Lot 208
  • 208

King William IV

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • King William IV
  • Series of 17 autograph letters signed, as Duke of Clarence, to James Watson, 
  • ink on paper
referring to naval affairs and the long war with France, expressing pleasure at the progress of Watson's career, sympathising with his frustrations in obtaining promotion, especially from Lieutenant to Captain, but repeatedly warning him of his powerlessness ("...relative to your promotion patience is your best friend..."), all retaining wrappers bearing autograph address panels, free frank signatures, red wax seal impressions, and postal markings, 27 pages, 4to, 9 October 1797 to 23 October 1827, five letters mounted, framed, and glazed, wrappers soiled with tears and loss 

Catalogue Note

"...Your letter is to me an additional proof of the flourishing state of this country and of the absolute necessity of resorting to strong measures to bring forth the means to carry on the war on which rests the fate of the British Empire and all Europe..." (21 December 1803)

James Watson served alongside the future king on HMS Royal George in 1779-80, when both were midshipmen in their teens. As these letters show, this formative experience led to a life-long friendship.