LITERATURE and RELIGION – JOHN NEWTON and FRANCIS KILVERT Album containing letters by William Cowper's friend, the cleric and former slave-trader John Newton, William Romaine, signatures of Dickens, Lewis Caroll, Wilkie Collins etc.
Lot 52
LITERATURE and RELIGION – JOHN NEWTON and FRANCIS KILVERT
Album containing letters by William Cowper's friend, the cleric and former slave-trader John Newton, William Romaine, signatures of Dickens, Lewis Caroll, Wilkie Collins etc.
Sold for £5,250 (US$ 8,705) inc. premium
Lot Details
LITERATURE and RELIGION – JOHN NEWTON and FRANCIS KILVERT
Album containing letters by William Cowper's friend, the cleric and former slave-trader John Newton (fine autograph letter signed of 22 December 1803, to "My dear Madam", offering consolation – "I feel for you, I think of you, I pray for you, almost every waking hour. – May the Lord be your support, and give you all the blessings of a believing widow. May He help you to believe, that you are not a widow, but that your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole Earth is your husband..."), his fellow evangelical William Romaine (fine letter signed of 13 February 1779, to "My good friend" – "There is some love left in the earth – May it increase. I thank you for your instance of it to me. You offer me a great charge, to which I am no ways equal. But I desire to make no positive answer, till we see what becomes of the incumbent. If it should please God, that he should die, I will come down..."), and their fellow George Pattrick (a merry letter of 1796 to "My learned friend" – "no learned divine but a divine in love, woud have addressd the man he knew must be at Aveley – at his house in Town. – and had not my simple Sarah as many white curds in her skull as a senior wrangler, she never woud have had brains enough to have crossd out the direction & re-committed it to the Essex port, as she did, for me to get it on Sunday..."); with a presentation inscriptions by the missionary Joseph Wolff to Thermudes [sic] Kilvert (1847), and by Louis Philippe and Marie Amelie (in 1848 soon after their deposition); signatures of Dickens (bold signature: "Charles Dickens"), Lewis Carroll (autograph subscription and signature "C.L. Dodgson"), Wilkie Collins, J.F.W. Herschel, Captain Hardy and many others; part of an autograph manuscript or letter by Southey about Spanish verse; two autograph letters signed by Thomas Moore and a note by Hannah More; plus a free front by Wellington etc., in a nineteenth century black morocco album bearing the ticket of the booksellers W. & E. Pickering, 3 Bridge Street, Bath, stamped in gilt 'Autographs', gatherings loose, small 4to

Footnotes

  • FINE LETTERS BY NEWTON AND FELLOW EVANGELICALS IN AN ALBUM THAT MAY HAVE BELONGED TO THE DIARIST FRANCIS KILVERT, or at least to which either he, his wife or his parents have furnished contributions. Identifiable Kilvert family contributions comprise a clipped signature by the Duke of Beaufort, subscribed "To/ The Rev R.F. Kilvert" (i.e. the diarist); a presentation signature by the Earl of Kintore, subscribed "Langley Burrell/ Rectory 11th May 1866" (his father's rectory where Kilvert famously served as curate in 1863-4 and 1872-6); a signature from a letter by 'Soapy Sam', Bishop Wilberforce ("S Oxon"), subscribed to "The Rev R Kilvert" (the diarist's father); a signature from a letter by Robert Liddell, subscribed to the "Rev.d/ R. Kilvert"; and the presentation signature by the missionary Joseph Wolff to Kilvert's mother, Thermuthis, dated 17 March 1847. Another signature, that of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, is subscribed to the Rev W.R. Smith, who can be identified as Kilvert's brother-in-law, married to his sister Thermuthis Thersie. The album contains many other clipped signatures of distinguished clergymen of the period, such as Dean Stanley and Canon Liddon, which no doubt came from letters to Kilvert, his father or brother-in-law; but particularly intriguing, in this context, are orphan signatures by the likes of Charles Dickens and C.L. Dodgson. Since two of the contributions can clearly be identified as solicited at Langley Burrell or by Kilvert's mother, it seems likely that this album – supplied as it has been by a Bath stationer – was kept either by her or one of her four daughters, or indeed the Kilvert womenfolk at large. Given the later pyrotechnic propensities of the family, it is pleasing that even such a slender memorial of the diarist as this should have survived; even if some of its most important contents – such as the letters by Newton, Romaine and Pattrick – date from the eighteenth or early nineteenth century, and a few contributions were added after his death.
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