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The Ben Smyth / Kinglake Archive

Introduction to the documents

Airey and Kinglake


CUL Add.9554/5/21

H Gds
18 Dec 1863

My dear Kinglake

In case I do not find you at home, HRH would be very much obliged to you, if you could conveniently call on him at Gloster House at 12 o'Clock tomorrow morning — as an incident has been communicated to him, of which he was not aware, when he saw you yesterday – of which he would be glad to inform you.

Yours very truly
Richard Airey


CUL Add.9554/5/22

Friday Morning
3rd Nov 1865

My dear Kinglake

I shall not see you again for some time! I am anxious on my leaving England, that you should have something about you to remind you of an absent & sincere friend – & I have thought that a watch, from its capability of being at all times with you, combines more of my feelings than any thing else, so I ask you to keep the one I send for my sake. – I would have brought this to you last Evening myself, but you know Englishmen well – & how awkward they are in the expression of what they feel most.!

I will write to you from Gibraltar, where I expect more leisure than I have had for years – during which, compared with my feelings & wishes I have seen but little of you, but I will now tell you that there is no one whose society & intercourse I more value, and no one whose character I more admire, but from being so mixed up in a period, and circumstances of which you are writing the History, I have always felt, whether spoken well or ill of, that there was an awkwardness in my cultivating your private & personal Society to the degree & extent, which I should have liked — before the world —

Ad Dio
Always most truly yours
Richard Airey

I am now off. These new watches have some tricks which a watchmaker should explain.


[This document is clearly a first draft, and contains sections deleted and others inserted in tiny writing between the lines. Even the insertions contain deletions and insertions. The transcription attempts to convey this.]

CUL Add.9554/5/23


12, St James's Place
Novr. 3 1865

My dear Airey,

I cannot say to you how much I am touched by the kind thought which moved you to send me the beautiful present which I this morning received. Need I say that I shall always carry it for your sake?

You so well know ^ Knowing as I am sure you must what I think of your great

^ & commanding

qualities you may imagine I am proud indeed of what you say. and now it partly lets me prove how truly I feel all your kindness. From

You have ever been much kind to me; & from

the moment when – happily for me – we became to each other something more than common acquaintances, you have ever been so grandly [?] unswerving in your friendship! And let me say

^ too, my dear Airey,

– for I know how your feeling towards Tower blended itself with that towards me – that with all my heart I have appreciated your unvarying kindness to him & your sympathy with his heavy grief. Poor fellow, I think I can say that from the time when he was stricken down by the loss of his wife, no one has ever been able to give him the comfort of a friend's sympathy so effectually as you have.

^ When I hear him speak of you, xxx I perceive as I imagine that

Your own sorrows, I think, gave you ^ have given you a more close access ^ than ever to his affectionate heart.

Remember me most kindly & gratefully to Lady Airey &,believe me,

My dear Airey,
Ever most truly yours
A W Kinglake


CUL Add.9554/5/32

Novr 17. 1869

Sir Richard Airey this day dined with me & Tower at the O & C Club. 1

A. talked amongst other things of Inkerman. He said it was true that the troops all slipped through Ld Raglan's fingers - as Lord R. had himself expressed it. He said Lord R. did not like to interpose & interfere with the operations of troops which knew the ground until he could himself get a clear idea of what was going on, & this on account of the mist it was a long time very difficult to do. It was a long time before men accepted the conclusion that the attack & the defence were in fact constituting a great battle.

A. said – & this before I said anything of the point – that the defence of the Sandbag battery was a futile effort & when I asked why Ld Raglan did not prevent the Guard from misapplying their strength in that part of the field he answered that it had come to be made a sort of point of honour to defend the Sandbag battery & that the feeling in that direction was so strong it could very well be resisted. [sic]

A. spoke of the "gap" before hearing the expression from me. He said Ld Raglan asked him what could be done to stop the "gap" & that he (A.) answered that there was a small body of four companies of 46th & 68th under Cathcart. Ld R. sent him to fetch them. A found the troops in red, & firing down the steep – i.e. Eastward – , & upon asking what that meant was told that this was preparatory to an advance they were about to make. A. saw Cathcart & told him this was not to be & that he C. was to advance at once in the direction of the "gap". C demurred & resisted but upon A. repeating the order & delivering it as the 'peremptory direction' from Ld R, C appeared to yield; & when A then rode off Arthur Hardinge who was with him said how right you were not to discuss the matter but to deliver the order simply as the peremptory order of Ld Raglan. However Cathcart when A's back was turned went his way.

Airey remembered one of the attacks repelled by the French. At that one the French came on I think he said in line but wavered, then he says the officers came out superbly from the regt , & immediately we cheered on the men, & that that was the time when number of English Staff officers took this part cheering on the French. He could only recollect one affair of this sort. He said Canrobert remonstrated with Ld Raglan for keeping himself under such heavy fire, saying "Milord on [illegible] ce n'est votre place."


[This document is in two hands, Airey's and Lucan's.]

CUL Add.9554/5/46



Order to Lord Lucan
25 Oct. 1854

Carried down by Lt Col. Poulett Somerset ADC,
but somehow did not reach in time perhaps the Cavalry were never up to the heights previously abandoned by the Turks —


Cavalry to advance & take advantage of any opportunity to recover heights, they will be supported by infantry which has been ordered advance on two fronts

Signed R. Airey


This copy was furnished to me by Lord Lucan, so that he had received the order, but for some reason, was not acted upon -

Rd. Airey


CUL Add.9554/5/19

Kamorra Septr 2nd 1855
6.40 p.m

My dear Airey
Osman Pasha has this afternoon received information this afternoon upon which he assures me he can rely - that Prince Gortchakoff is at this moment with a force in the Valley between Schuliou and Aitodor, with a view to attack the allies on the Chernaya tomorrow morning - Osman's informant states this force to be organized into 4 Columns - one destined to assail the troops at Baidar, another to come by Great Miskornia to Alsu to attack the Turks - a third the Sardinians, and the 4th Column, the French - As to the disposition of the Russian force, it is not of much Consequence - but of the fact of a large force being assembled between Schuliou and Aitodor, Osman Pasha does not entertain a doubt - I have ordered the 4 field batteries to be here by day light. The heavy batteries are already here - If you hear firing in this direction send us some Ambulance Carts and some Cacolets.

I have been out all day looking at the ground between Alsu and the great Mikornya and at the road through the Woods between both places. -

If Osmans Pashas information is correct as to the disposition of the Russian force, with the points intended to be assailed, I shall expect to hear of the retreat of the French from Baidar, which would leave the road through the Woods open from the great Miskornya to Alsu. In such case, we may be certain of having something to do near to where we are at present - In haste -

Very sincerely yours
C Campbell

[endorsed: "With the Airey correspondence. Sept 2 /55"]


CUL Add.9554/5/20

Bishopwick - Elgin
14th. July 1856

My dear Airey,
By a letter I have had from Mr. Drake [?] this morning, I grieve to find that an accident has occurred to your eyes from which you have been suffering sorely.- I observed by the Newspapers that you had been prevented attending the review from the State of your eyes, but I fancied it was only a repetition of the inflammation which attacked them in the Crimea. I only trust it may be nothing much worse?

We got down here without trouble & with but little fatigue on the third day after leaving London & are comfortably established in a very tiny Cottage which my good natured Sister has kindly vacated for our accommodation & where we have just room enough & not an inch to spare.- Here we may live as quiet & retired as you could have done at Port Talbot with this advantage that we are more civilized & within 24 hours post of London! - I like the contrast between this tranquillity & the life I have been so long leading very much & feel sure I shall soon get reconciled to doing nothing, or in other words disposing of my own time in my own way.?

On the way down here by the Railway, I read your address to the Board at Chelsea & was very much pleased with it.- I think it exceedingly well done & altogether in extreme good taste. I should think there cannot be a doubt as to the result, but it is pretty clear from the length of time the report has been allowed to remain in the Royal hands that the Session will be allowed to close before producing it.?

I see a singularly indiscreet & injudicious Speech in the Times of Saturday, by the way, from a Captain Vernon 2 made to the House a propos to nothing & independently claiming the whole merit of the operations in the Crimea to Old Burgoyne.

Pray look to this, & take care in preparing your book that the Captain is not quoted as an Authority; for our friend Burgoyne is not the man to contradict any Statement that may be heads in his own praise.

You may quote me as your Authority in stating that Lord Raglan suggested & contemplated moving to the South of the town before the troops embarked, when he first began to talk of the expedition.- which Burgoyne was decidedly against - and that when we finally sailed it was with the intention on the strength of strength of [sic] my previous report to land at the Mouth of the Katcha until on reconnoitring it the second time we found the ground too strongly occupied when Lord Raglan decided on making the descent to the Northward as soon as we got clear of the Cliffs.

I may add that it was an instruction to us to find a fitting landing place as near as possible to the town, where we should be sure of water. This we considered we had secured at the Mouth of the Katcha where the Enemy had then but few Troops & where we were not likely to be seriously opposed.- but it looked very different when we viewed it the second time, & there was no difference of opinion in regard to the change of plan & the expediency of landing further to the Northward - only it was not suggested by Burgoyne but by Lord Raglan himself.

My wife has been in bed for the last three days with one of her bad Colds, but is now lowly [meaning 'slowly'?] mending -

I am really sorry for your poor Chief, for although I have certainly not thriven since I have come into official contact with him, I have no reason to think that he has borne me any personal ill will, & I am satisfied I should have been more fortunate in the world if I had not had worse & more inveterate enemies in it than he has been -

Yours truly
G Brown

1. Presumably the Oxford and Cambridge Club.

2. Captain Leicester Vernon, MP for Chatham. The Times’ report of his speech is here.

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