Collection of letters from Thomas Dibdin…

Sixteen letters, all dating from 1819, that provide detailed view of the negotations over a very limited time period. The subjects of the letters include: Enquiring as to the terms for renting the theatre, suggesting that his figure of £10,000 per annum to include all the costumes and fixtures and fittings was quite sufficient; asking for a list of the present engagements and expenses; offering a further £3,000 to refurbish the theatre; vouching for the integrity of his backers (‘their sole motive is the placing me unconditionally and without controul as entire Manager & Conductor & principal Partner in the concern’); informing the committee sub rosa that Mr [Abraham] Walker of [Doyley’s Warehouse] the Strand would give security, expecting to take £200 for 200 nights [i.e. £40,000]; suggesting in July that he may be able to make a more advantageous offer; inviting Ward to lunch and dinner and to discuss business with Walker, and the following day putting forward the new proposal: (‘… I agree to pay the Taxes for the whole term in addition to a Rent of £9000 per An: for the first Two years and £10,000 per An: for the Remainder of the Term to be agreed on, which Term (considering the very discouraging and totally reduced state of the Theatre at present and that it will take a very long time to re-establish it) ought to be at the option of the Lessee, for seven, fourteen or twenty one years. …’). Dibdin continues the correspondence on 23 July by questioning why he has received no response to the proposition, and on the 31st putting forward to the committee a further offer of a loan from Walker (also included is Walker’s own proposition, dated 22 July); with two incompletely dated letters of 1919 to R. Peatre complaining that he (Peatre) should not have been given confidential information relating to the offer for the lease. Together with other Dibdin-relating material, including: Three Autograph Letters Signed from the dramatist Cecil Pitt to Winstone (?James Winston) and the Board of Management of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, (watermarked 1801 and postmarked 1804) concerning his own productions, and particularly Zingara, or the Heroine of China, for which he includes the printed playbill; also three letters of George Dibdin Pitt (1795-1855 – ‘I am the elder brother of Mr Pitt the Painter – and nephew of the Dibdins’), offering his services and those of Miss Pitt-Phillips (‘of the Worthing and Leicester Theatres’) to Elliston and Drury Lane, and elaborating on his theatrical achievements, 1826 and 1830 where dated.

  • TitleCollection of letters from Thomas Dibdin, Cecil Pitt and George Dibdin Pitt, relating to Drury Lane Theatre, 1804, 1819, 1826, and undated.

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss Group 6

Acquired July 2017

Order authorizing payment to Jonathan Forward….

Manuscript signed by the Prime Minister, Robert Walpole ordering George Earl of Halifax to arrange payment to the merchant Jonathan Forward, for transporting 66 convicts from Newgate Jail to His Majesties plantations in America aboard the ship Anne, Captain Thomas Wrangham, Commander. The transportation of British convicts to the colonies in America and the West Indies first began in 1617, having been authorised by James I in 1615, but ceased to function by the end of the 17th century due to objections by the colonies themselves and the plantation owners. Consequently, an Act of Parliament was passed in 1718 ‘for the more effectual transportation of felons’. In accordance with the Transportation Act 1717, Forward was contracted to transport felons from Newgate Prison and from numerous home counties. The ship Anne which was used for the transportation described in this document had originally been a slaver. Also signed by Charles Turney and R. Edgcumbe, this document orders the payment of 264 pounds to Forward, ‘For the Allowance of Four Pounds per head for and upon sixty six Malefactors who were lately lying in Newgate in the City of London under Sentence of Transportation.”

  • AuthorWalpole, Robert, Earl of Orford, 1676-1745.
  • TitleOrder authorizing payment to Jonathan Forward for transporting convicts to the American plantations : manuscript / R. Walpole ; Charels Turner ; Richard Edgecombe.
  • ProductionLondon, 1723 March 7.

Catalog Record  

LWL Mss File 143+

Acquired July 2017

Peter Delmé Esqr. bill from Edward Peirce, December 1764

A handwritten receipt or invoice for thatching work carried out by Edward Peirce on various estates of Peter Delmé at “Whetly”, “Posbroock” [Fossbroke, Wiltshire?], “Swanwick Hill Farm” and “Frogmoar” among others for Peter Delme, Esq. It is dated 15th December 1764. The list of charges include supplies such as spars, ledgers, leggers, and rope as well as labor charges for a five month period, August through December.

  • AuthorPeirce, Edward.
  • TitlePeter Delmé Esqr. bill from Edward Peirce, December 1764 : manuscript.
  • Production[England], 1764 December 15.

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss File 141

Acquired July 2017

Sir Harry Trelawny diary

Sir Harry Trewlawny’s diary with the first entry dated 1785 August 17 and the last September 2nd all in a single hand. A wonderfully chatty diary in which he talks about farming matters, the crops that are being harvested, maintaining the shoreline property, as well as the management of his current holdings, acquisition of land and leases, including the potential purchase of Bochym Manor, on The Lizard. He reports on meetings with tenants and relays friendly gossip about his circle of acquaintances. He also discusses the candidates for several curacies under his control and the ministers in his neighborhood.

  • AuthorTrelawny, Harry, Sir, 1756-1834.
  • TitleManuscript diary, circa 1785.
  • ProductionLondon, 1785.

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss Vol. 237

Acquired July 2017

Letter : to Messrs. Dodsley

Autographed letter signed by John Boyle, 5th Earl of Cork, and addressed to the booksellers Messrs. Dodsley on the subject of Horace Walpole. He commences the letter by asking to see any work by “Mr Walpole”: “I am told of one that it is very difficult to be procured”. He says that he met “Mr Walpole” many years ago at Houghton when he was treated with “honours and civility,” but has never had “an opportunity of improving my acquaintance with him” but would “you oblige me to the highest degree in trying to let me have one of his books”. Signed “Corke”.

  • AuthorOrrery, John Boyle, Earl of, 1707-1762.
  • TitleJohn Boyle Orrery letter, to Messrs. Dodsley, [not before 1754] : manuscript / Corke.
  • Production:[ England], [not before 1750]

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss File 140

Acquired October 2017

An inventory of the household furniture &c belonging to Mr. Stamford

Manuscript inventory for the Scots Arms, [10] Little Hermitage Street, a pub in Wapping in East London. Drawn up at a change of ownership in 1799, the document gives a record of the furniture, fixtues and other contents of this London pub during the late Georgian period. Equipment and paraphenalia relating to the running of the pub are included, in particular items listed in the “tap room”, “kitchen” and “cellars”.

  • TitleAn inventory of the household furniture &c belonging to Mr. Stamford at the Scots Arms Little Hermitage Street taken & sold by appraisement to Mr. Willm. Finlay …, the 31st of Jany. 1799 : manuscript.
  • ProductionLondon, 1799 January 31.

Catalog Record

LWL Mss Vol. 235

Acquired July 2017

Letter : London, to his uncle, 1798 August 21

Italian engraver and printmaker Luigi Schiavonetti (1765-1810) arrived in London around 1790 and was employed by Bartolozzi before setting up a successful business with his brother Niccolò. Schiavonetti’s varied output included book illustrations, prints and cards. Autograph letter signed, in Italian, from Luigi Schiavonetti to his uncle in Italy. Writing from London, Schiavonetti confides that his relatives, the climate, society and works of art in Italy are still in his heart and he would return were it not for the ailing state of the Italian print market and the uncertain political climate. He continues by noting that if he were to return to Italy and take up the kind offer of a pension from the Venetian government then he would have to abandon his well-established business in London and leave England, where he considers the art of engraving is more advanced than in any other country. Though he cannot take up the offer he requests that his uncle thank those that have promoted the proposal.

  • AuthorSchiavonetti, Luigi, 1765-1810.
  • TitleLetter : London, to his uncle, 1798 August 21.

Catalog Record 

LWL Mss File 138

Acquired July 2017