British author of children's' books. Editor of 'Aunt Judy's Magazine'.
ALS. 4pp. Ecclesfield, Saturday, January 22nd 1853. To "Dear Dr. Johnston".
"Mr Bruin the clergyman at Wortley called here yesterday and made enquiries as to what sort of a successor we had got to poor Mr. Foster - and we told him. . . He said the Dr. (of whom I spoke) at Wortley died some time ago of [words erased] and Lord Wharncliffe had wished to get a good person established there. But there has not been anyone. Probably Lord Wharncliffe's passing last winter in Jamaica helped to make the matter fall thus! You perceive by this that Wortley which is about three and a half miles from Chapeltown is perfectly open too. Of course the Wortley people think it could form an excellent "centre" but it could be as far from us at Sheffield so we wish the Centre to be fixed nearer Ecclesfield. I am really distressed to think of what an opportunity exists now but which may soon pass away and be subdivided among a lot of "middling men" - one at Wortley, one at Chapeltown, one at Ecclesfield - and be obliged to send to Sheffield. Mr. Bruin said their best plan now was to send to Sheffield by railway train and get a Dr. out there in the same manner. Wortley is about 9 miles from Sheffield. Chapeltown lies between. I am sorry to be so troublesome. Yours very truly, Margaret Gatty".
Bifolium. 8vo. Approx 18.5 x 11 cms. Mounting traces to edge of verso of last leaf. Very good.
Margaret Gatty is here petitioning Dr. Johnston to establish a medical centre that would benefit the people living in the area of Wortley, following the death of the village's previous doctor. Lord Wharncliffe was a Tory politician who had served briefly as Under Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. Margaret Gatty was a hugely successful children's author but her books contained a strong element of Christian moralizing of a kind that fell from favour with 20th century readers. She repudiated Charles Darwin's theories and her books sometimes contained direct attacks on the science of evolution. Autograph letters of Margaret Gatty are relatively uncommon.