*[Albert, Prince, 1819-61]. Autograph speech made by the Prince Consort as President of the African Civilisation Society for the extinction of the slave trade, given at Exeter Hall, 1st June 1840, ‘I have been induced to preside at the meeting of this Society from a conviction of its paramount importance to the great interests of humanity and justice. I deeply regret that the benevolent and perservering exersions of England to abolish that atrocious traffic in human beings (at one the desolation of African and the blackest stain upon civilised Europe) have not as yet led to any satisfactory conclusion!!' and continuing in a similar vein, clearly written with some words and phrases underlined for emphasis, a total of 22 lines, one page, 4to, tipped-onto an album leaf at upper margin, with a note tipped-on above stating its author and provenance and finishing, ‘Written with his own hand and held for reference in the bottom of his hat - he gave it to me, R.G. [Lord Robert Grosvenor, 1801-93, Comptroller to the Royal Household]'. Prince Albert had only just accepted the Office of President of the Society a few days earlier and this was to be his first speech in England since his recent marriage to Queen Victoria on 10th February. Such was the excitement about his presence, that there was a huge demand for tickets and ensuing anxiety to get there early to get the best seats that traffic jams were caused in the streets surrounding. While the transatlantic slave trade was abolished by Parliament in 1807 it was not until 1833 that the abolition of slavery act was passed leading to apprenticeship and emancipation. However, this meeting was the first occasion that the abolitionist movement had the Royal seal of approval and Prince Albert's warm reception did much to speed up the anti-slavery consensus amongst all levels of the British classes. (1)
* The description of the above lot by the auctioneer in the language of the auction is the governing description. Any translation using Google Translate is a guide only - its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and it is used at your own risk.