Letter from LORD BUCHAN to JAMES BARRY, written 20 April 1802, at Dryburgh Abbey

Source: Fryer, Works of Barry, i. 290.

Fryer gives this short passage from a letter to Barry, dated 20 April 1802, which has not been found, from the Scottish antiquarian and art collector David Steuart Erskine, earl of Buchan (1742-1829). [img] Lord Buchan was a long-standing member of the Society of Arts; he lived in Scotland at Dryburgh Abbey.1 See Emma Vincent Macleod, 'Erskine, David Steuart', DNB [go] ).

Barry's house and personal circumstances at this time were at a low ebb; Fryer writes, 'he himself, like his house, was dilapidating by age, and therefore, unequal to struggle with the same or rather with increased inconveniencies' (i. 289).

Buchan wrote to Barry to say he was looking for a way to help him: Fryer prefaces the extract by saying Lord Buchan 'was looking for an opportunity "when...".

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when he might proceed to take such steps as he thought decent and proper, honourable to him and to those who esteemed him, and such as ought to be adopted by the Society of Arts or other public bodies, or by individuals in them, for stamping his merit as it ought to be, and for rendering him easy and independent. 2