January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO [SAMUEL LANGLEY] ; 11 May 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590511-TC-SLA-01; CL 35: 92-93


Chelsea, 11 May, 1859—

Dear Sir,

In the year 1741 (year before all those adventures you are putting on record for me) George II had an Army rallied in Germany, Danes, Hessians, Hanoverians, and intended to join them with a Body of English; that so he might strike in with effect, that year, between the King of Prussia & the Austrian Sovereign.1 The French checkmated him (29 Septr, 1741),2 and he could not, that year,—not till gradually at late season next year (1742), as you have seen This Army of 1741 is, to me, rather more important than the other of 1742,3 just at present; and there is if possible still less light attainable upon it out of any English Book I can consult.

In various German Books I read, that, in “April 1741,” he had a “Camp,” of Danes &c and Hanoverians, Camp at “Hameln” (a little south of Hanover Town),4 then vaguely at some other place (name forgotten) in the same Territory;—and furthermore that he had (same April 1741) made “a Camp” somewhere on the “Coast of Kent,” and was reviewing and rendezvousing English Forces there, with whom he intended to sail over, and join his Dane-Hanoverian people. It is this last point, the “Camp on the Coast of Kent”5 April (or so) 1741, that I wish to be informed about. The other facts (Camp of Danes &c in Hanover Territory, at “Hameln” or elsewhere) are indubitable to me, and clear enough for my purpose: but for this of the Kent Camp I shd like to have some precise English evidence, and any notable feature of it (if notable any be) pointed out to me.

Will you, therefore, as the first thing after the Museum opens, look out a little in that direction,—a little, not much, for in fact it is but a side matter to me,—and ascertain date & place of this English camp: “Coast of Kent” is the vague name given;—“April” 1741 6 may not be the exact month either; but it will probably be near it. If you find anything about the simultaneous German Camp (“Hameln” or wherever it was, for I think it shifted, and was often split into pieces, and perhaps reunited &c) I shall be willing to hear of it too. Not many Extracts (none, unless you find them worthy); skeleton of the fact (English fact, especially) is what I want.

You need not write in answer to this: merely send me what you succeed in gathering about this part of the business. This part first.—— In great haste (as is too usual)

Yours sincerely /

T. Carlyle