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  • Posts Tagged ‘THOMAS CARLYLE’


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2022
    John Mitchel, Irish Patriot – Autograph letter signed, to Thomas Carlyle

    An 1848 letter on Irish Independence written from prison in Dublin by John Mitchel to Thomas Carlyle comes up at Sotheby’s in London on April 13. John Mitchel was the editor of the United Irishman, which called for Irish independence in the bitter aftermath of the Great Hunger. Carlyle had met him on a visit to Ireland in September 1846, and Mitchel was deeply influenced by Carlyle’s “great man” theory of history.  In May 1848 Mitchel was tried for seditious libel and sentenced to 14 years transportation. He was taken first to Ireland Island, Bermuda, to work on the construction of the British naval dockyard, then to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), from where he escaped in 1853. He spent much of the rest of his life in America, editing radical Irish Nationalist newspapers, but returned to Ireland to stand for election to Westminster in 1875. He won the election but was disqualified from sitting since he was a convicted felon. A second election was likewise decreed null. The estimate for the letter, in which he bids Carlyle farewell and sends his regards to Mrs. Carlyle, is 2,000-3,000 GBP.

    The sale includes an 1848 letter from Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington to General Sir Edward Blakeney, Commander in Chief of the British Army in Ireland, on the possibility of a Chartist rebellion. Also on offer is a letter from William Huskisson, Minister for War, on the French Invasion of Ireland, 1798.