Lot 2001

£2,000 - £3,000

Buyer's premium: 22.50%

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Lot details

A Victorian 'scrap' album containing a large collection of autographed letters, documents, 'clipped' signatures, envelope fronts and other ephemera, to include examples from 18th and 19th century prominent figures - Royalty, peers, prime ministers, military figures, church worthies, writers and scientists; many items loose in sleeves or attached to pages, approx 100 signed pieces to include:

  • 1727 letter from George II (written by Talbot Yelverton, 1st Earl of Sussex), to General John Leslie, 10th Earl of Rothes, commanding him to attend the 4th October coronation of George II and Caroline of Ansbach (Sussex presided over the ceremonies). Signed to the top by George II. The page with further cut-out of George III’s signature verso. John Leslie, 10th Earl of Rothes, was a Scottish representative peer and senior British Army officer. The coronation was postponed by a week and actually took place on 11th October because of the danger of the River Thames bursting its banks at Westminster

  • 1761 document signed by Augustus Keppel (Royal Navy officer and politician) authorizing the transport of payment for troops under the command of Major General Hodgson in an expedition against Belle Isle. The monies was transported upon the (first incarnation of) Temeraire. Counter-signed by Admiral Duncan and George Rogers (secretary), bearing seal for the Albemarle family (Keppel). The island of Belle-Île, just off Brittany, was taken by the British in 1761 during the Seven Years War.

  • 1762 signed note from Admiral George Bridges Rodney arranging a meeting on St Christopher Island (St Kitts) and to await his arrival or orders. As commander of the ship Marlborough (from on-board which this note is written), Rodney was a key part in taking the Caribbean islands from the French and Spanish in the Seven Years War.

  • 1779 military remittance notice signed to the top by George III, authorizing the payment of £19,193.6.10 to Benjamin Smith, William Fitzhugh and Simon Halliday for supplying provisions to the British troops in the American Revolutionary War. Further signed by Lord North (Prime Minister), Viscount Beauchamp and 2nd Viscount Palmerston. These men amongst many other merchants were paid for “for provisions delivered into our stores at Corke (Cork) for the use of the forces serving in America”. Due to Cork being the last docking point for ships sailing to America, the war led to a huge increase in trade in the area by merchants supplying the British military with essential supplies. However, this in turn caused growing calls for Irish independence or at the very least freer trade with England.

  • 1803 military commission appointment notice signed to the top by George III, from Secretary at War Charles Yorke to Henry Kelvington, with royal seal.

  • 1813 invitation from the Princess of Wales (Caroline of Brunswick, later Queen Caroline) to Lady Perceval stating that she “would wish to see you a moment alone”. Lady Perceval was the widow of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, who was assassinated on 11 May 1812 (the only British PM to have been assassinated). The letter is black-edged to denote mourning. Caroline was rejected by her husband, the Prince Regent (later George IV) shortly after their marriage, however many, including Spencer Perceval, supported her. Princess Caroline was also godmother to the Perceval’s youngest child.

  • 1824 passport signed by the Prince de Polignac (Ambassador to Great Britain and later French Prime Minister) issued to English lawyer and author Francis Ludlow Holt.

  • 1825 cheque from Drummond’s bank (now owned by NatWest) signed by John Franklin (Arctic explorer) to pay Mr Churton £13.11.0. This was signed just two weeks before Franklin left Britain for the Mackenzie Expedition.

  • Circa 1820s signed letter from the Duke of Buckingham & Chandos refusing the loan of his paintings to a British Institution exhibition.

  • 1856 cheque from Barclay, Bevan, Tritton & Co bank (subsumed into Barclay’s) signed by William Jackson Hooker (botanist) to pay Rev. Jepson (or Jessop) for one guinea.

  • 1865 letter from William Jackson Hooker regarding the science of Botany and referencing botanists Professor Robert Bentley and Dr Shepherd Thomas Taylor, also mentioning an engagement with Miss Burdett Coutts . Hooker became the first director of Kew Gardens, and Angela Burdett-Coutts (known as the richest heiress in Britain) was a philanthropist with many interests – one of these was Botany and she made many donations to Kew Gardens.

  • 1885 membership slip for Dean Davey to the Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society signed by Walter Besant.

  • 1877 postcard notes from William Gladstone regarding his forthcoming trip to Wales.

  • Further letters to include from Sir Austin Henry Layard (archaeologist); Sir Astley Cooper (surgeon) recommending soda water for an ailment; Peter Turnerelli (sculptor to the Royal family); various letters regarding patronages to include from MP Lord Richard Grenville Temple, Sir Scrope Bernard, Henry Fox Lord Holland, Lord Albermarle etc; note from painter Abraham cooper etc.

  • Pasted-in cut-out signatures to include George IV, Charles Dickens (an envelope front addressed to solicitor Edward De Gex, and a Stereoscopic Company carte de visite with facsimile signature), Edward VII, George V, Lord Ellenborough (with seal), Horace Walpole, Thomas 2nd Earl Nelson, General Gordon, Florence Nightingale, Lord Brougham, Joseph Hume, Lord Chatham, Robert Peel, Viscount Palmerston, etc (many being franked envelope fronts, with one bearing embossed pink penny stamp).

  • Other ephemera to include newspaper cuttings, carte de visite, engravings and sketches, hand-written notes listing some of the autographs, Royal timelines and notable events; and several blank pages.

Provenance: The album was put together by William Harrison Davey (1825-1917), who was Dean of Llandaff 1897-1913. Over the course of Dean Davey’s life and career, which spanned the reigns of George IV, William IV, Victoria, Edward VII and George V, he accumulated a mass of autographs, ephemera and correspondence from notable persons of those eras. He was personally known to Victorian Prime Ministers Gladstone and Disraeli, and corresponded with other notables of the period in his role as Dean of Llandaff. The album has remained within the Dean's family until this point.


Thursday 9th 10am-7pm

Friday 10th 10am-7pm 

Condition report

Boards detached but present.

Spine cover missing and the remnants are flaking.

Binding very worn; many pages loose and several pages no longer attached.

It is clear that several pages and contents have been removed over the years, some of the notes still included suggest that various signatures and/or letters are no longer present.

Further images are available upon request.

Album is very worn but contents are reasonably good for age.

Condition reports must be considered as a matter of opinion and not fact.

Request a condition report


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