GLADSTONE, William Ewart (1809-1898). Prime Minister 1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894.
Autograph Letter Signed (W.E. Gladstone') to Hartington [Spencer Cavendish, later 8th Duke of Devonshire, 1833-1908, statesman], 4 pages 8vo, Hawarden, 20 December 1880. A long and detailed political letter in four numbered sections, relating to the problems faced by the government in view of the activity of the Irish National Land League.
'Letters from the East Indies are very uncertain particularly from the Kings ships as they are kept constantly at sea. I have had but one short letter since The Revolutionaire sailed from England, and that has date many months ago from Madras in which your son was mentioned to be well. Captain Woollcombe's mother is too thankfull as anxious for letters from him, as you are respecting your son & I have no doubt of both being satisfied on the return of the ship that bore the late Sir Samuel Hood's flag on the course of the next month when I hear again from Captain Woollcombe you shall know it.
HMS Revolutionaire was a 40-gun frigate captured from the French in October 1794 and serving with the Royal Navy until 1822. John Woollcombe was her captain at this time.
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