A burgundy leather on softwood Dispatch Box with leather handle, stamped March in Old English font below a crown both above and below the handle to the top.
The interior of the box is lined in dark blue leather and fitted with a hinged board to the inside of the lid. The interior of this board has a central strap, looped 11 times to take various sized pens, pencils and tools. The lid has a brass quadrant with a sprung section to fix the lid vertically when opened. The box has a removable leather tray to the right which contains a lift up pen tray and an inkwell. The inkwell is covered in dark red leather and stamped C. Asprey, 166 Bond St. London in gilt. Although this is the only marking of the name to the box, it was likely Aspreys were the maker and the quality fits in with their reputation. The box has a Bramah patent lock with key.
It belonged to Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox who used the title of the Earl of March between 1819 and 1860 when he became the Duke of Richmond. He followed his maternal grandfather, the celebrated soldier Henry Paget, into the army joining the Royal Horse Guards and was Aide-de-Camp to Wellington. In 1841 he was elected Member of Parliament for Sussex West and enjoyed a long political career. On the death of his father in 1860 and his succession of the title Duke of Richmond, Gordon-Lennox entered the House of Lords. He had 2 spells as President of the Board of Trade (1867-8 and 1885) and was Secretary for Scotland (1885-6). He was also the Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords (1870-6). Lord Richmond died in 1903. A Dispatch Box by an exceptional maker and with a good provenance. Mid 19th Century.