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Manuscripts in Wren Class R Sedgwick, Adam (1785-1873) geologist
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Letter from William Whewell

WW is sorry to hear that HJR is ill. HJR's old pupil, [Charles J.] Goodhart, is a particular favourite with Thomas Thorp. WW did not mean to suggest he had quarrelled with Miller's Bampton Lectures since he has not read them: 'But I suppose I should have asked you what you mean by your school and my school. I do not know that my views and opinions are those of any class of people and they certainly are not those which have often served as a basis for the jokes of our common acquaintances - your school is I presume the Wordsworthian, and I believe that many of the persons whom, I imagine, you would include in it have exceedingly amiable and deeply seated religious & moral views & feelings - but what these have to do with... Coleridge's rant of etymologico-Platonic speculations is what I have never been able to make out'. They have been fighting in Cambridge over the right of election. Adam Sedgwick 'has just printed a pamphlet on the subject which is quite admirable - I cannot send it you but I beg you to believe on my word that we are exceedingly in the right and that the heads in general & French in particular are greatly in the wrong'.

Letter from William Whewell

WW has 'spoken with Prickett [Marmaduke Prickett, Chaplain of Trinity College, 1836-38] about his intentions and find as I supposed that he does not hesitate being a candidate for a fellowship next term & so that there will be no obstacle on that head in the way of his belonging in your vineyard. It appears that the Master, who I think mentioned his name to you had not spoken to him of the possibility of such a proposal from you; but it is I think much to the credit of his judgement & principles, as well as a good enquiry for his being a useful & satisfactory assistant to you, that he is particularly delighted with the idea of entering the church under your auspices'. WW is sorry to hear of JHR's asthma. WW has 'only just begun Napier ['Peninsular War']. Sedgwick [Adam Sedgwick] is delighted with the military views which it contains...but he is not insensible to the faults you mention. He seems to think, & Peacock also that it may change people's opinion of Cintra & Moore. I think it was very bad reading for a man with a weak chest & so you seem to have found it'.

Letter from William Whewell

WW sends HJR a document of some customary payments owed to him from Trinity College - 'its being the last of such literary essays which you will receive from me'. All WW's duties keeping accounts have been passed on to somebody else. WW is pleased 'to hear a good account of your university [HJR was Professor of Divinity at Durham University]... I wish most heartily among other novelties you would some of you discover or write a system of morals which might take the place of Paley & Locke. Sedgwick [Adam Sedgwick] tells me he has sent you his sermon; when you read it you will see that he has declared war against both Paley & Locke. This puts them in a different footing in Cambridge from that on which they have hitherto been; for though opinions to the same effect were in very general circulation in the place, they were never I think clothed with anything like an authoritative expression before. The task of writing a system of ethics is certainly not easy, for it must not only be erected on sound principles, but so framed as to bear an advantageous comparison in its logic and execution with the best of other systems, for instance, with Paley's book - which is no easy condition. I am afraid, from what your Brit. Mag. says of Wardlaw's Christian Ethics, he has not solved this problem'.