Letter from SOCIETY OF ARTS to JAMES
BARRY, written 18 October 1784, at Adelphi, London
Source: MS James Barry Papers and Letters, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. Cover: To
James Barry EsqrEsquire
The Society for the Encouragement of Arts,
Manufactures and Commerce (1754), known as the Society of Arts, adopted its present title, the Royal Society of Arts, in 1908 when King Edward VII granted the right to the term 'Royal'.
Samuel More (1726-99), apothecary and
administrator, was elected Secretary of the Society in 1770; he was also
made a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1774, probably at the
proposal of the American author, politician and scientist Benjamin Franklin
(1706-90)(D.G.C.Allan,'“Dear and Serviceable to Each Other”:
Benjamin Franklin and the Royal Society of Arts', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,144 (3),
September 2000, p. 262). See also, G.E. Mercer, 'Mr. More of the
Adelphi', The Virtuoso Tribe of Arts &
Sciences : Studies in the Eighteenth-century Work and Membership of
the London Society of Arts, eds. D.G.C. Allan and John L.
Abbott (London, 1992), pp. 307-35.
Since 1781 Barry had sole use of the Great Room of the Society of Arts in the Adelphi so that he
could work on his six pictures The Progress of Human
Culture. This meant that the Society no longer held its meetings
there. The Secretary now sends Barry a draft notice for his approval that
meetings will resume in the Great Room.
M.r More presents his Compliments to M.r
Barry and having drawn up an Advertisement for the Meetings of the Society in
which his Name appears 1 thinks it
proper to Submit the same to M.r Barry's Consideration
before he sends it for insertion in the public papers and will readily make any
Alteration in it which M.r B. shall judge necessary2