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Autograph Letter Signed on Georgian India by J. Ro[cke] [John Rocke of Clungunford House, Shropshire?] to Thomas Lewis ['at Mr. M. Lewis's, Foley Arms Hotel, Farrington, near Ledbury, Herefordshire' forwarded to 'at Thos Elsted Esqre. Dover Kent'].

J. Rocke [John Rocke (1783-1849) of Clungunford House, Shropshire?] [Thomas Lewis; Calcutta, India]

Editorial: 23 January ; Calcutta India, 1812
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Richard M. Ford Ltd
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Librería en AbeBooks desde: 20 de noviembre de 1997

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4to, 3 pp. 106 lines. On aged paper, and with slight loss to a handful of words of text resulting from wear and closed tears to most of the letter's folds. Competently and unobtrusively repaired with archival tape. On the reverse of the second leaf Rocke's original address ('at Mr. M. Lewis's [.]') is scored through, and replaced in another hand by 'at Thos Elsted Esqre [.]'. (In 1826 Thomas Lewis received a bequest as 'assistant' to the surgeon Philpott Elsted of Dover.) The reverse of the second leaf also carries a red wax seal, with a profile silhouette, and five postmarks, including a Ledbury one. The letter starts abruptly without formal salutation (in a postscript Rocke apologises for 'several sentences very badly expressed'), raising the possibility that a leaf is lacking: 'You are pursuing or intend to nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see You in this country Lewis I am sure that You would like it very much and Doctors evidently are wanting in this Country' (see the reference to Lewis and Philpott Elsted, above). Advises him not to travel to India 'in that Profession' without 'very good interest': 'people in this Country are very vain & think a great deal of themselves'. He hopes, as he 'cannot now return to England soon', to be able to see Lewis there, when he is settled. He considers as 'one of the greatest plagues which is in India and nothing torments and Tantalizes a person more than the Gnats which are here, I call them so because they resemble one but they are Mosquitoes, and are also more pungent in their sting than gnats particularly to new comers'. Among the 'incredible number of insects - the ants are so Troublesome [.] that the feet of the beds are placed in pans of Water'. He apologises for having little to say 'upon Politics'. Regarding 'the surrender of the Island of Java the only Settlement the French had in these Seas', he states that 'we are now preparing to send a very strong force of Infantry and Artillery to garrison there - every thing else is all very quiet in this part of the Globe'. 'The long and expected Ship Baring' has 'arrived in the rivers perfectly safe', and 'His Excellency, Sir George Nugent & Family arrived in Calcutta on Tuesday the 14th of January, under a Salute of 17 Guns from the Fort'. Rocke discusses Nugent's title, and comments on the health of Lord Minto ('You or I care as much for him as he does for either of us'). He discusses the news of the Peninsular War which the Baring has brought: 'I hope by this Blake has succeeded in his operations against Seville [.] You must be aware of the Consequence of the fall of that place as You are more of a Politician than I am - it astonishes me why Marshall Beresford returned to England at this Critical Moment'. He hopes 'there has not been any dissension between him & Lord Wellington'. He is 'going rather high up the Country', and urges Lewis to write to him: 'I hope We shall not find our Letters heavy with respect to Postage'. 'Europe goods are immensly [sic] dear - however when I go up the Country I shall learn to economize I assure you, I can live very cheap, and well at the same time; I do not want any thing but the yellow Boys, which Industry will procure for me'. Ends the letter with quotations from the Earl of Chesterfield. In a long postscript announces that he is going to 'peruse the Manufacture of Indigo probably you might be able to do me a little service which is, if You can tell me how Indigo sells in England [.] I have not forgot the Cardimuns you mentioned to me about'. The phrase 'yellow Boys' is, according to one authority, a reference to the 'regiment of irregular cavalry called "Skinner's Horse" or the "Yellow Boys" because of the colour of their uniform', raised in 1803 by James Skinner ('Sikander Sahib'). 'Later it became the most famous regiment of light cavalry in the British Indian Army and still exists today as part of the Indian Army.'. N° de ref. de la librería 10427

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Título: Autograph Letter Signed on Georgian India by...

Editorial: 23 January ; Calcutta India

Año de publicación: 1812

Descripción de la librería

Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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