Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Lucy Broadwood

Letter No.: 
[Before August 1929]

13 Cheyne Walk
Chelsea, S.W.

Dear Miss Broadwood

I agree - the best thing to do is to print the other tunes according to our usual custom & print this one without any signature & the legend “Dorian (?) 3rd absent”.1
If we mark it “Dorian (?)” no one can think we have left out a # or [flat] in the signature.
Yrs very sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

P.S.  I wrote this before breakfast & your 2nd letter has now come
Please – the tunes in my arrangements are absolutely yours - & if that is not already clear I hereby give you any rights, claims heridataments whatsoever that I may have in them
Now as to your position with Milford2
You gave us (the E.H. Ctee)3 the right to print the tunes free & for nothing which was v. generous of you. But assigning the copyright is quite a different thing.
I think you ought to set a sum down for that (say £5-5-0 per tune besides the royalties they propose to pay you).
Further you must make it quite clear in your agreement that it is only in this particular form that you give them the tune & that you are free to use it in any other form you like – i.e. that the tune (per se) belongs to you.
On the other hand they may want an assurance from you that you will not tomorrow harmonize the tune differently and sell it again as a hymn tune to another publisher.
I see you ask for a formal letter with regards to my “rights” which I enclose.4

1. Presumably a tune for the revised edition of the English Hymnal, published in 1933 – but Lucy Broadwood does not appear in the acknowledgements of either Songs of Praise or the English Hymnal.
2. Humphrey Milford of Oxford University Press.
3. English Hymnal Committee.
4. The enclosure is not present.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
General notes: 

Lucy Broadwood died in August 1929, giving a date ante post quem for this letter. Possibly 1924 as there is an envelope addressed to Broadwood from VW in the file with this postmark.

Original database number: