|Administrative History||In his early life Thomas Gordon (1788-1841) served in the British, Russian and Hanoverian Army and travelled extensively abroad. Throughout the Greek War of Independence (1821-1828) he offered his unwavering support to the Greeks both from Scotland and through active participation on two separate occasions (1821 and 1826-27). After the war he divided his time between Greece, where he served in the army and reached the rank of major-general, and Scotland, where he wrote his 'History of the Greek Revolution' (2 volumes, London and Edinburgh, 1832).|
|Description||Correspondence and papers of Thomas Gordon (1788-1841), written in English, French, Greek and Italian. Most of the letters are addressed to Thomas Gordon, while others are originals or copies of his own letters [Some are between other correspondents, see MS 1160/20/508]. The collection also includes other papers such as commissions, decorations and memberships of societies, and receipts. A number of letters relate to James Robertson. |
Principal correspondents include: J. Blackburne; E. Blaquiere (Captain Edward Blaquiere, London and Greece); J. Bowring (John Bowring, MP, London); M. Burnett (Mary Burnett, Aberdeen and Crathes); H. F. du Bourg (General Count H. F[rédéric] du Bourg [Dubourg-Butler], Paris); C. Fabvier (Colonel Charles Fabvier, Greece); C. Gibbon (Charles Gibbon, Aberdeen, latterly minister of Lonmay); Andrew Hay (Gordon's cousin); W. H. Humphreys (William H. Humphreys, officer, Greece and England); 'Koutzofskis' (Dr. Koutzofskis, Paris); T. Latham; A. Mavrokordatos (Alexandros Mavrokordatos [Mavrocordato], Greece); P. Milne; W. Parry (William Parry, firemaster, London and Greece); J. Robertson (the Reverend James Robertson, Cairness, Zante and Greece); H. Robinson (Henry Robinson, merchant, Greece).
Particular items of interest include:
MS 1160/20/83: Letter referring to emancipation of slaves on Thomas Gordon's West Indies plantation (1810);
MS 1160/20/98: Letter regarding appointment in Imperial Army (1812);
MS 1160/20/274: Letter from J. Hume asking Gordon to act as commissioner in Greece for London Committee (1824);
MS 1160/20/385: Letter written by Thomas Gordon to J. Robertson. Gives detailed account of current situation and of activities since arriving at Nafplio three weeks before (June 1826);
MS 1160/20/448: Letter to Thomas Gordon discussing Gordon's financial arrangements with regard to chartered boat 'Achilles' (1826);
MS 1160/20/497: Letter from Gordon to Greek Government. Sets conditions regarding powers, forces and facilities at his disposal for undertaking command of expedition for the relief of Athens (1827);
MS 1160/20/705: Letter from William Blackwood to Thomas Gordon offering to undertake the publication of Gordon's 'History' provided that it appears complete and not in instalments. (December 1831) [Also see MS 1160/20/713 and 714: the latter refers to a third volume];
MS 1160/20/740: Thomas Gordon: Commission as Major General in Greek Army (1835);
MS 1160/20/769: Letter from Thomas Gordon to War Secretary of the State requesting permission to retire from Greek Service (February 1839).
[Note: Many of the documents written by Greek individuals or in Greece use 'old style' dating (the Julian calendar, at the time twelve days behind the Gregorian one current in Western Europe). All documents have been dated and arranged according to the new style; the date appearing in the original, if different, has been placed in square brackets. Place-names are given in their original form (for example, Tripolitsa rather than Tripoli, Constantinople rather than Istanbul).]