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George Poyntz Ricketts letter book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Born in Nursling, Hampshire, England the eldest son of five children to George Poyntz Ricketts, who was governor of Barbados, and Sophia Watts. Ricketts was a civil servant with the East India Company from 1790 to 1815. He began working in India as an assistant to the secretary of the Secret Department in 1791. Beginning in 1792 he worked as a collector in different regions including Tirhut and Bihar, India. In 1807 Ricketts served as judge and magistrate of the Zillah Court in Mirzapur. In 1810 he served as collector of customs and head of the custom house at Benares and Mirzapur. Ricketts married Sophia Sarah Jane Pierce in Kolkata on February 23, 1800. They had eight children.

This brown leather volume contains the expense accounts, and outgoing letters of George Poyntz Ricketts spanning the years from 1803 to 1815. The first eleven pages comprise bills and expenses for supplies and a longboat. Following the accounts is a recipe for an Indian dish. The remainder of the volume comprises Rickett's letters to several officials of East India Company including chairman Henry Thomas Colebrooke. He also corresponded with Governor-Generals of India Marquis Wellesley and Lord Minto. The letters in the volume contain various subjects including the business affairs, finance, and trade of the East India Company. Rickett's also wrote of his position at the company, promotions, health, family, and travel. In 1807 Ricketts traveled to Colombo where he recorded a seven-page deposition given by Mahomed Gane who once served Robert Barry of the Malay Corps. Gane witnessed the massacre of British troops in the first war of Kandy in 1803. In the deposition Gane provided a detailed account of the violence he witnessed including the death of Lieutenant Blackiney by Malayan Prince Sanguylo. A brief index follows the letters. Several pages at the end of the volume are blank.

Sold by The Wayfarer's Bookshop (North Vancouver, B.C.), 2017.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
October 2017
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George Poyntz Ricketts letter book, 1803-1815.
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