King Edward VII Signed Letter as Prince of Wales Aged 13 to Lord Breadelbane Balmoral 1855


Charming signed letter from the Prince of Wales later King Edward VII (1841-1910), written as a young boy aged thirteen from Balmoral Castle, dated 10th September 1855, to John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane (1796-1862). Written on stationery for Balmoral Castle engraved with a magnificent young Stag on the highlands of Scotland. The letter is concerning a gift of knives.

Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. Before his accession to the throne, he served as heir apparent and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.

Breadelbane was a Scottish nobleman and Liberal politician. He sat as Member of Parliament for Okehampton from 1820 to 1826 and for Perthshire from 1832 to 1834. The latter year he succeeded his father as second Marquess of Breadalbane and entered the House of Lords. In 1848 he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Household by Lord John Russell, a post he held until the government fell in 1852. He held the same office under Lord Aberdeen between 1853 and 1855 and under Lord Palmerston between 1855 and 1858.

A freemason, Breadalbane was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland between 1824 and 1826. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834 and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1838. The following year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire, a post he held until his death. In 1842 he entertained Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort at Taymouth Castle. He was a supporter of the Free Church of Scotland during the disruption in the 1840s.

Breadalbane was also Rector of the University of Glasgow between 1840 and 1842 and of Marischal College, Aberdeen, between 1843 and 1845, President of the Society of Antiquaries between 1844 and 1862 and Governor of the Bank of Scotland between 1861 and 1862. In 1861 he was sent on a special diplomatic mission to Berlin for the investiture of King William I in the Order of the Garter. He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle of Prussia at the same time.

Lord Breadalbane married Lady Elizabeth ("Eliza"), daughter of George Baillie and sister of George Baillie-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Haddington, in 1821. They had no children. She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria. She died in Mayfair, London, on 28 August 1861, aged 58. Lord Breadalbane survived her by just over a year and died at Lausanne, Switzerland, on 8 November 1862, aged 66. On his death the barony of Breadalbane, earldom of Ormelie and marquessate of Breadalbane became extinct. He was succeeded in the lordship of Glenorchy, viscountcy of Tay and Paintland and earldom of Breadalbane and Holland by his distant relative and namesake, John Campbell. The marquessate was revived in favour of the latter's son in 1885.

Size: 17.5 x 11 cm approx

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