BENSON, Edward White, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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The bishop and the guardsman

BENSON, Edward White (1829-1896). Archbishop of Canterbury.
Autograph Letter Signed to the Bishop of Down & Connor, 3 pages 8vo (press photograph of Benson tipped to the top of the second page), Lambeth Palace, 29 March 1889. The writer and recipient are identified in ink at the foot, the latter as [William] Reeves. Together with a good cabinet photograph of the middle-aged Benson (half-length, seated), by Fradelle of Regent Street.
Enquiring into the diocesan records.
'... be so kind as to cause enquiry to be made in your Registry as to whether there exists in it any record of the Bishop of Down and Connor having been summoned to the Trial of the Bishop of Clogher in 1822.
 'If there should be
no such record is there any explanation of the fall attainable - was he ill, or was he abroad. ...'
Percy Jocelyn (1764-1842) had been anglican bishop of Clogher from 1820 to 1822 when he was caught in a compromising position with a grenadier guardsman. Jocelyn broke his bail and fled to Scotland where he worked incongnito as a butler. The case caused a huge scandal. A full account is to be found in Celebrated Trials and Remarkable Cases of Criminal Jurisprudence, edited by George Henry Borrow, vol 6, pages 483-490.
 Shortly before he committed suicide Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822), in a state of mental confusion, is said to have told George IV that he thought he was being blackmailed and that 'I am accused of the same crime as the Bishop of Clogher'.
 The letter suggests that Benson knew little of the facts of the case, since he seems unaware that the events took place in a public house in London.
[No: 24389]

The image is of the third page only.

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