[Sir William Knighton, Private Secretary to George IV.] Autograph Letter Signed ('W Knighton'), praising the 'Merits' of the unnamed recipient, and reporting the king's complete satisfaction with his actions.

ir William Knighton (1776-1836) of Horndean, physician and Private Secretary to King George IV
Publication details: 
Horndean [Hampshire]; 26 December 1823.
SKU: 21483

3pp, 12mp. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with short closed tear at gutter. Folded three times. Having received the unnamed recipient's letter at Horndean that morning, he writes that there is no reason why he should not 'take to morrow Week, in place of to morrow, as I know it will be equally convenient to His Majesty'. The recipient's 'own Merits' are his 'Recommendation', and 'His Majesty is quite satisfied with all You have done, as well as the manner in which you have done it.' Knighton had a close relationship with the king: he was instrumental in clearing his enormous debts within three years (1822-1825), and was addressed by him in correspondence as 'M[y] D[ear] F[riend]'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.