Wm. Pitt & Seeds of Rev. War "I spoke in favour of these Sons .. of Liberty"
"April 18, 1778 ….
Things seem to be hastening to a crisis at Boston. Their answers to governor Hutchinson confirms many curious particulars, and is strongly reason'd. but the times are most adverse to their claims. Even the opposition deserted them, and the Whigs are offended or take the Pretense(?) at the Bostonians raising the Power of the Crown, at the expense of the authority of Parliament. I have ever found, this thrown in my way when I spoke in favour of these true Sons of civil and Religious Liberty. I look forward to the time with very painful anxiety. The whole constitution is a shadow. Toleration has again proved a mockery …" / Chatham"
Collection of 10 Autograph letters signed ("Chatham"), and one Autograph letter (unsigned), Burton-Pynsent and Lyme-Regis, 4- January 18 September 1773 to Thomas Hollis. Provenance: Ex-Forbes Collection. Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), the American owner-publisher of Forbes magazine and a consummate collector, amassed one of the most substantial autograph collections of such breadth and depth that it filled a half-dozen residences on three continents. Many of his manuscripts were sold in a series of multi-million dollar sales by Christie's in the early 2000s. The Forbes name is considered to be the apex of provenance, especially when attached to an item like the above. We are honored to have been chosen by the family to sell at auction the substantial balance of the collection.
PITT, William, the Elder, First Earl of Chatham (1708-1778). Collection of 10 Autograph letters signed ("Chatham"), and one Autograph letter (unsigned), Burton-Pynsent and Lyme-Regis, 4- January 18 September 1773 to Thomas Hollis. – PITT, Hester, Countess of Chatham, First Baroness Chatham (1720-1803). 5 Autograph letters signed, two which are on behalf of Lord Chatham ("Lady Chatham" in text), Burton-Pynsent, 15 March - 15 December 1773, to Hollis – Lady Hester (1755-1780) or Lady Harriet (1758-1786). Autograph letter (unsigned), Burton-Pynsent, 11 December 1773. – HOLLIS, Thomas (1720-1774). 11 Autograph letters signed ("TH" or "Thomas Hollis" in text), Urles, 3 January - 13 December 1773, being his retained copies of his outgoing correspondence to Pitt and his family. Some written on integral pages of Pitts letters. 260 x 210mm, over 85 pages of correspondence in total, all tipped or sewn in a near contemporary half calf quarto album (folds and occasional foxing). An extensive archive with several additional uncatalogued items. Would benefit from being examined.
Several of Hollis's retained responses are written at the conclusion of letters written to him. William Pitt on the growing imperial crisis: "These worthy New-England men feel, as Old-England ought to do. If Rights and Liberty were truely dear here, They cou'd not be oppres'd there." A wide-ranging dialogue between Pitt and Hollis, one of the more radical Whigs of this period. Most prominent in their dialogue was the growing unrest in America. On 3 February, Pitt observed that "Boston is, I find, in a high ferment of Spirit. The Town meeting has honor'd me, by order, with their resolution printed. These worthy new-England men feel, as Old-England ought to do. If Rights and Liberty were truely dear here, They cou'd not be oppre'd there. Virtues wou'd not be Crimes, even in the Eyes of Courtiers. Corrupt as the Times are, God only knows the Issue." This elicited a lengthy and impassioned response from Hollis on 15 February: "The People of New England, the first People upon Earth, for plain sense & virtue, have original Sin in them, and are to be humiliated therefore!" On 18 April, two years to the day before Revere's immortal ride, Pitt writes: "Things seem hastening to a Crisis at Boston, their answer to Governor Hutchinson contains many curious particulars, and is strongly reason'd. But the Times are most adverse to their claims, even the Opposition deserted them and the Wigs are offended or take the Pretense[?] at the Bostonians raising the Power of the Crown, at the expence of the Authority of Parliament. I have ever found, this thrown in my Way, when I spoke in favour of these true Sons of civil and Religious Liberty. I look forward to the Issue with very painful anxiety, the whole Constitution is a shadow. Toleration has been again proved a Mockery." Hollis agreed with Pitt's assessment, noting that he thought New Englanders to be "an excellent people," they are at times indiscreet, and often trust their gravest concerns to "imbecil[e]s -or worse men!" Yet Hollis also laments, "Glib Master Hutchinson, will not suppose a Case for resistance, though John Lock and three Nations could, not a Century ago; and the People of Boston do not seem willing to specify a case full out, hitherto: and so the mighty waters flap each other, before the Storm! Alas Britain! Alas the House of Hanover!" Provenance: Thomas Hollis V (1720-1774) – bequeathed to Brand Hollis – bequeathed to John Disney (bookplate, his sale, Sotheby’s, 22 April 1817) – Alfred Morrison (bookplate, his sale, Sotheby’s, 5 May 1919, lot 2789, to G. D. Smith) – Carl H. Pforzheimer (ms. accession no.) – Sotheby's, New York, 16 December 1992, Lot 233. This was offered at Christie's in 2018 with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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