An intriguing letter from Randall Davidson

Mr Cliff Webb writes:

The Library is naturally always interested in securing any correspondence of Archbishops of Canterbury. I have recently acquired two letters of Randall Davidson, written when he was still bishop of Winchester (though his translation to Canterbury was imminent) that I intend to donate to Lambeth Palace Library.

The first letter is of no great interest. Bishop Davidson is writing to a Sir Alexander promising to support a Mr Buckland who is up for election to the Athenaeum. I have not identified the correspondent or Athenaeum candidate, though no doubt it could be done.

The second (illustrated below) is much more interesting, but also frustrating, because the name of the addressee has been excised.

Clearly, the recipient is in hot water. The situation is ‘grave’ and made worse as the miscreant had missed a previous opportunity to tell the bishop. He is told in clear terms he should not plan for the future before they have discussed his ‘attitude and position’.

Davidson letter

Letter to unknown clergyman from Archbishop Davidson, December 1902

Somebody may know of some suitable scandal to which this applies, or research in the Archbishop’s papers may well elucidate the matter.

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