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National Archives, UK
–––Application to the Chairman of the Brixton Prison Visiting Committee.
BR TO THE BRIXTON PRISON VISITING COMMITTEE / SIR VANSITTART BOWATER, 10 MAY 1918
BRACERS 57176. ALS. National Archives, UK. Papers 14: App. XIII.2
Previous Brixton letter, BRACERS 46911; next letter, BRACERS 57174
Edited by Kenneth Blackwell, Andrew G. Bone, Nicholas Griffin and Sheila Turcon
To the Chairman of the Visiting Committee
I am applying to you, as Chairman of the Visiting Committee, for the permission, which I understand is usually accorded to prisoners in the first Division, to receive visits and write and receive letters oftener than once a fortnight. In particular, I wish as soon as possible to see Professor Wildon Carr, President of the Aristotelian Society, 107 Church Street, Chelsea, S.W.3, and Dr. A.N. Whitehead,2 F.R.S., 97 Coleherne Court, S.W.5. Both of these it is important to me to see in connection with my philosophical work. I venture to hope that you will also sanction greater frequency of letters and visits in general than once a fortnight.3
[document] The letter was edited from a digital scan of BR’s signed, handwritten original in the National Archives, UK; it consists of one side of a single blue sheet. The letter was published as App. XIII.2 in Papers 14.
greater frequency of letters and visits … than once a fortnight BR’s requests were a follow-up to Frank Russell’s letter of 4 May 1918 (BRACERS 57175). Frank had made six numbered requests. Those relevant to BR’s letter concerned permission to (4) write and receive two letters per week; (5) receive one visit per week of not less than three persons; and (6) receive a visit from Frank and Elizabeth not more than once a week, when necessary. (Requests 1–3 were that BR be permitted to (1) have such books and periodicals as he required; (2) be supplied with such writing materials as he required; and (3) review books and send manuscripts out of the prison, with the governor’s approval.) In a letter of 11 May, Sir Ernley Blackwell of the Home Office left 4–6 to the discretion of Visiting Committee. On 13 May, its Chairman, T. Vansittart Bowater, opposed granting (5) and (6). When the Visiting Committee met, they approved only (1), (2), (4) and (5). Blackwell had granted (3), but the Visiting Committee opposed it. They were overruled by the Home Secretary on 28 May — BR must be allowed “to follow his own profession”. There is no sign that (6) was granted. Thus by the end of the month BR was granted 1–5. It therefore took almost the first month for BR to acquire the set of privileges relating to his profession. The letters of this month were all “official” at a frequency of roughly one letter a week (except for the “Buzot” Letters 8 and 10 and the “Mirabeau” Letter 11, which were likely regarded as mss.).
Record last modified 2021/07/24
Created/last modified by blackwk