[Robert Bree, physician specialising in respiratory disorders.] Two Autograph Letters Signed ('R Bree' and 'Robt Bree') to physician and Egyptologist Thomas Joseph Pettigrew, explaining his praise of the Duke of Sussex in his Harveian Lectures.

Robert Bree (1759-1839), physician specialising in respiratory problems, who treated the asthma of the Duke of Sussex [Thomas Joseph Pettigrew (1791-1865), physician and Egyptologist]
Publication details: 
Both from George Street, Hanover Square [London]. 27 June 1827 and 6 February 1828.
SKU: 21628

For the recipient Thomas Joseph Pettigrew see the Oxford DNB. Pettigrew was personal physician and librarian to the Duke of Sussex, who had consulted Bree for asthma, and by whose advice Bree had removed in 1804 from Birmingham to Hanover Square in London. Having been a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians since 1807, Bree was chosen Harveian lecturer in 1827, publishing the course of lectures in the following year. Both items in good condition, lightly aged, each with a thin strip of paper from the mount adhering to the reverse of the second leaf. ONE: 27 June 1827. 3pp, 12mo. Bifolium. Addressed on reverse of second leaf, with seal in red wax, to 'T. J. Pettigrew Esqr | Saville [sic] Row'. The letter begins: 'My dear Sir | I am obliged by your kind Notes, and the Manner in which you have had the politeness to express yourself respecting the Oration. The College, I cannot doubt, wou'd have been gratified by the honor of his Royal Highnesses presence, but I merely acted upon my individual Sentiments respecting the Duke of Sussex, when I obeyd the duty I owed to truth, & the dignity of a Public Ceremony in offering a public testimony of opinion on his Royal Highnesses great Value to the whole world of letters & Science – and liberal principles.' Pettigrew, in 'the office of being auxiliary to his Royal Highnesses important Objects', is, Bree considers, 'fortunate in a just estimation having been formed of your disposition & capacity to act upon vierws so entirely according with your feelings & judgement'. He concludes with reference to 'these few lines' of thanks. TWO: 6 February 1828. 1p, 12mo. On bifolium, with reverse of second leaf addressed, with seal in black wax, to '– Pettigrew Esqr | Saville Row'. He asks him 'to present to his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex a Copy of the Harveian Oration in which I took the liberty of expressing my gratitude to and respect to his Royal for [sic] his protection of Letters and Science'. He is enclosing a copy of the lecture, 'which you will oblige me by accepting yourself'. 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'.