[Robert Fulke Greville, Equerry to George III.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Robt: F: Greville.') [to Richard Ford?], respecting a seditious communication found in the town of Windsor, which he is forwarding to the Duke of Portland, Home Secretary.

Lieut-Col. Robert Fulke Greville (1751-1824), Equerry to George III, 1781-1797, and MP [Richard Ford (1758-1806), London police magistrate; Bow Street Runners; Duke of Portland, Home Secretary]
Publication details: 
'The Queens Lodge Windsor | Saturday Janry. 9th: 1796.'
SKU: 21485

The subject of the letter is clearly a seditious communication found in the Windsor area and brought to Greville's attention, which he is forwarding for the attention of the Home Secretary, the Duke of Portland. David J. Cox casts light on the context in his 'A Certain Share of Low Cunning: A History of the Bow Street Runners, 1792-1839' (2010), stating that from 1792 'at least two Principal Officers were also permanently stationed at Windsor after the King had received several death threats'. The unnamed recipient is probably Richard Ford (1758-1806), the London police magistrate acting for the Home Office. (Cox supports the view that Ford 'could in some ways be regarded as a “quasi” permanent Under-Secretary, coordinating Bow Street's assistance to the Home Department in its investigative work'.) 1p, 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded three times. The endorsement on the reverse of second leaf notes 'one Enclosure', but this is not present. Greville begins the letter: 'Sir | Late Yesterday Evening two respectable Tradesmen of Windsor came to The Queens Lodge & enquired for me – on my seeing them, they deliver'd the enclosed to Me, which they informed Me had been thrown Yesterday Evening down the Area of one of their Houses, & found by the Maid Servant who brought it to Them. On examining the contents they were induced immediately to wait upon me with it.' The 'only step's Greville has taken are to ask the men 'not to make mention of the circumstance, or contents of the inclosed, in Windsor – but I have given Maynard & Jealous (Officers from the Public Office in Bow Street) directions to keep a good look out, & shall use every means which I think may be useful or proper on this occasion.' He is putting 'the original Letter' in the recipient's hands, 'requesting that You will have the goodness to lay it before the Duke of Portland, by doing which, I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that every necessary attention will be paid to this business, thro' the properest, & best directed channel'. In a postscript he gives 'The Tradesmens names': 'Mr. Dixon, Shoemaker in Thames Street Windsor | Mr. German, Taylor in Thames Street Windsor'. Cox lists 'Maynard' and 'Jeallous [sic]' among the 'particular personnel' requested to accompany the king on journey from Windsor to Weymouth. 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'.