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Front of Cover

Back of Cover


The Grand Chancellery
of the royal Order
of the Legion of Honor
3rd Division
Receipts and Payments
of the Order

The responses should be addressed
to S.F. M. the Grand Chancellor of
the royal Order of the Legion of Honor.

One should take care to recall the
Division from where the letters
are sent to which one responds.

Paris, March 10, 1819

Monsieur the Count,


     I received the letter that you gave me the honor of writing January 11th. It arrived as I was being attacked by the most violent arthritic inflammation that I have thus far felt; retained at home and deprived of movement since this period, I am taking advantage of the first moments of liberty that I have obtained to assure you that I have not lost sight of your reclamation [claim for reinstatement?].

     I will have the honor of putting it in front of the eyes of Your Majesty as soon as my health will allow me to solicit him, and as soon as I have obtained the authorization to present myself before him. Although I have much confidence in His Goodness, I cannot, Monsieur le Count, encourage you beyond your current hopes. It will not be for a lack of all of my efforts if your pretensions are not judged in the most favorable manner.

            Please accept, Monsieur the Count, the assurance of my highest consideration.

            The Grand Chancellor of the Royal Order of the Legion of Honor.

                                    (signed) illegible


To: Monsieur the Count Laumond

Commander of the Royal Order of the Legion of Honor




Special Red Legion of Honor "legion d'honneur" Cancel

Bibliotheca Lindesiana No. 2541
Docketing Mark

Scarce Blue Grand Chancellor

Double Circle Date Stamp
March 10, 1819

T.4. French Transit Mark

 Bibliotheca Lindesiana

Of the several thousand noble libraries founded in family houses throughout the British Isles in the last three or four hundred years, only a few dozen or so may be said to have achieved a lasting public reputation. Among them the Bibliotheca Lindesiana is distinguished not only because of the remarkable collection formed, but because its dispersal began ninety-five years ago and it no longer exists.

The library’s origins may be said to go back to the late sixteenth century with the establishment of the Lindsay family at Balcarres in Fife by Lord Menmuir, whose bibliophilic son David, the first Lord Balcarres, augmented it to a position of distinction among Scottish libraries. Its status was severely reduced through succeeding years and generations until the mid-nineteenth century and the appearance of Alexander William, twenty-fifth earl of Crawford and eighth earl of Balcarres (1812-1880, called Lord Lindsay for most of his life). As a schoolboy he was fired with a bibliophilic if not maniacal passion and determined to form a great library in which every branch of knowledge would be worthily represented. By degrees his obsession was controlled and directed so that, unlike the library of his eccentric contemporary, Sir Thomas Phillipps (whose desire at one time was to own a copy of every printed book), the Bibliotheca Lindesiana developed into a formidable general collection of books with much to offer in all fields and languages, and with superb strengths in areas of special interest to its architect and builder.

Early manuscripts and printed books, and bibliographical treasures generally, continued to accumulate after the death of Lord Lindsay, while aggregations of importance in astronomy, broadsides, ballads, and documents of the French Revolution and Napoleonic period were added to them. In addition to these, the library had strengths in its collections of Bibles and liturgies, block-books, orientalia, papyri, proclamations, romances, Scottish printing, and voyages and travel. In the end it numbered close to 200,000 volumes.

The 1880s also brought economic hardship to the coal and iron industries upon which the family depended. In 1886 the estate and library at Balcarres was purchased by Ludovic from a younger branch of the family (Sir Coutts Lindsay), but in the following year he was forced to raise a large sum and turned to the books. Two sales occurred in 1887 and 1889 in which the Gutenberg Bible (now at Texas) was sold. A few years later the astronomy books were presented to the Royal Observatory at Edinburgh. In 1900 Mrs. John Rylands imitated earlier benefactions to the library named for her husband at Manchester by purchasing all the Lindsay manuscripts with the exception of the documents of the French Revolution. Ludovic’s successor, the twenty-seventh earl of Crawford, parted with the bulk of the collections to Quaritch in 1924, and much of the remainder was sold by auction in 1947/48.

The bookplate is a typical armorial of the mid-nineteenth century with name Bibliotheca Lindesiana below the arms (Lindsay quartering Abernethy) and the crest and motto above (endure fort: endure boldly).

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.

End of Item - BSL - 1819 Legion of Honor Letter

Tel: 573-335-7720

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