Mahatma Gandhi letter sells for £115,000 at auction in Ludlow

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Gandhi letterImage source, Mullock's
Image caption,
The seller hoped to raise money to support his family in India

A letter written by Mahatma Gandhi has sold for £115,000 at auction - after being expected to fetch £10-15,000.

The letter, typed by Gandhi when he was detained in India by British forces in 1943, contains a plea for his freedom.

Richard Westwood-Brookes of auctioneers Mullocks, in Shropshire, said he believed it was a "world record figure" for a letter by the Indian leader.

He said the letter, sold in auction in Ludlow, had belonged to a man in India who was a freedom fighter with Gandhi.

He said the elderly seller decided to auction the letter because he wanted to "provide for his family".

Mr Westwood-Brookes said the document, addressed and dated "Detention Camp, October 26th 1943" was one of the most important letters by Gandhi to be offered for sale as it instigated his secret negotiations for Indian Independence.

In the letter, addressed to the additional secretary of the Government of India, Gandhi makes a plea for his own and his followers' release.

The auctioneers, which is based in Church Stretton, said with the 17% buyer's premium the letter cost £134,550.

Last year the auction house sold a collection of Gandhi material, including his glasses and prayer book.

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