ADMIRAL WILLIAM HENRY SMYTH Autograph Letter Signed.
British officer of the Royal Navy. Astronomer, hydrographer and numismatist.
ALS. 2pp. St John's Lodge, near Aylesbury. 18th November 1863. To "My Dear Sir".
"In answer to your question in re. the United S[ervices] Inst[itutio]n I beg to say that I am there - nolens volens - for life! I am now feeling very easy, but am still under orders to be orderly. Therefore I am not likely to be present at your Anniversary. With thanks for the "open bowelled" man I am. Yours very truly, W.H. Smyth. Why not send O'Byrne a copy of the Ditty?"
Bifolium. 12mo. Approx 13.5 x 9 cms. Very slight mounting traces to edge of the verso of last leaf of bifolium. Short fold separation at head. Fine.
Admiral Smyth was a man distinguished in many fields and was a member of a large number of learned societies and institutions. The United Services Institution had been founded by the Duke of Wellington in 1831 for the study of naval and military science. The institution still exists as 'The Royal United Services Institution for Defence and Security Studies' and is the oldest military "think tank" in the world. The recipient of the letter is not named but is probably James Copland FRS the noted Scottish physician, from whose 19th century album this letter was extracted.