Additional Manuscripts 816: Nicholas Kilburn Correspondence
Nicholas Kilburn (1843-1923)


Reference code: GB-0033-ADD 816
Title: Additional Manuscripts 816: Nicholas Kilburn Correspondence
Dates of creation: 1881-1923
Extent: 85 items
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: Nicholas Kilburn (1843-1923) [Bishop Auckland pump manufacturer and influential musical amateur]
Language: English

Nicholas Kilburn (1843-1923)

This group of manuscripts, which spans the period 1881-1923, largely comprises letters to Nicholas Kilburn (1843-1923), Bishop Auckland pump manufacturer and influential musical amateur.
Kilburn was awarded the degree of B. Mus. from Cambridge in 1880 and received an honorary D. Mus. from Durham in 1914, in recognition of his contribution to the standard of amateur musical life in the North East. A keen supporter of the English composers of his day, he became a close friend of Elgar, who dedicated The Music Makers to him. Kilburn was also ardently interested in the music of Wagner, frequently visiting Bayreuth and publishing Wagner. A Sketch of his Life and Works (London, [1895]) and The Story of "Wagner's Ring" for English Readers (London, [1898]). Kilburn's regular attendance at the major music festivals at home and abroad enabled him to keep in close touch with new music, which he enthusiastically sought to introduce into the repertoire of the various amateur groups with which he was actively involved. He was conductor of the Bishop Auckland Musical Society from 1875, the Middlesbrough Musical Union from its foundation in 1882, and the Sunderland Philharmonic Society from 1886. A proficient cellist, pianist and organist as well as conductor, he also composed a number of part-songs and works for chorus and orchestra.


Most of the letters in the collection are concerned with musical matters. They illustrate both the vigour of Kilburn's contribution to the musical life of the North-East and the wide range of his contacts among contemporary composers and musicians, both English and American. A few of the letters are written to Kilburn's wife Alice rather than Kilburn himself, and several miscellaneous items are also included.

Accession details

The group was purchased at Sotheby's sale on 9th February 1976, where it formed one lot (79) in a much larger collection (lots 69-82) of Kilburn's correspondence with the leading musical figures of his day. A copy of the sale catalogue entries for lots 69-82 is kept with the group as Add. MSS. 816/85.
Summary catalogue of Additional Manuscripts


Add. MSS. 816/1-85
[Sir] Hugh Bell (1844-1931, ironmaster and colliery owner)
Add. MSS. 816/1   1906 April 11
A.l.s. from H.B. (Rounton Grange, Northallerton)
Thanks for N.K.'s congratulations on his appointment [? as Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding]. Compliments on N.K.'s programme. Refers to Lady Bell's “foster child” the Rounton Boys Band.
Add. MSS. 816/2   1908 June 3
T.l.s. from H.B. (95 Sloane St. [London]) to N.K.
About his discussion with Mr. Hood at Middlesbrough concerning “the unsatisfactory results of the Festival”.
J[ohn] Booth (Bolton industrialist and musical amateur)
Add. MSS. 816/3   [19]14 March 16
A.l.s. from J.B. (John Booth & Sons, Hulton Steelworks, Bolton) to N.K.
Description of Bolton's amateur musical societies and their forays into Elgar - “No one has had the courage to venture upon "Gerontius" & I would dearly like to be the first to tackle it”. Outlines his plans for his society's programme next season (Elgar, Messiah, Rossini). “From the lists of works in your two programmes, it would appear that you have given practically everything that is worth giving”.
2p. on 2 leaves.
[Sir] J[ohn] Frederick Bridge (1844-1924, organist and composer, knighted 1897)
Add. MSS. 816/4   [ca 1889?], Jan. (? or June) 1
A.l.s. from J.F.B. (Cloisters, Westminster Abbey) to N.K.
Is gratified that N.K. thinks of performing J.F.B.'s Callirhoë and offers to supply scores at 1/6. [N.K. liked to put on new works; Callirhoë was first published in 1888]
Add. MSS. 816/5   [1892] Mar. 20
A.l.s. from J.F.B. (Littlington Tower, Cloisters, Westminster Abbey) to [N.K.].
Is pleased that N.K. is putting on J.F.B.'s Inchape Rock (first published 1891) so soon. [Dated 1892 in pencil at head,? by N.K.]
Add. MSS. 816/6   1901 Dec. 1
A.l.s. from J.F.B. (address as 816/5) to N.K.
Thanks for an observation by N.K. on how to conduct the overture to Elijah. Supply of scores for a work (title illegible) N.K. is about to perform. J.F.B. sends a copy of his own Forging of the Anchor (first published 1901) with a suggestion that N.K. might do it with one of his societies.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
W. Brunskill (of the Darlington Students Association)
Add. MSS. 816/7   1894 June 3
A.l.s. from W.B. (Thornville House, Darlington) to N.K.
Writes to say that N.K. has been elected an Hon. Member of the Darlington Students Assoc. Invites him to deliver his lecture “Ballads, humorous and pathetic” to the society next session, and to supply a resumé of the lecture he has already delivered on “Comic songs” to be printed in the Society's proceedings.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Mary Carlyle (daughter of Thomas Carlyle and his second wife Janet Aitken.)
Add. MSS. 816/8   1881 May 19
A.l.s. from M.C. (24 Cheyne Row, Chelsea) to [N.K.?]
“Mr. Carlyle never saw Goethe”.
J.B. Clark
Add. MSS. 816/9   1912 Dec. 10
T.l.s. from J.B.C. (Rosslyn, Beech Grove Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne) to N.K.
Account of the music he has heard ( Löhengrin, first performance of August Enna's Nattergalen, Rosenkavalier, Delius, Berlioz) during travels on business to Copenhagen and Berlin. “Fried is certainly ... one of the greatest living Conductors”. Met Arnold Schoenberg “a very plain unassuming man, reminding one in some measure of Dvorak”.
Sybil, Lady Eden (wife of Sir William Eden, 7th and 5th Bart)
Add. MSS. 816/10   [19]13 Feb. 26
A.l.s. from Lady E. (Blackwell Manor, Darlington) to N.K.
Accepting his invitation to bring her party to supper after a concert.
3p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/11a-b   [19]17 June 1
A.l.s. (816/11a) from Lady E. (Windlestone, Ferry Hill) to N.K.
Thanking N.K. for his condolences on the death of her son Nicholas at the Battle of Jutland, and for sending her his composition [not identified]. Encloses a printed (816/11b) memorial for Nicholas.
Add. MSS. 816/12   [19]20 Oct. 4
A.l.s. from Lady E. (address as 816/11a) to N.K.
Thanks for N.K.'s “litle brochure on Wagner ... You have written it so simply and so musically”. [N.K. published Wagner. A sketch of his life and works (London, [1895]) and The Story of "Wagner's Ring" for English Readers (London, [1898]).]
Add. MSS. 816/13   [1921 ca Feb. 9]
A.l.s. from Lady E. (address as 816/11a) to N.K.
Birthday good wishes. Pencil note by N.K. “Recd Feby 10, 1921”
2p. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/14   1921 Dec. 11
A.l.s. from Lady E. (address as 816/11a) to N.K.
Thanks for perfect evening and musical treat, and condolences on the death of his brother.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Sir William Eden (1849-1915, 7th and 5th Bart., of Windlestone, Co. Durham. Soldier, amateur artist)
Add. MSS. 816/15   1898 June 15
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (12B Waterloo Place, S.W.) to N.K.
“I cannot say that I have followed the Wagner cult ... But even to me there is much of his music which is delightful ... I dont believe the attempt to introduce Bayreuth to London will succeed - & I really think it much better that it should not”.
3p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/16   1902 July 5
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (address as 816/15) to N.K.
Commends George Moore's Modern painting - “For the present the best book for the young idea ... to my mind it is the Gospel of art ... shows up the academic bad taste and flagrant dishonesty of the Academy”. There have never been greater landscape painters than the Barbizon school. Comments on the difficulty of educating most people's taste in art and overcoming the “I know what I like” attitude.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/17   1904 May 15
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (Windlestone, Ferry Hill) to N.K.
Add. MSS. 816/18   1905 Aug. 7
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (address as 816/17) to N.K.
Refers to an offer he has had, but is too busy to take up, to go to India and Tibet to illustrate a book the Times correspondent on the Tibetan expedition is doing. Asks if N.K. can find a place in his engineering works at Bishop Auckland for the son of Sir W.E.'s valet.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/19   1907 Jan. 22
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (address as 816/17) to N.K.
Thoughts on the good life - “Yes - "let oneself go" - that's just it - and damn the expense”.
2p. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/20   1907 June 1
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (5b Sloane St, S.W.) to N.K.
Two of his watercolours are exhibited at the New English Art Club - interesting but unexciting show, with a wonderful Sargent. Went to the opera and heard the last act of the Meistersingers - “I have never enjoyed music more if as much, before. I hope that man the tenor will sing that song to me when I am dying and then I shant mind”.
3p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/21   1908 Nov. 29
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (Windlestone) to N.K.
“I should love to have a go at modern taste -! People dont look, dont notice, dont compare - But of course some of them ... have no means of comparison beyond the Talbot Hotel or the Town Hall, both of which are perhaps to be compared to the Bishop's Chapel [i.e. at Auckland Palace]”.
2p. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/22   1908 Dec. 27
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (12B Waterloo Place, S.W.) to N.K.
He will be at Algeciras or Tangier on 28th. “As regards your lectures will send written comments which might be read out at the meeting”. Family news.
4p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/23   1909 Jan. 13
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (Hôtel Vendôme, Paris) to N.K.
The notes promised in 816/22 on beauty and taste for use as an introduction to a lecture N.K. is to give in Bishop Auckland. Emphasises the importance of comparison in observing beauty, and gives examples in Bishop Auckland of what he does and does not admire; “the old order changeth and the new it gives place to is a scandal to taste”. How to improve taste? -“ See the best when you can and your conclusions will then be changed - Consistency is the virtue of narrow minds”.
6p. on 6 leaves.
Add. MSS. 816/24   1914 Jan. 21
A.l.s. from Sir W.E. (Windlestone) to N.K.
Philosophical thoughts of a self-proclaimed practical man.
2p. With envelope.
Muriel Goetz (Muriel Foster (1877-1937), the mezzo-soprano and Elgar specialist, wife of Ludovic Goetz)
Add. MSS. 816/25   [1910 May 1] Dated “Saturday”. Postmarked 1725 1-5 10.
Autograph postcard signed from M.G. (Biarritz) to L.F. Schuster (The Hut, Bray, Berks) [(Leo) Frank Schuster, music-loving financier and patron of the arts, friend of Elgar and dedicatee of his In the South ]
“I am afraid I must say no. My one or two indiscretions have brought me such hosts of requests that I must draw in my wings ... for a bit.” [Muriel Foster largely retired from public musical life after her marriage, except for a few occasional recitals]
L. Greenwell
Add. MSS. 816/26   1908 May 4
A.l.s. from L.G. (Carr Mount, Ruswarp, Whitby), to N.K.
Congratulations on the success of the festival, which must have “lasting effect for good in music in the district”. Particularly enjoyed the Dvorak, [Elgar's] The Kingdom, the Berlioz song, and Prelude to Act 3 of [Wagner's] Lohengrin.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Sir George Henschel (1850-1934, baritone, composer and conductor knighted 1914)
Add. MSS. 816/27   [18]90 Oct. 25
A.l.s. from G.H. (45 Bedford Gdns, Kensington) to N.K.
About arrangements for a concert organized by N.K. at which Henschel, his wife [the American soprano Lillian Bailey], and Herr Stavenhagen [Bernhard Stavenhagen (1862-1914), pianist and conductor] are to perform. “I consider your idea of giving Brahms' Liebeslieder by a small select chorus a perfectly legitimate and a very good one” - asks for an increase in his fee from 45 to 48 guineas if he is to play the accompaniment for this with Stavenhagen.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
E.W. Hornung (1866-1921, novelist and journalist)
Add. MSS. 816/28   1893 Oct. 5
A.l.s. from E.W.H. (16 Rue de Lord Byron, Champs Elys褳) to N.K.
Thanks for the gift of a finely bound copy of Hear My Prayer - “I know nothing of music - but that anthem makes my soul swim”.
Add. MSS. 816/29   1897 Oct. 27
A.l.s. from E.W.H. (Southfield Villas, Middlesbrough) to N.K.
Regrets that his visit to Bishop Auckland will have to be postponed until his next stay in the area - “I work so slowly here that I see no prospect of a single free day until we leave”.
R.K. Kingcomb
Add. MSS. 816/30   [18]89 Jan. 30
A.l.s. from R.K.K. (15 Holly Ave, Newcastle) to N.K.
Apologies for “the failure in the part of the bells at Sunderland on the 29th ... which was entirely due to want of the necessary familiarity with the instrument”.
R.W. Kirby
Add. MSS. 816/31   1913 Feb. 8
A.l.s. from R.W.K. (Ashmore, Park Road North, Middlesbrough) to N.K.
Belated 70th birthday congratulations.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Henry Leslie (1822-96, choir director and composer)
Add. MSS. 816/32   [18]90 April 29
A.l.s. from H.L. (Bryer Tanat, Llansantffcaid, Oswestry) to N.K.
Cannot identify the composer of the part-song N.K. has sent him.
Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916, Scottish composer and conductor)
Add. MSS. 816/33   [18]90 Feb. 5
A.l.s. from H.M. (21 Albion Road, South Hampstead) to [N.K.]
Regrets his commitments prevent his accepting N.K.'s invitation to conduct his (H.M.'s) ballad for chorus and orchestra Lord Ullin's Daughter in Sunderland on 11 March.
Add. MSS. 816/34   [18]91 March 17
A.l.s. from H.M. (address as 816/33) to N.K.
Advice on tempo in his ballad for baritone, chorus and orchestra, The Cameronian's Dream, for a performance N.K. is putting on.
Handley Carr Glyn Moule (1841-1920, Bishop of Durham 1901-20)
Reference: Add. MSS. 816/35
Dates of creation: 1904 Dec. 5
Extent: 2p. With envelope.
A.l.s. from H.C.G.M. (Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland) to N.K.
Is unable to attend the forthcoming performance of “Faust”. “I sh[oul]d much like my dear Daughter to go ... But what line does the libretto take? Is poor Gretchen's betrayal in unmistakable "Evidence"? My dear girl's mind has not, I think, entertained the thought of such sin & sorrow as yet, & I shrink from a sudden presentation of it to her mind, which is quite singularly sensitive to distressing impressions”.

Add. MSS. 816/36a-b   1906 March 31
A.l.s. (816/36a) from H.C.G.M. (address as 816/35) to N.K.
Encloses a copy (816/36b, autograph, 1p.) of his poem on Mendelssohn (entitled “After a Lied ohne Worte”, first line “Welcome thy remember'd tone”), which had been published in Good Words in 1904.
1p. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/37   1911 Aug. 8
A.l.s. from H.C.G.M. (1 Whitehall Gardens, S.W.) to N.K.
Will be in London until “the important sitting of the H. of Lords on Wedn[esda]y is over”, then goes to his daughter at Adare in Ireland. Supports the proposal to raise money for a portrait of Joseph Lingford, and seeks advice on the level of his own subscription. His maximum would be 5 guineas, but he would prefer 3 guineas because of the many donations for which he is asked.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/38   1911 Aug. 19
A.l.s. from H.C.G.M. (Curragh Chase, Adare, Co. Limerick) to N.K.
Thanks for N.K.s advice on the Lingford portrait and asks to be put down for 3 guineas. Praise of Dorset where N.K. is staying, and where H.C.G.M.'s father had been incumbent of Fordington from 1829 to 1880, for eight of which years H.C.G.M. had been his father's curate.
3p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope
Add. MSS. 816/39   1916 May 5
A.l.s. from H.C.G.M. (Auckland Castle) to N.K.
Thanks for notice of the marriage of Prof. [Donald] Tovey “brilliant young musician” and son of one of his college friends. [Donald Tovey (1875-1940) Professor of Music at Edinburgh University.]
1p. With envelope.
Mrs. H. Mary Moule (wife of H.C.G. Moule, Bishop of Durham)
Add. MSS. 816/40   [1911] Oct. 2
A.l.s. from H.M.M. (address as 816/40) to N.K.
Has been delayed in Ireland by the strike. Thanks for gift of N.K.'s part song Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind [1911] which he has dedicated to her.
On paper with same watermark as 816/41. 3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/41   1911 Oct. 30
A.l.s. from H.M.M. (Auckland Castle) to N.K.
Thanks for gift of N.K.'s part-song To Apollo. Hopes to hear these two part songs [i.e. Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind and To Apollo ] at the concert on Dec. 6
2p. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/42   1912 March 27
L.s. (“Dictated”) from H.M.M. (address as 816/40) to N.K.
Apology that, because of her recent mourning, she could not attend last night's concert “to hear my dear old master's May Queen”.
Add. MSS. 816/43   [Undated] Dec. 15.
A.l.s. from H.M.M. (address as 816/40) to N.K.
Appreciation of last night's performance of the Messiah, conducted by N.K. “We are truly grateful to you - & so I am sure is this whole town - for your unwearied efforts to raise the standard of musical taste & performance in Bishop Auckland”
On paper with same watermark as 816/40-41. 3p. on 1 folded leaf.
R.G. Moulton (1849-1924, Professor of literary theory at the University of Chicago)
Add. MSS. 816/44   1893 Nov. 29
A.l.s. from R.G.M. (Cambridge) to N.K.
Thanks for gift of N.K.'s setting of the 23rd Psalm The Lord is my Shepherd to music for chorus and orchestra or organ (London, [1892]).
Horatio Parker (1863-1919, American composer)
Add. MSS. 816/45   1901 Dec. 1
A.l.s. from H.P. (Edinburgh) to N.K.
Regretfully refuses an invitation to visit N.K. at Bishop Auckland.
John Pattinson
Add. MSS. 816/46   1898 Jan. 5
A.l.s. from J.P. (Shipcote House, Gateshead-on-Tyne) to N.K.
“It is a great pleasure to reckon you as one of my dearest friends”. [N.K. dedicated his part-song To Apollo to J.P.]
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
John N. Paul
Add. MSS. 816/47   1910 Nov. 25
A.l.s. from J.N.P. (17 Surgery Row, Trimdon Grange) to N.K.
Thanks for books - “your Life of that great man Wagner is a masterpiece”.
Thomas W. Petre
Add. MSS. 816/48   [19]15 Dec. 11
A.l.s. from T.W.P. (73 Shepherd's Bush Road [London]) to [N.K.]
“If you will send on the parts & score, we shall be very pleased to try Paul's work [Paul Kilburn, N.K.'s musical son, to whom Elgar dedicated a Minuet ], and if possible include it in one of our series”.
Add. MSS. 816/49   [19]15 Dec. 15
Autograph postcard from T.W.P. (address as 816/48) to N.K. “Quartet safely to hand”.
Add. MSS. 816/50   [19]16 April 5
A.l.s. from T.W.P. (address as 816/48) to N.K.
Met Paul [Kilburn] at the last L.S.O. concert and discussed his work. T.W.P.'s colleagues will soon be meeting to decide which English works to include in next season's programme, but as T.W.P. is starting his military duties he will not be at the meeting.
N. Pickering
Add. MSS. 816/51   [18]86 Nov. 23
A.l.s. from N.P. (Cleveland View, Ayresome Road, Middlesbrough) to N.K.
Seeks to allay N.K.'s fears that the recently founded “Amateur Vocal” may damage the interests of the Middlesbrough Musical Union (of which N.K. is the conductor), and that to be on the committees of both societies is inadvisable. If the Union officials make proper efforts, the existence of the Vocal need not result in a fall in subscriptions to the Union - “in a large town like this ... plenty of room for both”.
4p on 1 folded leaf.
Sir Landon Ronald (1873-1938, composer and conductor, Principal of the Guildhall School of Music)
Add. MSS. 816/52   1923 Nov. 5.
T.l.s. from Sir L.R. (Guildhall School of Music, London) to Mrs. N.K.
Rarely goes to concerts, but will try to go to her son's [i.e. Paul Kilburn].
Norman Salmond (singer)
Add. MSS. 816/53   [18]92 March 11
A.l.s. from N.S. (67 Hamilton Terrace, [London] N.W.) to N.K.
Thanks for N.K.'s pamphlet on Bayreuth and Wagner. Gratefully recalls the “splendid services you gave me” at Sunderland “which so much contributed to my success”.
Sir Owen Seaman (1861-1936, editor of Punch 1906-32, knighted 1933)
Add. MSS. 816/54   [Undated, but postmarked] [18]89 July 2
A.l.s. from O.S. (Dixcart's, Sark) to N.K.
Thanks for photograph of N.K.'s wife. Impressions of Sark.
4p. on 1 folded leaf. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/55   [19]23 Oct. 27
A.l.s. from O.S. (Beefsteak Club, 9 Green St., Leicester Square) to Mrs. N.K.
Wishes that he could go to hear Paul Kilburn conduct at the Albert Hall on 14 Dec. but will be putting the paper [i.e. Punch ] together.
Bertram Shapleigh (1871-1940, American composer and music lecturer)
Add. MSS. 816/56   1907 Dec. 6
A.l.s. from B.S. (Weird Wood, Longfield, Kent) to N.K.
Congratulates N.K. on the high standard of his Bishop Auckland choir's performance of B.S.'s composition The Raven. In appreciation of N.K.'s hospitality to him and his wife, sends “a few mementoes of ourselves” - violin pieces and a pianoforte arrangement of his Ramayana for Paul Kilburn, cello music for N.K., and Romance of the Year - “that is a bit of both of us, my wife having written the poem”.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
H.O.N. Shaw
Add. MSS. 816/57   [19]17 Nov. 1
A.l.s. from H.O.N.S. (Wissett Hall, Halesworth, Suffolk) to N.K.
Condolences about a recent tragedy. “I knew poor Byers fairly well, & it came as a most sudden shock”. Byers, to whom H.O.N.S. was introduced by Drysdale, owed H.O.N.S. ca £12/£13,000 and has left huge liabilities and no assets.
2p. With envelope.
H. S[ibbald]
Add. MSS. 816/58   [Undated, postmarked [19]18 Aug. or ?April 3]
Autograph postcard from H.S. (Bishop Auckland postmark) to N.K.
About the derivation of the name Kilburn
George Robertson Sinclair (1863-1917, organist successively of Truro and Hereford Cathedrals, conductor of the Three Choirs Festival; his impetuous character is immortalised in the 11th of Elgar's Enigma Variations.)
Add. MSS. 816/59   1897 Jan. 13
A.l.s. from G.S. (Junior Conservative Club, Albemarle St, Piccadilly) to N.K.
“You have cleared my path for me very considerately and I think I shall have very little difficulty about the Parsifal selection”.
S[amuel] Smiles (1812-1904, author of Self-Help, Scotch Naturalist, Robert Dick, Geologist and Botanist etc.)
Add. MSS. 816/60   1891 Nov. 25.
A.l.s. from S.S. (8 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington) to N.K.
“I fear I am too old & worn out to write any more books on the subject of naturalists” but thanks N.K. for bringing Mr. Soutter to his notice.
Thomas M. Smith
Add. MSS. 816/61   1889 Dec. 23
A.l.s. from T.M.S. (22 Myddelton Square, London) to N.K.
Has joined a London branch of the National Secular Society. “[Charles] Bradlaugh you will be glad to know is better” but is to resign as President of the Society - “(though by no means faultless) Bradlaugh is a powerful man & has I have no doubt been hitherto the mainstay of the party. Who are we to look to now”. Thinks [George William] Foote who is suggested is not the man. “I do not believe in the Society so closely associating itself with his views and making "the Freethinker" the authorised journal vice "the National Reformer", Mrs [Annie] Besant alas is a Theophist or we need have looked no further”. Discusses Mrs Besant's path to Theosophy.
8p. on 2 folded leaves.
Jessica O. Stobart
Add. MSS. 816/62   [Undated] Jan. 27
A.l.s. from J.O.S. (Etherley Lodge, Bishop Auckland) to N.K.
May she bring Lilian tomorrow to “fully discuss this violin question”.
Herbert Thompson (1856-1945, music critic of the Yorkshire Post for 50 years).
Add. MSS. 816/63a-c   1907 June 18
A.l.s. (816/63a) from H.T. (11 Burton Crescent, Headingley, Leeds, on paper with printed
letterhead of Leeds Playgoers' Society) to N.K.
Encloses a prospectus for the newly founded Leeds Playgoers' Society for the Furtherance of Operatic and Dramatic Art (816/63b, printed, 1 folded leaf) and a newspaper cutting from the Yorkshire Post 18 June 1908 (816/63c) about the Society. The Society hopes to foster performance of a more adventurous range of operas in Leeds. H.T. inquires if support for a similar scheme might be forthcoming in Newcastle or Middlesbrough. He has written to Mr. Pattinson (cf. 816/46) who approves. He includes a list of suggested operas, old and new.
Add. MSS. 816/64   1908 March 24
Autograph postcard from H.T. (St. Leonards, Westwood Lane, Leeds) to N.K.
Preparations for a concert. “I have now everything ready save Shapleigh, Waldsee, & Lotus Eaters ”. Thanks for articles on [Bertram] Shapleigh. “You shall have the scores back as soon as I can manage”.
Add. MSS. 816/65   1909 Oct 31
A.l.s. from H.T. (11 Burton Crescent, Headingley, Leeds) to N.K.
“H.B. [not identified] is too firmly fixed in his ”method“ ... to take up any other: what he wants is general culture & a wider experience”. Recommends H.B. lives with a family in Dresden, Munich or Bayreuth, listens to all the music he can, and, if he has lessons “should have them from a great artist (say a man of Henschel's type), not on technique but on interpretation”. Acquiring some German would also help - H.B. “wants to be more cosmopolitan, less W. Riding”.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Eva Wagner (Richard Wagner's daughter)
Add. MSS. 816/66   [18]94 Aug. 7
A.l.s. from E.W. (Wahnfried, Bayreuth) to ?N.K.
Reply on behalf of her mother to an enquiry [? from N.K.]. - “I am charged to ... tell that the use of raising the curtain at the end of the performance of Parsifal has been introduced by my father occasionally [i.e. on the occasion of] the first representations of Parsifal 1882, and has been kept up, and cannot be changed”.
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901, Bishop of Durham 1890-1901)
Add. MSS. 816/67   1898 June 17
A.l.s. from B.F.W. (Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland) to N.K.
Thanks for “the copy of your story of the Ring des Nibelungen”. The only Richter concert he was able to attend raised fundamental questions in his mind which he wishes he had time to discuss with N.K. [Hans Richter (1843-1916), copyist and general assistant to Wagner, became the leading Wagnerian conductor of his time. Immensely popular and influential in England, Richter was the conductor of the Hall矏rchestra from 1899-1911].
Add. MSS. 816/68   1898 Aug. 20
A.l.s. from B.F.W. (Goathland, Yorks) to N.K.
Thanks for the notice of Wagner's Essay on Religion and Art which he has read with interest. “The short quotations indicate the source of the want which I have felt in his Music. His misunderstanding of what Christianity claims to be leaves him, if I may venture to say so, to substitute morality as limited by the conditions of earth for morality inspired by the sense of the infinite”.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/69   1899 March 16
A.l.s. from B.F.W. (Auckland Palace) to N.K.
Returns with thanks “the interesting article on Wagner in the Primitive Methodist Review”. Has learnt much from it “but I confess that I cannot obtain a clear view of the claims which Wagner makes for music as expressing the soul of religion”.
3p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/70   1901 March 29
A.l.s. from B.F.W. (address as 816/69) to N.K.
Is honoured that N.K. has placed words of his on the programme of the Musical Society, but points out an error in the report which spoils the sense.
Cur-Direction, Wiesbaden
Add. MSS. 816/71a-b   1889 May 15
A.l.s. (816/71a) from the Curdirector, Staedtische Cur-Direction, Wiesbaden [signature indecipherable] to N.K.
Enclosing programme for forthcoming concerts in Wiesbaden 27th-30 June (including Richard Strauss's Italienische Fantasie, which has been underlined in red pencil).
1p. With envelope.
C[harles] Lee Williams (1853-1935, organist of Gloucester Cathedral and one of the conductors of the Three Choirs Festival)
Add. MSS. 816/72   1889 Oct. 19
A.l.s. from C.L.W. (Palace Yard, Gloucester)
Thanks for N.K.'s note praising his sonata The Last Night at Bethany. His librettist Joseph Bennett will also appreciate N.K.'s kind words.
Clarice M. Wilson
Add. MSS. 816/73   [19]16 Nov. 24
A.l.s. from C.M.W. (Parkhurst, Middlesbrough) to N.K.
Invites N.K. to lecture to the Parents National Educational Union, Middlesbrough Branch, on some musical subject. Describes the objects and activities of the Union.
Add. MSS. 816/74   [1916] Dec. 12
A.l.s. from C.M.W. (address as 816/73) to N.K.
Thanks N.K. for agreeing to lecture and suggests dates.
Olga Wood (singer, wife of Sir Henry Wood)
Add. MSS. 816/75   1907 Dec.5
A.l.s. from O.W. (4 Elsworthy Road, London) to Mrs. N.K.
Thanks for hospitality.
Julia Worthington (d.1913, American friend of Elgar and dedicatee of his Deep in my Soul, dau. of C.C. Worthington of Washington, wife of (1) E.L. Hedden, (2) E.M. Sawtelle)
Add. MSS. 816/76   [Postmark 1906] Nov. 23
A.l.s. from J.W. (4 West 40th St, N[ew] Y[ork] City) to Mrs. N.K.
Is going to hear Elgar's The Banner of St George in New York. “I am going on with my work with Henschel”.
6p. on 2 leaves (1 folded). With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/77   [Postmark 1907 May 9]
A.l.s. from J.W. (Rossiter, Highland Road, Bromley, Kent) to Mrs. N.K.
Elgar stayed with her all the time he was in the U.S.A. except when in Chicago and Pittsburg. “We had some beautiful music & often thought & spoke of you. The Kingdom will always be associated with Mr Kilburn”. She is going to Cambridge in June for The Kingdom in King's College Chapel. Future travel plans.
4p. on 4 leaves with envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/78   [Postmark 1907] Oct. 2
A.l.s. from J.W. (Queen Anne's Mansions, St James' Park, London) to Mrs. N.K.
Sails on Saturday. “While at the Elgars we missed you there”.
Add. MSS. 816/79   1909 April 13
A.l.s. from Pippa [J.W.] (on board R.M.S. Majestic) to Mrs. N.K.
Is going to Paris, and then with the Elgars to Florence for a month. “Plas Gwyn [the Elgars' home] seems to have had a miserable time this winter, malgr矴he success of the Symphony. It has been an Elgar winter with us”. Mentions success of “Caractacus”, in Toronto. Heard all 8 rehearsals of the Symphony in New York, and also heard it in Boston twice with Max Fiedler.
8p. on 2 folded leaves. With envelope.
Add. MSS. 816/80   [Undated], Friday
A.l.s. from J.W. (17 Langham St, Portland Place, [London]) to [Mrs N.K.].
The Kilburns were missed at Birmingham “and tell Mr Kilburn that his solo "Ye men of Thrace" was not properly rendered!” She sails tomorrow.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/81   [Undated], May 13
A.l.s. from J.W. (Rossiter, Highland Rd, Bromley, Kent) to [Mrs N.K.].
Is going to Hereford for Whitsuntide. Gerontius is to be given in London soon. “I shall think of you on the spirit day - and the tongues of flame that Mr. Kilburn went over so often”.
4p. on 1 folded leaf.
Add. MSS. 816/82   [Undated], May 26 Pentecost
A.l.s. from Pippa [J.W.] (New York, written on paper with printed address Rossiter, Irving-on-Hudson) to Alice [Mrs. N.K.].
Domestic details, family and social news. “I am so happy to know the Elgar new home in every corner”. Hopes Elgar's health has improved - “I know his digestion is the root of all evil”.
8p. on 8 leaves.
Add. MSS. 816/83   [1870 April]
Envelope with “official paid” postmark 19 April 1870 and W.E. Gladstone's signature, addressed to Rev. J. Hammond, Didsbury, Manchester, and readdressed to Rev. Canon Gregory, St. Mary's Parsonage, Lambeth.
Add. MSS. 816/84   [1880?]
Postcard with, mounted on recto, a photograph of a group of distinguished musicians (F.A. Bridge, Photo. 9 Norfolk Road, Dalston Lane, London). Facsimiles of their signatures and the date May 11th 1880 are printed on the verso.
Possibly taken to mark a performance of Haydn's (or rather Leopold Mozart's) Toy Symphony? (the instruments the musicians are holding include a toy drum, rattle, cuckoo and toy trumpet). Signatures: H.M. Folkestone, L. Engel, Sir Julius Benedict, Frederic H. Gomez, Sir John Stainer, Jacquin Blumenthal, Hugo Daubert, W.G. Cusins, Wilhelm Ganz, Joseph Barnby, Sir Arthur Sullivan, John Francis Barnett, August Manns, Carl Rosa, S. Arthur Chappell, Alberto Randegger, Henry Leslie, and two others indecipherable.
Add. MSS. 816/85   1976
Photocopy of Sotheby's sale catalogue, 9 Feb. 1976, lots 69-82, letters written to Nicholas Kilburn and his family (see Introduction above). Add. MSS 816/1-84 are lot 79.