An autograph letter, dated 23rd October 1945, from the cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973). It was written to Colonel Crewdson, the Company Clerk, turning down an offer of hospitality. Click on the images to download larger versions.
The letter reads:
Dear Colonel Crewtson [sic],
I would like first of all, to express my deep appreciation on the kindness you have shown me in inviting me through our friend Mr Mewburn Levien, to be the Guest of Honour at your Luncheon on October 30th.
In normal circumstances nothing would have given me greater happiness than to have accepted, but as matters stand today I must ask you to allow me to consider it as a pleasure deferred. I feel that conditions as they are at this moment, inasmuch as they concern my Country and my compatriots, I cannot take part in any such occasion during my present visit to England, and I know you will understand my point of view.
It is the greatest sorrow to me to send you this reply, but I hope I can be with you another time.
I feel such an interest in this country which I love that everything that concerns it touches me.
As a Musician it is my special desire to see the musical life of London restored after the havoc of war and to know that her concert halls and buildings for music are again and still more worthy of this great capital in accordance with its world importance.
Please will you be kind enough to present my cordial salutations to the Worshipful Master, the Wardens and Livery, and believe me,
Yours very sincerely