THATCHER, Margaret.

Typed letter signed, responding to Lord Weatherill's condolence after Denis Thatcher's death.

2003 Stock Code: 136166
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The letter sent by Margaret Thatcher in response to Lord Weatherill's letter of condolence on the occasion of the death of her husband Denis in 2003. Thatcher heads and signs the letter "Dear Jack... Kind regards yours ever Margaret", and dates it 17 July 2003, in her customary blue ink; the typed text of the letter reading "Thank you so much for your kind message. For over fifty years, Denis was the most loving and supportive husband and his death leaves an emptiness in my life which can never be filled. I have been deeply touched by all the warm tributes to him and the thoughtful messages of sympathy. They are a great comfort at this sad time". The recipient Bruce Bernard Weatherill (1920-2007), informally known as Jack, served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1983 to 1992, encompassing the majority of Thatcher's time as Prime Minister. Weatherill was the final Speaker to wear a wig while in chair, and presided over the introduction of television cameras into the chamber, consequently gaining fame through his stewardship of Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock's bouts in Prime Minister's Questions. However, he did not particularly enjoy Thatcher's confidence, representing the older moderate Toryism which Thatcher overturned. Thatcher had opposed his holding the speakership, albeit not virulently, and Weatherill proved firm in upholding the separation of the speaker and the executive, often to Thatcher's chagrin: "He rebuked ministers for prolixity, allowed more private notice questions and emergency debates - once after a stand-up row with Norman Tebbit - and, above all, upheld the rights of backbenchers. An irritated Mrs Thatcher told Weatherill that she was entitled to greater protection from Opposition backbenchers; he retorted that he would not 'cocoon' her as his predecessor had done" (Telegraph obituary, 8 May 2007). Even so, they remained on courteous terms, as this letter demonstrates.

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Single sheet, House of Lords letterhead printed in blue.


Stapled at head to an obituary of Denis Thatcher with a few inked marginalia by the recipient. Letter proper with central creases where folded and exceedingly minor creases from handling, otherwise in excellent condition.


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