Records of the Secretary

RA Collection: Archive

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Showing item 7 of 17 in this group

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Records of the Secretary





Extent & medium


Historical Background

The office of Secretary was created at the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. The laws state 'There shall be a Secretary of the Royal Academy. He shall not be a Member of the Royal Academy. He shall be a person of good literary attainments, and competent for the conduct of official business. He shall be elected by ballot from amongst duly qualified candidates and approved of by the SOVEREIGN. His business shall be to keep the Minutes of the Council and General Assembly, write letters, send summonses; attend during the arrangement of the Exhibitions, make out the Catalogues &c. He shall also have the direction of the Servants of the Academy'. However, only Academicians were eligible for the office until 1873. The first holder of the post was Francis Milner Newton (1768-88). The General Assembly of 25 February 1873 restricted the office to laymen and the first such holder was Sir Frederick A. Eaton (1873-1913).