3 neat hand written letters from Baron de Vidil to John Jackson.
Draft letter from John Jackson to Baron Vidil.
4 cheques and receipt from Jackson to Vidil.
Bills for medical supplies and medical attendance on Alfred Vidil.
Letter dated July 14th 1838 from Harrogate on black bordered mourning paper acknowledging receipt of half year's annuity of £250.
Letter dated April 28 1840 from Burlington Hotel Stockholm enquiring after the health of his son "little Alfred" requesting fortnightly accounts of his health and stating that his separation "every day becomes more painful to me, and which nothing but the idea that I am fulfilling the wishes of his poor mother, and that i am in the mean time labouring for his interest in Stockholm, would induce me to continue."
Letter acknowledging letters of April, May, June and July discussing the health of his son and suggesting that "the boy might have the advantage of a French or German nurse under the English one." Encloses a cheque " of £127.16.11¾ which you have been so kind to advance for the boys expenses for a year." and acknowledges receipt of cheque for £250.
Draft letters on a single sheet by John Jackson including draft to Baron Vidil reporting the health of "poor Alley" and about payment of his annuity. "I beg to remind you that in reply to your general directions to me to pay your annuity to the account of E.Vidil Esq. at Smith Payne and Smiths I stated that I would readily do so but that I ought to have a letter from you to that effect when each payment became due"
4 Cheques from J. Jackson payable to Alfred Vidil Esq. each to the value of £250 dated July 1837 (with receipt) Jan 1838, Sept 1839 and July 1840.
2 Bills for medicinal supplies for A Vidil Esq. from Jan. to Aug. 1839 for £7.5s.6d. and from Feb. to Aug. 1840 for £3.10s.
Bill for medical attendance on the cook Oct 1839, Miss Jackson Feb 1840 and Master Vidil Feb 1840.
These documents pre-date the attempted murder of his son by Baron de Vidil by some 20 years but give an early insight into his relationship with his young son.
Alfred Vidil (1808-1865) was the son of a successful French glove-maker. His father had ambitions for his son and using his money to grant favours in influential London society, saw his son become an attaché to the French embassy in Stockholm and style himself as Alfred Louis Pons, Baron de Vidil.
The young Vidil, described as having “a dashing exterior and insinuating manners” met Miss Susannah Jackson, daughter of John Jackson, a wealthy London merchant, while she was riding in Hyde Park. Against her fathers wishes Vidil persuaded her to marry him.
Her father refused to acknowledge her marriage to Vidil but on the birth of their son, Alfred John de Vidil, partially relented and left her the sum of £30,000 away from her husband and to be settled on their son.
John Jackson died soon afterwards, followed by Susannah in about 1838.
The young Alfred (Ally) was adopted by Susannah’s sister Sarah who had just married William Parker, a wealthy London Barrister. They were later to move to Ware Park in Hertford in 1842.
Vidil, with no income of his own, was able to survive on the interest of his son’s £30.000 while he was under 21. That income stopped in 1858-59 and in July 1861 Vidil attempted the notorious crime of murdering his son by beating him over the head with a silver-headed cane while riding in Twickenham. The crime and ensuing court case became a sensation in the Victorian press and society. Despite his son refusing to testify in court, he was found guilty of unlawful wounding and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour.