Auction: 23027 - Stamps and Covers of Great Britain
The Herbert Joyce Family Archive
1834 (20 March), Personal letter from Francis Philips to Charles Johnson. Francis Philips (1771-1850), a wealthy landowner, writes to Charles Johnson, the surveyor and superintendent of Mail Coaches. Philips was a skilled road builder, he built a new bridge over the Mersey, with eleven arches, and he did much to support the growth and development of Stockport. In May 1812, he went to London, to petition the House of Commons, to gain support for further action against the Luddites. On 11 May, the Prime Minister, Spencer Percival, was entering the commons, when a Liverpool merchant John Bellingham shot him in the chest. Percival cried out "I am murdered, murder!", and then collapsed. Francis Philips was next to the P.M. at this point and rushed to him, bent down, and supported him on his shoulder. By this time, Percival was bleeding profusely from his wounds, and was carried by Francis and others to the Speaker secretary's room, where very shortly later he died in Francis' arms.
An interesting letter, which includes "I request the favour of your perusal of a pamphlet that I have been driven I may almost say by the very injudicious recommendation of the Lords committee on roads to publish in defence of Turnpike securities…"
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