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. 2pp and integral blank leaf to which original autograph envelope is affixed. Letterhead of 10 Downing Street, Whitehall. February 11th 1886. To [William Woodall. Together with a fine contemporary portrait photograph.
"Secret. In the work of constituting the administration I am very desirous to have your assistance; and I would propose, with your permission, that you should become Surveyor of the Ordnance. The office is one for which I believe that your capacity, knowledge of business and general habits would eminently fit you. Believe me, faithfully yours, W.E. Gladstone."
Bifolium. 8vo. Approx 18.5 x 12 cms. Mounting residue to the verso of blank last leaf of bifolium but the text leaf is fine. The portrait of Gladstone is a fine 19th century gelatin silver print photograph. The aging Gladstone, still at the height of his political powers, is shown quarter length gazing steadily to his right. It measures approx. 15 x 10.5 cms (excluding mount) and is laid down on card from an album leaf.
Both the letter and the photograph are from a 19th century collection formed by the radical Liberal M.P. William Woodall. Woodall was M.P. for Stoke-on-Trent. In his position as Surveyor of the Ordnance, Woodall worked under Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who was Gladstone's Secretary of State for War.