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PRIME MINISTER EDWARD G. (EARL OF DERBY XIV) STANLEY (GREAT BRITAIN) - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/22/1854 - HFSID 23736

EDWARD G. STANLEY, EARL OF DERBY 1854 handwritten and signed letter accepting an invitation to the opening of the Crystal Palace Autograph letter signed: "Derby," 4 pages (1 sheet folded, front and verso), 8¾x7 (unfolded). St. James' Square, May 22, 1854.

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Reg. $340.00

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EDWARD G. STANLEY, EARL OF DERBY
1854 handwritten and signed letter accepting an invitation to the opening of the Crystal Palace
Autograph letter signed: "Derby," 4 pages (1 sheet folded, front and verso), 8¾x7 (unfolded). St. James' Square, May 22, 1854. Addressed to Member of Parliament J. Laing, Esq. In full: "Dear sir: I have had the Honor of receiving your letter of the 20th Inst. inviting me to take part in the ceremony of opening the Crystal Palace on the 10th of June, and shall have great pleasure in being present upon that interesting occasion. I presume that the Admission Tickets will give information where to go, and at what time to arrive. Lady Derby and my Daughter would be very desirous of being present but have some fear of the enormous crowd which will probably be attracted. Will you excuse my asking you whether there are any seats reserved, or possibility of reserving them, so that they might be secure of having somewhere to go, and of my knowing where to find them. They will of course go with the ordinary season tickets. I am really ashamed, at a time when you must have so much on your hands, to give you the trouble of an additional note; but I trust that my anxiety that on the one hand the Ladies of my family should not lose so magnificent a sight, and on the other hand that they should not be exposed to great inconvenience, and some possible embarrassment, may be a sufficient excuse." The Earl of Derby served again as Prime Minister from 1858-1859 and 1866-1868, when he resigned because of failing health. He died in 1869. The Crystal Palace was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great London Exhibition of 1851 and stood for 90 years until it was virtually destroyed in a fire and then demolished. A vast glass exhibition hall, it was the first cast-iron frame building. Stanley (1799-1869, born in Knowsley Park, Lancashire, England) was a British politician and three-time prime minister of the English Parliament (1852, 1858-59 and 1866-1868). A gifted orator, Stanley's mainly known for making the Conservative party a force to be reckoned with in English politics. He was a Whig when he first entered Parliament in 1820 and became Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1830, joining the cabinet in 1831. But he resigned in 1834 over the disenfranchisement of the Church of Ireland, which eventually stripped the church of its role of state church in Ireland. He served again under Sir Robert Peel in 1841 and eventually joined Peel's Conservative party, which tried to chart a course between the Whigs and Tories, but he resigned again four years later over the repeal of the Corn Laws during the Irish potato famine - laws that governed imports and exports of grain. He managed to bring a lot of members of Parliament with him - including a young Benjamin Disraeli, who would one day be prime minister as well - and bring them under the Conservative umbrella. Lighted toned and spotted. Partially split between sheets, tape remnants at top and bottom fold of first page. Docketed by recipient on fourth sheet. Page has been folded in eighths and unfolded. Fine condition.

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