Autograph letter to Lady Oliffe, sadly responding in the negative to the question of whether or not she was having a party the following day. The reason she gives is that Lord Palmerston ‘has had a bad fit of the gout in his foot’. She goes on to say that ‘I hope he will be sufficiently well to appear in the House of Commons today’. This ties in nicely with DNB which states ‘for several years before his death Lord Palmerston had been a martyr to gout, which he did not improve by his assiduous attendance at the House of Commons’. Lady Palmerston goes on to say that ‘if you should still be in town Saturday the 28 May I should be very glad to see you then’. Lady Palmerston, Lord Melbourne’s sister and the widow of Earl Cowper, married Lord Palmerston on 11 dec 1839. DNB states ‘This lady, by her charm, intellect, tact, and experience, lent a powerful support to her husband, and the informal diplomatic work accomplished at her salon prepared or supplemented the interviews and transactions of the foreign office’.