Broadley, Alexander Meyrick (1847 -1916)
Alexander Meyrick Broadley was an English lawyer, journalist, historian, and collector of art and antiquities. After qualifying for the Bar in 1869, he practiced law in India and later in Cairo, Egypt. While in North Africa, Broadley represented the Bey of Tunis against the French and defended Egyptian nationalist Col. Ahmed Orabi (“Arabi Pasha”) after his surrender to the British forces in 1882. Partly as a consequence of representing the Crown’s enemies, Broadley's legal and business career was filled with controversy. He was also a journalist and author of some note, serving as Special Correspondent of The Times of London in Tunis and Egypt during 1880-1882. Broadley wrote two books about his experiences in Tunis and Egypt, as well as other works on diverse subjects, including: Napoleon, Lord Nelson, Ben Johnson, Freemasonry, bookplates, and autographs. After his retirement from the law and return to England, Broadley devoted a significant amount of time to the hobby of creating extra-illustrated books. After his death in 1916, his enormous personal library—including 600 extra-illustrated volumes—was dispersed through a series of five auction sales. His collection of Napoleonic books, autographs, and engravings was at the time considered one of the finest Napoleon collections ever assembled.