Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Mr Burghes (OUP)

Letter No.: 
[2 March 1932]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Mr Burghes
N. & Co.1 seem to be prevaricating as usual.
As regards Mendelssohn 24.2 This I see was arranged by Cummings in 1854 or so. It all depends when Cummings died - if he was dead before 1906. The tune was clearly non-copyright under the old act long before 1906 (is that not so?) - and surely it could not run into copyright again in 1911. If so, how about the S. of P.?3
Personally I should be glad to get rid of the whole lot - but I suppose we can't do that - as we have promised to keep all the tunes in the new edition have we not?
With regard to 'Etona' and 'Contakion' these were done I think especially for the E.H.4 and surely the document assigning us the right to print them must extend to all subsequent editions after the first - and the fact that the copyright has changed hands does not affect us. And does not the same apply to 'Maidstone' and 'Jerusalem'?
I hope you won't give in to them too easily.
With regard to 'Mendelssohn' I believe we could if necessary remake our own arrangement from the Mendelssohn original.
Yours truly

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Novello and Co., music publishers
2. A hymn tune; this letters discusses several tunes by name.
3. Songs of Praise
4. The English Hymnal

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Music Department, English Hymnal Company (General Correspondence),1932
General notes: 

Date from date of receipt stamp (3 March 1932) by Oxford University Press.