rorkesdriftvc.com Forum Index


rorkesdriftvc.com
Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Reply to topic
Henry Hook
Rusteze


Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 55
Location: Hampshire UK
Reply with quote
Can anyone point me towards an example of Henry Hook's signature by any chance? Any help gratefully received.
Steve

_________________
Rusteze
View user's profileSend private message
Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
Reply with quote
I came across a book published around 1910 in a 2nd hand bookshop in Lewes which was simply a published book of collected signatures arranged chronologically and by event. I didn't buy it but Hook, Williams, Bromhead, Chard and Hitch's signatures were all there among others.
The shop was Bow Windows Bookshop (google them for their website) - who knows - they may still have it or at least be able to give you the details of the title etc.
View user's profileSend private message
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
Reply with quote
Steve

According to his biographer, on his first marriage (1870) Hook made only a mark (the usual cross, presumably) when "signing" the register. When his divorce came through and he married, secondly, in 1897, I'd guess that he was able to sign his name by that stage of his life, but Barry C. Johnson (Hook of Rorke's Drift, 2004) does not confirm this (p224). A look at the full entry in the register or acquisition of the certificate would clarify this either way. And Julian's note above suggests so, too.

I dare say there are extant papers which bear his signature, probably from the 1880s onwards, and an examination of the very comprehensive footnotes in Johnson's work may lead you to an archive which reveals his signature on a document or letter. It seems unlikely (but not quite impossible) that Hook received any schooling at all, although even illiterates sometimes managed to succeed in efforts to write their name. His later occupations, and the attention he received from time to time, suggest to me he may well have been able to sign his name in later life, even possibly to read and write. It is likely, though, that some these signatures (if they survive) may be signed "Alfred Hook." Barry Johnson may go into this in more detail but I haven't checked carefully.

Incidentally, Johnson' research appears, to me, to be of the highest order, and he succeeded in unravelling a great deal of the myths and mysteries about Hook's personal life in a superb biography.

Peter
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
Henry Hook
Rusteze


Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 55
Location: Hampshire UK
Reply with quote
Julian and Peter

Thank you very much for your responses.

After posting my question, I too wondered whether a marriage certificate might provide an example signature and so did a quick search on Ancestry. It is indeed there, in its original version, and confidently signed "Alfred Henry Hook" (marriage to Ada Letitia Taylor at St Andrews Church Islington on 10 April 1897).

You may wonder why I am interested. Last week I purchased, via the internet, a very battered set of the two volumes of Moodies British Battles and Adventures etc. in South Africa 1888, with a view to refurbishment - the price was very little and so worth a punt sight unseen.

Imagine my delight and astonishment to find, on opening each fragile volume, the name "Henry Hook VC" written in ink on each inside board, and in the second volume, also his daughter Letitia's name and address (as Bunting nee Hook) in Little Dean Gloucester.

I am still a little numb!

Steve

_________________
Rusteze
View user's profileSend private message
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
Reply with quote
Steve

What on earth can one say? Except - WOW!!!

I'm usually quite cautious in accepting signatures or notes such as that but it seems to me you have the genuine article. Letitia Bunting died in 1980 but her children, Mrs Jean Furness and Mr Henry Bunting, are both acknowledged by Barry Johnson for their help, especially Mrs Furness.

Your numbness will be fully understood here!

Peter

P.S. Johnson mentions that Hook also sometimes signed simply as "Alfred Hook" depending on the persona he was assuming at certain stages of his life. Have you got this biography? Recommended - especially as you now have Hook's copies of Moodie. I have seen some battered sets of Moodie for sale during the last year but have stuck to the reprints. Wonder if I missed out? Presumably we have a vendor somewhere who missed something fairly important ...?
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
Reply with quote
Steve

I echo Peter's delight and congratulations. It sound like the item was poorly described by the seller - to the victor, the spoils.

Peter
View user's profileSend private message
Rusteze


Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 55
Location: Hampshire UK
Reply with quote
In my experience booksellers rarely miss things, so I don't feel too bad on this occasion.

To be honest, the dealer went to such pains to describe the shortcomings of these volumes ( very fairly I thought) that I guess the overwhelming plus point was simply missed. Question now is whether to refurbish or not - my inclination is to leave well alone.

I have, by the way, ordered a copy of the Hook biography from the Museum at Brecon.

Steve

_________________
Rusteze
View user's profileSend private message
Henry Hook
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT  
Page 1 of 1  

  
  
 Reply to topic