Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. British (English) philanthropist and social reformer.
ALS. 2pp plus integral blank leaf. Together with original envelope. No place. July 6th 1876. To Edmund K[ell] Blyth.
"Most heartily do I concur in the purpose of the Bill for freeing the Bridge of tolls. I will do anything in my power to advance it. But I can not undertake the charge of it in the House of Lords, as I am already, over head and ears, in harness, and engagements of many kinds; and I am fearful of any addition to them." [etc].
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Envelope affixed to integral blank leaf. Mounting traces to verso of integral blank leaf. All else near fine.
Lord Shaftesbury is here referring to the Bill that was introduced in the House of Commons in 1876 to free the bridges in London from the payment of tolls. The main objection to this had been the fears of the Corporation of London that the burden of carrying out repairs to the Thames bridges would fall upon them and without the revenue from tolls this would be too expensive.
Lord Shaftesbury was one of the great social reformers. His many areas of considerable influence and achievement included reforms to factories and working conditions, the outlawing of the employment of women and children in coal mines, the establishment of schools for the education of the children of the poor and, perhaps most famously, the ending of the employment of boys as climbing chimney sweeps.