ALS Comforting a Widowed Countess: “We must feel also that he is where there is no suffering, no sorrow, no tears & surely is conscious still of our affections & devotions!”

Signed by Queen Victoria

$1500
Item: 8851
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VICTORIA, QUEEN. (1819-1901). Queen of Great Britain and Ireland; Empress of India. ALS.  (“Victoria RI”). 4pp. 8vo. Balmoral Castle, September 8, 1890. Written on her monogrammed, black-bordered, Balmoral Castle mourning stationery. To Lady Rosslyn, BLANCHE ADELIZA FITZROY (1839-1933).

“Your touching telegram reached me yesterday & I would wish to express how very truly & deeply I feel for you & pray God to give you peace & strength to bear this heavy blow – & this irreparable loss! You must be terribly worn by these many months of anxious watching & of hope & fear! But this very watching, for now (I think)… must leave a terrible blank. It is I think so dreadful to feel how one can do no more, the dear one is beyond our reach; but then we feel also that he is where there is no suffering, no sorrow, no tears & surely is conscious still of our affections & devotions! I shall ever remember how kind & loyal he was & value the beautiful poems he wrote. It was very shortly after he wrote the beautiful one for my Jubilee that he began to feel ill –  My daughter & Henry wish to offer their sincere expressions of condolence to you & asking you [to] convey the same to your children from me, pray believe me always…”

Robert St Clair-Erskine, 4th Earl of Rosslyn

After ascending to the throne of Great Britain at the age of 18, Victoria reigned longer than any other sovereign in the history of the United Kingdom until the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. On June 20, 1887, Victoria celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her accession to the throne with a Golden Jubilee. Delegations from across Europe attended official events and the Jubilee was widely commemorated by the British public at large. Her reign would last for an additional 13 years and seven months and her name came to define an entire era. Indeed, even the manner in which she mourned the 1861 death of her husband, Prince Albert, influenced mourning practices for the public at large.

Blanche Adeliza Fitzroy was the daughter of the 3rd Duke of Grafton and already a widow when she married Robert St. Clair-Erskine, 4th Earl of Rosslyn (1833-1890) in 1866. Lord Rosslyn was active in Victoria’s government as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms and was a poet whose published works include “A Jubilee Lyric,” dedicated to Victoria and referenced in our letter. He died on September 6, two days prior to the Queen writing our missive; Lady Rosslyn survived him by more than 40 years and was described in her New York Times obituary as “one of the last survivors of the great Victorian hostesses.”

With our letter, Victoria sends greetings from her fifth daughter and youngest child Princess Beatrice (1857-1944) who acted as the Queen’s secretary and who, as stipulated in the queen’s consent to her marriage, resided with Victoria after her marriage to Prince Henry of Battenberg (1858-1896).

Folded and in fine condition.

ALS Comforting a Widowed Countess: “We must feel also that he is where there is no suffering, no sorrow, no tears & surely is conscious still of our affections & devotions!”

Signed by Queen Victoria

$1500 • item #8851


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