[Lord Brougham, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.] Autograph Letter in the third person to 'Lovejoy', regarding a 'proposed Institution' and any assistance he can give by means of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.

Lord Brougham [Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868)], Lord Chancellor [Owen Lovejoy (1811-1864), American abolitionist; Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge]
Publication details: 
Calehill, Charing, Kent; 29 October 1840.
SKU: 21766

At the time of writing Brougham was recuperating from a serious illness, and trying to dodge the Chartists, who were reorganising under new leadership. 4pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip from mount adhering to reverse of second leaf. The letter begins: 'Lord Brougham presents his compliments to Mr Lovejoy and assures him that it would give him very great satisfaction if he could be of any service to the proposed Insttitution – to which he heartily wishes every success. But he has been oblig'd to refuse so many applications to be placed among the nominal numbers of Similar Societies that he feels it impossible to accept of what he should certainly have esteemed an honour.' Brougham offers, on his 'return to town', to be of 'use to the proposed Insitution by obtaining for it such information as the Useful Knowledge Society may possess, beyond what is published in The M. [J.?] Book'. He 'will thank Mr L. to let him know how the design in contemplation succeeds'. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge had been founded in 1826, mainly at Brougham's instigation. It is unclear who 'Lovejoy' was, or what was the nature of the 'Institution' referred to in the letter. There is a possibility that the recipient was the American abolitionist Owen Lovejoy (1811-1864), and that the letter relates to one of several American organisations based on the SDUK. 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'.