LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Chap. XXXIV.

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
‣ Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
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It has already been mentioned that Mr. Murray found it necessary to abandon the publication of original poetry, and in 1838-9 he transferred all his novels and romances to other publishers, including—Hope’sAnastasius,’ Morier’sHajji Baba,’ Disraeli’sContarini Fleming,’ Lady Dacre’sRecollections of a Chaperon,’ and about fifty other works of a similar character. From this time forward Mr. Murray confined himself to the publication of voyages and travels, biographies of distinguished individuals, works of science and art, and general literature, and the manuscripts continued to flow in upon him from nearly all parts of the world.

We have already had to record instances of authors protesting against the amount paid to them as being too large, rare as such incidents are in the history of bookselling. In 1837 Sir J. Barrow had nearly finished the ‘Life of Admiral Lord Howe,’ and offered the work to Mr. Murray. “You must tell me,” he said, “what you can afford to give. Whatever it be, let me have it when published, as I shall have several calls upon me early next year.” In reply, Murray offered 300 guineas for the work. Barrow’s answer came at once:—

Mr. Barrow to John Murray.
August 4th, 1837.
My Dear Sir,

I cannot accept your offer of 300 guineas. It is more than the value I had set upon my labours, and I don’t see why you should pay me more than that. You must give me £250 when the last sheet is printed off, and some twelve or fifteen copies to those who have aided me; and if, at the end of twelve months, you should find that you can afford the other odd fifty, you may then give it me. If not, there is no harm done, to me at least.

Yours ever faithfully,
John Barrow.

The work, when published, was well received. A copy was sent to Southey, who praised it. “From such a man,” said Barrow to Murray, “as the author of the ‘Life of Lord Nelson,’ such praise is worth having. I hope he will review it in the Quarterly* and Basil Hall in the Edinburgh, and Smyth, of Bedford, in the United Service Journal.” Barrow followed the ‘Life of Howe’ with ‘A Memoir of the Life of George, Lord Anson,’ the celebrated circumnavigator of the globe. Murray gave 200 guineas for the work, which was published in 1839, and, like its predecessor, was very favourably noticed, but, strange to say, neither book sold sufficiently to defray the cost.

Mr. Croker was another of Mr. Murray’s contributors who refused, as we have already seen, what he considered excessive payments. Throughout his long and voluminous correspondence with his publisher his letters on this subject are, without exception, of the same character. In 1832 Mr. Croker pressed Mr. Murray to send him his long outstanding account, received the following reply:—

* This he did in June 1838.

John Murray to the Rt. Hon. John Wilson Croker.
September 22nd, 1832.

“I heard yesterday with great regret that you are again suffering with your old complaint in the head; this is the more provoking, as it is out of the usual course of nature for disease to attack the strongest part. I trust, however, that it will soon subside.

“At length I send your long demanded account; it is ancient of date, and there must be numerous errors of omission and insertion, but, taken as a whole, I can venture to say that the mistakes are not in my own favour. According to this statement there appears a balance due to me of £482 16s. 2d.; on the other hand, I find myself indebted to you for sundry invaluable (really to me) contributions to the Quarterly in the sum of £450, which I propose to swell into the above stated sum of £482 16s. 2d., and so, by- enclosing a receipt for the same, to close a long-standing account by a short settlement.

“Should this arrangement be perfectly agreeable to you we will start afresh, and keep accounts with more brevity and less incorrectness.

“Next week I will send you a statement of the sales of the ‘Geography and Stories,’ and with it a draft in favour of my dear Miss Nony.* Then, if you will be so very kind as to implement (as the Scotch say) your intention of occupying your leisure hours by contributing an average during the year of four sheets to each number of the Quarterly Review, you will find at your bankers one hundred and fifty pounds on the publication of each part.”

Six years later he wrote to Mr. Murray, from West Molesey, respecting some articles for the Quarterly:—

Rt. Hon. J. W. Croker to John Murray.
December 11th, 1838.
Dear Murray,

Coutts’ second receipt I must return, and a cheque for the amount. I guess, from some figures which I see on the back of it, that your usual liberality thinks itself indebted

* Mr. Croker’s adopted daughter, afterwards married to Sir George Barrow.

to me for some extra contributions in the last four numbers. I confess that I am very much pleased to find that you are pleased with my articles; but I cannot acquiesce in your punctilious admeasurement, and still less in your liberal standard of extra value. In truth, I feel that I am already extravagantly remunerated, and nothing would induce me to abide by such a scale, but that you and
Lockhart both tell me that you find practically that you can afford it, and that it answers your purpose. But as to any increase, under pretexts however kind and flattering, you must allow me to reject it decidedly, once and for all; and if you feel any extra satisfaction, enter it to my credit in your memory, to counterbalance some occasion when I may happen not to be so successful.

Yours ever,
J. W. Croker.

Mr. Murray agreed to publish Mr. William Scrope’sNoble Art of Deerstalking,’ with a narrative of a few days’ sport in the Forests of Athol, illustrated by Edwin Landseer. Mr. Scrope was the father-in-law of G. Poulett Scrope, M.P., so well known for his interesting work on the ‘Volcanic Region of Auvergne.’ Mr. Scrope thus intimates to Murray the origin of the work:—

Mr. Wm. Scrope to John Murray.
Cockerington Hall, South Lincolnshire;
October 27th, 1837.

In reference to the conversation I had the pleasure of holding with you in London, I beg to say that I have written as much upon deerstalking as I think will make a good-sized volume. I have little to do but the limae labor. I have been tolerably successful in preserving some interesting stories and legends from the Highlands, as well as various other matters analogous to my subject. Mr. Skene is still at work for me, and Sir Thomas Dick Lauder has employed a Highland schoolmaster to cater for anecdotes. I have also received a short account of the principal forests in Scotland from the proprietors themselves, and expect the remainder.


I very much fear that our friend Landseer has such numerous engagements that it will be impossible to bring him “to time.” If this should unfortunately be the case, perhaps it would be best to publish the small volume first. He may then illustrate in a larger size if the book should answer; and, if he should be so inclined, I have many clever etchings of deerstalking given me and executed by my friend Sir Robert Frankland, which would answer well enough. Landseer, I know, assisted him, and I dare say he would permit them to be reduced and inserted in my pages. I speak only of this in case Landseer should feel himself unable to meet his engagement. I wish you could have an early meeting with him. You will be sorry to hear that Mr. Stewart Rose writes me word that his infirmities are so increased that he is unfit for anything, either in body or mind.

I have this day received from Mr. Fox Maule an account of an attack which a stag made upon his carriage at Taymouth. One of the horses was killed by it.

Yours, my dear Sir, faithfully,
William Scrope.

P.S.—I have somewhere a humorous letter of Sir Walter Scott, which he wrote to me upon my sending him a haunch of forest venison. I am in hopes to lay my hand on it for publication.

The work was published in 1838, and soon went through three editions. Mr. Scrope, in acknowledging the amount sent to him by Mr. Murray for the first edition, wrote:—

Mr. Wm. Scrope to John Murray.
My dear Sir,

I called to thank you for the draft you sent me for £121 odd, which is a very prosperous account, especially considering that nearly the whole expenses of the edition are paid. So, thank you for your good offices, and for the celebrity of your name as publisher.

Yours always very truly,
W. Scrope.

In another communication from Mr. Scrope to Mr. Murray, after the publication of the second edition, he wrote as follows:—

Mr. Wm. Scrope to John Murray.
August, 1839.
My dear Sir,

I am but just returned from Chorley Wood, and hasten to acknowledge the draft you have been so good as to send me for £650 4s. 3d., which seems a large profit, much larger than I expected or deserved. I have not yet looked at the account, but I am sure, from the face of it, that you have acted with the liberality which everybody gives you credit for, and I beg leave to thank you for the zeal and kindness with which you have put forward my firstborn, and do attribute its success mainly to the respectability and good offices of its godfather and its nurse, both of which you may be said to be. Nay more, the Deer babe was born in your sheets.

Very truly yours,
W. Scrope.

P.S.—Poulett Thomson goes out as Governor-General to Canada. I believe he refused the offer of Chancellor of the Exchequer on account of ill health.

Allan Cunningham had now brought his series of ‘Biographies of Artists and Sculptors’ to a close. He was a constant correspondent of Murray’s with whom he was a great favourite because of his spirit and independence.

Mr. Allan Cunningham to John Murray.
April, 1837.

Sleepest thou, or wakest thou, O John Murray? Thou art foremost of the honourable and the generous of the ancient tribe of publishers; yet verily thou art a sloth in motion, a snail in correspondence, and the most dilatory of all Conservatives. Enoch was thy ancestor, for he took twenty-seven years to answer his first love-letter; that
Irish horse was thy relative, who had to be awakened with a stick or a stone; one of the Seven Sleepers had his roost high in the tree of thy genealogy, and thou art more than cousin to that drowsiest of all diplomatists,
Lord Glenelg, who has slept through the noisiest administration since the first parliament of Babel. Still your cry is, Leave me, leave me to repose. To repose I shall assuredly leave you, if you will but say Yes or No to the communication which I made to you some month or so ago.

Yours always,
Allan Cunningham.

This most probably related to a collection of Allan Cunningham’s ‘Songs and Poetry,’ which Mr. Murray did not publish. Their correspondence nevertheless continued as cordial as ever during the remaining years of Allan Cunningham’s life. He died a few years later (in 1842) at the comparatively early age of fifty-eight, and he left directions that only six persons were to be invited to attend his funeral, and amongst these were Mr. Murray and Mr. Lockhart.

Mr. Hallam’s work on the ‘Literary History of Europe,’ concerning which he had written to Mr. Murray, “I may say, without great presumption, considering my age, literary experience, and leisure, as well as industry, that there are not many persons in England able to execute it so well as myself,” was published in the spring of 1836, and a review of it appeared in the Quarterly. Hallam himself said of the work:—

“I have very confident hopes that this will be thought the best that I have written, and that its circulation will be adequate; but I am aware that books, like other things, move the slower for their size.”

When Southey reviewed the ‘Constitutional History of England,’ the author was offended by his strictures; but
when the
review of the ‘Literary History’ appeared, he thought that the work was overpraised.

Mr. Hallam to John Murray.
Feb. 24th, 1837.
My Dear Murray,

I have not impudence enough to read the article on my book in the Quarterly you have been good enough to send me, without blushing, much less to think I deserve it. I suppose friend Milman is the author. The worst is, that so high praise is apt to set the public against a book. However, I may well be satisfied, and I hope at your sale it will tell to some purpose.

Truly yours,
Henry Hallam.

At a later date, in August 1837, Hallam wrote to Murray:—

“I beg you will desire your prime minister to send me down the last Edinburgh Review, as I want to read Macaulay’s article. Palgrave’s work, which you refused, seems likely to do well.”

The article by Macaulay in the Edinburgh was on Hallam’sConstitutional History,’ and was much higher in its praise of the work than Southey’s review had been in the Quarterly.

“It often,” said Macaulay, “rises to an eloquence, not florid or impassioned, but high, grave, and sober, such as would have become a State paper, or a judgment delivered by a great magistrate, a Somers or a D’Aguesseau . . . . on a general survey, we do not scruple to pronounce the ‘Constitutional History’—the most impartial book that we ever read.”

Mr. Milman, author of the review of Hallam’s Literature in the Quarterly, was then occupied with his ‘History of Christianity,’ and by way of a holiday was making a tour in the western districts of South England.

The Rev. H. H. Milman to John Murray.
Lynton, Aug. 8th, 1837.

“Here we are in the loveliest spot in England. We shall stay about a week, and then go to Ilfracombe. We have been at Combe Florey at Sydney Smith’s; even if your antiquated Q. reviewer were to see him in the most beautiful parsonage in England amidst his parishioners, he would believe his nolo episcopari, and feel whatever compunctions reviewers may feel.”*

Even Lockhart seems to have feared that Milman might quit the Quarterly at any moment. A few years later the editor wrote to Mr. Murray:—

“I have brought Milman’s paper into a safe shape without displeasing him. He would leave the Q. R. on any slight provocation.”

But Milman held by the Review, and never quitted it to the end of his career.

In July 1838 Mr. W. E. Gladstone, then Tory member of Parliament for Newark-upon-Trent, wrote to Mr. Murray from 6 Carlton Gardens, informing him “that he has written and thinks of publishing some papers on the subject of the relationship of the ‘Church and the State,’ which would probably fill a moderate octavo volume,” and that he would be glad to know if Mr. Murray would be inclined to see them. Mr. Murray saw the papers, and on the 9th of August he agreed with Mr. Gladstone to publish 750 or 1000 copies of the work on ‘Church and State,’ on half profits, the copyright to remain with the author after the first edition was sold. The work was immediately sent to press, and proofs were sent to Mr. Gladstone, about to

* It is possible that this allusion may refer to the article on Sydney Smith’s Accession sermon, written by Croker 1837-38.

embark for Holland. A note was received by Mr. Murray from the author (August 17, 1838):—

“I write a line from Rotterdam to say that sea-sickness prevented my correcting the proofs on the passage.”

This was Mr. Gladstone’s first appearance in the character of an author, and the work proved remarkably successful, four editions being called for in the course of three years. It was reviewed by Macaulay in the Edinburgh for April 1839, and in the Quarterly by the Rev. W. Sewell in December. ‘Church Principles,’ published in 1840, did not meet with equal success. Two years later we find a reference to the same subject.

Mr. W. E. Gladstone to John Murray.
13 Carlton House Terrace, April 6th, 1842.
My dear Sir,

I thank you very much for your kindness in sending me the new number of the Quarterly. As yet I have only read a part of the article on the Church of England, which seems to be by a known hand, and to be full of very valuable research: I hope next to turn to Lord Mahon’sJoan of Arc.’

Amidst the pressure of more urgent affairs, I have held no consultation with you regarding my books and the sale or no sale of them. As to the third edition of the ‘State in its Relations,’ I should think the remaining copies had better be got rid of in whatever summary or ignominious mode you may deem best. They must be dead beyond recall. As to the others, I do not know whether the season of the year has at all revived the demand; and would suggest to you whether it would be well to advertise them a little. I do not think they find their way much into the secondhand shops.

With regard to the fourth edition, I do not know whether it would be well to procure any review or notice of it, and I am not a fair judge of its merits even in comparison with the original form of the work; but my idea is, that it is
less defective both in the theoretical and in the historical development, and ought to be worth the notice of those who deemed the earlier editions worth their notice and purchase: that it would really put a reader in possession of the view it was intended to convey, which I fear is more than can with any truth be said of its predecessors.

I am not, however, in any state of anxiety or impatience: and I am chiefly moved to refer these suggestions to your judgment from perceiving that the Fourth Edition is as yet far. from having cleared itself.

I remain always,
Very faithfully yours,
W. E. Gladstone.

In the same year another author of different politics and strong anti-slavery views appeared to claim Mr. Murray’s assistance as a publisher. It was Mr. Thomas Fowell Buxton, M.P., who desired him to publish his work upon the ‘Slave Trade and its Remedy.’

Mr. Buxton to John Murray.
Dec. 31, 1837.

“The basis of my proposed book has already been brought before the Cabinet Ministers in a confidential letter addressed to Lord Melbourne. . . . It is now my purpose to publish a portion of the work, on the nature, extent, and horrors of the slave trade, and the failure of the efforts hitherto made to suppress it,* reserving the remainder for another volume to be published at a future day. I should like to have 1500 copies of the first volume thrown off without delay.”

The book was published, and was followed by a cheaper volume in the following year, of which a large number was sold and distributed.

A very constant correspondent of Mr. Murray’s was the

* See ‘Life of W. E. Forster,’ chap. iv.

Earl Stanhope (at this time Lord Mahon). Two of his letters have been selected from a very large number; the second, as containing an allusion to Mr. Gladstone’sChurch and State.’

Lord Mahon to John Murray.
Chevening, December 11th, 1836.
My Dear Murray,

I am much obliged to you for the early copy of the Review, which I am reading with great pleasure. The article on myself was very gratifying to me. Its approbation of the work is joined to so much knowledge of the subject as to make the former truly valuable. Pray, when you see Mr. Lockhart, tell him how highly I appreciate it.

Lord Wellesley’s letter* is quite beautiful—no less noble in sentiment than nervous in language. What a pity that a man who writes so well should write so little! Let us hope that some more letters may be extracted from him.

The third article on Napier† makes me think the following no bad plan, and I accordingly suggest it for your future consideration. When all the articles on that subject in the Quarterly are concluded—and from present appearances they seem likely to extend to six or seven—how would it answer to have them printed together in a pocket volume, for the use of the army and as a useful companion (though not certainly an harmonious one) to Napier’s volumes? Pensez y.

On Tuesday we proceed to Strathfield Saye, and afterwards probably to Sir Edward Kerrison’s in Suffolk. My second volume is not very far from completion, and a third will complete the work. Believe me,

Very sincerely yours,

* On the character of Pitt, addressed to Mr. Croker, to be used in his article on Wraxall’sMemoirs.’

† By Sir George Murray: Lord Mahon’s suggestion was not adopted.

Lord Mahon to John Murray.
Chevening, December 7th, 1840.
My Dear Murray,

Allow me to beg your acceptance of one of our Chevening turkeys, which, though it does not rival in size those of Suffolk—that classic land of all poultry—may, I hope, be found not inferior in flavour.

Allow me also to ask you a very ridiculous question—Is the outside of Abbotsford of stone or brick—grey, white or red in colour? My reason for asking is to please a worthy old lady—a maiden friend of ours in the country—who is busily engaged in a Scottish drawing, and who keeps it suspended until this important doubt be solved.

We are going in this week to Hertfordshire, and next for our Christmas quarters to the Land of Turkey aforesaid, namely Suffolk, but my address is always Grosvenor Place, I will take up en passant the books you had the kindness to lend me, and see how far I may be able to make any thing from them.

Mr. Gladstone’s volume has of late engaged much of my attention. It is difficult to feel quite free from partiality where so amiable and excellent a man is concerned; but, if my friendship does not blind me, I should pronounce his production as marked by profound ecclesiastical learning, and eminent native ability. At the same time I must contest) myself startled at some of his tenets; his doctrine of Private Judgment especially seems to me a contradiction in terms, attempting to blend together the incompatible advantages of the Romanist and of the Protestant principle upon that point. Believe me,

Very faithfully yours,

The following letter illustrates the dangerous results of reading sleepy books by candle-light in bed:—

Mr. Longman to John Murray.
2 Hanover Terrace, 1838.
My dear Murray,

Can you oblige me by letting me have a third volume of ‘Wilberforce.’ The fact is, that at in reading that
work, my neighbour, Mr. Alexander, fell fast asleep from exhaustion, and, setting himself on fire, burnt the volume and his bed, to the narrow escape of the whole Terrace. Since that book has been published, premiums of fire assurance are up, and not having already insured my No. 2, now that the fire has broken out near my own door, no office will touch my house nor any others in the Terrace until it is ascertained that Mr. Alexander has finished with the book. So pray consider our position, and let me have a third volume to make up the set as soon as possible.

Among the other books published by Mr. Murray about this time were Sir Charles Fellows’ [the excavator of Lycia] Journal written during an excursion in Asia Minor in 1838; Captain Harris’s [afterwards Sir W. Cornwallis Harris] ‘Wild Sports in South Africa’;* Mr. John G. Kinnear’sCairo, Petra, and Damascus’; and ‘The Life of Sir Samuel Romilly.’

The correspondence with Miss Rigby (afterwards Lady Eastlake), author of ‘Letters from the Baltic,’ is interesting. In the first place Lady Palgrave wrote to Mr. Murray on the subject:—

Lady Palgrave to John Murray.

“I have many thanks to give you for the kind present of my cousin’s ‘Letters on Esthonia,’ with which, not only myself, but all our boys are delighted. I read the book to

* This book was submitted to Mr. Murray by Mr. W. J. Broderip, the well-known naturalist and police magistrate. In his letter (April 8th, 1839), he said:—

Capt. Harris’s book is entertaining, and seems to be the work of an honest man devoted to sport, and not caring what he suffers provided he gets his shot. . . . I don’t know that I can recommend you to give a figure of the Bushwoman that shines at the head of Frederick Cuvier’s Mammiferes, though she is evidently the mother of all the Bustles. There is a little expression here and there in the Captain’s book, that might be changed for the better—such as a rhinoceros giving up ‘the ghost!’”

them for a treat at night, and we all enjoy the lively descriptions and the clever details extremely. The writer seems to me to unite all a woman’s delicacy and discrimination in home scenes and views with a want of diffuseness which is very unusual in a woman’s writing. I think, too, that there is a great evidence of originality and of being undoctored, if I may use such a term, which gives much interest to
Miss Rigby’s work.”

With respect to her ‘Letters from the BalticMiss Rigby wrote to Mr. Murray herself:—

Miss Rigby to John Murray.
My dear Sir,

I shall be happy to accept the proposition of one hundred pounds for the copyright of my MSS. and etchings . . . I am inclined to adopt the title of ‘Summer and Winter on the Baltic,’ or ‘The Shores of the Baltic,’ as you may think expedient. I shall make two winters and one summer, as I find the former cannot be compressed—the one being confined to Revel and the winter in the country, and the other chiefly to St. Petersburg. My journey out, or rather voyage, will be an interesting letter, but I suffered no actual shipwreck. I quite value your allowing me to have my own way about the etchings.

Mr. Murray had agreed with the Bishop of Llandaff to publish Lord Dudley’s posthumous works, but the Bishop made certain complaints which led to the following letter from Mr. Murray:—

John Murray to the Bishop of Llandaff.
December 31st, 1839.
My Lord,

I am told that your Lordship continues to make heavy complaints of the inconvenience you incur by making me the publisher of ‘Lord Dudley’s Letters,’ in consequence of the great distance between St. Paul’s Churchyard and Albemarle Street, and that you have discovered another
cause for dissatisfaction in what you consider the inordinate profits of a publisher.

My Lord, when I had the honour to publish for Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, the one resided in Edinburgh, the other in Venice; and, with regard to the supposed advantages of a publisher, they were only such as custom has established, and experience proved to be no more than equivalent to his peculiar trouble and the inordinate risque which he incurs.

My long acquaintance with Lord Dudley, and the kindness and friendship with which he honoured me to the last, made me, in addition to my admiration of his talents, desire, and, indeed, expect to become the publisher of his posthumous works, being convinced that he would have had no other. After what has passed on your Lordship’s side, however, I feel that it would be inconsistent with my own character to embarrass you any longer, and I therefore release your Lordship at once from any promise or supposed understanding whatever regarding this publication, and remain, my Lord,

Your Lordship’s humble Servant,
John Murray.

The Bishop of Llandaff seems to have thought better of the matter, and in Mr. Murray’s second letter to him (January 1, 1840) he states that, after his Lordship’s satisfactory letter, he “renews his engagement as publisher of Lord Dudley’sLetters’ with increased pleasure.” The volume was published in the following year, but was afterwards suppressed; it is now very scarce.

In 1840, Mr. Murray agreed to publish the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone’sHistory of India,’ and Lieutenant John Wood’sPersonal Narrative of a Journey to the Source of the River Oxus’; Mr. Murray taking the risk in both cases, and the authors to be allowed half profits. Mr. Murray’s publications embraced half the world, and now he received a letter from Afghanistan from the famous Henry Havelock:—

Captain Havelock to John Murray.
Camp Zeezeen, October 19th, 1839,
Three marches from Cabool.
Dear Sir,

Though personally unknown to you, I venture the liberty of addressing- you on a subject which, from a conversation I had some time since with my friend Sir Alexander Burnes at Cabool, I hope may not be uninteresting to you. I have been employed during the operations now completed against the forces of the Baruckzye family in Affghanistan, as aide-de-camp to M.-General Sir W. T. Cotton, who commanded a division during the war, and in my leisure hours have kept a rude journal of our proceedings during our long marches of upwards of 1700 miles. These have at last grown into a little volume, which is illustrated with some landscapes and military places, of which I may venture to speak in high terms, since they are not from my pencil, but that of my brother officer, Captain Kershaw of the 13th Light Infantry. Burnes is of opinion that the public in England will yet feel some curiosity about Sinde and Affghanistan, even after the appearance of Conolly’s* works and his own, and that the story of our deeds, though we managed to have but one fair fight, will likewise be interesting. This notion has induced me to trouble you with a letter, and to say, in short, that I propose to send my production to England overland to the care of a friend (as I cannot myself visit my native land before 1840), and that it is my wish, if you do not oppose it, that he should offer it for your perusal and acceptance. Should you honour it by deeming it worthy of publication, my correspondent will be authorized to treat precisely as if I were present. Whatever you may consider the book worth, my friend will receive, and hand over to you the manuscript and plates as your absolute property. I may mention, by the way, that I made my first appearance as an author twelve years ago, when I wrote a memoir of the three campaigns of Sir Archibald Campbell’s army in Ava. The work was published in India, and may never perhaps have

* ‘A Journey to the North of India, Overland from England,’ by Lieut. A. Conolly, who was murdered, in company with Lieut. Stoddart, at Bokhara during the Afghan war.

met your eye . . . I have entitled the present work ‘
Personal Narrative of the Marches of the Royal Troops of the Army of the Indus’; but it will be best to let it speak for itself. I am at present returning with Sir W. T. Cotton to the British provinces, where it is probable he will have for some time the command of the army in Bengal; but the safest address will be Capt. H. Havelock, H. M.’s 13th Light Infantry, Bengal. We move by the Kyber Pass, and I propose to continue my journal to the Sutlege; but, aware of how much importance dispatch is in such a matter, I intend to send off the work brought up to the time of the occupation of Cabool. The object of this letter is merely to mention the matter to you, and I shall feel honoured by a line in reply.

I remain, with great respect,
H. Havelock.

Mrs. Jameson proposed to Mr. Murray to publish a ‘Guide to the Picture-Galleries of London.’ He was willing to comply with her request, provided she submitted her manuscript for perusal and approval. But as she did not comply with his request, Mr. Murray wrote to her as follows:—

John Murray to Mrs. Jameson.
July 14th, 1840.
My Dear Madam,

It is with unfeigned regret that I perceive that you and I are not likely to understand each other. The change from a Publisher, to whose mode of conducting business you are accustomed, to another of whom you have heard merely good reports, operates something like second marriages, in which, whatever occurs that is different from that which was experienced in the first, is always considered wrong by the party who has married a second time. If, for a particular case, you have been induced to change your physician, you should not take offence, or feel even surprise, at a different mode of treatment.


My rule is, never to engage in the publication of any work of which I have not been allowed to form a judgment of its merits and chances of success, by having the MSS. left with me a reasonable time, in order to form such opinion; and from this habit of many years’ exercise, I confess to you that it will not, even upon the present occasion, suit me to deviate.

I am well aware that you would not wish to publish anything derogatory to the high reputation which you have so deservedly acquired; but Shakespeare, Byron, and Scott have written works that do not sell; and, as you expect money for the work which you wish to allow me the honour of publishing, how am I to judge of its value if I am not previously allowed to read it?

Mrs. Jameson at length submitted her work for Mr. Murray’s inspection; and after some negotiation, her Guide-Book was purchased for £400; Hampton Court and Windsor being included in the ‘Picture-Galleries of London.’

Mr. Murray had much communication with Sir Robert Peel during his parliamentary career. He published many of Peel’s speeches and addresses—his Address to the Students of Glasgow University; his Speeches on the Irish Disturbances Bill, the Coercion Bill, the Repeal of the Union, and the Sugar Bills—all of which were most carefully revised before being issued. Sugar had become so cloying with Sir Robert, that he refused to read his speeches on the subject. “I am so sick of Sugar,” he wrote to Murray, “and of the eight nights’ debate, that I have not the courage to look at any report of my speech—at least at present.” When an effort was being made to assist Mrs. McLean, née Landon (L. E. L.), wife of Mr. Maclean, who died at Cape Coast Castle, Mr. Murray applied to Sir Robert Peel for a small annual pension; and she was immediately assisted with £15 per annum, which was all that there was to spare at the time.


In one of his communications to Mr. Murray, Sir Robert Peel suggested the publication of a ‘Guide Round London’:

Sir Robert Peel to John Murray.
Whitehall, July 7th, 1840.
My dear Sir,

I forgot to thank you for the last edition of the Handbook, but I have found leisure to look into it, and have read many parts of it with great interest. It is really a useful and amusing work for those who do not travel. Do not you think that a very interesting work might be written, to be entitled, ‘A Historical Account of the Celebrated Villas in the Neighbourhood of London?’ I mean rather the villas that have been, than those that now exist. Look at Horace Walpole’s ‘Song on Strawberry Hill.’ How many places are there mentioned which have historical recollections connected with them, which would be worth preserving? There must be always great interest about the localities in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis. In that Song alone are mentioned Gunnersbury, Sion, Chiswick, Strawberry Hill, Greenwich, Marble Hill, Oatlands, Claremont, Southcote. You might add Wanstead, Wimbledon, Holland House, and a hundred others—many with very curious anecdotes of local and personal history connected with them. Perhaps I overrate the interest with which such a book would be read. I certainly do not, if it would equal that which I myself read the account of places in the neighbourhood of Paris, remarkable in history, but the traces of many of which are fast fading away; such as Maisons, Meudon, Sceaux, Chantilly, &c. Hampton Court, the ancient palace at Richmond, Kew, and others, might enter into the work. The County Histories would furnish a substratum, but everything would depend upon the liveliness and accuracy of the details.

Ever truly yours,
Robert Peel.

The Guide-Book suggested by Sir Robert as “so valuable” was commenced by the late Peter Cunningham, and completed after his death by Mr. James Thorne.

The Rt. Hon. Sir R. Peel to John Murray.
July or August, 1840.
Dear Sir,

Your printer must be descended from him who omitted not from the seventh Commandment, and finding a superfluous “not” in his possession, is anxious to find a place for it.

I am sorry he has bestowed it upon me, and has made me assure my constituents that I do not intend to support my political principles. Pray look at the 4th line of the second page of the enclosed.

Faithfully yours,
Robert Peel.

Notwithstanding the vehemence of party spirit during the Reform Bill era, the Quarterly Review held its position as one of the higher organs of criticism. From 9000 to 10,000 copies were circulated quarterly. Though some of the old contributors died, or disappeared, new and sometimes better ones came to the assistance of the Quarterly. The work was admirably edited. Lockhart had the knack of greatly improving the articles submitted to him. By his knowledge of language, and mastery of English style, he added grace and point to even the best-written papers, and by a few touches he would develop a half-expressed thought, and give life and spirit to the solid sense of a heavy article. He did this, too, without unnecessary curtailment, so as not to offend, but even to gratify the authors of the papers. He was also most punctual in his correspondence with the contributors; nor was he less prompt in the publication of the successive numbers of the Quarterly at the appointed periods—so different from the irregularity of its appearance in the time of his predecessor, William Gifford.


It was said that he was cold and unsympathetic. It is true he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve, nor was he addicted to saying what he did not mean, but his heart was warm, and to those who knew him best he was invariably cordial, genial, and unreserved. Mr. George Ticknor, the American, in one of his visits to London, in 1838, dined at Mr. Murray’s, where he had the opportunity of meeting Mr. Lockhart. He did not like him, because of his coldness and reserve. Two months later, Ticknor met Lockhart again at Sir Roderick Murchison’s.

“The dinner,” said Ticknor, “was at the ultra West End, so that I thought I should never get there. The party, however, was worth the trouble, for it was a striking mixture of talent, and aristocracy, and fashion. The talent might be considered as represented by Sedgwick, Lubbock—the mathematician, whom I liked a good deal,—Lockhart, and Murchison; and the aristocracy and fashion by the haggard, dried-up Lady Davy, Sir Charles Dalbiac, the Commander of the Cavalry, the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh, both young, handsome, and well-bred, and the Earl of Dartmouth, who renewed an acquaintance I had with him formerly at Rome, and invited me to his place in Staffordshire. It was all quite agreeable. Even Lockhart was softened by the society, and introduced the subject of ‘Ferdinand and Isabella,’ which he would not have done if he had not been very amiable. . . . He promised, when he should be in the country, to look it over, and if he finds it what he expects to find it, to give it to some person who understands Spanish literature, to make an article about it. . . . This is a good deal; and it is still more that he was really good-humoured about it.”*

In 1839 Mr. Murray, out of regard for Mr. Lockhart, took in hand an illustrated edition of his ‘Spanish Ballads,’ bestowing upon it appropriate embellishment, so as to

* The article did appear in the Quarterly (No. 127) for June 1839. written by Richard Ford, one of the best known Spanish critics of the time.

rescue a work of real genius from comparative obscurity. Mr. Murray, in writing to the author, observes: “I hope we shall produce the Book of the Season for next Christmas.”

Specimens of the new edition of the ‘Spanish Ballads’ were sent to Mr. Macvey Napier, of the Edinburgh Review.

Mr. Macvey Napier to John Murray.
Dec. 22nd, 1840.

“The inspection of them is a sufficient salve to my conscience, and it besides enables me to do what is but simple justice, namely, somewhat to heighten the commendations which the writer of the articles has bestowed upon their extraordinary beauty—I say transcendent—of their illustrations. I never have seen anything approaching to them, and shall say so; and I shall moreover be sincerely glad if I shall be in any way—however slightly—aiding in directing the public attention to so expensive a publication. It really does high honour to British Art, and to the British Press.”

Among Mr. Lockhart’s new contributors to the Quarterly was Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury. He wrote the article (No. 114) on the Factory System. On the Editor sending him the usual draft for the contribution. Lord Ashley returned it, with the words: “I owe, as a Conservative, such a tribute to the Quarterly, and to Murray personally, for his unvaried liberality on all occasions towards myself, that I cannot accept it.” On a later occasion Lord Ashley wrote to Mr. Murray from Brighton:—

Lord Ashley to John Murray.
Jan. 5th, 1839.

“The state of the factory districts is such that I really believe the blasphemous ravings of Stephens and Oastler will beget a bloody fanaticism. You will observe that all
their ferocious and devilish meetings are opened by hymns and prayer; and then they proceed to break, in spirit and in words (as yet they are afraid of deeds) the whole tenor of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. But they have learned sedition from the lips of the Queen’s ministers, and blasphemy from their tutor
O’Connell. So we need not wonder at their proficiency.”

A subsequent article on the same subject called forth the following criticism from Sir Francis Head:—

Sir Francis Head to John Murray.
2 Upper Hyde Park Street, June 26th, 1842.

My son will be quite proud at receiving the first copy of the new Quarterly, the only one, I believe, that can go to India by to-morrow’s mail. I am very much obliged to you for your great kindness in sending it.

I have been peeping into it, and if the gaudy debauchery of Paris, as detailed in Art. No. I, be contrasted with the dark picture described by Lord Ashley, and alluded to in Art. 6, it must, I think, be admitted that the outside of this world has no more right to be shocked at the immorality of the inside, than the pot, many years ago, had to complain of the complexion of the kettle.

I happened the other day, as I was following a stream through the country, to ride by a silk factory worked by boys and girls, and, from the little I heard and saw, merely en passant, I think I could convince you, that in spite of Lord Ashley’s popular speech, the Devil passes many more hours above ground than below, and if you were to ask him, I believe he would tell you, with a grin, that many who wear silk are no better than those who make it. It is the fashion just now to be shocked at the idea of a boy and girl sitting cross-legged in the same “cirne” while they are being raised from the bottom of a mine, and yet their thin begrimed faces would probably blush if they could see one of our dandies and damsels waltzing together, and though we are all horrified even at the description of a poor miner’s daughter working in deshabille in utter darkness many fathoms below the surface of the earth, what would she, poor exhausted creature, say, if suddenly rising through
the floor at Almack’s, she were to see before her hundreds of fine London ladies, with stark-naked backs and shoulders illumined by half a thousand wax candles?

God bless you, my dear Sir,
Believe me always to remain
Yours very faithfully,
F. B. Head.

The year 1839 was an alarming one. The factory districts were in a blaze. Stephens was tried at Chester, and sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment. The Chartists proclaimed their doctrine of physical force by which to assert their rights. Feargus O’Connor announced the “sacred month;” “plug-drawing” commenced, and a crowd of hungry people, who had left their work, wandered from Lancashire into Yorkshire, and were met and dispersed at Leeds by the troops under Prince George of Cambridge. There were Chartist riots at Llanidloes, Birmingham, and Newcastle. Frost came down with his army of armed colliers, and attacked the Westgate Arms Inn at Newport. A small body of infantry were in the inn, protecting the magistrates, and after the Riot Act had been read, the Chartists were driven off, leaving eight of their number dead. Frost and others were apprehended, and sentenced to transportation for life. At the same time Feargus O’Connor was arrested, on a judge’s warrant, for seditious conspiracy, and was tried at York. During the same year the Anti-Corn Law Agitation began.

In these circumstances, the mind of Thomas Carlyle was moved, and he proposed to write an article for the Quarterly Review on The Working Classes. He had an interview with Mr. Lockhart on the subject, and found him, as he says, “a person of sense, good-breeding, even
kindness, and great consentaneity of opinion with myself on the matter.” Lockhart requested that the MS. might be left with him for a week, to which Carlyle consented. The article was full of strong, outspoken words, in the style of Carlyle, and was certainly not such a paper as Quarterly reviewers were accustomed to read; the writer found fault with Parliament and its palaver, the Constabulary, the Poor Law Bill, the Irish, Radicalism, and the Corn Laws. Lockhart “returned it,” says Carlyle, “seemingly not without reluctance, saying he dared not.” It was afterwards published separately, as a pamphlet, under the title of ‘Chartism,’ with the motto, “It never smokes but there is fire.”

Towards the close of the year, Mr. Lockhart went down to Rokeby to see his friend Mr. Morritt, an occasional contributor to the Quarterly. While there he wrote to Mr. Murray, then at Leamington:—

Mr. Lockhart to John Murray.
September 24th, 1839.

“This morning our party had a sad loss in the departure of Lord Brougham, who drank very little wine, no champagne, but kept us all in a roar until long past midnight. Murchison would have died if he had heard Brougham on the philosophers of Birmingham. I expected a frank for this, but he started by 5 A.M. Morritt has just finished ‘Hallam’s Literature.’ He is in raptures with it, and says such a book, forty years ago, would have been beyond all price for the direction of his studies. He is going to interleave his copy and annotate largely.”

Lockhart next writes from Milton-Lockhart to Murray, who was still at Leamington, that he had not yet received Croker’s annotations.

Mr. Lockhart to John Murray.
September 19th, 1839.

“They may afford me some useful hints, though I care little for his general criticism on any article or number, inasmuch as he is, and you know it, absolutely incapable of seeing anything but faults in any work of any living writer, excepting himself and his own immediate connexions. . . Head has, in his revise, improved his article,* and he has now by him my suggestions for a second re-touching. I hope he may prove more manageable this time than he was the last; but, whether or no, the paper is most powerful, and must produce, if they will read it, a painfully destructive effect upon the Government, which seems on all sides to be approaching the ne plus ultra of imbecility and consequent contempt. Depend upon it, they cannot go on through another session. The Court, their only stronghold, is woefully weakened by this Hastings’ story in its final (if final?) exposition, and will not dare to oppose itself again to the Conservative strength.”

October 26th, 1839.

Ford writes from Paris, and wants to write a paper on the Daguerreotype, but I think that should come from a scientific hand. Oh! if we had but a first-rate man of business, who could and would write clearly and briefly—a Playfair or a Davy, or a Brougham, with all his blunders and superficialities! any hand that could command attention and give pleasure with instruction, however imperfect. Our Whewells, Brewsters, Lyells, &c., are all heavy, clumsy performers; all mere professors, hot about little detached controversies, but incapable of carrying the world with them in large comprehensive resumés of the actual progress achieved by the combined efforts of themselves and all their rivals. . . I have an offer from a first-rate Oxford hand on the life and works of Aristotle; or rather, my proposal of one has been favourably received. The Edinburgh and the Quarterly have both had much of

* Head’s article on ‘British Policy’ appeared in No. 128 of the Quarterly, published in October 1839.

Plato, but neither ever had one single article on the Stagyrite, the clearest and deepest of all human minds except Shakespeare and Homer; who writes with equal success on Moral and Natural Philosophy, the master of Alexander the Great, whose conquests were nothing to his own, either in extent or duration; above all, the grand enemy of all mystery and humbug in every department of thought and writing.”

Sir John Barrow continued a staunch friend and supporter to the end:—

Sir John Barrow to John Murray.
December 16th, 1840.

I shall always feel disposed to meet your and Mr. Lockhart’s wishes in doing anything I can for the Quarterly Review, notwithstanding your late abominable article on such a person as Carlyle, which every one condemns.* Australia is, and has been, a great hobby of mine, and I think there is now ample ground for a general view of the whole of that great continent and New Zealand, as well as a few words on Falkland Islands, more neglected than they ought to be. But Old Age, cold weather, and want of materials almost frighten one from undertaking it. Statistical accounts I may perhaps get from the Colonial Office and other quarters; but I should wish to have Colonel Collins’ account of the first convicts that landed at Botany Bay, a curious journal of transactions; and it will also be curious to compare the first beginnings with the present state of New Holland, a specimen of the rise and progress of kingdoms and nations. Phillip’s (Governor) account would also be acceptable. But I will inquire for them, and see what I can get.

Yours truly,
John Barrow.

* The article on Carlyle’s works was written by the Rev. W. Sewell, and appeared in No. 132, September 1840.

Sir John Barrow’s article on the Australian Colonies appeared in No. 136, June 1841.


While Sir John Barrow was busy with his article on Australia, Mr. Murray received a long and interesting letter from his friend Charles J. Latrobe, first Governor of Port Phillip, now South Australia. His account of the infant settlement strangely contrasts with the present condition of the great and important offshoot of the Colonial power of Great Britain. After expressing his thanks for the literary treasures which Mr. Murray had presented to him and Mrs. Latrobe, he proceeded:—

Mr. Latrobe to John Murray.
December 15th, 1840.

You, my dear Sir, have never been transported 16,000 miles from civilization, and cannot imagine what it is to be cast so far beyond the reach of the thousand daily means of improvement and enjoyment which they possess who breathe the air of Europe; you therefore cannot know the pleasure we experience when we feel that, so far removed, there is still a chain connecting us with the old country which vibrates occasionally, and proves to us that we are at least upon the surface of the same planet with our kind and kindred. I have called our present position Exile, and so it is, to all intents and purposes. We may be content with it, but still we look forward steadily to its termination some bright day. I hope you have never done us the despite to count us as Emigrants. No, no; I do not exactly say that I would rather be hung in England than die in Australia; but still, I deprecate the latter event, if so please God. . . Society here is, of course, as you may suppose, in its infancy. The arts and sciences are unborn. Nature itself seems to be only in her swaddling clothes. The natives, for their part, look like a race of beings that were never intended to be swaddled at all, and you are almost surprised at discovering that he or she is not marsupial, like the other wild animals upon the same uncouth continent. The main interest here in everything consists in the oddity, and odd enough everything is, if that be to your taste; but there is but little variety, and one soon tires of any monstrosity. Meanwhile English, and I should say British, perseverance and industry are
effecting their usual marvels; and, in spite of many disadvantages, the Colony of Port Phillip is advancing physically with extraordinary rapidity. This may be gathered from the public prints, maugre their lies and their fustian. My position thus far has been a singular one, and not without its difficulties; but I have scrambled forward with as good courage as I could muster, not troubling myself much about difficulties that might be in advance, but just grappling with that of to-day, sometimes removing it according to rule and square, and sometimes jumping over it. My people are rapidly increasing in number, a good-natured, busy, speculative, impatient set, giving me three cheers one day and abusing me like a pickpocket the next, with equally poor reasons for their praise or their blame. Recent intelligence from home seems to point to the probability of this Colony being separated from New South Wales before long.
Mrs. Latrobe has not been over strong since her arrival in these regions of the globe, though enjoying good general health. I am not quite sure that standing with the head downwards (as you know we are all obliged to do here) suits the female constitution, though one gets wonderfully used to it after the first month’s trial. We live in tolerable tranquillity, despite our pre-eminence, in a pretty cottage about a mile out of Melbourne, which is really becoming a town. . . I had the common sense to start at once with the determination that whatever my supposed position and liabilities might be, so long as Her Majesty’s Government neither gave me a house nor the means of keeping an open one, I would not pretend to do so to please the little world around me. A man with a fortune may spend it, and ruin himself, to please people, if he think proper; but, having no fortune, I could not even do that. Consequently, I drew my line at once. Persons arriving in the Colony with letters from any dear friend, I welcome with all my heart, and show them every attention in my power; while to gentlemen who arrive with lithographed letters of recommendation from the Colonial Office, pronouncing their eulogy in set phrase and form, I show them the door. Que faire? I want to get back in due time to see you again in Albemarle Street, and to see something that dates further back than the year 1834. What you wrote to me of Fellows’ doings in Asia Minor quite made my heart
ache. When shall I discover an ancient city, or see one? . . . And now, my dear
Mr. Murray, believe that on this side of the world people have warm hearts as well as in your own, and that we are not tempted to forget those who, like yourself, have always treated us with kindness and great indulgence. Your worthy friend, Sir John Franklin, now and then writes me a friendly line. He is quite well. Lady F. is off to Adelaide. Ross is off to the South Pole; we have not seen him.

Ever, my dear Sir,
Your faithful Friend and Servant,
C. J. Latrobe.