Reed Autograph Letters Album B1, no. 63: Sir Robert Peel.
Reed’s original gift included approximately 900 autograph letters, which he had collected since 1907. In addition, there were three albums of mounted letters (Reed Albums A, B1 and B2), which had been deposited on loan to the Library years earlier.
The terms of the donation explicitly required that Reed would continue to have access to the collections for research purposes. Reed subsequently utilised letters from his original gift to complete a further two letter albums (B3 and B4). Albums B1, B2, B3 and B4 collectively contain exactly 366 letters – a deliberate design by Reed who created the albums for display, and intended that the page be turned every day for an entire year (even allowing for a leap-year).
Album B1 includes a franked envelope autographed by Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), English Conservative statesman and Prime Minister most renowned for establishing the Metropolitan Police Force. The recipient was the daughter of Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth.