Gladstone letters
Lot 228
GLADSTONE (WILLIAM EWART) Series of twenty often long autograph letters signed, 1844-1867
Sold for £1,375 (US$ 2,320) inc. premium
Lot Details
GLADSTONE (WILLIAM EWART)
Series of twenty often long autograph letters signed ("WE Gladstone"), to the Rt Hon: James Stuart-Wortley, his wife Jane, and mother-in-law the dowager Lady Wenlock, many of the letters written with considerable freedom and sometimes in great confidence, especially those to his fellow cabinet-member Stuart-Wortley; topics covered including Lord John Russell's proposed reform bill of 1859, family bereavements and perturbations, questions of finance, the offer of the solicitor-generalship to Stuart-Wortley, a scheme being put forward by Stuart-Wortley to approach the United States government in 1865, and, in June 1861, the impending war as seen from the British perspective: "My idea of English opinion, what I may call the opinion of John Bull, is this. First he laments the separation among the United States. Secondly if it is to be, he wishes it may be peaceful, and doubts whether it can be cured by war, with a shrewd suspicion that war may produce worse evils. But though he has this opinion of the war, he is puzzled about the question who is the author of it: and in this state of doubt and ... philanthropy certainly tells more with him on one side than cotton and free trade on the other. Many too believe that cotton will come in spite of any blockade however effective that can be instituted...I think the language held in the Northern States towards this country, though perhaps it does not really show the state of public opinion, is very unwarrantable & very dangerous"; together with letters by Catherine Gladstone, drafts of election addresses etc by Stuart-Wortley and other material, Gladstone's letters nearly 90 pages, some dust-staining, 8vo, 11 Downing Street, Hawarden, Corfu and elsewhere, 1844-1867

Footnotes

  • James Archibald Stuart-Wortley (1805-1881) was a lawyer by training, and joined Peel's second administration as Judge-Advocate-General and Lord Palmerston's as Solicitor-General in 1857. He suffered serious injury in 1858 and serious bouts of depression thereafter, which ended his political career. His wife Jane was a friend of Gladstone and was to gain distinction as a philanthropist, working among the poor in the East End (see the ODNB).
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