LIDDELL Henry - Autograph Letter Signed 1877 inviting Prince Leopold
Henry George LIDDELL (1811-1898)Autograph Letter Signed (“HG Liddell”) to “Dear Mr. Collins”, enquiring whether it would be possible to invite Prince Leopold to open the new children’s ward at the Radcliffe Infirmary.
4 pages 8vo on mourning paper, Christ Church, Oxford, 22 April 1877.
“I saw Sir John Cowell the other day at Bournemouth and was glad to hear a cheerful account of Prince Leopold.
This encourages me to ask whether it is possible to expect him to come to Oxford soon. If so, I have been asked to find out whether it would be agreeable to him to preside a thte opening of Mrs. Combe’s children’s ward & another new ward at the Infirmary here. It would greatly please people, & he always showed such a kindly interest in the place, that we venture to think that he will come, if he can. If he can & will, please let me know, & a formal invitation will be sent.
Mr. Mason of Eynsham Hall has, at his own expense, put all the Garden at the Infirmary in order, so that he whole place will be in a very creditable condition; & there will be plenty of topics for a short address from H.R.H.
Will you convey to him from all of us kind regards & express our hopes that he is really convalescent.
He will either go to his own Rooms & come to my house, as he likes best.
The day fixed is the 30th of May. . .”
Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, had studied at Christ Church, Oxford, where he became a good friend of the Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, and his family. Leopold was an intelligent young man who achieved some academic distinction, unhampered by his physical ill-health due to haemophilia.
The friendship extended to Liddell’s children, especially two of Liddell’s daughters, Alice (for whom Charles Dodgson had written Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and Edith. Edith died young, and Prince Leopold served as pall-bearer at her funeral. His relationship with Alice had a happier aftermath, as he became god-father to her son Leopold.
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