Lot 439: Taiping Rebellion

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-07-27 11:43:22

Lot 439: ALS signed "George Royle," four pages on two adjoining sheets, 9.25 x 11.75, engraved 'Shanghai' letterhead, May 20, 1862. Lengthy letter to his cousin Hester, written from the H. M. Gunboat Havoc in Kinkiang. In part: "It is not my intention to compete with the newspapers in telling you news, for a general rule you get the most correct information in the newspapers, at this distance inland we only hear faint rumours. But it is my opinion that the Tai-pings or rebels are getting a very severe beating. I wish I could come in for a share of the fighting. This vessel has captured 7 or 8 Imperial War junks since we have been in the river for different offices, but they never resist us. On one occasion we took more prisoners than the whole of our ship's company numbered...The people here are at times very insolent and it can never be said to be safe to walk through the streets for there is no saying at what moment you might not be killed on the spot by some of these malevolent rascals, but I take my chance with the rest and trust to providence and a big stick and occasionally to a revolver." In very good condition, with a noticeable tear to the center, partial separations along extremely fragile middle fold (item was not unfolded to image it due to fragility), and slight show-through from writing to opposing sides. Beginning in 1850, the Taiping Rebellion was a radical political and religious upheaval in which the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom attempted to overthrow the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty. The Qing government besieged the Taiping armies throughout the rebellion, eventually defeating them in 1864 with the aid of British and French forces. A lengthy, interesting description of the conflict and day-to-day life from the perspective of a European observer and participant. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458 Wednesday, 12th August 2015 Estimate: $600-800
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