COUTTS, Angela Georgina Burdett- (1814-1906). Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Philanthropist.
Group of fifty-two letters (3 in the third person), 1851-1898. In generally good condition with only occasional soiling or traces of former mounting. Related material includes secretarially-written letters and seven letters of William Burdett-Coutts.
To a wide variety of correspondents, although Miss Coutts (as she was generally called) rarely names them unless they are bishops or women, and covering all aspects of her life. The letters are written from various residences, notably, Stratton Street, Holly Lodge, Torquay (Meadfoot House and Ehrenberg Hall), Ramsbury Manor, and various temporary addresses in Brighton, Edinburgh, Rome, Mentone, etc.
Evidently providing warming and ventilating apparatus for a church; discussing the work of the Slave Trade Prevention Committee (to Mr Lane); enclosing a cheque for 'the afflicted family'; thanking the bishop of St David's for a circular; inviting the bishop of Skipton to tea and dinner and to stay the night at Holly Lodge; offering the use of her box at Drury Lane; settling accounts, discussing parliamentary bills; sending for Mrs Wright 'some Hymns of Mrs Brown's composition [perhaps her close companion, Hannah Brown]; mentioning friends and acquaintances ('Ld Bute ... in him I have an old Lang Syne interest'); describing the beauties of Torquay in the springtime; settling business accounts; thanking Frith (via Mrs Frith) for a print; offering works of art for exhibitions (and asking for the return of some family miniatures if they could not be properly placed in the Treasure Exhibition); writing to the editor of The Times asking him to print a report of a meeting of one of her charitable organisations; expressing alarm at the winter weather in England (this from Mentone) and arranging charitable gifts of coals, wine, whisky or brandy by way of relief [in a group of four letters to Mr Gibson, perhaps an agent]; and occasionally declining applications for assistance. Inevitably some of the letters are of a social nature ('I am not a great dancer').
In addition there is a printed (but signed) letter written by the (now) baroness to be read at the funeral of her beloved companion, Hannah Brown (27 December 1878), and a group of seven letters from William Burdett Coutts (the name that the twenty-nine-year-old William Lehman Ashmead Bartlett took after marrying Angela (sixty-six) in 1881).
'... Please don't cut me off with only half my name - I am not more Lady Coutts - of which there may be others - or Lady Burdett any more than Ld Lyttleton is Ld Lyt.'
[To Sir Charles Read, 8 pages 8vo, Torquay 25 February 1875]: 'The object of the deputation which ?called upon Lord Sandon is relative to Dame Schools and other educational complications has led me to look over old memoranda of mine as to a plan suggested by me some years ago and then partially adopted by government. You are already acquainted with the idea known as the Ambulatory School Master as applied to rural families but at the time I conceived the idea that it might be made applicable to Towns and as in one or two places there was a wish to try it I, with the assistance of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth [and others] ... . I should very much like to have your own opinion and that of the School Board, whether it contains the germ of a plan which could be usefully worked under the School Board. ...'
[To the Rev A ?Lang, Stratton Street, 5 October 1877]: 'I have sent to the Daily Telegraph a report and Table (necessarily rough) just received from Mr Layard ... he says "I have given Mr Fernandez, the leading member of the Jewish Community here and a gentleman of (illegible) character, £100 for the relief of the Jewish fugitives at Shimla". ...'
['Dear Sir Frederick', Heydon Hall Norwich, 27 November 1887] 'I was extremely gratified to read your letter in The Times of yesterday which also received the support of other influential names, respecting the condition of (apparently almost forgotten[)] South London. The East End has come almost a Shibboleth of Charity ...'
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