July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO EDWARD STRACHEY ; 20 February 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480220-TC-ES-01; CL 22: 247-248


Chelsea, 20 feby, 1848—

Dear Mr Strachey,

Here is your Cromwellian leaf; and along with it a Letter by which you will perceive that my inquiry, as to what Magazine it had belonged to, has not been successful. That is not an important point; the date, 1789, being luckily marked on the leaf itself. Which date, I can observe farther, is also that of Brands Histy. of Newcastle (London 1789), where this Letter, and another, and extracts from two more, all stand printed.1The year is 1789 in Brand; and as the month in your Magazine is “Novr,” near upon the end of that year, I think we may reasonably guess that the Magazine has copied from Brand; and, therefore, that old Bailiff Ormston was in reality the saviour of that Letter, and of its three brethren, from the flames at Nosely Hall; a really remarkable service for an old unconscious gentleman to do!2

There is only one point that puzzles me: Along with the Magazine leaf, it appears, Mr Hare was offered the Original to purchase?3Whereas the undoubted Original with the three other Originals are now in the hands of Ormston junr, grandson of the old Bailiff; and do not seem to have ever been out of the household; or even known to exist there, in late years, till this Grandson quite recently searched them out! Which difficulty, indeed, is not of any intrinsic importance at all; and may be solved by various hypotheses very near the surface.— — Such evidence as can be had seems all to point to the conclusion that is was old Ormston who saved this Dunbar Letter; and to him therefore we will be grateful,—and close therewith this small investigation.

In sending back the Magazine-leaf, pray do not neglect to thank Mr Hare for his ready politeness in this as in all matters: many thanks to yourself also are due, and need not be expressed in words at present.

We have had somewhat to do with influenzas &c here; but are now pretty well recovered. Last Sunday your young Brother called,—a most brisk stirring youngster!4 —and gratified us, among other things, by the assurance that you at Clifton were all in a prospering condition.

Believe me, with many regards and kind remembrances,

Always truly yours /

T. Carlyle