Alexander William Kinglake (1809-1891) was the second child and eldest son of William Kinglake, banker and solicitor of Taunton, and his wife Mary Woodforde. He was born on 5 August 1809, educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, 1832; MA, 1836), and was called to the Bar in 1837. In 1844 his book Eothen, a light-hearted account of a journey in the Levant, was published and was an immediate success.
Kinglake's interest in military affairs led him to visit Algeria in 1845 to witness the French campaigns, and to follow the British army to the Crimea in 1854. After Lord Raglan's death in 1856, Lady Raglan asked Kinglake to write a history of the war, and the task occupied him for much of the rest of his life. The first two volumes of The invasion of the Crimea were published in 1863, and the eighth and last volume in 1887.
In 1857 Kinglake was elected Member of Parliament for Bridgewater, in the Liberal interest, and served until 1868, when he was unseated and the borough disfranchised after an enquiry into electoral malpractice.
Kinglake led a comfortable bachelor life in London, and enjoyed the friendship of many of the leading literary and political figures of the day, including William Makepeace Thackeray, Alfred Tennyson, and Lord John Russell. In particular he was on terms of mutual admiration with a number of literary ladies: Caroline Norton, Lucie Duff Gordon, Margaret Oliphant, Mary Singleton ('Violet Fane'), and Janet Ross. In the late 1880s he developed cancer of the throat and he died on 2 January 1891.
The collection comprises of correspondence between Sir Richard Airey to Lord Hardinge, 1854-1856, letters from the Earl of Cardigan to Kinglake, 1863-1868, a journal of W.G. Romaine, 1855-1856 and other letters, memoranda and papers.
The papers were presented to the Fusiliers Museum in Lancashire by Major Ben Smythe in 1934. The Library purchased them at Sotheby's when they were sold on behalf of the Museum's Appeal Fund in 1998.
||Journal of W. G. Romaine. Disbound sections of a quarto notebook, with many blank and partly-used pages. Identified by the handwriting as being by William Govett Romaine (1815-1893), who was appointed in 1854 as deputy judge-advocate to the Army in the East. With underlinings and marginal notes in red pencil in another hand, drawing attention to important events, e.g. the death of Lord Raglan. Begins `1855 Private Memoranda & Diary. Head Quarters Camp before Sebastopol. Jany 18th. For first 17 days see Diary for 1854.' Entries are by no means daily, especially in the later sections, where there can be gaps of several weeks. Ends with a blank page after the entry for 16 October 1856, followed by a quotation from Macaulay's History of England, headed `Defence of Military Law', and dated 19 January 1856. Note: there are 51 letters from Romaine May 1854 - Nov 1856, to three correspondents, in Add.7633 (items 5/3-53).
||18 Jan. 1855–18 Jan. 1856