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Autograph Letter Signed ('J Gurwood') from Major John Gurwood to 'Lady Elisabeth', the wife of Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay, describing her husband's mission to Lisbon, to negotiate the treaty granting independence to Brazil.

Colonel John Gurwood (1790-1845), British army officer, private secretary to the Duke of Wellington [Charles Stuart, Baron Stuart de Rothesay (1779-1845), his wife Lady Elizabeth Margaret (1789-1867)]

Editorial: Lisbon; 1 April, 1825
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

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6pp., 4to. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight traces of previous mounting. Gurwood has delayed sending 'a history of our proceedings', as Sir Charles wrote the day after the party's arrival in Lisbon. He describes their 'disagreeable passage', 'which Sir Charles and Lord Marcus treated with contempt, and were most provokingly well all the passage - we were however unanimous as to the impossibility of your having accompanied us for the inconvenience of a crowded ship, where all are more or less selfish, are really too great for a female passenger, whatever may be her rank'. Gurwood was 'confined three days to my cot in my cabin, pitching and rolling with no other distraction but the creaking of bulk heads and an occasional sea which rushed into the crevices of my port-hole frightening one to death with the fear of going to the bottom'. Sir Charles 'preferred living in his old house, the Palacio de Pombal, which is unfurnished' - we have however contrived to make it habitable & what might approach to comfortable when the weather is fine [.] Every thing was landed perfectly well with the exception of the Carriage, which the Portuguese unfortunately let fall into the Water, and I fear the interior Silk and Velvet is spoiled. The Coachmaker has the lining to dry the horse hair and stuffing, and if we get two or three days sun it may possibly be ready to take Sir Charles to Court'. Sir Charles left his letter of presentation 'on his table here', but the king is 'very goodnatured' and assured Sir Charles that 'the letter was of no consequence'. 'Mr. Landseer [Charles Landseer (c.1799-1879)] accompanied Sir C and he took a drawing of the Palace of Mafra - from thence he went to Cintra where he now is & where there is a large field for his art. He is exceptionally quick with his pencil & Sir Charles highly approves of what he has already done - his talent is very general & you will be diverted much by some caricature figures which immediately strike'. Of the mission Gurwood reports: 'Sir Charles's arrival has given great pleasure and joy to all ranks here, and they look to his exertions to remove the present gloom that pervades the Court as much as the commerce of this country. It is quite overwhelming, and all ranks appear to have suffered by the various changes which have taken place since Sir Charles was Minister here'. As for 'the main objects' of Sir Charles's mission, Gurwood does not 'pretend to comprehend' them. He praises 'Capt. Hammond' [later Admiral Sir Graham Eden Hamond (1779-1862)] of their ship, the Wellesley: 'It would have been impossible to have selected a more honorable and gentlemanlike person to have taken out the Mission'. The letter ends with a postscript reassuring Lady Elizabeth that 'Sir Charles is in excellent health - his constant state of activity agrees with him'. According to the Oxford DNB, Stuart's 'greatest diplomatic achievement was the treaty by which Brazil became independent of Portugal, negotiated on a joint Anglo-Portuguese special mission in 1825'. For more on the mission see Violet Stuart Wortley, 'Highcliffe and the Stuarts' (1927): 'On March 14, 1825, Sir Charles Stuart and a suite that included Lord Marcus Hill, Colonel Fremantle, Major Gurwood, and Mr. Landseer sailed on the Wellesley from Portsmouth, arriving at Lisbon on the 26th. Here conferences and fetes were the order of the day, but three weeks sufficed to draw up the framework of a new Constitution, and a ball given on board the battleship celebrated the inauguration of yet another era for Portugal.'. N° de ref. de la librería 11329

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Título: Autograph Letter Signed ('J Gurwood') from ...

Editorial: Lisbon; 1 April

Año de publicación: 1825

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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