16678

MANUSCRIPT ROMANTIC LOVE ATTEMPT IN VERSE

DOWDSWELL, William

(Love Manuscript) headed ?A Poetical Enumeration of some pleasing Occurrence which took place at the Village of Cuxham, in the Summer of 1801. Respectfully addressed to Miss Martha Rowden By the Author.?

Published

Description
Folio, 4 pages, written throughout in the same legible hand, the final page used both as continuation of the writing, with the centre portion containing the address, with post mark, evidence of folding, but with portion missing affecting some words on preceding page.

£450.00

SKU: 16678

Product Description

William Dowdswell (1760-1828) Colonel of 86th Foot, Governor of Bahamas, Commander-in-Chief of India and noted collector of engraved prints, writes this love letter to Miss Martha Rowden (1779-1874). The letter commences with an 8-line quote from Shakespeare, followed by a verse poem of 39 four-line stanzas written (and composed?) by Dowdswell. First line: ?How sweet are those scenes that are past? (no trace in Google). The manuscript continues with a dialogue of endearment towards Miss Rowsden and ends with two verse extracts from Shenstone. The letter is dated May 1802 and appears to have been written on the eve of Dowdswell?s departure to India. Dowdswell died without marrying and, according to the descendant pedigree of the Rowden family, Martha also remained single. The 1841 census finds her living on independent means and residing in Henley at the age of 60. It is nevertheless clear from his authored verse and attendant notes that Dowdswell, despite being almost twice Martha?s age at the time of writing, was quite smitten with the young lady and the letter?s survival suggests that she deemed it worthy of retaining as a keepsake.