4. Cleveland Row. S.W.
Your Majesty was pleased to send me (thro' Lord James Clark) a gracious message regarding a paper
of mine, on the late Lord Herbert's reforms in the sanitary administration of the Army, whereby he
reduced the death rate among your Majesty's troops at home by one half.
You, Madam, and he who is always present in your faithful subjects' longing and grateful
recollection, personally and directly originated these reforms through the Royal Sanitary Commission
which you were pleased to grant to my prayer at Balmoral in 1856.
Nothing but the memory of the interest which your Majesty and his Royal Highness personally took in
that matter could embolden me to approach you on this occasion.
The only man who is cognizant of all Lord Herbert's plans for the welfare, moral as well as
physical, of the men, the only man who, I believe, can carry out the organization necessary for
is Lord de Grey. Lord Herbert himself earnestly desired him as his successor and repeated this to me
again and again up to the last fortnight of his life. I feel it, as it were, a duty to communicate
this to your Majesty. Lord de Grey served under Lord Herbert during the greater part of his time of
office. He has the administrative power. He has all the threads of Lord Herbert's sanitary reforms,
which would, in other hands, be snapped asunder.
On the knees of my heart I entreat your Majesty's pardon for the extraordinary steps I have taken
in applying to her directly - a step to which Lord Palmerston's consent to deliver my letter alone
could warrant me.
Your Majesty is perhaps not unaware that, for five years, I worked daily, hourly with Lord Herbert
at his Army sanitary reforms. Indeed his last words in world were, "Poor Florence - our unfinished
In my conviction it is not a figure of speech - it is a literal matter of fact that it is a
question of life and death to the men whether Lord de Grey is enabled as Secretary of State for
War, to carry out that work.
I write from my sick, I believe my dying bed. I am in life and in death, your Majesty's humblest
most dutiful subject.