QUEEN VICTORIA (GREAT BRITAIN) - MANUSCRIPT DOCUMENT SIGNED 10/22/1860 CO-SIGNED BY: DUKE EDWARD ADOLPHUS (SOMERSET XII) SEYMOUR - HFSID 82302
Sale Price $680.00
Approves the commutation of a court martial death sentence
Manuscript Document signed: "Appd/Victoria Reg", 1p, 4¼x13, folded and bound together on verso by three red wax seals. Also signed "Somerset" at the Admiralty, 1860 October 22. In full: "The Duke of Somerset with humble duty submits to Your Majesty the sentence of a Court Martial held on the 17th day of September 1860, on board Your Majesty's Ship 'Hannibal' at Naples, on Richard Hicks, Private Royal Marine Light Infantry, of Your Majesty's Ship 'Scylla', for striking First Lieutenant George Francis Gamble of the Royal Marine Light infantry, his superior officer, whilst in the execution of his duty. For this crime he was adjudged to suffer death. In consideration of all the circumstances of the case, the Duke of Somerset most humbly submits to Your Majesty that his punishment of Death may be remitted, and that the said Richard Hicks' sentence may be commuted to Penal Servitude for 14 years." QUEEN VICTORIA (1819-1901), the last member of the House of Hanover to reign (from 1837) as a British monarch, ruled the United Kingdom longer than any other monarch before or since. Her 63-year reign endeared her to her subjects, and she gave her name to an era, the Victorian Age. Her Husband, Prince Albert, an able political figure himself, was the Queen's close advisor until his death in 1861. The royal pair had nine children - four sons and five daughters. Victoria's reign was celebrated with two jubilees, honoring her 50 and 60 years on the throne. Edward Adolphus Seymour (1804-1885), born a commoner, achieved the title of Earl and then DUKE OF SOMERSET. He served as First Lord of the Admiralty (1859-1866) under Prime Ministers Palmerston and Russell. In retirement, he wrote books of free-thinking theology, acknowledging a "Supreme Intelligence" but doubting an afterlife. His years at the Admiralty were a critical period for the British Navy, the era of the American Civil War. In the Trent Affair (November-December of 1861) the U.S. and Britain narrowly avoided war over the US Navy's seizure of two Confederate envoys from the British mail steamer Trent. Prince Albert's untimely death is partly attributable to his strenuous efforts, while seriously ill, to promote a peaceful settlement of this dispute. Until the crisis was resolved, Britain did some serious war planning, Somerset outlining to his superiors a proposal to begin hostilities by relieving the Union blockade of Confederate ports. (See Mark Grimsley, "Net Assessment During the Trent Affair", 1989.) Lightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.
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