SEND US A DESPATCH                                          CALL US 1-573-382-1776







Admiral of the Fleet John Arbuthnot Fisher,
1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone (1841-1920)

Probably there is no vacancy at the moment for an officer but possibly he may like a Commission elsewhere"

Fisher, working within the "Good Old Boys" network, accommodates the Lord High Chancellor by offering to place a recommended young man. He opines that there is a lack of an officer vacancy on the Home Front, but inquires whether he would accept a Commission "elsewhere". Within days of this letter in January 1915, the Admiralty approved Churchill's ill-fated Dardanelles-Gallipoli plan which Fisher opposed as weakening his Grand Fleet at home. By May Fisher had resigned and Churchill was not far behind




Admiralty Whitehall

Dear Lord Halsbury

I will see to it at once -
Probably there is no vacancy at the moment for an officer but possibly he may like a Commission elsewhere

Yours truly



Lord Halsbury
Lord High Chancellor of England

One page handwritten and signed letter

John Arbuthnot Fisher was born in Rambodde, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on 25 January 1841 to a military family. He joined the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Victory in Plymouth at the age of thirteen on 12 June 1854. Over next two years he saw service aboard the ship of the line HMS Calcutta during the Crimean War. He was also present at the capture of Canton. In 1874 he was posted Captain and was aboard the Inflexible during the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882. He subsequently served as the Director of Ordnance and Torpedoes and was appointed Third Sea Lord in 1892. Fisher was an outspoken and driven administrator with the goal of modernizing the Royal Navy from coal to oil, improving efficiency, especially at dockyards, developing the submarine, and focusing on gunnery. By 1902 he was Second Sea Lord and on 21 October 1904 he was appointed First Sea Lord. In this capacity Fisher pushed for the development of the big gun “Dreadnought” class of battleships and battle cruisers, which some argue forced Germany to develop comparable naval vessels and leading to an arms war, but Fisher considered war with Germany inevitable and saw the modernization of the British Fleet as prudent and preparatory.


Fisher was Knighted in 1894 and created the Baron Fisher of Kilverstone in 1909. In January of 1910 Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher, bart. Retired from the Navy. Known throughout his career as the quintessential English Bulldog with a short fuse, obstinate passion, intolerance of incompetence, and directness, he was called out of retirement by that other icon of English Bulldoggery, Winston Churchill. In 1914 when the Guns of August were fired to commence the hostilities of  World War I, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, and Fisher began sharing communications. By October 1914, Prince Louis of Battenberg was forced out as 1st Sea Lord because of his Germanic heritage and Churchill recalled Fisher to that position. But perhaps was is to be expected of two bulldogs, they could never quite come together on a grand strategy – Fisher wanting a direct attack on Germany in the Baltic through Pomerania and Churchill with his “back door” to the Turks Dardanelles plan. Gallipoli was a military and public disaster and Fisher resigned in protest in May of 1915, Churchill was soon to follow. This letter was written in January of 1915 when Fisher was at the height of his power as 1st Sea Lord and Admiral of the Fleet of England.


Admiral John Fisher finished out the War at the Board of Invention and Research and died of cancer at the age of 79 in London on 10 July 1920.  A year earlier he had published his two volume of memoirs, Memories and Records.

Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury
Three Time Lord High Chancellor of England

Hardinge Stanley Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury (3 September 1823 - 11 December 1921) was a leading barrister, politician and government minister, serving as Solicitor General and Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. His lasting legacy was the compilation of a complete digest of "Laws of England" (1905-1916), a major reference work published in many volumes and often called simply "Halsbury's". "Halsbury's Laws" was followed by a second multiple-volume reference work in 1929, "Halsbury's Statutes", and later by "Halsbury's Statutory Instruments".

Hardinge Giffard was the son of Stanley Lees Giffard, LL.D., and was born in London. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1850, joining the North Wales and Chester circuit. Afterwards he had a large practice at the central criminal court and the Middlesex sessions, and he was for several years junior prosecuting counsel to the Treasury. He was engaged in most of the celebrated trials of his time, including the Overend and Gurney and the Tichborne cases as well as the Continental Tyre case and some notable Criminal trials. He became Queen's Counsel in 1865, and a bencher of the Inner Temple. Giffard twice contested Cardiff in the Conservative interest, in 1868 and 1874, but he was still without a seat in the House of Commons when he was appointed Solicitor General by Disraeli in 1875 and received the honour of knighthood. In 1877 he succeeded in obtaining a seat, when he was returned for Launceston, which borough he continued to represent until his elevation to the peerage in 1885.

He was then created Baron Halsbury, of Halsbury in the County of Devon, and appointed Lord Chancellor, thus forming a remarkable exception to the rule that no criminal lawyer ever reaches the woolsack. He resumed the position in 1886 and held it until 1892 and again from 1895 to 1905, his tenure of the office, broken only by the brief Liberal ministries of 1886 and 1892-1895, being longer than that of any Lord Chancellor since Lord Eldon. In 1898 he was created Earl of Halsbury and Viscount Tiverton, of Tiverton in the County of Devon. Among Conservative Lord Chancellors Lord Halsbury must always hold a high place, his grasp of legal principles and mastery in applying them being pre-eminent among the judges of his day. During the crisis over the Parliament Act of 1911, Halsbury was one of the principal leaders of the rebel faction of Tory peers that resolved on all out opposition to the government's bill. During World War I, the Viscount Tiverton manned a pom-pom anti-aircraft gun atop the Crown Agent Offices at Whitehall. Giffard was also President of the Royal Society of Literature, Grand Warden of English Freemasons and High Steward of the University of Oxford.

Document Specifications:  An extremely fine Admiralty Whitehall stationary letter handwritten and signed (ALS) by Admiral of the Fleet, John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone. DATELINE: Admiralty, Whitehall, London, January 22nd 1915. Letter sheet measures 8" tall x 10" wide (205mm x 254mm). One sheet of medium cream stock, wove paper, watermarked "ORIGINAL/TURKEY MILL/KENT", bi-folded to create four pages each measuring 205mm Tall x 127 wide, one with Stationary Crest - two normal horizontal letter folds. Writing on one page as shown.

This is an extremely fine handwritten letter by the 1st Sea Lord of Great Britain, which showcases his little known talent for "politicking". Fisher would employ his favourable connections with the British Press to voice opinions and garner public support for his reforms. He was a successful treaty negotiator as the
British naval delegate to the First Hague Peace Convention. Here he reveals his personal and private bond with Lord Halsbury, the Lord High Chancellor of England, author of the famous Halsbury's Laws of England Laws.

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.

Official PayPal SealItem includes a written, signed & sealed lifetime guarantee of authenticity and is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be archivally packaged & shipped to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a 14 day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While domestic shipping is free, certain international shipments may require buyer to be accountable for additional postage, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's. Washington State residents will be charged the 6.5% sales tax.