[ Rev. Robert Whiston, the inspiration for Trollope's 'The Warden'. ] Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Note Signed (both 'Robert Whiston') to Richard Prall, Rochester solicitor

Robert Whiston (1808-1895), Headmaster of Rochester Cathedral Grammar School [ King's School ], 1842 -1877, inspiration for Anthony Trollope's 'The Warden' [ Richard Prall (1802-67), solicitor ]
Publication details: 
Letter from Rochester [ Kent ]; 28 September 1872. Note from St. Margarets; 20 April 1877.
SKU: 19658

Both items in fair condition, aged and worn. ONE: ALS. 28 September 1872. 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. He is 'taking somewhat of a liberty', but having heard 'that you are parting with one of your Clerks', says 'a word in favour of a person in whom for many reasons I take a great interest, & of whom you & your Brothers may know something. | I mean Mr. Prothero for many years an Inmate of my House, & an Assistant Master in the School'. Prothero was 'for some years a Clerk in the County Court', but 'is obliged from paucity of business to leave it, & is now out of employment'. He praises him as 'a most respectable, & trustworthy man, in whom you might place the most implicit confidence. He writes an admirable hand, & his experience in the County Court would I should think fit him for the work of a Solicitors Orffice'. He has a wife and three children. TWO: ANS. 20 April 1877. 1p., 12mo. He thanks him for his 'friendly communication', and hopes to 'have the pleasure of meeting some members of the Corporation as proposed on Monday next'. The beginning of Raymond Postgate's review in the Spectator (31 August 1961) of Ralph Arnold's book sums up the story of 'The Whiston Matter': 'In the year 1842 the Reverend Robert Whiston was appointed by the Dean and Chapter to be headmaster of Rochester Cathedral grammar school, which had been so badly run by the previous headmaster that only one pupil was left in it. He brought with him his own private pupils and his brother-in-law as assistant master; he was successful and popular and the school was ' quickly full again. The dean and chapter were pleased with him. They soon ceased to be. Whiston investigated the affairs of the cathedral and discovered that the statutes were being broken on a large scale. […] The chapter had pocketed the proceeds of these malversations, and he wrote to it requiring it to reform, and using fairly peremptory terms. But they would not—they were by now very rich. […] When Whiston published the facts about Rochester and other cathedrals in a pamphlet it was not very surprising that they dismissed him. […] The story of his subsequent fight and victory against the cathedral reads like an excerpt from Trollope or Dickens; it was in fact used by both of them as raw material.'