British Liberal Prime Minister.
ALS. 4pp. Belmont Castle, Meigle, Scotland. 4th December 1898. To [William] Woodall.
"I had not heard anything of your illness until Foster's letter came this morning, which he so kindly wrote to inform me. My wife and I are very sorry indeed to hear of your being so seriously ill, and I fear it is a malady which causes much discomfort and suffering. I hope however that you will soon get over this attack, with his excellent advice and with the good nursing which I know you will have from your inmates at Bleak House. You will have to take great care of yourself afterwards. I suspect that the little faintness you felt when here a year ago must have been an early indication of your complaint. The truth is that we wretched M.P.s wear ourselves down although not conscious of it, and no one has done more public work of many kinds than you. Foster will I hope send me good accounts of your progress. Together with all your many friends we shall be most anxious to hear of you until you have fairly turned the corner towards convalescence. My wife desires to be most kindly remembered to you, and believe me, very sincerely yours, H. Campbell-Bannerman".
Bifolium. 12mo. Approx 15 x 10 cms. Fine.
William Woodall, M.P. for Stoke-on-Trent and subsequently Hanley served with Campbell-Bannerman in successive governments of William Ewert Gladstone. Campbell-Bannerman as Secretary of State at the War Office and Woodall as surveyor General of the Ordnance and Chief Financial Secretary to the War Office. Woodall was, indeed, a very hard-working and popular M.P. He is now best remembered for being the leader in the House of Commons of the movement for women's suffrage, but he also carried out reforming work in technical education and was a trustee of the Wedgwood Institute and was able to persuade many eminent men, such as Ruskin and WILLIAM MORRIS, to lecture there. He never fully recovered from the illness referred to in this letter and died at Llandudno in April 1901. Campbell-Bannerman's words expressed in this letter are prophetic. The strain of office led to a series of heart attacks which caused Campbell-Bannerman to retire from the office of Prime Minister in 1908. He died later that year whilst still residing at 10 Downing Street. To date, the only Prime Minister to die at that address.