Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Ram Mohan Roy, Raja

Indian social-religious reformer (1772-1833). Autograph letter signed. [London], Regent's Park. 4to. 2 pp. on bifolium.
2.500 € (92321/BN61367)

To the alderman Matthew Wood in Westminster, written the day after the opening of "New" London Bridge, with thanks for a medal presented and eager for information about a balloon navigation: "I beg to return you my warmest thanks for the medal you were so kind as to present me yesterday, on the occasion of the opening the New London Bridge, believe me dear Sir the sight has made such an impression on me as will never be effaced, and should time or distance weaken the recollection, the sight of your invaluable present will restore the delight of yesterday to my mind.

I feel anxious to know the fate of the balloon and the aeronauts, I hope that neither the gentlemen or the balloon itself are the worse for ascension. And you would add greatly to the favours you have already conferred on me, by informing me, by letter, whether they landed in safety & were pleased with their excursion [...]". - As an envoy of the Mughal Emperor, Ram Mohan Roy undertook a trip to England in 1831. His mission was successful, but he succumbed to illness in England in 1833. The hot-air balloon ascending over New London Bridge upon its inauguration was piloted by British balloonist Charles Green (cf. Bell's Weekly Messenger, No. 1846, 21 August 1831). "His Majesty and the Queen walked in state ceremony over the Bridge to the Southwark side, and a large balloon ascended. They distributed medals to the company as they returned to the pavilion erected for the dinner, at the London end of the Bridge [...]" (Civilized Society, 1851, p. 136). - With collector's note to counter-leaf; tears from opening the letter; residue of a seal. Slight brownstaining..

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