Titel: Interesting Letter to Prime Minister Henry ...
DESCRIPTION OF ITEM: An historically interesting letter bringing together some of the leading figures in the establishment of the British Empire in India. Richard Wellesley writes to Henry Addington (as Prime Minister) recommending the services of Captain Salmond and giving an account of Wellesley’s personal knowledge of him. Dated 6th November 1803, the letter is written in a secretarial hand but is signed by Wellesley with a salutation and autograph signature as well as a correction made by him to the text. The letter also comes with the address panel from the original envelope in Wellesley’s hand. HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Brother of the Duke of Wellington, Richard Wellesley served as Governor General of India from 1797-1805 having previously served in Pitt the Younger’s administration. It has been said that although Robert Clive and Warren Hastings may have consolidated Britain’s power in India, it was Wellesley that made it an empire. Arriving in India in 1797, Wellesley was keen to develop British territorial control in order to compensate for the loss of the American colonies. He quickly engaged in a series of attacks (including the 4th Mysore war) that led first to the destruction of the French presence in India and then to the submission of the Indian rulers to British rule. Wellesley’s role has been characterised as the transformation of the British East India Company from a trading body to an imperial power. On this theme, he also ordered the construction of Government House in Calcutta saying ‘India should be governed from a palace, not from a country house’ - the Governor General had previously been based in Belvedere House. The Captain Salmond referred to in the letter is James Hanson Salmond (1766-1837) son-in-law of Sir David Scott of Dunninald (previously Chairman of the British East India Company) having married his daughter Louisa in 1798. He went on to become a Major General and Secretary to the Court of Governors of the East India Company (1809-1837). He was also to write an extensive account of the Mysore War. DETAILED CONDITION REPORT : 4 pp on gilt edged paper with text written in black ink on 3 pages with each page measuring 21.2cm x 25.8cm. Original mailing folds. Complete with address panel from envelope in Wellesley’s hand. Very light edge handling marks to base and top of first page and small tear on horizontal fold of second page not affecting text (1cm). Else fine. 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 000034
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