January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JOHN HARLAND ; 5 January 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450105-TC-JHA-01; CL 19: 5-6


Chelsea, 5 jany, 1845—

Dear Sir,

Many thanks for your Contributions about Cromwell; which, as you find opportunity, I shall be glad if you will continue.1

Most of Cromwell's own Letters, indeed almost all of them, I have now got together; copied and annotated by myself.2 It so happens that these of the Gloucester Book (which otherwise is known to me, not worth much) are not of the number.3 This time therefore it is all right. But in future if you fall in with any Cromwell Letter or Speech, pray ask me first, describing the thing by its exact address and date, Whether I have not got it already?— Your former Copy, the Letter about Preston Fight, I had possessed in my own handwriting, for some time; and the Baines one you referred me to, I found, was a blunder on the part of Baines,4—a misdating (19th for 17th) of a Letter which also I had long ago copied. Such blunders abound in this matter; and Baines did not deserve a special execration, but is included in the general one.

By the bye, do you know Preston? I could like well to have some investigation of the grounds thereabouts by an intelligent person. I could send him copies of all, or as good as all, the credible accounts of the Fight,—four of them by eyewitnesses, actors in the business. If I knew the ground I could understand it tolerably well. But ‘Ribble Bridge’ is ‘two miles off’ Preston, and not at the very end of it as my memory indicates the position now. Then ‘Darwen Bridge’; and the ‘Hill’ on the South side of Ribble; and the ‘ford of Ribble,’ not rideable at that hour by Duke Hamilton and Co, who therefore had to ‘swim’ it: all this remains very confused to me.5

There is no immediate hurry; but help here would not be unwelcome. Besides the details in the Chatham Book which I have of yours,6 there is a Letter by Sir Marmaduke Langdale (in Rushworth, I think),7 there is the account of one Captn Hodgson (in a Book published by Sir Walter Scott,—“Civil War Memorials, Edinbg, 1826” or some such title),8 and lastly Sir James Turner, best of all, who carries us along all thro' the retreat, to Wigan, and even to Uttoxeter in Staffordshire.9

Do not trouble yourself about this, unless it lie in your way.

With Compts to Mr Ballantyne10 & many thanks

Yours very truly /

T. Carlyle