ELLIS, Sir Henry, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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ELLIS, Sir Henry (1777-1869). Librarian of the British Museum.
Letter Signed to C[harles]. Whittingham (printer, 1795-1876), 1 page 4to, British Museum, 14 March 1834. Acknowledging receipt of eleven woodcut impressions, and thanking him on behalf of the Trustees for this gift to the British Museum.
'I am directed by the Trustees of the British Museum to acknowledge the receipt of Your obliging present of Eleven Impressions of wood cuts from the designs of Thomas Stothard to illustrate plays of Shakespeare, and I am to offer you the thanks of the Trustees for this addition to the National Collections. ...'
The painter and book illustrator Thomas Stothard (1755-1834) had been commissioned to provide illustrations for William Pickering's edition of Shakespeare's Plays (1823-5). He was to die in the following month after this letter was written, having been incpacitated in a carriage accident the previous autumn.
Henry Ellis had been appointed principal librarian of the British Museum in 1827, having worked hard to lobby the king for his appointment. The trustees had placed his name second to the antiquary Henry Fynes Clinton, but Ellis was nonetheless appointed, the only known occasion in the history of the Museum when the sovereign passed over the trustees' first choice.

£55 [No: 26497]
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