Cumloden Papers.

  • Stewart, Sir William
  • Edinburgh: Printed for Private Circulation 1871


SKU: 4442 Category: Tags: , ,


FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 50 COPIES, THIS AN ASSOCIATION COPY, 4to, pp. [iv], 140, [iv], 52, [194] + Woodburytype frontispiece. Two further Woodburytypes mounted within text. Contemporary half green pebbled roan, textured cloth boards, spine divided by raised bands, second compartment gilt-lettered direct, others with central decorative gilt tool, marbled endpapers, edges gilt. Some scattered foxing. Rubbed, corners a touch worn. Armorial bookplate of Horatio Granville Murray Stewart to pastedown.


Possibly the editor's own copy of the sole edition of this scarce memoir of Lieutenant-General Sir William Stewart (1774-1827), the creator and first commanding officer of the Rifle Corps, who had served with distinction under Nelson at Cophenhagen and somewhat less successfully under Wellington in the Penisular War. A lengthy biography serves as preface, followed by texts of Stewart's journals - the basis of 'the best account of the battle [of Copenhagen]' (ODNB) - and letters from Nelson and Wellington. The section titles for the letters each note on the verso that only 50 copies were printed.
The origins of the book are not publicly recorded, but this copy bears the bookplate of Horatio Granville Murray Stewart, William Stewart's grandson, who was likely the editor or at least instigator of the volume itself. William Stewart's only son Horatio (named so at Nelson's request) died young, leaving a single infant son Horatio Granville (the Murray was added later), who would have been in his mid-30s when the Cumloden Papers was in production. HGM was childless himself and his grandfather's sole male heir - his surviving family at that time were his mother Sophia, his wife, and possibly an aunt Louisa - and it seems unlikely that anyone else would have had the access or desire to see Sir William's papers printed. Another copy survives inscribed by Sophia noting that it was a gift from her son, another sign he was directly connected to its publication, though he has not left any notes or other signs of interaction with this particular copy beyond his bookplate.

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