FRANCIS, DUKE OF TECK. Autograph Letter Signed.
Francis Paul Charles Louis Alexander, Duke of Teck. Known as Count Francis von Hohenstein until 1863. Austrian born aristocrat and member of the British Royal Family by marriage. He was the father of Queen Mary and the great-grandfather of Elizabeth II.
ALS. 3pp. Kensington Palace, Friday 26th January 1876. To Edwin Villiers. Together with original envelope front.
"Sir, Many thanks for your kind letter. P[rinces]s Mary, myself and our children shall with pleasure attend the performance on Wednesday morning. Please let me know if we are to be the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland's guests in the box, or are they to be our's as it would be hardly possible for both parties to ask friends to join and as the Duke and Duchess are out of town I cannot settle with them this matter. Yours truly, Teck".
Bifolium. 8vo. Approx 18 x 11.5 cms. Very slight mounting traces to edge of verso of last leaf, else fine.
Francis's father, Duke Alexander of Wurttemberg, had made a morganatic marriage. Consequently, Francis had no succession rights to the Kingdom of Wurttemberg and, by the standards of most European Royal Houses, had only a modest income. His marriage to Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a grand-daughter of George III, improved his prospects but the couple lived hopelessly beyond their means and built up large debts. Eventually, they were obliged to flee their creditors and in 1883 they sought refuge in Germany and Italy. They did not return to the UK until 1885.
Edwin Villiers, a theatrical impresario and former actor, was the proprietor of the Canterbury Music Hall in Westminster Bridge Road. He went bankrupt in 1877 with debts of £60,000. The "performance" referred to in Francis's letter was presumably one that took place at the Canterbury Music Hall.