WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE Autograph Letter Signed.
British Liberal statesman who was four times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-94).
ALS. 3pp. Hawarden. December 30th 1879. To W[illiam] Woodall, Bleak House, Burslem. Together with the original envelope addressed and signed in Gladstone's hand.
"The articles, to which you refer in your two obliging letters, arrived here last night in perfect safety, and are much admired by others, as well as by myself. They seem to exhibit in many points proof of the continuance of that growth for which the manufacturers in the Potteries have now for a quarter of a century or more been so remarkable. Will you kindly accept on your own behalf, and for the Mayor of Burslem and the other gentlemen whose kindness I am acknowledging, my best thanks. And together with my thanks the expression of my hope that British energy and skill, which nowhere else have been more conspicuous may continue increasingly to mark the district, and to promote its prosperity. I beg to offer herewith my best wishes for a happy New Year, and to remain, dear Sir, faithfully yours, W.E. Gladstone".
Bifolium. 8vo. Approx 18 x 11.5 cms. Laid down on card from an album leaf. Very good.
This letter is from the 19th century collection formed by the radical Liberal M.P., William Woodall. At the date of this letter, Woodall had not yet entered parliament and was still a senior partner of the Burslem china manufacturer, James Macintyre and a trustee of the Wedgwood Memorial Institute. The letter appears to refer to a gift to Gladstone of ceramics from the people of the area around Stoke-on-Trent, known as "the Potteries". Woodall was later to be elected as M.P. for Stoke-on-Trent and subsequently, Hanley. He served in three Gladstone governments and also under Lord Rosebery. He is most remembered as the leader in the Commons of the campaign for Women's suffrage and as the introducer of several unsuccessful Bills that sought to achieve this.