British (English) philanthropist, merchant and Liberal M.P. Reformer of nursing and public hospitals and a friend and associate of Florence Nightingale.
ALS. 2pp and integral blank leaf. 16 Pall Mall, London. 16th March 1869. To [William] Woodall.
"I have much pleasure in complying with the wish of your Borough member Mr George Melly, that I should lend you my "Andsell". You can also have if you like the "Lady in Comus" by Wright of Derby, considered by him I believe to be his best. But it is one that requires a very brilliant light, being a dark moonlight scene. Please let me know if you wish to have it. You must have been very much pleased by the successful speech made by your member on the education of neglected chidren. It was full of information clearly brought out, and created a marked impression in the House."
8vo. Approx 7.25 x 4.5 inches. Mounting residue to verso of integral blank leaf, else fine.
Sir William Rathbone was a member of the noted family of LIVERPOOL Quakers. He used his wealth from industrial and commercial enterprises for the achievement of public and philanthropic work. He campaigned for training schools for nurses and a system of district nursing for the poor. He set up the Liverpool Training School and Home for Nurses in 1862 and this became the model for training schools all over the Country. Through this work he developed a close and lifelong friendship with Florence Nightingale. Sir William Rathbone was also a campaigner for better education and he was instrumental in the founding of both the University of Liverpool and the University of North Wales. The letter is from a 19th century collection made by the radical Liberal M.P., William Woodall. William Rathbone makes the loan of paintings including Joseph Wright of Derby's gothic masterpiece 'The Lady in Milton's Comus' which was first exhibited in 1785. It is likely that the loan had some connection with the newly established Wedgewood Institute, of which Woodall was a trustee.