Lot 153

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William Howe
Wivenhoe, England, April 16, 1799
General William Howe ALS Regarding Troop Movements, April 1799
An autograph letter signed by British General William Howe, concerning an appointment and troop movements. 1p of a bifolium, measuring 8" x 9.75", Wivenhoe, England, dated April 16, 1799. Signed "W Howe" and addressed to Major General Robert Ross. With flattened folds and light toning at the edges and folds. Separation at the lower folds, one which passes through a small part of Howe's signature. Toning, soiling, and wear to the address page with some loss from the wax seal being broken. Boldly signed by Howe. With a JSA LOA.

In full:
"Having by this post received an application from Crew for the appointment of his Father to the care of the Magazine at Tipner Point, wherein he states the comfort it will be to his father, who has experienced great misfortunes through life, if you see no objection, the appointment may take place. But if you judge otherwise pray let me know that I may answer accordingly. The 1st Fencible L.D.s begin their march on Friday for Scotland & will be replaced next week by the Cinque Ports. The Surrey move the same day for the Northern District (1st [illegible] Grey's) to be replaced by the Bucks."

William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, KB PC (1729-1814) was a British Army officer who was tasked with commanding the whole of the land forces in the Colonies during the American Revolution. Prior to the war in the colonies, Howe has seen considerable service in the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War. When the Revolution began, Howe was sent to relieve Thomas Gage, and he oversaw the successful capture of both New York City and Philadelphia. He was knighted in 1776, but ultimately resigned his post as Commander-in-Chief one year later after several British defeats.

In the 1790s a gunpowder magazine was constructed on Tipner Point on the north western corner of Portsea Island in southern England. The construction was necessary as part of a new policy of distributing gunpowder stored near the Royal Dockyards to a few more isolated and scattered locations in the country. The magazine of 1796 still stands at Tipner, together with a later magazine built in the 1850s and some ancillary buildings. At one time there was also a barracks which housed the troops tasked with protecting the facility.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • Letter of Authenticity from JSA, No. 180966. Dated May 3, 2023
  • Dimensions:
  • 8" x 9.75"
  • Artist Name:
  • William Howe
  • Medium:
  • ALS

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April 10, 2024 10:30 AM EDT
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