GORDON, Charles George, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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GORDON, Charles George (1833-1885). Army officer. Killed at Khartoum.
Autograph Letter Signed to General Eyre at 10 Berkeley Square, 1 page 8vo with blank leaf and original envelope, 5 Rochester Place, Southampton, 9 January 1884. Informing Eyre that he will be leaving for Exeter to stay with the Revd [R.H.] Barnes and that he will be leaving for Brussels on the 25th. 'I cannot break my word to King Leopold ...'

An important letter evidently written in haste following the publication that day in the Pall Mall Gazette of his interview with the editor W.T. Stead. Gordon was outspoken in his views about the Government's handling of the crisis in the Sudan.
'... I go to Exeter tomorrow to stay till Saturday with Revd R. Barnes [at] Heavitree. I come up to town on 18th and leave for Brussels on 25th if Govt accept my resignation which I sent in on the 8th June. ...'

King Leopold II of Belgium had originally invited Gordon to take charge of the Congo Free State in 1880. He was then asked again in 1882 and accepted the offer, only to be summoned by the British Government to proceed to the Sudan. The present letter was written immediately after Gordon's return from Brussels and only a week or so before his departure for the Sudan where he was to meet his death.

10 Berkeley Square had been the home of Sir Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde, who is said to have set up two small bedsteads for the children of his friends, General and Mrs Eyre, in 1863, but died in the same year.

The Revd R.H. Barnes was vicar of Heavitree, Exeter, was an old friend of Gordon's.
[No: 26253]

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