles McIntosh The orchard (London, 1839)

Golden Pippin and Scarlet Nonpareil from Rare Books Perkins SB 356 Charles McIntosh The orchard (London, 1839)

Apples have been cultivated for centuries: Pliny records details of sweet and culinary apples grown by the Romans in Italy. Whilst there is evidence that apples were grown in Great Britain in the Neolithic period, it was the Romans who introduced new sweeter tasting apples. After the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain, many orchards were abandoned as the countryside was beset by raiders. It was only in the wake of the Norman Conquest that apple growing was revitalised and new varieties of apples were introduced from France. During the thirteenth century, several kinds of apples became established in Britain, often grown in orchards attached to monasteries. In the sixteenth century Richard Harris, the chief fruitier to Henry VIII, introduced a number of new grafted varieties, including the famous Pippins and developed modern-style orchards in Kent. Herefordshire orchards were augmented by the best cider apples from France by Lord Scudamore, British ambassador to France during the reign of Charles II. The more scientific cultivation of apples, however, did not occur until the late eighteenth century. Seen as the most valuable and generally cultivated of European fruits, the apple was considered by Dr Thomas Andrew Knight “not the nature produce of any soil or climate, but owes its existence to human art”. The work on pollination undertaken by Knight, who was President of the Horticultural Society of London, led to improved varieties. It was to influence the work of others gardeners throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Until the eighteenth century fruit plants had been an essential part of the landscape in gardens on large estates. However with the swing from Renaissance formality to a more “natural” look, the cultivation of fruit and vegetables was moved to the, usually, walled kitchen garden. Owners were proud of their kitchen gardens both for their layout and display and considerable effort was taken with the cultivation and development of fruit varieties.

MS 62 BR103/6 Plan and notes by second Viscount Palmerston on fruit grown within the garden, 1769

MS 62 BR103/6 Plan and notes by second Viscount Palmerston on fruit grown within the garden, 1769

The kitchen garden at Broadlands House in Romsey was developed in the eighteenth century and the design of it showed an appreciation of the ascetics as well as the productivity and the variety of fruit to be grown. Fruit was an essential part of the diet in a household and would be used to impress guests with unusual varieties. The Italian practice of fresh fruit at the end of a meal became the height of fashion in the nineteenth century.

The Perkins Agricultural Library at the University contains a range of books that reflect this interest in both the planning and cultivation of kitchen gardens and the craft of growing fruit trees. Guides on the development and successful propagation of fruit plants include Dr Thomas Andrew Knight’s A treatise on the culture of the apple and pear and on the manufacture of cider and perry (London, 1818); William Forsyth A treatise on the culture and management of fruit trees ( London, 1803) and Charles McIntosh The orchard (London, 1839).

Court Pendu from Rare Books Perkins SB 356 Charles McIntosh The orchard (London, 1839)

Court Pendu from Rare Books Perkins SB 356 Charles McIntosh The orchard (London, 1839)

In addition to practical advice provided in such works, others such as The Complete family piece provided recipes for medicinal cures and for cooking.

“To make an apple tansy
Take 3 Pippins, slice them round in thin Slices, and fry them with Butter; then beat 4 Eggs with 6 Spoonfuls of Cream and a little Rose-water, Nutmeg and Sugar and stir them together, and pour it over the Apples. Let it fry a little and then turn it with a Pye Plate. Garnish with Lemon and Sugar stewed over it.”

[Rare Books Perkins TX 151 William Thomas Smyth The complete family-piece and, country gentleman, and farmer’s best guide (1739)]

Knight’s Treatise has a manuscript note added at the end of the volume by James Corbett suggesting the best fruit to make cider:

“The fruit I should recommend for cider is the Black Norman, the Green or Brown Thorn, the Red Stier and the Wilding. If you plant these sorts, they will be all ripe together and therefore fit to grind at the same time, which is of very great importance in making cider. If you grind one fruit quite mellow and another quite green, you will find the fermenting (which spoils all ciders) not easily prevented.”

Apple Day is now an integral part of the calendar of many villages, local authorities and city markets and a focus for activities organised by a range of organisations such as the National Trust properties, Wildlife Trusts, as well as museums and galleries and horticultural societies. For information on the day go to: http://www.national-awareness-days.com/apple-day.html

Evelyn Ashley in America

As it is the Fourth of July we have decided to take a look at Evelyn Ashley’s tour of the United States from 1858 to 1859…

(Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley (1836–1907) was the fourth son of Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury (1801–1885), and his wife, Emily (1810–1872). He was born in London on 24 July 1836 and was later educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. After his graduation in 1858, he became private secretary to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, then in his first term as prime minister. After the defeat of the government in the same year, Ashley toured the United States and Canada from June 1858 to [May] 1859 with Lord Frederick Cavendish and Lord Richard Grosvenor.

Portrait of Evelyn Ashely [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Portrait of Evelyn Ashely [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Among his papers, which now form part of the Broadlands archives, are a range of items relating to his travels in the United States. These include correspondence (BR61 and BR62), photographs (MB2/H1), a series of notebooks and journals (BR68), and three notebooks containing a lecture given by Ashley reflecting on his time in North America (BR60/6/3).

Black and white engraving of a scene entitled ‘Philadelphia’ from a letter from Evelyn Ashley to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, 1 February 1859 [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

Black and white engraving of a scene entitled ‘Philadelphia’ from a letter from Evelyn Ashley to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, 1 February 1859 [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

During his travels he visited many of the major American cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Washington. The above engraving of Philadelphia is from a letter written to his sister Lady Victoria Ashley, on 1 February 1859, of which he writes:

I beg leave by means of the engraving above to introduce you to the city of ‘Brotherly Love’ and if by ‘brethren’ is also meant ‘cousins’, transatlantic or others, it assuredly deserves its name for I was received into a family and lived with them a whole week, besides being most hospitably entertained everywhere… In other respects also this city deserves its name for in charitable and philanthropic institutions it is prominent. The large building with columns is the Girard College – Stephen Girard was an eccentric old French bachelor who by unremitting industry made a prodigious fortune and when dying about 30 years ago left the whole of it to found and maintain this institution where 300 orphans and boys are brought up and educated in a course of five years residence the whole entirely gratuitous and it is a noble institution and he has buried himself in the centre of the building surrounded by proofs of his not having lived and laboured in vain… [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

 While he describes Baltimore as a ‘cheery bright city’, he views Washington as a ‘most curious rambling place’, writing:

Tell Papa that I presented my letter of introduction which he gave me to the President and that I dine on Friday in consequence at the White House where once a week takes place one of these large political gatherings called by the natives ‘steamboat dinners’, as the size and miscellaneous character of the guests is only parallelled by the meals on the Mississippi Steamers… [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/7]

New Orleans, 1858 [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

New Orleans, 1858 [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

During his travels in Illinois he visited Chicago and was witness to one of the famous Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858. He describes the scene as follows:

We attended one gathering; it was remarkable. A rough platform had been raise in the middle of a wood, all around were farmers’ carts and gigs; the horses unyoked and browsing at a distance. These had come from far to hear and judge for themselves of the merits of the rival candidates. Every bough of each overhanging tree had its occupant […] I took my seat at the back of the raised structure by the side of an American friend of mine, who introduced me to one of the champions as he stepped up to the cleared space in front, leaving the procession at the head of which he had arrived. That friend was General McClellan, since that time G[eneral] in Chief of the American Army; that champion was Abraham Lincoln, then a small unknown prairie farmer, now President of the U.S. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

On the nature of the debate he observes:

The politics of America are very elaborate and it was wonderful to see how all the points were caught. But they do not cheer like we do, but howl their approbation. It was like a pack of hounds waiting for their quarry to be thrown to them to devour in the shape of a telling hit or smart repartee. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

However, his view of Lincoln is somewhat less favourable:

Tall and lank with a suit of black cloth very grey from dust, a slouched hat and large awkward feet and hands he did not come up to my idea of a “leader of men”. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

Evelyn Ashley’s guide in the States [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

Evelyn Ashley’s guide in the States [Broadlands Archives MB2/H1]

In October 1858 his party struck out towards the prairies and plains of the North West, travelling through Minnesota and modern day North Dakota. In a letter to his brother Anthony, dated 2 October [1858], Ashley writes from Crow Wing, Minnesota, an Indian trading post, which he describes as ‘the last outpost of civilization in the North West of the American possessions…’ [Broadlands Archives BR60/1/2/4]. While there he meets with the Chippewa Indians and discusses their ongoing conflict with the Sioux. He also provides a description of his party, their supplies and the intended route: travelling first to Pembina and then on to Fort Garry at the Red River settlement of Selkirk, before joining an expedition on the plains to hunt buffalo.

Of the journey to the frontier Ashley writes:

The want of good water was now and then felt, but generally we camped by the side of a well flowing stream. The novelty, the delight of life in the wilds is indescribably fascinating to those who have lived in a settled country. The independence, the excitement of when and where to camp, the new animals, the boisterous health, all these concomitants of a journey to regions yet untamed by man compensate amply for any provisions which are incident to the mode of life. The very small matter of waking up and looking full into the stars above while your companions lie unconscious around you induces in the mind of the novice a succession of most pleasurable emotions. The slight danger of Indians, slight then but from last accounts anything but slight now, increases the zest with which the preparations for each night are completed and stirs up the imagination to people the darkness with fancies. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

Despite rumours in the newspapers of Ashley’s demise at the hand of the Sioux, the party returned safely from their excursion to the frontier in December 1858. They arrived in Cincinnati in time for New Year’s Day and continued their tour of the States for several more months.

‘President Lincoln delivering his inaugural address in front of the capital at Washington’, Illustrated London News, March 1861 [quarto per A]

‘President Lincoln delivering his inaugural address in front of the capital at Washington’, Illustrated London News, March 1861 [quarto per A]

In June 1859 Palmerston was return to office with Ashley recommencing his role as the Prime Minister’s private secretary, a position he held until Palmerston’s death in 1865. During this time Palmerston oversaw the British response to the American Civil War. Around 1864, while giving a lecture on his American tour, Ashley outlined his own views on the war, which he believed would soon come to an end. Reflecting on the situation he writes:

The Americans have great qualities some inherited from us, some all their own. They are brave, energetic and warm hearted with a real desire for improvement and progress for its own sake. I thanks heaven also that, tho at the 11th hour they have vindicated their love of freedom. I feared for one moment that the sacred flame was flickering which had been handed to them by their ancestors, the great principle for which their forefathers fought and died. [Broadlands Archives BR60/6/3]

As celebrations take place across the United States, we would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Fourth of July!