Letter from JAMES BARRY to LORD LIVERPOOL, written 21 November 1799, at Castle Street, London

Source: MS BM Add 38424 f. 92, British Library, London. [img]

The Earl of Liverpool, Charles Jenkinson (1729-1808), a Privy Councillor and President of the Board of Trade, was chairman of a committee of the House of Lords set up to consider designs for new coinage in Britain. After the committee sought the advice of the Royal Academy, Barry had written to the committee complaining at the way the Academy was handling the request (Barry to Privy Council, 31st July 1798).

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Castle Street Nov. 21. 1799 -

My Lord

Having lately seen two pieces of the New Coinage, the Halfpenny [img] & the Farthing [img]:1 I was exceedingly sorry to find that my idea of either the proper convexity, or of the Cavōbed 2 in which it should have been raised, were so imperfectly felt & understood by the Artist3 who executed those coins. - five minutes conversation & observation on his wax models, would have put him in a way of executing his work, the very same work, with a very different Gousto.4 - If your Lordship & the other Noblemen of His Majestys Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council will permit me to have this opportunity of inspecting the models of the Half Crown & the penny piece [img] or any other which perhaps Providentially may yet remain, I shall forever pray & be thankfull thankful for it & I am fully confident the publick will feel themselves disposed to join me in the same disposition. - The Inscription needed not to have been so very principal, 'tis against all usage &usage & Rule of Art, I mean of sound Art, & would have been better disposed of in the way we find it in the Coins of some of the Successors of Alexander. 5 - I will not trespass more on your Lordships Lordship's valuable time than just to say how very sensible I am of the Honour of your Lordships Lordship's notice & how very sincerely I subscribe myself your Lordships Lordship's most obed.t obedient humble servant

James Barry

To the Earl of Liverpool6