PITT, Thomas, Second Baron Camelford (1775-1804). Naval officer and rake. Killed in a duel.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Camelford') to Mrs Gilbert, 2 pages 4to with second leaf bearing traces of mounting, London 10 October 1796. Presuming on old acquaintance and offer to 'take you once more by the hand and welcome you to Roscommon'.
A violent man, Camelford had launched a vicious attack in the street on George Vancouver in 1796 after the latter had declined a duel. He was fined for assaulting a man in the theatre in 1799. He attempted to force a duel with his friend and lodger, Peter Abbott, in 1800, and the following year issued from his house to bludgeon a mob celebrating the peace with France. On 7 March 1804 he fought a duel (over a woman) with his old friend, the appropriately named Thomas Best, a fine shot. He died from his wound three days later.
A curious insertion to this lot is a note probably written by A.M. Broadley, the noted autograph collector which is on the reverse of a letter (cut down to size) evidently from an autograph dealer or fellow collector offering a letter of Ruskin for sale.
Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.
The image is of the second page.