Description: In this somewhat intimate letter dated July 19, [probably 1872], Sir Gregory thanks Mlle. Ross for her letter of congratulations and, in turn, congratulates her “for having picked up two cassone and such a man as Filippino,” [sic] before he mocks his new assignment as the Governor of Ceylon in the postscript: “You see I bear my honour with great modesty as besides being Sancho Panza Governor of Barataria, they have dignified me with an entrance into the Privy Council. I do not know that any result with follow except being more cheated than before as Hotel keeper and being unable or ashamed to kick up a row.” In the body of the letter, he also writes about their common friends, [Sir William] Boxall, “drawing himself in the Trafalgar Square fountains. . . ,” the Layards [possibly the ornithologist Edgar Leopold Layard and wife] who “want to go to Italy [and] small blame to them,” and an “old friend [Clauricude?] who “looks very feeble –If he should slip away from [them], it should be an irreparable loss to [their] country.” He also asks her to convey his commendation to Sir Alexander and “hopes that his acquisition of the Filippinos has not made him too proud to acknowledge friend at home [sic].” The letter is signed, “Yours always sincerely, W.H. Gregory.”
Written on three sides of folded 5”x8” lined paper bearing the address “8, Hobart Place.” Item #A01059.
Sir William Henry Gregory (1817-1892) was an Anglo-Irish writer and politician. His wife was Lady Augusta Gregory, the well-known playwright and literary hostess. Gregory was elected to the British House of Commons in 1842. After a visit to Egypt, he authored Egypt in 1855 and 1866, and Tunis in 1857 and 1858. Throughout the American Civil War, he was a supporter of the Confederacy. Domestically, he defended the Roman Catholic Clergy in Ireland and worked towards land reform. From 1872-1877, he was the Governor of Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. A longtime patron of the arts, he bequeathed Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Diego Velázquez, and other works to the National Gallery, London.
Condition: Paper loss to top and bottom corners, along folded margin, affecting one letter on page three. Generally good condition.