Autograph Signed Letter (ALS) Sent During George IV's Historic Visit to Scotland in 1822 On The Day The Kilt Was Revived As An Item of Highland Dress and The Modern Scottish Identity Was Born

Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) - Central Figure of Early Nineteenth Century British Politics and Founder of The Modern Police Force

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DESCRIPTION OF ITEM: An autograph letter dated August 17th 1822 and addressed to Dalkeith House. Peel writes ‘I beg you acquaint His Majesty with my humble duty that I have sent an Admiralty Messenger to Dalkeith House to await His Majesty’s Commands. There is only one King’s Messenger in Edinburgh who has charge of the apartments (?) Papers (?) at the Waterloo Hotel, but the Messenger I send may be equally relied on. I have the honour to be Sir your obedient servant, Robert Peel’. HISTORICAL CONTEXT: The date of the letter is highly significant to the formation of the modern popular Scottish national identity. It is written during King George IV’s historic visit to Edinburgh in 1822 when he stayed at Dalkeith House. At the time Peel had just entered the Cabinet as Home Secretary. After a decade as Prince Regent, George IV’s coronation in 1821 had been widely unpopular with the threat of widespread insurrection in Scotland. George IV’s visit to Scotland (12th 29th August 1822) was the first by a reigning monarch since Charles I and was designed to restore loyalty to the Crown. Sir Walter Scott (who had previously popularised the romantic image of the Scottish Highlands in his Waverley novels) was engaged to design the pageantry surrounding the visit to portray the King as a new Jacobite King. Reviving ancient Scottish traditions and imagery, the aim was to emphasise the King’s Stuart bloodline so that he would win the affection of the people and steer them away from demands for radical reform. At a Grand Ball on 23rd August, George IV was to be portrayed as a Jacobite Highlander, swathed in the red Royal Tartan (later to be known as the Royal Stuart tartan) and reviving the practice of the wearing of the kilt after it had been originally outlawed in 1746 following the Jacobite Rebellion. All gentlemen attending were advised that they too should wear the tartan of their clan leading to people desperately trying to trace any Highland heritage they might have. In the end the King did not wear his kilt at the Ball. However, he did wear it on 17th August 1822 (the date on which this letter is written) during a ‘levee’ (a social event) at Holyrood Palace where the leading members of Scottish society were brought to see him in his Highland outfit. This was to be the only time during the visit to Scotland when the King did actually wear his kilt. As a promotional strategy, the visit was highly successful. The resultant perception of the King’s Scottish background greatly increased affection towards the Crown and a new found Scottish national identity was born. It was also responsible for rescuing the kilt from historical obscurity to the prominent position in popular Scottish culture that it still enjoys today. [Two time conservative Prime Minister (1834-35 and (1841-46), Peel is possibly most popularly remembered for having created the modern police force in 1829, leading to police officers receiving the nickname ‘Bobbies’ or ‘Peelers’. However, Peel played a far more central role in the politics of the time than that including the repeal of the Corn Laws to allow cheap grain imports and alleviate the Irish famine (whilst knowing the opposition from landowners would inevitably lead to his loss of office), introducing the Factory Act in 1844 and overseeing the formation of the Conservative Party from the shattered remains of the Tory party.] DETAILED CONDITION REPORT : 17.8cm x 11.8cm. Original mailing folds. 4pp with half of integral blank leaf missing. Remnants of mounting on back page. Small stain on left edge of first page. Very light age staining on pages 2 and 3 around vertical fold. Else fine. Tipped onto board. ALL ITEMS SOLD BY ‘A PIECE OF HISTORY’ CARRY A LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY. SHOULD ANY ITEM EVER BE FOUND NOT TO BE COMPLETELY GENUINE, IT MAY BE RETURNED FOR A FULL REFUND. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 000008

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Titel: Autograph Signed Letter (ALS) Sent During ...


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