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Letter from Basil Hall to Edmung Byng, regarding Byng's requests for Hall's signature to add to his collection of autographs.


{indec] Sea Common 20th Oct. 1832
My dear Capn Byng
You have caught me in my own trap I must own! - but I am not going to be tricked into writing about America at this hour of the day. You & I know very well that Mrs Trollope has let off Jonathan much more gently than she might have done. She is a clever person, & I know her will. You should read her new novel which entertained as in M.S. very much. When my copy comes you shall see it.
Pray make my compliments to your fair friend who thinks my autograph worth asking for, & say how much pleasure I have in granting so simple a request - if indeed it were ever made - for I am not sure if you said you were merely told to hunt out for lions generally & get them to roar, or whether you were expressly desired to obtain my handywork. Whether
[overleaf] case I have much pleasure in doing anything to show how I recalled all your kindness to me and mine, at a moment when, as you know such attention went for something - after a journey through Upper Canada.
Ever most sincerely yours
Basil Hall
P.S. Did you ever think of selling autographs at one of those Ladies' sales? Would not a scrap of Sir Walter Scott's writing for instance, sell for something if put up to auction in the room?


- Alan Cole. Basil Hall, FRS (31 December 1788 – 11 September 1844) was a British naval officer from Scotland, a traveller, and an author.
Hall commanded many vessels involved in exploration and scientific and diplomatic missions. While serving aboard HMS Endymion, Hall witnessed Sir John Moore being carried dying from the Battle of Corunna.
Hall explored Java in 1813 and in 1817 interviewed Napoleon (who had been an acquaintance of his father) on St. Helena.
In 1826, when Sir Walter Scott was sunk in depression following his wife's death and financial ruin, it was Hall who organised a trip to Naples for Scott, managing to persuade the government to place a ship at his disposal.
Suffering from mental illness, Hall was detained in the Royal Hospital Haslar at Portsmouth (England), where he died.



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Autograph hunting


Object Type







w: 113, h: 168, d: -