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Records of the Treasurer

RA Collection: Archive

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Showing item 5 of 17 in this group

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Records of the Treasurer





Extent & medium


Historical Background

The office of Treasurer of the Royal Academy of Arts was instituted at the foundation of the Academy in 1768. The first Treasurer was Sir William Chambers (1768-96). Only Academicians have ever been eligible. The laws state that the Treasurer 'shall advise on all matters connected with the expenditure of the Funds of the Academy . . . All sums of money which shall be received by the Treasurer on account of the Royal Academy, shall be immediately paid by him into the hands of a Banker appointed by the Council . . . the Treasurer shall ensure that an account be rendered of the whole receipts and disbursements of the foregoing year arranged under distinct heads, [which] statement shall be examined by a Professional Auditor to be appointed by the President and Council, who shall report on it to the Finance Committee . . . The Treasurer shall not be at liberty to dispose of any money without the order and discretion of the Council'. The appointment originally rested entirely in the hands of the Sovereign, as a consequence of King George III's pledge to support the new body financially. The first innovation took place in 1874, when permission was obtained by the General Assembly to choose by election, for submission to the Sovereign, the member it considered most suitable. In 1880, with the consent of the Sovereign, the tenure of the office was assimilated to that of the Keeper and the Librarian, viz. a term of five years, renewable by a two-third majority of the General Assembly.