Letter from JAMES BARRY to KING GEORGE III, written 4 August 1799, at London

Source: Morning Post, Tuesday, December 3, 1799.

This letter, dated 4 August 1799, was published in the Morning Post on 3 December and was prefaced with the remark, 'The following Letter, with the annexed inclosed, were delivered to the KING, last Summer, at Weymouth'.1 The letter enclosed with it was to an unnamed person ('Dear Sir') and also dated 4 August 1799.

Barry had asked both Lord Liverpool and Lord Buchan to make representations to the King on his behalf over his expulsion from the Royal Academy in April. His attempts were not successful, but this letter shows he did eventually succeed in putting his case to the King.

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May it please your Majesty.

Relying on your Majesty's Royal protection, and known goodness, I have taken this only mode in my power of approaching your Majesty and praying, that I might be favourably indulged the permission of humbly stating, that I have a few days since been informed, that your Majesty has been displeased with me, as the supposed author of the Supplement in the late edition of Pilkington's Dictionary of Painters,2 which is said to contain certain passages offensive to your Majesty.

As I have never had any part or concern whatever in the writing or devising of that Supplement, and have thought it highly incumbent on me to clear myself from any such imputation; I have written the enclosed letter* 3 for immediate publication; and I do most humbly pray, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased previously4 to read it, and also the Case of the Professor of Painting, in his dispute with the Royal Academy, which is contained in the Appendix in the second edition of my Letter to the Dilletanti Society;5 and which I have also humbly presumed to bring to your Majesty for that purpose; and I have also brought another copy of that Case of the Professor for Her Majesty the Queen,6 if I might be permitted, in all humility, to deliver it, or to leave it for Her Majesty.

Your Majesty has, I trust in God, many good and faithful servants in the several departments allotted to them; and I have at present no small satisfaction in reflecting that, with all due respect to those departments, not any of them, higher or lower, could have been filled with a more sincere, ardent zeal for your Majesty's real and true glory, than that Professorship which has, for fourteen years, been occupied by your Majesty's most faithful subject and servant - faithful at his own risk and peril,


August 4, 1799.

*The above Letter inclosed a copy of the following Letter from Mr. Barry to a friend.