Autograph letter signed "Sydney" regarding the transfer of a young lieutenant. Viscount SYDNEY, Thomas TOWNSHEND.
Autograph letter signed "Sydney" regarding the transfer of a young lieutenant.

Autograph letter signed "Sydney"…
Autograph letter signed "Sydney" regarding the transfer of a young lieutenant.

Albemarle Street: 23 August 1786.

Manuscript letter on laid and water-marked paper, folded to letter-size 240 x 186 mm., closely written to 2 pp., manuscript docket note to fourth page; splitting at old folds, some browning yet good.

Signed, Sydney

A rare example of Sydney's signature while Home Secretary; the letter seeks patronage favour for private rather than public interests.

A rare example of Sydney's signature while Home Secretary; the letter seeks patronage favour for private rather than public interests.

This manuscript, which presumably because it concerns private affairs is entirely in the Home Secretary's hand, concerns the reinstatement of one Lieutenant Hutchinson, formerly of the 46th Regiment and now on half-pay. It appears Sydney had some affection for young Hutchinson, stressing the importance of finding him a position and 'taking him out of a state of idleness to which much danger belongs in the case of a young man of very high spirits & very considerable talents'. Given the dating of this letter, it is clear that this was the William Hutchinson who was posted lieutenant of the 59th Regiment in early September the same year, a few days after this letter was sent (testament to Sydney's political clout). Hutchinson's regiment was stationed in Gibraltar.

On 18 August 1786, a mere five days before writing this letter, Sydney had delivered his speech to the Treasury promoting Botany Bay as the site of Britain's new penal colony and announcing George III's decision to send out the First Fleet. When Governor Phillip finally decided to establish the settlement at Port Jackson, rather than Botany Bay, he paid the Home Secretary the compliment of naming the city after him, now one of the great cities of the world.

Price (AUD): $2,650.00  other currencies Ref: #4011270