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, Council minutes, vol. 9


Took into consideration the Resolution
of the General Assembly of the 21st January
referred to the Council respecting the Professor
of Perspective.

Resolved that the Professor of Per-
spective be for the present suspended -
and that a Teacher of Perspective ap-
pointed to deliver lessons in the Academy
on the plan of Mr. Edwards.
Martin Archer Shee President
Henry Howard Secy.

, Council minutes, vol. 9

Royal Academy 20th March 1839
At a Meeting of the Council
The President _ Sirs D. Wilkie – R. Westmacott
T. Uwins – F.R. Lee – W. Wyon
A. Cooper – E.H. Baily Esq.r – The Treasurer
& the Secretary _

Read & confirmed the last Minutes
Read an application from Miss Bone, daughter
of H. Bone Esq: RA _ stating herself to be in
great distress and soliciting assistance from the
President & Council _ Her case was attested
& recommended by Mr Baily, who moved
“that a Donation of £25 be granted
To Miss Bone, which was seconded by Sir R.
Westmacott & pass’d Nem. Con.
Read a letter from W.B.S.Taylor
accompanying a copy of his translation of

, Council minutes, vol. 9


Merimée on Colors which he is desirous of
presenting to the Library_
Order’d that the Secretary return thanks
to M.r Taylor.
Produced a number of engravings
from the works of T. Phillips Esq. R.A. – present-
ed by him to the Library –
Order’d that the Secretary return thanks
Re-admitted Students
J.B. Thompson & J. Stepney _
Produced a paper to the following effect
which had been left at the Academy open
& unaddress’d, viz:
“Jovis. 14° die Martis, 1839-
That there be laid before
this House a Return of the amount of Money

, Council minutes, vol. 9


received for admission, and of the number
of persons who visited the Exhibition of the
Royal Academy of Arts in each of the years
1836, 1837 & 1838, distinguishing the entrance
money from the proceeds by the Sale of Catalogues;
together with the amount paid in Salaries and
Perquisites to each person employed in that
establishment in each of those years; also, the
miscellaneous Expenses under separate se-
-parate heads in each of these years; and the
average number of Students who have atten-
-ded the Life School, & that of the Antique, in
each of these years. In continuation of the
account of the President and Secretary of the
Royal Academy of Arts in July 1836
S.H. Ley
Cl. Dom. Com”
The President & Council having duly 

, Council minutes, vol. 9


consider’d the above. Resolved that the follow
-ing Letter, with the concurrence of the General
Assembly, be sent to M.r Ley the Clerk of the
House of Commons – viz
A Paper having been deliver’d at
the Royal Academy Trafalgar Square without
any address but with your signature attached
purporting to be an Order of the House of Commons
requiring a variety of Returns therein specified, I
am instructed by the President & Council respect-
-fully to state in reply, that on a former occasion
when a similar application was made to the
Academy on the part of the House of Commons, the
Academy without acknowledging the right of
inquiry which the requisition assumed, im
mediately solicited the permission of their patron
& Protector the late King William the Fourth to
supply the Return then call’d for_

, Council minutes, vol. 9


In this proceeding the Academy were actua
ted by a desire to mark their respect for the House
of Commons and at the same time to take the
opportunity of laying before the Parliament &
the Public such information respecting the
Constitution and Laws of the Royal Academy
as would enable them fully to understand the
nature, objects and operation of that Institu-
tion _ This information in
the most ample details has been supplied by
the Academy in various returns to the House
of Commons, and also in the copious evidence
given by the President and Officers of that Insti
tution before the parliamentary Committee
of the Fine Arts. Conscious of the
integrity and disinterestedness with which
its affairs have been invariably administer’d,
the Academy has no motive for concealment
and the Institution through all its functions, 

, Council minutes, vol. 9


educational, and financial was unreserved-
-ly laid open to general inspection, and sub-
-mitted to an investigation as rigorous as the
most active spirit of scrutiny could devise
or direct _ In short no means
of elucidation have been withheld which could
be consider’d necessary for any useful purpose,
or demanded for the gratification of even the
most searching curiosity.
The President and Council therefore respectfully
decline to furnish the additional Returns now sought for,
as they conceive that a further acquiescence on their
part might appear to be a recognition of a right
of interference in their concerns, inconsistent
with the independence of an Institution responsi-
ble only to their Sovereign, and which rests for
support on its own resources _ an interference
which claims to examine into the minutest details
of an expenditure, which they who do not con-

, Council minutes, vol. 9


to supply, cannot reasonably desire to control,
and which in its operation could not fail
to be injurious to the Arts, by disturbing the
tranquil exercise of those duties which the
Royal Academy was constituted to perform.
Martin Archer Shee President
Henry Howard Secy

Council minutes, vol. 9

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code



Council minutes, vol. 9


07 Jan 1839 - 21 Feb 1844



Extent & medium

1 vol., 347pp.

Content Description

Volume of minutes of the Council, including the following selected entries: copies of correspondence in which the Royal Academy declined a House of Commons request to make a return of information relating to the years 1836, 1837 and 1838, 20 March 1839, the text of a subsequent petition to the House of Commons, 2 July 1839 and a resolution to thank Lord John Russell and Sir Robert Peel for their support in the parliamentary debate of 30 July 1839 in which the order for the return was discharged, 2 August 1839; the text of a letter of condolence to the family of Sir David Wilkie, 12 June 1841; an extract from the will of Sir Francis Chantrey, 10 February 1842 and transcript of a letter to his executors, 1 March 1842; and copies of correspondence between the Council and Edward Hodges Baily following a complaint that he had worked upon models from the antique of students in the Schools, 22 - 25 November 1843.