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Letter from —— to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting House, London, W.1.—Invites him to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a radio talk on Mahatma Gandhi for the General Overseas Service.

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. Ronald Boswell, Talks Booking Manager.)

Letter from —— to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcastinh House, London, W.1.—Invites him (retrospectively) to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a radio talk on H. H. Asquith for the series ‘British Prime Ministers since 1900’ (cf. 5/123a–b, 5/124a).

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. the Talks Booking Manager (the name is indistinct, but is probably Ronald Boswell).)

Letter from Dorothy E. Knight to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W.12.—Invites him to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a talk for the television programme ‘First Hand: Suffragettes’.

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. Holland Bennett, Television Booking Manager. Sent with 5/127a.)

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Lawrence

Calcutta.—Was delighted to hear of his uncle Edwin’s baronetcy. Has decided to go to Sahdol to view the eclipse. Refers to his activities at Calcutta.

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Transcript

Calcutta
c/o Thos Cook & Son
Bombay
Jany 12 98

My dear Tante

It was ripping news to hear of Uncle Edwin’s getting his baronetcy. I was tremendously delighted.

Ever so many thanks for all your good wishes for Xmas, Birthday & New Year. Letters get a good bit delayed in coming to me but if you send them to Cook’s at Bombay I shall get them very much sooner.

I have only just settled to go to Sahdol for the eclipse; it is a small place somewhere near Jubbulpore; if you have a map of India showing the railways you will find it on the line from Katni to Bilaspore. Campbell is going there with the Astronomer from Madras {1}; & I fancy Christie & Dr Common are to be there also. But by the time you have got this letter, the eclipse will be a thing of the past, and you will know how far the observations of it have been successful.

I have been generally “sloping” round in Calcutta. Last week I went to the State Ball, yesterday I went to an evening party at Government House, & to-morrow I am going to see the ceremony of Investiture; the natives are very resplendent in their jewels, & their costumes are interesting. I have also been to the Botanical Gardens where the trees are very fine; one Banyon tree has a circumference of 926 feet at its crown! You know it puts down fresh trunks in different places.

One way and another I have a fair number of friends here & I go out to dine with them some evenings.

I have been to see Mozoomdar whom you may possibly remember as a leader of the Bramah Somaj; & on Sunday afternoon I am going to meet a number of their people and talk a bit about Cambridge. Then on Monday I leave for Sahdol, & after the eclipse go back for a few days to Mozuffapore, then to Darjiling to see Mt Everest, then Benares, Delhi, Agra & down to South Canara, back to Madras, & so to Colombo some time in April & from there to Australia!

This afternoon I am going “slumming” with a member of the Oxford Mission.

With love to all & kisses to Dora

Ever your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} Charles Michie Smith.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Durning-Lawrence

Bombay.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’, and responds to her news of family members and neighbours. The plague at Bombay presents no danger to Europeans.

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Transcript

Bombay.
Feb 23. 98

My dear Tante

I am sending you with this the conclusion of my second encyclical {1} which gives all my movements up to date so that there is very little to add.

I think it is a capital plan of yours taking the name of Durning-Lawrence, and I, for one, thoroughly approve. (Not that my lordly approval was in the least required!)

I am glad you think Harry getting on a bit but one is always so afraid that it is only a case of up & down; from a letter which I have from him this week I understand that he is now at Cannes & is going on to Nice.

You seem to have been losing several Ascot neighbours Sir R Mead &, old Dean Liddell; it was strange that he should have died so shortly after Lewis Carroll; I think you used to say Alice in Wonderland was written for one of the Dean’s children.

Out at Fatehpur Sikri I met 2 Cambridge men, brothers, of the name of Reckitt {2}; I did not know them before, but I understand the elder is MP of N. Lincolnshire & knows Uncle E a little bit.

You will probably have seen that Bombay is somewhat stricken with plague just now, but there is not the smallest danger for Europeans. Even among those brought into close contact with plague stricken people it is exceedingly rarely that anyone is affected at all.

With best love to all, hoping Uncle E is in great form in the House.

Ever Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30b, probably pp. 91–106.

{2} Harold James and Philip Bealby Reckitt. The former was the MP.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

The Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Encloses part of an encyclical, and refers to his visits to China and Japan.

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Transcript

The Oriental Hotel, Limited, Kobe, Japan
P.O. Box 55

Aug 3. 98

My dear Tante.

I send you a few lines from here to accompany the commencement of my 6th encyclical {1} which treats of China; the 4 pages which I send you, however, are, I am afraid rather ancient history, but you will get the later pages from home. I find a tremendous lot to write about China though I was only there such a short time; of course any opinions I have formed are in consequence liable to great error. Those who are on the spot do not seem very well satisfied with the action of the home government, & seem to think England ought to have taken some definite principle on which to stand, & to have stuck to it; of course they cannot see altogether the difficulties at home. I shall make further allusion in the end of my encyclical.

Japan is a very bright pretty country & we hope to have a very jolly time here under the able auspices of our guide F. Takagaki.

I hope Aug 1 bank holiday was a great success; we spent the day in Nagasaki.

We are off this morning (Aug. 4) to Kiyoto & after travelling about a bit get on to Yokohama in a few days more.

Hoping you all flourish including Dora

With love to all & kisses to her

Believe me
Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 1–4.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Mary Elizabeth Lawrence

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island.—Sends a brief greeting. Is about to begin a ten days’ run without port to Hong Kong.

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Transcript

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island
July 11 1898 {1}

My dear Mother.

Just a line from this corner of the world where all nationalities meet.

From here we have 10 days run without port to Hong Kong. It begins to get a bit warm, & will I expect get still hotter all the way.

I dont know when you will get this

Yours ever
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} The first three figures of the year are printed.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Mary Elizabeth Lawrence

‘Tantallon Castle.’—Gives an account of his departure from Southampton and the voyage so far.

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Tantallon Castle
Tuesday July 24. 00

My dear Mother

It is not very long since I started so there is not much to relate; still as you will not get another letter from me till the end of August I send you along this interim epistle from Madeira, or rather from the ship before we get to Madeira.

The ship got away from Southampton at about 5 o’c to the strains of “auld lang syne” & with the waving of a good many pocket handkerchiefs from on shore, passed out into the ocean. About an hour and a half afterwards we passed the Needles & we had a splendid view of them before going down to dinner.

I have a good cabin on deck & as the weather so far has been excellent, I have been able to have it wide open day and night & to get all the air that there is to be had.

It is rather early days to say very much of the passengers, but I don’t think they are at all a bad lot; I sit at the Captain’s table between a man who is going out to try the rebels in Natal, & some ladies from the Argentines, & opposite to some English people from Natal, and a very decent German with whom I have quite made friends already, & have had several games of chess.

Then there are a number of other people on board whose acquaintance I have made slightly; & I have played quoits, buckets, & a sort of deck croquet; all of which do fairly well pour passer le temps.

We have had awnings put up over the whole deck, the sea has begun to assume a sub-tropical blue & I expect soon it will begin to get awfully hot, but at present it is a cool contrast with London during the last hot weather.

With best love & all good wishes for a pleasant trip on the continent

Your affte Son
Fredk W Lawrence

I shall very likely send an encyclical home to Mans. Ho. from Cape Town. This will be copied, and a copy forwarded on to you which you can keep, as I am having other copies sent to A.J.L. {2} and Aunt Edith.

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{1} Followed by ‘P.T.O.’ The postscript is written on the front of the sheet.

{2} His sister Annie.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Muzaffarpur.—Sends birthday greetings, and refers to the receipt of a parcel containing cards to himself and to his Christmas dinner with the Collector. Discusses his future movements.

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Transcript

Mozufferpore
Dec 27. 97

My dear Ellen.

I write this on your birthday, wishing you many happy returns. I wonder whether you are having a bright sunny day; here we have delightful weather. It is just like a very fine English September, but somewhat warmer in the middle of the day. We have some capital games of lawn tennis from 3 to 5.

Possibly you may not know, or be able to find this place on a map because it is spelt all kinds of ways; in that case look North West from Calcutta & you will come to Patna & a little North you will see this.

A fine budget arrived here Xmas eve forwarded on from Nellore containing among others Xmas & birthday cards from Mother yourself & Carry; I think but for the insertion of “birthday” it would have quite escaped my remembrance that I had such a thing coming off at all, & I should have reached the mature age of 26 without ever becoming aquainted† with the fact.

I have now definitely made up my mind to stop in India till I go to Australia; this I have arranged because Booty very much prefers my coming to him at the end of February & wants me to go round some Islands with him, & this will probably take 3 or 4 weeks.

Please address all letters after you receive this (and it is really much the best plan for any one travelling to India because in this way no time is wasted) | to c/o Thos Cook & Son | Bombay; | & I will keep them posted up in my whereabouts & they will forward letters on.

There are quite a number of people in this station & we have a lovely time.

On Xmas day we went & dined with the Collector (I am not sure whether you will have got used to this term yet; it means the chief Magistrate, a post to which Campbell & Adie will probably attain in about 10 years) & his wife & had a pleasant little party of 14; this evening we are going to a small dance there.

With thanks for all your good wishes

I remain

Ever your aff[ectiona]te Brother
Fredk W Lawrence

I shall probably leave here about Jany 3 or 4 & go to Calcutta, & spend 10 days there. For the eclipse I shall join a party somewhere near Benares; I am not sure yet of the place; Campbell is going there with Michy Smith the Madras Astronomer, & I shall possibly meet Dr Common, & I fancy Christie.

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† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Cambridge Mission, Delhi.—Responds to letters from home. His decision not to return to Calcutta prevented him from seeing Mr Preston again. Describes his stays at Roorkee and Delhi.

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Cambridge Mission | Delhi.
Feb 10. 98

My dear Ellen

I find I have only written to you once since I have been in India, but then of course I have reckoned really all letters to 79 L.G. as the same. Your letters to me have at last got straight; so I have to acknowledge yours & Carry’s of Jany 14 & Mama’s of Jany 21, all of which brought very interesting news; please thank Carry for managing subscriptions; she guessed right about the Homeopathic Hoop. I have an order; I forgot that they were in the habit of sending a receipt from there, or I would have told her that. I don’t think there is anything else which calls for comment.

As I altered my plans & settled not to go back to Calcutta, I have not been able to see Mr Preston again; I am disappointed as I should have liked to have had a talk with him; it was a pity that owing to a mistake of mine (forgetting he was there) I left it too late to do more than just have a few words with him when he was busy; but such mistakes can’t help happening. I have not been able to get as far as Lahore to see the other brother.

I had a jolly time with Tipple at Roorkee, & we went over for Saturday to Monday to a place near by (only 7 hours away by rail!) to see two other Cambridge men, H. S. Rix whom I used to know very well (a Trinity Man who has been out 3 years), & H N Hutchinson who came out with me on board the Caledonia, & so we were 4 together. It seemed quite like old times.

At Roorkee I spent the days in the labs trying in vain to distill some very dirty mercury, in the afternoons I played tennis or rowed or rode on my bicycle, & one morning went out for a ride on a horse.

Then in the evening I went sometimes & dined at the Mess of the R E officers (Royal Engineers) who kindly made me an honorary member during my stay.

Here as you will see I am stopping at the Mission, & have found one man who was up at Trinity with me; but so far it has been rather wet & I have not seen much of the sights.

I am going however to drive out to-morrow morning to the Kut’b, one of the residents here going with me, & we hope to spend some hours wandering about. I am afraid I shant be very good at descriptions but such little as I can give will be sent shortly to complete my second encyclical.

With love to all

Your affectionate Brother.
Fredk W Lawrence.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Annie Lawrence

Bombay.—Is on the way to see Booty in Mangalore. Refers to his sightseeing at Gwalior and Agra and his activities at Bombay.

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Transcript

Bombay.
Feb 24 98

My dear Annie.

I am just passing through Bombay on my way down to see Booty in Mangalore, & I was very pleased on my arrival to find a letter from Harry awaiting me. I had been expecting you to mention your trip abroad, & as you had not done so, was beginning to suppose you were going later in the year.

I am sending this home to 75 {1} to get forwarded, as Harry only says you will arrive at Nice next Saturday, & I don’t know whether you are going to make a really long stay there.

You will have had most of my news of my sight seeing in my last 2 letters, since then I have visited Gwalior a native state, where there is a magnificent fort, I drove out to it, & then went up it on an elephant & was shown round.

I think I mentioned the Taj at Agra in my letter to Harry, I was able to get a little model of it which I have packed off home to Mama, but I am very much afraid whether it will arrive safe.

This afternoon I have been out to see the Bombay Astronomer whom I met at Sahdol; he showed me all over his meteorological & magnetic instruments.

I have also been to see Prof Muller to whom I had a letter of introduction from Prof Marshall of Cambridge. He has taken up an immense number of subjects[,] practically all mine & a lot beside; he was 21st wrangler, & also took the history tripos, has done a good deal of natural science, church history, law, Political economy, knows several languages, paints, photograps†, & collects shells, stamps[,] relics of prehistoric man; & finally has done fabulous things in connection with the plague having at one time been made—as it were—“dictator” over a large section of Bombay!!!!!

What is my little list compared with that?

Ever Yours in excellent health
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} 75 Lancaster Gate, his mother’s home.

† Sic.

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