Letter from LORD BUCHAN to JAMES BARRY, written 11 February 1805, at Edinburgh

Source: Fryer, Works of Barry, i. 292-93.

David Steuart Erskine (1742-1829), earl of Buchan, [img] had written in a letter to the Society of Arts (18 December 1804), 'I desire to renew my request to the individual members of the Society...that a donation of yearly annuity may be settled on the worthy Barry, as Emeritus of the society, and of the fine arts of painting in Britain'.1 Buchan had mooted the idea in 1802 (see Buchan to Barry, 20 April 1802).

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My Dear Sir,

It gave me great pleasure to learn from Mr. Taylor2, secretary of our truly useful and respectable Society of Arts, &c. at London, that a considerable number of our body3 have come forward to co-operate with me in testifying their respect for you and gratitude for your zeal for the society, and for the advancement of the fine arts.

I have contributed my mite towards an annuity for your being enabled, with tranquillity and comfort, to employ your time in the prosecution of your favourite art, and in the society of those you like, by an exemplary annuity of ten pounds, which I am confident will be followed up with what may be sufficient, not to pay the debt of the society and the public due to your merits, but to your desires; I shall long to see your print from the Pandora,4 a picture with which I was more captivated than with any thing I have ever seen. I am, my dear sir, with sincere esteem and admiration of your talents,

Your obliged humble servant,


Edinburgh,5February 11, 1805.