5
5
# - Hume, Joseph.
AN ARCHIVE OF LETTERS RECEIVED BY THE PROMINENT RADICAL POLITICIAN
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 34,100 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
5
# - Hume, Joseph.
AN ARCHIVE OF LETTERS RECEIVED BY THE PROMINENT RADICAL POLITICIAN
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 34,100 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations

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# - Hume, Joseph.
AN ARCHIVE OF LETTERS RECEIVED BY THE PROMINENT RADICAL POLITICIAN

comprising nearly 600 letters by 283 correspondents, including radicals, other politicians, and other prominent figures, particular highlights being:

i) a series of 37 unpublished autograph letters and notes by jeremy bentham, writing on such subjects as: his campaign for legal reform primarily through the activities of the Law Reform Association, including a 3-page position paper summarising opposition; other administrative reforms such as demanding the publication of official salaries ("...the effect might be to communicate to tax-payers this part of the information so much needed by them instead of its being confined to the tax-eaters..."); Parliamentary business including an attack on the dissolution of Parliament on the death of a monarch ("...How absurd and meretricious the arrangement, by which this effect is made consequent upon every King's death!...") and many letters discussing affairs in the Commons ("...I hear a Report, that ... the prorogation is to be deferred a week longer: and this for the singular purpose of passing the Bancruptcy Court Bill..."), debates (including an attack on the prevalence of sinecures at the British Museum), votes, requests that the results of specific Parliamentary divisions be printed and asking for the results of unpublished votes; comments on other reformers, including Sir Robert Wilson ("...a man completely devoid of all principles..."); personal matters including invitations to dine ("...it is a little age since we have had a gossip: we shall hardly know one another...") and including one somewhat flirtatious letter to Mrs Hume, 74 pages, chiefly 8vo and 12mo, integral blanks contemporary docketing, with 10 autograph envelopes,  Queen Square Place, Westminster, 5 February 1827 to 15 March 1832

ii) a series of 9 autograph letters and one note by marie joseph, marquis de lafayette, several written around the time of the July Revolution, including three important political letters comparing the British political system with those of France and the United States ("...I agree with you that your Monarchical expenses do not bear a Comparison with the Republican efficient Simplicity of the United States..."), discussing the formation of Grey's administration and its foreign policy objectives, and writing about the cause of reform in the tumultuous months before the passage of the 1832 Reform Act (see quotation below), 13 pages, chiefly 4to, integral blanks, docketing, together with 3 copy letters by Hume to Lafayette, 18 March 1828 to 27 January 1832 

iii) A series of four autograph letters and one note by daniel o'connell, apparently unpublished, covering subjects including the results of the 1830 election ("...I think the English Electors in general a very depraved race - the spirit of manly freedom is almost extinct in England...In Ireland we have done much better than they have in England.."), detailing the attitude towards reform of the new Irish MPs, and pledging his support to the cause ("...You shall have great support from Irish members next session..."), and the political career of his son John, together with one letter by John, 17 pages, chiefly 4to, with three loose address leaves, 14 August 1830 to 18 December 1834, some browning, seal tears

iv) another c.545 letters including significant letters and groups of letters by radicals such as Sir Francis Burdett (in one letter enquiring if it is true that the National Union Society refused to toast the King's health), Richard Cobden, George Lamb, John Roebuck, Henry Warburton, and William Wilberforce; ministers and other political figures including Lord Grey, Auckland, Brougham, Edward Ellice, Sir J.R.G. Graham (writing on Admiralty matters), Sir Henry Hardinge, (transmitting information from the government), Henry Brooke Parnell (post office), Lord Palmerston, Thomas Spring Rice, and Charles Manners-Sutton; writers including John Bowring (including a letter on the Westminster Review) and Thomas Campbell; philosophers including john stuart mill, nassau william senior ("...We have a large body of evidence on the labour rate list..."), John Leslie; and other figures including Mark Isambard Brunel (postponing a meeting on the Thames tunnel), b.r. haydon (principally discussing his painting The Reform Banquet), Sir Charles Cockerell and N.M. Rothschild; the letters covering a huge range of subjects notably Parliamentary Reform, and also the many areas of government in which Hume took an active interest, from trade, military, the mint, colonial affairs including Canada and the West Indies, burial in London and the development of Kensal Green cemetery, Irish affairs, postal reform, and employment law, c.1000 pages, many with envelopes, also with many other envelopes without associated letters, 1826-35, some browning and tearing


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Literature

Bentham: not in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (1961-); O'Connell: not in The Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell (1972-80)

Catalogue Note

"...We anxiously are waiting for the opening of your Parliament, and hope the business of the Reform will come to a good definitive issue. It ought indeed to do so for your ministers have been suffered to make great diplomatic sacrifices to this interior concern. Blameable as has been the French government ... Had they met more encouragement and sympathy in your administration Poland would have been free and independent, the Roman States might have made liberal conditions with the Pope, and the cause of European freedom should have better progressed..." (Lafayette to Hume, 1 December 1831)

Joseph Hume (1777-1855), MP for the Aberdeen burghs, was one of the leading radicals in Parliament in the years leading up to and following the Reform Act of 1832. These letters provide a vivid impression of the incredible energy which he devoted to the great cause: in 1828 Richard Cobden wrote to him that "You must be made of Aberdeen granite or something harder, to have any spirit for politics at the close of such a session as we have just finished - I fear that two or three such campaigns would kill me." Hume was also well known in the house for his dedication to the Parliamentary oversight of government: his investigations into waste and sinecures in all branches of government are well represented here.

English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations

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London