Two unpublished letters
Joseph Hume (1777-1855) Scottish doctor and Radical MP. One of the leading figures in British political life and an MP for over 25 years. A constant thorn in the side of any government, a wealthy entrepreneur yet a tireless worker for the well being of the labouring man.
The letter give a vivid picture of the man; determined, requiring quick action and passionately attached to the radical cause. A number of names mentioned in the text would merit further research and throw fresh light on Hume’s social circle.
The first letter is dated 11th July 1832 (or perhaps 1852). He writes regarding a yearly lease ‘…which is all the ? can permit’. He asks the recipient ‘what your opinion is on these points…’ and ‘to ‘…get a decided answer whether Mr. Thompson will take the farms…’, again on a yearly lease. Presumably the farms are part of the property Hume is considering leasing, which he wishes to sub-let.
He has sent the recipient ‘…the Declaration of Independence the proof copy I had prepared to be glazed and framed to hang up in the Library - also a copy of Portrait of Mr Muir [?] who in 1793 was transported to Botany Bay for his Political Opinions.’
In the next paragraph he refers to ‘…the triumph of Reform’.
An address scribbled at the bottom of the third page, below the signature, probably that of the recipient. At the top of the fourth page a post scriptum added.The letter on a folded sheet of paper, giving four sides approximately 20 x 12.5 cm. Darkening, marking and creasing to the surface of the pages and some brown stains. Two folds across the letter, where it was folded for posting, short tears (approximately 1.5cm long) at the ends of these folds. Dustiness and staining to the last page.
The second letter on a folded sheet of paper, giving four pages approximately 18 x 11.5 cm. The address and date written at the top; Burnley Hall, 12 August [?] 1852 (or 1832).
Addressed to the editor of a Suffolk newspaper. He states that he asked the editor to republish a letter from him, ‘But I do not see [?] that you have done as I requested’.
He refers to another letter he had written, ‘…on the Subject of Lodger [?] Sufferage…’ which he will have sent to the editor.
In the last paragraph he says ‘…as a means for having sound Guvt. [Government] it is desirable to take ever opportunity of [?] the question of Reform before the people…’
The second letter mounted on a sheet of thicker paper by a strip of paste on the blank rear page. The text written on the first three pages. The letter with two creases across it where it was folded for posting. At the end of one of these creases two small pieces of paper (approximately 5mm long) missing, not touching the text. A little creasing and marking, including a brown mark on the back page.